I traveled again to Srebrenica yesterday and conducted interviews with the UNDP’s Srebrenica Regional Recovery Program Economic Development Coordinator, as well as with several Drina personnel and one of the founders of SARA, a women’s and youth NGO in Srebrenica.
The SRRP economic development coordinator was very helpful in his advice on developing agricultural cooperatives. He outlined the challenges facing farmers in the area: access to finance, lack of technical skills and certain equipment, and some poorly designed recovery efforts pursued in the past. I drafted a memo for Drina on this meeting and provided some recommendations on the next steps to be taken in this agricultural cooperative project. We will need to meet with several regional microfinance institutions to see what kind of new loan products can be developed that are better tailored to the small farmer, and I will be contacting the U.S. Embassy to discuss the possibility of USDA specialists conducting some appraisals of various agricultural sub-sectors in the Srebrenica region.
The Forum of NGO’s coordinator I spoke with seemed to think the Women Building Peace Conference was a fine idea, so we will pursue that immediately.
The interviews I conducted with local NGO leaders were aimed at getting a sense of what day-to-day community interactions were like in Srebrenica. I drafted a survey designed to get at these questions. Specifically, 10 years after an interethnic war, what are the attitudes of individuals towards other individuals of different ethnic groups? How well do institutions act as integrators? How do residents view their own process of reconciliation and their own political futures?
I will present my results in this blog next week after conducting a few more phone interviews.
Posted By Sabri Ben-Achour (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Posted Aug 4th, 2005