In Mostar, on 7 and 8 April 2017, there was a meeting of the management structures of the project “Development of capacities for strategic planning and policy development” (known as the SPPD II phase), implemented by the Djikic Consulting Services.

Management structures consist of the representatives of the administration bodies from the level of BiH, the Federation of BiH, the Republic of Srpska and the Brčko District of BiH, appointed in the Implementation Team of the project and the Supervisory Team.

The project is financed by the Public Administration Reform Fund with the objective of improving the functions of strategic planning and public policy development in the administration bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The basic directions of project engagement are related with improvement of knowledge and skills of the civil servants, related with planning and budgeting (annual and medium term) and the process of development and implementation of public policies and support to improvement of normative and methodological framework of these functions.

The project support for civil servants capacity building was designed as a combination of theoretical and practical work, and it is implemented through modular programmes of professional education and immediate expert support in work environment on preparation and implementation of concrete work tasks. In the second component the project provides an expert, normative and methodological support for establishment of a consistent legal framework of medium term and annual planning linked with budget planning, improvement of monitoring functions, reporting and evaluation in accordance with specific needs and priorities of each administration level in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Implementation of training programmes started in January this year, and dynamics of implementation is harmonised with each beneficiary administration level.

The main message from the meeting is that the success of the project assumes not only a close cooperation of the beneficiary institutions and the project team, but also a direct involvement in preparation and maintenance of the project activities by the key beneficiary institutions. The recognised challenge in implementation of the civil service trainings is related with providing an adequate group of attendees (who directly manage and work on the affairs of planning and policy development) having in mind that it is a key assumption to achieve an increased level of knowledge and skills (competences) necessary for a regular execution of these functions. Active involvement of senior managers of the key beneficiary institutions in identification and selection of the appropriate group of attendees and planning of the dynamics of the project support, as in the case of the Secretariat General of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, was proven as a model of a successful approach.

At the level of the ministries of the Government of the Federation of BiH, in addition to the implemented first modules of trainings, the activities started also on providing an immediate expert support on draft of the medium term plans. This level also demonstrated that successfulness of the activities significantly depends on the initiative and the engagement of the key coordinating institution. The Federal Institute for Development Programming of the Government of the Federation of BiH, through its senior managers, in addition to cooperation in adjusting programmes of training to the legal framework of the Federation of BiH and identification of an adequate group of attendees, was additionally involved also in the process of providing expert support on drafting medium term plans of the administration bodies of the Government of the Federation.

An active contribution of the Secretariat General of the Government of the Republic of Srpska and the Federal Institute for Development Programming of the Government of the Federation of BiH is undoubtedly the models of good practice, which will be applied also on other administration levels.

The first module of training programme for the field of policy development was implemented also at the level of the ministries of the Council of Ministers of BiH and there is an ongoing identification of the concrete tasks and matters related with development of the public policies, which would be the subject of an additional expert support, and a similar activity is being prepared for the field of strategic planning. Implementation of these programmes of professional education still has not started at the level of the Brčko District of BiH, both because of the post-election government establishment, and because of the fact that the function of medium-term planning was not legally stipulated, so the recommendation was to intensify the planned activities for this administration level. The recommendation was also harmonise the dynamics in continuation of the training programme implementation as much as possible with the dynamics of activities of medium term and annual planning, both in the planning and in the budget aspect at each administration level.

It has also been noted that it was necessary to increase the level of understanding of the possibilities and the benefits that could be achieved through the project support among the beneficiary institutions, so the interest would be additionally strengthened for active participation in the project activities. In that sense, the project will ensure a greater presence and visibility also through the existing channels of information and communication.