Small Grants Scheme (SGS) Covid19 – Iris Network

IRIS Network has a great pleasure to announce the continuation of its Small Grants Scheme (SGS) Covid19, which will provide financial support to the member organizations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

The Call aims to support IRIS members in capacity-building actions for the purpose of enhancing an organization’s abilities to develop adequate services, capabilities, and skills in response to the pandemic crisis. As IRIS Network members are facing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 and the strain on the services and resources they provide is tremendous, this Grant Scheme is taking proactive steps to protect the Network members, support their ongoing activities and assist them to cope with current hardships as much as possible.

Small Grant Scheme Covid19 is open only to IRIS National Networks member organizations from 5 countries.

If you have a project which may fulfill the requirements of the Small Grants program, please send your proposals to no later than 01/02/2021 at 17.00, with an email subject stating “Call for proposal for the Small Grants Scheme Covid19 – IRIS Networking”.

For more information please follow documents attached below:

Annex 1.1 Guidelines of the Call

Annex 1.2 Application Form

Annex 1.3 Terms of Reference Template

Third Iris Network Regional Social Academy follow up

It has been two weeks since the IRIS Network Social Academy was conducted. What have we learned? Has agile already become a part of our business or at least our mindset?

Participants and trainers gathered once again to reflect on lessons learned and exchange feedback.  

Teo Petricevic, Director of the ACT Group, highlighted that in agile management, one should lead by example. He emphasized that the transition process from traditional to agile takes time and patience. Teo and the entire team of trainers are satisfied with the performance and exchange of knowledge and experiences.

  • Nearly all participants expressed the willingness and readiness to incorporate agile management tools and methodologies into their everyday operations and organizations.
  • Some IRIS Network members shared that after the Academy they have recognized aspects of agile within their business culture and organizations.
  • The majority of participants are ready to embrace the changes and challenges that come with agile management

Third Iris Network Regional Social Academy is finished!

Third Iris Network Regional Social Academy is finished!

The Third Iris Network Regional Social Academy successfully completed – three days, 36 participants, exchange of experiences, and shared know-how for the benefit of all participants and their organizations.

We talked about the application of agile methods in management, as well as the structural changes that this way of management brings.

Trainers from the Third Iris Network Academy guided the participants through the sessions:

  • Impact Focused Strategy
  • Agile Project Management; Agile Methodologies
  • Combining traditional top-down and agile bottom-up approach
  • Planning, Tracking, and Monitoring 
  • Ensuring Delivery of Value and Quality in Agile Projects; Risk Management
  • Budgeting agile projects and budget management
  • Leading an Agile Team
  • Managing Stakeholder Engagement
  • Agile Project Management Tools and Technologies
  • Leading the Agile Organisation
  • Measuring & Managing Impact
  • Communicating Impact Effectively

Representatives of organizations from five countries – members of the Iris Network had the opportunity to discuss the transition from traditional project management to agile methodology, hear the experiences of others, and increase their knowledge on the issue.

Academy aroused many discussions with several messages for the future:

  • We are not here just to deliver service, but to produce systematic change by maximizing our impact
  • Stakeholders have rights, but also responsibilities in an agile environment. We have to work to involve them much stronger in the process
  • We are organizations that have a say in designing financial instruments to achieve the change we want to see.
  • We are practicing openness to learn and adjust, mastering the art of letting go of old
  • Celebrate your many successes to become more motivated, it empowers your organization. Simplicity is an important part of the agile approach, do not be afraid to fail, embrace failures

In the coming period, the Iris Network will strive to apply the transferred knowledge and thus improve the functioning of the only regional network in the Western Balkans of CSOs providers of social services.

Under the framework of IRIS Networking CSOs for protection sensitive migration management, the project is funded by European Commission and implemented through joined forces of 6 NGOs from 5WB countries: IDC Serbia, ASB South East Europe, SOS Podgorica, LIR Civil Society from B&H, ARSIS Albania and La Strada North Macedonia.

IRIS Network – participants of the 2020 Regional Social Academy

IRIS Network is proudly announcing participants of the 2020 Regional Social Academy. After a competitive selection process, we are glad to announce the list of successfully selected participants. Welcome, all the participants! We are looking forward to the training session, all the new experience and learning in the coming Academy.

Also, we were thrilled by the overwhelming response, with 30 applications from candidates in 5 countries. From these 22 applications, we selected out of the IRIS members pool.

For those applicants who were not selected, we want to thank you for taking the time to submit your application. We will be ensuring to remain connected and engaged with Network and the social service provider community through enhancements to our Alumni Network and participation in IRIS activities. For the selected candidates please follow the link.

Call for Application – Regional Social Academy “Agile Organisational and Project Management”

Call for Application – Regional Social Academy “Agile Organisational and Project Management”

After two successful Regional Social Academy of IRIS Network, held in Belgrade and Tirana we are announcing the Call for participants of the Regional Social Academy, which will be held online from 26th to 28th October 2020.

The Academy offers participants further support in organizational development – changing the paradigm: moving from a traditional organization working as a “machine” to the new organisation working as “organism”. This year Academy will focus on new knowledge and skills of CSOs management and senior staff in agile organizational and project management – impact strategy design and management, agile project management, budgeting, agile leadership, and team management, leading the agile organisation, impact measurement, and management methodologies and practices.

Participants will attend 3-day tailor-made training consisted of online lectures and workshops. The Academy program will enable further improvements and optimization to the needs, interests, and constraints of the target groups and their institutional and organizational environments.

All information and application procedure you can find here.

The deadline for the application is 14th October 2020 at 17 p.m.

The final participant list will be announced on the IRIS Network website ( no later than on 16th October.

Successful participants will obtain certificates, and enter Academy Alumni. Upon the training, each of the participants will have the opportunity to participate in a Follow-up check-point session which will be held on the 9th of November 2020, online.

Regional Social Academy is part of the regular IRIS program activities, organized annually.

Photos and impressions from First Regional Social Academy you can see here.

Photos and impressions from Second Regional Social Academy you can see here.

For additional questions contact

Jesuit Refugee Service Serbia – Integration House Presentation

Jesuit Refugee Service Serbia – Starting our mission in Serbia in 2016 we explored needs and opportunities to find the best possible way to help those who need it. Working on the field, communicating with other civil society organizations and with government institutions we identified a gap in the protection of unaccompanied minors which is why we established Pedro Arrupe Integration House back in May 2017. Since then, we provided accommodation to more than 70 children, who were identified as victims of sexual violence, exploitation, smuggling and potential victims of human trafficking or they were just too young to be alone anywhere. Supported by our donors, in cooperation with Serbian authorities, our experience was being presented as an example of good practice to all actors involved in refugee protection in Serbia in the fields of integration, protection and promotion of human rights of children. This gives us a good position to advocate for the rights of children in other fields such as education, community-based services and better legal protection. Telling a story about our work is always hard; sometimes we think we are too critical of ourselves and sometimes that we give ourselves too much credit. So, it is best when you get inputs from someone who has been for a short time part of our team, and perception he gets tell us a lot.



In spite of the global scale, severity, and widespread uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak, which hindered the efforts of the Iris Network and its members, the Network has been regularly following the activities of its members, especially their responses throughout the ongoing  COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the lessons learned in the face of the pandemic was that the ability to react promptly and tackle the new challenges in an innovative way have been pivotal in surpassing the crisis.  For that reason, the January – June Edition of the Newsletter features the stories of the Network members, in which they shared how they managed to adapt their activities to the new reality.

Along the same lines, the Iris Network conducted a survey among its members and based on the thorough analysis of their responses complied a Report  on  Social  Services  during  Coronavirus  Pandemic  in  Western  Balkan  Countries (link).

Members of the Network reported that they have not been included by local governments to participate, discuss and create adequate responses and policies pertaining to the protection of rights of vulnerable categories during COVID-19.  Likewise, IRIS Network members indicated that only a few local authorities have implemented measures in order to maintain current social services, support them and mitigate the critical situation. More so, sources of funding constitute by far the greatest challenge in the current situation, while majority of the survey participants expressed their concern regarding future sources of funding and declared that their expectations lay within the pool of international donors.


Montenegro in the integrated migration management process – Monitoring report

Montenegro in the integrated process migration management – Monitoring report

The Government of Montenegro, in February 2017, after obtaining an opinion from the EC, adopted the Strategy for integrated migration management in Montenegro for the period 2017-2020. Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of measures planned by the strategy is the responsibility of the Ministry of internal affairs. This is the second strategic document in the field of migration because the Government of Montenegro, in March 2011. adopted the Strategy for Integrated Migration Management in Montenegro for the period 2011-2016.

The main goal of the Strategy is full harmonization and establishment of the legal framework, as well as additionally strengthening the institutional framework that provides the opportunity for effective policy implementation control of migration movements in accordance with EU rules and standards, as well as the establishment monitoring system for monitoring the Strategy and implementation of action plans. The ultimate goal of the Strategy is establishing a society with a late system and recognizable results in the field integrated migration management, which will contribute to regional and overall stability in accordance with EU rules and standards.

Full report:

Iris Network member Lastovica – Analysis of the needs, interests and skills of young migrants as a precondition for successful social inclusion through employment – Report from the research

Iris Network member Lastovica – Analysis of the needs, interests and skills of young migrants as a precondition for successful social inclusion through employment – Report from the research

Today almost 200-300 millions of people are treated as migrants. The vast majority of people that migrate are in search for betterment, whether is employment or economic opportunities. Migration has always been a consequence of the inequality in and between the countries. These inequalities are amplified by wars, conflicts, natural disasters and climate changes. Migration is an inevitable global phenomenon that affects almost every continent and country in the world, and we believe that it will continue for decades to come. On September 19, 2016, a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on Migration called on the international community to respond immediately and provide long-term, strategic evidence-based responses through research.

Analysis of the needs, interests and skills of young migrants as a prerequisite for successful social inclusion through employment is one of the most important studies that will show the current situation in North Macedonia in the period from 15.07.2019 to 15.07.2020. With the help of this study, a part of the global research conducted in the field of migration will be supplemented. Meanwhile in Europe public perceptions of migration continue to stray from the truth. Most Europeans overestimate the number of migrants in their countries, often by 10% or more. In the UK, for example, the public believes that 24% of the British population is now made up of migrants. The actual number is half that, about 13%. In Italy, the figure is even higher. The public believes that 30% of the population is of foreign origin, so the reality is closer to only 7%. These informal realities are important because they affect public opinion, public debate and policy-making processes. Informed public dialogue supported by evidence-based research is key to improving European migration discussions.

The purpose of the information presented in this report is to help establish the basis for reviewing the full range of migration policies: strengthening current integration programs for those already in Europe; designing effective reintegration policies for those who will not be allowed to stay in the countries where they have migrated; and setting up regular channels for more managed and safe migration in and out of Europe.Finally, we hope that this study will spark a discussion on the broader socioeconomic drivers of migration and guide policy makers in our and other countries to collaborate and invest in migration and young migrants for more sustainable policies and migration management.
This year, UN member states have pledged to ensure safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration. If evidence-based policies are implemented, lives can be saved and migrants can contribute to economic development and strengthen the countries in which they move.

See the full report at the links below:

Recommendations for CSOs in providing services to migrants on the Serbia – Bosnia route

Recommendations for CSOs in providing services to migrants on the Serbia – Bosnia route

Support to projects of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) – social service providers in SEE in scope of the project „IRIS NETWORKing – CSOs for protection sensitive migration management

Author’s word
The recommendations at your disposal are the result of research that was intended to assist the work of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the field in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Seen from the perspective of migrants as beneficiaries, as well as CSO representatives, the authors wanted to draw a parallel and a kind of self-assessment is the fieldwork of the organizations recognized by the migrants, and is it considered useful?
Given that state institutions are primarily responsible for the registration and reception of refugees and asylum seekers, we need to carefully set and build our position to become a reliable pillar of support that both the state and beneficiaries can count on. In this coordination, mutual praise and constructive criticism are a necessary prerequisite for progress, in order to create the conditions for qualitative and quantitative improvement of
the overall efforts to overcome the migrant crisis that had its biggest breakthrough in 2015. The research did not aim at assessing the work of state structures, on the contrary, but overview and analyze services provided by CSOs, bearing in mind that the role of CSO is not only providing direct help, but also the role of mediator in referring beneficiaries to an already existing institutional framework of support and services.
With the best intention of helping and doing our job well, we forget to evaluate our work by those who are being helped. Equally important, an evaluation of our work is needed by others who provide this assistance, which may be the object for some future research. With sincerely hope that these Recommendations can be of use to you as a CSO representative, we thank you for your time.
Association of citizens Sigma Plus – Nis, Serbia
Association Nova Generacija – Banja Luka, BiH

**Recommendation are made within the project „Route services“ implemented by NGO Sigma Plus, Serbia in cooperation with Association Nova Generacija, BiH within the IRIS Network small grants scheme with financial support of EU

Publication, download link: