Sector Outlook Reports in tourism, wood, and light manufacturing sectors
FIRMA is a five-year, $20 million project that began in September 2009 and is funded by USAID and Sida. The purpose of the project is to support enterprise competitiveness in selected value chains of the tourism, wood, and light manufacturing sectors of BiH, in the process advancing the country’s ability to meet the Copenhagen Economic Criteria for accession to the European Union. To support sustainability, the project works primarily through a group of key local implementing partners, known as the “FIRMA Consortium”, who cover all regions of the country.
The goals of USAID and Sida for FIRMA are ambitious and transformational, and therefore require wide impact – in product design and quality, in ways of connecting to markets, in expertise of workforce, and in investment attractiveness. FIRMA's strategy is directed toward these systemic objectives.
The FIRMA workplan is defined at the private sector value chain level. Implementing partners, called “Value Chain Facilitators” (VCFs), organise stakeholders first to identify and prioritise competitiveness obstacles through value chain analysis, and then to originate and manage discrete activities to address these obstacles. FIRMA supervises and supports these activities, providing strategic and operational guidance, expert technical assistance, and grants from its $3 million Small Grants Fund. In order to maximise scale and impact, FIRMA works closely with other donors and local government agencies that provide development assistance programs consistent with FIRMA's objectives – so-called “collaborating implementers”.
FIRMA is implemented by Cardno Emerging Markets USA, Ltd. (Arlington, VA), with several consortium subcontractors and 12 regional and local economic development agencies in BiH.
As a subcontractor, ORGUT carried out consulting services to FIRMA to develop Sector Outlook Reports for the three selected value chains of the tourism, wood, and light manufacturing sectors, which provided FIRMA, USAID and Sida with information on the current situation including recent developments in the three sectors, and forecasts for the coming year.