The rule of law in Kosovo was constrained by poorly defined and enforced property rights, especially the property rights of women and members of minority communities. The absence of an effective property rights regime weakens the rule of law, adversely affects human rights, disempowers women, and impedes sustainable economic growth. Formalized property rights and participation of women and minority populations were needed to encourage and maintain the growth of Kosovo’s economy.

The goal of the Property Rights Program (PRP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2014-2018, was to improve the property rights regime in Kosovo, strengthen the rule of law, and support economic growth and investment. Tetra Tech assisted the Government of Kosovo (GoK) to make significant progress towards achieving the following objectives:

  • Better coordination and policy priorities
  • Improved court processes related to property claims
  • Enhanced women’s rights to use property in practice
  • Improve communication, access to information, and understanding of property rights

Tetra Tech supported the GoK to achieve important results including:

  • Implementing an inclusive and participatory process throughout an 18-month period to develop and approve the country’s National Strategy on Property Rights and Action Plan
  • Reducing property rights case disposition time from an average of 1,289 days to 998 days, a 22.5 percent reduction
  • Increasing property rights cases disposed within two years of filing from 16.5 percent to 42 percent
  • Reducing number of days to conduct property transactions from 33 to 29 days in partner municipalities

Tetra Tech collaborated with local organizations to implement social and behavior change communication (SBCC) campaigns to positively shift societal attitudes about women’s rights to inherit family property. Together, we helped administer baseline, midterm, and end line surveys on the life of the program to a nationally representative sample of respondents, resulting in the following data:

  • Increased percentage of female respondents who filed inheritance claims in a court from 0.3 percent to 14 percent
  • Increased percentage of female respondents who inherited property from 3.8 percent to 13.7 percent

Tetra Tech strengthened capacity of a local grantmaking Civil Society Organization (CSO) to issue subgrants to a network of CSOs, that built their capacity to:

  • Develop innovative approaches incorporated into legislation and legal safeguards to strengthen the rights of women to inherit property
  • Raise awareness and increase accountability of elected officials for promoting gender equity
  • Develop cost-effective social media strategies to disseminate SBCC messages

These CSOs then mobilized public debate among representatives from government, civil society, and the National Assembly to consolidate recommendations and language included in adopted legislation to strengthen women’s rights to inherit property. The CSOs helped develop innovative procedural safeguards, including audio/visual recordings of proceedings where women renounce their rights to inherit property.