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 domestic and international actors, the country is now moving towards joining 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 economic growth, 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. Sida has several projects where Swedish agencies exchange technical knowledge with local counterparts in order to increase their capacity. A project with Skatteverket, the Swedish tax agency, will support the local tax agencies to make them more modern, trustworthy, and service-minded. In many years the Swedish land administration agency, Lantmäteriet, has collaborated with their local counterparts to increase their efficiency, capacity, and quality.
Reform processes cannot be run by the state alone, 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.
An important area for the reform cooperation is the improvement of conditions for small and medium sized enterprises. Sida finances projects that help entrepreneurs increase their production and find new markets.
Together with the World Bank Sida has a project which will improve employment services in the country. 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
An important area for the support in Bosnia-Herzegovina is environment and climate. 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 has a number of projects focused on these issues. Sida also supports environmental civil society organisations in order to increase awareness and public engagement.
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, water treatment, and solid waste management. 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.