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On February 18, 2004 the World Bank Bulgaria office and the Center for the Study of Democracy organized the second videoconference of the GDLN Dialogue Series on Governance for Young Leaders in Eastern European Countries. It was dedicated to Implementation Challenge and Coalitions for Change. Keynote speakers of the session were Ms. Joanne Caddy , Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD and Mr. Ivan Vejvoda, Executive Director, Fund for Open Society, Belgrade.

Despite the huge progress in analyzing and understanding governance problems, most countries (even advanced ones) find implementing and sustaining change a major challenge. Ms. Joanne Caddy stressed that targeting the reform message towards politicians, civil servants and the general public to build coalitions for change is crucial for sustaining reforms. Her presentation focused on the ten guiding points and tips for action for keeping governments open and responsive.

Mr. Ivan Vejvoda underlined the far bigger challenge that transition countries face in their reform efforts. Governments in those countries find themselves pressed to deliver reforms they rarely have the capacity to implement. “Substantial democracy”, he insisted, can only happen through incremental change, requiring daily efforts by reform stakeholders. Regional peer pressure, cooperation and mutual learning are instrumental to overcoming reform fatigue that all transition countries face.

From left to right: Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Ms. Daniela Mineva, Ms. Alexenia Dimitrova, Ms. Zoya Dimitrova and Dr. Milena Dimitrova
Ms. Joanne Caddy, OECD (left) and Ms. Susana Esteban, World Bank
Mr. Plamen Georgiev, Senior Expert, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (left) and Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Coordinator, Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy

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