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Background Information The ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) is an initiative of the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET). It was established by the Partnership for Economic Education and Research in 2011 as a Georgian NGO with financial support from the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Foundation. ISET-PI was created as a university-based think tank to complement ISET’s academic arm, translate economic research into policy advice and inform policy making in the region. ISET, itself was established in 2006 with donor support following the strategic request of the Government of Georgia to create a sustainable institutional model for providing world-class economics education in the Caucasus. Creating a think tank on the ISET platform was thus regarded as a promising strategic endeavor. It was expected that high-quality economic research would contribute to the economic transition of both Georgia and the region.
ISET’s BA Program in Economics is now accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) until 2025. The program is recognized by UK NARIC at the same level as a UK undergraduate degree. BA students undertaking CIMA courses will also be exempted from taking CIMA exams, thereby earning CIMA qualifications. ISET deeply values its status as an international institution, and the University Partnership Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) enhances this status. The agreement with CIMA, unique and exclusive to ISET, not only allows the institute’s BA students to undertake CIMA Assessment courses and earn CIMA qualifications, but also entails the supply of CIMA textbooks and materials to ISET students entirely free of charge.
Based at the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), the ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) is one of the first university-based think tanks in the South Caucasus. ISET-PI complements the educational mission of ISET by delivering training, conducting research and analysis, expressing views on policy, and providing a professional platform for policy discussions and debates. ISET-PI is seeking for a researcher which will support the ISET team working on institutionalization of Gender Impact Assessment (GIA) and piloting three GIAs for the target national institutions. The aim of the project is to strengthen the capacity of target institutions to incorporate in policymaking activities a gender mainstreaming perspective and to assess more accurately the expected impacts of existing regulations and of upcoming policy changes, differentiated by gender.
ISET’s faculty continues to prove itself on the world stage with no fewer than two papers soon to be published in international journals. Both papers were authored by Professor Muhammad Asali, a veteran member of ISET’s faculty and graduate of Colombia University; Muhammad later taught at Colombia, as well as New York University and Union College. The first paper is to be published in The Stata Journal, and offers new methods to calculate long-run mutual effects of variables in a VAR system, as updated by the 'general-to-specific' (GETS) approach, as well as Granger causality tests among the variables. Statistical inference about long-run and cumulative effects after GETS-VAR is not straightforward, and can be cumbersome to manually code and calculate. The "vgets" command simplifies this process, providing all the necessary effects and the diagnostic tests in just one step.
ISET’s track record in sending its graduates into prestigious jobs or PhD programs speaks for itself, and these opportunities are major points of attraction for would-be ISETers. However, the benefits of becoming an ISET graduate are best demonstrated when members of its alumni return and connect with the next generations. The current cadre of ISET MA and BA students were, therefore, very lucky to meet one of the most distinguished graduates in the institute’s history. Ala Avoyan graduated from ISET in 2012 as the valedictorian of her class, before earning a fully-funded scholarship to New York University to pursue a PhD; she was assisted in her application by recommendations from her former lecturers of the ISET faculty. After graduating with a PhD Degree from NYU in 2018, she secured a position as an associate professor at Indiana University.
On 17th of January, the Government of Georgia approved the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Methodology. This is an incredible step towards evidence-based policy making that will contribute to the country’s economic development and future prosperity. The ISET Policy Institute is very proud that three of our experts – Professor Norberto Pignatti, Levan Pavlenishvili and Maka Chitanava – have been involved in the preparatory process for the methodology, and assisted the Ministry of Justice as local RIA experts. This was part of a joint donor effort which involved the participation of the USAID Good Governance Initiative (GGI) program, G4G, GIZ, the EU-funded project Support to the Public Administration Reform in Georgia, and the World Bank. The ISET Policy Institute participated in this process in the scope of its Good Governance Initiative (GGI) program, a project carried out with USAID.