Strengthening the Role of Local Communities/Mjesne zajednice (MZs) in BiH

Function of the project

The overall project objective is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of BiH through bolstering local services, increasing governmental accountability, and promoting social inclusion.

The project’s purpose is to foster citizen participation in municipal decision making, in the ensured provision of quality services by the municipality, and in the implementation of local development activities, by underlining the democratic role of MZs in BiH.

What we do

The Project is geared towards strengthening local communities (MZs) and will empower women and include marginalized population groups into the economic, social and political mainstream. The three specific Project outcomes are:

  • Outcome 1: A commitment from the citizens and from the government to realising a jointly agreed upon, inclusive, gender-sensitive vision of MZs in BiH, as a foundation for a more accountable and involved local governance. This outcome will identify the best practices in MZs in the region, finding the legal and institutional structures that work and highlighting inspirational examples to show citizens that success can be achieved.
  • Outcome 2: Pro-active, inter-connected MZs with increased capacity that contribute to downward responsiveness in local governments and improved service delivery. This outcome will work directly with the leaders and communities that make up MZs, and with the LG officials and administration who are ultimately responsible for most of the public services. It will strengthen leadership, improve organisation, systems and the regulatory framework at the local level, and provide MZs with the tools they need to engage the community, involve women, include the most vulnerable, make joint decisions and carry out their ideas. It will investigate varying models for democracy; build on existing successful ventures; and tailor activities to specific communities according to need, leadership aspirations, and local community willingness to be involved. It intends to capacity build in areas such as education, health care and social services. This is in hopes of fostering in the people a deeper understanding of policymaking, budget formulation, and resource allocation, enabling more efficacious local governance. Finally, it will support communities in planning and prioritising their own time and resources to initiate projects that matter to them, with financial support from the project to help turn strategy into reality.
  • Outcome 3: A new regulatory framework for functional MZs developed by governments that enables more inclusive, gender-sensitive and accountable local governance in BiH. Having analysed carefully how MZs best work and developed a common vision of the new role they can play in BiH (outcome 1), and worked with MZs, LGs and their communities in translating these ideas into practice (outcome 2), the project will have a strong legal basis for all MZs in the country to function more effectively. In that light, the third outcome aims to create a new legal structure that fits with the vision across all tiers of government, and to create an environment where MZs can become effective and democratic channels for citizens to participate in their own governance.

Financial contributors

"Strengthening the Role of Local Communities – MZ in BiH" is a joint project of the Government of Switzerland and the Government of Sweden. The 14.5 Million KM worth Project is co-funded by the both governments, and is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Total Phase I budget and respective donors USD    8,327,507.23
Government of Switzerland USD 4,163,753.62
Government of Sweden USD 4,163,753.62

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