About Us

About Us

Democracy Plus (D+) is an independent, not-for- profit organization, founded by a group of activists who strongly believe in democratic values and in a democratic Kosovo. Our organization’s principal goal is to support democratic values and practices in the scope of good governance, rule of law, elections and political parties, social issues, and human rights.

Vision
A governance and society where democratic values and culture are the norm.

Mission
D+ is committed to the development of a democratic society through impacting decision-making and strengthening the participation of citizens in public policymaking and implementation.

Board

Remzije Istrefi Democracy Plus Bord

Remzije Istrefi

Remzije is a Professor at the Faculty of Law and the Department of Political Science of the University of Prishtina. Currently she is finalizing her Post-Doc studies at the Institute for International Relations of the University of Graz.  Ms. Istrefi holds a PhD with a specialization in International Human Rights Law and International Organizations. She studied International Human Rights Law (L.L.M) at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, (Ron Brown Fellow).  In 2008, Ms. Istrefi was awarded the Fulbright Exchange Scholar Program from the US State Department under which she spent one semester at the John Hope Franklin Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies at Duke University. She is a member of the Bar Exam evaluation commission in Kosovo and is actively involved as a researcher in various research projects.  Ms. Istrefi published several scientific articles in the field of human rights and has contributed to numerous books published in Europe. Since 2011 Ms. Istrefi is Arbiter at the American Chamber of Commerce. She worked as a Human Rights Advisor with the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and has served as a consultant for different international and national institutions including UNDP, ECMI, KJI and KIPA.

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Leart Hoxha

TV journalist since 2005. Initially he was engaged with the sports section of the RTV 21 while since 2011 he works as a journalist with the newsroom to later on continue as an editor of the informative editions. Since February 2014 he ia the author and host of the CLICK televised programme.

He was a Board member of the Basketball Federation of Kosovoa from 2012-2014 while currently he serves as the latters General Secretary  since September 2014. He co-wrote BFK’s application for membership at FIBA.

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Refki Morina

Mr. Morina holds a university degree in linguistics, majoring in German language and literature, from Prishtina University. After five years of working experience in journalism in the pre- during- and postwar Kosovo, he joined the International Foundation for Election Systems – IFES as Project Coordinator. Since 2000, he has been working with various international organizations, such as IFES, CARE International, and Institute for Sustainable Communities – ISC. Among other duties in project management, Mr. Morina was directly engaged in monitoring project progress and assessing the achievement of the stated results and objectives. Since 2010, he works as a freelance consultant and is engaged in identifying priority areas and develops tailor-made project proposals and business plans. His main fields of project development stretch from economic growth, to strengthened Civil Society and enhancement of democratic principles.

D+ Democracy Plus

Artane Rizvanolli

Artane is a lecturer at Riinvest College and an independent economic analysis and policy consultant. She has been awarded her PhD in Economics by Staffordshire University (UK) for her research focusing on the relationship between human capital and inwards FDI in European transition economies. She has extensive economic analysis and consultancy experience as part of Riinvest Institute (2006-2012) and as an independent researcher/consultant in programmes/projects implemented by UNDP, GIZ (International Services), World Bank, Swisscontact, wiiw, ASD Group, etc., focusing mainly in the areas of employment, private sector development and competitiveness, and migration.

Diella Rugova Begolli

Diella Rugova Begolli

Diella has a law degree and a substantial professional experience in the field of economic development and the rule of law in Kosovo. She currently works as a legal advisor in Crimson Capital (USAID – Partnerships for Development) on construction related legislative affairs, regulation of electric power as well as internal and external trade. Previous working experience includes consulting at various organizations in the fields of legal drafting, contractual rights, business enabling environment, and judiciary verdict executor. Diella acquired her Master’s degree in Law (LL.M.) with a focus on Commercial Rights in the University of Pittsburgh in the U.S, while she obtained her bachelor’s degree (LL.B.) from the University of Pristina. In addition to her native language, Diella speaks English and Serbo-Croatian/Bosnian fluently, and has some knowledge of the German and Turkish languages.

Personel

Valmir Ismaili Hulumtues i Larte Democracy Plus

Valmir Ismaili

Executive Director

Valmir is one of the co-founders of Democracy Plus (D+). He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology. Previously he has served as Coordinator of Democracy in Action (DiA) Secretariat, the largest network of elections monitoring in Kosovo. For several years he worked for various leading NGOs including Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI), Democracy for Development (D4D), Project on Ethnic Relations (PER) and Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development (KIPRED).

Valmir has extensive experience working with elections and political parties. He was engaged in monitoring the performance of central level authorities, with a special focus on the National Assembly of Kosovo and Central Election Commission (CEC), increasing citizens’ participation in policy making and empowering local NGOs and grassroots level.

Elections, political parties and increasing citizens’ participation in policymaking are his top priority fields of interest.

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Isuf Zejna - Hulumtues i Larte Democracy Plus D+

Isuf Zejna

Senior Researcher

Isuf is one of the founding members of Democracy Plus. is a lawyer with concentration in Commercial Law, International Trade Law and Contract Law.  Isuf graduated from the School of Law of the University of Pittsburgh with an LLM degree in Commercial Law.

Isuf has worked in the field of transparency, anti-corruption and democratization for an extensive period of time in different positions and organizations. He was project manager and lead researcher for Kosova Democratic Institute’s project “Transparency and Accountability in Public Procurement”. His experience extends to writing and publishing policy papers, monitoring reports and guidelines for new journalists and civil society activists on the practice of monitoring public procurement. Since 2009, Isuf served in three different capacities in the coalition of nongovernmental organizations “Democracy in Action” and was engaged in monitoring the performance of central level authorities, including both the Assembly and the Government of Kosovo, specifically increasing transparency, inclusion and accountability of the elected representatives and public servants.

Isuf’s areas of interest is in field of transparency, anti-corruption and democratization.

Roberta Osmani - Hulumtuese Democracy Plus D+

Roberta Osmani

Researcher

Roberta holds a Masters degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University, with concentrations on Policy Analysis and International Development. She is a Transformational Leadership Program alumna. While in the US, she held the position of teaching assistant for a statistics class and was the international student representative at the Graduate Student Association.

Roberta’s professional background is in working with central government institutions where she was engaged as an external advisor through the Capacity Development Facility, as well as in offering consulting services to international non-governmental organizations. She has experience working with minority communities in Kosovo and was part of the team that drafted the Strategy for Communities and Return 2014-2018, and the Action Plan for its implementation 2014-2016.

Her field of interest is in public policy analysis, specifically quantitative program evaluation, and impact measurement that leads to informed data-based decision making at the central and local levels of government. Her area of expertise is on fiscal and social policies, specifically tax systems in developing countries, as well as poverty and corruption alleviation.

Elvanda

Elvanda Gojani

Finance Officer

Elvanda has obtained her bachelor degree from the Faculty of Economics in Pristina with a major in Management and Informatics. She went on to get her Master’s degree in Economics, Finance and European Institutions from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy.
Elvanda has working experience in international organizations in Kosovo, the private sector, consultancy, and also as an Advisor and Financial Analyst at Deloitte. Furthermore, she has for a long time been a volunteer and board member of the organization Youth Action Forum – Pjetër Bogdani.
Her field of interest are the economics, volunteerism and youth empowerment.

D+ Friends

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Vladan Jacimovic

Researcher (September 2016 - April 2017)

Vladan Jaćimović has been actively involved with the civil society sector in Kosovo in the areas such as enhancing accountability of institutions, reintegration of returnees, and empowering vulnerable groups through trainings. He coordinated a project at the Center for Peace and Tolerance, aimed at enhancing the accountability of Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo and its relations with Serbian community. He also assisted the implementation of IOM's and DRC's projects aimed at return and reintegration of displaced persons, by organizing training sessions for youth and women returnees. Vladan holds a master's degree in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. This project-based academic training has brought him experience of conducting program evaluations, needs assessments, and instructional design projects with organizations such as: Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, IU Health Center.

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Armend Bekaj

Armend is Chief of Analysis and Reporting Cell, Democratization Department, OSCE Mission in Kosovo. He is also engaged as Adjunct Lecturer with RIT Kosovo (former AUK), where he teaches IR modules such as Ethics in International Politics, Politics in Developing Countries, and Public Policy. Currently, he is nearing the completion of his PhD studies with the University of Sheffield. His PhD research examines issues of democratization in transitory countries, more specifically the impact of former combatants in post-conflict democracies which results from their transformation from soldiers to politicians. Armend has obtained his BA on International Studies from the University of Leeds, and his MA on Conflict Resolution from the Peace Studies Department, University of Bradford.

For several years Armend has worked with the humanitarian and civil society sector in England and the Western Balkans, as well as with various international organisations such as the OSCE, USAID and UNDP. He has also taken part in several research collaborative efforts bringing together researchers from various countries to cross-examine issues of post-conflict securitization, political transformation of former combatants, and other societal impacts resulting from war to peace transitions. His specific areas of interest are: disintegration, demobilization and reintegration / transformation of combatants, greed and grievance, security and democratization. Armend has authored and coauthored a number of journals and reports on the above themes.

Ngadhnjim Halilaj Democracy Plus D+

Ngadhnjim Halilaj

Researche/Data Analyst (Vullnetar)

Ngadhnjim is pursuing Master level studies in Management of Information Systems at Northern Illinois University, as part of the Transformational Leadership Program.

Ngadhnjim began his professional career as an English translator for the newspaper “Zëri”, where he worked for one year. Shortly after, he started working in newspaper “Lajm” as an English translator and Web Maintenance staff, where he was engaged for a year and a half before switching his career orientation to Civil Society by joining the non-governmental organization Democracy for Development (D4D). He worked at D4D for almost two years in various projects, initially as an Assistant researcher and later as a Project Coordinator and Manager.

His field of interest is in Data Analytics and Research, particularly, in analyzing and interpreting data.