Iris Network conducted the survey “Social services during coronavirus pandemic in Western Balkan
countries” in order to assess the current state of the pandemic as well as the repercussions it will have on
the provision of social services to beneficiaries provided by IRIS Network members in the local
communities. The results of the survey serve as a baseline for this Report.
The Report provides a particular overview of the actual challenges and hardships that CSO providers of
social services encounter in working with beneficiaries in light of the pandemic predicament. It also serves
to map assistance models and as an instrument in advocating for policies and measures of
national/regional/ EU Institutions which focus on service providers during and after the crises implicated
by COVID-19.
IRIS network is the only regional network that brings together over 200 organizations that provide
different type of social services to more than 10.000 people in the South East Europe region. IRIS was
founded in 2012 as part of the project “Improving the provision of SSD in SEE funded by the EU”. The
network aims to strengthen the role of non for-profit social service providers through South East Europe
and to ensure that these organizations are recognized as equal partners by the public sector.
This project is funded by the European Union
During December 2017, IRIS Network commenced a new regional initiative “IRIS NETWORKing – CSOs for
protection sensitive migration management” developed by IDC and its partners from ASB, SOS Podgorica,
LIR CD, La Strada and Initiative ARSIS. The Project aims to significantly contribute to the improvement of
service delivery and policy framework related to the migration in the region of Western Balkans (Albania,
BiH, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). The main objective of the project is to empower 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. The Project is
supported through the European Commission Programme Consolidating Regional Thematic Networks of
Civil Society Organizations.
As IRIS Network members are facing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 and the strain on the
services and resources they provide is tremendous, we would like to take proactive steps to protect the
Network members, support their ongoing activities and assist them to cope with current hardships as
much as possible under the scope of the Project.