On 20 October, 2016 the analytical agency “Finam” arranged the online conference on the current economic situation in Russia and expectations until the end of 2016. The relevance of the conference was attributed to the contradiction between the macroeconomic stabilization, which was announced by the authorities last week, and statistical indicators pointing to the reduction of the population welfare, the decline in industrial production and an increase in the budget deficit.
The conference discussed issues related to the prospects of improving the investment climate in Russia, carrying out structural reforms, fight against corruption, the impact of the global cyclical crises on the Russian economy, the Russian currency value, the possible introduction of new sanctions on Russia.
According to experts, the fundamental reasons for the weakening of the Russian currency at the present time are not observed. The appreciation of the Russian Rouble is resulted by the growing oil prices, recovery of economic growth expected in the long term. The traditional increase in the volume of ruble liquidity at the end of the year may affect on the weakening of the ruble exchange rate. This will put a pressure on the ruble, and the value of the currency would not reach the highest possible values.
Experts of the Expert Development Strategy Group became the participants of the conference.
Link to the conference
On 13 October, 2016 a workshop “The policy of sustainable development of Russia: to be or not to be” took place at MGIMO University. The workshop was arranged by the BIG club: “Business investment state” in partnership with the Expert Development Strategies Group. The key topics of the meeting were devoted to such issues, as the possibility of “green revolution” in economic policy of Russia; a change of priorities in the political agenda of the country; business conditions in the implementation of the sustainable development concept.
The key speakers at the workshop were represented by the governmental officials, think tanks and expert community (Analytical Centre under the Government of the Russian Federation, the SGM Agency, Russian Association of Managers, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment).
The main purpose of the roundtable was expert “brainstorming” to find the options for introducing “green economy road map” into the current economic environment.
As the moderator of the conference was Associate Professor of MGIMO University Doctor of Political Science Nikolay Studenikin.
The round table “How to Go Beyond Accountability and Compliance and Ensure Learning in the Follow-up and Review Process of the SDGs” was held on 30 September, 2016 in Maastricht (Netherlands) as a sideline event of the annual conference of the European Evaluation Society. The roundtable was arranged by the members of the EVALSDGs consortium. The relevance of the topic was stipulated by the need to find and select the relevant mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability in the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The meeting was focused on the development of methodologies to monitor and assess the achievement of the SDGs by 2030, as well as the mechanisms to inform key stakeholders. Special attention was paid to the educational component, which could help countries to assess and understand what mechanisms are effective in achieving the SDGs. The consortium members reiterated the need for international cooperation in the monitoring and assessment of SDGs achievement and to involve into this process stakeholders at different levels of cooperation.
The EDSG experts took part in arranging the event and suggesting agenda of the round table.
The link to the event
Illumination through Evaluation (EvalSDGs presentation)
The Sustainable Development Goals (EvalSDGs presentation)
On August 18, 2016 Finam organized the online conference “Russian Economy: August Anxiety“, dedicated to the current economic situation in Russia. Participants of the conference discussed the probability of default in the current conditions, comparing the current situation with the crisis of 1998. The agenda of discussions also included issues relating to the factors to overcome the recession and return to growth.
Among the issues investment climate issues were raised. According to conference participants, structural imbalances in the economy and weak investment climate will hinder the development of the real sector of the Russian Federation. In turn, this will remain a barrier to investments, which provide the basis for the future growth of the Russian economy.
The conference was attended by representatives of the business and academia. The EGSG experts also participated in the discussions.
On July 14, 2016 online conference “Russian Economy under sanctions: adaptation and perspectives of the experience” was held at Finam. The conference brought together representatives of business, academia and financial institutions. Participants discussed the extension of the anti-Russian sanctions by the European Union, imposed in July and the results reached by the Russian economy in the two years in conditions of economic sanctions.
The discussion began with assessment of the total economic impact of sanctions on the Russian economy. In particular, participants compared the effects of sanctions and the oil prices. So, in a short period the effect of sanctions on the Russian economy is not less than the the decline in oil prices. Moreover, in late 2014 western sanctions had more infuencial effect than devaluation of the ruble. The proportion of lower oil prices in the collapse of the ruble was 25% and the impact of sanctions was assessed at 40%. In the long run, of course, the trend has changed as a result of the reorientation of the Russian economy, which has become more sensitive to the international price of fuel. However, for long-term economic development, diversification is a prerequisite for the lifting of sanctions. According to the discussants, it is very difficult to carry out structural reforms to improve the investment climate in the framework of sanctions.
A special focus was placed on the question of the success of import substitution policies. In particular, participants emphasized that the particular success can be noted in public procurement and agriculture sector. For example, after the imposition of sanctions demand for apples in the Russian Federation increased by 40%.
The EDSG attented the conference on behalf of the business community.
On 6 July 2016 Strategic Talk on Tumen River International Cooperation international conference took place in Yanji (China). The conference was arranged and hosted by the Chinese Expert Group on Tumen River International Development and Cooperation Programme. The representatives of the governmental bodies, business and expert community from China, Russia, Mongolia and Republic of Korea took part in the event. The EDSG also participated in the event on behalf of the Russian business community.
The Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) was launched in 1995 with the support of the UNDP as well as with participation of the governments of Russia, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, China. In 2007 – 2010 the GTI organizational structure was established in the form of the sectorial boards. At present active discussions are aimed at institutionalization of this initiative.
On 27 May 2016 the International Chamber of Commerce – World Business Organization (ICC) in Russia arranged a conference “Effective Director General: The Contact between the Business and Government” in cooperation with the magazine “Director General”.
The conference was devoted to representatives of the business community interested in the development of productive contacts with state authorities to improve the economic situation in the country. The subject of discussion at the conference covered the most effective ways for engagement of small and medium-sized businesses representatives with the state authorities.
The conference addressed such issues as the fight against corruption in the field of interaction between business and government; administrative barriers and other issues of state regulation with respect to the business activity; activities of the state aimed at supporting Russian manufacturers; observance of the rights of entrepreneurs in the Internet, in the construction sector, in the sphere of anti-monopoly legislation.
A monthly meeting of Gender Evaluation Commiunity took place in April, 2016. During the meeting the participants highlighted the results of the EvalGender events, which were held in March, 2016 in New York. As an output of the event participants agreed to prepare a toolkit containing the “spotlights” (country case studies) reflecting the plans of different national stakeholders to contribute to SDGs achievement.
The EvalGender+ members also discussed the options for a joint contribution to participate in 2016 September EES Conference.
Gender and Evaluation Community was created on February 16, 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.
On April 19-22, 2016 in Moscow, the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in cooperation with the World Bank held the XVII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development.
The plenary sessions and special round tables were led by representatives of the Russian Presidential Administration, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the CEOs of Russian and international companies.
As part of the session “Factors of education quality” EDSG expert – Vitaly Nagornov presented the report “Benchmarking of ranking systems: a way to find indicators of excellence” The report highlighted statistical aspects of the ranking construction based on universities data. The author argued in favor of developing a new ranking principle based on the multidisciplinary approach. The main idea was to consider ranking system approaches in order to improve counting, simplification of data collection and identification of output optimization ways. Therefore, the benchmarking procedure should be revisited by cross-factor and cluster analyses to develop the most effective ranking system.
According to Vitaly, application of this method will allow to unify procedure of formation of different types of ratings. It is also essential to increase rating accuracy, and also give users the opportunity to model various scenarios. The method can be used for M&E of projects and programs in various areas.
Presentation in Russian:
On April 12, 2016 EDSG experts participated in the presentation of 2016 World Development Report on Digital Dividends which took place at the Analytical center of the Government of the Russian Federation. The Report is devoted to the discussion of the digital technologies’ impact on lives of ordinary people, especially those living in the world poorest countries.
According to the report, the world is now facing information and communication revolution. Today more than 40% of the global population have regular access to internet whereas the number of new users is rapidly increasing. Among the poorest households 7 out of 10 have mobile phones. This indicator exceeds the number of households with regular access to toilet or drinking water. However, the countries use the development opportunities of information technologies in different ways.
In the opinion of EDSG experts, the experience of developing countries presented by the WBG, has little relevance to Russia because local IT companies are more interested in commercial aspects of digital revolution. In Russia such technologies, as Yandex, Kaspersky and taxi order services have potential to diversify Russian economy. The increase of information technologies usage in public administration helped Russia to strengthen its positions in Doing Business rating. That said, the WDR 2016 on Digital Dividends remains a useful source of lessons learnt and experience in the digital area.