COMING SOON: FINAL CONFERENCE
The project could leave the trial-and-error phase behind and has identified a suitable implementation approach. With an increase in activities, the project works at full capacities. The team is cautiously optimistic to compensate for lower activities during the previous two years and to tackle challenges during the second half of project implementation 2018 – 2020. Events continue to evolve slowly on a rising trajectory of communication and impact. Previous statements and evaluations are valid.
The first half of the project focused on overcoming limits that donor-funded activities face when working in Turkmenistan. These include, but is not limited to: dealing with a cumbersome bureaucracy; addressing lack of capacities, political will and skills at all levels of the education sector; and, adapting to a management paradigm that is reminiscent of the Soviet Union of 1960s. The deeply embedded social narrative of Turkmenistan’s society represents a set of preferences that might be Pareto-efficient, but prevent successful communication, because people do not want to reveal their information to those who are different and distrust the motives of those who speak to them.  Positive factors for project implementation are: increased trust with policy and decision makers based on results achieved; addressing the expectation of the beneficiary and the community; and, a deepening of the economic crisis that results in higher sensitivity to impulses from abroad.
Highlights of project implementation during the fourth reporting period (April 2018 – September 2018) were: the third Project Steering Committee meeting (minutes in Annex 1), a study tour to three European countries (Belgium, Germany, and Poland) (report in Annex 2), workshops on teaching English, quality assurance in education, skills development in agriculture, and bilingual education and presenting Kazakh experience in education modernisation.
The current portfolio of activities that merit attention consists of the following:
The next reporting period (October 2018 to March 2019) will capitalise on current achievements and strategies. Consequently, the focus moves towards operational efficiency, and maximising inputs and outputs.