UNDP’s Funding Windows Regional Project

The regional project Support to the implementation of the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their ammunition in the Western Balkans was established in 2019 as a funding mechanism for addressing key challenges in the implementation of the Roadmap and for further supporting the progress made by the Western Balkans jurisdictions in this respect. It provided the framework for a coordinated approach of the SALW control efforts conducted by the UNDP Offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, facilitating knowledge and experience sharing, and better guidance towards addressing the specific SALW control needs of the Western Balkans jurisdictions. The project covered a wide array of topics from countering illicit arms trafficking to enhancing ballistic capacities and security upgrade of SALW storages. It enabled the implementation of pilot and flagship projects in the areas of gender and SALW control, ballistics, and countering illicit arms trafficking that got scaled up or replicated in different jurisdictions through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Multi Partner Trust Fund.

The regional project was coordinated by UNDP SEESAC and funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, through a EUR 5.5 million contribution provided through the UNDP Funding Windows.

Overall, the regional project contributed to the implementation of the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap, whose vision is that the Western Balkans become a safer region and an exporter of security, where comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms, fully harmonized with the European Union and other international standards, are in place to identify, prevent, prosecute, and control the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives (FAE).

The portfolio of sub-projects funded through the regional project covered all jurisdictions of the Western Balkans and contributed to all of the Roadmap goals, as relevant for and prioritized by the jurisdictions.

More specifically, the regional project:

  • advanced crime scene investigation and ballistic procedures in line with the EU and international standards (ISO 17020 and ISO 17025) in Albania and Serbia. It developed and installed Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and Open Case File (OCF) database in both jurisdictions.
  • supported the development and implementation of more than 15 Standard Operating Procedures for law enforcement entities in Albania, BiH and Serbia, thus standardizing and harmonizing the regulatory and operational framework.
  • developed or upgraded SALW data collection and analysis platforms. The Weapons Registration Systems were upgraded in Kosovo and North Macedonia. In BiH, the project developed the National Database of SALW Transport Licenses. In North Macedonia, a Police Information Management System was developed as the main tool for recording SALW related incidents and crime.
  • advanced practice and resources on countering arms trafficking: i) in BiH, the SALW Identification Tool was improved and deployed to all law enforcement agencies in addition to BiH Border Police. Ii) In Kosovo, it enhanced risk analysis at borders in line with CIRAM 2.0 model. Furthermore, in both BiH and Kosovo, a series of specialized training sessions, equipment and joint operations were delivered.
  • disposed of 1,439 pieces of Multiple Launch Rocket System ammunition, in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner in BiH.
  • improved the physical security of SALW and ammunition stockpiles in Montenegro through the upgrade of two SALW storage magazines and guardhouse of the Ministry of Interior / Police Directorate, in line with international best practice and standards.
  • developed more than 25 knowledge products encompassing research papers, analysis, assessments, guidelines, or e-learning modules – which will serve as a continuous resource towards a more advanced SALW control and prevention of FAE-related crime and threats.

An independent evaluation of the regional project was completed in February 2023. The evaluation found that excellent progress was made with a broad and relevant portfolio of sub-projects. Feedback from jurisdiction-level partners was assessed as very positive, with numerous examples of how funded sub-projects catalyzed broader interventions, demonstrating their relevance and showing some early signs of impact. All eight sub-projects funded by the regional project were found to be effective in terms of delivering the anticipated results. Both singly and taken together, the sub-projects were evaluated as important contributions to building momentum in the implementation of the Roadmap at the regional and jurisdiction levels. The evaluation also recommended areas for improvement in future funding arrangements, which will be addressed primarily via the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

You may find the final evaluation report here.

The final report of the regional project is available here.

Details about the projects funded through the Regional Project are available in the sub-sections or in the links below: