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Anti-Belarusian propaganda, silent reforms, women’s entrepreneurship – digest of Belarusian analytics

Artiom Shraibman discusses what is wrong with the reaction of Minsk to the anti-Belarusian propaganda. KAS releases a brochure to discuss how civil society can promote transformation in Eastern Europe. A new report of the Centre for Strategic and Foreign...

Artiom Shraibman discusses what is wrong with the reaction of Minsk to the anti-Belarusian propaganda. KAS releases a brochure to discuss how civil society can promote transformation in Eastern Europe. A new report of the Centre for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies calls the changes in Belarus’ economic policy as ‘silent reforms’.

Belarus in Focus: civic initiatives successfully negotiate local agenda with the authorities. BEROC fresh study: absolute poverty in Belarus has doubled and reached 29% of the population. Forecast-2018: natural acceleration of the Belarusian economy in 2018 will not happen.

This and more in the new edition of the digest of Belarusian analytics.

Domestic politics

Off Target. What is Wrong With the Reaction of Minsk To the Anti-Belarusian Propaganda – Artiom ShraibmanTUT.BY, analyses the reaction of the state Belarusian media to the Russian NTV channel programme that discussed the desire of Belarus to improve relations with the EU. The journalist notes that the inability to behave adequately in the world of modern information wars is the main flaw of the Belarusian ideological apparatus.

Officials Pretend to Be Civic Activists to Pump Money From the West (video) – Belsat TV program raises the issue that the Belarusian state creates governmental NGOs in order to receive European grants. The program highlights a number of cases when citizens themselves solve serious issues, although officials should do this.

Counterbalancing the State: How Can Civil Society Promote Transformation? – The articles in the brochure are based on the contributions from civil society experts during the closing event of a large-scale EU-funded project in support of civil society in Eastern Europe implemented by KAS. In Belarus section, it is noted that given the difficult economic situation and increasing tensions in relations with Russia, Belarus’ rapprochement towards the EU provides a small window of opportunity for CS activity.

Economy

Belarusian Economy: Achievements and Limits Of ‘Silent Reforms’ 2015-2017 – A new report of the Centre for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies summarises the changes that have occurred in the economic policy of Belarus since 2014. The authors believe that while the authorities preserved the conservative-populist rhetoric, the period was marked by many important transformations in the Belarusian economy, which can be called ‘silent reforms’.

Barriers and Drivers of Women's Entrepreneurship in Belarus During the interviews, the authors identified four groups of factors that prevent women from starting up or developing their businesses. Read more

Determinants of Poverty in the Period of Economic Growth and Its Absence. Assessment Of Dynamics of Poverty in Belarus in 2009-2016 – In its recent study, the BEROC Research Centre estimates the level of poverty based on consumer spending. The key conclusion is that over the past two years, absolute poverty in Belarus has doubled and reached 29% of the population.

Forecast-2018: Stagnation, Devaluation Or a Bright Future – Naviny.by sums up the economic results of the year, conclude that the natural acceleration of the Belarusian economy in 2018 will not happen. This is possible using an artificial way. However, the Belarusian authorities have very limited opportunities to use the administrative resource for this.

How to reform the Belarusian regions. The Ideaby team presents a landing page dedicated to the critical situation in the Belarusians regions and discussion of the ways of their recovery through conducting comprehensive reforms.

Belarus Policy

Barriers and Drivers of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Belarus. The study is based on the number of interviews with female entrepreneurs and top managers of Belarusian companies. During the interviews, the authors identified four groups of factors that prevent women from starting up or developing their businesses. These barriers include the social pressure and family responsibilities; gaps in education; lack of managerial experience and strategic orientation; general challenges of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and macroeconomic instability.

Influence of the Legal and Judicial System on Doing Business in Belarus.  The analysis is based on the data from the survey of small and medium business and a series of interviews with experts in the legal sphere. Read more

The authors propose recommendations to stimulate female participation in business, which include: the introduction of new role models; development of the infrastructure for women’s work-family balance; promotion of academic and business education which takes into account gender-specific needs; financial and information support as well as initiatives to develop social capital.

Influence of the Legal and Judicial System on Doing Business in Belarus. The paper analyses the impact of judicial environment on business development in Belarus. The analysis is based on the data from the survey of small and medium business and a series of interviews with experts in the legal sphere.

In particular, the study focuses on the risks stemming from the legislation and law enforcement practices, which pose a certain threat to businessmen both in the short and long term. Separately, the paper studies the experience of participation of businessmen in court proceedings, their trust in courts and their assessment of the quality of protection by the judiciary, as well as the level of understanding of procedural features.

Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.

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