Completed projects

Preparatory Project for a Society-wide Dialogue Platform on SDGs for Serbia

Partner: The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

The goal of the Preparatory project was to develop a larger project proposal that would propose a strategy for the development of a broad society-wide dialogue on the SDGs motivated and steered through an independent civil society platform. Such a dialogue put in the context of the nationalization of SDGs that the government and UN plan to conduct could make a critical contribution to ensuring this nationalization exercise is truly participatory, and deals with the issues that are truly at the heart of Serbia’s development challenges. It related to the need to reinforce Serbia’s capacity to steer policies towards accomplishing not only economic growth, but economic development that is more equitable and leaves no one behind, that is both socially just and environmentally sustainable, and that is participatory – making the citizen and local communities the central development agents.

Project had a dissemination phase with the aim to further raise awareness on the results of CEVES research and where Serbia stands in the regards with SDGs today. CEVES organized one-day Conference on Serbia’s SDG Issues, focusing on the SDG values, and the challenges of ensuring that economic growth is both accelerated and more broadly spread, considering the growth challenges we are emphasizing above.

This project also resulted with two outputs: 

Report “Serbia Sustainable Development Issues: A Baseline Review”

Brochure  “Serbia’s Sustainable Development: How are we doing?”

Socio-economic impact assessment of implementing circular economy in three sectors

Partner: German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ)

Year: 2017

The objective of the assignment was to provide order-of-magnitude assessments of the possible long-term impact of the adoption of circular economy practices in three sectors, on national macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, employment, net exports etc. The impact assessment was to serve as an input into the Circular Economy Strategy for the Republic of Serbia. The impact assessment was focused on the economic and social effects of implementing circular economy in the following sectors: Agriculture/Food industry, electrical and electronic equipment and plastic packaging. The assessment included estimation of revenues, costs, value added, profits and jobs generated in case of introducing circular economy in selected sectors. For the purposes of this project, CEVES developed the methodology for assessment of the economic impact of the circular economy using partial equilibrium sector-level modeling, relying principally on the re-calibration of other countries’ experiences to Serbia. Quantifying the changes in key macroeconomic indicators implied the difference in Target scenario (and reaching national targets) and Business as Usual scenario. The analysis included data collection (Serbian and EU official sources), semi-structured interviews with the key informants, growth estimation of economic activities and prices, benchmark analysis, etc.

 

Measurement of companies’ satisfaction with cooperative model of vocational education

Partner: German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ)

Year: 2017

Objective of the assignment was to assess the satisfaction of the companies with the methods and processes in the implementation of cooperative model of vocational education, as one of the steps toward dual education. Modernization of vocational education is one of the key labor market’s requirements. Recognizing the businesses’ need for young professionals, ready to step into the real-life world of labor from day one, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in collaboration with the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), through the “Vocational Secondary Education Reform in Serbia” project, as of 2014/2015 school year, started the implementation of a vocational secondary education cooperative model in three three-year-long educational profiles: locksmith-welder, electrician and industrial mechanic. Project activities referred to the online survey as well as semi-structured interviews with companies’ owners, management and mentors that were working together with students. Companies covered referred to those that were included into the cooperative model of vocational education.

 

Baseline assessment of fruit and vegetables value chain in Serbia

Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Year: 2017

The main objective was to conduct a baseline assessment of fruit and vegetables (F&V) value chains in Serbia which would be used to determine the impacts of the overall USAID’s Competitiveness Systems Strengthening (CSS) project in the future.

This analysis is mainly focused on the processing and downstream (retail chain) segments of the value chain because it is through these segments that CSS is most likely to, with its limited resources, affect the entire competitiveness system. The assessment of fruit and vegetables value chain in Serbia was conducted through Import and Export analysis, Retail Chains Analysis, and Processors/Producers Analysis within the F&V value chain. The first phase of the project uncovered which F&V products were the most significant in Serbia’s exports and imports, focused on exporting companies and differentiation by the type of their exporting products and the type of their buyers. In the second phase, CEVES conducted 200 phone interviews based on USAID standardized questionnaire. The questionnaire aimed to discover the patterns of firms’ behavior in topics of market linkages, networks and finance.

 

Performance and value chain analysis of selected sectors

Partner: Ministry of Economy, Government of Serbia

Year: 2017

The objective of the assignment was to improve the Ministry of Economy’s targeting of employment generation, competitiveness enhancement and investment attraction policies in Serbia by improving the information base and tools on which such interventions rely.

The assessment provided detailed analyses of selected industries, benchmarked their competitiveness against competitor countries and provided concrete policy recommendations for the sustained increase in their competitiveness. Performance and competitiveness were assessed based on a detailed database of Serbian Business Registers Agency and Customs data as well export competitiveness of Serbian product on every international market where they were being sold (detailed 4-digit UNComtrade database). Additionally, CEVES conducted more than 130 face-to-face interviews (mostly outside of Belgrade), value chain mapping and quantification, and gap analysis (based on the current and optimal state of each selected sector). The research is the foundation for the Ministry of Economy’s formulation of a new industrial development strategy. The four selected priority industries included two technology-intensive sectors (mechanical and electrical equipment, and rubber and plastic products) and two resource-based sectors (food and beverages, and wood end furniture industry), deemed of highest potential to contribute to Serbia’s competitiveness. In addition, the performance and the competitiveness of 8 sectors were subject to a quick review.

 

Measuring the effectiveness of the health care system in Serbia

Partner: Open Sociaty Foundation

Year: 2017

The project aimed to establish an independent monitoring of the quality of the work of the health care system of Serbia, which is, however, part of an even broader CEVES’s program aimed at strengthening the monitoring of the quality of work and the organization of public authorities. The project created direct link towards the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Main project output is baseline report that prioritizes a set of indicators and compares the observed data in Serbia with the situation in the selected countries, so that a sufficiently reliable assessment can be obtained, yet sufficiently easy to communicate to the public about the state of health of the citizens of Serbia. The research implied the preparation of preliminary baskets of indicators (quality of outcomes, results, processes and efficiency – system of protection in Serbia) as well as assessment of the weight of each of them.

available only in Serbian
Report

 

Mapping barriers to youth entrepreneurship

Partner: German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ)

Year: 2017

The project aimed to map institutional and legal barriers that youth face when starting their businesses in Serbia. Much like their peers worldwide, youth in Serbia are faced with numerous challenges when entering the labor market. Figures from the Serbian labor market show a dire situation for young people, since the unemployment rate of this segment of population is almost twice that of the general unemployment rate. Starting a business is one solution for those inclined towards entrepreneurship – and the percentage of such individuals among youth is 36%, higher than in the general population. However, the share of those who actually start a business is significantly lower. Education as obvious barrier for youth activism and developing skills was not subject of this study.

Study gives overview of three particular barriers Serbian youth face: 1) Access to finance and capital; 2) Fiscal and para-fiscal system; 3) Information and practical skills. Beside these barriers which are characteristic for all those starting the business, study shows barriers affecting specific youth groups: 1) Highly skilled youth; 2) Youth in vocational education and training (VET); 3) Youth not in employment, education or training (NEET); 4) Young women; 5) Socially vulnerable youth.

Report

Performance of tradable sectors in Serbia’s economy – development potentials index

Partner: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS)

Year: 2016

The objective of the assignment was to assess performance and competitive potentials of tradable sectors in Serbia’s economy, through an innovative tool developed by CEVES – Development Potentials Index (DPI). The specific goal was to create an innovative and comprehensive tool that would provide better insight into tradable sector competitive patterns in Serbia. DPI results made a foundation for the selection of four priority sectors by Ministry of Economy.

DPI represents a composite index that uncovered detailed performance and competitiveness patterns of all tradable sectors in Serbia. This analysis was primarily based on quantitative analysis: 114 tradable sectors were assessed with 120 indicators of different weights; 6 years observed period after the strike of the global crisis in 2009; 80.000 companies detailed performance analysis, international competitiveness product analysis on 110 foreign markets, etc. DPI was consisted of nine pillars: (1) general performance, (2) export performance, (3) sustainable performance, (4) growth potential, (5) potential for spill-over effects, (6) sophistication potential, (7) employment creation, (8) investment attraction, and (9) encouragement of entrepreneurship and development of micro and small enterprises. The analysis covered as well: 1) economic impact of global commodity (oil, gas, coal, iron, steel, copper, aluminum, lumber, agribusiness) on key performance indicators of affected sectors in Serbia’s economy; 2) in addition to rankings of individual sectors, rankings of the most important value chains were also produced, in order to assess the performance and functionality of a sector surrounding and its ability to develop in those conditions.

Report

 

Quarterly monitor of economic trends and policies in Serbia

Partner: FREN

Year: 2013 – 2015

The Quarterly Monitor of Economic Trends and Policies in Serbia (QM), initially developed by CEVES in 2005 by Kori Udovički, (current President of the Governing Board and Chief Economist of CEVES) has now become the most representative and relevant publication of the Foundation for the Advancement of Economics (FREN). QM regularly monitors and analyzes the general macroeconomic situation and economic policies in Serbia, comparing it with the EU and other countries in South-East Europe. QM’s main aim is giving a thorough insight on the state of Serbia’s economy, together with offering comments and recommendations to policy makers on the most serious issues Serbia is facing. Quarterly Monitors focus on six main topics: Economic Activity, Employment and Wages, Balance of Payments and Foreign Trade, Prices and the Exchange Rate, Fiscal Flows and Policy and Monetary Flows and Policy. The QM current Editor-in-Chief is Milojko Arsić, economics lecturer the Faculty of Economics at the University of Belgrade and former Member of the Council National Bank of Serbia.

Report QM 32

Report QM 33

Report QM 34

Report QM 35

Report QM 36

Report QM 37

Report QM 38

Report QM 39

Report QM 40

Report QM 41

 

Fabricated metal products in Serbia – sector performance and value chain analysis

Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Year: 2015

Objective of the assignment was to identify the critical success factors and most binding constraints along value chain of fabricated metal products sector and to create a detailed SWOT matrix which should serve as a baseline for creation of a sectorial action plan.

Main activities: The analysis provided a deeper look into the performance and export competitiveness of this industry; discussed the possibilities for further performance and competitiveness enhancement; identified the main levers and opportunities for development and internationalization of this sector and uncovered the characteristics of these opportunities in greater detail; and finally identified concrete factors of company’s competitiveness, which should be addressed with adequate support and policy design.

Report

 

Serbia’s real sector performance: Exhibited competitiveness by size, industry, and region

Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Year: 2014

The objective of the assignment was to assess the performance and shed light on the most promising industries, with the potential to drive sustainable growth and development of Serbia’s economy through enhanced international competitiveness and exporting activities. In addition, this research also shed light on industries that have obvious market potential but struggle to achieve their goals and realize this potential full potential.

The research represents CEVES foundational research of Serbia’s real sector economy, and most importantly, it is the one of a kind in Serbia. By this study, CEVES set the foundation and contributed to the evidence-based policy making in Serbia. The particular result was shedding light on good performing SME-based sectors, which were at the time significantly underrated. This research brought series of innovation in sectors analysis in Serbia: introducing the performance analysis of average/median company in the sector (not only overall sectors performance), bridging different international classifications that enabled joint analyses of general firms’ performance and international performance etc. CEVES invested time in cleaning SBRA database and identifying bona fide companies (separating those that conduct “real” businesses, and earn from it, from those uncreditworthy and/or with irregular reporting) and conducted assessment only on those. The assessment included preparing of series of different financial and international performance indicators; which were statistically analyzed by multivariate Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

Report

 

Assesing the quality of Serbian statistics

Partner: British Embassy Belgrade 

Year: 2014

Project aimed to emphasize the poor quality of statistical data in Serbia, especially on sectorial level, in terms of their practical application in the analysis of performance and consequentially decision-making itself and make recommendations to overcome them. The project systematically analysed key economic series, comparing and contrasting related variables and relying mostly on economic logic to show key gaps and problems. The focus was to compare GDP by production and expenditure structure with source information, deflators and price series, as well as delve as deeply as possible into formal and informal knowledge about the assessment methodologies applied to explain the inconsistencies. Ultimately, the project identified some key fundamental assumptions that are regularly being made and that probably do not adequately reflect Serbia’s reality. The key audience included policymakers in the Ministry of finance, the Fiscal Council, and the IFIs.

Report

 

SME growth opportunities and how policies and banks miss them

Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Year: 2014

Objective of the assignment was to motivate banks and other stakeholders to search for producers and financing modalities more suitable to the SME market segment than the current bank practices, by presenting strong evidence of missed opportunities with current practice. The aim of the project was to assess whether and in which way commercial banks in Serbia can increase their lending towards resilient and growing SMEs. This analysis covered two components. The first component focused at shedding the light on the structure, performance and growth potential of Serbia’s SMEs. The second component aimed to understand and analyze bank SME funding practices in order to identify if there are opportunities to expand funding to the mutual benefit of both banks and SMEs. Our analysis and assessment were based on indicators from financial statements of all enterprises that have operated in Serbia in period of 2005 to 2012. In addition, CEVES interviewed heads of sales and risk departments in 11 banks (approximately 70% of the banking market in Serbia).

Report

 

Uncovering firm-level factors that determine the performance of Serbian SMEs– Survey of 1.000 firms in Serbia’s economy

Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Year: 2014

Objective of the assignment was to conduct the survey of the company in order to identify the key factors underlying the performance of enterprises in Serbia. The research covered ten general topic areas of private sector operations in attempt to broadly identify and assess what was the motive for firms’ establishment, what firms do, how they are structured and run, what is their corporate governance, whom they interact with and how they form their expectations are for the future. The survey covered 1,062 face-to-face structured interviews, prepared by CEVES and executed by IPSOS Strategic Marketing.

Report

 

Serbia – an emerging outsourcing destination

Partner: TRIZMA

Year: 2013

Project aim was to perform a brief analysis of performance and potentials of two globally fastest growing industries in Serbia – business process outsourcing and information communication technology. Analysis uncovered numerous advantages of Serbia as attractive destination for outsourcing and investment in IT sector, but it also analyses current situation in Serbia’s IT sector – performance, key players, opportunities and barriers for Serbian IT Companies. Main activities included: analysis of Serbia country profile, labor market analysis, IT sector analysis and presentation of relevant researching results.

 

Public advocacy for public policy of support to entrepreneurship based on facts

Partner: European Fund for the Balkans

Year: 2013

Project aimed to produce recommendations for the new SME strategy, support alignment of Serbian policy and practice with the key Copenhagen criterion on the existence of a functioning market economy and help to unleash Serbia’s growth potential and boost firm performance. The project consisted of several steps, where the first one was to conduct interviews with economic experts; non-economic experts; decision makers; regional development agencies; private sector/entrepreneurs; CSOs; media. In the next phases CEVES conducted SME performance analyses and successfully disseminated results in public.

 

Estimation of resources impact for selected business-related administrative procedures

Partner: NALED

Year: 2008

The aim of this analysis is to evaluate direct and indirect costs caused by certain administrative procedures. Also, in the study there is calculation of the costs of the entire economy that arise as a result of the execution of certain administrative ones obligation.

available only in Serbian
Report

 

Assessment of the barriers for the investments in South Serbia

Partner: World Bank

Year: 2008

CEVES was engaged by The World Bank to analyze and rank municipalities in Serbia according to their level of development and consequently help allocate central government’s development funds to stimulate equal regional development.

available only in Serbian
Report

 

Understanding Belgrade services sector report on survey results

Partner: Open Society Fund

Year: 2007

This research aim to understand and describe the new service sector in Serbia. In global economy, financial capital is being increasingly directed toward countries abundant in knowledge and skills. Knowledge is fueling economic growth and development in every region of the world. Rapid advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provide the means for developing countries to accelerate their progress or even leapfrog stages of development, which would enable their integration into the global economy.The “new” service sector, particularly knowledge based services, may well have been booming in Serbia over the past few years. FREN’s and CEVES’ research is aimes to fill a great gap in understanding the new services sector in Serbia. Detailed and rigorous survey of the services sector in Belgrade – bound to account for the lion’s share of the new service sector in Serbia – assesses the structure, dimensions, key development factors and development potential of the service sector in Serbia. To seize the opportunity and transform Serbia into a knowledge economy, carefully designed policies are needed, aimed at enhancing human capital and developing appropriate infrastructure. This research provides policy makers and businesses with consistent information required in order to build on Serbia’s strengths and remove obstacles.

Report 

 

Review of economic indicators for CRDA SEDP project

Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Year: 2007

The objective of the assignment was to perform the pre-evaluation tasks of USAID’s Community Revitalization through Democratic Action (CRDA) program and Serbia Enterprise Development Project (SEDP). CRDA and SEDP were among the most important projects implemented by USAID in Serbia, aimed to strengthen Serbia’s democratic processes and economic transition. In the course of these programs, more than $200 million has been spent on achieving desired goals.

The project assessed socio-economic impact of these two programs. The focus of assessment was the estimation of the following: employment created as a result of CRDA activities; additional income generated; additional agricultural sales; full-time equivalent jobs created. The assessment included both direct and indirect impacts of the programs. Additionally, in order to adequately assess economic activities within programs, and to determine which project types had a larger relative impact, a cost-benefit analysis was performed. The assessment had to provide solutions for a series of issues, including the frequent changes in program objectives and priorities; and the multidimensionality of CRDA program that added complexity to the definition of priorities. 

Report

 

Health care system and spending in Serbia

Partner: Open Society Institute

Year: 2006

Health care sector in Serbia was one of the sectors that were affected by the waste set of reforms commonly branded as a transition process. One of the biggest problems at the beginning of health reform was a deficit of reliable data that would build the baseline and enable evidence-based policy making and monitoring within the health sector. Policy-makers have realized that if they wanted to develop policies to enhance the performance of their systems, they needed reliable information on the quality of financial resources used for health, their sources and the way they were used. In this paper indicators obtained from NHA data provide evidence on spending patterns for all sectors – public and private, different health care activities, providers, and country regions. Information have been used to make assessment if changes in expenditures reflect the main strategic orientations on the reform of the health system and compare results with those of other countries.

Report

 

Mapping Serbia’s labour market

Partner: USAID

Year: 2006

This report explores regional characteristics of the labor market in Serbia carried out in the second half of 2004, as part of the preparation of the National Strategy employment for the period 2005-2010. The basic idea was to Identify regions in which labor force members are exposed above the average risk of unemployment and recommend to economic creators policies and local actors to contribute to the reduction regional differences in the Serbia labor market. The study on labor market map of Serbia strives to comprehensively examine the situation on the labour markets in districts and municipalities and to discover what impacts very different in performance regional labor markets. This research also looks at the prospects of the labor market in the regional dimension and offers recommendations for employment-oriented policy.

available only in Serbian
Report

A contribution to Serbia’s poverty reduction strategy: Defining criteria for underdeveloped municipalities

Year: 2006

In 2006, CEVES submitted a study for the Deputy Prime Minister’s “Poverty Reduction Strategy Implementation Focal Point”, investigating the defining criteria for municipality underdevelopment. The main aim of the analysis is elaborating a methodology, uncovering the current and prospective economic and welfare conditions of municipalities. Despite the lack of data, CEVES could identify several indicators which enable to measure municipal underdevelopment and to rank the municipalities accordingly. Furthermore, CEVES study provided recommendations for future data collection practices, in order to have more reliable and substantial data to work on.

Report

 

Serbia`s economy: The stylized facts

Partner: USAID, Fund for an Open Society-Serbia and the Royal Netherlands Embassy

Year: 2006

CEVES report published in 2007 consists of a deep and comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic figures, including key price, exchange rate, production and output data, publicly available fiscal, monetary and external sector data. The main focus of the report was on the national accounts data and on providing a new framework for the analysis of Serbian economy. The study uncovered substantial mistakes and problems, especially related to the GDP level and the expenditure structure. The final conclusions of the study called for a prompt revision by the Republic Bureau of Statistics (SBS) of the official methodology and figures for GDP and investment.

Report Vol1

Report Vol2