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GIZ ORF - Open Regional Fund for Modernisation of Municipal Services

GIZ Open Regional Fund for Modernisation of Municipal Services (GIZ ORF-MMS) is programme commissioned by German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within region of South East Europe. 

This programme is from 2008 active in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, and Serbia and is anticipated until 2016.
 
South East European countries are currently implementing reforms aimed at easing their accession into the European Union. At the communal level, municipalities often lack capacity and instruments necessary for implementing the EU’s demanding standards, which require they improve the quality of their municipal services. In order to meet these challenges, the Open Regional Fund – Modernization of Municipal Services (ORF-MMS) works closely with regional networks such as the Network of Associations of Local Authorities in South East Europe (NALAS) and the Regional Water Associations Partnership, as well as with individual citizens, municipalities and other partners in the joint implementation of regional projects. 
 
Together with representatives of municipalities, municipal associations, political decision-makers, and other relevant partners, ORF-MMS begins by analyzing the most urgent problems that communal services in the countries of South East Europe face. Next, partners develop specific project ideas with ORF-MMS’s support. These project proposals undergo detailed examination before the decision on financing is taken. Our focus areas are water supply and disposal, waste management, improvement of the range of services offered by municipalities, and capacity-building for municipal management structures.
 
With support from ORF-MMS, municipal associations have developed instruments, methods, recommendations and comparative regional analyses regarding the most pertinent issues faced by municipalities. These results are used by municipalities to improve the services offered to citizens, and can act as the basis for legal framework improvements. For example, ORF-MMS has advised the Regional Water Associations Partnership in their selection and implementation of EU-compliant technologies for water disposal. Another success story is the establishment of a regional certification model for business-friendly municipalities. National legislators and authorities in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina have used recommendations to improve legal framework conditions for municipal finances and urban planning. ORF-MMS has established itself as a relevant cooperation and networking platform for all regional stakeholders interested in improving municipal services in South East Europe. 
 

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