On March 28, 2023, the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies held the conference titled “Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo” whereby it launched the newly published report on “COVID-19 Management in Kosovo”
The report provides a general overview of the manifestation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo and the overall management of the pandemic by relevant institutions. Among other issues, the report touches upon the systemic deficiencies and inefficacies in Kosovo’s preparedness to respond to a crisis, the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, the political instability during COVID-19 following the snap elections, as well as the threat of fake news and disinformation in the wake of the pandemic.
During the conference, KCSS also hosted a panel discussion with civil society representatives on challenges and lessons learned during the pandemic. Saranda Ramaj, investigative journalist covering the health sector at KOHA medium, emphasized the effective administration of COVID-19 vaccines through the health information system as a positive aspect of COVID-19 management in the country. On the other hand, a siginificant challenge in this sector according to Ms. Ramaj, is the departure of professional health workers from the public to the private sector. Diana Metushi-Krasniqi, public procurement expert and program manager at the Kosovo Democratic Institute, spoke about the (lack) of transparency in the emergency procurement processes carried out during the pandemic, highlighting that procurement information with regards to the purchasing of protective equipment and vaccines is still not publicly available. Conference participants raised other important issues during the discussion, including the lack of a comprehensive institutional communication strategy during national crises or emergencies.
The report “COVID-19 management in Kosovo” was published in the framework of the regional project “Enabling Just Change in the International Health Care Governance - COVID-19 Pandemic and Lessons Learned from the Western Balkans” implemented jointly with the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, under the financial support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.