Europe and Eurasia

Macedonia Pension Reform

Client: United States Agency for International Development

CARANA provided technical assistance and training to the Government of Macedonia in its effort to ensure solvency of the existing public pension system and introduce a companion private contribution system. The centerpiece of the project was a comprehensive public education/coalition-building campaign designed to focus on two large and distinct ethnic groups: ethnic Albanian Muslims and Orthodox Macedonians. The campaign was bilingual and bicultural, and CARANA worked closely with a local public relations firm experienced in dealing with both ethnic groups. Our TV spots were cast to reflect the reality of both cultures, and 'voice-overs' were in both Macedonian and Albanian. As a result, CARANA was able to produce a series of outstanding TV and radio spots. The highlights of the campaign included:

  • Using focus groups to obtain feedback and input regarding proposed reforms
  • Coalition building among key constituent groups, including the Pensioners Association, employers, organized labor, and professional associations—CARANA consultants made presentations to most of the 33 Pensioners Association chapters across the country
  • Media relations that included training workshops on pension reform for journalists, press briefings, and informal relationships with key members of the press
  • Publication of a monthly newsletter, Pension Trends, emphasizing the international scope of pension reform
  • Use of town hall meetings, talk/call-in shows, TV, radio and newspaper advertisements, posters, pamphlets, and souvenirs with the pension reform logo