Bridging continents: Helvetas Peru and Helvetas Kosovo unite in knowledge sharing

The management team of two projects from Helvetas Peru visited Kosovo from 21-24 June to explore best practices and exchange knowledge with their counterparts in Helvetas Kosovo. The visit specifically focused on the themes of local governance and finance, skills development and employment, and climate change. This intercontinental exchange marked a significant milestone for Mario Bazan, Director of the Support Program for the Continuous Improvement of Public Finance Management (PMC Programme) in Peru, and Luis Rosa-Perez, Director of the BeCompetitive Programme in Peru, as they had the opportunity to engage with their colleagues in Kosovo for the first time.

Throughout the meetings with Ertan Munoglu, Country Coordinator of Helvetas Kosovo and project manager of the Decentralization and Municipal Support (DEMOS) project, and Albina Berisha, project manager of the Enhancing Youth Employment (EYE) project, the Helvetas Peru delegation gained valuable insights into the programs and approaches implemented in Kosovo. The exchange facilitated the sharing of experiences, best practices, and lessons learned.

“I found a lot of lessons that you have in the performance management program. We are starting something similar in Peru soon, so I think some of the lessons learned from you in Kosovo, are very important for us to take into the account from the very beginning”, said Mario Bazan, Director of PMC Programme in Peru. He acknowledged the differences in scale between Peru’s 2000 municipalities and Kosovo’s 38, emphasizing the need to consider a scaling approach.

Skills development and employability, particularly with a gender approach, along with collaboration with the private sector on vocational education and training models for youth, were key topics of interest for Luis Rosa-Perez, Director of BeCompetitive Programme in Peru. He noted the commonalities between their work in Peru and the management tools employed by Helvetas in Kosovo. “Our programme is oriented toward promoting private sector competitiveness. We also work in skills development. It was very inspiring and useful to see EYE’s experience in Kosovo, and I realize that we have several elements in common”, he added.

During their visit, the delegation from Helvetas Peru also met with Helvetas Kosovo partners, including the Mayor of the municipality of Drenas, the Director of the Competence Center in Prizren, and representatives from the educational institution BONEVET.

This visit highlighted the significance of sharing knowledge and experience between different projects within the Helvetas network. By fostering a culture of collaboration and learning, Helvetas aims to create a powerful network of interconnected projects that benefit from one another’s insights, successes, and lessons learned. Albina Berisha, project manager of the EYE project in Kosovo, expressed her pleasure in welcoming the delegation from Helvetas Peru. “This visit signifies our shared dedication to collaboration and learning from each other’s endeavors. It is proof of our commitment to making a lasting impact in the communities we serve”, she stated.

The visit of Helvetas Peru showcased that despite the differences in scale and geographical location between Kosovo and Peru, there are numerous ways in which the international Helvetas team can cooperate and learn from one another. While the contexts may differ, the fundamental principles of sustainable development, community empowerment, and inclusive practices go beyond borders, unifying the efforts towards a common goal.