THE EVALUATION AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT ON THE BEHALF OF IOM (A SURVEY OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS WITH STAKEHOLDERS)
The Evaluation and Impact Assessment of the Macedonia – wide anti-trafficking information and awareness raising campaigns “Don’t Close Your Eyes to Human Trafficking” (Phase 1 and Phase 2) implemented by the International Organization for Migration in the period of December 2005 until the end of October 2006 aims at measuring the impact in awareness raising about the risks of human trafficking and ways of preventing it, while simultaneously evaluating the results in dispelling misperceptions of the problem and stereotypes of the victims of human trafficking.
The main activities of this effort will be targeted at evaluation and assessment of the impact and results of the campaign “Counter Trafficking: Prevention and Capacity Building Activities in Kosovo and Macedonia”.
The CRPM team through:
1. survey of the general public and
2. fieldwork and interviews among the target audience (youth, students, teachers, parents, NGOs, social workers and other representatives of the relevant institutions and organizations)
will find out whether the different tools used in the campaign reached the target audience, changed their misperceptions of the problem and whether the level of awareness is raised of the potential victims of trafficking.
ADVOCACY FOR SUSTAINABLE SOCIO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF SHTIP AND GOSTIVAR
CRPM has already conducted a background research on the economic issues on local level in two municipalities: Stip and Gostivar. Recognizing the important cultural, demographic, educational and sectoral differences and potentials that exist among these municipalities we are certain that developing growth and reform strategies should not be based on abstract values, but mainly on concrete figures obtained directly from field research. Therefore CRPM wants through this project to advance the findings and recommendations of the previous project and assist the two case study municipalities: Stip and Gostivar in creating and implementation of development plans that address real-life issues related to their economic dynamics. Within, we will separately focus on the following issues:
- examining the possibilities and finding, as well as advocating the most feasible proposals for upgrading of textile and apparel industry in Stip (being the major and almost sole industry in Stip and driving force as in regard of economic development of the municipality);
- assisting Gostivar municipality in design and implementation of local economic development plans (the municipality of Gostivar lacks of any significant industrial capacity, which is partially the result of the absence of visible relevant strategy for economic development of Gostivar) ;
- monitoring the decentralization process in both municipalities and its immediate impact on the socio-economic development of Stip and Gostivar (in particular examining the decentralization in education).
ANALYZING AND DEBATING THE FUTURE OF EU ENLARGEMENT – ENLARGEMENT ROAD SHOW IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND AND LATVIA ON THE EU MEMBERSHIP OF UKRAINE, MACEDONIA AND TURKEY
The project partners in the new EU member states will be responsible for organizing the national road shows according to the project proposal and terms of reference, developed during the kick-off meeting, as well as for the dissemination of project outputs. The experts appointed by the participating institutes will also be responsible for elaborating the policy papers which will be used in the road shows in the respective countries.
The project partners in countries outside the EU will be responsible for identifying the experts who will participate at the debates organized in the new EU member states. These experts will also be responsible for elaborating a policy paper which will describe and analyze the EU accession debates in their respective countries.
EVALUATION OF YOUTH, CULTURE AND COMMUNITY AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FOR THE WORLD BANK
An assessment team of the Center for Research and Policy Making led by Marcela Natalicchio (independent consultant) undertook a Joint Assessment for Youth, Culture and Community Development Projects of the World Bank in Macedonia. The team met with representatives of the Agency of Youth and Sports (AYS), the Project Management Units (PMU’s) of the three projects, and several NGO representatives who implemented project activities. The team carried out field research and an evaluation of the projects in the following municipalities: Kumanovo, Struga, Bitola, Veles, Debar, Kriva Palanka, Sveti Nikole, Krushevo, Kratovo, Resen, Mavrovo and Rostushe, Chaska, Krivogashtani, and Gradsko.
The purpose of the assessment was a rapid assessment of lessons learned with respect to the decentralization process from the three local development projects, which were to feed into the 2007 World Bank’s approach to decentralization in the country. More specifically, the Joint Assessment closely looks into:
- How the project activities directly supported municipalities in the decentralization process: handling new responsibilities and/or improving municipal capacity;
- How the project activities influenced cooperation between civic society and local government and encouraged participation in setting local development policy agendas;
- Sustainability of project activities (whether and how CDD activities have been institutionalized at the local level);
- Compare the approaches of activities at the local level: when the activities are implemented through municipal government with engagement of civic society vs. implemented through civic society with light engagement of the municipal government vs. implementation of civic society with strong engagement of municipal government;
- How can the lessons from the projects contribute to the EU integration and/or accession agenda;
- Lessons learned when managing projects at the municipal level ‑ what worked and what did not work (without crediting or assigning blame to any particular project);
- What mechanisms were used under the projects for empowerment, accountability, and capacity building and how did they contribute to strengthening partnership arrangements and local administrative capacity?
A brief description of the three projects (Youth, Culture and CDP Projects in Macedonia) is followed by an analytical part on the main findings of the evaluation and recommendations. The evaluation attempts in a rigorous manner to crystallize the ways in which the three projects affect the decentralization process and improve the municipal capacity.
BUILDING CAPACITIES FOR BALKAN YOUTH LOBBYING
The project is developed in several phases. The first phase will be the preparatory one, when the applicant and partner organizations will organize meetings with youth organizations in respective countries, in order to make known the objectives of the project and to form the youth groups that would represent the country in the next phases of the project.
The second phase consists of a workshop to evaluate the developments of youth-directed reforms in Albania and in the regional countries. It will take place in Tirana, Albania in the second month of the project.
The third phase consists of two training activities one on youth capacity building and networking and the other on youth regional lobbying and advocacy. They will take place in months 4 and 6 of the project.
In the fourth phase a regional conference will take place in Skopje, on the 9th month of the project, with the participation of young leader from the regional countries. It will take place in the month 9 of the project.
In the concluding phase the applicant and each the partner organization from BYI will organize another national meeting with youth organizations in respective countries to disseminate the conclusions of the project. It will take place in month 10. At month 12 a leaflet about the conference will be published.
The time span of the project will be 12 months. The project is funded through the East – East Program.
CITIZENS GUIDEBOOK TO BUDGET MONITORING
The role of the Macedonian Budget Project reflects, in part, the recent dramatic transformation of the Macedonian society: the decentralization process. The most important aspect of this process is the decentralization of finances. That has enhanced the need to increase the accountability of the municipal authorities when using public money and strengthens the importance of efficient budget execution on national level. The Macedonian system has established two controlling mechanisms: internal & external audit. However the audit cannot tell if the money were used according to public needs and thus more transparent governance is needed. A fundamental requirement of fiscal transparency is that comprehensive, reliable, and useful budget information is made available. Currently there is no specific provision in a law that states clearly that budgets must be published and that the public must have access to this information.
Another key issue is whether the legislature and the civil society are able to participate effectively in the budget process. Effective participation refers to the opportunities for the legislature and civil society to make their viewpoints known and to have these views taken seriously. This requires that the budget process must be opened for interested parties to influence the budget and assess whether government/local authorities undertook what it planned.
But the transparent and participatory budgeting process also requires a certain knowledge and capacity within the representatives in the local self-government units, as well as in the civil society to be able to take part in budget planning and monitoring budget execution. Currently the local level policy makers, citizens and civil society groups do not have sufficient information on the budget process/system in Macedonia.
Therefore, the Macedonian Budget project plans to fill in the gaps that currently exist in the system publishing a Citizen’s Budget Monitoring Guidebook.
CRPM EVALUATION FOR THE SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN REGIONAL MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE
This project, conducted under the auspices of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and the Council of Europe, analyzed and evaluated progress made in implementing local government reform programs in South-East Europe. A senior CRPM Researcher critically assessed the commitments made by national authorities in the areas of fiscal decentralization and local government reform and developed a background study on Macedonian local politics and the state of affairs in the decentralization process. The research results were presented to the Stability Pact and the Council of Europe at a conference of the region’s ministers responsible for local government, held in Skopje, November 3-7, 2006. Ministers from South Eastern Europe committed themselves to further reforms towards better local government and identified key priorities, with a view to encouraging targeted, demand-driven support by the international community.
CRPM PARTICIPATES IN THE COMMON VOICE PROJECT
The Common Voice Project financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the European University from Cracow (www.wse.krakow.pl) focuses on evolution of electoral systems and its practical implications and implementation, management of the electoral process, and underline challenges ahead of the electoral practitioners and decision makers.
Critical themes of the project are:
- Quality and importance of electoral process;
- Experiences from the period of political and social transformation and its impact on the electoral process;
- Recent crisis in citizen participation;
- Practical implications of the electoral systems on the work of EMBs.
The Common Voice Project includes visits, exchanges of experiences and debates of electoral experts, managers and commissioners from Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. The exchange of ideas and information among the participants in similar projects has been a key to success and improvement of the quality of electoral process in other countries. All the participants in the project also monitored Municipal Elections 2006 in Poland.
CRPM RESEARCH ON CROSS BORDER TRADE (GPKT REGION) FOR THE EASTWEST INSTITUTE
Over the past two decades, the economic history of this area has been one of relentless decline. The manufacturing base built up during the socialist period has all but disappeared, leaving behind the rusted remains of socially owned companies which nobody wants to buy. A significant proportion of the region’s inhabitants have been forced back into subsistence agriculture, working small plots of land in conditions that have hardly changed in two generations. The rest do trade.
The region has also been a source of political instability. Presevo is a majority Albanian municipality at the southernmost point of Serbia, which flared briefly into conflict in 2001. The Kumanovo area is ethnically mixed, and its predominantly Albanian Lipkovo municipality witnessed some of the most intense fighting during Macedonia’s 2001 conflict. By Kosovo’s standards, Gjilan has relatively good ethnic relations, with a patchwork of Serbian and Albanian villages in close proximity. Nonetheless, there was violence against Serbs during the riots of March 2004. All three areas have one thing in common – the language of trade is Serbian/Albanian.
As in this part of the Balkans, inter-ethnic tensions and poverty go hand in hand, the Centre for Research and Policy Making – CRPM will focus its analytical efforts on breadwinning economic activity for this region – trade and barriers to do cross-border trade. The CRPM team will also define in a “Trader’s Guide” the main issues one trader should know in order to perform trade whenever in the region. This is foreseen to facilitate better cross-border trade, affect the economic development of the region and thus decrease the inter-ethnic tensions.
- To produce a policy brief where the barriers to cross border trade will include analysis and reference to the needs of local communities, the potential and barriers for optimal cross-border trade, and will provide policy recommendations.
- To produce a Traders’ Guide that will in simple language instruct traders from the region how to engage in cross border trade.
CRPM RESEARCH ON “MACEDONIA: A COUNTRY REPORT”
A senior CRPM Researcher developed a study Macedonian politics in 2005. The study was published in Nations in Transit 2006: Democratization from Central Europe to Eurasia, Jeannette Goehring, (ed.), Freedom House: New York, 2006. The book is a is a comprehensive, comparative, multidimensional study measuring progress and setbacks in democratization in 27 countries from Central Europe to the Eurasian region of the Former Soviet Union.
CRPM RESEARCH ON MACEDONIAN “GUN CULTURE” FOR THE SOUTH EASTERN AND EASTERN EUROPE CLEARINGHOUSE
A senior CRPM Researcher developed a study on the Macedonian gun culture as the Macedonian part of the SEESAC report “The rifle has the devil inside”, Gun Culture in South Eastern Europe. This report, coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy, examines how cultural beliefs and practices influence gun ownership and use in South East Europe, and how these might affect small arms and light weapons control interventions.
An anthropological approach was taken to better understand the reasons for civilian gun ownership and use, and the ways in which society represents these behaviors, in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo). A wide variety of research tools were used including household surveys (HHS) conducted by SEESAC and UNDP, focus group transcripts, secondary literature searches, statistical data, anthropological field studies, the Internet, print and electronic media
Researchers from the following institutions contributed to the report: International Centre for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations, Bulgaria; Institute for International Relations, Croatia; Institute for Public Policy, Moldova; Centre for Peace and Disarmament Education, Albania; Humanitarian Centre, Serbia and Montenegro; Centre for Research and Policy Making, Macedonia.
 The South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons
(SEESAC) has a mandate from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Stability Pact for South East Europe (SCSP) to further support all international and national stakeholders by strengthening national and regional capacity to control and reduce the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and thus contribute to enhanced stability, security and development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe.
CRPM RESEARCH FOR UNDP’S BLUE RIBBON REPORT
A senior CRPM Researcher developed a background study on Macedonian public administration reform. This CRPM study served as a background material for the UNDP Blue Ribbon Report.
GLOBAL TASK FORCE FOR WOMEN LEADERS
(A STUDY ON FOSTERING WOMEN LEADERS)
The Global Task Force on Building Women Leaders was created to produce a case-based cross-cultural, cross-sectoral and cross-continental study on the vitally important subject of discovering the most effective means of fostering women leaders in the 21st century. The results of the study will be used to assist governments, communities, and organizations of all types to address this question in a pragmatic and concrete way.
The Centre for Research and Policy Making, as a local partner organization for the Global Task Force on Building Women Leaders organized a workshop with Women Leaders from Macedonia. The workshop was held on January 30th, 2006 in Hotel Kontinental.
KNOWING THE EU AND THE PROCESS OF POLICY MAKING- TRAINING OF NGOS AND JOURNALISTS AS IMPORTANT STAKEHOLDERS IN THE EU ACCESSION PROCESS
This project will try to transfer knowledge, skills and experience through workshops and lectures and contribute to better understanding of the principles, values and goals of the EU and of the decision making and coalition building process in the process of EU integration. The project is consisted of three phases and is implemented with a Czech partner- EUROPEUM.
- First phase of the project – A preparatory meeting to be held in Prague where the training needs of the two target groups in Macedonia will be discussed in detail. An implementation plan of the project will be developed. CRPM in Macedonia will choose on competitive basis the trainees from the media and civil society. On the meeting it will be necessary to decide over the content and technical details of workshops and field trip.
- Second phase of the project- The workshops in policy making at national and EU level and communication strategies for EU accession.
- Third phase of the project – A field trip of a selected group of trainees to Prague where they will meet with relevant organizations and policy makers to the training received in Macedonia.
OTHER THINGS MATTER TOO
(RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN DIPLOMAS, ACCREDITATION OF UNIVERSITIES, SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROBLEMS WITH SPORT BETTING, COSTS OF AIRPORT TICKETS)
CRPM has found out that there is an urgent need for improving the quality and broadening the scope of raised issues related to the public life in Macedonia without playing down entirely the past performances of Macedonian policy-makers and especially of domestic researchers. The policy makers should be a subject to new style of researches and analyzes in order to make them more “citizen-oriented” and “people-friendly”. Therefore this project is based on of five mini researches on five selected, particular and pressing problems the Macedonian citizens are faced with.
CRPM will carry out the researches on the following subjects:
- “The Macedonian brain-drain” – What is the fate of graduates from the Department of Computer Science Faculty for Electric Engineering within the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University from Skopje.
- “Is it worthwhile studying?”- Problems with recognition of diplomas of Macedonian citizens studying abroad and of accreditation of new higher education institutions results in bad life prospects for young Macedonians.
- “Sport (Football) Betting – my option” – Betting-shops in Skopje – entertainment, occupation, or a way of life?
- “Is Macedonia a children-friendly country?” – Survey on available / unavailable facilities in the city making life easier for the families with small children.
- “I had a dream of Ryan air” – Research on rocket-high prices of the air tickets in Macedonia.
RATIONALIZATION OF HOSPITAL SERVICES IN MACEDONIA
The reforms of the health system in Macedonia have so far focused only on primary health sector and none of them addressed the rationalization of hospital services and their equal distribution on regional level. This is mainly due to the absence of a comprehensive analysis of the utilization of hospital beds and the referrals to other hospitals. There is also an absence of a comparative analysis of the services health care institutions provide, measuring the rate of utilization of the physical capacities of hospitals, and the human and specialist capacities of the staff.
Having this in mind, the health team of the Centre for Research and Policy Making-CRPM has started implementing the project Rationalization of hospital services in Macedonia by producing a detailed, ground-up analysis that will reveal the real occupancy rates of beds in regional hospitals and compare this data with the occupancy rate in the Skopje Clinical Center (the main complex of hospitals in the country).
1. First phase
Research and analyze of the current situation in the four municipal hospitals and the Skopje Clinical Center, and determine the utilization and bad occupancy rates of these hospitals
To determine the referral practice of primary GP’s in selected towns to regional and central hospitals
Collect all available data dealing with the subject matter
Analyze the impact of relevant national policies and legislation to such practices.
2. Second phase
Determine possible disparities in the delivery of services in the four municipalities and the Skopje Clinical Center
Identify potential modes for rationalization of hospital services
3. Third phase
Writing a final report aimed at presenting the findings of the research and analysis of the current practices;
Workshops for discussing policy implications with relevant policy makers;
Dissemination of the report to a wide audience via national and local government, media, civil society etc.
(EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TECHNIQUES INTO UNIVERSITIES IN THE SERBIA-KOSOVO-MACEDONIA)
The Center for Research and Policy Making is a partner of the Center for Development of Civil Society Milenijum in the international negotiation simulation project “Start Negotiating! Students from the Serbia-Kosovo-Macedonia region are enabled to develop the necessary skills for making contribution to sensitive dialogue within southeast Europe by participating and organizing a series of safe, profound, intercultural discussions through local and international negotiation simulation events. Negotiation simulation events are tried and tested means of allowing students to learn through experiencing, especially through viewing matters from alternative perspectives by having to role-play the real life situations.
The aim of the project is to introduce experiential learning techniques into Universities in the Serbia-Kosovo-Macedonia region, as a pedagogic tool usable in intercultural communication. The project focused primarily on students and faculties from the Universities in Niš, Pristina, Skopje and Tetovo. Through organizing a series of negotiation simulation events, and providing training, the project will develop sustainable capacity among students as peer-educators, and faculties as users of experiential learning approaches, as well as establishing or/& reinforcing linkages between institutions.