Broadening the benefits of reform in Europe and Eurasia: a social transition strategy for USAID

Broadening the benefits of reform in Europe and Eurasia: a social transition strategy for USAID

Exploring USAID's social transition strategy

The ex-Soviet Eurasian and ex-socialist East European countries are undergoing what has been called economic and political transition. This article explores the sorts of changes that are required in order for this transition to be successful. These include:

  • Establishment of public and private consensus on broad goals and values to be pursued in social policy, as well as on the roles and responsibilities of key actors
  • Promulgation of new or restructured legal authorities and policy frameworks needed to realize the agreed-on goals
  • The financial means to manage and sustain sound social programs
  • New paradigms for social program administration and burden-sharing among public and private providers of services
  • Strengthened public and private institutions and human capacity in relevant professional disciplines

USAID outlines a few possible areas in which it can assist in a positive transition process:

  • Assistance with legislation and policies to remove labor market rigidities and to conform to international labor standards
  • Labor adjustment programs in privatizing/restructuring/downsizing industries
  • Capacity-building in agencies responsible for labor market statistics and monitoring required to support unemployment insurance systems and targeted jobs programs
  • Strengthening of labor unions and worker organizations in advocacy of worker rights and workplace health, safety and environmental protection
  • Community economic development/employment generation activities
  • Development of private vocational training/retraining capacities
  • SME and micro-enterprise development programs


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