The Missing Link: From Strategic Documents to Policy Action


The project “The Missing Link: From Strategic Documents to Policy Action”, financed by the America for Bulgaria Foundation, supports the National Program of the School, in which young political and civic leaders train their leadership skills. Its aim is within the Program to build a sustainable mechanism for finding practical solutions to urgent social problems. The project is linked with a new stage of School’s development, at which it is to establish as a place not only for training but also for policy making in areas key for the development of Bulgaria, thus stimulating the process of modernization of the country.

 

Overview 

There are not constant and structured debate between political parties, non-governmental organizations and business in the country. As a result, multiple proposals for improving the business climate in Bulgaria remain only on paper.

Over the years Bulgarian, international and regional associations and think-thanks have published numerous opinions, forecasts, expert analyses and reports on the development of the country. Nonetheless, the recommendations in these documents did not and do not find practical application in the Bulgarian reality. The reasons are many but the main one is lack of mechanism in which the expert proposals for the development of key sectors to be converted into political action and practical solutions.

For nine years the Bulgarian School of Politics has trained civic and political leaders of the country. Based on the experience gained and on the needs of the public, the School has turned from an institution, which trains and educates political and civic leaders of the country, into an one that offers within training modules an opportunity to work on specific problems of business and society, and to apply the results into practice.


Project Goals

  • to fill the vacuum that exists between strategic documents and real action,
  • to build a new type communication between political parties, business and civil society structures.
  • each year to have 40 young Bulgarian leaders from civil society, business, and political parties as graduates the Bulgarian School Politics, who would, during the training, work practical solutions to important societal problems, and apply those in practice
  • to move away from training provided to a limited range of participants to establishing of a cooperation mechanism open to citizens and businesses.
  • to stimulate modernization the country, through finding solutions to important problems Bulgaria faces, which would make the country attractive to investments and a better place to live.
  • to develop and affirm the School as a factor in changing the environment.


Project Activities

The main project activities include:

– study of strategic Bulgarian documents, of analyses of international organizations and leading think tanks and research centers,

– Holding workshops with experts and stakeholders,

– Conducting 6 five-day courses within the National Program of the School, based on intensive training, with emphasis on work in small groups and practical tasks

– Preparing case studies within the National Program’s courses and group homework assignments between courses

– Development of models for specific public policies by the participants in the National Program and approval of those models by a jury

– Promotion of models and their presentation to relevant institutions at national and local level

For two school years, the focus of the National Program is to be on the three key areas of the Bulgarian economy, related to labour productivity:

  • Education and Training
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Energy-efficient Economy

During the courses, as well as among them, the participants are to develop practical solutions in the form of policy models, which afterwards are to be applied at national or local level. Proposed solutions are to be accepted by a jury, which includes representatives of relevant government institutions and the executive power, representatives of employers’ and professional organizations, trade unions, NGOs, and senior representatives of the involved parties’ leaderships. This will guarantee that the results will find their direct application both in the politics of the state and in programs, platforms, strategy papers and positions of the different parties.


Funding

The project is financed by the America for Bulgaria Foundation


Implementation Period

November 2010- November 2012


Expected Results

  • Establishing a sustainable and effective mechanism for cooperation among parliamentary parties, civil society and businesses
  • Practical implementation of recommendations found in key analyzes and reports
  • Identification of priority areas for development of Bulgarian economy
  • Adoption of specific policy measures of an economic dimension 

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