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RECONOMY is an inclusive and green economic development program of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in the Eastern Partnership and the Western Balkan countries.

The program pays particular attention to leveraging existing knowledge and practices and stimulating learning and sharing across countries through different stakeholders, such as governments, nonprofits, and businesses. While doing so, we focus on common problems countries face and common actors that can take up and facilitate improvements in the different systems.

We recognize that people do not live in regions, but in countries, and therefore RECONOMY looks into the local-regional dynamics and nexus. Development efforts without a place-sensitive perspective often fail because places differ from each other and territorial context matters.

We pay special attention to the importance of

Environmental constraints and opportunities.

Economic development in the region will not be sustainable without considering resource efficiency, climate mitigation, carbon removal, and biodiversity protection.

Main Goal

To enable women and young people, in particular excluded and disadvantaged groups, to benefit from economic opportunities by increasing their income and taking up decent jobs, inclusively and sustainably.

To achieve the main goal, RECONOMY works along three workstreams:

Skill Gap & Employment Opportunities

Increasing the (self)employability and income generation of target groups by improving formal and informal training offer. Ensure the training is improved and available to the target groups and ensure strengthened and diversified intermediation.

Financial & Business Services

Improvement of business and financial services to help enterprises grow, invest and create more/new economic opportunities.

Policies & Regulations

Improving advocacy in the areas of policy, regulatory, legislative and administrative to help target groups and enterprises increase their participation and voice to advocate for better economic opportunities.

Our Team

The members of our program facilitation unit are spread across the Eastern Partnership region and the Western Balkans.

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Aleksandra Jagiello

Before joining RECONOMY as Program Assistant and Environment & Climate Change Analyst, Aleksandra, originally from Poland, has worked in different administrative and organisational roles as well as being involved in research and programmatic tasks. She is highly committed to social causes in her leisure time and is passionate about circular economy, and environmental and social justice.

Alexander Gogoberidze

Alexander Gogoberidze is Regional Manager for the Eastern Partnership countries at RECONOMY. He is an economic development practitioner with extensive experience in market systems and value chain development. Before joining development cooperation, he worked in private sector development while with the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and SME Development Agency.

Anastasia Bekish

Anastasia Bekish is the Environment and Climate Change Manager at RECONOMY. She a professional in the field of climate policy, civil society development, and project management with 10-years’ experience in non-profit organizations in Belarus and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia region.

Elene Tkhlashidze

Elene Tkhlashidze is the Operational Manager at RECONOMY. She is a private sector development practitioner, with 10 years of experience in Swiss development cooperation. Her previous work in Moldova focused on inclusive development, with focus on equal access to opportunities for Moldovan women and men.

Emilija Jovanova Stoilkova

Emilija Jovanova Stoilkova is the Knowledge Management and Learning Manager at RECONOMY. Her previous experience includes work in skills development, lifelong learning, inclusive market development, labor market insertion, private sector engagement, and workforce development. Emilija is passionate about knowledge management and continuous learning and education.

Lea Shllaku

Lea Shllaku is the Regional Manager for the Western Balkans at RECONOMY, covering six countries – Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Her previous experience includes work for the government and private sector. Her areas of expertise are in designing and managing interventions on skills development and private sector growth.

Muamer Niksic

Muamer Niksic is the Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) Manager at RECONOMY. He is responsible for building and maintaining effective MRM systems guided by the DCED Standard for Results Measurement. His previous experience consists of work for various development projects in fields of education, social inclusion and economic development.

Rezarta Zeqaj

Rezarta Zeqaj is the Finance Manager at RECONOMY, responsible for managing the program’s financial management, controlling, and reporting system. Rezarta’s work experience spans over twenty years in financial and administrative management, compliance control, and budgeting functions.

Sabin Selimi

Sabin Selimi works for Helvetas as Communications & Outreach Manager at RECONOMY. His previous experience includes working in communication advisory roles for the government and various development projects, with experience in the Balkans.

Zenebe Uraguchi

Zenebe Uraguchi is the Program Manager at RECONOMY. He is a development economist with multi-country experience (Asia, North America, Eastern Europe and Africa). His experience originates from working for a multinational private company, an international development bank and a research institute. His areas of expertise are in the design, management and evaluation of private, public and non-profit development initiatives focusing on employment and income.

Partnerships

We bring together people and organizations around relevant topics to develop a joint vision and plan. Our work relies on implementing partnerships to bring about large-scale and sustainable change. Partnerships are therefore at the core of our implementing model.

Regional Value Addition

The rationale for regional value addition is addressing problems and responding to opportunities where there are commonalities or similarities like the problem across countries. It is also possible that RECONOMY may replicate interventions in one country based on the learning from that intervention in a different country.

Creating a shared understanding of development philosophy – for sustainable and scalable impacts through facilitation – is at the core of RECONOMY. We stimulate changes for more facilitation roles of development organizations by engaging with local and regional conveners.

Three key areas:

Thematic focus

We map out individual countries, while at the same time having a regional perspective. In other words, the ‘national-regional’ dynamics and nexus will serve the process of identifying and testing ideas that will add benefits to more countries in the region in terms of new knowledge, shared experiences, and enhanced capacities through cooperation and a strong sense of shared interests. The focus is in line with the changing nature of global challenges and opportunities that countries in the region also face - from disruptive technologies for automation, globalization, and the aging workforce. The challenge is to link and leverage these potentials in new and different ways.

Institutional focus

The region's pressing problems are far too complex to be addressed by a single sector and an actor in a single country. We see RECONOMY as a multi-stakeholder initiative, involving private sector enterprises, public sector institutions, academia, and civil society organizations. While the region is diverse, it also shows common challenges and opportunities. RECONOMY works to improve the vertical flow of information about economic development, including such questions as performance monitoring and inclusive benefits.

Territorial focus

People do not live in the 'region', but in different countries. A large diversity of local partners and ideas contributes to increased capacity and local ownership as well as the generation of more innovative ideas. We do not directly support actors in the different systems, but work through partners to facilitate solutions that have a high likelihood of ownership and scale beyond the life span of RECONOMY. On a micro-level, we work with private sector businesses in the selected markets/economic sectors, commercial service providers, as well as with civil society organizations. On the meso-level, we work with public organizations like vocational education and training centers, universities, regional development agencies, free trade zones. The policy and business enabling environment dialogues deal with the improvement of the macro-level framework conditions.

Approach

Market Systems Development (MSD) is a development approach which is applied by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.

MSD is an approach that aims to make the market systems function better in order to increase the quality of life for people in need through the following:

We try to understand where market systems are failing to address the needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society. We try to understand what constitutes systemic change and how change happens in (market) systems and how does that influence the design and implementation of our program.

We stimulate, but do not displace, market functions or actors. We encourage dialogue with stakeholders and actors, pointing out and discussing new opportunities. We support new linkages between actors from private and public sectors as well as civil society.

We encourage our private partners with skill and will to grow their business inclusively and collaborate with public actors towards frame conditions that ease inclusive and green economic development.

We deliver sustainable outcomes through competitive market actors achieving inclusive and green economic development. We apply a market-driven approach, focusing on identifying existing challenges and demands on the market, assisting market actors in overcoming the challenges and creating more economic opportunities.

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