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Diaspora for Development (D4D)

Around two million citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) reside outside the country. They do not only help their families to cover living costs, but are also willing, and have the potential, to contribute to the development of their homeland. Although direct diaspora investment has been low so far (6%), more than a quarter of Bosnian people living abroad are willing to initiate or expand investments in BiH, mostly in their hometowns.
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In recent years, the government of BiH has increasingly acknowledged the potential of its diaspora as development actor. Adopted diaspora policy document defines key principles guiding all institutions, and sets goals regarding concrete activities.The Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MHRR), the Swiss Government and the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP BiH) implemented a pilot project for policy development and mainstreaming the concept of migration and development into development plans. Through the project, the Government of Switzerland is supporting BiH to create an enabling environment for the inclusion of the human and financial capital of the diaspora. Everyone who wants to invest, who wants to share knowledge, personal and professional experiences, networks and connections shall be enabled to do it.

Results achieved so far

  • Policies and measures for an effective integration of diaspora contributions to the development of the country were included in ten local and six can- tonal development strategies. 
  • Concrete interventions were implemented in partnership with the diaspora, which resulted in the creation of 70 jobs and income generation for 470 households in the farming sector.
  • 10 municipalities have adapted their organisational structure. 9 municipalities have appointed a migration focal point and one municipality has opened an office for improved service to, and communication with diaspora.

The second phase aims to increase socio-economic opportunities and perspectives for women and men in BiH, and to improve their livelihoods through increased diaspora engagement. Government institutions on different levels will develop and use the instrument to actively connect, exchange, and engage with diaspora members and their organizations. Improved communication and cooperation between the diaspora and their counterparts in BiH will raise mutual trust and allow for greater diaspora connectivity to the country and its socio-economic development.

Expected results

  • A well-developed diaspora strategy complemented with coordination mechanism and tailored diaspora services will enhance framework conditions for diaspora engagement and investment. 
  • 35 institutions, led by the MHRR, engaged in a cross-governmental coordination mechanism and implement the diaspora strategy.
  • Diaspora mapping in ten countries with a large number of citizens originating from BiH will enable the development of adequate policies and improved communication, as well as better cooperation with the diplomatic and consular missions of BiH in these countries.
  • The MHRR and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH will establish representative diaspora bodies in Germany and Austria that will represent diaspora interests; at least 1’000 diaspora members participate in the diaspora-government dialogue and identification of development solutions.
  • 15 municipalities will create models for improved communication with diaspora, and the provision of better services to the diaspora;
  • 50 diaspora members will be engaged in professional know-how transfer; at least 30 companies benefit from knowledge transfer, business connections and introduction of new technologies.
  • 15 local development initiatives initiated by partner municipalities, engaging diaspora in their local communities are expected to create more than 99 jobs and increased income for 185 households.
  • Creation of a web portal, governed by the MHRR as the main communication tool between BiH government and diaspora world-wide.
  • Crowdsourcing platform which will connect diaspora members with institutions, organizations, associations and individuals in BiH and know-how transfer mechanism will be established.
  • Diaspora investment and economic engagement are increased and contribute to job creation; support scheme will mobilize financial investment for start-up companies and growth strategies for existing businesses.
  • In total: Concrete interventions realized with local authorities and private sector, in partnership with diaspora, will lead to creation of 400 jobs and to improved income for 300 households. 
Strategic Domain Economic Development and Employment
Status Ongoing
Implementers International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Partners Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH
Projects implemented in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Brčko District
Cantons Una-Sana Canton, Tuzla Canton, Zenica-Doboj Canton, Central Bosnia Canton, West Herzegovina Canton
Municipalities/Cities Bijeljina, Bratunac, Brčko distrikt, Jajce, Ključ, Laktaši, Ljubuški, Lopare, Maglaj, Nevesinje, Posušje, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Tuzla, Velika Kladuša, Zenica, Žepče