Project Factsheet
Tools for » Securing Access to Water through Institutional Development and Infrastructure in BIH
Project ID:00067206Description:MDGF-1921-A-BIH Economic Gove
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Economic Governance
End Date*: 31 May 2013
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The set of interventions carried by this joint programme addressed the lack of strategic financial plans in participating water utilities/municipalities and enabled them to apply for financing. It also addressed the dearth of analysis of fee collection structures, technical/infrastructure needs, and financial performance. To support this it aimed to develop sustainable mechanisms to ensure citizens’ participation in decision-making processes and to improve higher-level government’s ability to support municipal authorities through an improved policy framework.

Ten Municipal Management Boards and one Town Management Board were established to act as the coordinating working bodies for the implementation of project activities. These have been transformed into permanent structures. The focus was to strengthen the social welfare system and provide for the inclusion of marginalized groups into decision-making processes particularly on social welfare issues. It developed Action Plans (2011-2012) with a focus on children and vulnerable populations, which were approved and implemented by the Municipal Councils. Experiences and lessons learned were used to develop Action Plans for the next two year period (2013-2014) which were not initially planned by the project, which demonstrates the level of sustainability and ownership achieved.

A special focus project valued at BAM 13,500 was implemented in each municipality to set up services and strengthen local community institutions in order to improve the social welfare system. The local communities supported project implementation by contributing a total of BAM 17,500.00. The communities also contributed by providing material support and providing space to implement activities. Each municipality was trained to collect and enter relevant data to develop a database which provides a cross-section of the social situation, with a focus on children. This database is intended as a tool for municipal budget planning and for developing relevant strategies and legislation to address the needs of socially vulnerable groups within the society.

The programme undertook several studies to assess the situation of the municipalities which aided prioritizing infrastructure projects. The value of investments during the implementation of these projects exceeded US$1,300,000. Partner municipalities recognized the importance of the JP and allocated almost half a million US dollars for co-financing of the selected projects. These projects included a wide variety of activities such as the protection of water springs, detection of failures, installation of filter plants, installation of telemetric systems for remote surveillance, replacement of unused water supply pipes and connection of returnee settlements to water supply systems. It was estimated that around 13,000 households (more than 200 of them being returnee households) and around 55,000 users directly benefited from these projects. Furthermore, thanks to the JP, water losses were decreased in the networks by 30-50% in partner municipalities, coverage of population with access to safe water connections was increased for 2% in the country and economic governance was improved with investment ratio of 0.5 (invested US$1.3 million, savings US$0.6 million per year).


Outcome 1:

Strengthened Inclusion of Citizens in the Participative Municipal Governance of Water Access.


Outcome Achievements:

  • 10 Municipal Management Boards and 1 Town Management Board to act as coordinating working bodies for the implementation of project activities. The Commissions consist of members of public administration and water supply sector, social welfare, health, education and non-governmental sector.
  • Action Plans for social inclusion into the social welfare/child protection system with respect to water supply (2011-2012) with a focus on children and vulnerable populations were approved and implemented.
  • A special focus project was implemented in each municipality covering 1,906 beneficiaries, with 23 institutions and organizations (4 Municipalities, 7 Centres for Social Work, 7 Primary Schools and 4 NGOs) provided with various equipment (technical equipment, office furniture, office supplies, etc.) in accordance with their needs.
  • All 13 municipalities developed a Protocol on procedures and cooperation of competent institutions and organizations with an intention to enhance the multi sectorial approach to social welfare/child protection in the area of water supply by introducing a referral mechanism.
  • Each partner municipality developed a "Proposal of Social Policy Criteria and Measures in the Area of Water Supply in the Municipality", which addressed water supply subsidies for the population connected to the public water supply network; one-off assistance to the population not connected to the public water supply network; and measures to help improve sanitary and hygienic conditions in public institutions.


Outcome 2:

Improved Economic Governance in Water Utility Companies for Better Services to Citizens in Targeted Municipalities.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The Programme conducted an analysis of the WATSAN situation in 22 municipalities and selected 13 for further support.
  • The document ''General Assessment of the Water Supply Sector and its Human Development Function in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SVS)'' was drafted in partnership with the Hydrotechnical Institute of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo and PRISM Research simultaneously with the selection of the municipalities.
  • A detailed capacity assessment of partner municipalities, relevant departments and water supply/utility companies was made.
  • Water supply studies (WSS) for partner municipalities were prepared. Each study included the current water supply situation in individual municipalities, master plans, water supply priority measure plans for a ten-year period including an overview of investments, and a relevant feasibility study that also included proposals for a change in water supply prices.
  • Based on WSS results, the JP team together with local counterparts initiated procedures for selection of priority infrastructure projects.


Outcome 3:

Strengthened Capacity of Governments for Evidence-Based Policy Making and Resource Planning for Equitable Water Related Service Provision.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Each municipality developed a database for collecting data (DevInfo) which provides a cross-section of the social situation within the municipality, focusing on children.
  • Members of the municipal administration were trained to collect and enter relevant data in the database so it could be used as a tool for municipal budget planning and for developing relevant strategies and legislation to address the needs of socially vulnerable groups within the society.
  • A series of training programmes, seminars, workshops and round tables were held on topics of common interest, allowing experiences to be shared and allowing joint work to be done on establishing functional models that will ensure permanent participation of citizens in municipal processes.
  • Commissions increased skills and knowledge in the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), Project Proposal Development and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Gender (through PAG), Training on Development of Social/Child protection and Inclusion Referral Model, Public Relations (PR), Human Resources Management (HRM), Advocacy, Social Entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned through the Implementation of the DEG – Recommendations for Sustainability and DevInfo. Participating groups increased knowledge in environment, water and social issues.


Best Practices:

  • The establishment of consultative platforms at the municipalities equipped with prioritized Action Plans, ideally linked to municipality funding, improves both the identification and support of vulnerable people in the communities (including with water supply related issues) and  accountability in the operation of municipal utilities and other service providers; the concept of such platforms should ideally be enshrined in law. Such Action Plans need to be incorporated within legitimate integrated local development strategies and sectoral plans, thus placing the identified priorities within the broader local development agenda and linking it with local government budget, as well as ensuring administrative responsibility for follow-up and implementation.
  • Supporting municipalities with water sector masterplans helps to unlock funding sources for those municipalities which would not have such opportunity without external assistance, as well as informs and improves local and sectoral policy making at higher government levels.
  • Investing in PAR groups and “Water for Life” campaigns at schools is a good investment in engaging the youth from an early age in solving community issues related to water preservation through advocacy work. 
  • Combining assistance to municipalities with the support and advocacy at the higher levels of the government helps to highlight the requirement for improved service delivery based on financial sustainability of municipal water utilities.


Lessons Learned:

  • Policy level advice needs to be tackled more forcefully, with sufficient time and resources allocated to achieve greater effectiveness and improve chances of sustainability in improving water supply in an equitable manner. Sufficient resources should be allocated for the purposes of carrying out large scale outreach and public awareness activities.
  • The project management model, i.e. the joint project has had synergistic effects. Each one of agency brought its own strengths (knowledge and networks) to the table.
  • The JP also showed that such a joint modality has a potential to contribute towards UN reform, providing useful lessons for future joint programme planning and implementation, demonstrating the benefits of close coordination.
  • It highlighted the need for more attention to designing joint and effective M&E systems. 


More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
Key Figures
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Bosnia and Herzegovina or the lead agency for the programme.

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