Tiina Randma-Liiv, Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Vitalis Nakrosis, University of Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania
The sessions devoted to the main conference theme featured 11 highly interesting and rather diverse papers.
At the beginning of the Main Theme session, we were extremely honoured to host a keynote speech of the leading Public Administration scholar of our time – Guy Peters – who inspired the audience by discussing the challenges on linking policy design and policy implementation.
Topics elaborated during the session included, but were not limited to, strategic management, implementing RIA, advisory systems, the importance of trust in policy making, performance appraisal, contracting out, and the role of financial officials in policy making. The crucial factors enhancing and/or hindering policy making capacity were discussed by elaborating upon the specific roles of the diverse actors (politicians, legislators, civil servants, experts, journalists, civic activists, and citizens) in the policy making process. In addition, the impact of Europeanisation on the policy making process and policy implementation in CEE was debated. The overarching theme which was horizontally integrated throughout most of the papers reflected the opportunities and challenges of evidence-based policy making. It was concluded that although several countries within the CEE region have experienced the improvement of the analytical basis behind decision-making, there is still a long way to go towards evidence-based policy making.