ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) was established in May 2011 as a university-based think-tank that complements the educational mission of the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), a center of excellence in economics education and research serving the South Caucasus region. ISET-PI provides independent policy research, analysis, and training, and it reaches out to the broader academic, policy, and business community, as well as the general public.
ISET Policy Institute’s key areas of expertise are in Agricultural Policy, Macroeconomic Policy, Energy & Environment, Private Sector Development, and Inclusive growth. Within these sectors, ISET maintains a portfolio of regular indices and analytical publications and implements externally financed projects. The Institute is recognized by the policy community, civil society organizations, and international development partners as one of the key economic policy research institutions in Georgia. While the team at ISET-PI, led by international Ph.D. economists, employs more than 20 full-time researchers. ISET Policy Institute and ISET share facilities and academic and human resources.
Since 2014 to date Government of Sweden/Sida has been providing core support for ISET Policy Institute for promoting Georgia's development through independent policy analysis, training, and civil society engagement.
Our Think-Tank Commitment in 2022
As we stepped into 2022, the record increase of Omicron cases with its negative local and global impacts on social and economic activities, dramatic political developments in the broader region, and prolonged political polarization throughout Georgia are all critically narrowing the space for the economic policy agenda in the country. In that respect, ISET Policy Institute, as an independent economic policy think-tank, feels greater pressure to accelerate its work and diligently continue holding the fort for evidence-based policymaking, participatory policy forums, and informing the local development agenda.
Among many others, here we list a few key policy activities and products that we will offer to the policy stakeholders and our broader audience in 2022:
- ISET Policy Institute’s Regular Economic Indexes, as a public good, will continue informing public policy debate and providing evidence for public and private institutions’ decisions in various sectors of the economy, including the:
Quarterly Macroeconomic Update
Monthly GDP Estimate
Monthly Khachapuri Index
Quarterly Business Confidence Index
Monthly Consumer Confidence Index
Quarterly Agriculture Sector Review
Quarterly Real Estate index
Quarterly Energy Review
Monthly Electricity Review
- Other regular policy products and publications will be offered to the broad audience, including related to impacts of COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery, –Research Reports, the Monthly ‘Policy Pulse’ Newsletter, Policy Papers, Policy Notes, and Blogs. ISET Policy Institute’s new website is also bilingual, offering policy products and research reports to a much wider audience
- RIAcademy will be in operation to address capacity and expertise gaps in the implementation and institutionalization of Regulatory Impacts Assessments (RIA), pushing towards more informed policy decision-making
- The inclusive growth agenda will be broadened. Gender policy work will continue – the Regional Gender Equality Index for the Caucasus will be underway and further efforts will be taken towards institutionalizing Gender Impact Assessments (GIA)
- Green development, climate change, and the sustainability agenda will remain a key priority. In previous years, ISET invested significant effort in the development of the CGE Climate Model, which is now available to inform climate-related policy options and contribute to sectoral technology needs assessments for the country
- The ReforMeter will move into its active phase to track the progress of select Georgian reforms
- Research work in the education sector will be ramped up, with an immediate focus on the development of diversified financing mechanisms for VET
- The focus on capacity building of policy parties will further expand, including CSOs, PSAs, the media, think tanks, and others. Work with the media will continue – through establishing the support platform (MediaTOR), training journalists on the green agenda, and mentoring for quality output
- ISET-PI will further deepen its collaboration with regional partners and will host more flagship forums, in particular with leading think-tanks in Eastern and Central Europe, within the framework of the FREE network on the issues of gender equality, democracy and media, and climate change.
- ISET-PI will launch Eastern Partnership Regional Road Safety Observatory and roll out road safety research, data analysis, policy work, capacity building, and public outreach in five EaP countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
We always expand our activities as developments evolve and new challenges and priorities emerge. We look forward to the productive year ahead and to working closely with all relevant policy stakeholders!
Last but not least, we cordially thank all our sponsors and development partners, who finance and endorse ISET Policy Institute’s work in support of evidence-based policy-making – The Government of Sweden, USAID, European Commission, UN Women, GiZ, the Swiss Embassy, the Norwegian Embassy, FAO, UNDP, and UNEP amongst others.