On 5 March 2015, the members of the Working Group for Developing Youth Strategy of FBiH held a study visit to the Republic of Croatia. The study visit was organised by the Institute for Youth Development KULT in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports. The aim of the study visit was to exchange experiences in making and implementing youth strategy and to gain insight into the difficulties of strategy implementation. During the study visit, the members of the Working group met with the representatives of the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth of the Republic of Croatia as well as with the repesentatives of the Croatian Youth Network.
The first meeting was held in the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth where the members of the Working Group met with the assistant of minister Hrvoje Sadari?, the chief of Sector of Social Policy and Policy of Children, Youth and Family, Dubravka MaruĹˇi?, and the manager of the Department for the Youth, Morana Makovec. The representatives of the Ministry introduced the members of the Working group with the processes of making of three National Action Programmes for the Youth and pointed to the significant differences between the processes of their development.
- During the process of drafting the first strategic document for the youth from 2003 to 2008 a working group was formed, made out of 25 members amongst whom were scientists, representatives of the state management bodies as well as 6 representatives of youth associations. A campaign was initiated, entitled Uklju?i se (Become Involved) as well as many information desks that aimed to inform the youth, but also were an excellent mechanism that enabled feedback on the needs of the youth. The first National Action Programme for the Youth entailed no evaluation, which was changed later on, so as to underline the influence of such an important document.
- During the process of drafting the second National Action Programme for the Youth from 2009 to 2013, with a Conclusion brought by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, a Youth Council has been established as an interdepartmental advisory body of the Government with the task of participating in the development of the public youth policies. The representatives of the ministries and youth associations participate in the body.
- During the process of drafting the third National Program for the Youth from 2014 to 2017, on the scientists’ initiative, a research was conducted for the first time regarding the needs, problems and potentials of the youth on a sample of 2000 examinees. Also, a public counseling was held with the interested public where online consultations were open for 30 days and all those interested could present their problems and suggestions. There is an implementation programme made annually for the action programme for every institution. An obligatory external evaluation was brought. The evaluation is conducted immediately before the end of the strategy period, so that certain corrections can still be made in the final months. The represetatives of the Ministry believe that the process of drafting the third National Programme for the Youth has enabled the highest degree of youth participation so far.
During the meeting at the Ministry, the members of the Working Group from FBiH presented the activities that have been accomplished so far with particular emphasis on the significance of the analysis of problems and needs of the youth that was the starting point for making The Youth Strategy of FBiH. Besides, the Law on Youth in FBiH was presented along with the positive changes it caused. The significance of the municipal levels of government, that have many responsibilities in implementing the Law, was especially underlined.
The second meeting was held in the facilities of the NGO Zelena akcija with the representatives of the Croatian Youth Network. The Croatian Youth Network is an alliance of 69 NGOs of and for the youth that functions as an umbrella youth organisation of the Republic of Croatia. The president of the Board of the Croatian Youth Network, Marko Boko, and the head of the youth policy programme, Petra Pekica, discussed with the members of the Working group about the advantages and disadvantages of the Draft of the Law on Youth in the Republic of Croatia and underlined that they consider that the non-governmental sector in the Republic of Croatia is still not ready to implement such a law. Also, the representatives of the Network emphasized their significance in the process of developing the international youth programmes.
During their visit, the members of the Working Group for Developing Youth Strategy of FBiH had the opportunity to listen to many examples of good experiences that they can use in their further work. At the moment, the representatives are working on designing the strategic goals and results they wish to accomplish within their institutions in the following period, that will be the text of the future Youth Strategy. To remind, the Institute for Youth Development KULT is in charge for the advisory and technical assistance in the process of developing the Strategy according to the decision of the Government of FBiH.