In the initial phase of the project in 1999, UNDESA sub-contracted FEWER (Forum on Early Warning and Early Response) to undertake the editing a new UNDP/RBEC bi-monthly publication in Romania on Early Warning for Crisis Prevention. At the start-up there were problems with the initial local research organization hired as local sub-contractor as well as with the external editing services provided by FEWER. When this sub-contract concluded, UNDP/Bucharest then requested UNDESA to continue the project to oversee the latest Romanian sub-contractor, Romanian Academic Society (RAS), currently tasked with the writing and editing of the current publication.
Production of monthly Early Warning Reports (EWR) and a yearly synthetic EWR report have been handled by RAS since July 2001. The EWR aims to provide specific policy reports and warning of tensions and of potential crisis and/or conflicts. Itís object is to indicate both windows of opportunity and action steps to be taken, based on an analytical assessments of trend development, for the purpose of advocating timely action.
EWR tracks changes and trends in Romanian economy, culture and society and produces warning-oriented monthly policy papers. They are issued regularly, with a flexible format and highlighting areas of potential crisis development and actions with a basic common structure for trend analysis use. Specially dedicated issues can be produced if or when needed in electronic and printed format, in English and Romanian (optional).
The RAS currently produces 15-20 page reports covering macro-economic issues (institutional and policy), social issues (income, unemployment, health, social capital); ethno-political issues (minorities, foreign policy, human rights, domestic issues); and other topics of concern (European accession, crime, corruption, environment).
UNDP/Bucharest and UNDESA have been pleased with the quality, quantity and timeliness of the work of RAS in the production of reports. This constitutes a major improvement over the first two sub-contractors involved in the project start-up. There are no major problems at the time. Action pending: UNDP/Bucharest has requested UNDESA to continue the 2001 sub-contract with SAR through 2002 and has provided additional funds in the last budget revision. The needed administrative action is being undertaken.