Informational security, reforms of state sector, foreign aid to civil society – digest of Belarusian analytics
In December Belarusian analysts focused on informational security of Belarus, reforms of state sector and foreign aid to Belarus civil society.
Anna Maria Dyner of PISM analyses prospects of Belarus-EU relations. Uladzimir Mackievič claims an urgent need to organise informational resistance against Russia
CET: in 2006-2014, Belarus received over 1 billion from international donors. IPM Research Centre presents a paper with key findings and recommendations of KEF-2016.
This and more in the new edition of digest of Belarusian analytics.
Foreign policy and security
Prospects for Relations Between the EU and Belarus – Anna Maria Dyner, the Polish Institute of International Affairs, believes that the Belarusian authorities are interested in increasing cooperation with the EU, in order to reduce their dependence on Russia and convince Belarusians of the importance of their state in politics. The EU should use its political and economic instruments to engage the Belarusian authorities in this respect.
There Is an Urgent Need to Organise Informational Resistance Against Russia – Uladzimir Mackievič, philosopher and methodologist, notes that until recently anti-Belarusian rhetoric could be found on questionable Russian resources – now this wave is reaching the central television. He believes that if information war of the same strength as in Ukraine comes to Belarus, it will crumple and crush the country.
Belarus Is Emerging as the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe – Belarus is run by a former collective-farm manager and is known for manufacturing tractors. The Wall Street Journal notes that now, the former Soviet republic wants to be known as the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe. Country’s Hi-Tech Park nurtures local software developers with global ambitions.
KEF-2016 "Reforms for engaging growth": key findings and recommendations. This analytical paper is based on the presentations of speakers of the conference "Reforms for engaging growth" Read more
Competitiveness and Development Programs: Plans for 2016-2020 – Aliaksandr Aŭtuška-Sikorski concludes that the Belarusian state programs are not very advanced in the accounting of the country competitiveness parameters. Namely, the programs have no meaningful progress on the indicator of the quality of the institutional environment, as well as the general vagueness of the goals and objectives.
Restructuring of State Sector Enterprises in Belarus – Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Centre (BEROC) proposes measures to reform the state sector of Belarus enterprises to find new sources of growth. The main mechanisms for increasing efficiency are the introduction and improvement of corporate governance, privatisation/ attracting investors, as well as bankruptcy and liquidation.
Challenges of GONGOs in the OSCE Region – Voĺha Smalianka, Legal Transformation Centre Lawtrend, tells how to distinguish Government-Organised (Operated) Non-Governmental Organisations (GONGO) and why GONGOs pose a threat to the true NGOs whose activities are aimed at systemic changes. The report was presented in Hamburg at the 2016 OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference and devoted to the situation of civil society in Belarus.
The role and place of civil society in the system of donor aid for Belarus (2006-2014). The document presents the overall picture of external aid for Belarus for the period of 2006-2014 Read more
The role and place of civil society in the system of donor aid for Belarus (2006-2014). The document presents the overall picture of external aid for Belarus for the period of 2006-2014 with a focus on financing of the activities of civil society, as well as the EU's and its member states' place in the general donor aid system. The analyses of total aid, major donors, distribution channels, share of aid by sector is complemented by data from 2014.
It also contains a number of new conclusions about aid structure of certain countries, the share of Belarus in the structure of aid to the Eastern Partnership countries, the analysis of specific EU projects supporting Belarusian civil society. In 2014, finally it became possible to analyse the aid of the EU and all the major donors (previous analysis missed Poland and Sweden due to insufficient available information).
KEF-2016 "Reforms for engaging growth": key findings and recommendations. This analytical paper is based the presentations of speakers of the conference "Reforms for engaging growth", which held in Minsk on 3-4 November 2016 within Kastryčnicki Ekanamičny Forum (October Economic Forum). The paper includes analysis of trends in the global economy, general recommendations for Belarus, challenges and solutions for the labour market, recommendations on reforming the state enterprise sector and financial market development.
Human Rights Situation in Belarus: November 2016 – According to monthly Human Rights Centre Viasna’s monitoring, in November, there were no significant systemic changes in country’s human rights situation. Enforcement of the three death sentences is a major negative trend of the month, as it demonstrates the apparent reluctance of the official Minsk to abolish the death penalty in the near future.
Factors of Belarusians' Reproductive Choice – Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) presents a study under the Reforum project, which shows how many children the Belarusians want to have and whether there is a potential for increasing fertility. Namely, having on average 1.26 children, Belarusians ideally want to have 2.35 children; with that the men want more children than women.
Gender Aspect of Parliamentary Election Campaign 2016 – A study of the Gender Route project covers all stages of the parliamentary campaign of 2016 and analyses the participation of women in the debates, pickets and other events. Namely, the research shows that the overall proportion of elected women-candidates increased to 34%, but the political parties didn't develop the infrastructure to support them.
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.
Education as a Human Right: conference working papers and video
On 13 December 2016 Minsk hosts the 4th Annual Dutch-Belarusian-Polish Conference. The year the topic is 'Education as a Human Right: Modernising Higher Education to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century'.
The conference takes place three days after International Human Rights Day, which commemorates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly.
The event focuses on three key topics: the challenges of Belarus accession to the European Higher Education Area, improving business education, and making education more accessible through distance education.
- Read working paper "Challenges to Belarus joining the European Higher Education Area"
- Read working paper "Belarusian business education: the way forward"
- Read working paper "The state of distance education in Belarus: problems and perspectives"