IC Pushing Education Reform
Broadly speaking, the IC has been the major force behind education reform in the absence of the capacity for and/or desire to make reform policies at the state or entity levels in the immediate post-war era (Duilovic, 2004). This influence has been exerted via various means, including direct actions from international institutions (e.g., UNICEF), direct efforts by foreign governments, foreign funding of NGOs, and/or enforcement and
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017 87
B. Lanahan, Post-Conflict Education for Democracy and Reform,
Palgrave Studies in Global Citizenship Education and Democracy,
implementation of agreed-upon policies. One Bosnian educator commented that ‘I don’t think anything would happen here without the influence of the IC’ (Daric). Much of this influence was due to the funding the IC brings to BiH. ‘Change is difficult here in countries where we have no money. I think then those international organizations then have a big influence’ (Malic). One Bosnian education professor discussed the broader impact of the IC on BiH society:
I think IC is like completely new national community within our Bosnian- Herzegovina culture. It is very important because we can test many things here in our country, and we can develop ourselves even if we do not travel a lot. I think it’s very important and also it is something that is very different from the previous system. This is the impact of the international community here. (Saric)
This is not to say that all Bosnian educators always welcome assistance from the IC. ‘They support us very much some times and not very much in some of our projects. When they come to school, some of us think that that is some kind of inspector. Not to help us, but to judge’ (Cehic). Another Bosnian educator, who had previously worked for multiple internationally funded NGOs, was skeptical of some NGOs operating in BiH: ‘So my work has been very positive so far, but this is not to say that every NGO that exists in this country is doing a great job or should be existing at all. Some just waste money’ (Lovrenovic). Other participants explained how money can create access but not necessarily buy-in by local authorities. ‘Civitas comes in and the RS says, “If you’re going to pay for everything, and we don’t have to change our content we’ll welcome you with open arms. We’ll show how human rights focused we are,” but it’s not genuine’ (Elizabeth).