Today, Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI), within the USAID’s activity for Transparent, Effective and Accountable Municipalities (USAID TEAM), launched the Transparency Index for Municipal Governance for 2020. The Index results derive from measuring 41 indicators in six governance pillars such as 1) transparency of municipal authorities in public spending through public procurement, 2) budget transparency, 3) transparency in municipal grants and subsides, 4) citizen inclusion in municipal decision-making, 5) access to public documents and 6) municipal capacities to address corruption risks and conflict of interest.
Diana Metushi-Krasniqi, project manager at KDI, during the presentation of the report stated that “in 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemics, Kosovo experienced a decrease in transparency in local government by 1% compared to the previous year. Overall transparency in the six pillars measured in 2020 is 69% compared to 70% of the previous year. This is a clear indication that, in addition to the challenges of facing a force majeure, municipalities need to focus on publishing more information for their citizens.” Mrs. Metushi-Krasniqi added that “the publication of these documents on the websites of municipalities is the first line of accountability to their citizens. Moreover, this is evidenced by the number of visits to the websites of municipalities. According to information received from the Ministry of Local Government, the websites of municipalities in 2020 were visited 4,167,112 times by 1,248,850 visitors.”
While the average transparency in public procurement has remained the same as in 2019 (57%), 2020 showed a change of -12% in the pillar of budget transparency, from 73% in 2019 to 61% in 2020. A change of -3% of transparency in municipalities was also observed in promoting professional ethics and combating conflict of interest from 76% in 2019 to 73% in 2020.
A positive trend was observed in the pillar of information and public participation. According to data obtained from 32 municipalities, during 2020, these municipalities organized 169 budget hearings with 16,718 participants. One of the main contributors to increasing public participation was the use of social networks as digital means of communicating with citizens. Also, compared to 2019, although the number of requests for access to public documents had decreased (from 1,039 in 2019 to 843 requests in 2020), the index shows that municipalities were more willing to respond to them (84% in 2020 compared to 78% in 2019).
The Transparency Index in Municipal Governance for 2020 lists the Municipality of Pristina as the most transparent city with 100 points in the measured indicators, followed by the municipalities of Lipjan/Ljiplane (98.75 points), Gjakova/?akovica (94.50 points), Vushtrri/Vu?itrn (92.88 points), Rahovec/Orahovac (91.63 points) and Junik (91.38 points).
KDI encourages all municipalities to review their gaps in this index for 2020 and focus on increasing the transparency in all pillars in 2021, aside the challenges imposed by the pandemics.
Transparency Index in Municipal Governance for 2020 was developed by Kosova Democtratic Institute (KDI) / Transparency International Kosova via a grant issued by USAID Transparent, Effective and Accountable Municipalities (USAID TEAM) activity
The full report can be found here: TRANSPARENCY INDEX FOR MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE 2020