Open Communities-Successful Communities

Project Duration: 
1 August 2017 – 31 January 2019 (IOM component)
Project Partners: 
UNDP, WHO, UNOPS. Participating Government partners: Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of European Integration
European Union

Open Communities-Successful Communities

EU support to health, communal and social services in Serbian municipalities hosting migrants and refugees


Introduction: In 2015 the Republic of Serbia was faced with large-scale movements of refugees and migrants. Until the closure of so-called Western Balkans route at the beginning of March 2016, some 700,000 migrants passed through Serbia on their way to Western Europe. Consequently, the number of refugees and migrants exceeds 8,000 in January 2017. Nowadays, some 4,000 migrants/refugees are staying in 18 reception and asylum centers in Serbia. The UN partner organizations  (UNDP, WHO, UNOPS and IOM) in close coordination with the target groups, developed specially tailored actions of the Project “Open Communities-Successful Communities” based on  first-hand field analysis and technical verification of needs at local and national level.

The project will be implemented in 17 municipalities in Serbia: Vranje, Pirot, Sid, Tutin, Subotica, Kikinda, Presevo, Dimitrovagrad, Kanjiza, Lajkovac, Bela Palanka, Obrenovac, Bujanovac, Sjenica, Bosilegrad, Sombor. Loznica, Belgrade.

Overall project objective: To encourage cultural acceptance and increase understanding of issues of migrants/refugees in Serbian municipalities hosting migrant population. The project will foster multi-cultural social acceptance and improvement of the communal infrastructure and health care system at the local level.


Specific objectives:

  • To improve quality, efficiency and accessibility of health-care systems and services in target municipalities to facilitate improved treatment of migrants and other vulnerable groups;
  • To improve infrastructure and enhancement of services in municipalities impacted by increasing migration flows;
  • To facilitate community cohesion, inter-cultural exchange and flow of information for better acceptance of migrants/refugees in target municipalities.


IOM activities:

  • Implementation of series of focus group discussions with migrants and service providers/frontline workers in order to identify their needs, experiences, themes and activities of interest that would facilitate inter-cultural dialogue;
  • Organization of interactive, inter-cultural days for migrants/refugees in various forms and on deferent topics (e.g. joint cultural, sports, educational and other performances, gatherings, actions, workshops);
  • Trainings and workshops for service providers from national and local institutions providing assistance to migrants supporting cultural sensitivity and stress management;

Development and implementation of national and local communication campaigns.

Project Status: