© Helvetas


Like other countries in the Western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina is struggling with citizen-oriented governance. Helvetas through its PRAGG project, will support Civil Society Organizations to represent the voice of citizens and demand reforms through participation in democratic processes, thus contributing to social change in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
© Helvetas
  • Capital
  • Area
    51,197 km²
    Rank: 74 out of 191
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion
    Education and Vocational Skills
    Learning & Innovation
    Gender & Social Equity
    Urban Engagement
* Source: UN Data

The Western Balkans are booming. Despite the economic growth, however, youth unemployment remains a widespread problem, running as high as 50% in large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dim future prospects induce many young people to seek work abroad, which only exacerbates the situation they leave behind because companies can’t find skilled workers.

More jobs for young people

This is why Helvetas supports cross-border labor market development in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia) to create jobs for young people in particular. We focus our efforts not only on stimulating the private sector, but also on boosting job-hunting services such as online employment portals. Furthermore, we support various vocational training programs for young people, e.g. involving companies and trade associations in the curriculum at state vocational schools so they can provide targeted market-oriented training.

Supporting since the 90s

Helvetas has been active in Bosnia and Herzegovina for many years: from the late 1990s to 2005, we carried out projects to support local authorities in organizing and improving public services; since then we have continued to provide this support through a newly-formed independent local organization.

Against obstacles to investment

Our main present-day objective is to develop new markets with a view to creating jobs for young women and men. We concetrate on three sectors: information and technology, tourism and business process outsourcing industry (BPO). Specifically, we work with employers to help remove obstacles to investments that prevent companies from growing, tapping into new markets and creating new jobs.

More women in IT companies

Bosnia is suffering from bad economic policy and bureaucratic hurdles as a result of complex postwar structures; the country ranks amongst the world’s least favorable investment climates. Together with our partners in the business community, politics and civil society, we seek to break down these barriers and facilitate access to the job market, especially for disadvantaged groups. Now that they have changed their perception of gender roles and recruitment practices, IT companies are increasingly recruiting women as skilled workers.   

Visit the website of Helvetas Bosnia-Herzegovina.

© Helvetas
Panoramic view of Sarajevo © Helvetas
© Helvetas
Donji Vakuf, an area in central Bosnia and Herzegovina © Helvetas
© Helvetas
Maglić (2,386 m) is the highest mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina © Helvetas

Our Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

If you would like to know more about our work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, click on each project for details.

© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
Bosnia-Herzegovina Private Sector Development

Making Markets and Jobs

Bosnia-Herzegovina Education and Vocational Skills

Empowering Youth to Build a Better Future in Bosnia and Herzegovina

© Helvetas / Arben Llapashtica
Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Montenegro Education and Vocational Skills

Building Economies Where All Can Prosper

Education and Vocational Skills

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Learning & Innovation

Building the capacities of staff and partners to effectively share what they know, to learn together and create effective solutions is crucial to our success.

Helvetas Eastern Europe Unit
Maulbeerstr. 10
3010 Bern

Phone:+41 31 385 10 10
E-Mail: easterneurope@helvetas.org