Dialogue for the Future: Promoting Social Cohesion and Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

What is the Project about?

The ‘Dialogue Platforms’, a mechanism to provide a formal space for interaction between citizens and decision-makers combines top-down and bottom-up approaches, enabling civil society, citizens and government partners to jointly identify, promote and implement dialogue and trust building activities.

Developed at the initiative and under auspices of the BiH Presidency and jointly implemented by UNICEF, UNDP and UNESCO, the Dialogue for the Future (DFF) project was first implemented between 2014 and 2017, which established dialogue platforms and youth fora across the country, supported 42 community projects and reached out to 30% of the population.

The Dialogue Platform Declaration, adopted in the first phase of the project, will continue to serve as the backbone of the peacebuilding initiative with its call to “all peoples and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the youth, to become active participants and engines of change and to work together with us in developing policies aimed at overcoming the key challenges faced by Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

 

What we do?

The project in the second phase (until June 2019) intends to enhance the inclusiveness of local level governance by undertaking joint assessments of common problems and creating local dialogue platforms - bringing together local leaders as well as civil society, youth, religious leaders, women’s organizations and relevant local level authorities. These dialogue platforms will be established as genuine bases for collaboration among diverse stakeholders and empowering them with collaborative leadership and peacebuilding skills. The project will ensure that women and girls will become active participants of the platforms. The aim for the joint problem analysis, and the dialogue platforms will be to encourage communities discuss (common) challenges and common solutions to these problems through collaboration.

Small grants will be allocated through a public call for project proposals, supporting activities and initiatives that improve social cohesion.

Under auspices of the BiH Presidency, the project will work with youth as the priority target group beyond the selected municipalities in an aim of generating a group of future leaders with an ability to lead collaboratively. Youth will be supported to lead dialogues on issues particularly affecting youth and to engage on issues, such as the SDGs, education, culture and brain drain. Youth will be supported to lead dialogues, on issues particularly affecting them, through dialogue platforms with BiH Presidency.  

The project will focus on BiH’s potential to be at the forefront of promoting greater appreciation and acceptance of diversity with its intercultural dynamics. Activities in this sphere aim to demonstrate the power of education and culture to promote a rich and diverse BiH society.

Media will be targeted to capitalize on their potential for social cohesion rhetoric. The project partners will initiate a process of engaging media in a dialogue on peacebuilding and the role of media in rational and impartial reporting. Finally, the project will aim for the media outlets and journalists to sign a pact for promoting peace through their reporting.