About RRPP


The RRPP is aimed at fostering and promoting social science research in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Social science research aids in the understanding of the specific needs for reform and in identifying the long-term implications of potential policy choices. Researchers receive support through research grants, methodological and thematic trainings, as well as opportunities for regional and international exchange and networking. The RRPP is coordinated and operated by the Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe (IICEE) at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). The programme is fully funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

What have we achieved so far?


The RRPP consolidation phase started in 2014 with the selection of 21 regional research projects embedded in such thematic areas as Migration, Governance/Decentralisation and Welfare State/Social Disparities. These current research projects have developed an institutional research partnership with established universities and research institutes from Europe and overseas within the Academic Mentoring Programme.

In October 2014, the Policy Bridging Initiative (PBI) was launched as a new capacity development programme. Its aim is to support the RRPP research in maximizing the production of policy-relevant outputs, as well as building the insight to bridge the resulting analysis into a target policy-making process. The PBI started officially at international Policy Conference and Orientation Meeting for the Policy Bridging Initiative (PBI) in Belgrade, in November 19-20, 2014.

Throughout the 2008-2015 period, under the umbrella topic “Political, Social and Economic Change in the Western Balkans” 71 research projects have been implemeted in the region, valuing 7.5 million CHF. These RRPP research projects deal with topics relevant to transformation in political sciences, sociology, social work, cultural and gender studies, economies and other relevant fields.

In addition to these projects, a total of 24 regional trainings have been organised and conducted by international specialists for research methods and management, gathering a total of 364 participants so far. In order to improve capacity building impact and research quality, we have financed individual mentoring sessions and participation at international conferences for research teams supported by the RRPP.

By 2015, a total of four annual scientific conferences were organised, involving over 600 regional and international scholars. Aside from the benefits gained via networking, such conferences provide researchers an opportunity to present their work, exposing it to critical review.

Furthermore, the RRPP initiated several projects related to “National Policy Dialogues” in all countries involved with its objective. These focused projects are aimed at influencing necessary systemic changes in social science research, simultaneously involving a number of relevant stakeholders such as ministers/ministries, rectors, deans and researchers from different disciplines representing a range of ages.

During 2012, support was granted to an additional pilot project entitled, “Data Centre Western Balkans”. It is currently coordinated by the University of Zurich. This project aims to assemble survey data relevant to social sciences in the Western Balkans, leading to easy and open access to said data. After the initial phase, should it be deemed successful, the project’s ownership shall be transferred to the region.

Finally, during the 2008-2011 period, the RRPP fully supported the “Regional Gender and Women’s Studies Network Project”, gathering scholars interested in regional gender studies. The project was implemented by the Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje, Macedonia.
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RRPP Joint Volume

The RRPP is proud to present the volume Diversity of Migration in South-East Europe.
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New RRPP Flyer 2014

Please click here to download the current RRPP flyer.

22.02.2017

The Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP) Local Coordination Unit for Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the University of Banja Luka is organising a conference titled Challenges of Social Science Research at Western Balkan Universities. The conference will be held at the Rectorate of the University of Banja Luka, on 07 March 2017, starting from 09:00.
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09.02.2017

Within the RRPP National Policy Dialogue activities in Macedonia, the Foundation Open Society Macedonia will organise a closing conference titled Challenges and Opportunities for Scientific Research Funding in the Republic of Macedonia.The conference will be held at the Hotel Holiday Inn in Skopje, on 16 February 2017, starting from 12:00.
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01.02.2017

The results of the RRPP-funded research project Courts as Policy-Makers?: Examining the Role of Constitutional Courts as Agents of Change in the Western Balkans have recently been published. The project examines the contribution of constitutional courts to democratic transition in five successor states of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.
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26.01.2017

Local Coordination Unit of the RRPP for Bosnia and Herzegovina is organising a seminar/workshop followed by a discussion about The Future of Research Impact: New Technologies for Better Promotion and Cooperation. The event will be organised within the National Policy Dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at hotel Bristol Sarajevo, on 09.02.2017.
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26.01.2016

Centre for Political Courage from Kosovo and Development Solutions Associates from Albania conducted a research titled Mapping Clientelism and its Causes: Rents, Rent-Seeking and Democracy in Kosovo and Albania (1997-2013). The research was funded by the RRPP, and the results, published in the form of policy briefs, are now available online.
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30.12.2016

The research brief Social Capital, Migration, Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance: a Multidisciplinary Evidence from South-East Europe has been published within the RRPP-funded project Social Capital and Migration – Evidence from a Post-conflict Environment. The research identifies common and specific determinants of social capital, as well as similarities and differences between periods of crisis and normality.
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30.12.2016

Between May and December 2016, a series of roundtables on Ethics in Research has been organised at public universities around Albania. The purpose of these events was to present the main findings and recommendations deriving from the analysis undertaken by young researchers, as well as to promote constructive debate among researchers and university management structures.
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23.12.2016

Conference on "Crisis Governance – Dealing with Floods in the Balkans. Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia" took place on 14-16 December in Belgrad and marked the end of a one-year RRPP research project. It brought together involved scholars as well and foreign experts, social activists and politicians responsible for civil protection. The research results evidenced deficient institutional protection systems in the analysed cases and the purposeful politicisation of the crisis, accountability management, instrumentalization of media and ethnopolitics. Furthermore, the policy workshop and expert debate focused on major, policy-relevant problems of crisis governance in the region, such as lack of coordination and communication between relevant institutions, inadequate crisis preparedness and lack of equipment, prevailing clientelism.
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23.12.2016

International Workshop on "Illiberal and Authoritarian Tendencies in Central, Eastern and Sutheastern Europe" took place in Munich and was co-funded by the RRPP. It brought together some 25 scholars from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe who discussed the recent alarming political developments in the related countries, clearly challenging the young post-communist democracies and transformation countries. Whereas the illiberal tendencies in Central Europe unveil weakening judicial independence, focus on national sentiments, populism, EU-criticism, hollowing out state media, the authoritarian tendencies in Southeastern Europe revolve around ubiquitous informality, weak institutions, ethnic divisions. In Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, the question of oligarchy and lingering reforms are still valid.
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14.12.2016

The Regional Scientific Conference Titled Researching Social Enterprise Developments in the Balkans was held in Skopje on 17 and 18 November 2016. The conference brought together researchers – members of the Balkan Social Enterprise Research Network, who presented and discussed the latest research in the field of social enterprise and social economy with a particular focus on the Balkan region.
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14.12.2016

The results of the RRPP-funded project The European Union in the media and social networking sites were presented at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, on 25 November 2016. In comparison to the results from 2012, the Serbian media reported about the EU in a much less positive context.
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12.12.2016

Foundation for Women's Empowerment organised the Conference Psychosocial Well-being of Women Forced Migrants in the Western Balkans – Then and Now, on 23 November 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. The aim of the conference was to present the results of two-year research about the long-term impact of protracted displacement and the post-return reality through the lens of psychosocial well-being. The project has been upgraded with additional research among refugee women in Serbia who are traveling through the Balkan route.
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08.12.2016

The upcoming press conference Engagement in Focus will be held at noon at the Cultural Centre of Belgrade, on 16 December 2016. The aim of the event is to present activities carried out so far in founding an international scholarly network dedicated to promoting public engagement and critical thinking. The conference will be organised within the RRPP-funded project Engaging Reflexivity, Reflecting Engagement.
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08.12.2016

On 15 November 2016, Foundation for Women’s Empowerment organised a conference within the RRPP-funded project Engendering Forced Migration, Socio-Political Transition and Mental Health in BiH, Serbia, and Kosovo. The aim of the conference was to present and discuss the key findings of the research conducted within the project. A book and a policy brief based on the research findings were promoted, and the event was concluded with the screening of the documentary film Transforming War Shattered Lives – Building Peace to Return Home.
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07.12.2016

European Policy Centre – CEP organised a working breakfast on the topic Achieving Excellence through Regional Cooperation, within the RRPP-funded project CEPS WeB. Organisers also presented the first position paper on the Centre for Expertise in Policymaking, which is now available online.
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07.12.2016

The research results on Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises, have recently been published. The research was conducted within the RRPP-funded project aimed at understanding the perceived challenges and opportunities for the employment of marginalised groups by social enterprises through mapping and providing typologies of social enterprise models in Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.
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01.12.2016

The event Caring for carers: Policy analysis of informal care provision in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been organised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goal was to look at the current situation in the field of long-term care policies in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the perspective of different actors, to encourage the exchange of experiences and to identify measures that would take into account the needs and experiences of informal carers and improve their position.
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30.11.2016

Upcoming: RRPP Expert Debate on "Governing after Crisis: Flood Response and its Legacies" to be held on 15 December in Belgrade. The debate follows a one-year research project on Crisis Governance – Dealing with Floods in the Balkans. Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and aims at discussing its valid findings while addressing the following questions: What are the most lasting legacies and the effects of the flood response in 2014 in the region? Has the flood crisis in the Balkans led to an improvement of crisis governance mechanisms and transparency of a decision making process? Can civil society compensate for a weak state during the crisis and in its aftermath?
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23.11.2016

The conference “National Policy Dialogue in the Field of Social Sciences in the Republic of Serbia 2014-2016” was held in Belgrade, Serbia. Two panel discussions have been organised, focusing on the two main issues tackled within the project – collaboration between the researchers and policymakers, and the status of young researchers in Serbia.
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22.11.2016

Foundation for the Advancement of Economics is organising the third workshop within the RRPP-funded project Strengthening the Labour Market Research Network – Toward the Understanding of the Political Economy of Unemployment in the Western Balkans. The aim of the workshop is to present the results of the Labour Market Research Network’s research so far, and its research agenda and policy ideas beyond 2016.
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16.11.2016

Foundation Open society Macedonia organised the Expert Debate on the Draft Model of Feasible Research Funding in Macedonia within the RRPP National Policy Dialogue. Compared to the current model, the main difference is that the assessment of the project proposals and evaluation of the project results will be done by expert bodies.
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14.11.2016

Rural Development Forum will be held in Skopje, Macedonia on 17 and 18 November. It will gather researchers in the field of rural development from the South Eastern Europe, for a debate on different rural development issues in the region.
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07.11.2016

Development Solutions Associates organised the round table on Corruption and Clientelism – Causes and Effects in Tirana, Albania. The round table focused on the survey of more than 200 enterprises in Kosovo and Macedonia, conducted within the project Mapping Clientelism and its Causes: Rents, Rent-seeking and Democracy in Kosovo and Albania.
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University of Fribourg
Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern
Europe

Bd. de Pérolles 90
1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
Tel +41 26 300 79 97
Fax +41 26 300 96 26
office@rrpp-westernbalkans.notexisting@nodomain.comnet