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“Mini-Maastricht” training in BiH

September 11, 2009

 

Last week, two colleagues and myself were in Sarajevo for a so-called “Mini-Maastricht” training for the UNICEF staff in the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) office. The training was referred to as mini-Maastricht because many UNICEF staff have taken the full Maastricht course that is especially designed for UNICEF. The third round of this full training took place last spring, which incorporates a preparatory e-learning phase and a two-week face-to-face training in Maastricht. Although we have trained about 600 UNICEF staff by means of this full programme during three rounds from 2006 to 2009, it is not option for all staff. To provide everybody in the UNICEF BiH office, UNICEF asked us to provide a shortened version of the full Maastricht training, which was then conveniently referred to as the “Mini-Maastricht” training…

The training was not held in Sarajevo but in the ski-resort of Jahorina. This was to make sure that the participants were not distracted by their email and other office occupations. During the three training days, we discussed a range of issues including poverty measurement, fiscal space and social budgeting, economic growth and development, targeting and child allowance and social inclusion in the EU. Lectures were combined with exercises and the whole training was concluded with a policy exercise. The participants were asked to advise on the introduction of a child benefit scheme in BiH using evidence. Especially this last exercise was also an interesting learning experience for us as neither of us had ever been to the country before. One thing that become obvious is that the administrative and bureaucratic structures in BiH are very complicated and it is everything but an easy task for the UNICEF staff to work on policies that improve the lives of children. Hopefully, the training contributed to some improvement!

Old town in Sarajevo

Old town in Sarajevo

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