REFORUM is a project in support of European dialogue on modernization with Belarusian society (DoM). The objective the project is to boost modernization of Belarus and the competitiveness of the Belarusian society through elaboration of the useful and implementable reform proposals bringing in the necessary understanding of the reform priorities by government, business and political opposition and civil society, as well as by the wider public. The overall duration of the project is 26 months. The project should be divided into 4 (6 month long stages); during each stage there should be up to 4 reform-projects in the pipeline (some projects will last longer, pending on the concrete reform-project parameters).
REFORUM provides that minimum 16 reform proposals will be developed in the framework of the action, all reform proposals will include calculations of the costs of reforms and will be written as legislative proposals.
These proposals will be developed by the experts groups. Priorities for the reforms proposals are defined in two stages:
1) At the first stage social study will be used to identify social demand for reforms, clarify the reform priorities, study the public opinion on various topics central for the project. In particular, the social study will include interviews, national polls, stakeholders’ surveys.
2) At the second stage forums for the representatives of targeted groups will be organized. Forums will analyze the results of social studies and the participants will formulate their order to the experts.
Priorities of the government will be identified through analyzing the governmental programs and developmental plans, surveys of the Belarusian officials. Therefore, the project does not depend on the temporary climate conditions of any of the targeted group.
The project Board was organized for the project realization. The project Board includes representatives of different targeted groups with practical and theoretical experience in the development of institutional changes in different areas. The project Board formulates the terms of reference for reform implementation (based on the forums results) and confirms the quality of the deliverables produced by the experts.
During the action minimum 16 Expert Groups will be formed by contracting out relevant local actors (mostly from independent Belarusian think tanks, both independent and state affiliated, as well as other civil society organizations). To increase the effectiveness of the knowledge and experience transfer and facilitate professional contacts the international experts will be invited. International experts will be selected in such a manner as their areas of specialization lie within the prioritized topics formulated by the Stakeholders’ Forums.
The REFORUM project is based on four basic principles which guide the work of Forums and the Project Board as well as the work of experts groups: the developed reforms proposals shall be a) be objectively useful for the Belarusian society; b) be implementable (in particular by the current Belarusian government), c) lie within the areas in which the EU’s knowledge-transfer will create high added value, d) be realistic for the capacities of the Belarusian expert communities
To engage a wider community of experts and activists in the public discussion, and share the results of the project with the stakeholders, two international policy conferences with participation of European experts and reformers from the region will be organized.
The REFORUM project is unique by two reasons: a) experts maintain independence since they fulfil an order for all targeted groups at once; b) the reforms proposals will include concrete legislative recommendations and steps as well as the reform cost calculations.
Information on the REFORUM project you can find on following links:
BISS, REFORUM in questions and answers: http://belinstitute.eu/en/node/1789
Deutche Welle, Реформы для Беларуси от проекта «Рефорум»: http://www.dw.de/реформы-для-беларуси-от-проекта-рефорум/a-17389300;
Александр Класковский, naviny.by, «Европейский диалог» оживет через «Рефорум»: http://naviny.by/rubrics/eu/2014/01/22/ic_articles_627_184331;