Strong civil society empowers citizens to influence their local governments. Services that work to improve social care, enhance gender equality and recognize the most vulnerable are initiated by the civil society. An empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system and should be recognized and treated as such by the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Government of Norway and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have therefore joined forces to enhance CSO’s organizational capacities for service provision, creating an enabling environment through interventions in the regulatory framework.
The new joint initiative, EMBRACE (Enable and Embrace Beneficial Civil Society Environment), aims to support social development through capacitating civil society actors to better address the needs in local communities.
CSO capacities will be developed through implementation of interventions by partner civil society actors, selected through a competitive and open call, based on transparent criteria. Building up on UNDP’s extensive experience in this area of intervention, grant scheme will prioritize inclusion, support to social services for the most vulnerable, youth, activism and volunteerism, gender equality, environmental protection and human rights.
In addition, the project will also address policy gaps when it comes to the regulatory framework for CSO funding in BiH. This output envisions a process of policy realignment across both entities and relevant state level institutions, designed at bringing the CSO funding practices in line with principles of openness, accountability and transparency.
Funded by Norwegian government in the amount of 5.000.000,00 NOK, over the course of one year the project will work with 20 civil society organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and relevant government stakeholders to improve services for more than 3,100 citizens.