[wzslider]By Meshaj Liljana
The Europian Union’s support is of great significance especially for post war and transitional countries, and the EU provides funding and grants for a broad range of projects and programmes covering areas such as education, health, consumer protection, environmental protection and humanitarian aid.
Therefore, as a post-war country that is in transition B&H benefits from EU support. It has acces to IPA component I (Transition Assistance and Institution Building) and IPA Component II (Cross-Border Cooperation). In this context the EU delagtion in B&H manages and distibutes assistance in the country by allocating its funds in the needed areas.
Partnership in Heath is one of the NGOs that has received the EU funds to implement projects. Partnerships in Health (Partnerstvo za zdravlje) is a Bosnian non-governmental organization dealing with health education and training activities and marginalized populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. PH is closely working with governments, institutes of public health, professional associations and civil society in building the capacity of health personnel, strengthening civil society and health care delivery for people affected with diseases.
The project aims to assist the development of a strengthened civil society and more knowledgeable government-designated institutions to be valuable partners in the further development of better services in the B&H health sector.
The overall objective of the project is to support civil society organizations to play a more strategic role in the adoption of European standards in the B&H health sector, thus strengthening the accession process of B&H to the EU. In order to get more information about this project and the role of CSO’s in B&H, ‘Sarajevo Times’ had the opportunity to talk to the Project Coordinator of this project Mr. Haris Karabegović.
How important is the role of Civil society organizations in People`s lives?
The role of CSO’s is immeasurable in each developed country due to the fact that CSO’s represent the voice and needs of a specific population or different categories of the citizens living in those countries.
Developed countries have recognized CSO’s as important stakeholders and partners to the governmental institutions that are more than useful in improving the quality of life of their citizens through equal partnership and cooperation among CSO’s and governmental institutions.
Currently there is a great number of CSO’s in B&H, but the cooperation with governmental institutions is based on individual experiences and success, but is not adequately regulated as continuous equal partnership and cooperation between CSO’s and governmental institutions.
EU supports your project. What does EU support in this project mean to Partnerships in Health?
Partnerships in Health is an NGO working in the health area. Our organization has been supported by many international donors such as UN agencies and development agencies from different countries. For us, this means the Partnerships in Health is recognized as an international partner in the world representing the needs of B&H citizens as well as proven quality in implementation of its projects, up to task management and human resources.
EU support to Partnerships in Health for this project means several important indicators for us: firstly, it means that our project idea was real need in B&H – recognized even by the EU, secondly this means that Partnerships in Health is also recognized as a partner to EU in B&H for this but also for future projects in BiH.
How important is the financial but also technical support of the EU for B&H and its citizens?
Considering that B&H is a country in transition, this always implies the shortage of funds and in some cases expertise for some of the processes needed for the progress of the country toward full democratic development. These processes are very important not just for the stability of the country but for its citizens as well.
EU financial and technical support is crucial in those processes that would otherwise be hardly achievable due to the problems already mentioned. The EU is also a positive example for B&H and its citizens full of great experiences that can be used in B&H as well. Sometimes, some of the needs of citizens would be even overseen if there was not the chance to see what citizens of other countries are benefiting from in their countries.
EU expertise is really important as much as their financial support to our country.
How do governmental institutions react and participate in projects such as yours? Are they willing to participate in its implementation?
Partnerships in Health has really positive experience in finding partners in governmental institutions. This project is just one of the positive examples of great cooperation of Partnerships in Health with relevant governmental institutions in project implementation.
We always include the representatives of the government in every aspect of the project implementation from the beginning (planning) until the end of implementation. Currently, this project has a managing board consisting of 2 representatives from governmental institutions and 4 representatives of CSO’s. Partnerships in Health is mainly implementing CSO but all the partner organizations and institutions are closely included into project implementation so we can easily say that cooperation on this project is more than successful.
What mechanisms do you expect to see at the end of this project that would enable cooperation between CSO’s and government institutions?
Partnerships in Health in cooperation with its partner has created the project identifying the need for certain mechanisms that would enable this cooperation and ensure it is continuous and efficient in satisfying the needs of the citizens of B&H.
This project aims to really build the cooperation between CSO’s and government. The exact mechanisms will be the result of the joint efforts of all partners that would identify the most suitable mechanisms for cooperation and ensure the continuous and efficient partnership among government and CSO’s.
The mechanisms will be identified and created through several workshops, trainings and round tables where government representatives and CSO’s will have the opportunity to be actively involved and give their opinions and stands on this issue. Later on, relevant experts will create those mechanisms and they will be used in future cooperation, especially in the health sector.
One of the main results will also be the creation of a register of CSO’s working in the health sector so the government institutions will have a greater chance to select the most suitable partners in their activities and projects in their future work.