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Policy and Legal Environment for the Growth of the SME Sector in Bulgaria
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3.1 ACTION LINE 3.1: DEVELOPMENT, DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPREHNISIVE MONITORING SYSTEM

3.1.1 BACKGROUND
3.1.2 OBJECTIVES
3.1.3 ACTIONS
 
DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
LEVEL OF MONITORING
MONITORING METHODS AND DATA SOURCES

3.1.4 EXPECTED RESULTS

3.1.1 BACKGROUND

In light of the proposed recommendations, a monitoring system is of principal importance for the success of the IPC project as it would perform at least two functions:

  1. To monitor the direct impact of policy decisions and to assess the effectiveness of policy change efforts in the SME sector.
  2. To provide relevant vehicles (based on analyses and relevant data) to decision makers that would both inform them of developments in the SME sector and provide support for policy change.

The importance and validity of different types of monitoring systems have increased significantly in recent years. Monitoring systems have also become widely used by businesses and governments in decision making. Such monitoring systems include, the Index of Economic Freedom developed by the Heritage Foundation, the International Corruption Ranking developed jointly by the University of Goetingen and Transparency International, and others developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the EBRD, etc. Effective monitoring systems include quality information and analysis and reporting and policy recommendations that have approved by the relevant policy and/or decision makers.

3.1.2 OBJECTIVES

The objective of this action line is to design and implement a comprehensive monitoring system to determine whether or not policy recommendations are being administered and enforced, and ultimately, if the desired level of success is has been achieved. The heart of this monitoring system will be the Center for the Study of Democracy ("CSD"). Since 1990, the CSD has gained considerable experience in monitoring public attitudes, privatisation and economic reform, and media and audience behavior as an independent public policy research institution.

3.1.3 ACTIONS

The actions foresee:

  1. the design an implementation of the monitoring system (DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION).
  2. the development of at least two levels of monitoring, one on the macro level and one specific IPC related activities (LEVEL OF MONOTORING).
  3. the acquisition of data regarding the implementation of programs and the development of basic instruments to be used to quantitatively and qualitatively analysis the data (MONITORING METHODS AND DATA SOURCES).

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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION

The main output of the monitoring system will be a Report to be produced every 6 months. The findings in this report will be reviewed periodically, e.g., in six month cycles, in both a workshop discussion and a policy forum. The objective of the workshop discussion will be to assess on an expert level the relevance and the objectivity of the report of findings. The report of findings (approved by experts) will provide the background for discussions in the policy forum. The main objective of the forum will be to give public approval to the Report and to discuss eventual future activities.

Both the discussion group and the policy forum will also provide guidance for the development and implementation of the monitoring system itself. Specifically, the precise format and level of the monitoring must be outlined, the exact information and analyses needs to be designed, and the main indicators of the monitoring system need to be agreed upon.

 

LEVEL OF MONITORING

At least two levels of monitoring must be included in the system: a macro level and a specific IPC related activities level.

On the macro monitoring level, the system would monitor macro-economic performance and developments in the country based on a comprehensive system of indicators. Ideally this could be done using the group of ten indicators of The Index of Economic Freedom (see B.T. Johnson, T.P. Sheeny, THE INDEX OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM: The Heritage Foundation, 1995, p. 11-21) and by using modified scales and interpretation. These indicators are:

  1. Trade policy
  2. Taxation policy
  3. Government consumption of economic output
  4. Monetary policy
  5. Capital flows and foreign investment
  6. Banking policy
  7. Wage and price controls
  8. Property rights
  9. Regulation policy
  10. Black market

With respect to specific IPC related activities, monitoring at this level is dependent on the specific design of the IPC project and the activities to be undertaken.

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MONITORING METHODS AND DATA SOURCES

Part of the basic information covering the levels of monitoring outlined above could be obtained by the National Statistical Institute and by using the survey research database of CSD. The latter includes surveys on economic reforms, privatization, public attitudes, as well as registration information on companies in the state and the private sector.

The other part of the information will be obtained through a combination of survey research methods. The basic instruments to be used will be quantitative and qualitative surveys are:

  1. Focus groups with experts Focus groups could be used in the initial stage of the project to help specify the relevant system of indicators on which the monitoring system will be based. At later stages focus groups could be used to obtain qualitative assessments of the legal and economic environment of the SME sector.Suggested number of groups: 2-4
  2. Quantitative surveys of experts This type of surveys could be used to obtain expert assessment of ongoing/projected changes in legislation, economic situation, etc.Sample: non-representative sample of 70-100 experts.
  3. Quantitative surveys of business leaders This type of surveys could be used to obtain assessments of the impact of ongoing/projected changes over the SME sector.Sample: sample composition would depend on the type of impact monitored. It could be constructed to monitor developments as a result of IPC, or developments of the economy in general.
  4. Quantitative surveys of the public Surveys of the public could be used to assess the overall acceptance of reform efforts, attitudes towards economic policies, etc.Sample: surveys of that type should be based on a representative sample of the population 18+ of about 1000 respondents.

Each monitoring cycle research focus will include a combination of statistical information and surveys of the aforementioned four types. Including all four types of surveys would be necessary in order to adequately cover the different aspects and impacts of change. Depending on priorities, information needs of decision makers the composition of each cycle could be modified.

 

3.1.4 EXPECTED RESULTS

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