USAID’s Property Rights Program (PRP) is a four-year activity that aims to address the property rights challenges and to develop a plan for the stabilization of the property rights regime in Kosovo. The program will work in partnership with the Government of Kosovo (GOK), selected municipalities and other relevant local and international stakeholders. USAID has allocated $8.5 million for the implementation of the Property Rights Program.
The absence of an effective property rights framework in Kosovo weakens democratic governance, impacts human rights, disempowers women and impedes sustainable economic growth. The USAID/Kosovo Property Rights Program assists the Government of Kosovo to develop and implement its National Strategy on Property Rights (the National Strategy) and strengthen property rights legislation; supports the development of improved court procedures to efficiently adjudicate property claims and disputes; conducts public outreach campaigns to prompt changes in social attitudes and behavior concerning the ability of women to exercise their property rights and works closely with civil society organizations to support related activities; and improves service delivery in municipalities to increase the general public’s understanding of property rights and make it easier for citizens to exercise their property rights.
With the GoK adopting the National Strategy in January 2017, PRP is now working closely with all relevant GoK bodies to support the development of the legislation to help the GoK to strengthen the property rights legal framework by ensuring it is harmonized and well-integrated.
PRP is working closely with the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) and four Courts of Merit (CoMs) to develop and pilot improved court procedures related to property claims and will also help courts remove constraints in practice that women face in inheriting property. PRP assistance to improve court performance also informs the development of more consistent judicial practice in adjudicating property claims. Results produced by PRP in these areas contribute to achieving USAID/Kosovo’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy Development (CDCS) Objective 1 “Improved Rule of Law and Governance that Meets Citizens’ Needs.” Improved legislation and court procedures also support creation of an Improved Economic Governance and Business Environment under the CDCS Development Objective 2 “Increased Investment and Private Sector Employment.”
PRP is continuing its national media campaign and grassroots public outreach activities in Kosovo communities to prompt changes in social attitudes and behaviors inhibiting women from inheriting and owning property. PRP also provides technical assistance to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to develop and implement activities aimed at supporting women’s property rights and to complement PRP’s public outreach activities.
At the municipal level, PRP is working with local administrations to improve their own practices and procedures related to property rights; provide useful legal information to their citizens to enable them to more efficiently transact their rights to property; and engage more effectively with their communities on property rights issues.