Meet the 2016 Photo Competition Winner

Winning photo: Karybekov Janyl, President of the Crafts Council of Kyrgyzstan

CIPE is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Photo Competition! The theme of the 2016 competition was highlighting creative and inspiring visuals that demonstrate democratic leadership or individuals advocating for democratic values and reform.

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Democratic and Economic Development in the Digital Era

In the last decade, new information and communications technologies (ICTs) have become less expensive and more accessible for people around the world. According to the International Telecommunications Union, more than 3 billion people (nearly 47 percent of all the people on earth) now use the internet. Likewise, by the end of 2016, the total number of mobile broadband subscription was expected to reach 3.6 billion. This growing global usage of ICT has made it easier for citizens and organizations to access information and share data, conduct business online, and virtually network with others. Rapid technological advances, in turn, are poised to have a profound impact on democratic and economic development around the world.

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Democracy That Delivers Podcast #65: Nikiru Joy Okpala on How Business Associations Empower Women in Nigeria

From Left: podcast guest Nikiru Joy Okpala and guest host Henry LaGue

On this week’s Democracy That Delivers podcast, 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.

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

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Strengthening the Capacity of an Albanian Business Coalition in Policy Advocacy

A CIPE partner in Albania, Center for Economic Research (ACER), recently had a great reason to celebrate: their efforts to have Albania’s tourism VAT decreased had finally been successful. This outcome was the result of and the national tax administration recognized the work of the ACER-supported National Business Forum (NBF), including the recent release of the Forum’s priorities for economic reforms focusing on taxation, informality, and public private dialogue, which included a recommendation to reduce the tourism VAT.

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Democracy That Delivers Podcast #64: Floreta Faber on How Leading a Business Association is Good Preparation for Being an Ambassador

From left: podcast guest Ambassador Faber; and hosts Natalia Otel Belan and Julie Johnson

On this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, 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. Many issues she focused on at the Chamber of Commerce, including 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., she continues to work on in her current position. Finally, she talks about meeting President Trump, the huge responsibility she feels representing her country, and what she most admires about the United States.

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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A Perestroika for Belarus?

18th Annual Assembly of Business Circles

Seven years ago a blog with this title would seem ridiculous. In the aftermath of the 2010 elections, President Lukashenko had several opposition members imprisoned, had others harassed, and cracked down hard on demonstrators. Five years earlier, Secretary of State Rice named Belarus the “last dictatorship of Europe.” However, in March, I observed how far Belarus has come to opening up to civil society. Sitting in a meeting with a leading minister, a dozen business associations were discussing the merits and potential modifications to a forthcoming presidential decree. The minister asked the association representatives thoughtful questions and addressed their concerns with straight-forward answers and promises to follow-up where answers were not readily available.

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Democracy That Delivers Podcast #63: Christian Caryl on the Challenges Facing Democracy Around the World

Left: Podcast guest Christian Caryl and guest host Frank Brown

On this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, 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.

Read DemocracyPost here and follow Caryl on Twitter @ccaryl.

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