The Torino Process: Where next?

 We kick off with insights from ETF Director Madlen Serban, reminding us why the Torino Process was launched and reflecting on its future.

Madlen Serban


I would start by reminding ourselves why this process was launched and what we expected from it.

The ETF has a number of functions within its mandate, including policy advice for human capital development that can contribute to sustainable development. So in this context, the question is what kind of advice are we supposed to give? Do we know the context of the particular country we’re dealing with? As a matter of principle, before suggesting any sort of ‘treatment’, one must first to learn how to diagnose correctly. This is the logic of policy analysis, and that’s why we introduced policy analysis as a method of learning. In my understanding a process is meant to be predictable, in the sense that you know the inputs and the outputs.

However, policy analysis does not always have predictable outputs. That’s why I would suggest that policy analysis is a method that creates opportunities, in this case for our partner countries, to understand, to know, and to talk about human capital development; and, preferably, to go beyond that. If anything has been achieved so far, it’s in helping policy makers gain the understanding and knowledge of what it’s all about. And in talking – holding dialogue. I don’t mean talking with yourself, whatever your role in a community or a country, but talking with the others who are involved in the area.

So in setting up the Torino Process, everything revolved around understanding, knowing – having knowledge, and sharing knowledge – and talking, with however many partners there are. But we wanted from the very beginning to go beyond that, and to arrive at action. If you understand, if you know, if you talk, the question is are you using what you know for action? This is the intention, and this is the Torino Process.

For the future I don’t think there will be a substantial deviation from the principles of the Torino Process; adaptations will be needed, primarily to respond to external factors. We will need to implement some fine tuning within the requirements which, in the next round, will help us to understand where we are collectively – the EU and the ETF partner countries – in the achievement of the 2020 objectives.

By 2020 we will be able to look at tangible results, rather than just referring to outputs, so then we can discuss the impact of the Torino Process. For now, we are still examining progress in the interim, still asking if we are on track.’

The Torino Process Conference ‘Changing skills for a changing world’ is an inspirational forum for debate on policies that contribute to human capital development. As part of a policy learning continuum, it will focus on sharing the results of the fourth round of the Torino Process, and respond to the question : Are we on track? through an engaging policy dialogue involving all ETF partner countries.

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