September 7, Kosovo
The Regional Advocacy Network
In 2018, Helvetas established the Regional Advocacy Network (RAN), a platform that brings together project representatives, experts, and stakeholders from various sectors. Over the years, RAN has played a pivotal role in addressing practical issues and advocating for change. Its success was recognized in 2022 when it won the Helvetas Innovation Award for its #DevPolHack initiative.
RAN’s Impactful Journey
RAN is more than just a network; it’s a driving force for change. Regularly hosting webinars, annual face-to-face events, and knowledge-sharing sessions, RAN has become a catalyst for innovative solutions. Its mission aligns with Helvetas’ vision of being a knowledge broker, facilitating the exchange of diverse perspectives on pressing global issues.
Planning for a Sustainable Future
As RAN reaches its fifth year of existence, it has become necessary to move beyond experimentation and institutionalize its impact. To achieve this, a half-day planning workshop was organized in Pristina, Kosovo, on September 7th, 2023. The aim was to discuss and co-create a vision for RAN’s future in 2024 and beyond.
Co-facilitated by Valbona Karakaci (Regional Advisor) and Bernd Steimann (Development Policy Coordinator, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation), the workshop provided a forum for open dialogue and collaborative problem-solving. The workshop was a dynamic gathering of 20 development experts and civil society representatives from Western Balkan countries. The participants represented a mix of new and established Regional Advocacy Network members, reflecting the network’s diversity and reach.
Reflecting on the Journey
The workshop began with a comprehensive overview of RAN’s journey since its inception in 2018. Participants were taken through the network’s establishment, its evolution, milestones achieved, and challenges faced. Utilizing a SWOT analysis, participants identified the strengths and weaknesses of the network. They explored what worked well and what needed improvement.
Developing a Future Vision
With these insights in mind, participants crafted a compelling vision for RAN’s future. They addressed crucial aspects such as financial sustainability, expanding its services, and generating project ideas. The resulting roadmap outlines the necessary activities and steps to transform this vision into reality. This included ways to strengthen the Communities of Practice (CoP) in Advocacy, engage with the public and private sectors, and ensure relevance and financial viability.
A key highlight of the Workshop was a dedicated session on moving toward financial sustainability. The group brainstormed ideas for funding sources, laying the groundwork for sustained growth.
Interested in learning more about the advocacy network? Contact us at AdvocacyWesternBalkans@helvetas.org.