Call for participants to the IV Social Regional Academy of IRIS Network

IRIS Network invites participants to take part in IV REGIONAL SOCIAL ACADEMY “Independent living and deinstitutionalization in West Balkan. Are we there yet?”

Event will be held online from  20th to 22nd  October 2021. In order to apply to the Academy, please follow the link.

The call is open until 14th October 2021.

Further information on the Academy can be found on the following link.

Working language of the academy is English, all participants must have a good command of the English language.

Iris Network Balkan Briefings

Under the ‘IRIS NETWORKing – CSOs for protection sensitive migration management’ project, we have developed one regional Balkan Briefings. Within the policy influencing pillar, this document serves to assess quality standards in migration management in the Western Balkan region.

The Balkan Briefings on the quality standards are providing a regional perspective on a) Process and requirements of service standardization; b) Adaptation of licensing system so that the conditions for CSOs are supporting; c) Services that are missing, and which are necessary to be supported; d) Support from local and national governments in achieving structural standards; e) Linking stakeholders from different sectors such as social welfare and education; f) Exchange of experiences with countries that already have a practice of licensing.

The briefings will involve a wide range of inputs aiming to introduce, advance, and monitor quality standards for social and legal services for the migrant population in WB.

Balkan briefings- September 2021

ANNEX 1- References

ANNEX 2- Questionnaires

ANNEX 3- Questionnarie analysis

ANNEX 4- List of relevant institutions



Iris Network Public Hearing

Iris Network Public Hearing was held in Belgrade yesterday via the Zoom platform. IRIS Network National Coordinators, partner organizations, the Network’s members, representatives of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia, representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of EU Integration, the Ministry of Education, representatives of UNICEF, the IOM, and other international and civil society organizations followed the online event.

During the introductory session Shadow Report for Chapter 24 for Serbia, focusing on migration in particular, prepared within the Iris project was presented. It was followed by a discussion about the regional online IRIS Network advocacy campaign Social services for All. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the general public about the importance of social services provided by CSOs, which has been joined so far by a number of member organizations as well as relevant institutions.


LIR CD Partners (Iris Network B&H) presented a regional document on identifying needs for improving social services and migration management in the Western Balkans and shared their experiences from the recent Public Hearing on the presentation of the results of the analysis of deficiencies and improvement of social services and social services innovation for vulnerable groups.

After a short discussion and exchange of experiences, two Iris Network members from Serbia – JRS and Osmeh Vlasotince presented their work and the innovative activities they implemented throughout the pandemic and announced the upcoming projects.


Throughout the Public Hearing, a number of important issues have been raised. The Iris Network will continue to work on empowering the CSOs to be effective, accountable, and independent actors and to improve their capacity for dialogue with governments for the purpose of influencing policy and decision-making processes as well as on advocating for all the significant issues share among its members.


Regional GAP Assessment – Iris Network

The Regional GAP Assessment on the current situation in service provision for migrants and the future desirable state has been developed in order to identify the discrepancies between the current situation in service provision for migrants and the future desirable state in Albania, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Very few analyses of this kind exist in the countries in the region, and none at the regional level.

This results in the lack of knowledge of the real needs of the migrant target group and the problems they face every day which leads to a wide range of discrimination and violations of their human rights in all segments. Therefore, the Gap Assessment does not only pinpoint the discrepancies between the current situation and the desired one, but it also offers potential solutions and lays out the tasks needed to overcome the existing gap.

The Regional GAP Assessment has been prepared through desktop research, interviews with relevant stakeholders, analysis of compiled data, and identifying current gaps. With such a holistic approach, the Regional GAP Assessment identifies gaps in terms of existing services, beneficiary needs, quality and standardization of the services, allocation of the funds for the services, and at the end, offered the solutions and determined the tasks needed to be completed to close this gap.

You may find the document in its integral version, or browse the data per country here (link)

Social services for All campaign is starting!

𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 #socialservicesforall 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗻!

The campaign is focusing on the promotion of the needs of social services beneficiaries and migration-related policies in the WB countries.

With the campaign itself, we wish to highlight the importance of social services provided by the civil society organizations in the countries of the region and their impact on the beneficiaries coming from the most vulnerable categories.

Through specific examples of our partners’ activities, who have initiated significant changes in their communities and beyond, we are hoping to contribute to the advocacy efforts for more inclusive policies.

Under the scope of the Project “IRIS NETWORKing – CSOs for protection sensitive migration management,” the IRIS Network has continuously conducted activities pertaining to policy processes. Shadow Reports (Country Shadow Reports (CSR) and Regional Shadow Report (RSR) as well as the Gap Assessment have been produced and will serve as a baseline for the online advocacy campaign. Throughout the campaign, we will attempt to pass the key messages and findings onto a large number of stakeholders in the region.

Apart from the overarching IRIS network regional campaign, each partner organization – IDC Serbia and ASB South East EuropeSOS Podgorica (Montenegro), LIR CD (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Отворена Порта – Open Gate: La Strada Macedonia (North Macedonia) and Nisma për Ndryshim Shoqëror, ARSIS (Albania) will conduct their own national campaigns.

We are happy to announce the beginning of a challenging yet exciting journey where a joint voice of IRIS Network members and partners will have a chance to resonate in unison on a series of significant topics.


Stay tuned for what we have to share in the upcoming period through the IRIS Network social media channels, individual social media of our respective partners, and finally at the series of national Public Hearing events.

IRIS Network activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our partner LIR CD presented the IRIS network activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Network’s members highlighted the importance of the support they receive, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
To learn what others had to say about the IRIS network, click on the video below

Iris Network presented Peer Review report

Regional IRIS Network Peer Review took place online on the 7th of July. This was the final Peer Review activity within the “IRIS Networking- CSOs for protection sensitive migration management” project where we will also promote Innovative Case Studies brochures.

One of the contributors to the Innovative Case Studies publication and the IRIS Network member from Montenegro, Defendology, was hosting the event. Eight out of ten organizations featured in the Innovative Case Studies publication have presented their work to their peers, stirring an active exchange among IRIS Network members.

The publication can be found at the link

Newsletter – Small grants of Iris Network 2019-2021

In the period of 2019/2021, IRIS Network awarded 39 small grants to its members to improve their social service provision and enhance local initiatives for advocacy in the social sphere. Grants were distributed in amounts up to 8000 EUR in five countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia. In the publication Small Grants Scheme Newsletter we acknowledge the achievements of our member organizations.

Online Peer Review Best Practice Conference – best practice

We had the opportunity to hear from Iris Network members during the Online Peer Review Conference how important it is to react quickly and adapt activities to the new conditions caused by the pandemic. Below are their presentations where they showed the changes in their activities, organizational changes as well as the impact of these changes on beneficiaries.

Online Peer Review Best Practice Conference has finished

Over thirty participants from the IRIS network gathered for the 𝗣𝗲𝗲𝗿 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 organized by the Network to discuss the biggest challenges in social protection and service provision triggered by COVID-19.

While the presenting organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia shared their experiences in attaining financial sustainability and interaction at the local level, a vivid exchange was stirred on the variety of responses to the ongoing corona crisis.