Croatia - Academy for Political Development (2004)

The Academy for Political Development (APD) is a non-governmental organisation and has been part of the network of Schools of Political Studies since 2004. The aims of the annual programme are to provide the next generation of political leaders, civil society activists, businessmen and women, civil servants, academics and media professionals with quality education in the areas of politics, democratic culture, human rights and European values.

Academy for Political Development
Ilica 5
10000 Zagreb
Tel.: +385 91 503 2589
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director: Jagoda Novak
Jagoda Novak novo

 “For me, the APD is a unique place of meeting with people who think differently, belong to different political, social and sectoral background, and still remain good colleagues and friends. In Croatia, the APD has always been a brand for an open and civilized dialogue. I am convinced that the development of the APD in direction of regional and international cooperation, networking with other CSOs, enhancing visibility and introducing innovations in its Annual program would additionally raise its quality and influence.”

Jagoda NOVAK, Director


About the School

APD (Croatian: APR - Akademija za politički razvoj), founded in 2004, is the biggest national intersectoral network of people with different political views and backgrounds, exceptional in their fields, willing to publicly contribute to the development of the society. APD provides political education to leaders and professionals who upon completing the Annual programme, joint the alumni network. APD alumni community includes more than 400 members - among them MPs, ministers, NGO activists, businessmen, media experts, public servants, artists and scientists - strengthening cooperation among Croatian, regional and international stakeholders and promoting culture of dialogue and openness to different views in the society.

APD activity includes four programs. Annual Program consists of national seminars and the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg. It provides education in politics, economy, democracy, human rights, environment and includes discussions, plenary sessions, workshops and analyses of various concepts related to socio – political development. It is performed by APD alumni and other respectable experts. Gender balance, sectoral and regional diversity as well as diversity of political and social bacground are crieteria for the Annual program participants. The call for the new APD generation opens every year, in December.

Local program/LAPR is focused on developing and strengthening local human resources in Croatian counties and cities by training key local stakeholders and offering a platform for their networking and chance to access to licenced online education in ESI funds.

Students program is organized in two biggest University cities with the aim to educate, motivate and “recruit” future APD members. Each year several participants are awarded with an internship in the European Parliament.

#APRtalks is an informal, evening programme in Tedtalk format which takes place once a month, gathering our alumni and wider public around new and relevant societal topics.

About the Director

Jagoda Novak is the Acting Executive Director of the Academy for Political Development. Jagoda holds PhD in Roma integration policies, from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb. She has 17 years of experience working in the field of human rights. She has worked for the Open Society Institute and the Human Rights Centre. She was appointed Deputy Ombudsman and worked as an Education Consultant/Officer at UNICEF Croatia.

Her expertise is Roma minority integration, human rights and inclusive education policies. Relevant professional experience includes both development and implementation of applied research and analysis, organizational development as well as project development and coordination with the aim to influence public policies