Economic Reforms Governance Model

An Economic Reform Governance Model to reform design and delivery of citizen-and business-centric public services was introduced in 2016. Aim of the Model was to eliminate barriers, ensure transparency, develop digital public services and expand competitiveness through increasing engagement of civil society and businesses in the reform process. Implementing 136 reform initiatives by passing 55 legal acts enabled the government to create more favorable social-economic opportunities for citizens.

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Since 2015, Azerbaijan has faced new challenges stemming from the high volatility of crude oil prices all over the world. As a response to these challenges, the President of Azerbaijan initiated the Economic Reforms Governance Model to accelerate the reforms for the improvement of the business environment through innovative solutions, develop and promote innovation mindset.

The Model addresses two challenges:
1. Do things faster. Existing mechanisms that governed design and delivery of public services involved multiple iterations across several government agencies and layers. Bringing reforms/innovative projects into life through existing mechanisms took a lot of time, despite heavy efforts of all stakeholders.
2. Do things better. Although the Government was eager to listen to the voice of citizens, there was limited room for engaging civil society/citizens actively in design of public services in a structured way. The Model questioned what voices were at the table, who was missing, and how decisions are being made in economic reform management.

In due course, the specific objectives were to initiate a new Reform Model that learns and improves over time and serves as (1) a digital collaboration platform that eliminates coordination failures across government agencies and layers and (2) an inclusive mechanism facilitating citizen-centric public service design and delivery, especially for – women, people with disabilities and elderly– who may have additional difficulties in accessing public services.

New Model is comprised of following key elements under “organization” and “innovative tools” pillars:
(Organization) A commission to coordinate the reform efforts and increase agility of reforms; 19 working groups to increase collaboration and inclusiveness, suggest necessary initiatives for improvement in specific areas.
(Innovative tools) Communication platform; Engagement platform/digital calendar; Analytical benchmarking tool.

The tools were developed by the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication to facilitate particular working groups and other users.
1. Communication platform. The platform helps to replace many communication channels with only one digital channel and considerably reduces both the failures and the risk of delays in coordination process. More importantly, it helps to reduce paper usage significantly since all communication among working groups and within commission is conducted digitally.
2. Engagement platform/digital calendar. The Digital Calendar ensures that all stakeholders effected by the reforms are heard and creates an inclusive and collaborative environment to design and push the reforms through innovative manners. The Digital Calendar brings transparency to the operations of the working groups and enables and facilitates public participation and inclusiveness in the decision-making process. As an engagement platform, the calendar aims to foster social inclusiveness in reforms by stimulating public-private dialogue via digital tools.
3. Analytical benchmarking tool. Key function of the tool is to enable convenient comparison in order to evaluate current business environment and find out best practices for potential reapplication. The tool has high capacity of visualization of results, enabling viewing scores in various formats such as bar charts, line charts and column charts as well as exporting data as excel file. During the development of the benchmarking tool, it was inspired by the concept of a global benchmarking jointly launched by the IMF, CIAT, IOTA and the OECD.

Equipped with above-mentioned tool the Model is an innovation in reform design because:
(Agility) The tool enables users to quickly analyze the current state of business environment in their respective field without a need to refer to different indices/reports. The tool also enables users to save time on such analysis via fast and convenient data collection and visualization options.
(Accountability) The tool is open to public, similarly the targets of working groups of the Commission are also publicly available in the platform. Hence anyone can review the reports and judge the success of specific working group against their objectives.
(Inclusiveness) everyone can use the tool to analyze the current state, strengths and development areas of the country. Using this user-friendly tool in combination with engagement platform, citizens can analyze particular areas and submit their ideas accordingly;
(Predictability) The tool enables to define the investment attractiveness of the country in international and regional context. Assessment of countries' reform practices and strategies based on real analysis provides great opportunity to evaluate the sustainability and volatility in the investment environment;
(Global usability) Free incentive-based tool is open for global use and it can significantly affect the agility in analysis benchmarking of business environment in other countries.

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Year: 2016
Level of government: National/Federal government

Status:

  • Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
  • Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on
  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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