Lucian Ion Ciolan

2005-06 International Policy Fellow
Policy Making in Transition Contexts working group


This paper argues that neglect of the policy making process is an enduring problem of transition. In the typical South-Eastern approach, the quality of policy making is too often viewed as a technical rather than a cultural one. Based on his involvement in central government education, grassroots projects, and interviews carried out with policy makers and stakeholders in education reform in Romania and Poland, the author offers recommendations for creating a more sustainable policy process in education. At the level of teaching, these include professionalizing careers in education, and making education systems more demand rather than command driven. At the institutional level, the author cites the lack of institutional structure in Romania, and an absence of clear regulations and provisions at school, local authority and quality assurance level in Poland. Finally, at a political level, a long-term strategy and commitment to sustainable development is required, along with the structuring of central governance of education, a move towards more open and participatory policy systems, and empowering local actors to take ownership of the policy process.