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.
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.
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 www.Ittlakunk.hu, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this week’s Democracy That Delivers podcast, Murray Hiebert, Senior Adviser and Deputy Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), talks about the historic visit to the U.S. last week of Aung San Suu Kyi. Hiebert discusses what the visit means for Myanmar’s future, including the peace process and the investment climate in a country where peace and development is long overdue. Hiebert also talks about what the lifting of sanctions will mean for the inflow of foreign direct investment, and how economic development and the resolution of ethnic grievances through the peace process are linked. Reaction in Myanmar to Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is also discussed. Hiebert also talks about the tension between the Muslim-minority Rohingya population and the majority Buddhist population in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi’s commitment to resolve tension between the two groups.
Thomson Reuters Breakingviews correspondent Gina Chon talks about reporting on economic news from around the world. Chon discusses the challenges journalists face in countries where gaining access to accurate economic information is difficult and where authoritarian governments attempt to control the news on the economy. Chon also talks about how she became a journalist, her experiences working overseas, and what excites her about the way journalism is evolving today.
CIPE consultants Camelia Bulat and Carmen Stanila talk about working with the private sector and business associations on public policy development and advocacy. They discuss their early work in Romania and later in the Balkans, Moldova, and the Caucuses, and the challenges of managing citizen expectations when countries transition to democratic, free market systems. Bulat and Stanila also talk about how they were able to transfer early lessons learned in Romania to projects elsewhere, and the surprising similarity between the issues and priorities facing business associations all over the world.
Dr. Kim Holmes, who recently returned to the CIPE Board 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.
Syrian Economic Forum Chairman Ayman Tabbaa and Executive Director Tamman Al Baroudi discuss the current situation in Syria and the role of the private sector in reconstructing the country. Tabbaa and Baroudi talk about their lives in Syria prior to the revolution, why they had to leave Syria, and their work today providing information and policy options to help with the current economic situation and to plan for the future.
Tabbaa and Baroudi speak candidly about how their lives have changed, dangers they have faced in pursuing their work to help build a future for Syria, and their concerns for Syria’s youth.
The Syrian Economic Forum is an independent think tank that gives voice to the pro-democracy Syrian business community.
International development organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of engaging youth in efforts to improve governance around the world. Youth in most societies are consistently more adept at using technology and recognizing its impact. Harnessing their energy and creativity to improve government policies and service delivery, through incorporating youth ideas and feedback, is a focus for a number of programs developed by CIPE and other organizations.
This week’s podcast is a recording of an event co-hosted by CIPE and OpenGovHub. The event was a panel discussion on the topic Leveraging Youth and Technology for Governance Reform.
As foreign forces pull back from Afghanistan, the country faces not only the threat of renewed violence but also deep economic challenges and corruption, which are deeply intertwined with the political instability.
Mohammed Nasib, Country Director for CIPE Afghanistan, and guest host Jenny Anderson, Program Officer for South Asia, discuss the country's challenges and how CIPE is helping the Afghan private sector play a positive role in Afghanistan's future.
The "blockchain" is the key innovation that makes decentralized, digital currencies like Bitcoin possible. Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center and an expert on cryptocurrency regulation, discusses the implications of the blockchain and its potential applications to governance and corruption problems from tracking land ownership to stopping the trade in blood diamonds.
International Association of Women Judges’ Senior Advisor Nancy Hendry discusses IAWJ’s work addressing "sextortion." The IAWJ coined the term to describe a pervasive, but often ignored, form of sexual exploitation and corruption that occurs when people in positions of authority – whether government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel, or employers – seek to extort sexual favors in exchange for something within their power to grant or withhold. In effect, sextortion is a form of corruption in which sex, rather than money, is the currency of the bribe. Although it is a prevalent practice in many countries, it often is not discussed in the context of corruption issues because corruption is generally associated with financial exchanges.
Created in 1991, the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose members represent all levels of the judiciary worldwide and share a commitment to equal justice and the rule of law. The IAWJ currently has approximately 4,600 members in 75 countries and areas worldwide.
CIPE's Medhawi Giri, Program Assistant for South Asia, and Stephanie Bandyk, Program Assistant for Global Programs, discuss how they got interested in international development, democracy, and economic reform issues, their academic and career backgrounds, and what they've learned since working at CIPE.
The American Interest journalist Karina Orlova discusses the risks reporters face in Russia and why she had to leave. Orlova talks about her experience reporting on Russian politics and business, and the powerful forces that exert control over journalists and media outlets in that country. She also shares fascinating insights into current living conditions in Russia and citizen attitudes towards corruption and governance.
Gender and security expert Julie Arostegui discusses the opportunities that arise in post-conflict situations to empower women and increase their role in democratic processes. Arostegui talks about the important role that law plays in creating these opportunities and explains the impact of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which mandates women’s participation in peace processes. Discussion also covers the role economic development plays in creating stability post-conflict and how economic empowerment of women often leads to their greater political participation. Arostegui also talks about her involvement in programs to empower women politically in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa.
CIPE’s Iran expert Babak Yektafar discusses the current economic situation in Iran and how the regime controls information and policies to stay in power. Yektafar talks about how the economy has been damaged through mismanagement, Iran’s entrepreneurial youth culture and their hopes for the future, and what the government needs to do to make it easier for Iranians to start and grow businesses. He also discusses the government’s control over the flow of information within the country and explains how an “Expediency Council” works to ensure the regime stays in power.
Former FCPA violator and current anti-bribery consultant Richard Bistrong was convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cooperated with the FBI, and served time in prison. Today he works with companies to help them deal with anti-bribery and compliance issues around the world. He discusses what led to his conviction, what he learned about corruption risks and the incentive structures that make bribery more likely. He also shares the advice he would give his younger self before he embarked on that first international sales trip that started it all.
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Nyaradzo Mashayamombe discusses her work as a women’s and girls’ rights advocate in in Zimbabwe and how the way women are viewed in society is changing in that country. Mashayamombe talks about the hardships she experienced as a child in rural Zimbabwe and how this created her drive to help other girls and women. She also discusses the empowering impact of social media and the current economic situation for women in Zimbabwe.
Former Executive Director of CIPE John D. Sullivan discusses how the private sector and a free market economy are essential for a thriving democracy and the role CIPE plays working with private sector partners to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. Sullivan recalls what led to the establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy and its core institutes, including CIPE, and how it was decided that the private sector needed to be represented in the “democracy program” that began under former President Ronald Reagan. Sullivan also discusses the important relationship CIPE developed with the Russian Chamber of Commerce, and the impact of the work of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto on CIPE’s programs.
Executive Director of eBay’s Public Policy Lab, Brian Bieron, discusses how global e-commerce platforms are helping small and medium-sized enterprises around the world to export at an unprecedented rate, and how this is opening the global economy like never before. Bieron also talks about how online commerce is changing the dynamic of who can export where, the logistics challenges that companies face, and the policy reforms that can help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises harness the potential of e-commerce to reach new markets.
Atlas Corps fellow and social media manager at Venezuelan think tank CEDICE, Gigi Raffo, talks about the everyday hardships experienced by citizens in her country, the challenges facing the private sector, and how she and others are trying to make changes and build hope for the future. Raffo also talks about adjusting to the freedoms and choices offered in the U.S. and what she is learning here that will inform her work when she goes home.