On 24 April, ISET Policy Institute, with support from the Swedish Embassy, met representatives from local non-governmental and international organizations, and from the Akhaltsikhe public and private sectors, in order to introduce its activities and key products.
The welcome address was delivered by ISET’s Tamar Sulukhia. Tamar Sulukhia in her speech addressed the importance and prospects EU integration holds for the candidate countries. Ms. Sulukhia spoke about how countries that join the European Union economically progress as a result of convergence with the EU’s robust economic, regulatory, and institutional system and that the quality of life in these new member states substantially improves. She outlined the gap between the socioeconomic well-being of the Georgian population and that of the European Union, and how this indicates the opportunity that will open to the Georgian population as a result of its integration with the EU.
ISET representatives thereafter spoke about the importance of evidence-based research, mechanisms, and tools in policymaking.
Salome Deisadze from the research team in the first part of her presentation introduced a recent ISET development – the Gender Equality Index (GEI), which measures progress toward gender equality within 12 former Soviet countries, including the three countries of the South Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Later she moved on to overview one of ISET’s regular publications – the Consumer Confidence Index which measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation.
Salome Deisadze’s review was followed by a presentation on the ReforMeter, led by ISET’s Mariam Katsadze – the ReforMeter is a platform for assessing economic reforms, supported by the USAID Economic Governance Program. During her overview, Mariam discussed the project’s target reforms, each of which is assessed, reported, and published by the ReforMeter team.