IRIS was founded in 2012 and from the mere beginning we had huge support from our partners in the European Union and in the CSF program.
IRIS connects currently 200 member organizations that provide different types of social services to different vulnerable groups: people with disability, children, and youth at risk, women victims of family violence, refugees, asylum seekers, etc.
IRIS aims to strengthen the role of not-for-profit social service providers throughout SEE and to ensure that these organizations are recognized as equal partners by the public sector.
IRIS consists of 7 national networks, and currently has 203 member – organizations that offer different types of social protection services to various vulnerable categories:
- disabled people
- children and youth at risk
- victims of violence
The overall goal of the IRIS network is to empower civil society organizations in their efforts to grow into effective, accountable and independent entities, as well as to strengthen their capacity to communicate with and influence state and government institutions in policy-making and decision-making.
The specific goals of the IRIS Network are to strengthen the influence of civil society organizations by strengthening the capacities of these associations, in order to actively involve them in the protection of users in the migration management system and encourage constructive and structural dialogue with government institutions at all levels. of civil society organizations in policy making and decision-making, as well as reforming the processes in order to improve the services for assistance and support of migrants.
Pillar 1. Capacity building
- Partnership and cooperation meetings,
- Guide for social protection / referral services for migrants,
- Small grant planning,
- Annual Regional Academies for Social Protection – in cooperation with the Regional Cooperation Council and the Regional Initiative for Asylum, Refugees and Migration (MARRI),
- Trainings by European experts,
- Mentoring programs,
- Instrument for peer evaluation,
- Training for trainers on migration management.
Pillar 2. Influence on policy makers
- Assessment of the shortcomings of migrant social protection services,
- Public debates,
- Annual reports from the monitoring of (re) integration activities,
- Local / national support campaigns,
- Briefing of the Western Balkan countries – standards of quality of services in migration management,
- Events in the European Parliament.
Pillar 3. Raising public awareness
- Balkan Media Caravan,
- Media campaigns,
- Dissemination and advertising of positive practices / innovative case studies.