Citizens’ Association (CA) “Zašto ne (Why not)” is an organization that deals with the creation of a safe, healthy, active, efficient and responsible society of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both in terms of government representatives and in terms of civil society and citizens, through promotion and establishment of political accountability mechanisms, strengthening and building civic activism, and the use of new media and technologies, in collaboration with other civil society organizations, institutions and individuals.
CA “Zašto ne” is a registered legal entity, registered in the register of civil associations with the Ministry of Justice of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) as of January 9, 2001, under the number 56, book 1 of the register, with registration number 03-054-992/97-2.
The organization was established as a youth peace organization with the aim of working on the demilitarization of BiH society and establishing the right to conscientious objection in BiH, but the mission of the organization was eventually expanded, and is currently adjusted to the current wishes and values of our founders and members. The organization operates in BiH and has partners in most local communities. We work with a staff of 12 people and we have an additional 10 external collaborators, and over 200 volunteers who support our work. Through related initiatives, several hundred people are involved in our work.
The goals of the organization are grouped into seven main program areas in which we work:
- Fact-checking and promotion of accountability – we promote accountability through fact-checking politicians and public officials, as well as media outlets. Projects within this program include: Istinomjer – fact-checking public officials and promises of governments (www.istinomjer.ba); and Raskrinkavanje – media fact-checking (www.raskrinkavanje.ba).
- Civic participation – we encourage and facilitate civic participation of various kinds. Projects within this program include: Javna rasprava – facilitating public debate of citizens and parliamentarians on laws being currently debated (www.javnarasprava.ba); Pravo da znam – portal for sending requests for access information (www.pravodaznam.ba); Glasometar – an internet application created to provide support to potential voters in their election-related decisions (www.glasometar.ba); Moj porez – an educational tool on how much taxes people pay and what is it spent on (www.mojporez.ba); Popravi mi školu – a portal for reporting problems in the education system in BiH (www.popravimiskolu.org).
- Monitoring the government and political processes – we monitor the government and political processes and present it to the public. Projects within this program include: Istinomjer – fact-checking the work and promises of public officials and monitoring governments (www.istinomjer.ba); Regional government openness index – measuring the openness of institutions of all branches of the government in six countries in the region (http://opennessindex.actionsee.org); Javna rasprava – facilitating public debate of citizens and parliamentarians on laws currently being debated (www.javnarasprava.ba); Čiste liste – a portal that collects information about public service of all candidates in the elections (www.cisteliste.ba); Monitor liste – monitoring of the 2013 census in BiH; EU Integration Monitoring Initiative – Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations for Monitoring EU Integration in BiH (www.eumonitoring.ba); Coalition for Open Government in BiH and Open Government “Partnership” – Open Government Coalition in BiH (www.ogp.ba).
- Research and advocacy – we create and implement various research projects with the aim of influencing public policies through advocacy at various levels of government, both locally and internationally. Projects within this program area include: Coalition “Jednakost (Equality)” – a coalition of non-governmental organizations to end ethnic and political discrimination in BiH; Regional Government Openness Index – development of roadmaps for governments to improve their openness, elimination of constitutional discrimination in the FBiH cantons, and the introduction of direct democracy in the Constitution of BiH.
- Promoting the use of technology – we promote the use of technology by all participants to improve democratic processes. Projects within this program area include: POINT conference – leading regional conference on political accountability and technology (http://point.zastone.ba); MENA Fellowship – a program on using technology for the purpose of political process monitoring; Data academy – a regional educational program for organizations to work on data, organizing various camps and hackathons (we have implemented TechCamp Sarajevo, Community Boost_r Camp Sarajevo and several hackathons).
- Civic education for elections – we educate citizens on the election process and related issues in order to improve the quality of voting. Projects within this program area include: Glasometar – matching voter preferences to parties for elections (www.glasometar.ba); Istinomjer – fact-checking public officials and promise tracking of government (www.istinomjer.ba); Čiste liste – a portal aggregating all information about public service of all candidates on elections (www.cisteliste.ba); Raskrinkavanje – fact-checking media manipulations (www.raskrinkavanje.ba); Razglasaj – a campaign for increasing voter turnout for elections.
- “Zašto ne” knowledge factory – we share experiences and knowledge to also increase the quality of work of other organizations and groups. Main projects within this program area include: POINT conference – leading regional conference on political accountability and technology (http://point.zastone.ba); MENA Fellowship – a program on using tech and political process monitoring; Data academy – a regional educational program for organisations working on data; Scaling different platforms for other countries – we have scaled Istinomjer for Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia (http://vistinomer.mk/) and Croatia (www.faktograf.hr), and Glasometar for Macedonia (http://glasomer.mk/), Javna rasprava for Albania (www.konsultimipublik.al) and we are working on scaling of Moj Porez for Egypt. We have helped the development of Egyptian media monitoring platform (www.akhbarmeter.org) and are working on the development of a platform to document mass executions in Egypt.
In total, we have several hundred media appearances per year for all major local, national and international media agencies, over 150,000 visitors visit our online branch every month, and we have over 60,000 followers on our social media projects.
We are members and founders of the Regional Network “Action SEE”, Interregional network “TransparenCEE”, Coalition for equality in BiH, Coalition for monitoring of EU integrations in BiH, Coalition for open government in BiH, and we have been members of the Regional Network for Demilitarization “Objection for Peace”, “New Rights Group”, Coalition “Odgovornost (Responsibility)” and “Civic Coordination” in BiH.