The Gender Budget Watchdog Network (GBWN) is a regional network that seeks to further gender responsive budgeting in the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova, towards more efficient, effective, transparent, and just use of resources that benefit diverse women and men.
Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) is one of the funders and partner organizations of GBWN since 2019. Moreover, several KWN members are also members of GBWN, as well as sub-grant beneficiaries. Since 2019, GBWN has developed significantly and now has more than 70 members across the Western Balkans.
This year, GBWN has officially adopted its statute and code of conduct, which is a step towards the full establishment of the network. In June, the first GBWN Assembly of Members was organized in Ohrid, North Macedonia, where representatives from each country participated and shared their experience within the regional network. Since this kick-start meeting, GBWN now has an operative Executive Committee composed of Marija Risteska, Mirela Arqimandriti, Višnja Baćanović, and Nicole Farnsworth (4 years term) and Slavica Strikovic, Mersiha Jaskić and Ludmila Ciocan (2 years term). The Assembly of Members also voted unanimously for the GBWN Oversight Committee during this meeting.
As well as discussing the future of the Network, this meeting served as a good team-building initiative. KWN had the chance to meet the GBWN members and sub-grantees from the region and share experiences with them which helps to strengthen the GBWN team. Moreover, GBWN’s structure was immediately put into action by organizing the international conference “Role of civil society in (gender responsive) budgeting: participation, advocacy and accountability” which gathered in one place multiple stakeholders including government officials, public finance management experts, women rights activist, and international and local Civil Society Organizations.
Let’s recall that this year GBWN also participated in its third study visit. This time GBWN representatives traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to meet and exchange GRB practices with Irish Government representatives, members of the Irish Parliament, as well as Civil Society Organizations. The insights of the performance budgeting gained in Ireland will inform the on-going advocacy towards the institutionalization of GRB in Kosovo.
This regional network is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).