Eurasia Hub strategy development was given a start. First discussions were organized during Regional Eurasia meeting in Istanbul. OSF representatives from Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, PWYP regional coordinator and newly elected Steering Committee member from Eurasia, as well as NRGI staff came together to discuss 2015-2017 strategy for Eurasia Hub. NRGI’s Matteo Pellegrini made a presentation on knowledge hub programs of NRGI, its history and achievements. He also shared with his view that although being part of NRGI strategy, Hubs should be independent and develop new training modules based on needs of countries in region.
He also talked about recent Eurasia Hub evaluation and main conclusions: “ToT Focus, high demand, relevance, regularity and diversity of offerings, as well as existence of follow up and Hub’s becoming a real “Brand” are of strong sides. However, there are certain things that need improvement and institutional anchorage, alumni network, lack of M&E and financial sustainability are among them” – said Matteo.
Matteo also informed about next stages for strategy developments, about guidelines and templates developed for this purpose and potential mapping process. Eurasia Hub director Ingilab Ahmadov and NRGI regional coordinator Galib Efendiyev told about Eurasia Hub background, achievements and alumni and funding opportunity provided recently by SECO.
There were active discussions on what areas were important for next stage. NRGI’s Fidan Bagirova presented Hub evaluation outcomes provided just prior to Istanbul meeting: “Survey we provided within HUB alumni and PWYP network showed that there were particular topics that were requested to be included to Hub agenda. Budget and state procurement topics were leading in this list” – she said. She also mentioned on SoE, data analyses and gap assessment methodology workshops were highly demanded by Istanbul regional meeting participants. PWYP’s Oliana Valigura told about needs of PWYP affiliated coalitions in region: “Legal analyses of extractive sector, fundraising methodology, use of data and sub-national EITI are among issues of interest of many CSO representatives in region” – said Oliana. She also touched post-training activities and mentioned motivation was very essential in this respect. PWYP newly selected Steering Committee member Olena Pavlenko said Hub trainings can be a tool for solution of problems and conflicts with national coalitions. OSF funding for Hub was also much discussed and OSF representatives from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan told about funding restrictions for travels and group tried to discuss solutions for this situation.
Galib Efendiyev opened discussion about possible sub-hubs in several countries of the region. NRGI Mongolia country coordinator Dorjdari Namkhaijantsan stressed importance of opening a sub-hub in Mongolia: “There are several reasons and one of them is language issue. Mostly representatives from Mongolia speak neither Russian, nor English and that becomes an obstacle” – said Dorjdari.
Finally, the group debated on governance of Hub and inclusion of new stakeholders to Hub Board. Summarizing the strategic discussion meeting Galib Efendiyev told Eurasia Hub will start working on its next period strategy and Board members will be contacted for their contribution and recommendations.
On June 23 - July 2 , 2014 Eurasia Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub in Khazar University organized a summer school on “Economic Diversification and Sustainable Development in Petroleum Rich Countries” at the School of Economics and Management of Khazar University. The course was delivered by the dean of the School of Economics and Management of Khazar University and the director of Eurasia Hub Ingilab Ahmadov, the School of Economics and Management faculty members Namik Khalilov and Nijat Garayev . During eight days, students learned the specifics of petroleum economy, revenue management and economic diversification in the oil rich countries. At the end of the summer school, 21 students who participated in the course passed the exam and were awarded with certificates. This is the third summer school organized by Eurasia Hub at Khazar University.
On April 7-9, 2014 Eurasia Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub at Khazar University organized training on “Revenue Management and Economic Diversification in Extractive Countries” in Baku. Representatives of scientific research organizations, universities, state agencies and parliament, journalists and CSO from Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan participated at this training. Hub director, Ingilab Ahmadov talked about actuality of presented topics, goals and practical importance of training program at opening speech. Presentations on revenue management, macroeconomic conditions for resource rich countries, sovereign wealth funds, fiscal rules, state owned oil and gas enterprises diversification of economy and export and ways of achieving sustainable development were delivered at training. Participants provided interactive discussions and group works on presented topics On the second day of the training participants made presentations on sovereign wealth funds of Russia and Kazakhstan.
Training was very interesting to participants: “My attendance in this training will help me when interviewing or preparing articles” – said Nargiz Nanakeyeva, investigative journalist from Kyrgyzstan. Importance and practical use of this training was stated by PhD Yerlan Abil from Kazakhstan and budget expert Kurmanbek Turdaliyev from Kyrgyzstan. CSO representatives also spoke about importance and need for such trainings. 3 days training was delivered by RWI expert Thomas Lassurd and well-known Azerbaijan experts.
At the end of the training participants were granted certificates and presents from Khazar University. Special city tour was organized for training participants for site-seeing.
On February 20-21, 2014 Eurasia Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub organized training for multi-stakeholder group (MSG) on EITI in Kyiv, Ukraine. Despite to very serious and complicated situation, the Hub together with partner organizations in Ukraine "Q-Club Energy" and PWYP Eurasia Office was able to achieve put targets. The participants of the training were 25 people from the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, The Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Incomes and State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine, as well as National Commission for State Energy Regulation, representatives of extractive companies Shell and Chevron and civil society. Topics delivered to participants included necessity of transparency in extractive sector of Ukraine, EITI Standard, specifics of licensing for natural resource production, types of revenues in extractive sector, state companies, sub-national transfers and social impacts of extractive sector.
The training participants analyzed work plan of Ukraine on EITI, defined obstacles in successful realization of this initiative and next steps in this regard. The training was delivered by Galib Efendiyev and Ingilab Ahmadov, who answered to numerous questions and shared with experiences of other countries.