LED NET - Initiative for Creation of Local Economic Development Network in B&H
Project “LED NET - Initiative for Creation of Local Economic Development Network in B&H”
Total value: 259.620,00 EUR
Period of implementation: June 2011- May 2013 (24 months)
Project partners: PLOD Center Bihać, Independent office for Development (NBR) Modriča, Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers (UPIP) Žepče, Association of Entrepreneurs and Business LINK Mostar and Centre for Development of Herzegovina (CRH) Trebinje.
In June 2011 PLOD Center for Promotion of Local Development Bihać started implementation of project “LED NET - Initiative for Creation of Local Economic Development Network in B&H” with the objective to network civil society organizations in B&H, exchange knowledge, strengthen their role in the process of local and regional economic development and improve cooperation between governmental, non-governmental and private sectors. The project is implemented in cooperation with other organizations active in the sector of local/regional development: Independent office for Development (NBR) Modriča, Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers (UPIP) Žepče, Association of Entrepreneurs and Business LINK Mostar and Centre for Development of Herzegovina (CRH) Trebinje, which signed Memorandum of Understanding in order to establish Network for local economic development in B&H on September 9th, 2011.
LED NET was established as a response to the lack of involvement of civil society in the process of implementation of socio-economic reforms in B&H in order to support and strengthen networking of civil society organizations and their contribution in the sector of local and regional economic development in B&H. The project will provide long-term cooperation between organizations, as well as exchange of knowledge and positive practices, which leads to strengthening the local economy and creation of better conditions for economic growth and entrepreneurship development.
Target group of the project are civil society organizations, all levels of authorities in B&H (primarily municipalities of Bihać, Gradačac, Mostar, Trebinje and Žepče) and all other stakeholders participating in the process of local/regional economic development in the project focus areas, especially small and medium enterprises, educational institutions and local communities where quality of life will be improved as a result of strengthening of local economy.
The following project activities have been implemented so far:
- LED NET Coalition established,
- Memorandum of Understanding signed between 5 partnering organizations;
- Book of Regulations created;
- Conference “CSOs in the development of democracy and civil society with special attention and role of LED NET Coalition in the domain of LED/RED” organized and held in Bihać, as well as 4 round tables (Mostar, Tuzla, Žepče and Trebinje);
- Five new organizations were attracted and entered LED NET Coalition (Development Agency of Žepče, Association „Bosper“ Tuzla, Citizens Association „Oaza“ Trebinje, Local Development Agency „Progres“ Posušje and NGO „BK 2011“ Bosanska Krupa),
- 5 out of 9 sets of education for development of CSOs capacities held on the following topics: Communication and teambuilding, Assessment of performance and contribution, Development and training plan for staff, Managing volunteers (employees), Employing and recruiting new staff, Financial sustainability, Financial systems and Long-term planning;
- Based on their achieved results and needs of small and medium enterprises LED NET network sent proposals for improvement of grants awarding program and support to SMEs to the Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of FB&H in order to improve dialogue and cooperation with the Ministry;
- Study visit to Varaždin County (Guaranty Agency of Varaždin County-GARA, Development Agency of Varaždin County-AZRA, Business Zones Ltd) attended by representatives of LED NET Coalition members and representatives of the Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of FB&H. The purpose of the visit was exchange of knowledge, positive practices and improvement of capacities of LED NET network. Considering the success of Varaždin County, their business zones and credit-guarantee fund, the goal was to get better acquainted with instruments of local economic development and principles of cooperation between Varaždin County and GARA and AZRA.
- platform that will help members of the network to successfully share implemented development projects and make them available to the local communities where the projects are implemented was created.
Activities to be implemented by the end of the project implementation:
- Exchange of successfully implemented development project between network members, which will be made available to local communities where the project is implemented;
- Organization of education for local stakeholders in order to help them to use and implement these positive practices, projects and know-how in communities, which are interested to takeover positive practices and implemented them, transfer of positive practices to local communities and civil society organizations;
- Through improvement of cooperation and dialogue with all authority levels and private sector LED NET network will participate in the process of creation of policies/measures related to local/regional development with an ultimate goal to contribute to development of small and medium enterprises and creation of better business environment, i.e. improvement of quality of life;
- Organization of conference which will identify policies/measures that will speed up local/regional economic development and SMEs development;
- Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Coalition members and representatives of relevant ministries in order to improve cooperation between civil society organizations and governmental sector, as well as adoption of proposed policies and measures for development.
Expected results are:
- Developed capacities of civil society organizations;
- Minimum 5 positive practices exchanged, which resulted in creation of 5 development projects for implementation in minimum 5 local communities;
- Coalition of CSOs affected the creation of minimum 10 local/regional economic development policies/measures related to local/regional development in order to create better business environment and more efficient development of small and medium enterprises;
- Improvement of cooperation between non-governmental, governmental and private sectors.