Monthly Meeting of EVALSDGs

On August 15, 2017 a monthly meeting of EVALSDGs was held. Within the framework of the meeting, the participants discussed past and upcoming regional and global events on assessment, such as EVALMENA, NEC, IDEAS/ReLAC.

A separate focus of the meeting was made on the presentation and discussion of the toolkit “Evaluation of International Development Assistance Programs”, prepared with the participation of EVALSDGs experts. (Download Presentation)

EVALSDGs is a network of interested and skilled policy makers, institutions and practitioners who advocate for the evaluability of the performance indicators of the new SDGs and support processes to integrate evaluation into national and global review systems. EVALSDGs members work to support the evaluation community to be prepared for evaluating initiatives towards better outcomes for the SDGs.

More information about the EVALSDGs network

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The EAEU Free Trade Zone: New Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Russia and Vietnam

On June 27, 2017 a round table was held in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on the topic “The EAEC Free Trade Zone: New Opportunities for Entrepreneurs of Russia and Vietnam.” The roundtable was timed to the official visit to the Russian Federation of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Chiang Dai Kuang.

The organizers of the event were the Foundation for the Support of Scientific Research “The Workshop of Eurasian Ideas”, the Interregional Public Organization for Support and Protection of Small and Medium Business “Business People”.

Representatives of government bodies, deputies and heads of specialized administrative structures, economists, analysts, experts in the field of Eurasian cooperation, representatives of business, and public organizations took part in the round table discussions.

Topics discussed during the event were devoted to such issues as prospects for economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the economic potential of the SRV within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the features and benefits of the accession of the SRV to the EAEU free trade zone, new opportunities, and the potential for investment cooperation.

During the discussion, EDSG experts made a presentation on the economic assistance to Russia of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as an instrument for strengthening multilateral economic integration. According to experts EDSG, economic integration entails “failures” of the market, and also makes more vulnerable a number of “bottlenecks” existing in the national economy. So, for example, tariff reduction/ removal or liberalization of the investment regime is not always related to strengthening the export and investment potential of national producers. In this regard, economic development assistance can be an effective tool for strengthening economic potential, expanding infrastructure opportunities and developing competencies.

The link to the post-release of the round table (in Russian)

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The crash of the raw support

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation listed the main risks for the Russian economy. Thus, according to the Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, there are a number of factors that could soon have a negative impact on the Russian economy, including a slowdown in world economic growth and a risk of increased volatility in global financial markets.

According to the experts of EDSG, the Russian economy depends on the prices of raw materials, in particular, oil. There is no guarantee that prices will continue next year at the same level as they are now. The International Energy Agency predicts a decline in oil prices due to a decrease in demand, including on the part of developed countries, as they have a tendency to reduce production growth.

Also, a number of leading Russian economists, such as Yaroslav Lissovolik, expressed their opinion on the issue to the “Profile” magazine.

Link to the publication (in Russian)

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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.


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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.


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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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