In the archives of Research and Documentations Center (RDC) there are more than 50,000 images and 3,500 hours of video recordings, says Jadranko Kurbegovitch. Sida supports RDC in their work to document the war and train the next generation with a preventive purpose.
Photo: Victor Brott
Our work in Bosnia and Herzegovina
There are many challenges facing Bosnia-Herzegovina, the country with one of the world's most complicated political system. Through the joint efforts of donors and the nation alike, the country is now moving towards rapprochement with the EU. Sida supports this process, as a way to reduce poverty and promote democratic development.
During the first years following the war, Sida’s support to Bosnia-Herzegovina was focused on humanitarian aid, housing and employment. Long-term development cooperation began in the early 2000s. Sweden's total support for the period 1994-2014 was 4.3 billion SEK.
The current cooperation is governed by a results strategy which will be in effect until 2020. It is focused on supporting the country's adjustment to the EU, which requires a number of reforms in several areas. The work will contribute to increased respect for human rights, strengthened democratic institutions and an environmentally sustainable development. Sida cooperates with donors from other countries, development banks and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Sweden's annual contribution to the reform process amounts to approximately 150 million SEK.
Public administration and democratic development
On the road towards EU integration, Bosnia and Herzegovina must incorporate a comprehensive set of rules into its legislation. Sida supports public administration reforms in order to improve efficiency, public services for the citizens and to increase transparency. Local officials are trained through UNDP. Sida also supports the two municipal unions, which is an important step towards a more professional case management at the local level.
Reform processes cannot be run by the state alone, therefore it is important that civil society is able to influence laws and the democratic development of society. Sida supports a range of organisations working for human rights such as freedom of expression, LGBT rights and gender equality.
The judicial sector is also in need of reforms in order to achieve a more efficient litigation. Sida supports the judiciary in its work to handle the backlog of civil cases and to have a greater gender perspective among prosecutors and judges. This could ultimately lead to a decrease in violence against women when courts impose penalties.
The fall of socialism and the collapse of the business sector still affects the country negatively and contributes to the low economic growth. An important area for the reform cooperation is the improvement of conditions for small and medium enterprises. Sida finances two major projects, in cooperation with USAID, that help entrepreneurs to increase their production, find new markets and overcome export restrictions.
Sida also has extensive cooperation with local development organizations in regions where unemployment is high. These activities promote business development, access to European markets and women's economic participation.
Environment and climate
Sida also supports environmental improvement and reduced climate impact. Bosnia-Herzegovina faces a number of challenges in order to meet EU standards. Large investments are needed in the areas of waste management, water treatment, reduced carbon emissions and efforts to safeguard biodiversity.
Sida collaborates with development banks for certain environmental investments, in order to achieve a combination of loans and grants. It has proven to be an effective method when it comes to investments in district heating. Sida is also working with national institutions to improve energy use. Bosnia-Herzegovina is the least energy efficient country in Europe and by improving energy efficiency in public buildings, as much as 40 percent of the cost of energy can be saved.