FACT SHEET: Political Processes Support Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PROJECT CLOSED)

Project Snapshot
Total Funding:  $3.7 million
Start Date:  October 2011
End Date:  March 2015
Implementing Partner:  Consortium for Elections and Political Processes (NDI and IRI)  
The Challenge
The 15-month political impasse following the October 2010 general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) not only highlighted the deficiencies in the BiH Constitution, it exposed the ongoing division between the real interests of citizens and the ability (or will) of government officials to represent them.  Government decisions are not based on political or economic reasons but on limited perceptions of ethnic interests.  This, in addition to the general lack of accountability of elected officials, discourages citizens, especially women, from participating in the democratic processes and contributes to instability in BiH.
Our Program
USAID’s Political Processes Support Program (PPSP) will work with political parties, civil society, and other relevant groups and individuals in BiH to support pluralism based on policy that addresses economic and social issues rather than ethnicity.  Specifically, PPSP will: (1) help political parties become more responsive and accountable to constituents; (2) strengthen relations between political parties, citizens, and organizations of civil society; and (3) increase the number of women participating in BiH political processes.  
Implementation and Results
The program trains members of political parties how to be more responsive, accountable, transparent, and policy focused.  They learn how to promote dialogue and develop issue-based policies that address the most important concerns of citizens, and how to negotiate, compromise, and reach consensus across ethnic and party lines.  Special attention is provided to political parties that appeal to voters in both entities of BiH and all its ethnic groups and citizens.  The gender equality part of the program teaches women candidates how to more effectively communicate their views and policies and so increase their chances of being elected.  In coordination with the international Women’s Democracy Network, the project offers a specialized curriculum for a three-year leadership development program that draws from the experiences of women politicians in the United States, Europe, and other regions.  The curriculum includes training on political communication, media relations, platform development, and leadership.