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The social capital assessment tool (SOCAT) and the local level institutions and social capital study in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Paper (67Kb)

December 17, 2002
Presenters: Patrizia Poggi (ECSSD) and Christiaan Grootaert (SDV)

The presentation in the highlight box to the right discusses the role social capital assessments can play in the PSIA of policy reforms. It consists of two parts:

  1. Presentation of the content and use of the Social Capital Assessment Tool (SOCAT)
  2. Case study on evaluating social capital and local level institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The SOCAT is a multifaceted instrument designed to collect social capital data at the household, community and organizational levels. It is an integrated quantitative/qualitative tool that draws upon the experience of fifteen empirical studies undertaken in the context of the World Bank's Social Capital Initiative. An important feature is the detailed information about structural and cognitive social capital that is collected at the level of the household, which is crucial to link social capital information with poverty and household welfare outcomes, and for use of the tool in PSIA.

The study in Bosnia and Herzegovina evaluates social capital and local-level institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina six years after the end of the war, which caused the death of about 200,000 people, the displacement of more than 50 percent of the population, and a profound disruption of the country's social, institutional, and economic fabric. The purpose of this study is to analyze the nature of social capital in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and how it relates to the functioning of local-level institutions, which are critical for actors in conflict resolution, effective public service delivery, and sustainable development.

The three main objectives of the study are to:

  1. assess the nature of interpersonal relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina - levels of trust, forms of cooperation and conflict among individuals and groups, such as ethnic groups, poor and rich, urban and rural residents, locals and internally displaced persons (IDPs) or minority returnees;
  2. identify the local-level institutions, both formal (municipalities, neighbourhood committees, citizens' associations, non-governmental organizations) and informal (personal connections with local leaders), to which people turn to cope with poverty and improve their access to public services;
  3. identify the frequency and forms of collective action - self-organization and public protest - used in relation to local public services; and analyse their social and institutional determinants.

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See also the PovertyNet site for Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA).




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