Local Community Assets: Major Resource for Sustainable Development

Posted May 24, 2022

Today Sarajevo was host to the Forum ˝Asset Management of Local Governments – Potential for Sustainable Local Development˝, organized as a part of the Project for Improving Performance of Local Services in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PIPLS). PIPLS is primarily funded by the Swedish government and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Results of the current legal framework analysis were presented at the Forum, as well as the administrative and organizational capacities for asset management. Additionally, examples of good practice in these sectors, coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other countries from the region, were presented at the Forum.

Special attention during the Forum was placed on the key preconditions for creating an environment for efficient asset management.

Johanna Stromquist, Swedish Ambassador to BiH

"The key message is, how do we provide more with fewer resources, how do we improve services provided to citizens, and what can we do together? It is a great pleasure to see significant interest from the local government representatives, who have gathered here today in Sarajevo prepared to contribute to the discussion on how we can ensure more efficient use of public resources. The pandemic has endangered and restricted our space for action, and now we have a war in Europe that is affecting the global economic flows. We must talk about how we can use what is available to us in a smarter, more innovative, and greener way. We have only one planet Earth."
Johanna Strömquist

Steliana Nedera, Resident Representative of UNDP in BiH

"Today’s event is a part of UNDP’s project, which is being implemented with the support of Sweden. Better financial management, more efficient use of public property, and public procurement are the key questions that can improve the work of local governments. Together with 18 municipalities and cities and with the appropriate cantonal ministries, we want to ensure that the available funds are used to contribute to improvements in the quality of life in local communities. Challenges are numerous. There are no clear protocols and policies when it comes to asset management, officials lack the skills for a strategic approach, registries are non-existent or are not up-to-date, and available data is often incorrect or inadequate. The UNDP will closely track local communities and be their partner while we provide them the support necessary to make the next step in these areas."
Steliana Nedera

In addition to panellists from the region, representatives from Tuzla, Gradiška and Trebinje also shared examples of good practice and their experiences.

"We have excellent cooperation with the UNDP being our backbone through many projects, but the one we are discussing today holds special importance. We, in Tuzla, have struggled to acquire assets, increase their value, and strategically apply them to the economic development. We are now in a new phase, the one in which we have good instructions so that we can ensure adequate monitoring, and work to further strengthen our public services with the goal of using better asset management to improve the lives of citizens. Great thanks to Sweden for supporting us on this path."
Jasmin Imamović, Mayor of the City of Tuzla

Analyses have shown that current practices present challenges in the field, but that there is significant room for cooperation and transfer of good practices from local communities which have made steps forward. UNDP will, in cooperation with partners from Sweden and partners from local communities, continue to work on improving the work of public administration, so that it is aimed directly towards serving our citizens.