North Macedonia

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North Macedonia

Home/Where we work/North Macedonia
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As part of the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative, funded by the UK government, WFD will work with political parties in North Macedonia to better represent the interests of persons with disability (PwD) in the policy making process.

Previously, we supported civil society organisations to develop evidence-based policy. Improved engagement between civil society, state agencies and decision-makers is fundamental in an effective democracy.

2008: year of first WFD programme

Following the political crisis and protests after the parliamentary elections in December 2016, a new governing coalition bought some optimism about the political situation in Macedonia.

The new government seems willing to undertake reforms and the recently released 2018 EU progress report on Macedonia refers to a ‘more inclusive and open political atmosphere in the country’, including for journalists and the media to report freely.

Making public spending efficient and effective

From January 2019, WFD is supporting government institutions to ensure public money is spent effectively and efficiently. We are looking to improve the skills and practices in the National Assembly with regards to reviewing legislation and policy. In order to achieve this, we will work with the Assembly to support MPs in conducting systematic and meaningful reviews of laws.

An alliance for change – between independent local organisations and the media – will focus on promoting more transparent public spending.

Increased political participation of marginalised groups

Effective democracy represents everyone in society. That’s why it is important to increase efforts to engage persons with disability in the decisions that impact on their lives.

As part of the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative, funded by the UK government, WFD will work with political parties to better represent the interests of persons with disability (PwD) in the policy making process. An initial small change that can make a big difference to the political engagement of PWDs is how accessible information on political party websites is.

We also hope to create disability champions among political party leaders through activities that will give them insight into the challenge’s persons living with disability face daily. The selected MPs will spend a day shadowing a person with disability and will use this experience to promote awareness.

Civil society

Between 2016 and 2018, WFD supported CSOs to develop their research techniques and skills. The 12 CSOs involved in the programme work on multiple issues which effect the everyday lives of Macedonian citizens. Encouraging greater use of a thematic evidence-base to engage with parliament helped achieve legislative change in these areas. Examples of WFD-supported initiatives include: patients with rare diseases, social discrimination, child exploitation and hate speech. Through the work of our partner CSOs, we helped create a better environment for Macedonians effected by these and other social and human rights issues.

Read: Citizens and the Parliament: legislative initiatives for human rights 

Country Data





Billion (USD)
GDI per capita:

GDI per capita:

Media freedom:

Media freedom:

(not free)
Democracy index:

Democracy index:

(partly free)

Key Results

11 policy analyses on human rights issues prepared and published by CSOs
Policy recommendations from CSOs feature in mainstream media discussions
Policy recommendations by CSOs embraced by decision makers, and put on ministry and government agendas
Key stakeholders and public, constantly informed about the work and the results of the work of SAO


Western Balkans Democracy Initiative
Planned end: September 2021
Supporting Macedonia’s parliamentary reform
Planned end: March 2018
Strengthening financial accountability and transparency
Planned end: March 2018
Connecting CSOs with parliament on human rights issues
Planned end: November 2017



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People speaking into a microphone

The pandemic pushed persons with disabilities to the margins in North Macedonia

WFD published an analysis looking into the impact of the pandemic on persons with disabilities in North Macedonia, produced by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. The analysis was presented to the public in June 2021, in the presence of Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Jagoda Shahpaska and British Deputy Ambassador Dominic Otway. The […]