EvalPartners Global Evaluation Forum III

On 25-28 April 2017 Bishkek with the support of the Parliament and Government of Kyrgyz Republic hosted EvalPartners Global Evaluation Forum III: “Transforming our world through evaluation: engagement and partnerships for the better world we want”.

Below is the list of the main organizers of the forum:

This forum has become a platform for studying and discussing the progress achieved during the 17 months of the EvalAgenda 2020. During the event, a number of round tables were held, in which experts in the field of evaluation from around the world discussed the most pressing issues in this area.

As a result of the forum, participants formulated and signed the renewed Bishkek Partnership Statement.

EDSG experts took an active part in the forum and suggested a number of relevant initiatives on enhancement of global evaluation practice.

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Announcement of the webinar on “Evaluation and the SDGs”

The EVALSDGs in collaboration with UNICEF will be presenting a webinar with Michael Bamberger this May 30 (9:00-10:30 a.m. EST) on “Evaluation and the SDGs”. This is a real special opportunity for EVALSDGs and UNICEF to jointly promote greater awareness, understanding and discussion on key challenges for the evaluation of the SDGs.

This webinar intends to promote greater awareness, understanding and discussion on key challenges for the evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The webinar is appropriate for anyone working or interested in the evaluation of development programs.

Michael Bamberger has evaluated development programs throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Since retiring after 22 years with the World Bank, he has consulted with many UN, bilateral, and government agencies and with NGOs. He has published widely on development evaluation and served on the advisory board of many leading evaluation journals. He is a member of the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office International Evaluation Advisory Committee. He recently co-authored with Marco Segone and Florencia Tateossian.

Link to the event

Materails for the Webinar Evaluation and the SDGs

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The Round table “Supporting non-resource exports, promotion of Russian business interests at the international arena”

On March 29, 2017 a round table “Supporting non-resource exports, promotion of Russian business interests at the international arena” was held at the Center for Strategic Research to streamline the work on the Development Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period of 2018-2024, as well as for the future period until 2035.

The representatives of business, government, as well as the representatives of the academic and expert community, including consultants of EDSG took part in the event.

The opportunities for the development of Russian exports in the current economic situation were discussed. The event was also focused the problems and achievements of Russian exports in mid-2010-s, the structure of total Russian exports of goods and services in 2016, current external constraints and key drivers for the Russian exports. It was noted that the potential of Russian exports of non-resource goods exports is quite high, and in 2016 it was 32.5%.

To this end the discussants have suggested the measures for implementing the export development strategy. They have identifies such directions, as:

  • Development of a project approach in the activities of the Government of the Russian Federation to support non-resource exports through the coverage of promising technological and service sectors;
  • Russian entrepreneurs’ access expansion to high-quality and reliable information necessary for foreign economic activity;
  • Establishment of the institute of universal and specialized export trading houses;
  • Development of practices of self-organization of export business, etc.
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The Russian economy. Does thaw succeed winter?

On 3 March, 2017 the Finam news agency held online conference dedicated to the development prospects of the Russian economy in 2017. The conference was attended by representatives of the academic community, representatives of banking institutions and think tanks, as well as by the EDSG experts.

During the discussion, a question was raised about the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy. According to experts, the effect depends to a high degree on the sector. In terms of investments the sanctions adversely effect primarily on the sector of mining. Western companies engaged in projects in the field of unconventional oil withdrew from Russia, as far as their supply of equipment for the development of projects was banned.

In the industries, generating a high added value, which are dependent on imports of high technologies, the number of investment projects has also decreased. First of all, the reduction was due to a weak ruble. Experts believe that the lifting of sanctions will help such enterprises not only in terms of improving the number of external factors, but also in terms of increased competition, which can stimulate the improvement of the quality of products and services.

Experts also discussed the decision of the Ministry of finance regarding the Federal loan bond (FLB). Experts suggets that this is not accidental. On the one hand, rates on deposits in commercial banks is lower than FLB rates. On the other hand, the dollar and the euro fall, making the ruble attractive. However, the prevailing situation is unlikely to substantially meet the expectations of the Ministry of Finance. The memories of the crisis are still fresh.

In conclusion, the experts discussed the Ruble dynamics in 2017. If the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil will be in the range of 54 rubles. In this case the dollar price should not exceed 63 Rubles per unit of US currency. The Russian currency should not fall substantially because of high real interest rates.

Source

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Rosstat data for January, 2017: Russians’ incomes are growing, but the population is not inclined to spend

On 22 February 2017 the EDSG experts commented to news agency Finam statistics published by Rosstat (Russian Statistics Agency) for January, 2017. In particular, the attention was drawn to a marked increase in real disposable income (8.1% YoY) for the first time after three years of decline. The decline in retail trade turnover is still down (by 2.3% YoY), but the decline slowed down compared to last year. Industrial production in January 2017 increased by 2.3% YoY.

The main factor in the growth of real disposable income of Russians in January 2017, according EDSG experts, is a one-time payment of pensions. Nevertheless, one can not deny the contribution of the resulting index and other fundamental factors related to the economic recovery fixed in the second half of 2016.

On the growth of economic activity points to industry insights and general index of the PMI, which at the end of 2016 caught up with the value of 2008. In the beginning of the year, growth was recorded in the services sector. Thus, the rail and sea transportation services, as well as the consumption of electricity has been incressed. Growth in both the industrial sector and the service sector contributed to the increasing demand, which in turn, stimulated the growth of employment and real disposable income.

Despite the growth in real income was identified, Russian population changed its consumption basket, and became increasingly inclined to save the money because of the economic crisis started in 2014.

Source

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Monthly Meeting of Gender Evaluation Group

A monthly meeting of Gender Evaluation Group took place on 14 February 2017. During the meeting the participants discussed the challenges associated with SDGs achievement in developed and developing countries. Two cases of Japan and Tunisia were presented.

Gender and Evaluation Community was created on 16th Feb 2013 as an initiative of the Institute of Social Studies Trust   under ‘Engendering Policy through Evaluation’ project which was funded by IDRC & Ford Foundation. The Community is also the knowledge sharing hub for EvalGender+ a global partnership led by EvalPartners.

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The World Bank Report was presented at Gaidar Economic Forum – 2017 “Russia and the World: the choice of priorities”

On January 12, 2017 on the sidelines of the Gaidar Economic Forum “Russia and the World: the choice of priorities” the World Bank report “Russian Federation – a comprehensive diagnostic study of the economy: towards inclusive economic growth” was presented. The report was prepared by experts of the World Bank Group in close consultation with numerous partners, including representatives of the federal and regional authorities, academia and think tanks, business community, non-governmental organizations.

The relevance of the report is associated with the current efforts of Russian Government to formulate a new approach to economic growth for the country and make it sustainable and inclusive character in the long term. The report analyzes the key factors affecting the growth of productivity, such as the continuing shortcomings of the investment climate, insufficient degree of competition, the tangible and intangible obstacles to infrastructural connectivity, the relatively low innovation potential of enterprises and the gap between available skills and the demand at the labor market.

It also covers the possibilities for further strengthening the human capital in Russia by improving health of the population, as well as the quality and relevance of education. Finally, the report identifies three necessary conditions to achieve higher rates of economic growth: improving governance, budget reform and more efficient use of the rich natural resources of the country. The report is focused on the diagnosis, but it also presents some recommendations to assist in the removal of the limiting factors mentioned above.

EGSG experts participated in the discussions of research results.

Link to Forum materials

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2016 Main Economic Results

On 26 December, 2016 Finam Information Agency arranged online conference dedicated to the main economic results of 2016 “Economic and political results of 2016: without reform, with a new parliament“. The conference was attended by representatives of the academic, business and expert community. The discussions covered such topics as the budget deficit, the oil prices, the socio-economic scenario of the authorities, the willingness to implement structural reforms in the economy. A separate category includes issues related to foreign economic and political developments. The experts discussed the prospects of Russia’s relations with the EU and the US in the context of changing administrations in these countries.

The conference was also attended by EDSG experts, who have identified the prospects of the Russian economy for the year 2017.

The link to conference outcomes

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MGIMO and EDSG round table as a part of the X RISA Convention

risa2016A round table devoted to «Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a tool of “soft power” of business in international economic relations» was held by the MGIMO University in partnership with EDSG as a part of the X Convention of the Russian international studies Association (RISA) on 9 December, 2016. The EDSG experts participated as co-organizers and moderators of the event. The head of the Department of economic policy and public-private partnership of MGIMO, Elena Zavyalova, and the EDSG CEO opened the Round Table and announced outcomes at the end of the event.

The Round Table brought together academics and practitioners-representatives of the business community, concerned with issues of social responsibility of business. The event was held in the format of the sessions.

The first session was devoted to possibilities of using CSR to boost investment activity and integration into new markets. In the second session the participants discussed the role of programs and projects in the field of CSR in sustainable development. In particular, they discussed the attitude of the private sector on this issue. The focus of the third session was to evaluate the impact of CSR in Russian companies.

During the Round Table both theoretical and practical aspects of the question of corporate social responsibility as one of the mechanisms of interaction of business and government were covered. The number of questions and discussions that arose during the Round Table underlined the urgency and relevance of this subject.

The results and outcomes of the round table will be published in a form of X RISA Convention presentations and theses collection.

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