Strengthening of public institutions

Programme description

Title: Programme for strengthening of public institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lead executing agency: Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office (PARCO)
Overall term: 2010 to 2020

Context

In 1995 the Dayton peace agreement brought an end to one of the most serious conflicts in Europe since the Second World War. However, it established a complicated and under-performing administrative structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a total of 14 governments at different administrative levels: the overall state, the Republic of Srpska, the ten cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the autonomous Brčko district. This complicated political system makes it difficult to introduce reforms designed to improve political, social and economic conditions.

As early as 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted a strategy to reform public administration with EU support, but so far the pace of implementation has been very slow.

Objective

Selected public institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina increasingly satisfy the standards of the administrative reform strategy to provide better quality public services.

Approach

The lead executing agency for the project is the Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office (PARCO). The project also cooperates with the following institutions: the Central Bank, the Statistics Agency, the Public Procurement Agency and Procurement Review Body, the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education, the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, the Directorate for European Integration and the Civil Service Agency.

The project activities focus on three areas, which aim to improve the conditions for implementing administrative reform, foster an exchange of experience with administrative reform, encourage learning in inter-institutional working groups and support the implementation of standards in the administrative reform strategy in selected institutions. This collaborative project concentrates on the following issues: communication and knowledge management, HR management and public procurement, e-governance and quality management.

Results

  • Various initiatives have been launched to implement administrative reform measures in the inter-institutional working groups focusing on a professional exchange of experience and mutual learning. These include an initiative working on how the public sector communicates with the general public and another that focuses on use of digital media.
  • The efficiency and transparency of central processes in the participating institutions have been improved, for example, in tendering and procurement processes. Increasing the professional competence of the institutions has led to greater acceptance and recognition of them.
  • Employees in the participating institutions have enhanced their skills in key areas such as planning and monitoring reform measures in the public service sector.
  • Training opportunities available to public sector employees on issues related to administrative reform and the EU accession process have been significantly expanded.