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This document presents the program of activities of FINANCE THINK - Economic Research & Policy Institute, Skopje for the calendar year 2017. The plan is structured around four pillars of Institute’s work: 1. Research 2. Analytics 3. Advocacy and communication 4. Capacity building and networking



skills, education, qualification and facilitating their full integration into the society and the labor market. This overarching objective is broken down into specific purposes involving concrete interventions on three fronts: •

Purpose 1: Improve the efficiency of employment and social services as a way of promoting the social inclusion of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups by assisting professionals from the Employment Centres and the Centres for Social Work in developing new skills as ‘Mentors for Social Inclusion’;

Purpose 2: Empower vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and give them the skills and experience required to breaking down the hurdles they encounter on their journeys into long-term work and independence through a pre-employment training program and work placements or internships in local businesses and social enterprises;

Purpose 3: Foster improvements in service delivery by designing new family support services, raising public awareness, and developing effective partnerships among keystakeholders (local self-government units, governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations involved in service delivery, social partners, education and training providers) to produce results on the ground.

Research activities for 2017 have been planned as follows: 1. FISCAST+: Fiscal transparency and accountability improves policies in quality of life, education and health The objective of the project is to address efficiency and quality of selected policies in quality of life, education and health through public debate and policy options derived from data and evidence. The project is expected to bring the following changes: •

Changed general understanding of the importance of specific policies and measures within the QEH areas

Increased availability of data in the specific areas set base for evidence-based policymaking

Steered public debate and increased public awareness about the issues

Increased pressure on policymakers for better and more efficient public policies and measures in the QEH areas

Improved research capacity, networking and sharing of expertise

The project will deliver the following outputs: •

Mapping and selection of policies per year in three areas (QEH)

Research and production of results

Links with media outlets and development of outreach products (comms strategy)

Capacity building for teams and media for use of data, cost benefit analysis and policy options

2. Promoting Active Inclusion of Disadvantaged Persons Excluded from the Labor Market Overall objective of the project is to increase the activation of persons at risk of social exclusion in the labor market by improving their

3. Analysis of youth underemployment in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia The primary objectives of the proposal are: 1. To investigate the interaction between underemployment and personal, household and community characteristics, in rigorous econometric manner by considering potential selectivity bias into underemployment; 2. To investigate the effect of underemployment on personal wellbeing, in rigorous econometric manner by considering their potential simultaneity and wellbeing way of measuring through self-perception; As well the following secondary objectives: 3. To portray the issue of youth underemployment in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, through simple statistics and charts, as such information has been lacking so far; 4. To reveal the importance of gender differences in characterizing underemployment and its effect on worker’s welfare; 5.

To devise credible recommendations to 3


between men and women) and motherhood pay gaps (difference in wages between mothers and childless women) in Macedonia and to advocate solutions for addressing the prevalent pay gaps. In particular, previous research has demonstrated that Macedonia faces gender and motherhood wage gaps of 12.5% and 8.7%, respectively. However, a large part of females remains outside the labour market and can therefore not be considered when the pay gap is calculated (as their wage is not observed). This makes the above figures incorrect, since it is likely that females who stay outside the labour market are not randomly selected not to work. Hence, one bold challenge is to obtain knowledge for the proper calculation of pay gaps, i.e. econometric (technical) knowledge

policymakers in the form of specific instruments to tackle underemployment. 4. “My money, my responsibility”: Participative budgeting in the municipalities in Macedonia The overall purpose of the project is to enhance local-stakeholders’ practice and participation in the local budgeting process and to increase the effectiveness of the municipal-money spending. The particular objectives/tasks of the project include: •

To increase participation of local stakeholders – civil society, business community, citizens, local media - in the municipal-budgeting processes; To increase awareness of local citizens for how spending of municipal money affects their quality of life; To increase the credibility and effectiveness of local governments’ decisions related to the spending of public money, as well raise awareness for the (need for) transparency related to it.

5. “Heroes and she-roes”: Knowledge for analysis of and advocacy for equal pay for women and mothers in Macedonia (SHEROES) The objective of this project is to correctly measure gender pay gaps (difference in wages 4

to address the selectivity bias in the labour market. The project envisages activities positioned within three pillars: •

Professional development thorough capacity building and direct knowledge transfer.

Collaborative research.

Building networks for advocacy, promotion and collaboration beyond the project cycle

6. Advocacy for evidence-based economic policymaking and ignition of the critical economic debate in Macedonia The overall objective of the project is to further strengthen the organizational capacity of the Institute in supporting the economic policy decision makers to deliver credible policy decisions based on research findings, as well in igniting the debate in the society about economic processes and reforms.


Project: FISCAST+ Stage Matrix of the public policies in the areas of health, education and quality of life through desk screening of the existing policies and measures 2 workshops on building synergies in economic analysis and identification of mutual interest conducted 8 most important policies are selected, and the teams that will work on their analysis are formed 2 focus groups with the citizens of Skopje and Prilep are conducted A Facebook survey “What does quality life means for you?” conducted 3 Info-graphs, 1 GIF and 1 video were produced

Planned Tasks Micro data collection for unavailable or no-existence data Upgrade of with a large database platform Creating VITAL - the core of stakeholders Re-granting developing studies Publication of studies Grants for journalistic stories Producing “My story” – a storytelling leaflet, touching upon particular person/life Visualization/animation of the collected data through graphs and info-graphs Participation in the media with short statements, interviews and expert opinions (FT Staff) Video production At least three thematic round tables Economic forum Midterm workshop to track progress and outreach strategy Small workshop for the journalists to get know the teams

Deadline March 2018


Project: PROMOTING ACTIVE INCLUSION Stage A media and working plan was created Four focus groups with employment and social welfare professionals and disadvantaged groups conducted Two training needs analysis created 3-day training to employment and social welfare professionals was conducted Six 2-day sessions of pre-employment training to disadvantaged groups was conducted Four networking corners were established A toolkit for supervision was produced The piloting of the mentoring process started Leaflets and posters were produced The web site was built

Planned Tasks Piloting of the social mentoring model Manual “Mentors for social inclusion� Design of Family Support Services and Referral Mechanisms Production of a TV spot Establishing one networking corner Organization of training for employment and social welfare professionals Production of the guidelines for work placement Organization of 2 focus groups with employment and social welfare professionals Production of Service Protocol Organization of 5 seminars for the stakeholders Organization of 4 panel discussions Production of 4 policy briefs Organization of the final conference

Deadline August 2018


Project: YOUTH UNDEREMPLOYMENT Stage Not started yet

Planned Tasks Literature review Descriptive analysis Establishing econometric model Comparative analysis Advocacy in front of the policymakers

Deadline September 2018

Project: HEROES AND SHE-ROES Stage Working meeting about the forms for transferring Statistical training on the econometrics of gender and motherhood pay gaps knowledge and skills was conducted Three research stays at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies were conducted FT staff participated at 5 wiiw thematic seminars/workshops in Vienna A round table was conducted An info-graph and show card were produced A video “Gender wage gaps in Macedonia through the perspective of 5 women� was produced

Planned Tasks Upgrade of Producing a manual for proper calculation of the gender wage gap Organization of a round table and rewards for the gender responsible companies

Deadline March 2017


Project: “MY MONEY, MY RESPONSIBILITY” Stage Selection of 10-15 municipalities to participate in the project

Planned Tasks Approaching the Municipalities and the Mayor Situational and stakeholder analysis Initial meetings of the key stakeholders Train the trainers

Deadline March 2020

Project: ADVOCACY FOR EVIDENCE-BASED ECONOMIC POLICYMAKING AND IGNITION OF THE CRITICAL ECONOMIC DEBATE IN MACEDONIA Stage A training on Delphi method was conducted A visual designer was employed Two graphometrix, two FT comments and few FT opinions were published A retreat meeting of the team was organized A study visit of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies for knowledge transfer on administrative management of a think tank

Planned Tasks Attending JBI courses Organizing “Coffee with journalists” Devising FT comments, FT opinions, graphometrix and other publications Regular publication at Facebook and Twitter Participation as quest speakers at universities in Macedonia Constitution of Supervisory Board and Policy Council Conduct a study visit at Western institute for transfer of know-how related to the M&E strategy Devising an internal M&E system Elevating the web platform Introducing a policy for internal knowledge sharing and dissemination Strengthening the flexi-work policy with provisions for fathers Devising a compendium / practice of the research formats usually used by FT

Deadline August 2018




4. Delivering few issues of FT Opinion – a condensed and swift reaction to the moves of the daily economic policy and trends; 5. Producing at least 10 Info-graphs and 5 GIFs on ‘hot’ economic topics; 6. Devising an ‘Index of financial stability’ to inform policymakers in the financial areas (mainly central-bank policymakers) and the wider public, herewith understood as being financial analysts and employed in banks, pension funds, insurance system; economic faculties and research centers; financial managers in the corporate sector; other civil organizations; savers;

The following analytical activities have been planned for 2017: 1. Delivering at least 5 issues of Graphometrix – the observer of the national, regional and global economy through graphs; 2. Delivering 4 issues of the Macro-monitor – the macro-observer of the national economy with a forward looking elements; 3. Delivering at least 3 FT Comments – a commentary of important national and international documents, reports, strategies and so on, concerning Macedonia;

7. Devising a ‘Leading Composite Index’ based on combining indicators considered to precede economic activity with a time lag of about six months ahead. 8. Improving the economic datasets to be available for analysis purposes by the other NGOs and other interested parties, and presenting those data in an easily understandable format for non-economists;




Planned tasks




Devising at least 5 issues

Continuously over 2017


Devising 4 issues

Continuously over 2017



FT Comment


Devising at least 3 issues

Continuously over 2017


FT Opinion


Devising few issues

Continuously over 2017


Info-graphs and GIFs


Devising at least 10 info-graphs and 5 GIFs

Continuously over 2017

Published 6.

Index of financial stability

Index for

Devising and publishing the

the period

index for the period 2017 -

2006:Q1 –



2015:Q1 Published 7.

Leading Composite Index

Index for

Devising and publishing the

the period

index for the period 2017 -




05/2016 8. 10

Improving data-sets


Improving the datasets

Continuously over 2017


social welfare sector; 13. Organization of mid-term conference within the project “Promoting active inclusion of disadvantaged persons excluded from the labor market”; 14. Organization of a final conference to present the results of the project “Promoting active inclusion of disadvantaged persons excluded from the labor market”;

The following advocacy and communication activities have been planned for 2016: 1. Continuous publication of research results and findings in the form of articles in international peer-reviewed journals; monographs; chapters in books and so on; 2. Devising at least three policy briefs on issues pertinent to the economic development in Macedonia and stemming out of current research – so as to advocate for innovative solutions and to educate citizens on their potential contribution in solving the problems; 3. Updating the resource center for public spending with large data base; 4. Re-granting and Production of policy studies; 5.

Production of journalistic stories;


Production of “My story” leaflet;

7. Production of videos on the topics of health, education and/or quality of life; 8. Elevating the web platform www.;

15. Upgrading web platform with a module to gather at one place similar studies, persons working on gender inequalities in Macedonia and the region, link to Austrian researchers; link to wiiw databases and so on. 16. Organizing an economic forum to present the results of the project ““Heroes and she-roes”: Knowledge for analysis of and advocacy for equal pay for women and mothers in Macedonia (SHE-ROES)” ,to reinforce the power of EdPlaKo-MK and to reward the gender-responsible companies in Macedonia; 17. Organization of “Coffee with journalists” few times per year, to secure friendly and intense communication with the journalists, so as to be able to affect the discourse of the public economic debate; 18. Organization of Annual Panel Debate on “hot” topic with prominent speakers, at the end of the year; 19. Advocating (“fighting for”) for more space for economic news in the media by stronger links with them.

9. Production of TV broadcast on the themes of social exclusion; 10. Organization of 4 panel discussions focused on the problems disadvantaged and marginalized groups face with accessing the labor market; 11. Disseminating E-newsletter with information about project activities, results and upcoming events; 12. Organization of 5 seminars with key stakeholders from the public, private and third sector of the employment and 11


Activity 1. 2.

International publications Policy briefs

Stage Ongoing

Planned tasks Articles, monographs, chapters in books

Deadline Continuously over 2017


Devising at least 3 issues

Continuously over 2017


Upgrading with large data set

Continuously over 2017

Not started

Re-granting developing studies

January-February 2017

Not started

Publishing the developing




Not started

Production of journalistic




Resource 3.

center www. Re-granting


developing studies Publishing the


developing studies


July-September 2017

July-December 2017

A Call for 7.

“My story� leaflets

submitting personal stories was

Processing the stories and production of at least 5 leaflets

February- May 2017

opened Two videos 8.

Videos on

on quality of

Production of at least 2 more

QEH topics

life topic was


Continuously over 2017

produced The TV 9.

TV broadcast


Production of TV broadcast on

is in its final

themes for social exclusion



January 2017








Panel discus-

Not started





project activities, results and


upcoming events

Not started

Organization of seminars with


key stakeholders

yet Ongoing

January-March 2017

ized groups

was pro-



sion on problems of marginalDevising e-newsletter on

Not started


Organization of 4 panel discus-

One issue

Final confer-


Planned tasks

January and July 2017

April 2017

Organization of final conference to present the results of

July 2017

the EU-funded project Upgrading the web platform

January-March 2017

Organizin an economic forum Economc fo15.


Not started yet

to present the final results, the Manual for calculation of the

January 2017

gender wage gap and the web platform

16. 17. 18.

Coffee with

Not started



Annual Panel

Not started

Conduct of a debate on hot






Organizing few times per year

Increasing the presence in media

Throughout 2017 December 2017 Continuously over 2017



The following capacity building activities have been planned for 2017: 1. Conduct an online course Public Policy Evaluation at the University Laval, Canada; 2. Conduct a study visit at Western institute for transfer of know-how related to the M&E strategy; 3. Constitution of Policy Council and Supervisory Board;


4. Participation in at least two international conferences to present results of ongoing projects and/or to build network with international researchers; 5. Participation at domestic conference, round tables, forums and other similar events, so as to present ongoing research and build networks with domestic researchers, other NGOs, government representatives and media; 6. Networking with citizens, CSOs, business community, local government, Mayor and media within the project “My money, my responsibilities�; 7. Initiating cooperation (leading to Memos of understanding) with repute domestic institutions and other NGOs conducting similar or complementary activities; 8. Participation at seminars for equipping with advocacy skills and research methods; 9. Securing a referent literature, mainly research methods and econometrics.


Activity 1.

Online course Study visit


at Western Institute


Planned tasks

Not started

Conduct an online course Pub-


lic Policy Evaluation

Deadline March 2017

Conduct a study visit at WestNot started

ern institute for transfer of


know-how related to the M&E

September 2017

strategy Constitution of 2 bodies which

Policy Council 3.

and Supervisory Board

will secure a direct channel of Not started

interaction with the policymak-


ers and will observe, supervise

Throughout 2017

and evaluate Finance Think’s work.

International 4.

Not started

Participate on at least two



conference /

Not started

Participate on at least three

round table



conference participation

Continuously over 2017

Domestic 5.

Continuously over 2017

participation Networking 6.

with munici-

Networking with citizens, busiOngoing

ness sector, CSOs, Mayor, local

Not started

Sign a MoU with at least one



Not started

Attend seminars for advocacy


and research skills


Securing relevant literature

palities 7.






Continuously over 2017

media September 2017 Continuously over 2017 Continuously over 2017



Annual Program of Activities 2017  
Annual Program of Activities 2017