Business-civil society relationships and collaboration perspectives were discussed
Economic Research Center (ERC) is implementing “Enhancing the effectiveness of government by strengthening the role of think tanks in decision-making arena” project funded by European Union. The aim of the project is to provide participation of think-tanks in decision making process and strengthening the actions of government through increasing their institutional and research opportunities.
ERC organized round table meeting dedicated to mutual cooperation between partner think-tanks and business communities on December 06, 2012. GubadIbadoglu, the member of ERC Management Board delivered opening remarks and informed attendees about activities implemented within the framework of the project. He underlined that 3 trainings – “ Strategic management of think-tanks”, “ Increasing quality control over policy papers of think-tanks” and eventually “ Strategic planning in think-tanks” were organized for 18 partner think-tanks within the framework of the project. In addition, ERC provided its methodogical support to think-tanks on establishment of strategic management and quality control institutions: “ In current stage of the project, our aim is to arrange discussion on mutual cooperation between business communities and partner think-tanks as well as to introduce businesses to partner think-tanks. Afterwards, G.Ibadoglu talked about the concept of a think-tank and important role of such think-tanks in Western Europe, the USA and developed countries ofAsia as well. Besides, he informed participants about the development of such institutions in Azerbaijan. He mentioned that there are over 5500 think-tanks functioning in 169 countries and 34 % of this figure is related to the USA: “Think-tanks have considerable impact in formulation of state policy, and decision making process as well. We wish that think-tanks in Azerbaijan could also reach to this level and involve in decision making process.” According to the information provided by G.Ibadoglu, there are 4 groups think-tanks in Azerbaijan: TTs operating within businesses, TTs operating within state agencies, TTs operating within universities and finally independent TTs. He noted that there are issues related to their institutional knowledge and skills, strategic management, including quality control and financial sustainability. G.Ibadoglu informed attendees about planned activities towards alleviation of issues related to partner think-tanks within the framework of the project.
After the presentation the discussion session declared open. Zaur Guliyev from the Ministry of Taxes, Eqshin Bayramov from Business University, Khalid Racabov from BP-Azerbaijan company, Vusala Garayeva from Azerbaijan MicroFinance Association, Sahib Cafarov from Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan Republic, Suheyla Cafarova from Bakcell company, AykhanNasibili from Entrepreneurship Development Foundation, Mohubbali Nagiyev from “ Balance” public union, Vusala Huseynli from Young Democratic Reformers Union, NabatGaniyeva from Women rights Protection Society named after DilaraAlieyva and others emphasized the issues between business communities and think-tanks. In addition, they talked about the ways of eliminating these problems. The participants of round table exchanged views on distrust of businesses towards civil society, lack of proposals by civil society for businesses. At the conclusion, it was underlined that for initial stage it is significant to introduce parties, business community and think-tanks each other’s.
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