Donor: USAID in Bosnia and Herzegovina via JBS International Inc.
Implementing Parties: SeeD (Contracted by JBS International Inc.) and PRISM Research.
Dates: 04/11/2013 - 22/11/2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was the first country where the SCORE was implemented outside of Cyprus. This provided an important test for the SCORE, where it garnered experience and improved to have the flexibility and adaptability to be re-contextualised to suit a different post-conflict situation whilst at the same time maintaining its methodological rigour that allows for comparative analysis between different countries. The historical context and the social make up in Bosnia and Herzegovina was slightly more complex than Cyprus in the sense that there were three major ethnic groups (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks) interacting, rather than two.
First, a series of validation and calibration focus group discussions to prepare for SCORE’s roll out in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place throughout 2013, along with the SCORE methodology trainings for PRISM research, the local partner responsible for data collection on the ground. The calibration workshops took place in four different areas of the country (Brčko, Banja Luka, Mostar, and Sarajevo). These aimed at determining the role of SCORE-BiH and at adapting it to the Bosnian context. The calibration process culminated at the construction of the main SCORE questionnaire for BiH, which was administered to a representative sample of BiH’s voting population as well as the creation of three auxiliary questionnaires that were used to interview representatives of CSOs, municipalities, and political leaders. All data that was collected face-to-face between April and May 2014 comprised of 2000 grassroots interviews in households across the country (FBIH, RS, Brčko District), 37 interviews with NGOs, 37 interviews with local authority representatives, and 47 interviews with political leaders from across the political spectrum.
Some key findings included:
- Both Serb and Bosniak citizens residing in the Republika Sprska (RS) report higher social cohesion than residents of the Federation of Bosnia – Herzegovina (FBiH). This reflects underlying mistrust towards the complex and multi-layered institutions of the FBiH, which are perceived to be less efficient.
- This compounds the intergroup mistrust towards Bosniaks already displayed by Serb citizens of RS, and increases their reluctance to move forward towards greater support for federalism and greater political integration. To address Serb reluctance in moving towards greater integration, a multi-level strategy is called for: (1) Developing opportunities for contact between Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats in daily life to dismantle intergroup prejudice; and (2) Promoting constructive dialogue on the national level about the comparative efficacy of FBiH and RS institutions to encourage cross-institutional learning, implementation of public sector reforms to harmonize and standardize their practices, and to pave the way for a stronger core of shared institutions that all citizens can benefit from.