This week on Democracy That Delivers, our host is Lars Benson, Regional Director of Africa for CIPE. We are joined by co-host Ryan Musser, Program Officer for Africa at CIPE, and Eric Olander, the founder of the China Africa Project (CAP). CAP is an independent, non-partisan media initiative dedicated to exploring every facet of China’s engagement in Africa. The CAP is now followed by more than a million people around the world, especially among policymakers in Beijing and Washington. Eric is also the co-host of the weekly China in Africa podcast that is now among the top-10% most downloaded shows worldwide. Eric provides nuanced insights into China and its actions both in Africa and around the world, and the three discuss China’s “corrosive” investments across the continent.
Jehan Ara is a long-time CIPE partner, FEDN member, and President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) based in Islamabad. Jehan is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities.
In this episode, Jehan and CIPE's Regional Director for Global, Anna Kompanek, discuss some successes and challenges seen in Pakistan when it comes to advancing digital transformation of business, and the economy more broadly. They note that innovation and jobs increasingly depend on countries creating enabling environments for a digital economy.
This week on Democracy That Delivers, we are joined remotely by author Richard C. Lyons. Lyons has been involved in printing, publishing, stage and television production throughout his professional career. His most recent work, "The DNA of Democracy," takes a historical look at the evolution of democracy through short essays differentiating distinct time periods. With host Ken Jaques, he discusses some valuable points about the current state of democracy, as well as what part independent businesses and corporations play in a democracy.
This week on Democracy That Delivers, we highlight CIPE's work in helping refugee populations in the MENA region, especially women, ahead of International Refugee Day on June 20th. Women comprise 49% of the Syrian refugees living outside of camps in Turkey, and more strikingly, 95% of Syrian refugees in Turkey are outside of camps. The Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) Project is an innovative approach to the humanitarian challenge of the Syrian refugee crisis, and benefits women who are disproportionately impacted by conflict.
In this episode, Barbara Langley, Director of CIPE's Center for Women's Economic Empowerment, and Marie Principe, Program Officer for MENA, recount stories of impact from the LIFE Project. They discuss how through the LIFE Project, the members, particularly the women, build confidence in public speaking and advocating for their product and themselves, and how they also build a sense of community with other women from different backgrounds.
Dr. Bijan Khajehpour is the managing partner of Eurasian Nexus Partners (Eunepa) – a Vienna-based strategy consulting firm. He has advised international companies on West Asian markets for more than two decades. He has also been involved in mediation and negotiations of international business and investment partnerships.
In this Democracy That Delivers podcast, along with Babak Yektafar, CIPE Senior Program Officer for MENA, he discusses the issue of corrupt networks in Iran, and how that affects the country’s population and harm the private sector.
“In the name of sanctions, all types of corrupt businesses are happening. It’s undermining the Iranian economy, it’s undermining the private sector, and it’s consolidating forces that are not constructive for Iran or for the region. It creates channels of goods and money that are hurting the regional economy.”
Zahid Jamil has over 20 years of experience a general law practitioner, where he specializes in technology (i.e. e-commerce, e-payments, and privacy), cybercrime and counterterrorism. Jamil has served as a cybercrime and cybersecurity consultant for the Council of Europe, the ITU-American Bar Association, the government of Pakistan, and is a member of the Commonwealth’s Cybercrime Experts working Group. He is a qualified barrister with primary practices in Pakistan and the UAE as a member of the Bar at the Dubai International Financial Center Court and the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and serves as a Special Legal Consultant to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In these capacities, he has drafted numerous pieces of legislation relating to cybercrime and cybersecurity.
During this podcast, Jamil, along with Louisa Tomar, Program Officer, Global Programs, and host Ken Jaques, discuss trends in cybersecurity and cybercrime legislation around the globe. Jamil suggested ways to improve cyber readiness in countries still coming online and what small and medium-sized businesses can do to protect themselves. Tomar referenced CIPE’s Digital Economy Enabling Environment Guide: Key Areas of Dialogue for Business and Policymakers, which includes guidance for business and regulators on cybersecurity legislation.
This week on Democracy That Delivers, host Ken Jaques is joined by two experts in the field of “corrosive capital” in the Balkans. Martina Hrvolova is a Program Officer for Europe at CIPE, and Ruslan Stefanov is the Director of the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) based in Bulgaria, a longstanding partner of CIPE. Stefanov is also a member of the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) through CIPE.
Stefanov and Hrvolova discuss CIPE’s corrosive capital work in the Balkans. Stefanov last joined Democracy That Delivers in the summer of 2018, where he, along with other partners CIPE has in the Balkans, presented the results of their work on Russia’s economic presence in the region. In the first phase of this project (2017-2018), CSD and other CIPE partners from Balkan civil society and media came together to create analyses of Russian economic footprint in the Western Balkans. The results were launched at a U.S. Congressional Helsinki Commission Briefing. Stefanov discusses the work they have accomplished in the last year, and what some of the main challenges and successes have been thus far.
What are some steps to ensure that civil society partners become self-sustaining? This is one of the key questions guests Lars Benson, Regional Director for Africa at CIPE, and Rick O'Sullivan, Principal of Change Management Solutions, aim to answer in this week's episode of Democracy That Delivers.
Lars discusses how CIPE works to promote good governance practices, then O'Sullivan describes what civil society's role in governance is, and how it has evolved.
“Good sustainability performance means good financial performance,” says Alison Taylor.
Alison Taylor, Managing Director for Sustainability Management at of BSR, joins us on Democracy That Delivers to discuss what business for social responsibility is, with CIPE’s ACGC Director, Frank Brown. Taylor shares her insight on how businesses can be encouraged to foster organizational cultures that are ethical and sustainable, as well as what incentivizes SMEs to change their behavior.
They also discuss BSR’s most famous report: “Five-Step Approach to Stakeholder Engagement,” originally published in 2011 but re-written to match the changed 2019 landscape. It discusses the reasons digital communication, international agreements and investor expectations makes stakeholder engagement more important than ever before.
To read the report, please visit:
In this Democracy That Delivers podcast, host Ken Jaques is joined by Ryan Musser, Program Officer for Africa at CIPE, and Matthew McLean, Founder and President of Endsight Consulting. In this podcast, they discuss what the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is, what it does, and what criteria MCC looks at when considering funding for countries.
McLean has worked with country governments such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Niger, which has resulted in significant new funding for these countries by helping them qualify for MCC funding. Endsight Consulting is now releasing its "Country Performance Index" that ranks all 54 African countries on their attractiveness for private business and investment. McLean served 20 years in US Government service, including as a White House advisor in the Clinton and Bush administrations. He was also Chief of Staff and Vice President of MCC during its growth years from 2005-2009.
On this week's Democracy That Delivers, Ken Jaques is joined by CIPE Program Assistant for Europe, Connor Leach, and special guest, Rastko Petakovic. Petakovic is a Senior Partner at Karanovic Partners specializing in M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions), competition law, and business regulation. Petakovic is also a member of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) in Serbia.
Since 2018, CIPE has been working with Libertarian Club Libek (LIBEK), an independent Serbian economic think tank, to enhance public awareness of common economic misconceptions in Serbia by creating a guidebook that examines the underlying economic challenges and puts forward a series of corresponding recommendations. Moving forward, CIPE and its partners will continue their efforts to promote responsible economic policies in Serbia through an enhanced outreach campaign, including on Talas.rs a newly created portal for economic news analysis.
In this Democracy That Delivers podcast, we are joined by partner Jaime Arteaga of Jaime Arteaga and Associates, and CIPE Regional Director for Latin America, John Zemko. Together they discuss their joint project with the Observatory, where an analysis has been developed on the private sector's role in post-conflict zones. Arteaga and Zemko highlight a few post-conflict regions where companies are investing and the feedback this work is receiving. Arteaga also discusses how companies are moving from agricultural work to commercial exchange and tourism in regions where safety has significantly improved.
For more information on the project, be sure to check out the "Guide for Responsible Investment in Post-Conflict Zones." It captures the expertise CIPE has in corporate governance and social investment. This guidebook, unlike others, is aimed at Board of Directors and what they should be thinking before investing in a post-conflict zone.
The George W. Bush Institute WE Lead program equips women from the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan with the skills to become more effective leaders. The We Lead program advances the role of women leaders who are increasing economic opportunity in their countries. The Bush Institute sought CIPE’s expertise to design and deliver the program’s curriculum on institutional reform and economic empowerment. The training was led by CIPE Director of Knowledge Management Kim Bettcher, and CIPE Program Officer for MENA Pamela Beecroft.
Popal discusses the state of women’s empowerment in the region and how the Bush Institute’s experience with leadership education in the U.S. and globally informed its design of the program.
Putin’s Dark Ecosystem is a report that Brian Whitmore, a Senior Fellow & Director of the Russia Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), is currently developing. This report is aimed at answering the question: Why do Russian malign influence campaigns work better in some places than others?
On this Democracy that Delivers podcast, Brian Whitmore joins co-hosts Eric Hontz, CIPE’s Program Officer for Eurasia, and Martina Hrvolova, CIPE’s Program Officer for Europe, along with our host Ken Jaques. Together this group of experts discusses Russian malign influence campaigns and how they are developed to undermine democracies and lead people to not trust their institutions in order to achieve foreign policy goals. Russian influence campaigns work in nations that have vulnerabilities such as corruption or polarization, which make populations more susceptible to Russian propaganda and messaging. All thoughts and opinions of guests are their own, and do not represent CIPE's position.
This week on Democracy That Delivers, host Ken Jaques is joined by CIPE’s Gibson Haynes, and James Reston, a Washington, DC-based researcher, whose work focuses on human rights, corruption, internet freedom, and security. They define some of the risks that the LGBTI+ community face, as well as the intersection between discrimination and corruption. Some topics of discussion include: how inclusive workplaces have higher rates of employee engagement, how criminalization or low levels of protection lead to economic losses and less foreign direct investment, and some solutions for international corporations as well as local businesses moving forward.
Read James’ blog contribution “LGBTI+ Rights and Corruption: What’s the Connection?”
For International Women’s History Month, Democracy That Delivers will feature podcasts for CIPE’s Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment every week of March.
Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa, Esq. is an ICT4D expert focused on East African trade and development. Jacqueline most recently served as the Executive Director of Financial Sector Deepening Uganda committed to improving financial market access and competitiveness. Jacqueline also founded and served as Managing Partner of Hoja Law Group and worked in executive-level positions in various African financial institutions including the Central Bank of Zambia. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne. She frequently speaks at conferences and opines in the media outlets such as the Financial Times, NPR, CNBC Africa, and others on matters related to investment in Africa. Her most recent article on Project Syndicate Banking on Refugees discusses uses of new technology for financial inclusion of refugees.
During this podcast, Musiitwa, along with Louisa Tomar, Program Officer, Global Programs, and host Ken Jaques, discuss East and Southern Africa’s e-commerce readiness, financial inclusion, the digital gender divide, and opportunities and barriers to the 4th industrial revolution in Africa. Jacqueline previously shared her expertise with CIPE at the launch of the Digital Economy Enabling Environment Guide: Key Areas of Dialogue for Business and Policymakers in November 2018.
Women encounter similar struggles in both political organizations and business associations when attempting to enter these heavily male-dominated structures. Sandra Pepera Director for Gender, Women, and Democracy at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is an advocate for gender mainstreaming women into positions of leadership, especially in politics and business.
On this episode of Democracy that Delivers, Sandra Pepera joins Barbara Langley, Director of CIPE’s Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment, and host Ken Jaques, to talk about broader inclusion dynamics in politics and business. Sandra emphasizes that women represent a multitude of identities because women are 50% of all marginalized populations. Unfortunately, women, especially young women and women of color, often become victims of cyberbullying when expressing their political views online. Women leaders are particularly vulnerable to the weaponization of social media, but as we continue to challenge gender roles and expectations we can change the attitude and response towards women leadership.
For International Women’s History Month, Democracy That Delivers will feature podcasts for CIPE’s Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment every week of March.
Robin Runge is the senior gender Specialist at Solidarity Center, another core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). She is an expert on the development of policies and laws domestically and internationally to address the impact that gender-based violence and other equality issues have on women in the workplace. The Equality and Inclusion Department at Solidarity Center works to empower women to be able to confront and challenge global systems that subject them to discrimination in the workplace.
During this podcast, Runge, along with Barbara Langley, Director of CIPE’s Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment, and host Ken Jaques, discuss the effects of violence in the world of work. They discuss the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) new legally binding convention on violence in the workplace, which is expecting an upcoming vote in the summer. The convention would strengthen and advance the #MeToo movement in three important ways.
There is no doubt that anti-corruption practices are an important investment for companies of all sizes. Many transnational companies are investing both time and effort on anti-corruption and compliance for reasons such as fear of being fined, protecting their reputation, or simply believing it is the right thing to do. In 2018, enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was at a record high.
William Steinman, one of the leading FCPA lawyers in the U.S. at Steinman & Rodgers LLP, is joined by CIPE Global Program Director Anna Kompanek, and host Ken Jaques. Steinman believes that international business will improve if we continue to encourage and have conversations on
anti-corruption practices and compliance with FCPA.
In this Democracy That Delivers podcast, James Muraguri, CEO of the Institute of Public Finance Kenya (IPFK), is joined by Lars Benson, Regional Director for Africa, and host Ken Jaques. IPFK is a current CIPE partner working on budget analysis and budget participation. This is a critical topic relating to advocacy and strengthening the voice of the private sector.
Muraguri talks about the effects of devolution in Kenya, which is a form of decentralization that strengthens institutions and improves service delivery and citizen engagement regardless of where you live in Kenya. Corruption is still an issue that needs to be worked on, but Muraguri says that institutions are now much more committed to fighting it, especially on a county-level.
“Devolution is the best thing that happened to Kenya, because what happened in the 50 years before devolution was that a huge section of the country was marginalized,” says James Muraguri.
Katrin Kuhlmann, President and Founder of the New Markets Lab (NML) and Lecturer on Law at Harvard University, joins co-host Marc Schleifer and host Ken Jaques in this week’s Democracy that Delivers.
Kuhlmann dives into how NML came to be, and how her early career working in the trade and development sectors shaped what it is today. NML is a non-profit law and development center, and has worked closely with CIPE to develop projects in the field of technology. A recent study co-authored between CIPE and NML titled Digital Economy Enabling Environment Guide: Key Areas of Dialogue for Business and Policymakers was recently released.
“In the broader context of some of these pressing development issues, we asked ourselves how could you try to make a difference at an enterprise level, that would then translate all the way back up into these bigger policies?”
There seems to be a perception that democracy is on a decline, but Clay Fuller, a Jeane Kirkpatrick Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute feels this is incorrect. Democracy is not in crisis, instead, we have changed how we see and define it. In short, democracy is the game of rule, while autocracy is the game of survival.
Clay Fuller joins co-host John Morrell, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at CIPE and host Ken Jaques to talk about democratic and nondemocratic governments and how these systems are viewed today. Democracy can be defined as having uncertain political outcomes, having a focus on individual rights, and a focus on transparency and due process. Conversely, authoritarianism has more predictable political outcomes, more focus on collective rights, and a monopoly on political power with a lack of transparency. Listen on to learn more.
Food is a common language and the Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) Project understands the power gastrodiplomacy has of bringing everyone to the table. The LIFE project supports and encourages entrepreneurship, job creation and cross-cultural engagement in the food sector.
Joan Nathan, Cookbook Author and Advisory Council member of LIFE Project, and Johanna Mendelson Forman, PhD, Distinguished Fellow at the Henry L. Stimson Center and CIPE’s Consortium partner on the LIFE Project, join co-host Stephen Rosenlund and host Ken Jaques to discuss how the LIFE Food Enterprise Center (FEC) is building food businesses and creating sustainable livelihoods in Turkey. These efforts have transformative effects for refugees and their host communities by building relationships through food.
Many observers believe that China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a vast, well-laid and finely orchestrated plan to extend Chinese hegemony over much of the developing world. However, some argue that the BRI is just a vision, not a coordinated plan.
Andrew Davenport, Chief Operating Officer of RWR Advisory Group, joins Catherine Tai, CIPE’s Asia Program Officer, and host Ken Jaques to discuss the role the Belt Road has in promoting Chinese “corrosive capital.” They discuss the challenges that will likely become more intense in 2019 with regard to Chinese activity in the tech sector. Furthermore, Davenport mentions some of the work RWR has accomplished with their program IntelTrak, which is the most comprehensive global data set of Chinese and Russian business transactions to date.
Darko Brkan, founding President of Zašto ne, joins host Ken Jaques and Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia Natalia Otel Belan in a timely discussion on the current political and economic landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and what some of the greatest barriers to progress are. Brkan shares his view about the integral position of civil society and the business community, and how Zašto ne’s work contributes to positive change in civic participation. Zašto ne, which means “Why Not” in Croatian, is a Sarajevo-based nongovernmental organization promoting civic activism, government accountability, and the use of digital media to deepen democracy. With CIPE’s support in 2018, Zašto ne launched a Tax Calculator and a Vote-O-Meter, aimed at helping to improve the citizens’ understanding of and interest in economic reforms.