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  • Supporting Modernization, Accelerated Reform and transformation (SMART)

Supporting Modernization, Accelerated Reform and transformation (SMART)

Donor: UNDP

Research areas:

Duration: January 2013 - December 2016

Supporting Modernization, Accelerated Reform and transformation (SMART)

Background:

In 1999 the President of Uzbekistan with his Decree established the Center for Economic Research (CER) with the mandate to provide economic analyses, forecasts and policy advice, to facilitate public-private dialog and build broad consensus over economic reform and development in Uzbekistan. The Decree also specified that establishment of CER was a joint initiative of UNDP and Government where UNDP’s role was to provide technical assistance for institutional development of CER.

A new stage of reform in Uzbekistan, which was initiated by the President of Uzbekistan, sets the priorities for further deepening of medium-term political, judicial and economical reforms. This new reform agenda, as well as the remaining challenges of “external shocks”, will require preparation of a comprehensive package of programs and documents during the coming years.

To this end, the Government is interested in strengthening and developing the applied research sector, whereas CER is expected to share and transfer its experience, knowledge and best-practices within the framework of continuing practice of collaborative research projects with other emerging national research institutions.

Objectives:

The SMART Project will support CER in facilitating economic, social, institutional and spatial transformation in Uzbekistan while expanding research areas thematically and geographically, promoting participatory policy dialogue and issuing wider range of products for various types of audience.

Activities and Results:

Project activities within the new strategic partnership should include, but not be limited to: 1) Elaborating policy recommendations with participation of all stakeholders at all stages of this process; 2) Building public awareness about the new stage of reform in Uzbekistan as well as promoting the Uzbek development model within “South-South” cooperation modality; 3) Strengthening institutional and financial sustainability of CER allowing it to rely more on its own resources.

The Project supports policy research initiatives of CER in thematic areas, where it has competitive advantages. These areas include, but are not limited to longer-term issues in: 1) Social transformation; 2) Economic transformation; 3) Institutional transformation; 4) Spatial transformation.

The Project will make a particular focus to ensure capacity building in participatory off-line and on-line policy dialogue, openness debates and consensus building, thus facilitating enhancement of CER knowledge management system and contributing to “south-south” cooperation modality.

The Project will focus on attaining institutional and financial sustainability of the CER, including, but not limited to: Pursuing innovative strategic partnerships with Government, international organizations, civil society (including women’s NGOs) as well as with the private sector. Along with North-South, South-South cooperation will also be an important element of CER corporate partnership strategy.

Supported by the Project CER will also contribute to capacity building of central and local authorities, other research institutions and mass-media by involving them into collaborative studies and conducting short-term training. CER acts as space for linking up other research institutions, taking the leading role in this knowledge-sharing exercise.