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RSA International Hour Serbia - Challenges in Subnational Governance of Utility Service Delivery: Evidence from Serbia and other Western Balkan Countries

06 July 2022 to 06 July 2022

Serbian municipalities face serious governance, financing and infrastructure challenges that impact the quality of utility services and how they are delivered to the citizens. The problems are many: they range from inadequate municipal supervision over service delivery and financial management of local utility service providers – over poor collection of utility fees and charges, the accumulation of arrears, a lack of creditworthiness of service providers – to heavy dependence on central government’s financial arrangements and guarantees for investment. One of the major causes of financial non-sustainability of utility service providers is underpricing of utility services, as municipalities do not comply with the cost recovery principle. Besides the problems with financing recurrent expenditures, municipalities and the service providers also face challenges in accessing long-term loans for capital investment. The issues of ownership and management of infrastructure often aggravate this problem further. Serbian Local Government Finance Reform Program provides technical assistance to municipalities to introduce principles of good governance, better manage fiscal risks, enhance internal control of utility service providers and, thus, improve local finance and the quality of services provided to citizens. Professor Katarina Djulic is one of the Program’s key financial experts working on capacity building of local governments and municipal enterprises to improve local risk and financial management. Prof. Djulic will present the evidence and experience from Serbia, as well as the comparative overview of similar challenges and best practices from other Western Balkan countries.


Organised in partnership with Sanja Kmezić, RSA Ambassador for Serbia


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