Activating Four Local Self-Government Units in the Republic of Serbia in Order to Identify Demographic Challenges and Improve Population Policy on the Local Level
Activating four local self-government units from different regions in the Republic of Serbia so as to establish an effective population policy in the sphere of birthing stimulation, alleviating moving out and stimulating moving in the municipalities and providing higher quality of life for the elderly.
There is a need for a response by local self-governments to moving out of the youth, as one of the causes of low fertility, and well as to population aging due to birthing being below the level necessary for the replacement of generations.
Simultaneously, the selected LSGUs may become models for activities in this field to other LSGUs in the Republic of Serbia, which is important since local communities are important resources in population policy.
Analysis of recent demographic developments in the municipalities of Zvezdara, Šid, Trstenik and Gadžin Han, with a view to their immediate population future.
Defining, implementation and analysis of the findings obtained in the qualitative research in each of the four LSGUs, involving focus groups with population policy target groups and key actors in making and implementing the decisions in the field on the local level.
Three successive series of small group discussions were realised in each of these municipalities, concerning the responses of respective LSGU to the three identified population challenges: insufficient births, population aging and necessity to act in order to manage migrations.
Certain subjects were simultaneously discussed by citizens, representatives of the relevant population policy target groups and key actors in making and implementing the decision in this field on the local level. Each municipality organised one focus group for each of the three population problems that need to be addressed. The focus groups usually involved eight participants and the discussions lasted 90 minutes on average.
Attainment of a specific goal of the 2018 Birthing Stimulation Strategy – “Activating Local Self-Governments” – also involves monitoring of certain population indicators and establishment of financial, non-material and organisational measures to stimulate birthing in local self-government units. The project defined realistic and proactive recommendations for the establishment of a more efficient population policy based on the findings of the realised quantitative and qualitative research in each of the four LSGUs.
The recommendations concern establishment of effective population policy in the sphere of birthing stimulation, alleviating moving out or stimulating moving in and higher quality of life for the elderly, and they can serve as models for action in this sphere to other local self-government units in Serbia.
The recommendations were directly based on the results of quantitative research (demographic development analysis) and qualitative research (analysis of the discussion about the activities, mechanisms and measures to alleviate demographic challenges with citizens and key actors in adopting and implementing population policies on the local level) concerning the four selected Serbian municipalities.