Sustainable Development Success Stories

Atlas of local communities promoting decentralised cooperation for human development

Location Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
Responsible Organisations UNDP, UNOPS, WHO and International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) in partnership with Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS).

Funding provided by Italian Cooperation, coordinated by the UNDP and implemented by the UNOPS and ICS, in collaboration with the WHO and the DHA/IDNDR.

Description The ATLAS project has its background in ongoing cooperation and capacity-building efforts carried out by the Italian and BiH communities. At the end of the war, this partnership was transformed into a more permanent and structured approach to rehabilitation and local development. This phase is characterised by a need for technical and financial support to the difficult process of peace consolidation and social development and increase of self-sufficiency. Citizens, organized in associations, groups or NGOs, coordinated by ICS, undertook cooperation activities with countries in emergency situations.

The overall objectives of the Atlas Project are the following

  • to create a national and cantonal framework for the implementation of humanitarian aid initiatives carried out by many European local communities with Bosnian counterparts;

  • to foster the network between macro and micro reconstruction;

  • to strengthen the local capacity building and encourage the coordination between the different actors of the cooperation operating in the same Bosnian municipalities and cantons.

  • to repatriate refugees by helping potential receiving municipalities to be better prepared for returnees impact on their communities, both resident and displaced. This include ensuring effective information-sharing, identifying and filling gaps in the receiving capacity of municipalities to support repatriates on arrival and during reintegration, by encouraging projects both prior to and during return and reintegration facilitating successful repatriations.

In order to fulfill these goals the project supports the BiH Government and the two Entities (Federation and Srpska Republic) in contributing to the rehabilitation and reconstruction, in promoting and consolidating links between local communities of BiH and other countries 

The Atlas Project has been carried out in the framework of promoting the continuity between emergency and development in a bottom-up approach; by reducing vulnerability, safeguarding the environment and territorial planning. The project has a multiagency and systematic approach and its end is due by December 1998.

Issues Addressed Education, Capacity Building, Local Partnership, Human Development.
Results Achieved
  • Promotion of Atlas Project in 20 Bosnian cities:

    Thematic Days about basic components of human development (local development and employment, health and social integration, education and vocational training, environmental protection and safeguard of the territory against risk, development and local institutions and active population);

  • Promotion of a territorial approach integrating complementary sectors and production of a map highlighting the areas of intervention;

  • Hold 87 thematic sustainable development workshops, in 25 Bosnian cities, (as of December 1997), involving more than 1,660 among local authorities, heads of social, school and health sectors, people working in the fields of social services, entrepreneurs and representatives of trade unions and vulnerable groups  both from BiH and Italy-;

  • Significant financial data show an allocation of over $3 millions, from the Italian communities, for the activities planned for the entire 1997. The project facilitated the approval and implementation of other international decentralised cooperation projects; 

  • Creation of the preconditions for citizens to negotiate with local authorities and opportunities for different actors to meet and discuss;

  • Adaptation of the existing humanitarian initiatives to the contents of the rehabilitation and reconstruction. 

Lessons Learned Awareness of the potentials of decentralized cooperation in terms of matching and supporting the peace process and the social and economic development at the local level. Networking activities between local communities, various European associations, local administrators and other groups enabled to:
  • Develop durable links in the human development field

  • Insert such initiatives in the national and local process of rehabilitation and development;

  • Implement a methodology that allows continuity of time and actors, between the phase of participation, planning and feedback;

Decentralized cooperation may represent a relevant strategy to match the consolidation of peace processes and foster the reconstruction and social development of each municipality. 
Contacts Mr. Luigi Cafiero, Project Coordinator,UNOPS,
Obala Kulina Bana 4 71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tel. (387 71) 6681 72/3,4; Fax (387 71) 667 733
E-mail Lc@fobih.undp.org   

Mr. Francesco Pisano, Project Manager
IDNDR Secretariat, Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel. (41 22) 7986 894; Fax (41 22) 7338 695

Mr. Cristophe Bouvier, Chief
11-13 Chemin des Anemones
1219 Châtelaine-Geneve, Switzerland
Tel. (41 22) 979 9387; Fax (41 22) 979 9062
E-mail: registry.unops@undp.org