Since 1999, NDI in Kosovo has helped citizens and political leaders at all levels build a strong civic culture by establishing comprehensive and durable democratic institutions.
As part of its support to political parties, NDI has been working with their leadership to foster internal democracy, with a particular focus on opening more space for women and youth to take leadership roles and invest in increasing their capacities. The Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA) and the New Media School (NMS) are two examples that illustrate NDI’s methodological approach of bringing together women and youth in cross-party settings to learn new skills and techniques that will enhance their abilities and turn them into valuable resources for their respective political parties.
Since 2013, NDI has provided skills-building training in effective political engagement and advocacy to these individuals with funding from the United States Agency for International Development. Beyond training, the programs provided these emerging community leaders with opportunities to network and connect with each other, across party, geographic, and ethnic lines, learning about common concerns and developing shared strategies to approach them. By working to empower new leadership and establishing linkages with political representatives, NDI can encourage national and branch leadership to be inclusive of those individuals emerging from the grassroots and ensure they are fully engaged in political processes.
In this publication, NDI presents the accomplishments of a remarkable group of Kosovars—women and youth activists—who have embraced their civic responsibilities, helping raise citizens’ concerns within their political parties and to other decisionmakers in order to bring about change in their communities.