The Learning Government Research Project: Assessing Policy Making Reform in Romania

Good planning and proper policy analysis to inform decision makers are important elements of policymaking reform. A functional and modern policymaking system can only work if it is supported by the proper institutional arrangements. In Romania there have been serious failures in policy management under the current government apparatus.  This has been largely down to a lack of institutional capacity to manage the policy and regulatory process. Underlying causes include the absence of a systematic approach to policy formulation, institutional corruption, and a pressing need to refine and implement civil service law. Reforms started in 2003 did benefit from increased attention and support
from donors. Their successes have been limited by operational problems however, especially in matching agendas and financing activities, and also the persistence of bureaucratic resistance. In order to push the reform agenda forward the government needs to train and prepare its senior staff and stimulate the involvement of competent local personnel in assistance programs. It must take full responsibility for increasing its administrative capacity, and cooperate with academics and civil society to build a community of policy analysts and policy makers. The donor community meanwhile, must establish a clear vision for their policy in Romania, offer a better design of programs, and improve advertising of their assignments.

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