European Endowment for Democracy (EED) Executive Director Jerzy Pomianowski discusses how the EED came about and the focus of its work today. He shares his philosophy that democracy can only truly be generated from within society, not imposed from outside, which is the basis for EED’s demand-driven model of support. He also talks about the importance of flexibility when adjusting to a rapidly changing environment and discusses the EED’s rapid response projects that meet urgent demands for support.
Pomainowski also discusses the need for a new political philosophy to communicate the promise of democracy and solidarity, and how his past experience as a student activist in Poland shapes his drive to help those taking risks today to support democracy and freedom in their countries.
Lindsey Marchessault from Open Contracting Partnership discusses opening up public contracting through disclosure and data engagement so that public money is spent honestly, fairly and effectively. Marchessault talks about how this is done and the problems that open contracting is trying to address. She provides interesting examples of projects in countries such as Ukraine and Nigeria, and discusses the different roles played by government, the private sector, and civil society in developing impactful and sustainable change. Marchessault also discusses the kind of support and resources available for those who want to implement open contracting, and gives her advice on the most important first step in any open contracting initiative.
CIPE Board member Claude Fontheim talks about how the rule of law, transparency, and good governance underpin strong, inclusive development. Fontheim explains that investment alone is not enough and that support for public institutions is needed to ensure that the benefits of trade and economic growth reach all segments of society. He discusses the direct link between development around the world and U.S. national security interests. Fontheim also talks about how U.S. companies contribute to the good governance of countries they invest in, and how they partner with NGOs and civil society to support initiatives in sectors such as health, education, and women’s rights.
Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation Dr. Kim Holmes, who recently returned to the CIPE Board of Directors after a 15 year hiatus, discusses how his views on democratic and economic development have evolved through the years. Holmes discusses specifically how his views on the role of economic development in conflict zones has changed and why. He also talks at length about his new book, The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.
CIPE Regional Director for Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia Marc Schleifer works on democracy projects in vastly different parts of the globe. On today’s episode he discusses the trends that are affecting the health and development of democracy in his areas of focus, including the attitudes and outlooks of the citizens in each region.
Schleifer describes his early interest in social issues and how his fascination with Russia led to eight years living in the country, working in law and international development (and his brief stint as a rock musician). His recollections from this time, including the exciting and chaotic mood in pre-Putin Russia, contrast sharply with his assessment of Russia both today and in the near future. He also talks about the rise in populist sentiment in many parts of the world and challenges us to avoid knee-jerk reactions and look at the political and economic developments behind it.
On this week’s Democracy That Delivers podcast, CIPE Country Representative for Tunisia Ali Ayadi talks about the country’s democratic transition since the revolution and areas of progress and challenge. Ayadi talks about a missing element in the country’s transformation – economic growth and development. He discusses how the government and the private sector are working together to improve the business environment in the country to boost growth and create much-needed jobs. Ayadi discusses the role of women in the new political system. He also talks about what it was like to move back to his home country after many years working in Washington, DC and his current work with local leaders to help carve a path forward for Tunisia.
The podcast was hosted by CIPE’s Program Officer for the Middle East and North Africa Barbara Broomell and Communications and Digital Content Coordinator Ashley Fox.