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«Public Administration Issues» Journal,

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Higher School of Economics
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Research and educational journal
Published quarterly since 2007
ISSN 1999-5431
E-ISSN 2409-5095

L. Proskuryakova 

Russian executive authorities, the WB and EBRD in Russia: comparison of civic engagement policy key features.

2008. No. 4. P. 120–134 [issue contents]

In the article the author compares civic engagement policies of the two international  financial institutions (IFIs) – the World Bank (WB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – in Russia and investigates its interrelation with the civic engagement policy of the Russian federal executive authorities. The author understands civic engagement policy of IFIs and Russian authorities as support, dialogue and consultations,  development of partner relations with civil society organizations (CSOs) and groups of population at local, national and global levels. Based on the research results reviewed, as well as concrete cases studied, the author came to a conclusion that the most efficient civic engagement policy is implemented through a variety of civic engagement forms, which are linked with corresponding decision-making stages of the political institutions – forecasting (scoping), planning, programming and evaluation, including some intermediary stages, immanent to each political institution. Based on historical analysis of the creation and development of civic engagement policies of the WB and EBRD, the author concluded that from 1991 to 2006 the World Bank, especially the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which had worked in close cooperation with the  international Monetary Fund (IMF), did not formulate or implement efficient civic engagement programs in Russia. This fact contributed to complications and failures of reforms, carried out with the WB’s support in the mentioned time span, as well as, in certain cases, inappropriate use of loans by the Russian Government. EBRD, on the contrary, from the very start of its operations in Russia, consecutively used civic engagement forms, adopted at the institutional level, including public consultations and independent expert assessments, which provided for a successful implementation of most of the Bank’s projects throughout Russia. International institutions and Russian authorities need a well-thought and result-oriented civic engagement policy in order to raise the efficiency of social and economic reforms’ components, due to consideration of various social groups’ and interest groups’ interests and obtaining feedback from society for timely correction of certain policies and political decisions. Part of political institutions’ civic engagement functions may be decentralized. The fact that EBRD, unlike the WB, did not decentralize its civic engagement functions, have not had a major negative influence on EBRD’s projects. However, in the case of decentralization, EBRD could have developed even further its advantages of institutional presence in Russia’s regions. There are nine main civic engagement forms used by IFIs and their Russian Government counterparts,  rimarily at the federal level. All of these forms could be tentatively divided into real mechanisms increasing the efficacy of the WB and EBRD  investments and their support to reforms in general, and imitation forms (quasi-mechanisms) of civic engagement. It should be noted that imitation forms of civic engagement not only substitute, take the space of the real forms, but also contribute to inappropriate use of state resources, deflect the civil society sector as a whole. Both the WB and EBRD have been reviewing their civic engagement policies in order to enlarge their civic engagement forms and models, as well as to assure greater disclosure of information. Civil society consultative bodies at federal, regional and municipal executive authorities appear in Russia: Public Chamber, Council on Support to Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights; civil society, expert and consultative bodies by ministries and state agencies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Anti-monopoly Service) and other. Based on analysis of history and forms of civic engagement policies of the WB, EBRD and Russian executive authorities, the following key principles were marked out by the author: formal policy should be documented by an institution at the highest possible level; it should become obligatory for execution for all officials; special capacity building programs for institution’s staff should be previewed; all levels of an institution should take part in development and implementation of the policy; openness should be observed in the course of civic engagement policy development and policy review; these policy measures should be integrated into other key policy documents of an institution; interaction with a variety of stakeholders should be assured (with consideration of age, gender, social and geographic diversity/balance); special budget and other resources should be previewed.

Citation: Proskuryakova L. (2008) Sravnenie osnovnykh kharakteristik politiki vzaimodeystviya s obshchestvennost'yu rossiyskikh organov ispolnitel'noy vlasti, VB i EBRR v Rossii [Russian executive authorities, the WB and EBRD in Russia: comparison of civic engagement policy key features.]. Public Administration Issues, no 4, pp. 120-134 (in Russian)
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ISSN 1999-5431
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