In the early 2000s, USAID sought to promote participatory democracy and reinvigorate the economy of Serbia following an extended period of war, economic hardship, and international isolation.
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Three programs were central to their effort: the Community Revitalization through Democratic Action Program (CRDA), which worked at the grassroots level to improve local living conditions and jump-start the economy through infrastructure and small business improvement grants that were vetted and approved by citizen development committees (CDCs); the Serbia Local Government Reform Program (SLGRP), which worked with municipalities– particularly those that had been penalized by the central government over the years for their opposition to the policies of the Milosovic regime–to restore confident in local government, strengthen service delivery, and increase financial transparency; and the Serbian Enterprise Development Project (SEDP), which focused on specific, targeted sub-sectors to increase employment, sales, and exports. For the successful evaluations of the programs, TMG visited 39 municipalities in the North, South, Southeast, West, and Central regions of Serbia and conducted approximately 175 interviews involving more than 500 individuals. With a focus on economic impact and citizen participation, TMG then identified lessons learned, delineated cross-program synergies, and assessed the extent to which program monitoring and evaluation systems had been in decision-making.