In the course of 2008, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Implementation Focal Point (PRS IFP) initiated and conducted the Policy Impact Assessment program. This was the first such systemic initiative whose main goal was to reassess the efficiency of some of the measures implemented nationwide from 2003-2007. The data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (RSO) obtained from the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) for 2007, which made a five-year overview of LSMS data collection in relation to 2002, laid the foundation for the policy impact assessment. In addition, it was estimated that the statistical system in Serbia had been largely upgraded and that the process of harmonization with the EU methodology and procedures had started. A lot had also been done concerning the cooperation between the beneficiaries and data producers in the previous period, therefore the policy impact assessment represented the continuation of the started initiatives.
- Why is evidence-based policy making important?
- Priorities in the forthcoming period
- How did policy impact assessments affect decision-makers?
- Lessons learned and recommendations for the forthcoming period
The immediate impact of active employment policies was comprehensively analyzed, as well as their indirect impact on poverty reduction. The link between employment and adult education, additional training and retraining was analyzed, too. As the lack of education was identified as one of the main causes of poverty in Serbia, specific attention during assessment was dedicated to educational policies implemented between 2003 and 2007, as well as to their impact on poverty reduction. The impact of introducing mandatory preschool education was analyzed, the link between poverty and students’ achievements, as well as the impact and efficiency of affirmative measures implemented in the previous four years. Similarly, the subject of analysis was the impact of health policies targeting the poorest population, focusing on Roma population. In order to obtain a comprehensive insight into the efficiency of state policies targeting the poorest population, a detailed analysis of the impact of allowances was analyzed (MOP and child allowances). There was also an analysis of the impact of material subsidies for SMEs, as well as the impact of measures implemented by the Government conducive to rural and agricultural development.
In 2010 the process evaluation of public works was conducted and the assessment of employment policy priorities and the definitions for the forthcoming period are in process. Furthermore, the “Expanded school activities” assessment is also in progress.
In the period from November 2009 – February 2010 we analyzed the extent to which conclusions and recommendations given in some of the implemented policy impact assessments affected the decision-makers and to what extent they are reflected in new legal resolutions, strategic frameworks and policies and plans of the competent ministries and other partner organizations. We wanted to answer the following question: to what extent were new measures, policies and/or laws created on the basis of objective indicators and data obtained in the assessments conducted and presented to decision-makers and the general public?
8. Process Evaluation of Public Works [pdf 270KB]
9. Measures in Education Targeting the Underprivileged Population [pdf 1.19MB]
The findings obtained in the policy and measures impact assessment have been presented to the relevant Government institutions and civil society. Further activity directions have been identified jointly. In this manner, the way has been paved through relevant Government laws and programs for a direct influence of assessment findings on the identification of measures for improving the living standards of the poorest population in Serbia in the forthcoming period. Furthermore, this shall enable further capacity building primarily of Government institutions for conducting regular policy impact assessment and further commitment to creating a democratic and accountable Government.
With the support of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit, the Human Resources Office of the Government integrated the training entitled: Policy Impact Analysis in the Program for General Professional Training of the Civil Servants for the first time in 2009. The professional training is intended for civil servants working on planning and assessment in state administration.
The Government adopted the Regulatory Reform Strategy that will be implemented between 2008 and 2011. The basic goal of the Strategy is to create a more favorable economic environment, to reduce legal uncertainty and increase competitiveness of our economy on foreign markets. A comprehensive assessment of regulatory changes consequences is required, for it happens quite often in practice that new regulations create legal uncertainty and that they cannot be applied due to the lack of funds but also due to the lack of the institutions to implement them and/or they cannot be implemented (they are not clear, they are too complex, etc.). In order for the mentioned goals to be realized it is necessary to take the following appropriate measures to improve the regulations quality: Establishing principles of good regulatory practice; one-off abolishment or alteration of inefficient regulations – comprehensive regulatory reform – CRR; Advancement of system analyses of the regulatory effects in the course of their preparation, adoption, and practice.
The project entitled: Support for Improving Policy Coordination Capacities in the Government of Serbia was launched with the support of the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The goal of the project is to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the work of the General Secretariat of the Government with an aim to enhance policy coordination activities of the Government, including poverty reduction and EU integrations. In terms of the expected results, that is to say outcomes, the Project will enable the Government, as an EU potential candidate, to efficiently coordinate preparation, implementation and policy monitoring.