Bosnia and Herzegovina—Governance Accountability Project (GAP)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Duration: 2004-2008

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Solutions: Economic Growth

Since the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been consolidating its emerging multiethnic and representative government. To improve the chances for political success and sustainability, GAP built the capacity of 41 “partner municipalities” to serve their citizens within a policy and fiscal framework of good governance. Success fostered political legitimacy for the government, improving the chances for sustained peace and inclusion in Bosnia and Herzegovina. GAP was also involved in policy work at the central government and subnational jurisdiction levels, advising on how to make structures of government more efficient and accountable. The DAI team worked on two laws governing local self-government, working with the Republic of Srpska entity government to strengthen municipal autonomy, promoting a transparent and workable commercial debt market for municipalities. It also facilitated the adoption of intergovernmental revenue sharing as part of the introduction of value-added taxation.

Sample Activities

  • Develop citizen service centers, or “one-stop shops,” to increase citizen satisfaction with the services provided by municipalities.
  • Advise central government and subnational jurisdictions on how to make structures of government more efficient and accountable.
  • Design and promote revenue allocation laws in each entity.
  • Introduce and implement new financial management software for governmental budgeting and accounting.

Select Results

  • Target municipalities enjoyed a decline in citizen complaints of 36 percent in the initial group of 23 municipalities and 56 percent in the second group of 18 municipalities; an increase in the proportion of complaints resolved of 56 percent and 22 percent, respectively; an increase in processed applications for municipal services of 75 percent and 38 percent, respectively; a decrease in the average time for providing municipal services of 28 percent and 1 percent, respectively; and an increase in the municipal capacity index of 131 percent and 104 percent, respectively.
  • Thirty-five partner municipalities had access to integrated accounting and budgeting software for the 2008 budget cycle. In addition, 10 nonpartner municipalities received upgrades of their financial management software at no cost to the clients pursuant to an agreement with the software provider.
  • The policy framework for municipalities was improved to allow for substantially increased local autonomy in decision making and finances. Starting in 2006, all municipalities benefited from predictable, growing revenue in accordance with objective, needs-based formulae.
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