FACT SHEET: Civil Society Sustainability Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $8.85 million
Start Date:  September 2013
End Date:  September 2018
Implementing Partner: Centers for Civic Initiatives, Center for Civil Society Development
 
The Challenge
The EU accession process promotes active participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in government decision making and the EU integration process itself. In BiH, governments do not view civil society as a major stakeholder, nor do they consider civil society to be a legitimate representative of constituents that can hold elected officials accountable for their policy development and implementation. Sustainability of the broader civil society sector is at risk primarily because of its overdependence on international funding. CSOs do not engage effectively with media or establish a common agenda with BiH citizens, and this lowers public confidence in civil society’s ability to advance democratic reforms. As a result, civil society in BiH is unable to influence public discourse on substantive issues. For their part, citizens are often reluctant to engage in civic activities.
 
Our Program
The Civil Society Sustainability Project addresses the lack of civic engagement in policy development, implementation and oversight, with a broader goal of increasing government accountability. The main hypothesis of this project is that only strong and effective civil society that advocates for issues relevant to broader constituencies will lead towards increased civic engagement in decision-making processes. The project assists civil society in BiH to more effectively engage with government and other key stakeholders over the long-term by teaching them new skills to operate more professionally and help them join forces and focus on areas of comparative advantage.
 
Implementation and Planned Activities
This project will assist selected 10-12 CSOs to: 1) partner with a wide array of stakeholders from business, government, media sectors; 2) strengthen their internal capacities and organizational structures to ensure sustainability and financial viability; and 3) increase engagement in policy development and government monitoring and oversight of key structural, political, social and economic reforms essential for EU integration. This project will continue to monitor the work of elected officials and regularly inform the public on government efficiency. It will also advocate for more enabling legal and fiscal environment for civil society, on issues such as individual and corporate philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, CSO self-regulation mechanisms, and relations between CSOs and government. The program will help civil society more effectively influence and oversee development and implementation of government policy. 
 
For more information:
Asmir Cilimkovic, Chief of Party 
Tel: +387 (0) 35 247 740
 
 

 

Last updated: December 23, 2013

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