Independent entrepreneurship is one of the main drivers of economic development and often manifests itself in the form of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These start-ups trigger innovation, boost productivity and bring about structural change.

As Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Herr explained, Germany has been able to reap the benefits of this due to a multitude of internal factors. Its local banking system, for instance, is not profit-oriented and consists of savings banks, which is more accessible for entrepreneurs. The country’s vocational education system, too, plays a part, with its split system of teaching both practical skills and theoretical knowledge (in contrast to the more academic education practices of other Western countries). In addition, the government is very supportive of SMEs, as is the government’s development bank, the KfW.

On July 18th 2019, the ISET Policy Institute hosted a summary event of the ReforMeter project, the exact topic of which was “3 Phases of Reformeter: What are the benefits?” The goal of the meeting was to summarize the three phases of the project and to discuss its results and challenges.

The opening remarks were made by Nato Beruashvili of USAID and Jean-Frederic Paulsen, Chairman of ISET’s Governing Board as well as the institute’s former interim director, who has helped oversee the implementation of the project since its inception in 2017 as a key part of its Steering Committee.

These were followed by a presentation from Gigla Mikautadze, ReforMeter’s Project Manager, who explained in detail every stage of the project, which was split into three distinct phases. The project executive team concluded that the evaluation of the reform implementation is not a simple task due to a number of obstacles the project faced during its implementation. Typically, all reforms are based on strategic documents, but not all of them include clear action plans and timelines, or, indeed, targets. In these cases, it is difficult to track a reform’s implementation and check whether the goals are achieved or not. Also, some of the reform documents have significantly changed in a short period of time, which made the previous strategy and appropriate actions irrelevant.

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