National Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network, Nikiru Joy Okpala, talks about how she went from being a young lawyer interested in women’s issues to working in the field of business association management. She discusses the importance of economic empowerment for women and the barriers that make it difficult for women in Nigeria to succeed in business. One of those barriers is what she calls the “two-job function” where women have to juggle demands at work with demands at home, such as housekeeping and childcare.
Okpala also discusses the role of women in Nigerian society, the urban/rural split in attitudes, and how education is helping expand what is possible for women in her country. Finally she talks about how her parents raised her to be an independent and successful woman, including the confidence she gained through debating current affairs with her banker father and his friends.
Ambassador of the Republic of Albania, Floreta Faber, discusses her previous role as head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania and how she built the institution into one of the strongest associations in the country. She talks about establishing forums for public-private dialogue to present governments with business community perspectives. She also discusses the importance of focusing on collective issues rather than individual company needs. She offers advice to new associations establishing themselves in developing countries, including the importance of representing members equally and fairly, which, she says, is not always easy to do.
Ambassador Faber also discusses how leading a business association prepared her for being an Ambassador. Working for a better business environment, for economic growth, for more government accountability and transparency, fighting corruption, and improving economic ties between Albania and the U.S., are issues she still works on today. Finally, she talks about meeting President Trump, the huge responsibility she feels representing her country, and what she most admires about the United States.
Editor of the Washington Post’s DemocracyPost blog, Christian Caryl, discusses the challenges facing democracy around the world and whether we are at a major inflection point in history. He talks about the current crisis facing western democracy and why its implications are vitally important for Americans.
Caryl, a self-described “troll magnet,” also talks about the difficulty of countering fake news and the Russian information war. He explains the rules that guide the work of journalists in the United States, and how increasing media literacy is important for rebuilding the public’s trust in the media.
Ayesha Bilal, Chief Operating Officer of Pakistani think tank PRIME (Policy Research Institute of the Market Economy), discusses PRIME’s work encouraging citizen involvement in public policymaking in Pakistan. She talks about PRIME’s highly successful Scorecard project to track how well the government has met its economic reform promises. Bilal shares how PRIME included the government as a stakeholder in the project and how the government is now using the Scorecard to track its own progress.
Bilal talks about the importance of tackling issues that have a broad appeal, and tactics for involving many sectors of the population in policy discussions – from homemakers to entrepreneurs to business owners. She stresses the need for openness and transparency in research and advocacy projects, and the importance of encouraging discussion, not imposing solutions. She also discusses PRIME’s current #FairTax campaign.
This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, Craig Fagan, policy director of the World Wide Web Foundation and Sonia Jorge, the executive director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet discusses how over 60 percent of the world is still not connected to the internet and how this digital divide is keeping billions from prospering economically and socially. They talk about how their mission is to raise voices for those who don’t have internet access, enhance internet participation and expand access by reducing cost of digital access.
This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast this week, AARP Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Martha Boudreau stopped by to discuss the importance of messaging and branding in the world of non-profits. A CIPE board member and top communications strategist in the DC area, Boudreau also talks about her years at FleishmanHillard where she was president of the mid-Atlantic and Latin America and the experiences there that led her to interest in international communications. In particular, she highlights her work at FleishmanHillard in the Middle East and Latin America and explains how that work led to her interest in serving on CIPE’s board, where she heads the communications committee. Boudreau also talks about the mission of AARP, which is to enhance the quality of life for all people as they age, and the important part storytelling plays in furthering that mission.
Founder and President of the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) Selima Ahmad returns to the Democracy that Delivers podcast to talk about helping women move beyond micro-enterprise to larger businesses. She also discusses how when women become economically empowered they become more engaged in policy making and seeking accountability in governance. Ahmad also explains the societal changes in her country that are making it easier for women to succeed in business.
Ahmad was the podcast’s most popular guest of 2016 and she returns to the show after a very successful year for her organization, culminating in winning the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Local Chamber Award for 2016, beating 27 other countries. Ahmad discusses why this award was especially important to her, and the work she is doing taking the best practices she has developed with her Chamber and sharing them with chambers in countries as far and wide as Papua New Guinea, Somalia, and Bhutan. She also talks about how business interests cross borders and sectarian divides, and how the private sector can transcend political constraints to work together to move issues forward.
CIPE Country Coordinator in Papua New Guinea Eli Webb discusses the challenges facing women in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the work being done to empower women from all levels of society. Web talks about efforts being made to bolster women’s rights in the country where she says 98 percent of women have been victims of gender-based violence. She discusses legal reforms and development programs that address the issue. Webb also talks about “good news” stories of positive achievements that are being made.
Creating economic opportunities for women is another key element of development work in the country. During his recent confirmation hearing before Congress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted the importance of women’s empowerment programs in Papua New Guinea. Webb discusses the international community’s focus on PNG and the work that CIPE is doing to help women succeed by supporting establishment of a women’s chamber of commerce and a women’s business resource center. Webb tells inspiring stories of women being helped by the Center, including illiterate women who are brought to the Center by their husband’s to access training opportunities.
President and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council Karen Kerrigan discusses why it is important for the United States to support entrepreneurship around the globe. Kerrigan discusses challenges faced by entrepreneurs the world over and how the private sector can engage government on innovative solutions.
She also discusses her work helping fledgling business associations develop the skills to advocate the policy and regulatory reforms needed for an improved business environment. Kerrigan discusses the importance of taking into account local context and cultural sensitivities when working with partners overseas. She describes how she helped a women’s business organization in Palestine when it was starting out and how that organization has grown to be one of the most powerful business groups in that country.
Kerrigan also discusses the attitude towards entrepreneurship she sees in many millennials and the need to expose youth to the opportunity of entrepreneurship early in their education.
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.
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.
Opening remarks were provided by:
Three members of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network engaged in a panel discussion on the topic:
The discussion was moderated by:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The discussion was moderated by CIPE's Regional Director for Asia John Morrell
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.
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.