UNIDO’s range of services in industrial policy and strategies breaks down into four broad categories. First comes policy-related economic analysis covering activities such as competitiveness analyses, the setting up of knowledge banks and design of best practices and benchmarking systems, all vital elements in the struggle to boost productivity. The dynamic nature of industrialisation necessitates sustained and continuous actions at policy level. UNIDO will help with setting up information systems in order, for example, to track domestic manufacturing performance and to measure it against a group of peer and competitor nations. Assistance is also given in establishing industrial policy knowledge units which will constantly review, monitor and update relevant information, making it available to all the actors in the industrial sector.
The second category of services covers formulation of policies and strategies which may be requested at the industry-wide -or holistic - level or specifically for the SME sector. Policy formulation can range from a very comprehensive exercise, perhaps drawing up a 20 year “vision” of how industry should evolve through medium-term industrial strategies designed to help the insertion of national industry into the global economy over a number of years to short-term help, perhaps in the form of a paper on one specific phenomenon such as the impact on industry of joining a regional trade arrangement. In the case of the SME sector, a coherent SME policy framework constitutes an integral component of overall policy. It is also often important to ensure that a clear responsibility for SME policy is designated within government structures as well as ensuring the participation of SME representative organisations.
The third category of services covers policy implementation. Traditionally - and understandably - governments have preferred to carry out implementation themselves even if they have first called on outside assistance in design and formulation. But even the best thought-out policy can prove painstakingly difficult to put into practice and many countries still seek advice and assistance at the implementation stage. Public-Private Partnerships are also a sine qua non of successful policymaking and implementation and UNIDO has been active in helping to set up such mechanisms, not only at national but also at local level. However, the success of a public-private partnership is dependent, to a large extent, on the strength of the institutions which service that mechanism, both public and private. Consequently, institutional capacity building is another important feature of these technical cooperation services.
The task of policymakers does not stop at implementation; hence, UNIDO’s fourth category of services— policy monitoring and assessment. The dynamic nature of industrial competitiveness makes it more essential than ever for stakeholders to monitor continuously the progress of strategies and policies and to measure their performance against that of regional neighbours, other developing countries and industrialised nations. This is an exercise in“learning by monitoring” in order to fine tune and improve strategies. Although many countries prefer to keep monitoring essentially as a task for national execution, UNIDO can help in designing mechanisms for that policy monitoring as well as in carrying out policy impact assessments before, after or during the implementation phase. If used early enough, an impact assessment can help policymakers to think through the consequences of policy proposals. It can improve the quality of policy advice to government and can encourage more informed public debate on policy issues. Perhaps most importantly, an impact assessment can summarise the lessons learned from design and implementation and its findings can be made good use of in future policy formulation and implementation.
Iraq Development Project
This Private Sector Development Support Programme is going to be implemented by UNIDO in cooperation with a number of other UN agencies in 2009-2010. It will build policy and regulatory environments which are more conducive to enterprise development and stimulate economic recovery in the country.