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

The overall goal of the second Project phase is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina through empowered, gender responsive local communities (MZs) that facilitate active citizen engagement in public life, stand for people-centred performance of local governments and catalyse democratic transformation at the local level.

The project will work directly with 41 municipalities and cities (local governments - LGs), 199 MZs, targeting over 400,000 citizens. This is the second phase of the three phases of the project.

The first phase of the project was launched in June of 2015. It was extremely successful as it improved quality of lives of over 250,000 citizens in 24 local governments and 136 local communities through enhanced local services, increased democratic accountability and social inclusion. It created a foundation called MZ Vision, reinforced the meaning of MZs and provided a platform for citizen voices across the country. Project focused on encouraging community-led local development and revitalising MZs as important players in local development.



Funding Support by

Delivery in previous fiscal year

What we do

The focus of the Project phase 2 will shift towards wide horizontal upscaling and replication of successful legislative and institutional approaches, as well as maintaining the policy dialogue that help empower MZs at the local level. Hence, efforts will be channelled along the following three outcomes:

Outcome 1: Local governments create a conducive environment that enables pro-active engagement of MZs in decision-making and community-led local development.

Outcome 2: MZs as legitimate and sustainable community spaces translate citizens’ voice into quality, gender-responsive and inclusive services and use MZ networks for replication of successful MZ models countrywide.

Outcome 3: Higher government authorities take responsibility and act in response to increased citizens demand for an improved MZ regulatory framework, moving forward broader local governance reforms at country level. 

Expected key project results of Phase 2:

•    MZ vision transformed into local level grown institutionalized community governance models with 41 LGs and over 800 MZs.
•    MZs as legitimate bodies: citizen centered, women led, reliable and more financially independent,
•    Performance base financial incentives unlocked for MZs who are powerhouses with the capacity, ambition and creativity to transform local areas by mobilizing human capital and energy,
•    Linkages between citizens and local governments bridged,
•    Behavior change: Citizens see MZ as spaces where they come together to interact and involve, to identify and solve problems, transmit their concerns to local governments and participate in the way it makes its plans, spends public money and takes decisions that affect people’s lives,
•    Public policy reforms that translate the vision into whole of system policy framework formulated.

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 18 million BAM worth Project is co-funded by the both governments, and is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


Sustainable Development Goals targeted by MZ Project



Start date:

March 2020  

Estimated end date:

February 2024

Focus Area:

Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance

Project Manager

Majda Ganibegović


Government of Sweden and Government of Switzerland

Project value and donors

USD    10,334,746.44


Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Justice of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry for Administration and Local Self-Government of Republika Srpska, the Government of Brčko District, The Association of Municipalities and Cities; local governments, local communities/mjesne zajednice and civil society organisations.

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