SMARTLABOR – Strengthening Alliances for Policy Development and Testing in the domain of Innovation, Digitalization, and the Labour Market in the Western Balkans

Implementing organizations: 

  • Association CENTRE, Public Policy Research Centre (CENTRE), Lead applicant, Serbia
  • Centre for Development Evaluation and Social Science Research (CREDI), Partner, B&H
  • Impetus, Partner, North Macedonia

Summary of the project

The main goal of the project is to enhance the adoption of technological advancements in the agri-food sector within the region. This will be achieved by supporting evidence-based policy-making and utilizing civil society organization (CSO) capacities.

Project goals

The specific objectives of the project are:

(1) Developing an open-source platform with methodologies, stakeholder maps, a comprehensive data repository, and interactive tools for policy creation and testing.

(2) Strengthening the capacity of the Smart Labour Network (SLN) to function as a central CSO resource for national and regional policymaking processes related to Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3).

(3) Leveraging SLN’s research, advocacy, and networking capabilities across Western Balkans (WB6) through the open-source platform and other planned activities.

(4) Facilitating the co-creation of effective policy solutions in collaboration with key stakeholders from Serbia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. These solutions are aimed at supporting the implementation of smart specialization strategies in the agri-food sector at both national and regional levels.

Target groups and beneficiaries

  • Government agencies tasked with S3, agricultural and rural development; farmers and farmers’ associations; agri-business entrepreneurs and innovators; civil society dealing with rural development, environment, socio-economic equality, and topics relevant to SDGs 2, 9 and 15; VET providers; and rural communities in the WB6.

Main activities

Development of Open-Source Platform

  • Develop a user-friendly open-source platform with stakeholder maps, searchable databases, and tools for evidence-based policymaking.
  • Conduct stakeholder mapping, engaging national and regional entities, and feeding data into the platform.
  • Create a repository of methodologies and tools, promoting it through social networks and events.

Building Capacities of CSO Network

  • Organize online knowledge transfer events on methodology, digital skills, AI, and skills foresight for Smart Labour Network (SLN) members.
  • Identify and build the capacity of 8-10 new CSO members for sustained engagement.
  • Expand the network through an orientation workshop for interested CSOs across WB6.

Policy Co-creation and Dissemination

  • Facilitate six co-creation forums to bring together stakeholders for collaborative problem-solving.
  • Design and disseminate national reports, regional policy briefs, and a governance report.
  • Prepare a discussion paper on technological advancements in the agri-food sector.