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publication August 22, 2019

Slovakia: Catching-Up Regions

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In 2004, the Slovak Republic joined the European Union and in 2005 it officially became a high-income country, according to the Gross National Income per-capita atlas method of the World Bank. As such, the Slovak Republic is one of the few countries that as managed to overcome the ‘middle-income trap’ in recent decades and is one of the very few countries that has managed this transition well. In 2018 Slovakia was been selected to participate in the “Catching-up Regions Initiative.” The choice to focus on Slovakia and the Prešov Region stemmed from the wide-ranging development challenges the region faces, its remarkable development story, and the issues associated with absorbing European Structural and Investment Funds.

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Slovakia: Catching-Up Regions Initiative

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This report provides an overview of the first phase of the Slovakia Catching-up Regions Initiative, implemented in the Prešov region. It captures activities undertaken from June 2018 – June 2019, in collaboration with local, regional and national stakeholders, the European Commission, the Prešov self-governing region, the Deputy Prime Minister's Office for Investments and Informatization of the Slovak Republic, and the World Bank.

 

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Minding the Skills Gap and Mismatches: A Report on Secondary Vocational Education in the Prešov Region 

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The report provides an overview of findings on the misalignment between the supply and outcomes of secondary VET education and the requirements of labor in the Prešov region. It consists of three studies: 1) The Employer Study, consisting of an assessment of the region's labor market needs for VET graduates through 50 in-depth firm interviews, and two regional focus groups with a representational group of employers, business associations, civil society organizations, and VET school representatives in the Prešov region; 2) The Secondary VET Schools Study, assessing the reform needs of the 73 secondary VET schools in the region, including public, private, and religious schools. It includes initial recommendations for altering the current offering of study programs to better match labor market needs; and 3) The Investment Packages Study, which determines the investment needs of five prioritized secondary vocational schools and develops investment packages accordingly, as a demonstration of what PSK-ED could do further with other VET schools in the future.

 

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Establishing a Regional Spatial and Open Data Infrastructure in the Prešov Region

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The report summarizes the activities and results of the project aimed at building the foundation of regional spatial data infrastructure in the Prešov region. The project included three main activities: (i) the setup of the Geographic Information System (GIS) unit placed under the new Department of Information and Communication Technologies at the Office of the Prešov self-governing region and capacity building initiatives; (ii) the deployment of a geoportal as a part of the technical foundation of the spatial data infrastructure and related data integration activities; and (iii) engagement with data producers and users in order to foster data collection and data demand.

 

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Analysis of Destination Management System in the Prešov Region

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This Analysis of the Destination Management System, Tourism Information Centers, and Destination Management Organizations in the Prešov Region of the Slovak Republic examines the effectiveness of the current regional destination management system in the Prešov Self-Governing Region (PSK), its potential, and opportunities to harness that potential to drive the region’s equitable economic growth. The report provides evidence-based recommendations to inform PSK’s future policies, strategic planning, and investments in regional tourism development - especially in one of its most lagging areas, the district of Snina.

 

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Unlocking the Endogenous Tourism Potential of Poloniny National Park and the Snina District

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The report examines the current tourism development and market of the Prešov region, particularly focusing on the lagging district of Snina and the National Park of Poloniny - looking at opportunities for their improvement as potential drivers of equitable local economic growth in the Prešov self-governing region. The report recommends a set of interrelated actions to create the cohesion needed to stimulate tourism as an important economic driver for the region.

 

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Guidebook for Energy Management Systems

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The report provides an overview of activities implemented to assist PSK in establishing an Energy Management Unit that can help build an Energy Management System (EMS) in the Prešov self-governing region. The guidebook presents the main elements of an EMS - including energy efficiency (EE) in public buildings, planning and analysis, program implementation, progress monitoring, and developing a mechanism for continual improvement. This report has been developed as a resource on good practice to establish an effective and successful energy management team, which can coordinate and help implement EE projects in public buildings in the Prešov region.

 

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Energy Efficiency of Public Buildings in the Prešov Region

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The report assesses the existing regulatory framework and financial alternatives, and recommends strategic planning options to implement an energy efficiency (EE) program in public buildings in the Prešov Self-governing Region (PSK). It examines financing mechanisms for investment in energy efficiency projects in public buildings in the Slovak Republic, the readiness of market participants - such as Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) - and installers, and the supportive legal framework for ESCOs to implement projects in public buildings. The report provides a systematic process to identify and prioritize EE investment projects, as well as a financial framework for undertaking investments in PSK public buildings.

 

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Prešov Region: Key Development Dynamics

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This report on the Prešov region reviews patterns of regional development in Slovakia, discusses opportunities and challenges of the Prešov region, and recommends policy actions for the region. It explores Slovakia’s economic resurgence, the difference between national convergence and subnational divergence. Major part of the report focuses on the Prešov region, its economic and social dynamics, structural constraints, but also on competitive advantages and opportunities for the Prešov region's future development.