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PRAGG - Proactive citizens strengthen democracy

The Civil Society Support Project “PRAGG – Proactive Citizens” aims to contribute to reshaping of the civic space in BiH by supporting CSOs in creating opportunities for citizen participation in democratic processes. The special focus is on participation of socially excluded groups. Unlike most of other initiatives, it does not support CSOs in a role of service providers but rather in representing a voice of citizens in advocating for reforms, gender equity, human rights, and social inclusion.
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Despite all the efforts invested in civil society development in Bosnia and Herzegovina since late 1990s, the civic space in BiH has remained narrow. Most of the civil society organisations (CSOs) lack legitimacy in the eyes of the people, their relations with constituencies and citizens are poor and their financial viability weak. The project builds upon the results of previous interventions and works in synergy with other projects in the Swiss local governance portfolio. The project also uses experiences and lessons learnt of other regional initiatives in the field of civil society development and creates synergies with these.

The project supports CSOs in increasing their engagement with citizens to articulate citizens’ most urgent concerns. The emphasis is particularly on concerns of women, youth and the socially excluded. The strategic collaboration between CSOs is also in the focus through support in forming alliances and demanding reforms and accountability from the governments. Influencing public policy and decision-making by CSOs through formal consultation mechanisms is being reinforced. Finally, the authorities and CSOs are supported in joint actions for improving environment for civil society development in BiH.

Strategic Domain Local Governance and Municipal Services
Status Ongoing
Implementers Institute for Youth Development KULT, CCI- Centers of Civic Initiatives
Partners Consortium Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Niras
Projects implemented in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska
Cantons Tuzla Canton, Zenica-Doboj Canton, West Herzegovina Canton, Sarajevo Canton
Municipalities/Cities Bijeljina, Gradačac, Ilijaš, Laktaši, Ljubuški, Nevesinje, Tešanj