PMC Research Center recently started working on new research under the project “Sustainable and Socially Acceptable Labour Migration Management” being implemented by the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS) along with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Georgia, Germany, Kosovo, and Vietnam, and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
On September 29, the Kazakh-Georgian Economic Union, with the support of PMC Research Center, held a meeting assessing the importance and prospects with respect to Kazakh tourists visiting Georgia. A hybrid event brought together representatives of the public and private sector engaged in tourism, while other people interested in the sector’s development also attended in an online format.
PMC Research recently finished a diagnostic study of two clusters of two regions of Georgia - the processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables cluster in Guria, and the poultry cluster in Kvemo Kartli - in order to contribute to their development and promotion, which is beneficial for the private sector’s enhancement, as it can boost productivity and advance innovation.
Recently, we completed a project entitled Supporting an Inclusive Youth Policy by Establishing Sustainable Youth Platforms and Promoting Non-formal Education in Racha, in the course of which we established the Youth Assembly in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region of Georgia, which conducts various activities dedicated to providing youth with opportunities, experiences, and the necessary theoretical and practical skills and competencies to support their full and successful integration into society. Such efforts were designed to enable them to become involved in decision-making processes at the local level through civic engagement mechanisms.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives, offering tremendous benefits for societies in terms of public governance, business development. and healthcare. However, it also raises some important economic, legal, and ethical questions. Hence, while governments have to create an AI-friendly eco-system, attract AI investors, boost the development of AI technologies, increase the industrial application of AI and, therefore, enhance AI-generated economic and social welfare overall, they should also elaborate policy frameworks to balance AI-associated risks that might be related to personal data protection, targeting, algorithmic discrimination, cybersecurity, and/or AI liability.
On March 12, we participated in the Connective Cities Network virtual global exchange on municipal responses to COVID-19 in public sectors, where we presented the findings of research undertaken in network cities in the area of governance, followed by presentations of specific cases from Tartu (Estonia) and La Paz (Bolivia) by the representatives of respective cities.
The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) recently included a paper by PMC Research on the status of SME finance in Georgia as one of the chapters of its publication entitled “Leveraging SME Finance through Value Chains in CAREC Landlocked Countries”.
On December 17, PMC Research conducted an online presentation of a research report entitled “Shortfalls of Deliberative Democracy in Rural Georgia: Analysis of the General Assembly of a Settlement in Mestia Municipality,” prepared by PMC Research as part of the project “Public Policy Discourse and Dialogue Platform” project, with the support of PMCG.
We recently started working on a GIZ project designed to share experience and innovative solutions efficiently across regions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, so that cities in GIZ’s Connective Cities Network can better prepare for the effects of the pandemic. Moreover, it aims to boost the effectiveness of their responses to local outbreaks.
PMC Research is studying the current situation in two clusters - the processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables cluster in Guria, and the poultry cluster in Kvemo Kartli - to analyze current business operations, to develop a cluster map and, finally, to elaborate both short-term objectives and a long-term vision for the development of the clusters.
In response to the Civil Service Bureau’s initiative to create a unified online learning platform for civil servants, PMC Research is starting a new project under UNDP’s “Supporting Public Administration Reform of Georgia” program to assess the digital learning readiness of civil servants in Georgia. The research team will employ a mixed-method research design, integrating quantitative and qualitative methods to identify potential challenges posed by the shift to online learning and then preparing relevant recommendations.
We recently started a new project, which aims at conducting value chain analytics of selected industries (tourism, creative industries, light manufacturing, and shared intellectual services) of Georgia. The main goal of the activity is to understand recent developments, tendencies, and needs, which together serve as a basis for the decision-making processes of the relevant public bodies and will, in turn, strengthen the economic potential of each targeted value chain.
We recently started evaluating a project entitled “Promoting Citizen Engagement for Economic Development (PROCEED)” aimed at addressing the challenges associated with poverty and unemployment in Dedoplistskaro municipality in the Kakheti region of Georgia and enhancing the wellbeing of its population through applying the LEADER/Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) methodology.
Mr. Giorgi Khishtovani, Director at PMC Research, supported by Maya Komakhidze, Researcher at PMC Research, recently elaborated a new paper entitled “Reviewing Migration and Development: The Role of Local Authorities in Central Asia” under the Visiting Fellow Program of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute.
We recently established a sustainable youth platform in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti to provide youth with opportunities, experiences and the necessary theoretical and practical skills and competencies to support their full and successful integration into society and, accordingly, to enable them to get involved in the decision-making processes at the local level through civic engagement mechanisms.
On August 3-8, PMC Research conducted a six-day training course on digital marketing for 35 second- and third-round rural development grant competition beneficiaries in Khulo municipality in order to boost the visibility, and ultimately the revenues, of their businesses.
We are pleased to announce that PMC Research recently became a partner of the Atlas Network through which it will contribute to making the world freer, and more prosperous, transparent and accountable, with the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, and free markets all ensured.
On July 9, PMC Research presented the findings of its research entitled “Relations between China, the European Union and Georgia: Analysis of Economic and Political Relations” and subsequently held a discussion thereon.
On June 25, Dr. Giorgi Khishtovani, Director at PMC Research, participated in the German EU Pre-Presidency Conference entitled “Shaping the Future of Europe,” which was dedicated to debating current EU issues, and was organized by the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) and the Institute for European Politics (IEP).
The local action group (LAG) of Mestia municipality recently launched a new charity initiative with the purpose of supporting vulnerable groups residing in Upper Svaneti to overcome challenges presented by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Giorgi Khishtovani, Director at PMC Research, has been selected as one of the two finalists in the Visiting Fellow Program of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute, and will accordingly conduct vital research this year.
We recently elaborated a new report entitled “High-Priority Community Problems in Mestia Municipality.”
The aims of the document are: to introduce forms of civic engagement within local self-governance processes serving citizens of the 16 communities of Mestia municipality; to enhance their capacity in local budget analysis; to enable them to distinguish between central and local government competences; and to improve the ways in which they overcome local challenges.
From July 2019 to January 2020, business management and marketing trainings were held for beneficiaries of the first rural development grant competition at the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) Khulo office.
On 28-29 January, trainings in financial accounting were provided to winners of the first Rural Development (RD) grant competition held in Khulo municipality. The aim of the trainings was to enhance beneficiaries’ knowledge of business accounting management.
On 22 January, a presentation of the research paper entitled "Russia’s Disinformation Campaigns in Georgia: A Study of State and Civil Society Response” was held at the Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training and Research Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The presentation was attended by the staff of the Ministry.
We recently completed a research project, aimed at identifying constraints affecting the development of rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Georgia and Armenia, and ascertaining how these can be overcome.
On December 12-15, practical marketing training was conducted for 20 guesthouse owners in Khulo municipality, aimed at enhancing their knowledge and introducing the marketing tools necessary for the development of their respective businesses.
On December 12, PMC Research presented the outcomes of its research entitled “Russia’s Disinformation Campaigns in Georgia: A Study of State and Civil Society Response” and subsequently held a discussion thereon.
We are collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport (MoESCS), under a UNDP project designed to support the Ministry in the implementation of the newly-adopted law on vocational education and training (VET).
PMC Research is implementing a final evaluation survey to evaluate the results achieved within the program - Private Sector Development and Technical Vocational Education and Training South Caucasus – implemented by the South Caucasus Office of GIZ.
We recently started working on a European Commission project focused on monitoring and assessing the implementation of the Strategy and 2019-2020 action Plan for the Development of Penitentiary and Crime Prevention Systems in Georgia.
We can happily announce that PMC Research has become a fully-fledged member of the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) through which it will actively contribute to the work and development of the organization. It is both a great honor and responsibility for PMC Research which becomes the first member organization from the South Caucasus. Indeed, even among Eastern Partnership Countries (EAP) PMC Research is only the second organization to enroll as a member of the TEPSA. PMC Research’s admission to the TEPSA was confirmed at its pre-presidency conference.
On November 26, PMC Research presented the results of its research entitled “Trade Facilitation Component of the Peace Initiative - A Step to a Better Future,” and held a subsequent discussion thereon.
During November 9-10, the EU-supported Khulo Local Action Group (LAG) organized a study visit to Kazbegi, in cooperation with the Kazbegi LAG to share experiences in the field of guesthouse management.
It is with great pride that we can announce that our recent academic publication entitled “Connectivity, Trade and Financial Integration of the South Caucasus via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)” has been published in the latest edition of the Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD).
We are pleased to announce that PMC Research has a new regional partner, namely the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, a highly reputable and independent think-tank operating in Ukraine.
On November 7, Aleksi Aleksishvili, Chairman and CEO at PMCG, participated in the international summit entitled: “Berlin Wall 30 – From the Divided to the City of Freedom”, which was held in the German capital on November 6-10.
PMC Research has recently started working on a new project aiming to develop practical and effective mechanisms that will contribute to the institutional strengthening of vocational education and training (VET) institutions in Georgia.
On September 19-20, PMC Research participated in a conference organized by the Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC) and presented three research reports which related to identification of functional regions and analysis of competitive advantages.
During June and July, PMC Research visited Lagodekhi, Ambrolauri, Marneuli, Mtskheta, Gori, Akhaltsikhe, Zugdidi, Lanchkhuti, Batumi and Kutaisi municipalities as part of the EU project - “Networking for Efficiency and Development (N4ED) – a News Modality for Effective Local Self-governance in Georgia.
At the end of June and the beginning of July, PMC Research conducted three presentations and public discussions on the outcomes of the policy brief “Diversification of Rural Economy in Georgia” in Mtskheta, Tkibuli, and Batumi.The main goal of the research was to study the current state of affairs in the rural economy and to identify steps towards its diversification by analyzing the vision, strategy and programs of the Government of Georgia, as well as regional and municipal authorities. We evaluated the development potential of linkages between farm and non-farm sectors and basic factors supporting the diversification of the rural economy.“Economic diversification of the rural economy has the potential to significantly alleviate poverty and contribute to local and regional economic development in Georgia,” said Mikheil Skhiereli, Affiliated Researcher at PMC Research. Civil society organizations and representatives of local governments also participated in the discussion. The research was conducted by PMC Research in collaboration with People in Need, as part of the EU project “Regional Civil Society Organizations Supporting Free Trade with Europe.”
On June 18-19, we participated in, and presented two Georgian projects at, the European Development Days (EDD) 2019 in Brussels, the first time that projects from Georgia have been showcased at the forum in its 14-year history.
On March 18, Giorgi Khishtovani, Director at PMC Research, presented the outcomes of the applied research "Analyzing Competitiveness of the Hospital Sector and its Value Chain in the City of Tbilisi – Using Smart Specialisation Methodology Components.”
We have recently launched a new project “Support to the Development of Livelihoods in Disadvantaged Rural Regions of Georgia – Mestia/Samegrelo - Upper Svaneti Region” in order to promote rural development in the municipality of Mestia in Georgia.
At the end of January and at the beginning of February, PMC Research conducted four public discussions and presentations in Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Telavi and Akhaltsikhe about the outcomes of four value chain analyses of four agricultural products, namely tomatoes, laurels, carrots and blackberries.
On January 27-29, Aleksi Aleksishvili, Chairman and CEO at PMCG, and Giorgi Khishtovani, Director at PMC Research, participated in the Eurasia Emerging Markets Forum in Switzerland, co-hosted by the Swiss National Bank.
On November 29, Giorgi Khishtovani, Director at PMC Research, presented the main findings and recommendations of research entitled “Leveraging SME Finance through Value Chains in Georgia” in Astana, Kazakhstan.
On November 6, PMC Research organized a meeting between the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences (CAFS) and Tbilisi State University (TSU), with the aim of introducing these two institutions to each other and discussing collaboration opportunities. As a result of the meeting, various cooperation models were discussed, including an internship program at the CAFS for researchers from TSU.
On November 6-7, PMC Research hosted a delegation from China, comprising high-ranking officials from the Chinese Academy for Fiscal Sciences (CAFS). The aim of the visit was to discuss the prospects of future collaboration between the two institutions.
PMC Research recently launched a new applied research project entitled “The regional market assessment in Georgia using components of Smart Specialization” aiming to assess the private business sector in Tbilisi and five target municipalities within Kvemo Kartli and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti regions.
PMC Research recently launched a new project entitled “Updating Vocational Education and Training (VET) System in Georgia with Estonian Experience” aiming to develop VET programs to become more attractive in Georgia and to prepare students to meet the needs of the local labor market.
On September 28, PMC Research organized the conference “Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System for Local Self-Government Activities” in order to facilitate dialogue between key stakeholders and to reach an agreement on the specific performance monitoring and evaluation system to be introduced in Georgia’s municipalities.
We are honored to be supporting the Government of Georgia (GoG) to implement its role as an “Early Adopter,” as part of a World Bank (WB) initiative aiming to encourage investment in people to boost sustainable economic growth.
PMC Research recently finished working on value chain analyses of three agricultural products in three specific regions, namely broccoli in Kvemo Kartli region, mandarins in Adjara region, and raspberries in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.
At the beginning of August, PMC Research started working on a Country Note on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) in order to study its impact on Central Asia and the South Caucasus (CASC).
PMC Research recently launched a new project entitled “Leveraging SME Finance through Value Chains in Georgia”, designed to study the challenges facing SMEs with a particular focus on access to finance in Georgia.
On June 15, PMC Research participated in the Georgian Farmers Congress, an event designed to homeworkforme and support dialogue between farmers and state bodies, a crucial aspect in the development of Georgia’s agricultural sector.
At the beginning of June, PMC Research hosted three public discussions and presentations in Marneuli, Mtskheta and Misaktsieli about the value chain analyses of three agricultural products, namely broccoli, tangerines and raspberries.
PMC Research has launched a project entitled “Public Policy Discourse and Dialogue Platform – 2018” targeted at creating a platform to stimulate constructive and systematic policy debates and to establish cooperative practice among different political and social groups of Georgian society.
We are collaborating with the municipalities of Georgia to strengthen their levels of good governance and sustainable development by building their capacity and by facilitating experience-sharing between local self-governments.
On January 25, at 10:30 am, PMC Research hosted a presentation and public discussion of the research findings “Georgia as a Transit Hub and its Increasing Potential in the Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative” at Tbilisi’s Rooms Hotel.
In November 2017, ifo published its World Economic Survey for the third quarter of 2017. In the report, among other countries, Georgia’s current economic situation was assessed and predictions were made.
In September and October 2017, PMC Research Center conducted trainings and stakeholder meetings about value chain analysis methods in seven regions of Georgia. More specifically, the trainings were carried out for civil society organizations (CSOs) in Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Imereti, Samegrelo, and Adjara regions.
On September 23, PMC Research hosted a working meeting to discuss and select the most valuable agricultural product for Adjara in order to conduct a value chain analysis (VCA), as part of the European Commission (EC) project “Regional Civil Society Organizations as Vectors of Rural Economic Development”.
On September 4, Georgian-German Startup Forum was held at Technopark, organized by PMC Research in collaboration with Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA). The event aimed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience regarding entrepreneurship and was part of the Germany-Georgia Friendship Year, supported by the German Embassy in Georgia and Procredit Bank.
We are delighted to welcome Giorgi Khishtovani to our team, as our new Research Director. Giorgi brings with him eight years of sound experience in public, private and non-governmental sectors in Georgia and abroad, as a lecturer, trainer, consultant, researcher, and project manager.
PMC Research, in cooperation with People in Need (PIN), the Rural Communities Development Agency (RCDA), and Association ATINATI, is working under the European Commission project - Regional Civil Society Organizations as Vectors of Rural Economic Development - to promote rural economic development and stimulate the agricultural sector in Georgia.
PMC Research, as part of a European Commission project, has started working together with Caritas Czech Republic and the Croatian Rural Development Network to promote rural development and diversification in the municipality of Khulo in Georgia.
Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG) has recently launched a project - Partnership for Budget Transparency: Civil Society Oversight of Public Spending in Georgia, funded by Europe Foundation, focused on enhancing civil society engagement in Georgia regarding budgeting process.
We are excited to share the news that PMC Research Center (PMC RC) was recently granted a 5 star transparency award. It is a great honor for us to be awarded by international organization Transparify for setting the gold standard for the field as a whole, by reflecting exemplary transparency in publicly disclosing sources of funding.
On June 8-10, PMC Research participated in the 4th Asia Think Tank Summit held in Seoul, South Korea. The Summit was dedicated to “Sustainable Development Goals in the Asian Landscape: Think Tanks as Catalysts for Policy Analysis and Implementation”.
On February 10, Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG) awarded students with PMCG’s scholarships to continue studying at the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET).
At the end of October, PMC Researcch held meetings with the Minister of Finance of Moldova and with the European Business Association (EBA) to share experiences of dealing with structural economic reforms.
PMC Research hosted high ranking representatives of the Moldovan and Georgian governments, the EU delegation, Hungarian, Polish, Czech and Slovakian diplomatic missions and representatives of EBRD, EIB, USAID, WB, and IFC to discuss the most efficient ways for governments and private sectors to navigate through the EU Integration Process.
The study showed that a free trade agreement between Georgia and China has great potential. Georgia’s export to China would increase by 9% approximately, in the short-term period including significant growth of wine exports (28.5%) and non-alcoholic drinks (36.7%).
On June 17, PMC Research Center, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, started a new research project: Joint Feasibility Study of Possible Outcomes of Georgia-China Free Trade Agreement.
On May 15-16, Zaza Chelidze, Member of PMC RC's Advisory Board participated in the international conference “Activating the Sources of Economic Growth in Kosovo”.
The event organized by local think-tank Riinvest Institute served as a platform for debate about the potential sources of economic growth in Kosovo.
Chelidze participated in the panel together with the Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Trade and Industry of Kosovo, and the former Minister of Finance of Albania.
His topic was “Agricultural and Rural Development in Georgia – Challenges of EU Accession” and also discussed Georgia’s successfully implemented reforms in areas including: trade liberalization, tax system simplification, deregulation and other free-market enabling reforms that resulted in Georgia being ranked very highly in The World Bank’s Doing Business, Economic Freedom Index and Corruption Perception Index.
PMC Research will conduct labor informality study, in partnership with the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University, the University of Bologna, the University of Bonn and Maastricht University with the financial support of Volkswagen Foundation and the Institute for Study Labor (IZA).
The project was aimed at enabling Visegrad countries to share their experiences and to play significant roles in the process of the economic integration of both Albania and Kosovo with the EU and transfer of Georgian know-how in successful structural reforms for Albanian and Kosovar stakeholders.
On November 18, PMC Research Center (PMC RC), under the umbrella of Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG), with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, held a presentation and public discussion of research findings and recommendations regarding “Solid Waste Management in Georgia”.
The presentation focused on construction waste, polyethylene bags, municipal dumps, as well as the separation of solid waste collection systems and the involvement of the private sector in this process.
On October 3, PMC Research Center (PMC RC) together with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation organized the presentation and public discussion on two research findings and corresponding recommendations on the following issues: Effects of Clean Investment; Possible Challenges of Harmonization of Georgian Legislation with the Acquis Communautaire of the European Union in the Energy Sector. The researches were conducted in the framework of the project Policy Research for Sustainable Economic Development, which is developed by PMC Research Center, with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
On September 30, PMC Research Center (PMC RC) together with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation hosted a presentation of the research findings and held a public discussion on the Costs and Benefits of Labor Mobility between European Union and Georgia. The research was conducted within the framework of the project “Policy research for sustainable economic growth”.In particular, the research observed the advantages and challenges that may be faced by the country’s economy, after visa liberalization. The discussion was also focused on the main trends and characteristics of labor migration from Georgia. Specific attention was given to the possible influence of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia and visa liberalization on labor migration to the EU.
On Tuesday, June 24, at the Sheraton Metechi Palace hotel, PMC Research Center (PMC RC) delivered a presentation and public discussion on “Analysis of the State Procurement System of Georgia”. The research had been conducted with the support of the USAID program - Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development in Georgia (G-PAC), which is implemented by the East West Management Institute (EWMI).
On Thursday, June 5, at the hotel "Holiday Inn", with the support of the USAID funded program G-PAC, PMC Research Center organized a presentation and public discussion of the project “Analysis of the Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Sustainability in Georgia".
On June 5, PMC Research Center will present the findings of the research “Analysis of the Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Sustainability in Georgia”, which was implemented within the framework of the USAID-funded program G-PAC.
PMC Research Center (PMC RC), an independent non-governmental think tank, under the auspices of Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG) will assist the Parliament of Georgia to implement sustainable institutional reforms, by facilitating the development of a comprehensive Institutional Reform Plan (IRP), program-based budgeting and introducing effective donor coordination mechanisms.
On Thursday, March 13th a presentation and public discussion of PMC Research Center's ongoing project "Analysis of the State Procurement Policy of Georgia" was held at the hotel "Sheraton Metechi Palace". The project has been prepared by PMC Research Center with the support of the USAID funded program G-PAC.
On Thursday, February 6, at the hotel "Sheraton Metechi Palace", a presentation and public discussion of ongoing research "Analysis of the medium-term fiscal policy sustainability in Georgia" was held. The project is prepared by PMC Research Center and is implemented in the framework of the East-West Management Institute's (EWMI) Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development in Georgia (G-PAC) Program, funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
On Thursday, 6 June, PMC Research Center, as part of the study funded by the Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development in Georgia (G-PAC) program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held public discussions on the topic: "Economic Effects of Labor Market Regulations".
PMC Research Center has released a draft study report on the Economic Analysis of the Amendments to the Labor Code of Georgia.
Proposed amendments to the Labor Code were given an economic analysis by PMC Research Center, which scrutinized the following:
PMC Research Center is providing assistance to the State Competition and Procurement Agency (SCPA) to enhance the transparency and accountability of its operations and procurement procedures with support of USAID. This project follows up on a recently developed study into the SCPA's Dispute Resolution Board procedures, prepared by the PMC Research Center. (More information about the study is available via this link).
PMC Research Center (Member of PMC Group) has been awarded the grant by USAID for the project entitled Study to Enhance the Public Outreach Function of the Compitiion and State Procurement Agency (CSPA). PMC Research Center will work with CSPA to conduct a desk study of current operations and processes of the CSPA Dispute Resolution Board and provide recommendations to improve public outreach function of the CSPA.
PMC Research Center (Member of PMC Group) has been awarded the grant by USAID funded G-PAC Program to conduct a comprehensive research and risk analysis of the fiscal system of Georgia in order to identify possible risks associated to the fiscal sustainability for the medium (3-5 years) and long (5-15 years) term periods. The study will evaluate the likelihood of the fiscal risks by considering 2 main directions, the decrease in budget tax revenues to GDP and increase in the public debt (including external) service.