The Georgian Ministry of Environment (GMoE) volunteered to participate in a pilot project on Policy Dialogues for Institutional Strengthening. The Government of Georgia is currently under a general process of institutional reform that presents both opportunities and challenges for the Georgian Ministry of Environment. In addition, the new management team that has taken over the GMoE, recognises the importance of both delivering concrete results on the ground and at the same time progressively strengthening the Ministry.
Framework for the Policy Dialogue
The Policy Dialogue with the Georgian Ministry of Environment was structured in four steps:
1) Agreement on the dialogue’s objectives:
To this end, a one-day Scoping Meeting was organized on 12 September 2005 in Paris. During the meeting, the GMoE presented a preliminary self-analysis, and several partner countries and international organisations presented their relevant experience and/or planned projects related to corporate management functions. Following the discussion, the GMoE identified the priority areas on which the Policy Dialogue mission would focus: (a) Financial and Human Resources Management, (b) Communications, and (c) Information Management.
2) Preparatory work by the different partners.
For the Georgian side, this step included the preparation of an additional Self-Assessment Note focused on the priority areas chosen in the Scoping Meeting, as well as preparation of practical arrangements. Four partner countries (Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK) offered to provide experts for the Policy Dialogue mission. The EAP TF Secretariat prepared terms of reference for the experts, circulated relevant analytical information, and co-ordinated the preparations of the Policy Dialogue programme and logistical arrangements with the Georgian side. During the mission the Secretariat took care of the overall mission coordination and a professional facilitator was hired to facilitate the "retreat" component.
3) A Policy Dialogue mission.
The mission took place over five days in 24-28 October 2005. During the first three days, 27 "bilateral meetings" with relevant government officials and stakeholders were conducted, often in parallel, to learn about the status, problems and needs in the three focus areas. The last two days were devoted to a "retreat" with the top management team of the GMoE to discuss the institutional strengthening needs in the priority areas and to identify actions that the GMoE and the donor partners could undertake.
4) Follow-up activities and evaluation
The GMoE and donor partners are in a process of initiating the follow-up activities identified after the Policy Dialogue mission. This would include a corporate programme to manage and coordinate the different project initiatives coming out of the Policy Dialogue. An early evaluation of the Policy Dialogue is included in a brief note that was prepared for the PPC/EAP Task Force meeting in November; further evaluation of the overall experience will be prepared by the EAP Task Force Secretariat.
Results and outputs
The main result of the Policy Dialogue was the identification of a list of priority initiatives (project ideas) to be developed and implemented in order to strengthen the GMoE. The Georgian Ministry of Environment is currently looking for donor partners’ support to implement the initiatives identified during the Georgia Policy Dialogue.
The outputs of a Policy Dialogue are:
A brief Note that documents process and conclusions of the Policy Dialogue, including a list of potential follow-up initiatives.
A brief report prepared EAP Task Force Secretariat (based on the outcome of the discussions with the selected MoE and the assessment by the international experts) that will focus on problem identification and description of the suggested follow-up initiatives.