The Results of the World Social Capital Monitor 2022
for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Capital Monitor is a worldwide open access Social Capital Survey to better understand the social climate in countries. It is developed by the Basel Institute of Commons and Economics (BICE) for the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Partnership. The monitor is being used for promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The International University of Sarajevo has been representing Bosnia and Herzegovina as an active partner of the World Social Capital Monitor since the signing of the agreement between Dr. Alexander Dill, on behalf of the Director of the Basel Institute of Commons and Economics, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aliye F. Mataraci affiliated with Political Science Program at Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, on behalf of the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) on May 17, 2018. Through this cooperation agreement, both parties agreed to establish an agenda of cooperation aiming to implement joint initiatives, including the distribution of the open access online survey https://trustyourplace.com/ in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in addition to the analysis of the collected data.
The survey, which is available in 50 languages, including Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian (https://trustyourplace.com/?lang=bos; https://trustyourplace.com/?lang=hrvatski; https://trustyourplace.com/?lang=serbian), provides timelines and comments for eight social goods: social climate, helpfulness, friendliness, hospitality, interpersonal trust, austerity measures, willingness to pay taxes and local investment, for each country affiliated with the Monitor.
The results for The World Social Capital Monitor 2022, released on January 11, 2023 cover 77 different cities/towns.
The section of the shared report titled Common Ground 2022 covering Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo), prepared by Dr. Mataraci, involves the timeline for the results between 2018 and 2022, observations based on the results, and finally the suggestions based on the observations. The analysis of the results from Sarajevo showed the tendencies of the following social goods: hospitality, friendliness, helpfulness and social climate (with scores higher than 5 out of 10 between 2018 and 2022) and interpersonal trust, willingness to pay taxes, local investment and austerity measures (with scores lower than 5 out of 10) to increase and decrease simultaneously.
Based on these tendencies, it is possible to suggest that willingness to invest in public goods falls behind the willingness to invest in interpersonal relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nevertheless, this appears as a general trend for other capital cities of the Western Balkan cuntries affiliated with the Social Capital Monitor as shared by Dr. Mataracı in her article titled “Social Climate in The Western Balkans (2018-2021)”.*
In addition, the results from Sarajevo also show that the scores for all social goods are the highest for 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase is followed by a drop in 2021, and an increase again in 2022. The immediate reaction of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian society to the COVID-19 pandemic reflects itself as an increase in the investment to social goods. Nevertheless, the investment in the social goods decreases with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to contribute temporarily to the acceleration of shared social goods and virtues within the Bosnian and Herzegovinian society. A similar tendency is also observed with the other aforementioned Western Balkan Countries affiliated with the Social Capital Monitor (Mataracı, 2022).
Another interesting observation allowed by the 2018-2022 timeline is that the level of investment in the social goods appears as almost the same in the years 2018 and 2022. Hence, the scores before and after the pandemic are more or less the same. Whether this can be considered as the standard level of investment in social goods for the Bosnian and Herzegovinian society is to be tested in the years to follow. Mataraci finalizes her analysis with the hope that the recently granted European Union candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina will be the driving force for a possible near future increase in the willingness to invest in public goods. International University of Sarajevo will continue with its partnership with the World Social Capital Monitor to follow and share the near future trends and tendencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and compare them with the past analyses.
*MATARACI, A. F. (2022). “Social Climate in The Western Balkans (2018-2021)”, İMGELEM, 6 (10): 69-88.