In its bid to join the European Union (EU), the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is turning to an unlikely source to strengthen its case for democratic governance: DevInfo.
With EU integration as one of its main political objectives, BiH initiated the Stabilisation and Association Process in 2007, which offers candidate countries the possibility to become EU Member States once they fulfil the necessary conditions. These conditions, commonly referred to as the Copenhagen Criteria, include stipulations on levels of transparency, accountability and democracy in governance.
According to Mr. Mujkic, DevInfo supports the democratic governance requirement by facilitating evidence-based policy making, local governance, public administration reform, access to justice, gender equality, and civil society’s participation in policy-making.
In addition, he explains, “The DevInfo BiH initiative in particular allows government at all levels to be able to base policies on quantitative and qualitative analysis of disaggregated data, with focused attention on socially excluded groups and migrant populations.”
A DevInfo BiH working group was established in the summer of 2009, composed of members of the United Nations Country Team in BiH and various national counterparts, including the BiH Agency for Statistics, the Federal Office of Statistics of the Federation of BiH, the Institute of Statistics of Republika Srpska, the BiH Directorate for Economic Planning, and selected municipalities. Together these partners have been working to facilitate the nationwide use and adoption of DevInfo by the general public as well as by decision makers.
The two pilot databases launched online in early 2011 provide global access to data on key indicators related to social welfare and demographic, social and economic trends in BiH. Work is under way to further develop these databases and make them available by year end in four languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and English.
With DevInfo positioned to support democratic governance in BiH, the country moves one step closer to fulfilling its dream of becoming an EU Member State.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Senad Mujkic, DevInfo Consultant, BiH Agency for Statistics, atSenad.Mujkic@bhas.ba.