The Convergence Program started sharing the first lessons of its SPI Romania experience with Serbian public and private stakeholders in December 2006. Awareness-building continued with further visits to Belgrade in March, July, September 2007 and July, October 2008. SPI Romania experts joined in several visits.

These visits enabled to identify an opportunity to channel the Convergence Program expertise in support of the Government's Regulatory Simplification Program launched in January 2009, under oversight by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy.

The Serbian authorities requested Convergence Program assistance based on the latter'ss proven track record of orchestrating a large project working group-based modernization program.The activities that the Convergence Program-funded Serbian leader of the so-called "Financial Guillotine" will undertake during 2009 are summarized in these Terms of Reference. Progress reports will be posted on this page as they become available.

Convergence's Serbia project, different from the Albania and Romania experiences, is based on an assessment of strong local committment and rich expertise to execute a large-scale modernization program. Accordingly, the Convergence Program does not take executive responsibility to operate the public-private partnership, not even on a temporary basis. However, it makes adoption of its work planning and analytical methodologies the core of its specific contribution.

Success of this experiment of a hands-off technical support to sophisticated local professionals will be an important precedent for the replication of the public-private partnership model for financial modernization in more advanced countries with non-intrusive (and cost-effective) foreign support.