Kosovo is a new county. Having declared its independence from Serbia only in 2008, it lacks much of the governance structure common to its neighbors. Developing this structure will help Kosovo’s government better serve its citizens, many of whom fought for the right to govern themselves.

AMEX International, Inc. (AMEX), under the USAID Kosovo Economic Development Initiative, helped to provide Kosovars with the tools and training required to manage their key economic and financial institutions. The program increased the capacity of staff in Kosovo’s economic and legal institutions, helping them understand and perform tasks related to economic development and implementation of legislation.

AMEX conducted skills assessments audits for the Training Department, Budget Department, Treasury Department, Tax Administration, Kosovo Pension Savings and Trust, and the Commercial Bank Payments of Kosovo, each of which demonstrated a significant need for professional development skills. AMEX then devised a tailored, comprehensive two-year training plan to address the training of individuals, as well as the training of entire units with institutions. A core group of staff members from each organization was selected to receive improved development skills, participating in a 12-course professional development program (PDP) covering five weekly blocks per course. “It was run a bit like an MBA program,” says the AMEX vice president for program management.

At the end of each PDP, there was notable progress in reading skills, presentation skills, professional management skills, strategic planning and delegation of authority, organizational planning, ethical decision-making, and conflict resolution.

The PDP has had substantial success, with nearly 200 graduates and hundreds of additional participants. The program is highly sought after and is being attended by members of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, European Union, the Ministry of Finance and Economy, and members from several other ministries and private institutions throughout the country. AMEX also trained others to deliver the PDP program.

In addition, AMEX developed a special leadership school consisting of eight weeks of emerging economy managerial development decision analysis training, and developed a think tank of professional judges to provide guidance for the PDP and to help with some of the most serious of the Kosovo government’s managerial strategic decisions.

The program drew praise from USAID officials. One said “Thank you so much for your work. I am very pleased that the program is progressing very successfully, and you and your team deserve appreciation for this success. This is a very important component of the project, and we all are glad that it has drawn the interest of many government institutions. Well done!”

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