|State Capacities: Flood Governance Discourse of Social Actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia
|Danijela Majstorović (PI)
Communication and media sciences
|October 2015-30 September 2016
|Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia
|In mid May 2014, BiH and Croatia experienced the greatest flooding in the last 120 years during which some 1.5 million people were affected. In BiH, the first to bear the burden were local communities, civil society and activists who were expected to fill the role of the dysfunctional state in which public accountability meant nothing. In Croatia, the floods have not been so devastating like in BiH, except in the eastern parts of the country. However, although less dramatic, they have unfolded the lack of efficiency of accountable institutions and severe coordination deficits that have disabled sound crisis management and decreased resilience capacity of the flooded communities. This part of the study involved two BiH towns: Maglaj and Šamac in which different scales of organized/institutionalized civil society and different models of governance structure in dealing with the floods were analyzed. In addition, it was looked at how communities responded to flood crisis searching for informal social networks that proved to be more resilient, efficient or quicker than the respective accountable institutions. In assessing flood governance and public accountability between the state, NGOs and emerging solidarity networks we looked at the micro-level of local communities or condominium owners’ association in each building and the meso-level either in the non-governmental sector (NGO), municipality or different political parties and their overall perception of public accountability including the macro-level.
|The results showed that the responses were a great deal similar in the surveyed areas: from blaming the politicians and municipal authorities for the lack of coordination, untimely flood alert, disorientation, unpreparedness etc. to praising volunteers from the region and the voucher model in Republika Srpska. The respondents in all towns simultaneously praised some neighbors while criticizing
others for the lack of support. One thing that emerged from the focus groups and interviews was that we encountered participatory accountability in practice: almost all of the respondents were at times both holders and holdees. In trying to assess the meaning making practices among them, it was detected joint ownership, collaboration and advice as were predominant in our focus groups as these groups often involved people who were both affected in the floods but also had some say in the community being engaged in either humanitarian, NGO or flood rescue teams showing the dynamic link between the structures and agencies at different levels as interacting with disaster management. In terms of what was learned during the floods, the respondents told how children should learn about it in schools and how people should be better prepared for the unexpected. They talked about commemorating floods and marking the 14th or the 15th of May in municipal calendars and were worried that amnesia could happen and that people would easily forget about it. Yet the issue of public accountability in terms of resignations or even trials was not identified in the focus groups. As one Šamac respondent said «people have no patience for a revolution and you don’t start one unless you have an alternative to offer». The question that remains is the one of self-organizing and neighborly assistance, a solution before a revolution. The Maglaj organization of flooded citizens might be a move in that direction.
|Focus groups of meso-level governance officials in Samac and Maglaj municipalities (8 indepth interviews) and two focus groups (4 focus groups) of affected people.
|University of Fribourg, Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe, Regional Research Promotion Programme in the Western Balkans – RRPP, Bd de Pérolles 90, 1700 Fribourg
|Start – end date
|01.10.2015 – 01.09.2016
|Available document types
|Dataset 11 – Državni kapaciteti: Diskurs upravljanja poplavom
|Data language is Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian
|Mode of data collection
|Face-to-face interview (CAPI, CAMI, PAPI, etc.)
|Data collection instruments
|Number of cases
|Danijela Majstorović, Vedran Horvat: Državni kapaciteti: Diskurs upravljanja poplavom društvenih aktera u Bosni i Hercegovini i Hrvatskoj, 2015 [Dataset]. Distributed by DASS-BiH, Sarajevo.
The dataset is transferred from FORS Data Archive, Switzerland. Original dataset metadata file as received from FORS can be viewed here.
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