Center for Policy Studies
International Policy Fellowships
Your name, position: Jurij Privalov, the Director, the Center for Social Expertise and Prognosis, the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Name of Fellow you have assisted Andrei Marusov
1. What, in your opinion, have you and your Fellow/program/project gained from your cooperation thus far?
Throughout project implementation I made methodological recommendations to Fellow. I believe those recommendations made the research more scholarly robust. The Center is one of a few research institutions in country which conduct scholarly research in the sphere of rural sociology, land and agricultural reforms. The research conducted by Fellow filled in one of the important areas which were unlikely to draw scholarly (and public) interest. This is kind of indirect benefit to the Center.
2. Do certain areas of this Fellow’s work need improvement? Which areas?
The biggest problem with Fellow’s work has been the change of project components. The national survey of rural newspapers’ editors made a significant contribution to the research but it delayed its timely completion.
3. In your opinion, does your Fellow’s project make a significant contribution to the field?
First, it is the first study of Ukrainian state information policy on particular issue, as far as I know. An attempt to make it influence the decision-making is not widespread among experts, there is a kind of gap between scholarly research and its applications for policy-making, with few exceptions. Second, the survey of rural newspapers’ editors is potentially very topical because issues of the freedom of speech, journalist freedom are a matter of public debate during the whole year. As a rule, rural mass media have marginal place in these debates. I hope the survey will give them the role they deserve.
4. Would the project be important to other countries in the CEE/fSU region?
Yes, it would. As a rule, post-Soviet governments (except, perhaps, of Baltic states) create press-departments at best and do not conduct something like public education campaigns on the most urgent issues of reforms. The public involvement is not their task, too.
5. Could the proposed policy research make an impact on the policy environment in specific countries or regions? (Policy makers, experts and policy research community)
Potentially, it can make an impact. I doubt it will have serious impact on the policy makers because scholarly expertise remains neglected by decision-makers in Ukraine. But expert and policy research communities will benefit from the project.
6. Is the timetable for the project realistic?
The first timetable was realistic. The problems arose when Fellow decided to drop one of the research parts and to conduct national mail survey of editors. Though, the advantages of conducting editors’ survey are evident, such a decision did not allow finishing the research project within deadlines.
7. Could the project benefit a large number of people?
The project was of exploratory nature and did not target large groups of people but expert community and decision-makers. That is why such a question is not relevant in this case. On the other hand, the project can have an impact on large audiences indirectly if its results and recommendations will be incorporated into the development and implementation of state policies and measures.
8. Does the Fellow show evidence that he/she can think strategically about the relevant project and/or field?
Yes, he can think strategically.
9. If the Fellow were to re-apply for continued OSI funding for follow-up work associated with the project, would you support continued funding?
Yes. From the research point, content analysis of local printed mass media (i.e., raion newspapers) should be done in order to complete the research cycle on the issue.
10. Are there other appropriate funders that may support the project?
I doubt the further research will be supported by funders. Their funding is more oriented towards applied projects, and I guess land reform is considered something completed. Respectively, priority switches to other areas. Some applied projects as a follow-up to the research can be supported. I encourage Fellow to develop such projects and apply for their funding.
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