International Media Assistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Lessons Learned

Bosnia and Herzegovina has benefited from comprehensive and prolonged international media assistance efforts during the last two decades: the legal framework was thoroughly reformed; regulatory and self-regulatory mechanisms were introduced; the independent and commercial media sector received substantial support; and a public service broadcasting system was created. 

Themes: Media and Democratization
Tarik JusićNidžara Ahmetašević


However, many reform initiatives have been met with fierce resistance, while others failed or were only partially successful. In some cases, once the donors and international actors reduced their involvement, the reform processes stopped or were reversed. 
This policy brief looks into the complex relationship between the local context on one side, and the media reforms that were initiated through international assistance programs on the other. The brief identifies some of the key challenges to the media assistance efforts in the country, and outlines several lessons to be considered when planning future assistance projects.
The policy brief is produced within the project “Development of Functional Media Institutions in Western Balkans” implemented in 2012 and 2013 by the Center for Social Research Analitika from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) from Macedonia, the Albanian Media Institute (AMI), from Albania, and the Democracy for Development (D4D) from Kosovo.
The project is funded by the Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP), which is aimed at fostering and promoting social science research in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). The RRPP is coordinated and operated by the Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe (IICEE) at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). The programme is fully funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.