The economic performance of most countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and the Western Balkans has been improving in recent years. However, this positive trend has not translated into a better life for everyone, particularly in terms of income and jobs.
Project Phase2023 to 2026
FundingThis project is a mandate of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Thematic focusEducation and Vocational Skills
Gender & Social Equity
Partnership & Capacity Development
To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic especially impacts excluded and disadvantaged groups — women, young people, those who live in rural areas and people with disabilities. The worsened economic situation will most likely make them poorer or even more excluded.
Helvetas has partnered with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to facilitate a regional inclusive and green economic development program in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and the Western Balkans.
The program, RECONOMY, stands for "starting afresh," which references its role in revitalizing the transitioning economies in the region. The main objective of RECONOMY is to enable women, youth and other vulnerable groups to increase their income and secure decent jobs.
Watch: About RECONOMY in 3 minutes
The RECONOMY program encompasses three workstreams:
- First, it improves the supply side by reducing the skill gap and increasing employment opportunities.
- Next it improves the demand side by strengthening financial and business services.
- Finally, it advocates for policies and regulations that promote inclusive economic development.
We pay special attention to the importance of environmental constraints and opportunities. Economic development in the region will not be sustainable without considering the green side of economy.
At RECONOMY, we map out individual country challenges while maintaining a regional perspective. Rather than doing a one-size-fits-all approach, we identify and test innovative ideas that bring benefits to more countries in the region. This means identifying relevant economic sectors that offer opportunities and addressing key constraints in cross-cutting systems such as finance, skills and intermediation, regulatory systems, green economic development, trade and migration, as well as technology and digitalization.
The program leverages existing knowledge and practices and stimulates 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 facilitate improvements in the different systems. RECONOMY also recognizes that people do not live in regions, but in countries, and therefore the program 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.
Our work relies on implementing partnerships and technical expertise provided by others to bring about large-scale and sustainable change. Partnerships are at the core of our implementing model.