Kosovo’s “Finding Our Voices” Report: Contributing to Rule of Law Literature

With various projects occurring across the globe, NCSC International’s location in Arlington, Virginia, is basically considered to be the “home office” of operations. By interning at the home office, I have the opportunity to see bits and pieces of a wide variety of rule of law initiatives from many different countries, even though I am not engaged in the feet-on-the-ground foreign development. However, as I recently learned, I still get to play a major role in supporting the rule of law initiatives and contribute meaningfully to international development literature.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post describing about various projects I was working on, and I would like to elaborate a little bit more on one of the projects: the Kosovo Legal Profession (KLP) Program. The KLP Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), promoted the legal profession within Kosovo, and even did a study, “Counting What Counts,” which involved a collection of statistics on the status of the legal profession in Kosovo. Based upon the study’s note on the limited participation of women and youth in the legal field, NCSC International decided to conduct its own study, partnered with one of its Kosovar consultants, to explore Kosovo’s legal profession a bit more. I want to talk more about it because I was very excited and happy with the final product that I was proud to contribute to.

In a project called “Finding Our Voices: Mapping Opportunities for Youth and Women in the Judiciary and Legal Profession in Kosovo,” the Kosovar consultant surveyed and interviewed many law students and legal professionals regarding a variety of questions about the status of the legal field in Kosovo. The results were all compounded into a report that described some of the personalized concerns and opinions of individuals working in and aspiring to be a part of the Kosovar legal community. I helped to edit the report and create visual aids that illustrated the statistics discovered from the surveys and interviews.

My work also involved some substantive information as well. I was asked to find certain statistics and facts that were the most interesting and create a separate document showcasing those findings. While there was plenty to choose from, I would like to highlight one particular fact here. In Kosovo, men were more likely than women to believe that women were underrepresented in the judiciary, as 55% of male student respondents and 55% of male professional respondents believed the number of female judges was too low. Compared to their female counterparts, only 45% of female respondents and 43% of professional respondents believed that the number of female judges was too low. While I am not in Kosovo to see firsthand how these statistics manifest in everyday practices, I found them very interesting. Did men paternalistically believe that women needed more representation in the judiciary? Or were men more willing than women to see the number of female judges increase? I guess I will not know, but I made sure to highlight the information in the report.

Basically, the grand finale of the project involved the Kosovar consultant and an NCSC International program manager, who was travelling abroad at the time, presenting the findings from the report to a universities in Kosovo. I was proud to see the materials I helped prepare be put to good use. Also, what excited me most about the report was seeing my name the final report; I did not know that I would be credited, so seeing the finished product was quite a surprise! Seeing the name “John Satira” credited alongside some very impressive rule of law professionals was a cool feeling. Since the report had two versions, one in English and one in Albanian, it was especially cool to see my name as the only words I recognized in the entire Albanian translation version. NCSC will be publishing the document eventually, and I will try to remember to edit this post and provide a link upon publication!