Despite these efforts, challenges in implementing staff retention programs have arisen, with political interference being a key impediment to their success. The Cadre Fund, in particular, faced issues such as inadequate emphasis on advanced education, lack of competitive selection, misalignment of positions with market needs, inconsistency in deficiency criteria, and a lack of comprehensive reforms.
Recognizing the persisting challenges, Prime Minister Albin Kurti proposed a new initiative called the “Excellence Fund” in October 2021. This fund, aimed at accelerating public sector reform, has been supplemented by the establishment of an “Expertise Unit” in January 2022. The Expertise Unit, under the Government Coordination Secretariat, focuses on engaging local and international experts to address expertise shortages within public institutions. However, concerns have been raised about the adequacy of the allocated funds for the unit’s operations, with an additional EUR 20 million sought to meet the substantial demand for expertise.
This paper delves into the historical context of staff retention programs in Kosovo, explores the challenges faced by existing initiatives, and introduces the current government’s Excellence Unit as a response to the ongoing need for specialized capacity within the public sector