Lessons of the Moldova ARIA Project

After a decade of World Bank projects in the transitional economies of Europe and Central Asia, the ARIA project in Moldova is recognized as more successful than projects with similar aims in other countries.  The areas where the project was relatively successful include:

  • Setting up a restructuring agency (“ARIA”),
  • Implementing a restructuring bankruptcy (“Chapter 11”) program,
  • Implementing a liquidation bankruptcy program to seed new start-ups,
  • Building up capacity in the local private consulting sector,
  • Fostering spin-offs as systematic restructuring strategy,
  • “Marshall Plan” study tour programs for managers,
  • “Marshall Plan” work tour programs for blue collar workers, and
  • Systematic implementation of continuous improvement (“Japanese-style”) programs in firms.

When a project has had such relative success where other projects with similar goals have failed, some attempt must be made to understand the different strategies that may account, in part, for the different outcomes.  Our task here is not to catalog those successes but to try to give some explanation for them.

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