Collaborative efforts in Borås and Vračar for Disability Inclusion

The partnership project between Borås Municipality and the municipality of Vračar in Serbia is working to increase influence and participation for people with disabilities. Halfway into the project there are already tangible results to showcase.

Vračar is one of the 17 district municipalities in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Through the partnership with Borås Municipality, they aim to enhance accessibility and participation for people with disabilities and increase their opportunities to Influence local decision-making

Implementation of the Disability Council

In Borås, there is already an established Disability Council that collaborates with civil society to improve accessibility in the municipality. Borås also has an accessibility consultant and a disability consultant who are working to advance the city’s accesability efforts in cooperation with the municipal departments, companies, and the business and civil society. In Vračar, there was no organization in place for this work. Therefore, their primary challenge has been to establish a structure for the work and functions within the organization. A milestone was the implementation of a Disability Council, something that has already become reality!

When Borås visited Vračar in September this year, they were able to participate in the newly established and newly implemented Disability Council. The council includes individuals from different committees, employment agencies, and various NGOs.

“In Sweden, civil society has been the driving force in the development towards a more inclusive society. It is an experience that I believe is important to share and one that makes me proud, says Kerstin Niklasson, project coordinator in Borås Municipality.

Irena Lakobrija Delica is Vračar’s project manager in the partnership and works as the head of the disability unit in her daily work. She is pleased that, thanks to the newly established Disability Council, there is now an arena for these issues. It also brings them one step closer to establishing the position of a disability consultant in Vračar.

“Having someone designated to work on these issues is something we really must strive for, to achieve sustainable and institutionalised activities,” says Irena.

A Role Model

Several municipalities in Serbia are looking at the work Vračar is doing to create better participation and influence for people with disabilities. Vračar has also been tasked with sharing their knowledge with other municipalities, primarily in Belgrade but also in other parts of the country.

“It’s great to see that our project is really producing results, and we are so proud of our cooperation partner,” says Herawati Iskandar Nowak, disability consultant in Borås Municipality and project manager in the partnership. Being able to contribute with our knowledge from Borås Municipality to improve Vračar’s and, in the long run, parts of Serbia’s local work for people with disabilities is fantastic!

The two project managers in the partnership: Herawati Iskandar Novak, Borås and Irena Lakobrija, Vracar. Photo: Vracar Municipality.

Info on Vračar Municipality’s Website

More about the municipal partnership Borås – Vracar

Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced inequalities
Human Rights
Swedish partner
Borås stad
International partner