SDGs Roll-out Support and Private Sector Engagement

About the project

The project aimed to empower and prepare the private and public sector partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which directly supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's efforts to contribute to the largest global plan, Agenda 2030.

The Project had two outcomes:

  • The SDG Roadmap for BiH developed, and implementation started;
  • Private sector actors sensitized and engaged in SDGs prioritization, planning and implementation. 

The project helped the relevant authorities in BiH to translate the ambitious 2030 Agenda into action, by bringing the relevant stakeholders together around the SDGs Roadmap. This entailed an SDG aligning exercise, SDG-based planning, partnership building and introduction of adequate institutional arrangements, monitoring and reporting, as well as defining of a financing model.


Signatories of the Declaration for Sustainable Development


What we did

To contextualise the 2030 agenda to Bosnia and Herzegovina, stakeholders have to take stock of where the country stands with regards to achieving all seventeen goals. This initial rapid review of the key dimensions of sustainable development, including economic development, social inclusion, and sustainable environmental management, is helping to develop a shared understanding of priorities for implementation.

The first step in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in BiH is the development of an SDGs Framework in BiH (Framework), as a joint document of all levels of government in BiH that identifies broader development pathways, through which authorities at all levels and society in BiH seek to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. The Framework defines broader development pathways that should contribute to a better society and a future where no one will be excluded and where people, prosperity, peace, partnerships and concern for the Planet are at the heart of a better and jointly shared future. An integrated analysis of the challenges of sustainable development in BiH, which was the starting point for drafting this document, provides an overview of the key development trends, opportunities and obstacles, especially in the context of BiH's accession to the European Union. Based on the findings of the analysis and extensive consultations conducted with representatives of institutions at all levels of government and the socio-economic actors during the 2018-2019 period, three sustainable development pathways in BiH were identified:

  1. Good Governance and Public Sector Management,
  2. Smart Growth and,
  3. Society of Equal Opportunities.

There are also two horizontal themes:

  1. Human Capital for the 21st Century and
  2. The principle “Leave No One Behind”.


Two-day consultations on SDGs in Bosnia and Herzegovina were held in june 2018


Within each of these development pathways, the accelerators and drivers that should help to achieve the desired results by 2030 have been defined. In addition, in accordance with the requirements of the 2030 Agenda and the commitments undertaken by BiH, the Framework sets out specific goals, as well as indicators by which progress will be measured. Therefore, this document provides a broader framework for achieving the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs. As such, it will guide the ongoing and upcoming strategic planning processes at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All levels of government in BiH will define their priorities, measures and activities in accordance with the constitutional competencies and ensure their contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

In addition to the 2030 vision, targets, milestones, and steps that need to be taken to achieve the required results by the specified date, the Framework will also include general financing needs. The SDGs implementation will require mobilization of the adequate public and private resources.

Companies that adopt sustainable strategies and practices are more competitive and have better medium to long-term economic performance. SDGs serve companies as guidelines for assessing and managing social, economic, and environmental risks, while improving their reputation, image, and strategic position in global markets. Achieving the SDGs has an estimated market potential for companies of around $12 trillion.

Through structured project activities involving training and workshops for companies, private sector actors in BiH are being sensitized and brought together around the sustainable development agenda. The focus is on the important role of the private sector in this context, including in terms of their social responsibility, green businesses and sustainable businesses, as well as innovation and new business models, opportunities and markets. Profit-driven nature of companies is kept in mind, figuring out ways to present SDG principles and values as future business opportunities that will enable companies to grow and contribute to development priorities. The project also serves as a platform to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable development and, as such, brings together other initiatives to promote sustainable development goals in the business sector. In addition, business leaders who do an outstanding job of implementing SDGs will be promoted as SDG Business Pioneers.

A set of indicators are being developed in line with the specific priorities and concerns, to help track the progress being made in implementation of the SDGs.

What we achieved

With the support of the Project, the following has been achieved:

  • Finalization and presentation of the first Voluntary Report (VNR) of Bosnia and Herzegovina in New York in July 2019.
  • A high-level conference has been organized in cooperation with companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sweden, with the aim of raising awareness, promoting good practices and the role of the private sector in the Agenda 2030.
  • BiH began preparations for the 2030 Agenda in a far more comprehensive manner, following broad consultations held in May 2018 with more than 250 stakeholders. The two SDGs sub-groups worked intensively on the creation of two key documents, namely the first VNR and the SDG Framework in BiH.
  • The SDGs Roll-out Working Group, with assistance provided by the Project, organized a two-day workshop on 13-14 June 2019 to develop the SDGs Framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • SDG Framework in BiH has been adopted on all levels.
  • The first SDG Business Week was held from 10-14 June 2019. It was a flagship event that provided a venue for learning and exchange with global, regional and local SDG leaders. The digital part of the SDG Business Week gathered seven extraordinary speakers who presented to 3500+ viewers on-line and 200+ students at two universities in BiH on three key themes (Business 2030, Planet 2030 and Jobs 2030).
  • On 1 January 2019, the project launched the call for the first ever SDG Business Pioneers Award in BiH, focusing on two themes (People and Resources & Environment). Among 55 projects nominated by 44 companies from BiH, the evaluation committee selected six winners and the absolute winner of the Award (Kakanj Cement d.d.). The first generation of SDG Business Pioneers in BiH was promoted during the SDG Business Week 2019 in BiH. Importantly, the SDG Business Week attracted interest of local stakeholders that used this opportunity to organize complementary partner events.
  • SDG Business Pioneers Award in BiH for 2020 - 9 SDG Business Pioneers Awards were awarded to most successful micro, small, medium and large companies in 2 thematic fields: people (creators of decent jobs) and resources and environment (companies that actively reduce its environmental impact). The winners were selected from 106 applicants (92% increase compared to 2019).  The evaluation process was completed by 3 independent experts using GRI standards as a guideline. The award trophy is an original design made of recycled plastic from BiH, made in BiH.
  • SDG Business Week 2020 - 5 main events were planned under the framework of the SDG Business Week. The focus of 2020 SDG Business Week was digital transformation, innovation and youth. 70 private sector leaders took part in the presentations during the events and 25 company representatives shared their experiences on integration of SDGs in their business models. 30.700 people were informed about the events organized in the framework of the SDG Business Week and 351 persons responded by participation in the live stream broadcasts. 3700+ people viewed the conference on digital transformation for sustainable economy, opening event of the SDG Business Week and 250+ people watched the opening event using on-line platform in real time.
  • From the beginning of 2020, piloting of the first generation of SDG Accelerators for SMEs for 5 BiH SMEs has begun. Presentation of their work is expected in January 2021.


Winners of SDG Business Pioneers Award 2021


What we are working on

  • SDG Business Pioneers Award in BiH for 2021 - Applications for the Award will open on 1 January 2021 and remain open until 1 April 2021. The ceremony is tentatively planned for June 2021;
  • SDG Business Week 2021 - tentatively planned in October 2021;
  • SDG Accelerator for SMEs - five companies are currently going through an SDG innovation journey that will bring new products, services, or business models as a result;
  • Consultations on the SDGs Framework in BiH, aimed at a final validation with all of the relevant actors;
  • Finalization of the SDG Framework in BiH.



Project start date

December 2017

End date

March 2022

Geographic coverage

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Focus area

Rural and Regional Development


  • Government of Sweden
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Directorate for Economic Planning of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Agency for statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Ministry for European Integration and International Cooperation of Republika Srpska
  • Republika Srpska Institute of Statistics
  • Unit for strategic planning of the Secretariat General of the Government of Republika Srpska
  • Federal Institute for Development Programming
    Institute for Statistics of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Office of the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Private sector

Voluntary Review of BiH



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