Enhanced Regional Cooperation
Although the Regional Housing Programme consists of four individual Country Housing Projects, one of the cornerstones of the RHP’s success is its regional character. The four Partner Countries work very closely together to reach their common goal. They support each other and exchange information daily to maintain a steady pace of RHP implementation, to find synergies in their work and to learn from each other’s successful experiences within the RHP. In addition, thanks to the RHP, regional standards are being strengthened: a number of templates, standards and checklists have been introduced in the Partner Countries to facilitate implementation.
Sustained Cooperation with Local Governments
The RHP helps strengthen the cooperation between the central government and local self-governments, as the Programme is implemented in hundreds of municipalities in the region. Local administrations have a high level of ownership of the projects and are actively involved in their implementation, including in procurement and beneficiary selection. This cooperation strengthens the capacities of local administrations.
Republic of Serbia
In Serbia, municipalities play a pivotal role in the implementation of the RHP as some of the sub-projects will be implemented in a decentralised manner – by the municipalities themselves – as regards the delivery of building material packages and the purchase of village houses. A large number of Serbian municipalities will also own and maintain RHP financed apartment buildings for which they need to donate land and secure infrastructure connections. The municipalities also play a key role in the construction of pre-fabricated houses
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the involvement of municipalities will continue in the years to come as a large number of RHP beneficiaries will have their houses reconstructed. The support of municipalities for the RHP is very important as they issue building permits, manage technical acceptances, provide land and infrastructure as well as support in sustainability issues. Furthermore, 19 municipalities will own RHP-financed apartment buildings in which RHP beneficiaries are accommodated.
Republic of Croatia
In Croatia, all municipalities involved in RHP projects donate the respective land and commit to be in charge of the maintenance of the newly constructed facilities
In Montenegro, municipalities also play an important role: as in the other Partner Countries, municipalities have donated land and financed the costs of preparing the building sites and of providing infrastructure facilities. More importantly, municipalities also own and maintain the RHP-financed buildings
Strengthened National Structures
The Partner Countries are in charge of implementing the Programme. This is one of the factors that sets RHP apart from most other housing projects in the region: this strong ownership builds up the Partner Countries’ institutional capacity to implement projects in the future, in line with EU and international standards. Support to national structures is offered through in-country resident Technical Assistance which is embedded within the implementing institutions to support project implementation and management.
As the RHP implementation moves forward, additional emphasis is being put on the processes and procedures that are defined in the RHP Project Implementation Manual, through enhanced risk management and regular monitoring. In addition to this, Technical Assistance continues to support the Partner Countries in the implementation of their sub-projects, with particular focus on ensuring that the tender process, including development, launching and evaluation, is complete and carried out efficiently, which is crucial for timely procurement. Technical Assistance also helps the Partner Countries to bring their future projects to maturity, thus reducing the implementation period. To support efficient project implementation, certain management tools have been introduced and/or their use enhanced:
Gantt charts showing the estimated realistic timeline for implementation
Procurement Tracking System listing the status of all the tenders launched and planned
Risk Registers identifying and categorising risks that can affect the pace of implementation
Monitoring/Management Information System (MMIS), gathering monitoring data in relation to the physical and financial progress of sub-projects in a way that is well structured, easily accessible and up to date