PROJECT CLOSED: Restoring Accountability and Supporting Transformation (RAST) in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot:

Total Funding: $2.55 million (with cost share by CRS $145,000, and local government partners $200,000)
Project Duration: September 2016-September 2018
Implementing Partner: Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

The Challenge

Despite its abundance of natural resources and close proximity to EU markets, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) struggles to create a conducive business environment. Due to the low rate of investment in BiH, its citizens, especially youth, lack economic opportunities that would enable them support a good quality of life. Dilapidated public infrastructure also constrains companies from growing their businesses. In some local communities, however, progressive, growth-oriented mayors are promoting the local reforms needed to create a business-friendly environment. More mayors in BiH should be encouraged and helped to transform local administration into real service providers for the business community and citizens.

Our Program

Through the Restoring Accountability and Supporting Transformation (RAST) Project, USAID supports selected municipalities to strengthen the accountability, transparency and efficiency of public service delivery, in order to stimulate local economic development and improve citizens’ quality of life. This activity assists municipalities in designing, implementing, and monitoring small to medium-sized construction projects to improve public infrastructure. It also helps municipalities bring their economic governance systems and administrative processes in line with internationally recognized Business Friendly Certificate (BFC) standards, while promoting their investment potential.

Implementation

USAID, through the RAST Project, will partnerwith a total of six municipalities (Goražde, Prijedor, and Banja Luka, so far) to build or upgrade key infrastructure in the transport, energy, water, sewage, or information technology sectors, which will ensure adequate and reliable municipal services for new businesses and citizens alike. The project will work with the municipal teams to coordinate identification, implementation, and supervision of the infrastructure projects until their completion. The project also assists 16 municipalities to achieve the BFC standards of efficient and transparent local administration. The project cooperates with local and higher level government officials, BFC networks, international organizations, and domestic and regional counterparts to support municipal officials as they embrace a culture of continued improvement and accountability to the community. New partnerships among government officials, businesses, and international organizations will foster learning and knowledge transfer. Assistance will also support the design and implementation of strategic marketing campaigns to promote the municipalities’ investment potential, with the ultimate goal being the creation of jobs. 

Expected Results: Restoring Accountability and Supporting Transformation (RAST) Project

  1. 16 selected municipalities obtain BFC certificate.
  2. At least six infrastructure projects completed (in Goražde, Prijedor, Banja Luka, and three others).
  3. 100 businesses using infrastructure upgraded with RAST support.
  4. Total investment of $200,000 in local infrastructure upgrades supported by RAST, including local government co-financing.  
  5. 750 businesses using improved BFC-related local government services.

 

Last updated: October 10, 2019

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