|Study title||International Financial Aid and Crisis Management: The Case of 2014 Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia|
|Authors||Ivana Gros-Kornfein (PI)|
|Geographical space||Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia|
|Abstract||This PROJECT aims to explore the role of international financial aid in the case of a natural disaster (floods) in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia that have occurred in the spring of 2014. This cross-country comparison focuses on a two-year timeframe, covering the period between May 2014 and May 2016. This small-n comparative analysis will assess the possibilities of national institutions (in the aftermath of floods) to build their institutional crisis management capacities through international financial aid. The research identifies national institutions dealing with crisis management, but also deals with international institutions that financed projects focused on strengthening of (institutional) crisis management. Thus, paper analyzes the outcomes of two years of project financing and will try to determine the role financial aid has played during this process. It will discern whether financial aid funded capacity-building or just supported reconstruction and recovery of damage caused by floods. In addition, this chapter will try to examine whether the post-flood period has fostered aid dependency and whether local actors mainly perceive international financial aid as a source of “free” funds that help alleviate the consequences of the crisis but do not deal with the “root of the problem”, i.e. poor institutional arrangements in crisis management. Finally, the aim of this research is to determine whether national institutions can transform themselves with the assistance of international financial aid and potentially enhance institutional frameworks for management of natural disasters.|
|Results||The results has shown the following;|
• Firstly, none of the three countries was fully prepared for such a catastrophic natural event. Croatia’s national crisis management system was the best of all three, while the Serbian initially had the most problems. However, in all three cases, interviewees were able to point to some lessons learned and offered ideas about practical improvements. Some of the key improvements needed in national crisis management system, especially regarding flooding: In the prevention and preparedness phase authorities at all levels should become aware of potential risk and start recognizing and treating particular vulnerabilities in their areas of competence. In addition, it was observed a lack of (non)structural disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures. These measures include dealing with fragility of embankments and levees, inadequate water management on transboundary waters, inappropriate spatial planning/houses and settlements built in banned zones, and inappropriate capacities for early warning and alarming and response.
• Secondly, international financial aid did not have a similar impact in all three cases. Croatia, as an EU member state and as the financial most stable one from all three countries, received much less direct financial help and more often served as a liaison between old EU member states and Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Serbian authorities.
• Thirdly, international financial aid from the European Union had the most impact, because this was the only donor that could subsequently promoted legal and institutional innovation, which would ultimately help improve national crisis management systems and assist the policy learning process.
• Fourthly, the policy learning process, especially the ability to process rapid changes (punctuations in terms of Baumgartner’s and Jones’s punctuated equilibrium theory), was much more successful in Serbia, than in the other two countries. The Croatian crisis management system was already well in place, which prevented its stakeholders to make use of this crisis and go through with substantial policy change. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, internal ethnic and political conflicts prevented effective cooperation and coordination of different national, regional, and local crisis management institutions, which meant that policy change was only partial (although the impact of the EU was still substantial).
• Finally, it can concluded that the analysis of the triangle of crisis management, policy learning and international financial aid, observed through post-floods relief in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, has highlighted the need for a comprehensive approach to crisis management. In addition, it has shown the importance of political stability as prerequisite for substantial policy learning and policy change.
• Lastly, it has demonstrated that international financial aid in post-crisis situations can be effective only if the donors can offer quality incentives and serve as a policy role model, which the European Union has (at least partially) managed to do in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian and the Serbian case, while Croatia, already an EU member, has demonstrated reform fatigue.
|Method description||• Collected and analyzed the literature pertaining to the
institutional crisis management; specific practices in the three analyzed
countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia); this body of literature
has provided a theoretical background for my research;|
• Detected the relevant national institutions tasked with crisis management in each country;
• Identified international institutions and organizations that provided international aid in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia during the floods management period;
• Conducted data and document collection either directly, i.e. through retrieval of information through websites of the aforementioned national and international stakeholders or indirectly, after establishing contact with these institutions and organizations;
• Some contact persons provided information through e-mail, while others sent hardcopy version through conventional mail;
• Interviewed all the relevant stakeholders in each country (standardized questionnaire)
• After data collection, sorted out all sources and analyzed the way individual flood aid projects connect to each other in order to grasp the bigger picture about flood management in each respective country
• Conclusion based on all the information gathered
|Publications||To be decided on proceedings (2017)|
|Study type||Mandated research|
|Financed by||Mandating institution|
|Mandating institution(s)||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 – 31.12.2016|
|Data type||Qualitative data|
|Available document types||Publications (final report, articles)|
|Linked to||Dataset 13 – Međunarodna financijska pomoć i upravljanje krizama|
|Mode of data collection||Face-to-face interview (CAPI, CAMI, PAPI, etc.)|
|Data collection instruments||Other|
|Number of cases||–|