Social Protection Situational Analysis: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina faces significant labor market challenges. While recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is struggling with persistent unemployment and a predicted rise in poverty. To further reduce the incidence of poverty, measures to create more job opportunities for all BiH citizens must be complemented by an effective social protection framework. This note presents a situational analysis of the social protection system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It assesses the extent to which the social protection system fulfills its purpose; it also proposes policy priorities as well as areas for reform in the short, medium, and long term. The remainder of the note is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews the country’s main poverty and labor market outcomes; section 3 provides a brief overview of the social protection system; section 4 looks at non-contributory cash transfers to support the poor, the vulnerable and people with disabilities; section 5 examines social care services; section 6 analyzes pensions; section 7 explores employment and active labor market programs; section 8 reviews the social protection response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and section 9 concludes by identifying knowledge gaps and policy priorities for reform.