Bringing New Ideas and the Local Private Sector Voice to International Discussions

On December 18-22, 2017, CIPE will be speaking at the upcoming UN Internet Governance Forum, a multi-stakeholder conference that promotes dialogue on varying internet policies at the international level. CIPE will be providing a unique view to the international forum, bringing voices of the local private sector to dialogues on internet governance and internet freedom.

In order to view the panel discussions and participate online, please register as a remote participant using this link.

At the forum, CIPE, the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) will be releasing the final draft of A Democratic Framework to Interpret Open Internet PrinciplesThe Framework is the first of its kind, as common human rights principles for open internet are now reframed for citizens and civil society organizations in fragile and emerging democracies. The Framework, written by the diverse voices of local and multinational organizations, citizen activists, media representatives, civil society organizations, and members of the local private sector, highlights how an open internet is crucial for protecting and preserving democratic dialogue online.

For additional information about CIPE’s initiative, please visit openinternet.global.

Democracy that Delivers #96: Citizens Stand to Benefit from Improving the Way the Indonesian Government Buys Goods and Services

From left: podcast guests Jeanmarie Meyer and Troy Wray, and host Ken Jaques

Public procurement—when governments purchase goods and services —directly affects drinking water, healthcare, roads, and many other aspects of citizens’ day-to-day lives. Good public procurement saves tax dollars, while weak public procurement drains governments’ coffers. According to Millennium Challenge Corporation, about forty percent of Indonesia’s national budget continues to leak every year because of a poor procurement system.

In this week’s podcast, Jeanmarie Meyer and Troy Wray discuss the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) efforts to update Indonesia’s purchasing processes through the Procurement Modernization Project. The MCC, a U.S. foreign aid agency, works with local government representatives to increase efficiency in order to improve infrastructure.

Since launching the project in 2013, Meyer, senior director of program procurement policy, and Wray, country director for Indonesia, have provided procurement professionals with modern technical tools and guidelines to assistant them in their purchasing decisions. One of these tools is the Institutional Development Modeling Framework, which measures institutional maturity based on five levels.

Institutional Development Modeling Framework

Visit the Millennium Challenge Account-Indonesia for more information about the MCC’s procurement initiative and other MCC projects in Indonesia.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

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SMEs: the Intersection of Economic Development and Democratization

Small and medium-sized enterprises make a significant contribution to the economies of Southeast Asia.

Because small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are measured according to the size and level of development in a particular country, the definition of an SME varies from country to country. This is one of the main reasons that SME research and data analysis entail serious impediments. Despite debate over whether SMEs are beneficial compared to multinational corporations, there is no denying that SMEs drive sustainable growth and positively affect the economies of individual countries and the global economy.

First of all, SMEs play a significant role in national economies around the world, according to a June 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In many countries, SMEs represent 98 percent or more of all businesses. They are also great economic engines, accounting for an average of 70 percent of jobs in OECD countries and 45 percent of net total employment and 33 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in emerging economies. Moreover, the World Economic Forum and the National Center from the Middle Market (NCMM) have shown that SMEs, as the main source of economic growth, produce the region’s middle class and consequently contribute to poverty reduction.

Additionally, SMEs are central to efforts to achieve more inclusive growth. They create opportunities for upward mobility in society by allowing disadvantaged or marginalized groups including youth, women, seniors, migrants, and minorities to actively participate in a country’s productivity. By employing broad segments of the labor force, including low-skilled workers, SMEs provide employees with access to social services, such as improved health care. For example, as part of its efforts to increase SMEs’ participation in the macroeconomy from 20 to 35 percent by 2030, Saudi Arabia’s government announced that four in 10 startups launched in 2017 were owned by women.

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Safeguarding Democracy and Free Markets in Southeast Asia

A floating market in Vietnam. Survey findings show that people in Southeast Asia place more emphasis on economic development and free markets than on the values traditionally associated with democracy.

Some Southeast Asian countries are plagued by pessimistic views of democracy, as the system of transparent elections and/or government accountability are severely lacking in certain contexts.

In determining how to bolster democracy in places where it faces many threats, it is important to first take a step back and ask the bigger questions.

For example, does economic growth trigger democratization? Or does a democratic society spur economic growth? According to the World Economic Forum, democratic societies are based on policies and institutions that lay the foundations for democratic principles, such as liberty and equality. These democratic policies and institutions benefit firms and individuals, who in turn act as engines for the overall economy. On the contrary, the Brookings Institution has articulated the reverse theory, demonstrating that economic institutions are the source of democratic growth around the world.

At the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), we believe that functioning democracies and market economies are essentially two sides of the same coin, as they commonly share principles of transparency, fairness, accountability, and responsibility. This post will focus on how democracy is generally recognized in Southeast Asia and will highlight CIPE’s endeavors to build market-oriented democracies in the region.

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The Dilemma of Corporate Governance and Business Ethics in Sudan

A man in his shoe shop in Khartoum, Sudan. Support from the international business community is needed to empower the local private sector to fight corruption and foment sustainable growth.

Decades of conflict, civil war, and the secession of South Sudan in 2011, combined with the slump in global oil prices, have had a profound effect on Sudan’s economy and developmental progress. As the country attempts to emerge from conflict and integrate into the global economy following the lifting of sanctions, it must continue to navigate institutional challenges and steady itself in the aftermath of multiple economic shocks. With reduced international investment and a private sector that faces complex obstacles, fighting corruption is paramount to a successful transition and an imperative for future growth.

Dirdeiry M. Ahmed, Ph.D., (far right) spoke about why the international business community should include Sudan in its efforts to combat corruption in Khartoum, Sudan on August 7, 2017.

To this end, CIPE and its local partner, Al Oula, launched an anti-corruption initiative to support the private sector in mitigating corruption at the firm level while engaging in advocacy to promote transparency and limit opportunities for illicit behavior. Dirdeiry M. Ahmed, Ph.D., a passionate advocate for effective, sustainable development in Sudan, delivered a speech at the initiative’s inaugural summit to call attention to the challenges facing the business community in Sudan. We are sharing his speech now in honor of the United Nations’ International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9.

Ahmed’s speech traces the historical socio-cultural dynamics that continue to plague the growth of the local economy, the adoption of business ethics, and effective corporate governance in Sudan. It also acknowledges the progress made and makes recommendations for achieving inclusive, private sector-led economic development and stability going forward. Read the article based on Ahmed’s speech.

Lola Adekanye is CIPE’s Anti-Corruption Program Officer based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Democracy that Delivers #95: Cadasta’s Frank Pichel Explains How Land Rights Impact Modern Economies

From left: guest host Anna Kompanek, podcast guest Frank Pichel, and host Ken Jaques

It is estimated that more than 70 percent of land in emerging economies is held informally, meaning without proper documentation. In this new podcast, Cadasta Foundation  Interim CEO Frank Pichel explains the vital role of land rights within modern economies and how Cadasta is leveraging new technology to strengthen and formalize land tenure systems in developing nations. Pichel, who co-founded the non-profit organization just two over years ago, says Cadasta now works with partners in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

CIPE Global Programs Director Anna Kompanek shares additional insight and describes other key projects aimed at addressing property rights issues, as well as related infrastructure or institutions such as access to finance and dispute resolution. CIPE has partnered with the International Real Property Foundation to create the International Property Markets Scorecard. The scorecard maps out the ecosystem of property markets in more than 30 countries to highlight strengths, weaknesses, and possible areas for future reform efforts.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

 

 

 

The LIFE Project, Serving up Economic Opportunities in the Food Sector

Members of the LIFE project consortium interview the owners and workers at a family-owned and operated produce store, also in Beşiktaş. Produce stores, called manavs in Turkish, are a common fixture in Istanbul.

Strolling through the streets of Fatih, it becomes clear just how many Syrians have relocated to Istanbul, Turkey. The transformed neighborhood—home to the government’s immigration office—has dozens of Syrian shops, which draw refugees looking for a taste of home and foodies eager to sample the area’s new eateries. In fact, the food industry has become a major pathway for Syrians who are looking for economic and social integration in Turkey. For this reason, CIPE and a consortium of partners recently launched the Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) project. The two-year project will establish two self-sustaining food business incubators in Istanbul and Gaziantep, geared towards Turkish and Syrian communities alike. The incubators, which will support more than 200 entrepreneurs and 1,000 workers in the food industry over the course of the project, will provide technical support to entrepreneurs, business formalization and mentorship services, as well as foster cultural exchange and understanding.

A member of the LIFE project consortium interviews the owners of a small gözleme shop in the Beşiktaş neighborhood of Istanbul. Gözleme is a traditional Turkish pastry.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria in 2011, Turkey has received 3.2 million Syrian refugees. Of those, 90 percent live outside of refugee camps, most of them in cities. The Turkish government has invested significantly to address the influx, spending approximately $30 billion over the past six years. This effort has included creating programs to support the integration of Syrians into Turkish society, including initiatives to help Syrians looking to open restaurants and other businesses. Even still, the refugee influx has strained government resources and services. In creating more competition for employment, the influx has also affected host communities, contributing to tensions between Turkish, Syrian, and other refugee groups. These tensions are especially pronounced in the informal sector, businesses that are not registered with the government. The informal sector, which makes up 34 percent of the Turkish economy, is where most Syrians find employment because there are fewer barriers to entry than in the formal sector.

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