PERFORM supported the fifth annual Public Policy Days organised by the Group for Analysing and Creating Public Policies at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade.
During the three days, public policies were presented to the participants through lectures, debates and workshops with the goal of encouraging students and wider academic community, representatives of the civil sector and decision makers to understand political life through political results. Topics discussed at this year’s conference included public policy advocacy as a science and art, the role of citizens in changing public policies, privacy on the Internet, public administration reform, and Serbia’s drug policy.
PERFORM Manager, Dr Martin Dietz, opened the conference stressing the importance of social sciences contributing to the reform processes in the society. Policy institutions are under increasing pressure to deliver conducive and coherent policies to provide the frame and support for positive change. This includes the ongoing process of adjusting national legislation to the acquis. These are often very complex and challenging tasks requiring a thorough understanding of the context and developments in the country, the region and globally.
“Social sciences have an important role in providing knowledge and evidence in support of developing these complex policies. The contribution from social science is particularly important since, according to a recent World Bank study, only 8% of the staff in policy institutions has analytical skills”, stressed Dr Dietz.
PERFORM’s Programme Officer, Ms Svetlana Kijevcanin, presented the results of PERFORM’s pilot projects implemented together with the Public Policy Secretariat and spoke about the importance of social science research contributing to evidence informed policy making.
“PERFORM focuses on establishing links and mechanisms of collaboration in the system between policymakers and research sector, which didn’t exist before. Our goal is to support social sciences in contributing more to Evidence Informed Policy Making, which can help to replace arbitrary and ideological policymaking with evidence-based and rational management. One of the challenges in this process is that policymakers need fast solutions, while researchers require time to produce evidence,” said Ms Kijevcanin.
The Group for Analysing and Creating Public Policies is an independent, professional association dealing with current issues and trends related to public policies in an innovative way. PERFORM has supported GAJP in the past by providing advocacy training to their young researchers and is currently funding their research on identifying the main factors that are responsible for the low quality of PhD training in social sciences in Serbia.