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LINK 4 Cooperation Project: 12 smart benches enhancing the participative democracy in 12 local communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the period from 10-16 November 2023, 12 local authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina received smart benches that form a unique online network or digital HUB and serve as a communication tool between local governments, CSOs and citizens. The smart benches, worth over 105.000 BAM are procured within the ”Strengthening local participation and cooperation through partnership of Public Authorities and CSOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina – LINK 4 Cooperation” project, financed by the European Union.

In cooperation with local authorities, a total of 12 smart benches were installed and are now available to citizens of Berkovići, Jablanica, Kostajnica, Maglaj, Mostar, Nevesinje, Novi Grad, Prijedor, Ravno, Trebinje, Zavidovići and Žepče.

E-participation and digital democratization is made possible through software integrated into smart benches, and it gives citizens the opportunity to express their opinions on issues related to their local community. The collected data will be presented to the local governments, project beneficiaries, for the purpose of concrete actions of participatory democracy. This approach means faster and more direct communication between citizens and local authorities, in just a few clicks.

In addition to this valuable communication tool, smart benches are equiped with free Wi-Fi connection, the possibility of charging mobile devices and electric scooters, as well as parking spaces for bicycles and electric scooters.

“LINK 4 Cooperation” project aims to strengthen the capacity of local authorities and civil society organizations in conducting participatory processes in order to jointly identify specific problems of communities and, thanks to a participatory approach, find the best solutions. The project consortium consists of the Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Mostar, the Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Zavidovici, the Local Democracy Agency (LDA) Prijedor, the Center for the Development of Herzegovina (CRH), the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), and associate partner ALDA Skopje. Implementation began on January 1, 2021 and will last until December 31, 2023. Project value is over 540,000 euros, of which the European Union provided over 490,000 euros in grants.