Lucian CIOLAN:


Towards a culture of quality policymaking in transition countries. The case of education



Work and Advocacy Plan



  1. Aim of the project and the research problem.


This project aims to investigate the policy processes in transition countries, with a special focus on education, trying to identify the articulation of a policy making culture and the main milestones towards a mature policymaking system.


This research aims to investigate the process of development of a mature policymaking system in transition contexts and, based on that, the articulation of a policymaking culture. We plan to analyze the technical-functional, conceptual and professional development of this process, directly in two countries:

o       Poland: central European former communist country, with very challenging developments in the field of education (accelerated evolution towards decentralization, focus on quality assurance, priority for improvement of teaching and learning). Poland recently joined the EU but all data shows that the real transition didnít stop as result of this political will. Having a social and everyday life culture more influenced by western world and catholic values, Poland is still plotting its path towards success.

o       Romania: maybe the country with the most fragmented developments and evolutions after the fall of communism, situated at the crossroads of the Central - East European and Balkan cultures, a Latin country surrounded by Slavic neighbors. Romania is now in the pre-accession stage to the EU, integration being expected to happen in 2007. Pre-university education reform in Romania is often given as example of success by the World Bank, but the struggles between coherent development and the so-called schizophrenic evolution is not decided yet in one direction or another.

This direct and in-depth study will be complemented by study of basic educational policy documents from other transition countries in the region (Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia etc., according to availability).



  1. Related OSI & SON Programs and institutions


2.1. An important resource center for this research is the Centre for Policy Studies at OSI, through the expertise gained over the last year in the transition contexts. The CPS specialist and the network of policy centres could provide relevant information and support in the research process, as well as review of draft research paper. The network of policy centres may be used as a tool for dissemination of the final results of this research.


2.2. The educational organization Centre Education 2000+ in Romania, member of the Soros Open Network, became in the last years an educational policy expertise center. They organized policy debates with the main stakeholders on the educational scene in Romania and presented policy research to the broader public. We already had a discussion and agreed that Centre Education 2000+ will include the findings of my research in one of their policy-related events. The final paper may be published on their website.


2.3. The Local Government Initiative program will be considered also as resource and as potential user of the results of the research, since this project was initiated as a continuation of an LGI fellowship on Decentralization of education. The results of this research could be used as basis for a workshop on Policymaking in transition contexts.


2.4. A workshop on policy processes and policymaking in education in traistion countries could be also included in the program of CEU Ė SUN.



  1. Related policy institution and programs


3.1. The Department for Educational Policy and Strategies in the Ministry of Education and Research in Romania is a new structure, created in January 2005 and in process of development. In my current position as advisor of the minister of education, I have a continuing contribution to the development of this department and there are consistent possibilities to use the research in the institutional capacity building at this level.


3.2. The Local Partners (FPDL) foundation in Romania will be contacted in order to inform their actions and workshops with the relevant results of this research.



  1. Main deliverables


  1. A research report (in English) on culture of policymaking in transition countries, with a special focus on education. The ~20 pages research report will try to emphasize the main features and characteristics of policymaking process in Central and South Easter Europe, looking deeply to the situation in the field of education.


  1. A paper translated in Romanian and published / made available to the wider public, correlating the research on previous LGI project with the current research.


  1. A workshop organized with mr. Claudiu Craciun, colleague in the same research group, for the staff in Ministry of Education and Research, with the aim to strengthen capacity for using policy tools for strategic steering and quality policy making in education.


  1. An article published in an international journal I which research results will be presented and discussed.


  1. A policy briefing paper for policymakers in the public field with recommendation on how to manage policy process and how to strengthen capacity of central governance for policy making, implementation and evaluation.


I am currently working as lecturer in Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at University of Bucharest. A 3 hours workshop will be prepared and delivered to students of this faculty and eventually, at request, to students from other faculties / universities. This workshop will be a part of the Educational Policy course introduced to Bachelor degrees studies starting with this year.