Authorities in charge of statistics tend to operate low-profile, maintaining an aura of dry, in times even boring, professionalism. At the same time, however, these institutions are essential for a proper functioning of a modern country, as they provide and keep up to date basic information without which meaningful planning in politics and administration would be virtually impossible.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Agency for Statistics (BHAS) is no exception. However, its operation takes place in a particularly challenging environment. . In a country as decentralized as Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a sophisticated system of ethnic quotas in place even at the cantonal and municipal level, statistics is also a political issue. On top of that, the prospect of EU accession requires ongoing reform and development at all levels.
Working successfully in such a context requires more than just professionalism. It is equally important to maintain a good co-operation within the whole statistical system, including the entity level. SPI is supporting BHAS along both these lines. The range of technical issues addressed includes fields as diverse as consumer prices, regional accounts, and business statistics. Work in these areas is also an opportunity to strengthen the links between the institutions that together form Bosnia’s statistical system. Successful implementation of this strategy will make a substantial contribution to Bosnia’s efforts to move ever closer towards EU membership.