Democracy That Delivers

The Democracy That Delivers podcast is about democratic and economic development and the intersection between the two. Through their personal stories, guests share how their work is helping build stronger democratic institutions in countries all over the world and how they are tackling some of the major governance challenges that many countries face today. The weekly discussion covers a wide range of topics including entrepreneurship, governance, rule of law, and the role of the private sector in democratic processes.
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Democracy That Delivers




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Feb 21, 2017

Aurelio Concheso, President of the Advisory Board of Venezuelan think tank Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento (CEDICE), discusses populism in Latin America and the challenges to democracy in that region. He uses the example of Chile to discuss the importance of a free market for meeting citizen demands. He also discusses the need for a social context for market reforms, and how open markets and a level playing field create vested interest in the rule of law by all citizens.

Concheso also talks about how problems with democracy and globalization have led to dissatisfaction and populism, and explains what he considers to be the antidote to the challenge facing democracy in Latin America today.

Feb 14, 2017

This week’s podcast is a recording of an event CIPE recently co-hosted with the National Endowment for Democracy titled "Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets: The Role of Free Markets and Rule of Law."

Specifically, the event explored whether liberal economic reforms and accountability in economic policy can help bolster the consolidation of democracy and, if so, under what conditions.

  • What are the common challenges facing liberal democracy and market economies?
  • What are the economic arguments in support of liberal democracy?
  • How can a free-market system respond to demands for economic and political inclusion?
  • What types of reforms would promote a level playing field and accountability in government?

Opening remarks were provided by:

  • Greg Lebedev, Chair, Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy

Three members of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network engaged in a panel discussion on the topic:

  • Aurelio Concheso, President of the Advisory Board, Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento (CEDICE), Venezuela
  • Güray Karacar, Former Secretary General, Corporate Governance Association of Turkey (TKYD)
  • Selima Ahmad, Founder and President, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)

The discussion was moderated by:

  • Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
Feb 7, 2017

Secretary General of the International Real Estate Federation – USA Bill Endsley discusses the importance of property rights for economic growth and prosperity.

Endsley talks about how a lack of property rights, or inadequate access to information on property rights, can undermine markets and impede business development. He highlights trends in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and explains how –  even in markets where there is thriving real estate development – poorly functioning property markets can undermine the health and sustainability of the economy. He discusses lessons the rest of the world can learn from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.

Endsley also talks about the property markets scorecard project that has mapped out the ecosystems of property markets in 30 countries so far. He highlights resources available through the project and discusses reforms that have been identified as a result of the scorecards

Jan 31, 2017

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.

Jan 24, 2017

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.


Jan 17, 2017

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. 

Jan 17, 2017

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.

Jan 10, 2017

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.

Jan 3, 2017

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.

Dec 27, 2016

Best of 2016: The third most listened to episode of 2016 is an event CIPE co-hosted with OpenGovHub on Leveraging Youth and Technology for Governance Reform. The event featured panelists Director of Programs & Strategy, North America at Souktel Maggie McDonough, former Atlas Corps Fellow and social media manager at CIPE partner CEDICE, and Founder and Executive Director of Accountability Lab Blair Glencorse and was moderated by CIPE Program Officer for Global Programs Maiko Nakagaki. The event was held in honor of International Youth Day.

Dec 27, 2016

Best of 2016: 

In the second most listened to episode of 2016, Ken and Julie sit down with American Interest journalist Karina Orlova to discuss the risks reporters in Russia face and why she had to leave the country. She covers her experience reporting on Russian politics and business and the powerful forces that exert control over journalists and media outlets.


Dec 27, 2016

The best of 2016: The first episode is a conversation with Selima Ahmad, a CIPE partner and the founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the episode, Ahmad talks about how she built an organization that helps thousands of women entrepreneurs and what it takes to be a successful businesswoman in Bangladesh.

Dec 20, 2016

This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, Ken and Julie sit down with two members of CIPE staff, Program Officer for Africa Henry LaGue and Program Assistant for Middle East and North Africa Abi Stoltzfus. LaGue and Stoltzfus discuss their work at CIPE, how they got interested in international development, and the paths that led them here. 

Dec 14, 2016

This week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast is a recording of a discussion that was held at CIPE on December 9 to celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day. CIPE and Women in International Trade (WIIT) co-hosted a panel discussion titled “ISO 37001: A Game Changer in Global Anti-Bribery Efforts?” Panelists discussed the significance of the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) new standard on anti-bribery management systems, whether the standard will become the new international benchmark for doing business with integrity, and its benefits and limitations.  A panel of experts addressed these questions and shared their insights:      

  • Worth MacMurray, Principal, Governance and Compliance Initiatives
  • Shruti Shah, Vice President of Programs and Operations, Transparency International-USA
  • Jesse Spiro, WorldCheck Research Manager, Thompson Reuters

The discussion was moderated by CIPE's Regional Director for Asia John Morrell

Dec 6, 2016

President of the Organization for Women in International Trade Andrea Ewart on why trade matters. Ewart speaks about her work helping companies on a wide range of issues related to trade, including customs law and enforcement. She also talks about helping women to be more successful in international trade.

Nov 29, 2016

International trade expert Aurelio Garcia talks about trade facilitation and how tackling red tape makes trade more inclusive. Garcia differentiates trade policy from “trade facilitation,” which involves improving the procedures required to move goods across borders. He describes how trade facilitation helps bring the benefits of trade to more businesses and entrepreneurs. Garcia explains that you cannot “solve 21st century problems with regulations from the 1950s and 60s” and discusses how data and IT systems are key to making trade systems more efficient and accessible. Garcia also talks about his first job working for a garlic exporter in Spain and how that experience still informs his work today.

Nov 22, 2016

Angela Ospina discusses her current work as a trade advisor at the Colombian Mission to the European Union where she focuses on international trade policies, particularly World Customs Organization regulations. Ospina talks about growing up in Bogota, her interest in travel and international relations, and how her experiences studying for her master’s degree in Japan influenced her approach to trade policy and its implementation.

Ospina discusses the significance of a peace agreement in Colombia and her optimism regarding the economic future of her country. She also talks about how seemingly technical trade issues play out in people’s daily lives. The hardest part of her job? Not the policymaking itself but ensuring that policies will work in practice.

The views expressed in this discussion are those of the guest Angela Ospina and do not represent those of the Government of Colombia.

Nov 15, 2016

CEO and Founder of Invest2Innovate (I2I)bKalsoom Lakhani talks about the trends, opportunities, and challenges that entrepreneurs face in Pakistan and the report that I2I just launched that looks at the environment for startups and investors in the country. Lakhani traces her work today back to her childhood in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and to her early interest in conflict resolution that stemmed from hearing about her family’s experiences during the Bangladesh War of 1971. The stories she heard as a child still resonate today as she seeks to increase understanding around the world about what everyday life is really like in countries such as Pakistan that are often best known in the West for violence and instability. Lakhani talks about how her interest in social justice led her to venture philanthropy and to the work she does today helping shape a supportive environment for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses in Pakistan.

Nov 8, 2016

This week in CIPE’s podcast Democracy that Delivers, Manogya Sharma and Sarita Sapkota from Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, discuss their organization’s work in Nepal providing policy solutions to economic challenges and generating public-private dialogue to forge a way forward on key issues facing the country.

Sharma and Sapkota talk about how their organization has grown over the last ten years from focusing on youth-based programs to wider issues, including the development of a Nepal Economic Growth Agenda. They also discuss the importance of coalition-building and how to make sure your message reaches the government even when there is a turbulent political atmosphere. They also talk about the investment climate in Nepal and the environment for entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses.

Nov 1, 2016

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 also 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.

Fontheim discusses his early work with the Democratic Leadership Council and how he was inspired by Bill Clinton’s vision of “globalization with a human face.” He also shares how his family’s experience during the Holocaust shaped his world view and generated his interest in the forces that knit societies together and create peace.

Oct 25, 2016

President of Transparency International Hungary, András Lőke, discusses the state of democracy in Hungary and the hard work it takes to maintain that system over time. He also discusses the cultural differences between countries in Central Europe and how culture can influence democratic development. Lőke is also founder and editor-in-chief of, a group of websites covering 23 Budapest neighborhoods that receives 800,000 unique visitors a month. He speaks about the government’s influence on the media. Lőke also talks about how corruption undermines democracy and the “economy within the economy” that institutionalizes corruption in Hungary.

Oct 18, 2016

On September 16, 2016, CIPE hosted a panel discussion on the need for rapid response in countries where a significant opportunity has appeared for achieving anti-corruption progress. CIPE’s Rapid Reaction Anti-Corruption Project is designed to address this need by deploying a team of anti-corruption experts with international stature to countries in transition. Today’s podcast is a recording of the September 16 event at which experts discussed corruption challenges and practical solutions.

Oct 11, 2016

Italian whistleblower Andrea Franzoso talks about the difficult decision he made to expose corruption in his company and the impact this had on his personal and professional life. Franzoso talks about how he came across evidence of wrongdoing by the company’s president, the reaction to his revelations internally, and his eventual decision to take his findings to the police. His story is both inspiring and troubling as he shares the professional and personal cost of his decision. The conversation also covers what companies and governments can do to better protect whistleblowers and encourage a culture of accountability and transparency.

Oct 4, 2016

This week’s podcast is a recording of an event CIPE co-hosted on September 15th with Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in recognition of the International Day of Democracy. This event provided a brief update of the recent MCC Board Meeting, and brought together thought leaders to discuss the role of democracy in development.

Sustainable development and reducing poverty are primary objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Panelists demonstrated how the SDG goals that pertain to democratic governance are vital to reducing poverty, creating jobs, boosting economic growth, and making sure that development is sustainable. They discussed how strong democratic institutions, a robust rule of law, and inclusive economic policies that create a level playing field for everyone are essential elements of a development agenda with lasting impact. The discussion was moderated by CIPE Managing Director [then Executive Director (acting)] Andrew Wilson.

Sep 27, 2016

CIPE’s Program Officer for South Asia Jennifer Anderson talks about the economy in Pakistan and holding the government accountable for delivering on its economic promises. Anderson discusses the crucial link between successful implementation of economic reforms and citizen support for the civilian government and democracy. She shares the view expressed by some in Pakistan that “entrepreneurship is dead” and why a number of aspiring Pakistani businesspeople feel this way. Anderson also discusses the new registration process required for international and domestic NGOs to operate in the country. The show closes with Anderson sharing her story of how helping a friend cope with the tragedy of the Rwandan genocide changed her world view and got her started on her international development career.

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