The World Bank approved a US$ 6 million Human Capital Technical Assistance Project for Slovak Republic. The Project will assist the Government in modernizing its systems for employment, education and social cohesion by developing an effective policy infrastructure to implement, manage and evaluate reforms in these sectors in the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family (MoLSAF) and in the Ministry of Education (MOE).
The Human Capital Technical Assistance (HCTA) Project is the first technical assistance project to be presented under the new Social and Institutional Development and Economic Management Technical Assistance Program that establishes a provision for up to US$100 million of technical assistance during FY2005-2007 available to the EU8 Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia countries as a group.
„The Bank is seeking to introduce new ways of working with the EU8 countries to work more closely in partnership in addressing their development constraints and this is a step in this direction“, said Roger Grawe, the World Bank Country Director for Central Europe and Baltics.
The Human Capital Technical Assistance Project has three main components:
Creation of a Policy Capacity Framework. The objective of this component is to create a framework within which policy making and the design and implementation of components of reform in the two Ministries and associated institutions can be coordinated. The component will provide technical assistance to: (i) assess the current inter-institutional arrangements for policy-making and implementation for social and educational policy making and implementation among the two participating Ministries and their associated institutions; and (ii) develop a consistent and sustainable strategy to increase technical capacity for implementation and monitoring of the reforms.
Investment in Human Resources. The objective of this component is to achieve a significant improvement in the quality of human resources available for policy making and implementation in the two participating Ministries and associated institutions, through training and development of existing staff in policy and reform impact analysis and hiring of new staff through targeted recruitment strategies.
Building and Upgrading Institutional Capacity. The objective of this component is to create and implement an integrated policy management system to structure and guide the various steps in the policy cycle in both the participating Ministries, and in the network of associated institutions. The component will: (i) develop effective mechanisms to improve evidence-based policy making, including the development of important national social and educational action plans and reports; (ii) improve the quality and quantity of internationally comparable data available to policy makers in both MoLSAF and MOE; and (iii) will develop social policy monitoring and evaluation indicators in the field of employment, education and social cohesion.
„Despite the rapid implementation of key reforms in the Slovak Republic in the course of the last few years, there is still a lack of policy-making capacity. In part the problem is one of institutional coordination. There is also a shortage of public employees trained in the field of policy making“ said Mary Canning, head of the World Bank team working on the Project: „Without needed capabilities, skills and knowledge, there is a danger that important social reforms might be reversed or distorted. The current civil service legislation offers the legal basis to enhance the capacity of the civil service to implement and sustain various social reforms, but actual investment in human resources and their management is still lacking.“
The Human Capital Technical Assistance Project will contribute to development of the human resources involved in policy-making; strengthening the management systems and processes governing policy preparation and ensuring the capacity for evidence based policy monitoring.
The World Bank loan has a maturity of 5 years with a 4.5 years of grace period. The Human Capital Technical Assistance Project will be implemented over the next 3 years and will be completed in 2008.