I am honoured to present you our key achievements and lessons learned in 2019, as well as our plans for 2020-2021. This activity report presents the synthesis of all the hard work the entire team of Expert-Grup invested in order to fulfil our mission of promoting the public interest through efficient economic and social public policies for sustainable development.
These results would have not been possible without the consistent support with our partners from the donor community (European Union, World Bank, Sweden, Soros Foundation, KAS and FES foundations, as well as UN agencies), public sector (Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Social Protection and Labour, State Chancellery, National Bank of Moldova, National Commission for Financial Market, National Anti-corruption Center and others), academia (Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, University of Economics from Montpellier, France), the civil society from Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia, Germany, Belgium and even USA) and the private sector (mainly, employers associations and trade unions).
In 2019, we followed the priorities mentioned in our previous activity report. Namely, Expert-Grup got more engaged at promoting good governance at the local level. In this regard, two multi-year projects, funded by EU and KAS, have been launched, which (i) promote budgetary participation at the local level, and (ii) empower the local CSOs to become active members of community development.
Also, we diversified our analytical tools, by running for the first time in Moldova a series of economic experiments, in partnership with the University of Economics from Montpellier (France), in order to estimate the tax morale and formulate policy recommendations to fight tax evasion. We also streamlined our econometric models, in line with the new demographic data and the recent revisions of a number of statistical indicators, which allows us to simulate the impact of potential public policies and forecast economic and social developments.
Under the priority to diversity our beneficiaries, by putting more emphasis on the general public and students, Expert-Grup launched in 2019 two strategically important initiatives: (i) an ambitious financial literacy campaign for the population; and (ii) anti-corruption courses for students. Both initiatives will be further developed in 2020-2021.
Apart from that, we continued to monitor economic and social policies, provide macroeconomic forecasts and formulate policy recommendations under our regular publications (annual State of the Country Report, bi-annual MEGA publications, policy papers).
In 2020-2021, we plan to continue engaging at the local level with CSOs and LPAs, scale up the behavioural analytical tools and economic experiments, continue working with the government, but also increasingly engage with the nongovernmental stakeholders from Moldova and Eastern Partnership countries, focus more attention on the economics of environment and human rights.
Also, taking into account COVID-19 realities, we will monitor the economic and social impact of the pandemics and formulate solutions for crisis management and fast recovery for the government, firms and donors. Additionally, crisis management, resiliency and economics of health will be the new policy priorities that we will start pursuing in 2020, given the COVID-19 implications.
Having said that, I express my sincere gratitude for our partners, donors and all my colleagues for joining efforts in the promotion of Expert-Grup mission, values and priorities. We have huge plans ahead!