IKS is a non profit research institute that emerged out of the 'capacity-building' project of ESI. IKS has been founded by three Kosovar analysts in summer 2004, and is registered as a non-profit research institute in Prishtina.

IKS offers innovative and policy-relevant research with the aim of initiating debates on issues of importance for Kosovo's future development. It combines ESI's research methodology with a Kosovar perspective.

Since summer 2004, IKS has expanded its team to three full-time analysts and a growing network of part-time researchers and associates. The work of IKS is also supported by an Advisory Board including Kosovar and international analysts and practitioners.

In 2006, IKS is funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

IKS activities

  • case study on social and economic trends in urban Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo, in partnership with ESI;
  • collection of case studies on corruption and waste during the post-war reconstruction phase in partnership with 'tiri' - the governance-access-learning network and eight think tanks from around the world;
  • research project on the political economy of the Kosovo Serb community, including in Mitrovica;
  • Rapid Response papers on decentralization and cultural heritage;
  • case studies on inter-ethnic relations and reconciliation efforts in Kosovo as part of a wider Collaborative for Development Action project.
  • Governance and Local Government in Prishtina (Conference in April 2005).

On 7 June 2006, IKS Executive Director, Besa Shahini, gave an interview on the challenges of governance and planning in Kosovo's capital to Kosovo State Television (RTK). Watching this interview requires the free RealOne© Player which you can download here.

Faces of IKS

Besa Shahini

Besa Shahini is the director of IKS and one of the three founding members. As the director, Besa oversees the development of IKS, is responsible for fundraising and outreach and to date has coordinated and managed all IKS’s research projects. Before joining IKS, Besa had acquired vast experience from the field while researching the economy of Mitrovica, Viti and Gjilan municipalities. While in IKS, Besa was involved in researching and writing the studies on the Socio-Economic Development of Prishtina, and the Post War Reconstruction and Development in Kosovo. She also oversaw the researching and writing of two village profiles that will serve as the bases for a longer term ‘rural development’ study, expected to commence in autumn 2007. Besa is a graduate of Political Science and Public Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada.

Rreze Duli

Rreze Duli (President of the Board) - is a founding member of IKS. From March 2003 until summer 2004 she was part of the ESI Lessons Learned and Analysis Unit in Prishtina, researching on economic and social developments in Viti and Gjilan municipality, migration and the political economy of Kosovo Serbs. Rreze is an engineer by education but has a lifetime experience in the area of humanitarian relief work. Starting in 1994, she assisted the biggest humanitarian Kosovar NGO, Mother Theresa, Mercy Corps and UNICEF. She brings on board a wide network of contacts in Kosovo's civil society, administration and the international community. In summer 2005, she joined the Advocacy Training and Resource Center as Vice-Director.

Florina Jerliu

Florina Jerliu (Member of the Board) - is a founding member of IKS. She is an architect by profession but with a strong background in NGO work. Throughout the 1990s she has been involved with the International Federation of Red Cross. In 1998-9 she worked as a special assistant for the US Kosovo Diplomatic Mission and also was part of the support staff to the Conference in Rambouillet. The following two years she continued her work as a protocol/political assistant at the US Office in Prishtina. Today, she manages her own architecture studio and teaches at the University of Prishtina. From 2003-2004 she was part of an international advisory team working on a new Vision 2020 for Prishtina municipality.

Artan Venhari

Artan Venhari (researcher) - joined IKS in spring 2005. Artan brought to the IKS team his experience in civil society, dialogue and conflict resolution. Artan completed his post-graduate studies at SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London on a UK Chevening scholarship. Upon his return, he worked on inter-ethnic dialogue for the Kosovan Nansen Dialogue and pursued training in project cycle management in the Netherlands.

Besnike Koqani

Besnike Koqani is the newest member of IKS team. She is an architect by profession, with a vast work experience in both governmental and non governmental sectors. For two years she was involved closely in working with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in their Housing Reconstruction Program. Later, for three and a half years she was a part of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning working mainly in the development of the housing sector in Kosovo. With IKS Besnike is working in the Prishtina project and is co-managing the 'Post War Reconstruction' Project.

Jeta Teliqi

Jeta Teliqi joined IKS as an intern in autumn 2005. In a few months of hard work, Jeta became a full time research assistant involved in all of IKS projects. Jeta has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and currently following lectures to obtain a Master degree in Psychology Research and Counseling. With her work and volunteer experience in various NGOs dealing with children and children's rights she brings a different perspective to the IKS internal debates.

Xhemajl Gashi

Xhemajl Gashi, an economist by profession, worked for several years as an accountant, later moving into the Central Fiscal Authority where he worked for 2 years. Xhemajl joined the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 2002 as the Director of Macroeconomic Policy Department. From 2003-2004 he was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Plan as a consultant to the Institute of Spatial Planning. His vast knowledge on the economic developments in after war Kosovo is a real asset to the research team of IKS.

Hil Nrecaj

Hili Nrecaj joined ESI in 2003 as a short-term research assistant and was part of the Lessons Learned and Analysis Unit (LLA). He graduated from the Law Faculty of Prishtina University and completed a Total Law Certificate in European Law at the Central European University in Budapest. He was involved in ESI research on migration and development in Viti and Gjilan municipality. Hil was also part of the team preparing a high-level conference and interactive CD Rom with more than 400 policy documents for the Economic Strategy and Project Identification Group. Hil supported IKS research from the start, focusing on Prishtina's industrial development and the construction sector.

Heleen Baartmans

Heleen Baartmans joined IKS as an intern in January 2005, while doing her M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Leiden and the Dutch Institute for International Relations Clingendael. While with IKS, she worked as a researcher and helped in the preparations of a conference on governance and local government in Prishtina held in April 2005. With her outsider's perspective she challenged many concepts and added great value to the IKS team. After completing her studies in Belgium, Heleen returned to Kosovo and now works with the Office of European Integration in the EU pillar of UNMIK.

IKS – Iniciativa Kosovare për Stabilitet/ Kosovar Stability Initiative

Ulpiana D6 H3 Nr2
10 000 KOSOVË

Tel: +381 38 540686
E-mail: info@iksweb.org
Website: www.iksweb.org



Besa Shahini
Executive Director

Capacity Building
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