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.

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


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.


Iris Network Covid19 reaction stories – Women’s Association “Nature”, Bratunac

Women’s Association “Nature”, Bratunac immediately after declaring the Corana virus emergency made all its available resources available to the Bratunac Red Cross Municipal Organization and the Center for Social Work. The staff and volunteers of Nature have become volunteers of the Red Cross, and the Chancellery of Nature and the technical resources at our disposal serve the needs of this situation. Volunteers distribute masks (which some of our members and sew) on a daily basis, on calls coming to the Red Cross info center deliver food to elderly people who cannot move, deliver medicines according to prescriptions delivered from the health center, pack and distribute food and hygiene packages to vulnerable populations. “Nature” pay particular attention to vulnerable categories, which are their beneficiaries, such as women victims of war, women from large family, single mothers, women at risk of domestic violence or women victims of domestic violence.
Women’s Association “Nature” currently considering setting up a SOS line for psychological support for this vulnerable category.

IRIS Network survey for CSO’s: Social services – Covid19 pandemic

IRIS Network considers important to assess the situation, challenges and difficulties its members as well as others CSO’s that are facing in the provision of social services and their everyday work as a result of the current COVID 19 pandemic.

We have responsibility towards its members as well as to other parties to have a detailed overview of their current situation and to provide this information to the EC, as the donor. This will be conducted through a questionnaire CSO’s can fill in on link below.

Therefore, the objective of the questionnaire is to assess the current situation and consequences caused by COVID 19 pandemic on the provision of social services to beneficiaries provided by IRIS Network members in their local communities. The results of the questionnaire will be used for developing a Report on Social Services in South East Europe under the COVID 19 pandemic and will include the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia. The Report will be used to assess the actual challenges that civil society organizations providers of social services face in working with beneficiaries and to map the assistance models.

The Report will also be used as an instrument in advocating for policies and measures of national/regional/ EU Institutions which focus on service providers during and after the crises.

Please provide detailed information in the questionnaire and include all information you consider relevant. Also, please include your projections and the assessment of the consequence caused by the crises that will affect your services and the whole social protection system.

For all interested CSO’s providing social services – you can fill in the questioner on the link below .

Please feel free to contact us through National Coordinators and / or Network Secretariat.

Stay well and healthy.

IRIS Balkan Media Caravan on the way through the migrants route

After 6 days of visiting refugee camps along migrants route in Macedonia, Serbia and BIH, we concluded the Balkan Media Caravan, an initiative of IRIS network which was held from 3rd – 8th of November. The event was organized by IDC Serbia and ASB South East Europe, with support of national partners.

The aim of the caravan was to enhance human, sensitive and objective reporting on migrations in the region by increasing the level of knowledge and information among journalists.

The caravan gathered 20 young journalists of reputable national and local radio stations, television, newspapers and digital media on the 6-day training aimed at sensitization of reporting about migrants and refugees while tackling the topics of integration of migrants and reintegration of returnees into the society.

The Media Caravan included trainings, workshops, lectures from human rights defenders and journalists from the region and field visits to refugee camps in North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the possibility to conduct interviews with migrants in these countries.

Participants were journalists from media outlets in Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and BIH.

During the Caravan, the journalists had a task to produce, as an output of the Media Caravan, up to 15 reports in their media outlets, which have been prepared under the guidance of experienced trainers-journalists and which have been published and broadcasted by journalists in their media outlets.

Besides training and field visits to migrant reception and transit camps in 3 countries the journalists had an opportunity to meet local CSOs providers of social services to migrants/refugees/returnees and the representatives from local health institutions.

The Balkan Media Caravan had high coverage during the trip and afterwards.

Participants were from different national and regional media outlets, covering all together more than 10 million people in Western Balkans countries:

1.            Radio Television Serbia

2.            Radio Television Bosnia and Herzegovina

3.            Radio Television  Montenegro

RTCG NVO Sektor – Balkan Medija Karavan

4.            Radio Television Albania

5.            Regional television N1 (Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb)

N1 u kampovima Tabanovci i Vranje – Balkan Medija Karavan

6.            TV Alsat M North Macedonia

Alsat M on Balkan Media Caravan

7.            TV Clab TV Albania

8.            Radio MOF North Macedonia

Radio MOF on Balkan Media Caravan

9.            Daily newspaper Danas Serbia

Migranti od Avganistana do Severne Makedonije

10.          Daily newspaper Nezavisne novine Bosnia and Herzegovina

11.          Weekly newspaper Monotor Montenegro


12.          National Agency FoNet Serbia

13.          Web media Faktor Albania

Up till now, 23 reports were produced and broadcasted regarding Caravan and migrants crisis on Balkan route: 10 TV, 8 printed, 1 radio, 3 agency and 1 web reports.

Additional to this, reach was increased by posting all reports that were produced in traditional media on their web sites, Facebook and Twitter pages, increasing also the frequency of the event and closely influencing on the our target group.

Over 7million people were potentially reached through broadcasting TV reports, with additional reach of almost 500,000 people trough newspapers, web and radio publications. Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram brought us reach over 200,000, so we can easily say that IRIS Media Caravan media outputs potentially reached over 7,5 million people across the Western Balkan countries.


20 journalists from 5 countries spent 6 days on the caravan visiting 3 countries, 7 migrant camps and 10 CSOs providers of social services for migrants along the route

Balkan media caravan is organized in the framework of the project ” IRIS networking CSOs for protection sensitive migration management”, implemented by IDC Serbia in cooperation with partners ASB South East Europe, LIR CD, SOS Podgorica, Отворена Порта – Open Gate: La Strada, North Macedonia, and Nisma për Ndryshim Shoqëror, ARSIS Albania

Project is funded by the European Commission.

PAL Call for Participants North Macedonia

For International Week 2020: Innovation in Humanities and Social Science

Date: 17 – 21 February 2020

Organizer: Faculty of Philosophy Skopje, North Macedonia

Peer Review Instrument


The project IRIS NETWORKing – CSOs for protection sensitive migration management is implemented by Initiative for Development and Cooperation (IDC) in partnership with The Initiative for Social Change Arsis – National Coordinator for IRIS Network Albania, LIR CD – National Coordinator for IRIS Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, La Strada – National Coordinator for IRIS Network North Macedonia, SOS Telephone – National Coordinator IRIS Network Montenegro and ASB – General Secretariat Serbia. One of the project activities is Peer Review Instrument within which Peer Review Reports will be prepared.

The aim of the instrument is to enhance regional know-how exchange between CSOs dealing with provision of social services to vulnerable groups, including migrants, and to support focused peer-to-peer exchange. The Peer Review Reports will lead to innovative recommendations on how to combine existing practices. The mechanism is to strengthen CSOs IRIS Network members in building monitoring capacities for social service provision.

International Week 2020 Innovation in Humanities and Social Science


The Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje (North Macedonia) is the organizer of International Week 2020 Innovation in Humanities and Social Science that will promote the exchange of ideas and critical discussions between participants and lecturers related to the topic of ‘Innovation in Humanities and Social Science’. The five day event will include lectures, presentations and facilitated discussions in which both lecturers and participants will contribute.

Applications from participants involved in psychology, sociology, social policy and social work are welcome.

Selection of participants – CSOs IRIS Network members

IRIS Network members (staff members and/or volunteers) from the following countries can apply: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Excellent command and understanding of the English language is a precondition for the application as English will be the working language.

The participants should:

  • Be engaged in an organization IRIS Network member
  • at least 3 years of active involvement and proven experience in CSOs and in the area of migration management and social policy
  • Proven familiarity with social and migration policies
  • Motivated to increase professional capacity and knowledge in areas covered by the International Week 2020
  • Demonstrated interest to increase quality standards of social services provided by his/her organization or to introduce new services
  • Open to new practices and willingness to implement them in his/her organization
  • Possibility to transfer gained knowledge and experience into policies and everyday work of his/her organization
  • Experience in conducting analysis and preparing similar Reports


Participant’s obligations

Following the International Week 2020 each of the selected participants IRIS Network members will be obliged to prepare a Peer Review Report on issues relevant for their organization and professional development based on one of the topics covered during the International Week 2020. The Participants will be obliged to submit the Peer Review Reports no later than February 28, 2020 to

Participation in International Week 2020 is free of charge for those participants selected through the Call. The participants will receive board and accommodation free of charge, travel will be organized and costs covered by IRIS Network.



The deadline for applications is October 31, 2019 at 5 p.m. Only selected candidates will be contacted.

If you are interested to participate in the event and are willing to prepare the Peer Review Report, please send the following documents/information in English, to Jelena Leskovac at and Stojne Atanasovska Dimishkovska at

  1. A short CV in Europass format
  2. 1 page cover / motivation letter clearly stating your motivation and objectives/learning outcome from attending the International Week 2020 and what you expect to achieve through attending; in the cover letter the applicant should indicate in which topic(s) covered he/she is most interested in.
  3. Recommendation Letter from your current employer – IRIS Network member

International Week 2020 starts on February 17 and ends on February 21, 2020.

Based on criteria indicated in the Call and submitted applications, in total six (6) participants will be selected.

Assessment of applications

The assessment of applications (in order to be placed on the shortlist) will be based on the application submitted by the candidate. Please clearly indicate in the motivation letter of your application:

  • How the International Week 2020 will impact your professional capacities and your organization’s

Selected participants will receive a fee for covering travel, accommodation and meals during the duration of the International Week 2020. Each participant will be responsible for organizing travel, accommodation and meals.

Int Week 2020, List of speakers


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

Small Grant Scheme  is open only to IRIS national networks member organizations from 5 countries, especially grass roots, those who show initiative in implementing quality standards in their work, have active approach to policy making and advocacy during project implementation. Priority will be given to joint initiatives between two or more IRIS member organizations.

 The overall objective of the SGS is to build capacities of the grass-root organizations for service provision and  advocacy at the local and/or national level, as well as to have outreach in the communities for the purpose of building a more resilient and inclusive society, bringing positive change in the community.

For the first time applicants have opportunity to apply in their own local language within the simplified procedure.

If you have a project which may fulfill the requirements of  Small grants program, please send your proposals to: no later than 17/05/2019 at 17.00, with email subject stating “Call for proposal for the Small Grants Scheme – IRIS Networking”.

For more information please follow documents attached below.

Bosnia I Herzegovina