eNewsletter: Newsletter XL
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The reports on monitoring the work of the governments and parliaments in BiH from 12 October 2014, i.e. after October Elections to the end of 2014 was presented in February by CCI. The reports that were published for the state, entities' and cantonal levels attracted a great deal of attention of the media and citizens. These activities are part of the project Civil Society Stability Program (CSSP) financially supported by USAID. More...

Summary reports in the English language about the work of the parliaments and governments at the state and entities' levels are available at the following links:

Monitoring report on BiH PA and BiH Council of Ministers

Monitoring the performance of the FBiH Government and Parliament

Monitoring of the Government and Parliament Assembly of Republika Srpska


CCI organized a round table on the topic “Floods in BiH – Natural Disasters and/or Institutional Inefficiency” and presented a survey under the same name. More...

The CCI survey which was for the first time promoted back in August 2014 was created as a result of the investigation work; it contains a big number of conclusions and recommendations, related to the improvement of the situation in the fields of prevention, coordination and management of waters in BiH, as well as in the field of protection of people and material goods. The survey showed that it was exactly the weaknesses in this field that caused the inability of the current system of protection and rescue to respond in a quality manner to the needs of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens, which, in the case of natural and other disasters does not provide security for the citizens’ lives or for their properties.
These activities are a part of the project Civil Society Stability Program which is financially supported by USAID.
This publication is available in English at http://www.cci.ba/pubs/1/21/1.html
The main objections in the survey related to inefficient management of waters in BiH, as it was determined that the existing institutional framework for waters-related issues was decentralized, very much fragmented and heterogeneous, both at the entity and the local levels. Rather than focusing, as far as the system construction is concerned, on catchment areas, i.e. on the logic that will enable efficient water management and protection of population, more attention is paid to administrative divisions, which, next to the lack of synchronization in legislation and organization on the ground ended up by causing damage to the citizens.
Another reason for the system of prevention and protection not being fully built is in the lack of continuity in planning and the delay of government institutions in adopting key documents relevant for water management and protection against them.
The analysis of legislation as well as the reactions at the time of natural disasters have shown that the existing system of water management and the system of civil protection and rescue in BIH is generally too cumbersome, insufficiently equipped, hard to manage, that it lacks trained personnel thus finally shown in practice to be insufficiently functional. 
Unfortunately, the natural disaster has shown that in Bosnia and Herzegovina neither the system of protection from floods nor the people had an adequate response on how to avoid the loss of human lives or reduce the material damage caused by the floods.  
An open and sincere dialogue, which was present at the round table, is the only way to take for creating a better and more efficient system of prevention and protection against floods. Most institutions highlighted their own priority steps that will be implemented in 2015 to raise the prevention, coordination, harmonization and effectiveness of the institutions in the water management field to a higher level. 
CCI welcomes the adoption of a number of plan documents by different institutions and the levels of authorities in BiH in the past few months, concerning the issues of protection against floods, river management and the field of protection of people and material goods. However, at the same time we should not forget that the implementation of these documents and transparent reporting on it is the only right key to success. One of the first steps is to implement the short-term measures from “The Action Plan for Water Protection and Management in BiH (2014 – 2017)” that CCI believes should be even more detailed in terms of planned projects and with far more precise implementation dates.
At this round table CCI also underlined the importance of inclusion of civil society organizations in monitoring the implementation of this document, as well as monitoring the collection and spending the finances allocated for the implementation of the Action Plan, as envisaged by the European Directive on Floods 2007/60/EC.
Catastrophic floods, clearly showed, like in no other field of life, that Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the road to the European integrations in building its own system for protection against floods, does not have an alternative and that it needs to cooperate not only within itself, but should also build it together with its neighbours to make it compatible with the systems of flood protection in the region. 


The coalition named 'Under a Magnifying Glass' organized a conference under the name „Election Legislation in BiH: How and When to Implement the Changes“. A final report on monitoring General Election was presented and an invitation was sent to amend the Election Law in BiH or to enact a new law by the end of 2015. More...

The conference was held on 04 March 2015 in the building of BiH Parliamentary Assembly in Sarajevo. Over a hundred participants gathered: representatives and delegates from all levels of authorities in BiH, representatives of executive authorities, election administration, civil society, academic community as well as the representatives of international institutions and a big number of media representatives. The Final Report on Monitoring the Elections by the Coalition ‘Under a Magnifying Glass’ was presented, along with the recommendations (link for the report: http://goo.gl/FJ7VJC), and a discussion was initiated on improving the election legislation in BiH. The conference ended with adoption of the conclusions and recommendations that will be forwarded to law-makers and other relevant institutions in BiH. The main conclusions of the conference are that the Election Law should be amended or a completely new Election Law enacted by the end of 2015, and that the institutions of the civil society as well as all other relevant institutions that can make their contribution to the quality of offered legal solutions, should be included in the work of the inter-sectoral group.
As a continuation of the activities on improving election legislation in BiH, 3 regional events/round tables will be organized by the Coalition, namely: in Tuzla on 12 March, in Banja Luka on 17 March and in Mostar on 24 March, in order to have a broad professional public debate on necessary amendments to the election legislation in BiH and to formulate and specify all collected recommendations in that regard.

After 2014 General Elections, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections – ‘Under a Magnifying Glass’ – continues its activities on observing the early local elections, as well as with the activities of presentation of the main findings of observing of 2014 General Elections and advocating the recommendations for improving the election legislation in BiH.
During the past month the Coalition ‘Under a Magnifying Glass” observed the early elections for mayors held on 01 February 2015 in Municipalities Domaljevac-Šamac and Istočni Drvar, as well as the first local elections in a newly formed municipality Stanari, and early elections for mayors held on 22 February in the municipalities of Kalesija and Zivinice. To that end, the Coalition assigned a total of 105 civil non-party observers to all polling stations in the municipalities of Domaljevac-Šamac, East Drvar and Stanari, and to a half of the total number of polling stations in the municipalities of Kalesija and Živinice. A general assessment is that the early local elections in these 5 municipalities were held in accordance with BiH Election Law, and related rules and procedures, with a small number of observed irregularities and one incident situation (more at: www.podlupom.org).

The Coalition ‘Under a Magnifying Glass” will continue its activities in the forthcoming period too, and focus its action on concrete formulation and advocacy for changes of BiH Election Law. Also, the Coalition plans to work on comparative analyses of different segments of the election process trying to familiarize the decision-makers in BiH with the best practices from other countries. Apart from that, the activities are ongoing on finding financial resources for the continuation of work in a long term, as well as the activities on designing strategic documents that will define key strategic directions and goals in the next years. 
The project „...because we care!“ is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, the British Government, the American Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Delegation of the European Union in BiH.

Organization members of the Coalition ‘Under a Magnifying Glass” include: Centers for Civic Initiatives (CCI), Center for Civil Cooperation (CGS) Livno, Association of Citizens DON Prijedor, Forum of Citizens of Tuzla, Youth Informative Agency (OIA) Sarajevo and Perpetuum Mobile Banja Luka.


CCI's advocacy activities for enacting the legal framework on adult education. The Assembly of the West Herzegovina Canton adopted the draft Law on Adult Education. These and other activities are part of the Project „Education and Job“, financially supported by EU Delegation in BiH. More...

Together with its partner, ALDI, CCI joined the public debate and made recommendations and suggestions on the draft Law. The draft Law on Adult Education was unanimously approved by the Assembly of the West-Herzegovina Canton in January. The Assembly also adopted the Conclusion whereby it mandated the Ministry of Education to conduct a public debate on draft Law on Adult Education. We remind that, as part of the project, the proposed Law on Adult Education in Zenica-Doboj Canton and draft laws in Tuzla and in Bosnia-Podrinje Canton-Gorazde have been adopted so far.
During the period 14 to 16 January 2015, CCI participated in the meeting of the representatives of education ministries, pedagogical institutes, non-governmental organizations, etc. active in the field of adult education and/or promotion of life-long learning in the organization of DVV International. The goal of the meeting was to present the results on the projects dealing with adult education and that were conducted in the past period, and to inform about the planned activities for 2015, share experiences and information and network the organizations and individuals in order to advocate a higher quality legislative regulation of adult education and life-long learning promotion. The cooperation with all the participants was agreed, as well as, among other, a synergy advocacy for passing of the adult education laws, which will be led by CCI.
In the past 3 months CCI have also been engaged on the project Posavina for Lifelong Learning, through participation in a number of meetings of the Local Action Group (LAG). The goals of this action group are to strengthen the ties between the sectors of education, labour market and economy in the geographical region of Posavina and advocate passing of the adult law in Brcko District and Posavina Canton. CCI also made its contribution in designing the local studies of the legislative framework of education system and the public employment services capacities in Posavina, the final version of which will be published by the end of March 2015.
A documentary film in which good practices from Gorazde in the field of adult education were shown, was produced by CCI. A TV premiere of the film „Learn and Work“ was on Hayat TV, and the film is also available on the website www.uciradi.ba
In cooperation with the Agency for Local Development Initiatives (ALDI), and with the support of the European Union, in 2014 CCI started the implementation of a two-year project „Education and Job“, which aims at improving the rights of workers and workforce mobility by establishing a legal framework for adult education, by designing, advocating and monitoring the adult education legislation at the level of cantons, entities and Brcko District. The project will focus on passing of a coherent and harmonized legal framework throughout the country, in the field of education, requalification and additional qualification of adults in order to improve the situation in labour market, i.e. reduce unemployment and improve the position of socially marginalized groups. More information about the project is available from www.uciradi.ba


A Round Table held with a goal to present the survey “Public Debates in BiH – from the Form towards the Essence". More…

This event, in which the analysis of the institution of public debates was presented, was organized by CCI in January 2015. Public debates as the most familiar form of inclusion of the public in designing regulations, show to which degree the public institutions are opened toward the citizens as well as to which degree they accept the civil society organizations as partners. The road towards the European Union implies quick adoption of a big number of local regulations and their harmonization with acquis communautaire of the European Union. However, the international principles and standards underline too that this should not be done at the expense of transparency.
During the round table, the best recommendations were recognized through an open dialogue of participants, who started from the recommendations made in the survey. These recommendations should help upgrade, harmonize, simplify and make the existing process of public debates more useful and effective.
The representatives of executive and legislative authorities in BiH, primarily the secretaries of parliaments, governments and ministries, then the representatives of local communities, non-governmental organizations in BiH, of the academic community and international institutions in BiH and the media, were the participants of this convention
This event is a part of the activities taking place within the project Civil Society Stability program (CSSP) supported by USAID.


“The Right to Life!” is a new campaign initiated by CCI and with the support of the British Embassy in BiH aimed at strengthening the Solidarity Fund of FBiH created to support the citizens suffering from most severe diseases. More…

In the first stage of the implementation of the campaign “Right to Life” (February-March) significant results were generated on actualization of this important issue on which the lives of persons suffering from most severe diseases in FBiH depend.
The goal of the implementation of the campaign is to improve the efficiency and transparency of work of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Solidarity Fund. Namely, a survey conducted by the CCI showed that since the founding of the Fund to date FBiH Government never fulfilled its legal obligation to pay to the Fund the funds equal to those collected from contributions, which was its legally mandated obligation. Since 2002 to date the accumulated debt of FBiH Government has exceeded 611 million Konvertible Marks, resulting in very poor health protection of persons suffering from most severe diseases. A press conference was organized by CCI on 26 February in Sarajevo, where the results of the survey were presented. 
The campaign may be followed on FB and twitter profiles https://twitter.com/pravonazivot i FB nalogu https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009274475182


„Strengthening the Transparency of Local Authorities in BiH“ is a new CCI project in which focus will be placed on improving the work of local authorities in BiH, and strengthening the work of good governance and participatory democracy. The project is financially supported by SDC - Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Switzerland in BiH.

Although there are different ways to enable the citizens to access to the information about the work of the municipalities/cities, websites most certainly represent a tool that is the most accessible to citizens. The fact that 59,3% citizens in BiH use the Internet as an information tool underlines the importance of the existence and quality contents of local authorities websites.

While preparing for this project, CCI explored the contents of websites of 21 municipalities/cities (about 22% of the total number of municipalities in BiH) from all over BiH. The results of the survey that was based on viewing of the contents of websites of target municipalities/cities, showed great diversity and low functionality of contents of such websites. The results have shown that the websites of 25% of municipalities/cities do not contain their annual budget, while there are even less reports on budget implementation. As many as 62% municipalities do not have any information regarding structural projects, or a possibility of asking questions/giving answers for citizens, or about the existence of working documents/agendas of assemblies and commissions.  

During a six-month project implementation, the essence of the project action will be to make recommendations for reform of the contents of websites of municipalities/cities in order to make them more harmonized with the standards of transparency and participation of citizens’/civil and business sector, then the public dialogue with stakeholders about the proposed recommendations, and sending proposed recommendations to all municipalities in BiH. All the activities will be covered by a media campaign based on both traditional and Internet media activities.


www.drzava.ba is a place where the interested citizens may get all the relevant information about the holders of management and administrative offices in BiH. This is a part of the activities implemented by CCI as part of the project “Public Sector De-politicization” supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy. More…

After holding general elections and the implementation of the election results, the data on the newly-formed parliaments and governments, their elected members during the term of office 2014-2018 were entered into the www.drzava.ba site database, while the list of elected members for 2010-2014 was kept and is still available for viewing. This site was updated in a way that besides the names of all managing and administrative positions, which is over 10.000 persons, the length of the term for these offices is also presented. The public will also be able to use the site to check whether, in parallel to the change of duties, the persons who hold leading positions are replaced before the end of their term, as was the practice so far after the end of elections.
Since it first presentation to the public, the internet platform država.ba  CCI  has received a big number of reports from the citizens related to the irregularities during the implementation of job vacancies procedure in the public governance, as well as a big number of inquiries as to how the citizens can protect their rights. In addition to the citizens, great interest was shown by the media too, which regularly informed the public about all CCI activities, and also created the shows on this topic, inviting CCI representatives as guests in them. 
CCI has been implementing the project “Public Sector De-Politicization” since May 2014; the project is supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy, and aims at analyzing the level of influence of the political parties on the selection of leading and managing bodies within the entire public sector. The analysis and the recommendations will be used to start an advocacy campaign for public sector de-politicization and transparent separation of political from professional offices.


CCI's publication „FLOODS IN BIH – Natural disaster and/or institutional inefficiency” fully available in English.

This publication you can download at the following link