Project title: National Human Development Report 2012 “European Aspirations and Human Development of Republic of Moldova”;

Implementation period: November 1, 2011 – January 31, 2013;

Funded by: UNDP - Moldova;

Project goal: European integration has been identified by Moldova’s Government as the most feasible alternative for the long-term development of the country. However, the implications of this vector on the human development are not fully clear. The NHDR 2012 has been conceived as a policy-oriented analytical and advocacy tool showing how Moldova’s European integration and human development agendas, processes and achievements influence each other and what are the policy options to adopt in order to maximize the positive synergy and minimize the related risks and costs;

Main activities:

  • Reviewing relevant literature; developing and delivering the preliminary research outline;
  • Organizing a policy workshop to discuss the preliminary research outline with a wider audience, including NGOs, UN agencies, ministries and universities;
  • Developing research tools, collecting and processing existing data, conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis; preparing the first draft of the NHDR;
  • Conducting national social opinion survey and experts’ interviews, preparing the final draft of the NHDR;
  • Launching the NHDR at national conference;
  • Organizing policy advocacy campaign; discuss the NHDR during two thematic policy workshops;
  • Organizing media campaign to reflect and promote the NHDR results;

Main outputs and outcomes:

Project impact:

The 2012 National Human Development Report “European Aspirations and Human Development of the Republic of Moldova” concentrates on the impact of trade-liberalization, visa-liberalization and EU-motivated human rights and justice sector reforms. The project has clearly demonstrated that for Moldova, the European integration process and its outcomes support the country's human development and modernization. The economic impact of the deep and comprehensive trade liberalization is, indeed, expected to be positive, although unevenly distributed across society. The project has also shown that the anticipated boost of the visa-free regime on migration outflows is considerably overblown. The Moldova’s European aspirations create a positive environment for empowering individuals with real liberties, and a smooth European integration requires better-trained human capital in public and private sectors alike. In general, by more deeply engaging in furthering the European agenda, Moldova may benefit from a significant boost in human development. At the same time, the project showed that enlarging people's choices, fostering a continuous progress in human development and improving the institutional infrastructure of the economy are preconditions for an efficient and 'high-quality' European integration for Moldova and that education plays a key role in this regard.

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:54

Clientelism at your fingertips

Project title: Clientelism at your fingertips;

Implementation period: June 15, 2012 – May 15, 2013;

Funded by: Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation;

Partner: Expert-Forum (Romania);

Project goal: This is a pilot-project aiming to create instruments to measure- and report on- politically-motivated deviations from rules governing the allocation of public resources in Romania and Moldova, to campaign to make the issue visible, and feed the results into the current EU anti-corruption strategies;

Main activities:

  • Documenting and measuring the practice of politically preferential allocations, on which there are numerous anecdotic accounts, but no widely known figures or objective indicators;
  • Disclosing information in a friendly, easy to access and graphically attractive manner so that it can be taken over without distortions by the media;
  • Running aggressive media and online campaigns to increase awareness;
  • Initiating smart participation measures, such as opening debates on the dedicated websites, forum-style, on specific policies/transfers/analytical results;
  • Inviting other experts to join in the effort (online) and fill in gaps or correct data;

Main outputs and outcomes:

  • A visible and well-established online database, in attractive format, updated regularly and with increased traffic in the days when new information is released;
  • A network of 5 to 10 reputed journalists in each country, from the national and local media, to give feedback on the data and function as nodal transmitters when we periodically publish or organize media events;
  • Institutionalized cooperation with the relevant domestic actors;
  • Quotations and interviews in the written and electronic media;
  • One workshop in each country plus a visit to Brussels to present our initiative – and if possible to give input – to the EU actors who work on the same agenda (mainly Commission and Parliament);
  • At least three policy briefs and a summarizing report published during the project, communicating to the national publics our initiative and most important findings;

Expected project impact:

We expect that this project will make the parties in power less tempted to use inter-governmental transfers of all sorts to maximize their electoral results, by deviating from the allocation rules in order to secure political support among local administrative elites, while the public will become more informed and demanding more transparency in public spending. 

Project title: Budget Process in Moldova: Monitoring Transparency and Promoting Public Control;

Implementation period: September 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013 (first year of implementation);

Funded by: Soros Foundation - Moldova, Good Governance Program;

Project goal: This is one of our flagship projects, we expect to maintain in long-term. Its purpose is to create the conditions for a better communication among the public institutions involved in the public budget cycle and civil society groups, to augment the budget transparency by providing up-to-date budgetary and economic analysis and to consolidate the public control over the public money through a better information of the citizens regarding budgetary policies and use of public resources;

Main activities:

  • Evaluating and tracking the public budget transparency based on the Open Budget Index methodology;
  • Monitoring actions of the public authorities that impact budget transparency;
  • Promoting budget process understanding in the Moldovan society, raise its policy awareness and educate a sense of involvement and participation;
  • Analyzing the budget cycle documents and inform the interested civil society groups using a language accessible for the wider public;
  • Organizing public roundtables for open and transparent discussion of the documents, problems and policy issues related to the budget cycle;
  • Monitoring the Court of Accounts activity;
  • Monitoring the execution of the Court of Accounts decisions;
  • Evaluating the efficiency in use of public money across different economic sectors, policy areas and special funds;

Main outputs and outcomes:

Project impact:

This project brought to the attention of the public and policy makers new topics of major importance that have not previously been examined closely enough and explained to the public. Media and the public now better understand the risks and challenges Moldova faces in management of the taxes paid by taxpayers. Increased attention by the media to the budget transparency is reflected in the large number of interviews we gave as part of this project. For the first time in Moldova, the project applied an internationally recognized methodology (Open Budget Index) to assess the country's budget transparency. The project showed that, in broad terms, Moldova fits into regional standards regarding transparency. In some aspects Moldova has achieved higher progress than other countries in the region (such as medium-term budgetary planning), but the situation is pretty bad regarding other elements of the budgetary transparency, including on such critical issues as interim and annual reporting, budget execution and developing citizens’ budgets. The project served as an important source to raise the awareness of the public and policy makers regarding the control and audit performed by the Court of Accounts of Moldova. In particular, the complex reports prepared by the Court were "translated" in a more accessible language and presented to the public. This allowed us to establish a working partnership with the Court and that will be maintained in the future. Another report conducted in result of this project evaluated how decisions made by the Court are being executed and, in this regard, the report revealed an extremely low compliance rate and pinpointed to the large-scale embezzlement and misuse of public resources and property. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the transparency and efficiency of public financial resources in two areas: agricultural subsidies and roads fund. Both studies identified significant potential for improvements in these areas and made policy proposals. The study on the Roads Fund has encountered some resistance from the institutions concerned (especially, from the Ministry of Transport). However, we will continue to actively advocate for institutional changes in this area, including by explaining to the Government the implications of the deficiencies found. At the same time, the study of agricultural subsidies was assessed as very good by the Ministry of Agriculture and by the Agency for Payments and Intervention in Agriculture. The results were used to strengthen institutionally the Agency and to initiate reforms in the sector, including by development of a package of laws. A number of donors have been informed by the project on the opportunities and challenges that Moldova meets regarding the management of public resources. In particular, the project allowed for the consolidation of new partnerships between EXPERT-GRUP and the DG Development Cooperation of the European Commission.

Project title: Civil Society and Private Sector as Contributors to the Millennium Development Goals’ Implementation;

Implementation period: January 1, 2012 – June 7, 2013;

Funded by: European Union, represented by the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova;

Partners: Institute for Public Policy (Republic of Moldova), Center for Economic Development (Bulgaria);

Project goal: The project analyzes the inputs of the Moldovan civil society organizations and private sector to the implementation of MDGs in the areas such as education, health, economic and trade development, social policy, transport, communication, customs, and youth. It will raise the awareness amongst local stakeholders (Government, NGOs, private sector and individual citizens) on the importance of the achievement of the targets of MDGs by the end of 2015 and will advance the capacities of CSOs and private sector representatives and their networks to contribute to MDGs;

Main activities:                       

  • Conducting four policy researches and producing four analytical reports on the type of involvement and contributions the CSOs and private sector representatives have towards the following MDGs: Goal 1. Reduce poverty and hunger; Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability and Goal 8. Develop a global partnership for development;
  • Forming four national clusters composed of at least five issue-based CSOs/private sector and governmental representatives each so as to consolidate national efforts towards MDGs implementation;
  • Conducting  national awareness campaigns so as to bring key MDG targets closer to decision makers, businesses and citizens and to promote best practices in CSO s involvement in the MDGs implementation;

Main outputs and outcomes:

  • Four analytical reports developed;
  • National awareness campaigns (video and audio spots promoting best practices of CSOs contributing to the implementation of the MDGs).

Project expected impact:

The project is based on the understanding that in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, Moldovan Government must work actively with all constituencies, particularly civil society organizations and the private sector. The project will increase the capacities of civil society and private sector, defined as development actors by Accra agenda, to contribute more effectively to the implementation of MDGs and their targets. 

Project title: EU-Moldova Relations: Monitoring the Progress in the Context of European Neighborhood Policy;

Implementation period: December 2, 2011 – February 11, 2013 (seventh year of implementation);

Funded by: Soros Foundation-Moldova, Good Governance Program;

Partners: Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT (Republic of Moldova);

Project goal: This project will contribute to improving the European integration policies and will further support the public debates framework created in result of previous stages of the project’s implementation;

Main activities:

  • Systematically monitoring and analyzing the implementation of the economic commitments Moldova adopted as part of its European integration policy;
  • Preparing policy studies on the subjects relevant for Moldova's European integration policy;
  • Delivering public presentations on the economic aspects related to European integration policy of Moldova;
  • Writing alternative reports on the Moldova's progress in implementation of its commitments towards the EU;
  • Organizing public meetings for discussions between public officials and civil society on the European integration policy;

Main outputs and outcomes:

Economic Commentary, no. 141

The elaboration of the 2013 state budget law draft has established an anti-record when it comes to the transparency and quality of the public consultations. The development of the budget law drat is a process too important for the civil society to accept being sidelined. Infringement of several normative provisions and hesitation in making use of the good governance best practices in the budgetary process this year could be interpreted as dangerous slippages away towards a more arrogant attitude of the state authorities regarding the citizens. And, as we show in this analysis, lack of collaboration among different state authorities negatively impacts on the quality of the budget draft.

Full version available only in Romanian.

Economic Commentary, no 140

From June 2011 to July 2012, Expert-Grup has elaborated 3 quarterly reports on Court of Accounts' findings and recommendations regarding the (mis)allocations and management of public resources. In order to examine the real impact of Court of Accounts' activity on the functioning of public institutions, we have also elaborated a report on the level of implementation of Court's recommendations by the targeted authorities. We have reached two main conclusions: (1) the inefficiencies and sometimes corruption in the management of public resources has become a “normal" phenomenon” rather than an exception; and (2) the problems depicted at length in Court of Accounts' reports are not properly dealt with and hence persist over time what demonstrates the low impact of its recommendations on public authorities' working. This commentary summarizes the key findings from the reports mentioned above.

Full version available only in Romanian.

Economic Commentary, no. 139

The evaluation conducted in 2012 by the Expert-Grup using an international methodology shows that the level of budgetary transparency in Moldova can be assessed with 60 points of 100 possible, which is a level comparable to that of Romania, Ukraine and Russian Federation. With this score, Moldova borders two categories of countries, those ‘disclosing little information’ and those ‘disclosing significant information’. As a benchmark, in 2010 the South Africa registered the highest score in the world, 92 points. Moldova needs to achieve higher budgetary transparency scores, which are necessary, inter alia, to cure the Moldovan citizens from too paternalistic expectations regarding the state.

Full Version available only in Romanian.

Economic Commentary, no. 138

We have recently examined the Government Report on Execution of the State Budget for 2011, with the purpose of understanding how transparently are this kind of reports elaborated, what are the strong and weak points of the process and how the process can be improved. This short analysis reflects only the most important parts of our analysis, and briefly explains how Governmental Reports can be improved in the future.

Full version available only in Romanian.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 00:00

The Drought and the Reserve Fund

Moldova is in deep crisis. A crisis of capacity and transparency of the governance process. Despite the reforms initiated and the wider opening to the public, the Government did little to educate higher trust in its policies. Many of the promised reforms are really difficult and will need more time to take shape. Nevertheless, others – including ensuring the transparency and efficiency in using the public financial resources – do not need extraordinary efforts to be effectively implemented. The way the Reserve Fund is used by the Government is one of the most telling testimonies of the existing deficiencies. As this short analysis shows, a key problem with the Reserve Fund is that it is totally out of the control of the Parliament, while improper regulations create the fertile ground for mismanagement and arbitrary use of the resources which are meant to be used only in exceptional situations, including during such extreme weather events as the severe drought this year.

Full version available only in Romanian.

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