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The Center for Research and Policy Making CRPM conducted a study (part of the PASOS regional project led by the Bulgarian European Institute) of the Macedonian progress in regard to the benchmarks set in the Roadmap for visa liberalization. As part of the ESI’s Schengen White List Project, we have provided an update of the analysis on the Macedonian progress and created a web site containing the stories of the western Balkan citizens who faced difficulties when applying for visas. CRPM together with ESI successfully managed to promote the Macedonian progress in this area.
During the course of 2009, with the financial assistance of the Balkan Trust for Democracy, CRPM conducted three analyses on relevant issues concerning the secondary and tertiary education.
In 2009 CRPM has endorsed itself as a provider of analytical and research services to partner NGOs. Koalicija SEGA, Foundation FOCUS and Macedonian Centre for Civic Education are some of the NGOs who have commissioned CRPM research and analysis in the process of implementation of their projects. Our staff have been also used as capacity building experts to Roma NGOs, various advocacy groups and grass-root organizations in the area of policy analysis, research and analytical techniques on behalf of the National Democratic Institute, Institute for Sustainable Communities and UNIFEM.
The findings of the UNIFEM supported research project on the implications of the DRG measure on unpaid care work (implemented in 2007-2008) show that DRG measure will inevitably decrease the length of stay in Macedonian hospitals / clinics and that the recovery and therefore care work for the ill will transfer from the public sphere (hospitals) to the private sphere (households). This will eventually create savings for the public health system (CRPM estimates are in amount up to 34% of the Ministry of Health’s budget per year) and will increase the unpaid care work performed in Macedonian households. This this project aimed at advocating for change in policies that will avert the projected outcomes of the DRG reform. It will not seek for discontinuation of the reform but for changes in the way the primary health services are delivered.
In the period directly before the local and presidential elections 2009, CRPM actively worked on decrease and ultimately diminishment of the family and proxy voting. Raising awareness campaign was conducted directly on the ground (“door to door”) in 4 electoral districts, and indirectly through a media camp
aign. At the last elections smaller percent of family and proxy voting was noted, compared to the previous years. Nevertheless, this is a major issue that needs continuous and comprehensive strategy to be addressed. CRPM in the period of 2010-2012 (period before the next regular elections) will continue to fight this problem, in cooperation with the relevant state institutions (SEC) and our local partner ANTICO.
CRPM has actively contributed during the last year and a half for promotion the issue of Visas at national and at EU level. Based on the review of the progress made regarding the Roadmap for visa liberalization, CRPM was pointing out the areas that needed additional work to be done, which was part of our strategy at national level on the one hand, whereas on the other hand we have promoted and lobbied the issue at EU level together with our partners (PASOS and ESI). The state institutions, the EU support, the civil society sector, the citizens of Macedonia, and all friends and supporters of this cause in the EU have their contribution (direct or indirect) in this successful story. CRPM is proud to have it share through its analytical and advocacy contribution.
An awareness raising campaign against family and proxy voting has been launched in municipalities where this phenomenon has been present on continuous bases in previous elections. CRPM, together with its project partner Women Civic Initiative ANTICO, are conducted the campaign, which was consisted from educational trainings for women; distribution of promotional materials; and producing and broadcasting a documentary film tackling this issue.
The CRPM team together with the State Electoral Commission prepared a National Strategy against Family and Proxy voting.
The aim of the project was to develop “Strategy for Gender Equality” for the City of Skopje (including all municipalities within the city and the stakeholders and policy makers at local level) and to raise the awareness for gender sensitive policies. The project also promoted the City of Skopje as a “city of gender equality” through various types of promotional materials related to the Strategy; information about the legal and institutional framework that regulates the gender issues in Macedonia and abroad, and included the basic gender terms and definitions such as: What is gender? What are gender stereotypes? What is gender equality?, What are gender neutral policies?
The project goal of the project “Mapping the leaders in Macedonia and Albania: elite potential for promoting positive social change”, was to provide scientific analysis of the process of elite transformation in Macedonia and Albania and the other Western Balkan countries from the late 1980s onwards. In this phase, CRPM’s researchers completed the desktop research which aimed to map and identify political, economic and cultural elites in these countries.
CRPM through its consulting arm in the course of 2010 piloted the use of the governance assessment methodology developed by the South- East European University in 8 case study municipalities. The research was done in the education sector with regard to social inclusion and poverty reduction. The methodology was developed to serve as a critical accountability mechanism for variety of stakeholders, especially the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and non-state actors regarding governance as well as to the decision makers to have the necessary information to improve the governance system and as such substantively contribute to the governance reform processes initiated in the country.
The Center for Research and Policy Making has conducted national survey on decentralization process in Macedonia for 2010. This study results reflect the main progress as well as challenges with decentralization process in Macedonia.
The study focuses on the:
The survey was conducted with a questionnaire that encompassed 135 questions
The survey was targeted to the municipal administration, the political parties represented in the Municipal council, the Mayor and the business community in 65 municipalities.
CRPM through its consulting arm in the course of 2010 conducted research on behalf of the World Bank and the Global Integrity, a Washington based think tank. The research was targeted to define indicators of access to information in education and health that can be used for analysis across and within countries. Macedonia, and specifically Skopje, was selected for a small pilot-test of these indicators.
The research for this project, involved survey of targeted population and face-to-face interviews with relevant stakeholders, directed to analyze access to information in the education and health sectors at different levels. The CRPM team consulted with representatives of the central government, as well as representatives from the State education and health inspectorates, civil society groups, the city and individual municipal administration, the school and health facility management, and community members.
The CRPM has conducted a research on the case of Macedonia for the purposes of the regional project “Developing Brain Gain Policies in Western Balkans”. Our research was comprised of the following segments: a) analysis the discourse on brain drain / brain gain problematic; b) sixteen in-depth interviews with stakeholders in the field; and c) field research.
Open Budget Survey 2010, the only independent, comparative, regular measure of budget transparency and accountability around the world, produced by CRPM for Macedonia found that Macedonia earned a transparency score of 49% out of 100. This score shows decrease budget transparency for 5% compared to OBI 2008 results. The lack of transparency and accountability in Macedonia’s budget opens the door to abuse and inappropriate and inefficient use of public money.
Macedonia is not alone in its poor performance. The Open Budget Survey 2010 reveals that 74 of the 94 countries assessed fail to meet basic standards of transparency and accountability with national budgets.
CRPM managed a Project financed by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights which resulted with the adoption of the Strategy against proxy and family voting by the State Electoral Commission (SEC).The SEC’s Strategy against proxy and family voting was widely consulted and incorporates the interests of all relevant stakeholders (state and non-state). The strategy is a comprehensive document that encompasses all areas from policy interventions, to awareness raising and working with different stakeholders (political parties, NGOs and the donor community).