The decentralization process in Macedonia, started in 2005 and succeeding the 2004 territorial reorganization of the country, is encountering continuous challenges ever since. Besides the general perception that the country is making substantial progress in empowering local self government units, the problems hindering local government units in performing their tasks both effectively and efficiently are certainly huge. Reports from international organizations monitoring the decentralization process in the country closely have not identified any area of work which is not being threatened by pitfalls of various kinds. Thus, major problems that concern municipalities in Macedonia range mainly from the insufficient financial resources for executing their duties and responsibilities; through the low level of citizens’ involvement in the local policy making process; to the inappropriate coordination and lack of communication between the units of local self government and the crucial ministries in the decentralization process i.e. Ministry of Local Self-government and Ministry of Finance.
Being aware of the existing problems and challenges, ZIP Institute is committed to studying and analyzing such problems systematically and comprehensively, followed by the identification and proposition of concrete solutions. Its work builds mainly on the vast experience of the staff members acquired both from formal ways of education as well as through their direct involvement in the decentralization process.
We deal with comparative studies at the sub-national level of analysis such as institutional design and performance of formal and informal institutions, institutional mechanisms, the sequence of their development and the vision they pursue, as well as combination of the two. We attempt to offer relevant expertise that will improve and initiate further reforms.