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Building Local Government

Municipal governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina are working together with citizens to identify community needs and design effective solutions.
The town of Domaljevac is a bustling municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A young town, it is nevertheless still recovering from the war and helping to rebuild the country. One consequence of the war has been a lack of confidence in government at all levels.
 
“We had continually struggled with a lack of funding,” said Domaljevac mayor, Zeljko Josic, “and with a lack of good practices for resolving problems in our community.”
 
 
Seeking to improve the services they are offering their citizens, Domaljevac’s government partnered with the Government Accountability Program to identify and fulfill citizen needs. The program, a unique partnership among Chemonics, USAID, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Embassy of the Netherlands, improves transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of local governments.
 
In Domaljevac, the project began by working with the local government to improve basic services, introducing the Citizen Service Center, which greatly simplified permitting and other services for citizens by bringing the various agencies that manage official documents and processes under one roof. What had once taken hours, even days, can now take just minutes.
 
With the success of the Citizen Service Center, town leaders have now moved on to other projects, such as a community center, a playground, and a primary school. With outdated window frames and a roof made from asbestos tiles, the school was far too cold for children to attend comfortably. With new window frames, a rebuilt exterior, and a new roof, the building is now  a comfortable place for children to learn.
 
These projects have infused a new vitality into the town and built trust between citizens and the government. One local parent noted, “We are very grateful to the people from the municipality and the government who initiated this project to improve our children’s lives.”
 
Domaljevac is just one of 72 municipalities working with the project. In total, more than 2.3 million people are benefitting. Read more about the Government Accountability Program.

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