Rural and Regional
People centred. Innovative. Knowledge driven.
Bosnia and Herzegovina remains one of the least competitive economies in the region with a business environment plagued with bureaucracy and red tape. The falling unemployment rate is offset by high levels of inactivity and low overall employment. Equally worrying, Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to lag behind its neighbours across most standard governance indicators.
Poverty, as well as pronounced regional disparities remain a concern. Despite rural out-migration, around 60% of the country’s population continues to live in rural areas, characterized by fewer job opportunities, weak physical infrastructure and public services, as well as limited access to markets, business development opportunities and financial services.
Through its Rural and Regional Development Programme, UNDP contributes to the country’s sustainable and inclusive development, by supporting economic growth through sorely needed reforms. The Programme deploys a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, which combines system-building efforts with area-based interventions directly supporting sub-national authorities across Bosnia and Herzegovina. This includes support to:
- Economic development and job creation, with focus on strengthening competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, skill development, entrepreneurship and business innovation, as well as promotion of sustainable and inclusive business models; Initiatives aimed at economic empowerment of women with action focused on creating enabling environment, prevent deepening of the economic inequalities for women and feminization of poverty.
- Apply women as drivers of change approach in local community interventions, placing gender equality and the empowerment of women at the centre of development approach.
- Agri-food sector and rural economy, by focusing on competitiveness of agricultural production, rural jobs and services, including rural tourism;
- Local and cantonal governance for improved government performance, public finance management, public infrastructure and service delivery to citizens and businesses;
- Dialogue between civil society and local authorities, contributing to closing loopholes in delivery of public services, particularly for the most vulnerable groups in society;
- Recovery from the 2014 floods, including durable housing solutions coupled with improved livelihoods opportunities for the most vulnerable;
- Policy development and coordination, with focus on strengthening planning and development management systems, enhanced business environment, as well as decentralized service delivery;
- Engaging diaspora in development, drawing on their support in aspects of trade, innovation, investment and promotion of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As part of the Rural and Regional Development Programme, UNDP implements several projects in direct cooperation with local governments, cantons, Brčko District, relevant institutions at entity and state levels, as well as private and civil society actors.