The Agrarian Markets Development Institute (AMDI) is an independent non-profit Ukrainian think tank. AMDI was founded in April 2005 by a team of individuals that believe that sustainable economic growth, development, and poverty reduction in transitional countries can be achieved through increased well reasoned, operational, and accomplishable reform efforts in the agrarian sector and agricultural markets development.
In its activities AMDI relies on the following three cornerstone principles:
1. Priority of locally developed, internalized, and owned policies know-how over external “hit and run” recommendations;
2. Sustainability of agrarian markets reform processes based on institutional motivations to implement them, capacity to do this, transparency of all processes and procedures, honesty in the evaluation of results;
3. A success definition by measurable outcomes of implemented recommendations or proposed policies as opposed to the conducted events.
AMDI believes that in Ukraine, in other transitional countries, as well as in developing countries there is an already developed local intellectual capacity and an indigenous know how best suited for achieving sustainable development objectives. The institutional capacity to effectively use and facilitate these resources, however, lags behind. Effectiveness of reform efforts and utility of external expertise depends on how these resources are employed in result oriented and sustainable manner.
Individuals that formed this organization have extensive and in its synergy unique experience in developing, lobbying, implementing, and monitoring economic reform efforts and assisting both public and private sector institutions in their capacity building. AMDI members have collective experience in working within Ukrainian Government institutions, international donor organizations, Ukrainian NGOs, technical assistance implementation projects, private businesses. A significant number of reform efforts, methodologies, and approaches was developed and championed by AMDI members in close cooperation with other individuals and institutions. AMDI members and its pool of external consultants also have an extensive international experience of the technical assistance work in transitional and developing countries.
In its activities AMDI relies on internal analytical resources of its members, pool of highly qualified Ukrainian and international consultants, both long-term and project oriented partnership or consortia agreements with Ukrainian national, regional and local organizations, and in perspective, with international organizations.
The areas of AMDI expertise and interest include:
- Policies aimed at improving business environment and competitive agribusiness sector development;
- Policies and activities aimed at reduction of the state control and interventions to agricultural markets;
- Improving effectiveness and rationale of government regulations in the agricultural sector;
- Development and institutionalization of an effective public-private dialogue;
- Development and monitoring of policy effectiveness measurable indicators.
The Agrarian Markets Development Institute is engaged in analysis of Ukraine’s food security on a regular basis. The study of economic availability of meat and milk products for the population in conditions of Ukraine’s membership in the World Trade Organization was carried out, as well as mechanisms of regulation of prices for agro-industrial products in the period of food crisis of 2007/ 08 were reviewed.
The Institute is developing 23 technical regulations, and also adapting more than 50 international standards on animal husbandry, plant growing, veterinary medicine, development of agrarian markets. Within the process of development of technical regulations a number of meetings of Working Groups have been held, where participants approved final versions of draft documents. The work is carried out on agreeing them with executive authorities. In the area of harmonization with international standards the Institute closely cooperates with industry technical committees and the Standardization Institute.
As it comes out from the general and issue specific approach provided by the AMDI Team, the accomplishment of the various Missions demands the strategy which is based on five key principles:
- Problem focused approach
- Synergy of efforts
- Streamline of the process
- Feedback for operative control and monitoring
- Resources saving approach and flexibility.
Being geared up with these principles and addressing the complexity of the goals and objectives for each Mission, AMDI employs the following approaches and tools in its work:
- Analyses of the current and perspective legislation from the viewpoint of economic expediency, balance of interests, conformity with WTO and EU requirements;
- Conducting surveys, interviews and focus groups with subsequent formulation of priorities and detailed policy recommendations;
- Exchange of ideas and training for the public sector and NGOs representatives in different areas of interest;
- Functional review, restructuring, and development of internal procedures of government agricultural authorities and NGOs;
- Legislation drafting, justifications, cost-benefit analyses including, and development of road maps for economic reform efforts;
- Conducting round-table discussions, public hearings, conferences and other activities of the institutionalized public-private dialogue, and providing the advocacy for reforms;
- An independent and transparent regulatory impact analysis of regulations.
The AMDI is created to staff and support accomplishment of different Missions’ objectives and is based on a group of highly qualified and experienced Ukrainian and International experts. This group brings on board specially developed and previously tested temporary (with part-time experts) Problem Focused Working Groups and methodology of a coalition based decision-making approach. In other words, they are inheriting and expanding a network of contacts previously developed. The setting-up and steering of the working groups is an important policy formulation method. These working groups are not just a bunch of text writers, who come to the meeting without any authority to discuss the problem. Quite different, they are the forums where the policy options are collectively elaborated and technical issues related to the tasks are solved.
The AMDI staff has accumulated valuable experience in applying the following strategies, tactics and techniques:
- Problem analysis and policy options development: problem tree development;
- Conducting policy consultations;
- Steering a long-term phased discussions: consensus building, compromise seeking;
- Alliance building;
- Policy notes preparation;
- Coordinating policy formulation with the broader economic problems.