International Centre for Policy Studies
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ICPS History

Our driving force

In 1994, ICPS was created in response to a unique challenge: to provide support to a fledgling Ukrainian state lacking its own analytical capacity. Its response to that and others challenges remains the driving force behind the Centres efforts up to the present day.

One of the first think-tanks in Ukraine, and founded as an initiative of the Open Society Institute, ICPS has earned a unique place in Ukraines history, contributing its expertise to the government decision-making process, and developing policy analysis and long-term forecasts for the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as well as the Presidential Secretariat.

Moving beyond mere analysis and forecasting, ICPS has since continued to play a vital role in stimulating reforms that have helped shape the countrys current social, economic and political landscape.

Main Landmarks in Development

Assistance and training to government

In 1997, Ms. Vira Nanivska, a former World Bankgovernment policy specialist, became ICPS director. Ms. Nanivska, who was to become synonymous with the Centre for many years, was the first person in Ukraine to introduce public dialogue into government policy making. Under her direction, ICPS played a fundamental role in determining many of the instruments Ukraine needed to achieve democratization and modernization, and showed how these needed to be applied in practice.

Beginning in 1999, ICPS undertook a new approach to providing technical assistance to the government by conducting training seminars on policy analysis with Ukrainian civil servants. In 2000, with western donor financing, ICPS implemented the first large-scale training initiative of this kind with central government executive bodies. In 2007, the Ukrainian government took full ownership of this project and its implementation.

To this end, ICPS and the Conference Board of Canada have provided the government with a unique system for developing and evaluating state policy based on analyses of real data, specific benchmarks and evaluations of the countrys GDP potential.

In 2005, together with the famous Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies ICPS first formulated a model for a free trade area (FTA+) between Ukraine and the EU and continues in this direction with the aim of forming a strong, coherent and deliberate position for Ukraine in the European community by providing the Ukrainian government with methodological and analytical support, and by assisting in consultations with businesses during talks on FTA+ with the EU.

Economic forecasts

Since 1997, the Centres economic activities have intensified. The publication of its first periodical, Quarterly Predictions represented a watershed moment for independent economic analysis and economic development forecasting in Ukraine. Over the next five years, similar economic publications were launched in Kazakhstan and Moldova with ICPS assistance and training. ICPS in 2000 undertook its first private commercial research project on a commission basis. A new cycle of publications was launched in 2002 called Regional Trends, in which the economy of Ukrainian regions was sharply in focus.

Our vision

ICPS is officially working with various layers of government at present and for the first time in 2005, simultaneously submitted two draft regulatory amendments to government policy: one with regard to drug trafficking and one with regard to legislation to outlaw racial, national or ethnic discrimination, changing their wording from declarative to operative. Both bills were the result of fully informed stakeholder participation as part of the public policy development cycle.

In May 2006, the National Security and Defence Council signed a memorandum of cooperation with ICPS in which both parties agreed to make mutual contributions to work on issues related to Ukraines national security.

The Centres position was reflected in proposals made by ICPS analysts to the EU-Ukraine Readmission Treaty in which they emphasized the need for a transition period before the treaty were to take effect and a sharing of the costs associated with implementation. These proposals were reflected in the final version of the treaty, which was signed in 18 June 2007.

NGO capacity building

The Centres experience in policy analysis has been applied and its resulting methodology successfully tested, such as in the process of establishing a new think-tank, Institute for Public Policy, in Kazakhstan in 2001. Since 2001, ICPS has regularly passed on its institutional knowledge with respect to NGO and think-tank development to spur similar organizations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. In 2003 ICPS participated in the establishment of PASOS, an international network of think-tanks in Central and Eastern Europe.

National and international recognition

ICPS looks proudly on its achievements and the recognition they have won for the Centre. In 2005 the Global Development Network recognized ICPS as the most successful think-tank in Ukraine, while in 2006 former Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski a true global statesman and advocate of Ukrainian interests on the international arena was announced as the new chair of the ICPS Supervisory Board.

The success of ICPS in disseminating public policy concepts and procedures has been significant. President Viktor Yushchenko appointed ICPS Director Vira Nanivska President of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in 2006. Then in 2008 the Foreign Policy Research Institute ranked ICPS in a class of the top 228 policy analysis centres worldwide from more than 5,000 such organizations surveyed.

Looking ahead: Ukraine and Europeanization

The departure of Ms. Nanivska opens a new chapter in the history of ICPS, which is now under the direction of Ms. Olga Shumylo. Prior to her return to ICPS, Ms. Shumylo worked as an advisor to Hryhoriy Nemyria, Ukraines Deputy Prime Minister for European and International Integration.

The emergence of the global financial crisis in late 2008 has forced ICPS to concentrate its efforts on developing and instituting proposals to carry out key reforms that will help Ukraine control the situation. Centre experts will look for the most salient methods of combating the crisis while also ensuring the country continues on its path to further democratization and modernization.

Today, ICPSs mission remains that of assisting in the further democratization and modernization of Ukraine through assertive and deliberate Europeanization. We look forward to the next 15 years as much as we have enjoyed being part of the previous 15!

Thanks to our former colleagues!

ICPS would like to thank all its former employees, who contributed considerable efforts and professional skills to raise the Centre to a new level of development:

  • Volodymyr Nikitin, who was one of the original initiators of setting up Policy Analysis Groups (PAGS) at central executive bodies.
  • Eduard Zakharchenko and Volodymyr Hnat, who supported the development of civil society and established cooperation between ICPS and local governments and NGOs;
  • Hlib Vishlynskiy, Tetiana Sytnyk and Ruslan Piontkivskiy, who were at the wellsprings of the first forecasts for developments in Ukraines economy in our publication quarterly predictions.
  • Oksana Remiga, Andriy Blinov, Oleksiy Blinov, Maksym Mashliakivskiy, Yevhenia Akhtyrko, Liudmyla Kotusenko, Yegor Sobolev, Natalya Shapovalova and Ivan Presniakov who developed economic and political research at the Centre and launched new publications like Consumer Confidence, Economic Statistics and Political Commentary.
  • Serhiy Seheda and Oleksiy Nesterenko, who developed institutional capacities at the Centre.
  • Liza Baran, Andriy Beha, Tetiana Beha, Andriy Starynskiy, Yevhen Shulha, Ksenia Ovcharenko and Ostap Stasiuk who organized fund-raising activity, marketing and communication at ICPS.

Were proud of the fact that ICPS has grown real professionals who continue to work on democratic processes in Ukraine.