Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the post-war context, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have recognized culture’s role in development in such key documents as the Strategy for Cultural Policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2008) and its Action Plan (2011). The new data that has resulted from implementing the CDIS has fortified the culture and development agenda by providing empirical facts and figures for analysis and informed policies, opening dialogue, and strengthening cultural statistics. The participative implementation process unveiled gaps in State and entity-level statistics and monitoring systems, as well as opportunities to fulfill a need for increased dialogue, collaboration and the harmonization of cultural policies and financial mechanisms across the multiple decentralized ministries and cultural institutions responsible for culture.

Culture matters in Bosnia and Herzegovina: CDIS indicators highlight Bosnia and Herzegovina’s culture sector’s potential for economic development and wellbeing, while underlining certain obstacles in place that inhibit it from reaching its full potential. 

The results suggest that although there is already a high level of domestic production, illustrated by the significant contribution of the culture sector to GDP 1 (5.72% of total GDP) and the high percentage of employment in cultural establishments 2 (4.75% of the total employed population), domestic participation in going-out cultural activities 12 (41.4%) may require further support to increase the domestic consumption of cultural goods and services 3 (2.43% of total household consumption expenditures) and enhance the domestic market potential of the cultural industries. Data on the distribution of domestic films suggests that current distribution does not meet the demand of State-wide audiences.

Although positive results for indicators on the normative, policy and institutional frameworks, and civil society participation 8 9 11 (0.94/1; 1/1; 0.85/1) suggest that the foundation for good cultural governance is in place, obstacles persist regarding the distribution of cultural infrastructures across Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 (0.66/1), which not only prevents opportunities to access cultural life, but also disfavors outlets for cultural production, diffusion and enjoyment. Likewise, although public institutions provide a fairly diverse offering of programmes related to culture at the TVET and tertiary levels 7 (0.8/1), additional support to foster the cultural industries could be generated by establishing programmes in cultural management that would assist in effectively managing enterprises that target State-wide audiences in addition to foreign consumers.

Through increased access and rates of engagement in cultural activities, the potential of culture to reinforce feelings of mutual understanding, solidarity and trust may be enhanced, resolving the gap between indicators on intercultural and interpersonal trust 14 15 (71.03%; 21/9%), which are directly related to social cohesion and of particular significance in the post-war context.

For culture to further contribute to wellbeing, focus may need to be placed on improving gender equality for development, as well as targeted actions to address the freedoms of expression and self-determination. Indicators on the objective outputs and perceptions of gender equality 18 (65.8%) suggest a need for increased advocacy and measures in key domains in order to remove obstacles to participate in political and public life. Furthermore, to realize culture’s potential for wellbeing as a medium of expression and satisfaction, action ought to be taken to improve the enabling political, economic, legal, social and cultural context that ensures the freedoms of expression 19 (52/100) and self-determination 16 (5.38/10). 


CDIS Methodology was developed thanks to the financial support of the Spanish Government

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Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CLT/CRE/DCE)
7 place Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France
Phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 42 77
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