Nikitin Eng

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					 Advocacy policy: Regional
challenges and opportunities

      Dr. Vira Nanivska
     Dr. Volodymyr Nikitin
          Tbilisi 2003
      Unprecedented event
Greetings and thanks to the conference
organisers for an unprecendented combination of
public and advocacy policy under the framework
of a single event.
Until now, technical assistance programs for
democratic transformations focused on
advocacy, while issues of the quality of public
policy were attributed to economic reforms.
Public policy was the realm of only the IMF and
the World Bank.
          Why is it so important?

 ICPS’s experience and analysis of the experience
   of EU member states shows that the process of
   democratisation and real transformation aims at
   building two capacities in society:
• The government must reckon with the interests
   of all legitimate groups in making and
   implementing policy
• Stakeholders must be able to participate in and
   influence decision-making processes
      Interdependency in the quality of
        public and advocacy policies

• Quality of life and the possibility of
  effective advocacy directly depend on the
  quality of public policy. Without organised
  lobbying of all stakeholders in the
  government, public policy cannot be
  successful and socially oriented.
 Contradictions are counterproductive

• The success of advocacy programs definitely
  has to do with changes in the quality of public
  policy. The separation and even counterposition
  in technical assistance programs of these inter-
  related aspects of transformation executed in the
  post-Soviet terrain was and still is a gross
  blunder on the part of donors
Challenges in Ukraine: Democratisation
       cannot evolve naturally

Hopes for fundamental democratic institutions to evolve
  naturally after the totalitarian regime collapsed never
  came true, due to the following:
• Donor programs put on the table ready-made policy
  decisions without public participation. This is how the
  post-Soviet society missed the process of developing
  policymaking skills under political competition
• Donor programs were developed without any public
  participation; on the contrary, at the World Bank they
  were even classified as confidential
Challenges in Ukraine: Democratisation
      cannot evolve naturally (2)

• Programs for supporting democracy strove
  advocated civil rights, but never aimed at
  exerting any political influence
• Only donors were allowed to think about
  reforms, while responsibility for the
  consequences was laid on “bad”
  governments and incorrect national
Challenges in Ukraine: Democratisation
      cannot evolve naturally (3)

• Representative democratic institutions were created, but
  the public-at-large and stakeholders had no access to
  decision making
• Bureacratic machinery, built to meet the interests of only
  one ruling group, is unable to re-organise itself into a
  decision-making aparatus that takes into account the
  interests of various social groups
We are of the opinion that such a re-organisation is
  impossible without purposeful and coherent institutional
  changes in policymaking, under the framework of
  technical assistance
Technical assistance is not focused on
           institutional changes
International organisations grant assistance to Ukraine
   depending on the quality of governmental decisions,
   without even thinking about helping the government to
   develop the skills required to attain the necessary
• public participation of stakeholders in decision making,
   and transparency of this process
• application of democractic decision-making procedures
   when preparing policy papers (public policy formats and
   standards)—goal-setting, problem identification,
   consideration of alternatives, analysis of consequences
   and resources, management of the decision
   implementation process
• public discussion of decision-making preparatory stages
   by publishing Green and White Papers
 Technical assistance is not focused on
        institutional changes (2)

• The quality of policy is determined by technical
  skills, which can and should be shared, but
  donors did not strive for these objectives
• Today’s basic technical problem preventing
  expansion of the democratisation process on a
  large scale is the inconsistency of organisation
  and orientation of technical assistance to
  challenges that should be tackled at the
  institutional stage of democratisation
Technical assistance is not focused on
       institutional changes (3)
• Assessment criteria for democratic reforms do not take
  into account shifts in the transfer from the values and
  ways of acting adopted by governments and citizens in
  the USSR to those practiced by Western democratic
  societies. These criteria are grounded upon static indices
  calculated based on the development levels in countries
  with sustainable democracies.
• Thus, the real transformation process is distorted in the
  public consciousness and donors’ visions;
  correspondingly, decisions related to technical
  assistance do not target the actual problems and
  aspects of possible transformations
           Soros Foundations

• «Soros» has revolutionised the
  development assistance world, having
  effecively introduced a technical concept
  of open society into international
  assistance programs. Today, NGO and
  public participation have come to be key
  concepts at centre of donor discourse
            Soros Foundations (2)

However, this has not improved the effectiveness of
  International Aid, because the main lessons of the Open
  Society Institute’s experience have not been learned:
• Externally formulated policy advice never works; there
  has to be indigenous homework done on policy thinking,
  rooted in local policy constituencies
• It takes learning and meticulous and systematic work to
  develop indigenous democratic capacity
             Soros Foundations (3)
• Effective democracy requires new skills for both
  partners, government and non-government, to be
  capable of transparent dialogue;
• Open society and public good do not spring up
  automatically after the pressure of totalitarianism is
  relieved through political and economic liberalisation,
  neither can they be charitably granted;
• The sine qua non of sustainable change is the
  institutionalisation of political and administrative reforms
  through procedures, structures, standards, and skills
           Soros Foundations (4)
• We believe that today the Foundations are not
  being used as a resource for launching targeted
  activities for institutionalising the procedures of
  public participation in decision making
• The Foundations’ working principles—resource
  allocation among many organisations chanelled
  to different spheres by management decisions
  —were adequate for the first stage of
  transformation, that is, collecting primary
  democracy-related knowledge, and the skills
  of propagating this knowledge
           Soros Foundations (5)

• However, these principles are absolutely
  irrelevant to the second stage objectives,
  that is, making the process of change
  purposeful and consistent
• The first stage allowed to identify problems, gain
  experience of successes and failures, create
  independent NGOs. Based on this, today it is
  possible to concentrate efforts on institutional
         ICPS mission and activity
ICPS activity and products falls into the following
  three key areas:
• Serving as independent policy voice, including
  on policy studies and policy campaigns
• Technical assistance to both central and local
  government bodies, to develop their capacities
  for public policy. ICPS has supervised training
  and instruction on policy issues for more than
  140 high-level government officials
       ICPS mission and activity (2)

• Technical assistance to non-governmental
  organisations that work with grass roots targets
  the development of hands-on skills for
  participating and influencing public policy in their
  constituencies. The “People’s Voice” project, in
  tandem with the World Bank, devised and
  implemented a program “Network of Local
  Independent Policy Centres”
ICPS achievements: Examples of

  We adopted the following paradigm for
    project work: policy documents are
    designed by Ukrainian experts
    based on public policy standards
    and formats adopted in developed
    democracy countries, with
    international experts delivering
    consultations and trainings to
    support this process
   ICPS achievements: Examples of
             projects (2)

ICPS’s overall action plan looks as follows:
• Discussion of necessary institutional changes
  with the government and donors.
• Project development and implementation, with
  outputs in the form of government documents
  with technical assistance
• Support for the implementation of the prepared
Such an approach has allowed ICPS to
 accomplish real changes in decision-
         making processes
An example:
Project “Creation of Policy Analysis Groups and
     an Information Resource Centre in the
     Government of Ukraine”
•    One of the deliverables: “Concept for the
     Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers”
     based on public policy procedures
•    Output: A new redaction of the “Provisional
     Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers”
     adopted by governmental resolution and
     based on the concept devised during the
     Such an approach allowed to
  accomplish real changes in decision-
        making processes (2)
Example (cont’d):
Next stage of project development:
Project “Institutional Capacity to Develop
  Economic Programs”
• One of the deliverables: “Instructions for
  Public Consultations”
• Output: Draft governmental resolution “On
  the mechanism for citizen engagement in
  public policymaking and implementation by
  central and local executive government bodies”
    Such an approach allowed to
 accomplish real changes in decision-
       making processes (3)

• We regard these project outputs to be
  essential to creating a legal, normative,
  and methodological foundation for
  citizen engagement in advocacy
   Technologisation of ICPS activities
      and sharing of experience
• ICPS has been trained by Western partners
  such as RAND, the New Zealand Institute of
  Economic Research, and the Сonference Board
  of Canada
• A package has been formed of regular economic
  and political publications, having for their basis
  ongoing research and produced using a single
• This technology has already been transferred to
  the Kazakhstan Public Policy Centre; the same
  is planned for a Moldova counterpart
   Technologisation of ICPS activities
     and sharing of experience (2)

• Organisation standards and formats for research
  projects have been developed, and this experience is
  now shared with NGOs from Ukraine and Central Asia
• Public dialogue standards were developed, and these
  skills are now shared with other NGOs
• Work is ongoing on summarising our experience and
  translating it into standards; that is how ICPS has come
  to assist Soros Foundations in creating public policy
  centres in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, with similar work
  initiated in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Also, ICPS is
  actively involved in expanding the Open Society
  Institute Network
      ICPS transferrable capacities

• Work with the government — overview on
  decision making in full-fledged democracies;
  projects to draft policy analysis papers; pilot
  projects with central and local governments;
  preparation and execution of papers on public
  participation in decision making; training and
  analytical support for this process
    ICPS transferrable capacities (2)

• Work with NGOs — teaching policy
  analysis standards and formats;
  participation in projects with central and
  local governments; creation of NGO
  networks capable of working under policy
  analysis frameworks; serving as a
  resource for launching large-scale
  advocacy programs and projects
    ICPS transferrable capacities (3)
• Work with political parties — analysis of party
  programs from the viewpoint of advocacy and
  influencing transformation processes, analysis of
  internal party policy
• Work with parliament — demonstration of
  templates of draft laws designed in democratic
  countries, their adoption in legislative practice
• Work with foundations — support for projects
  to create think tanks and networks
     ICPS challenges and solutions

• The activities of a single organisation,
  however successful, cannot result in large-
  scale changes. That is why we started to
  search for partners and, for this purpose,
  actively participate in networks and in
  creating new networks. Particularly useful
  to us has been the experience of the
  European OECD and Canadian IDRC
  Particularities of working in networks
• The network is a place where knowledge is
  concentrated and multiplied, and innovations are
  extensively implemented
• Information is the lifeblood of networks, it
  circulates freely and, hence, meets high
  standards of reliability
• Information circulation in partner networks unites
  people, institutions, and efforts
• Single standards allow networks to create supra-
  cultural international systems of human
      Creation of partner networks

• Since 1947, Western countries have
  abandoned the policy of war alliances and
  adopted that of partnership
• Establishing partnerships was bolstered
  by the creation of horizontal dialogue
• Over these years, an extensive experience
  of network cooperation has been
   Absence of partner networks in the
• In the USSR, the ideology and ways of
  organising partnerships did not take root,
  instead decisions used to be coordinated in
  vertical management systems
• Ultimately, this slowed down development and
  led to the absence of the capacity for necessary
• It has resulted in the absence of skills of working
  in partner networks in the post-Soviet realm
     What is the benefit of network

• Cooperation in networks allows to
  organise regular research, information,
  and knowledge exchange, technical
  support and training, demonstrate
  experience and examples of specific
  successful decisions.

1. The democratisation process and the
  opportunity to organise advocacy campaigns
  requires building up two skills in society:
• The government must be able to reckon with the
  interests of all legitimate social groups in making
  and implementing policy decisions
• Stakeholders must be able to participate and
  influence policymaking
              Conclusions (2)

2. Open Society Institute is a proven leader
  in transformation and thus has assumed
  the responsibility of supporting viable
  institutional transformations in post-Soviet
             Conclusions (3)

3. Today, effective institutional
  transformations are possible if there are
  effective partner networks of public

• To study the experience of successful
  international networks and apply it to
  developing a public policy centre network
  under the umbrella of the Open Society

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