30.07.2018 - UNESCO Venice Office

Dialogue for the Future: Promoting Social Cohesion and Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dialogue for the Future

Dialogue for the Future’s second phase has begun, with high expectations. The project is the only peacebuilding initiative that enables people from all of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s constituent groups, and others, to directly engage their Presidency. It is also the only initiative which brings together the highest-level elected leaders around the concerns of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s citizens, despite political differences between them.

The ‘Dialogue Platforms’, a mechanism to provide a formal space for interaction between citizens and decision-makers, combines top-down and bottom-up approaches, enabling civil society, citizens and government partners to jointly identify, promote and implement dialogue and trust building activities.

Developed at the request and under the auspices of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency and jointly implemented by UNICEF, UNDP and UNESCO, the Dialogue for the Future (DFF) project was first implemented between 2014 and 2017.

Titled “Dialogue for the Future: Promoting Coexistence and Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, the project established dialogue platforms and youth forums across the country, supported 42 community projects and reached out to 30% of the population.

As a tangible output of the first phase, over 54,000 citizens were directly engaged through 3 Dialogue Platforms, 26 Youth Forums, training seminars and the grants programme. 1 million viewers were reached through communications and outreach materials.

The second phase of the DFF project started with the participation of UNESCO, through its Antenna Office in Sarajevo – UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe in January and will be ending next year in June.

The phase is funded by UN Peace Building Fund with as geographic coverage: Sarajevo broader area/East Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar, Central, Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Doboj/Doboj East, Usora, Tesanj, Trebinje and Brcko District. The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is partner of the project, carried out in support of SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Implementing UN agencies include UNICEF, UNESCO and UNDP.

In its second phase, the DFF project seeks to enhance the inclusiveness of local level governance by undertaking joint assessments of common problems and creating local dialogue platforms - bringing together local leaders as well as civil society, youth, religious leaders, women’s organizations and relevant local level authorities.

These dialogue platforms will be established as genuine bases for collaboration among diverse stakeholders, empowering them with collaborative leadership and peacebuilding skills.

The project will ensure that women and girls will become active participants of the platforms. The joint problem analysis and the dialogue platforms will aim to encourage communities to discuss common challenges and find solutions to these problems through collaboration.

Small grants will be allocated through a public call for project proposals, supporting activities and initiatives that improve social cohesion.

Under the auspices of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, the project will work with youth as the priority target group beyond the selected municipalities in an aim of generating a group of future leaders with an ability to lead collaboratively.

Through dialogue platforms with Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, youth will be supported to lead dialogues on issues particularly affecting them, and to engage on issues such as the SDGs, education, culture and brain drain.

The project will focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s potential to be at the forefront of promoting greater appreciation and acceptance of diversity with its intercultural dynamics. Activities in this sphere aim to demonstrate the power of education and culture to promote a rich and diverse Bosnia and Herzegovina society.

Media will be targeted to capitalize on their potential for social cohesion rhetoric. The project partners will initiate a process of engaging media in a dialogue on peacebuilding and the role of media in rational and impartial reporting. Finally, the project will aim for the media outlets and journalists to sign a pact for promoting peace through their reporting.

Link: Dialogue for the Future: Promoting Social Cohesion and Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Phase 2) Dialogue for the Future: Promoting Coexistence and Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Phase 1)

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