Title :  Securing Access to Water through Institutional Development and Infrastructure

Country : Bosnia and Herzegovina

Thematic Window : Democratic Economic Governance

Participating UN organisations : UNDP, UNICEF

Signing partners : Ministry of Foreign and Economic Relations, Council of Ministers BiH

Source of funds :  Spanish MDG Achievement Fund

National Partners

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (MOFTER); BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA); Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) Ministry of Labour and Social Policy; FBiH Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republika Srpska (RS); RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare; civil society organisations (CSOs); 13 participating municipalities and 11 associated with these water utility (WU) companies. The participating municipalities are: in FBiH - municipalities of i Petrovac; and in RS - Višegrad, Petrovo and Petrovac.


Access to safe drinking water in BiH is well below European standards: only 60% of the population is connected to public/municipal water utilities, compared to a 90% average for the EU. Water supply and quality is only adequate in large urban areas; in many smaller cities and rural areas, residents have to pay high prices for water delivered with tankers by private vendors. This Joint Programme aims to reduce the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water by strengthening government capacity, increasing investments in the water supply sector and including poor populations in water planning and policy.

Goals and Millenium Development Goals addressed

The objectives are to contribute to :

  1.  Strengthening of inclusion of citizens in the participative municipal governance of water access;
  2. Improving economic governance in water utility companies for better services to citizens in targeted municipalities;
  3. Strengthening capacity of government for evidence-based policy making and resource planning for equitable water related service provision.

The expected benefits will contribute to the achievement of BH UNDAF Outcome 2, “Improved access to and quality of basic education, health and social protection services”, and MDGs 1, 4,5, 6 and 7.

Project details

Budget in USD : $ 4,450,000 | UNESCO Budget as subcontractor under UNDP : $ 150,000 | Geographic focus : Bosnia and Herzegovina | Started : November 2009 | End date : May 2012 | Status : closed


Oct. 2009: Project document signed and implementation begun; Dec. 2010 : Letter of Agreement (LOA) signed between UNESCO and UNDP to subcontract UNESCO to implement UNDP activities under the GoAL WASH component of the JP; 24 October 2011: Mid-term evaluation report issued

Main achievements

  • Sustainable Local Governance Structures for Social Protection are functional (Commissions for Social Protection and Inclusion, Protocols on Cooperation and Procedure, Criteria and Measures of Social Policy within the Water Supply System);
  • 13 Action Plans for Social Protection have been developed and adopted.
  • The programme has contributed to enhanced water supply services in partner municipalities by developing action plans for tariff structure and financial sustainability;
  • Infrastructure projects implemented, improving significantly the water supply service, both in terms of quality and quantity of water.
  • Developed capacities of local communities to properly manage water supply systems through preparation and adoption of the Water Supply Studies;
  • Raised awareness on water rights and responsibilities in 10 municipalities with schoolchildren using the “Water for Life” materials and methodology.

MDG-F Focus Country Initiative

Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of nine countries from different regions of the world selected in 2009 to receive additional support for the rigorous implementation of advocacy and communication and monitoring and evaluation strategies at the national level. As a “MDG-F Focus Country”, the UN Resident Coordinator’s office is implementing a 3-year $500,000 programme designed for the development and implementation of innovative and effective initiatives in addressing the MDGs. The rationale behind allocating this extra support is to stimulate creative and innovative interventions related to both Advocacy and M&E that can be highlighted as exemplary cases of collective action and impact on issues of poverty and the MDGs.


Map disclaimer

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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