Mentoring for licensing and increasing quality standards – IRIS Network

The IRIS Network is launching a Call for Mentoring support program for IRIS national networks member organizations from 6 countries: Albania, Kosovo*, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Overall objective is to achieve stronger capacity of the CSOs to impact on decision making process in protection of human rights and anti-discrimination policies of marginalized groups in WB region

Specific objectives:

  1. a) to increase quality of social services provided to vulnerable groups through service licencing
  2. b) to increase organizational capacity and contribute to institutional sustainability
  3. c) to apply the Human Rights Based Approach and gender mainstreaming into programming


IRIS Member organisations fulfilling the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Be a publicly recognised, legal non-profit making entity under the relevant laws, where such laws exist;
  • Are a local organisation;
  • Registered minimum 1 year before this Mentoring program is announced;
  • Located and operating within the target countries;
  • Working in the area of social inclusion and provision of social services on local level;
  • Have a clearly defined focus for improvement of delivery of the social services;
  • Have clear decision-making mechanism independent from the government;
  • Have strategic determination towards acquiring state licence for provision of social services in the targeted country;
  • Are able to prove basic human, technical and institutional capacities for acquiring licence.


Main output of this Call is: at least 30 CSOs initiated the licensing process or have developed strategic / action plan for specific social services in accordance with CSO needs and required documentation for licencing process in accordance with standards for development of services; at least 30 CSOs are applying the Human Rights Based Approach and gender mainstreaming into programming.


How to apply and procedure to follow?

Applications should be written in English language. Applicant must submit the filled out Application Form and also Declaration.

Detailed informations can be seen in this Guideline

With application documents, Applicants must send the following additional documentation (scanned):

  • Scanned copy of Registration of organization;
  • Scanned copy of Statute of organization;


All documents should be submitted in electronic format, with scanned pages where signature and stamp is needed.

Incomplete applications, applications submitted by any other means and/or forms than provided in this document will not be taken in consideration.


Deadline for submission of applications

Applications should be sent to email address of partner in each country which are listed below and Cc: no later than 1st of March 2024 with email subject stating “Mentoring program – CSOs”.

Serbia – IDC Serbia –

BiH – Local Initiative for Development Civil Society (LIR CD) –

Montenegro – Alfa Center –

North Macedonia  – Community Development Institute (CDI) –

Kosovo* – Center for Independent Living –

Albania – Center for Labour Rights –


The IRIS Network Regional Social Academy – Human Rights-Based Approach in Social Service Provision

Regional Social Academy organized in Belgrade, from 11th to 15th December was a place of meeting of social service providers from West Balkan 6 countries that discussed human rights base approach to the community service provision. This year 30 participants, members of IRIS network, social partners and other civil society organizations attended the Academy.

Apart of discussing human rights in the region, participants explored linkages between HRBA and social service delivery, learned about instruments and mechanisms for protecting beneficiaries’ rights. 4 day tailor-made training consisted of different learning methodologies including lectures, workshops and study visit.

Study visit was organized to Association ,,Half a way there” in Pančevo, where participants spend a half of day learning on the independent living services in the community, work integration and participate in the daily activities with beneficiaries.

The Regional Social Academy is part of the project IRIS Progress, organized annually and funded by The European Union.

Granting support for 13 projects for developing of community based services

Out of 54 received project proposals, IRIS Network awarded 13 small grants to its members in developing of community based services. Grants were distributed in total amount of 179 746 EUR supporting projects aiming to strengthen the capacities of the network members and enabling them to improve service provision and establish effective mechanisms for the protection of human rights.

The grants will support 13 IRIS members in capacity-building actions for the purpose of enabling organisations to develop adequate services, capabilities, and skills in public policy influencing. Implementation period of these projects will last between 8-12 months. The start date for the projects is 15th of December, 2023.

Overall objective is to build capacities of IRIS organisations to improve service provision and establish effective mechanisms for protection of human rights preventing all forms of discrimination, bringing positive change in the region.

Specific objective is to influence service provision and policy environment and grow outreach in the communities for the purpose of protecting and inclusion of marginalized population.

The projects assessment criteria included: organisational performance; comprehensiveness of information including relevance of the proposal to objectives of the fund, objectives of the project and addressing identified need; capacity of identified activities to achieve defined objectives; the relationship between the proposed actions and the financial plan; the intended impact of the project and future sustainability.

IRIS network would like to congratulate all of its member organizations who received grants, but also to thank all applicants who sent us their project proposals. You can find a list of awarded members here.


Call for Application – Regional Social Academy “Human rights based approach in social service provision”

IRIS Network is announcing call for applicants for regional social academy “Human rights based approach in social service provision ”, that will be held in Belgrade from 11th to 15th December 2023.

Academy offers participants a unique opportunity to benefit from a diversified training package, exploring human rights based approach (HRBA) in the region, linkages between HRBA and social service delivery, and instruments and mechanisms for protecting beneficiaries’ rights. Participants will attend 4-day tailor-made training consisted of different learning methodologies including lectures, workshops, discussions and field visit

All information and application procedure you can find here.


The deadline for the application is 30th November 2023 at 12.00 (noon)

The final participant list will be announced on the IRIS Network website ( no later than on 4th December.

Successful participants will obtain certificates, and enter Academy Alumni.

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

For additional questions contact

Developing social services through granting opportunity

IRIS Network is announcing Call for Proposals: “Developing of community based services” which will provide financial support to the member organizations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia

The Call will support 12 IRIS members in capacity-building actions for the purpose of enabling organisations to develop adequate services, capabilities, and skills in public policy influencing.

Overall objective is to build capacities of IRIS organisations to improve service provision and establish effective mechanisms for protection of human rights preventing all forms of discrimination, bringing positive change in the region.

Specific objective is to influence service provision and policy environment and grow outreach in the communities for the purpose of protecting and inclusion of marginalized population.

Total budget of the call is 180 000 EUR. It is anticipated that a minimum of € 10,000 and maximum of € 20,000 per project will be awarded. Duration of the proposed projects should be up to 12 months.


If you have a project idea, please send your proposals to no later than 30/10/2023 at 16.00, with an email subject stating:  Submission of the Application for Call for Proposals -Name of the organisation applicant.

For more information and application forms please see documents below:

Call for proposals English

Call for proposals Albanian

Call for proposals Macedonian

Call for proposals Serbian

The online info session will be organized on Friday, 13th of October 2023 at 14h

Or register at so we can inform you and send you the link prior to the event.

Zoom link for the info session:

About the programme: Granting Facility “Developing of community based services” is part of the project “Strengthening capacities and policy engagement of community service providers – IRIS PROGRESS” is funded by European Union.  Project is being implemented by Initiative for Development and Cooperation (IDC) in partnership with Arbeiter Samariter Bund e.V (Germany), Alfa Center (Montenegro), Center for Labour Rights (Albania), Community Development Institute (North Macedonia), LIR CD (BiH), Centre for Independent Living (Kosovo*).

Online Gender mainstreaming training – Iris

We would like to invite you to the Online Gender mainstreaming training that will take place on 30 and 31 August 2023. The online training is realized within the project Strengthening capacities and policy engagement of community service providers – IRIS PROGRESS, funded by the EU and realized by Initiative for Development and Cooperation (Serbia) in partnership with Arbeiter – Samariter – Bund Deutschland (Germany), Center for Labour Rights (Albania), Center for Independent Life (Kosovo*), LIR CD (BiH), Community Development Institute (North Macedonia) and Alfa Center (Montenegro).


The purpose of the training is to gain sufficient knowledge on gender mainstreaming and include it into your everyday work, programmes and organizational procedures. Following the training, we expect that you will have an increased knowledge about the concept of gender mainstreaming, tools and methods and be able to transfer the knowledge to your colleagues and incorporate gender mainstreaming into your organizational procedures. Furthermore, you will be gain knowledge about gender-sensitive strategies and tools for gender analysis, mainstreaming gender-responsive budgeting in policies and programs at the local level. In addition, best practices will be also presented. For more information on the training please see attached Agenda.


Ms. Mila Carovska will be the expert conducting the training. Ms. Carovska has long term expertise in the area of social policy and gender mainstreaming. Currently, Ms. Carovska is the CEO of Sustainable Inclusive Growth Association and during the professional carrier she carried numerous high positions in the Government of North Macedonia, as the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Education. Ms. Carovska also has long term cooperation with international organizations as a gender consultant, such as UN WOMEN, International Organization for Migration and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

This is for Iris Network members a unique opportunity to attend a training conducted by one of the best experts in the area of gender mainstreaming. One participant per organization – Iris Network member can apply for the training. Therefore, we urge you to apply as soon as possible as the number of participants is limited. The training will be in English.


When indenting the staff member for the training please take in consideration their interest in the topic and capacity to transfer the gained knowledge to colleagues and incorporate it into your organizational procedures.


Looking forward to your applications. The application should be sent to and no later than 25 August 2023 with the following information:

  • Name of the participant and position in the organization
  • Name of the organization – Iris member
  • Motivation – one paragraph explanation on how you will apply the gained knowledge into your organizational procedures


Online Gender mainstreaming training – Agenda

Conference – “Just energy transition in Serbia and the green deal/agenda”

IDC, with the support of SOLIDAR, would kindly like to invite you to participate at the conference: JUST ENERGY TRANSITION IN SERBIA AND THE GREEN DEAL/AGENDA– Comparative Practices and Consequences, taking place on Thursday, December 16, 2021, starting at 10.00 a.m. via ZOOM platform.


Join us to discuss some of the burning questions: What does “Just Energy Transition” mean? How does it affect the labor market? Can we talk about environmental protection if there is no protection of social rights? Where is Serbia on this path and are we ready for changes in this field? How many jobs will be lost and how many new ones created? Is there a right approach to this topic including all stakeholders in Serbia?

Save the date and we will send you the agenda and the ZOOM link in due time.

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.