Better Planning Systems in BiH Entities

May 8, 2013

Policy discussions related to harmonization of the development planning systems in both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that were launched in late 2012 with the support of the Integrated Local Development Project gained speed and came to concrete results. In the past months, representatives from more than 50 institutions engaged in consultative discussions and agreed on the vision, key elements, institutional responsibilities and coordination mechanisms in the future consolidated strategic planning frameworks in each BiH entity.

In Republika Srpska (RS), institutional partners agreed on the vision, responsible institutions for development planning, types and timeframe of planning documents, mechanisms for vertical and horizontal coordination and linkage between strategies and budgets at local and entity levels. All these elements are mirrored in the vision of the RS development planning system: “We are building a system that would lead to continuous improvement of quality of life in municipalities and cities and to a more efficient management of resources, with a high degree of harmonization and linkages among strategies, plans and instruments for their implementation”. The concept of the future development planning system will be submitted to the RS Government for review and adoption by the end of May, 2013, prior to undertaking further steps towards its setting in operation as envisaged.

In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), following the creation of the concept of the FBiH development planning and management system, stakeholders from entity, cantonal and local levels agreed to embark on the creation of a legal act to govern the future FBiH development planning and management system. Legal experts led by the FBiH Development Planning Institute and the FBiH Ministry of Justice initiated the design of the legal document, which will be widely discussed with local governments, cantons, entity institutions, as well as socio-economic partners in the course of 2013.

The establishment of coherent development planning systems in both entities will allow for vertical linkage between local strategies and higher government levels` strategic priorities and financial resources, enabling better implementation of development priorities particularly at the local level. Such harmonised development planning systems are in line with the general requirements of the European Union (EU) for the accession process and also create better pre-conditions for effective utilization of the EU financial assistance.