2018 Economic Development Evaluation

Nation Building in a Fractured Country: An Evaluation of Swedish Cooperation in Economic Development with Bosnia and Herzegovina 1995-2018

Claes Lindahl, Julie Lindahl, Mikael Söderbäck, Tamara Ivankovic

This study focuses on the theme of economic development over more than two decades of development cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The report was presented during the seminar Swedish Aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina – the Case of Inclusive Economic Development.

The evaluators estimates that when it comes to the portfolio for economic development

  • about 20% has been allocated to projects with good value for money, in terms of contributing to the overarching Swedish objectives and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s development challanges
  • about 30% of the support was between good or poor value, or has not been possible to assess due to contradictory result-reporting
  • about 40% of the portfolio had poor value for money, including a large share of the agriculture support
  • about 10% of the funding was still in a too early stage of implementation to judge the sustained results
  • An overarching conclusion in the evaluation is that there has been a declining rate of return of the Swedish support after the first decade’s reconstruction and the transformation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to a market economy.


  • If Sweden continues its support after the end of the current strategy period 2020, it should fully
    align with the EU in the accession process.
  • Country strategies for Bosnia and Herzegovina should improve in analytical quality.
  • The balance between tasks and human resources at the embassy level needs to be improved.
  • That the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, jointly with the Embassy in Sarajevo, embarks on a
    strategy focusing on political change towards a speedy EU accession.

Claes Lindahl, Consultant with 40 years of experience from aid evaluation

Julie Lindahl, Author, Consultant and Researcher

Mikael Söderbäck, Evaluator with 30 years of experience from Swedish development cooperation

Tamara Ivankovic, Consultant with long background within development cooperation