On July 18th, 2019, the ISET Policy Institute hosted a summary event of the ReforMeter project, the exact topic of which was “3 Phases of Reformeter: What are the benefits?” The goal of the meeting was to summarize the three phases of the project and to discuss its results and challenges.
The opening remarks were made by Nato Beruashvili of USAID and Jean-Frederic Paulsen, Chairman of ISET’s Governing Board as well as the institute’s former interim director, who has helped oversee the implementation of the project since its inception in 2017 as a key part of its Steering Committee.
These were followed by a presentation from Gigla Mikautadze, ReforMeter’s Project Manager, who explained in detail every stage of the project, which was split into three distinct phases. The project executive team concluded that the evaluation of the reform implementation is not a simple task due to a number of obstacles the project faced during its implementation. Typically, all reforms are based on strategic documents, but not all of them include clear action plans and timelines, or, indeed, targets. In these cases, it is difficult to track a reform’s implementation and check whether the goals are achieved or not. Also, some of the reform documents have significantly changed in a short period of time, which made the previous strategy and appropriate actions irrelevant.
After Gigla Mikautadze concluded his presentation, Giorgi Isakadze of the Business Media Group moderated a panel discussion, the panel being composed of Tamar Sulukhia, ISET’s Director; Soso Pkhakadze, President of the Business Association of Georgia; Keti Bochorishvili, former Vice Minister of Economics and current CEO of Anaklia City; Aleksi Aleksishvili, CEO of the Policy and Management Consulting Group; and Giorgi Oniani, Deputy Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia. The panelists discussed whether or not they believed the current reforms have visible results, and how they have benefited ordinary people. They mentioned that in most cases the reforms take years to be implemented, and so the observable results do not show up immediately. Correspondingly, the long-term strategic documents are very important for the business sector in order to plan its activities; however, such documents and the government’s policy must be designed with the participation of all interested groups and should last at least for a couple of years. The participants of the panel underlined that the events of ReforMeter are one of the best forms of Public-Private Dialogues and an effective tool for communication.
The ISET Policy Institute will continue the implementation of ReforMeter with the support of donor and partner organizations, covering the main economic reforms in Georgia.