Since 2008, UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and its partners are implementing a comprehensive long-term programme that will enhance the social protection and inclusion systems (SPIS) for children in BiH. Reaching this objective, the SPIS programme focused on the major actions: raising awareness, development of institutional capacities, evidence-based policy making and programming, cost analysis and child/family responsive budgeting, institutionalized coordination and referral mechanisms, community based quality inclusive services. Since its’ launch, SPIS programme involved many governmental and non-governmental partners; line ministries at state and entity levels, specialized civil society organizations (CSOs), local administrations in targeted municipalities and service providers.
In three years of the implementation, SPIS programme has achieved significant changes in the policies and approaches of the government towards social protection and inclusion of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Different policies and action plans, adopted within the social protection and inclusion field contributed to strengthen focus and increase number of governance mechanisms for protection and inclusion of children. Establishment of innovative social services for children and their families enabled better outreach to and protection of vulnerable groups of children in targeted municipalities. SPIS programme also supported strengthening of the statistic system in the country, building capacities of professionals within the budgeting for children and evidence based planning of social programmes and policies.
The activities within SPIS programme are implemented at all governance levels, from the local to the entity and state levels. The SPIS programme is implemented in 21 targeted municipalities. Until autumn 2011, through the programme were supported 7.000 children and 2.000 parents in 10 SPIS targeted municipalities. More than 450 professionals and 200 officials were involved in the capacity building activities that will support them in planning and implementing programmes of social protection and inclusion of children in BiH. First 10 municipalities (Novi Grad Sarajevo, Kotor Varos, Laktasi, Sanski Most, Novi Grad RS, Livno, Novi Travnik, Bileca, Visegrad, and Stolac) were followed with additional 11 municipalities in year 2011.
The SPIS programme has so far been supported by many donors. Together with UNICEF, the SPIS programme has been supported by the EU Delegation in BiH, UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Norway.