How much of the funds of local governments invest in the implementation of youth policy?

In order to see a wider picture of whether young people can understand local budgets, how much are local funds allocated for activities and support programs for young people as a part of youth policy implementation, and how municipalities spend funds for young people, Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation has carried out an analysis of local budgets.

The analysis “How much of the funds local governments invest in the implementation of youth policy” was implemented within the Youth Bank Hub for the Western Balkans and Turkey, which is coordinated by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. The research was supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and it was funded by the European Commission.

Although significant progress has been made in the process of establishing a high-quality legislative and institutional framework at the local level, including youth offices, youth councils and youth action plans, the issue of using this developed infrastructure remains open.

We presented the research to representatives of institutions, youth organizations and the media on April 19 in the Media Center in Belgrade. It was also an opportunity to launch a public debate and discuss possible improvements of the current situation at the local level.

Look at the results of the research HERE. (Available in Serbian)

The analysis indicates that a quarter of municipalities still do not allocate funds for programs, education and support program for youth, that is, for activities that do not contain sports, and that funds allocated for the Youth and Sports Program are spent mostly on sports – as much as 96.7% only 3.3% are allocated for the implementation of youth policy.

Very often, it is not clear in which way the allocated funds aimed are realized. According to the data, 25% of municipalities do not allocate the funds for youth policy, for over 21% of municipalities does not publish public information regarding allocated funds for youth policy, while over 25% of municipalities spend most of the funds out of public call or in an unsatisfactory manner.

It is positive that despite the weak capacities of local governments, over 28% of them spend through public vacancies, and that there are municipalities that have recognized informal groups as a target group of support, which is very important because it is precisely the most common form of association of young people.

It is very important to provide support to local governments to clearly allocate funds for sports but as well for the implementation of the youth policy, as done at the national level within the Ministry of Youth and Sports. With the support of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, full transparency of the budget (budget and final accounts) and public vacancies for civil society organizations should be ensured.