A digital ecosystem includes the stakeholders, systems, and enabling environments that empower people, companies, organizations, and governments to achieve their goals. To identify opportunities, maximize benefits, and manage the risks associated with digital technology in the world’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) designed the Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) as a reporting tool that will enhance the quality of inputs into the planning and execution of USAID’s strategies and implementation of its activities. In late 2021, USAID/Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) tasked its Monitoring and Evaluation Support Activity (MEASURE II) to conduct a DECA for BiH. The assessment was guided by USAID’s strategic priorities in BiH. USAID/BiH’s strategic priorities are defined in the 2020–2025 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) and include:
1.Improving the impact of inclusive citizen engagement by enhancing civil society constituency connections, strengthening the information space, and increasing political and civic leadership of BiH citizens, with specific focus on youth, women, and marginalized populations.
2.Strengthening governance effectiveness in targeted areas by addressing the problem of high-level corruption in BiH, supporting reforms that are in line with European Union (EU) regulations, and strengthening the protection of human rights.
3.Strengthening social cohesion by developing and empowering connections and building solidarity among various groups in society, including civil society, the private sector, the diaspora, and marginalized populations.
4.Boosting private-sector growth by supporting sectors that have the greatest growth potential in BiH and increasing access to transparent financing.
Guided by these priorities, the DECA team assembled by MEASURE II collected and reviewed an extensive list of relevant documents produced by USAID, its implementing partners, government institutions and agencies, international organizations, academia, the non-governmental sector, and the media. To extend the knowledge acquired through desk review, the DECA team organized, completed, and analyzed data from 87 interviews and two focus groups with a total of 122 key informants. Finally, the DECA team triangulated data obtained through desk review and interviews with data from the 2021 wave of the USAID/BiH’s National Survey of Citizens’ Perceptions in BiH (NSCP-BiH) to enrich the understanding of BiH’s digital ecosystem and best inform assessment findings.
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