Two palm oil harvesters go about their day. Palm oil is a leading industry in Colombia and a vital piece of the country’s economy.
By Jaime Arteaga
Colombia has had significant achievements despite being home to one of the longest-running internal conflicts in the world. The country’s economy has grown steadily for several decades, without significant fluctuations or crises, while maintaining a low inflation rate thanks to a strong and disciplined monetary policy. Despite having endured nine civil wars over two centuries, Colombia has managed to maintain a stable democracy. In fact, it is the only Latin American country that has had uninterrupted election cycles since 1830. Remarkably, it is the only country in the world that has initiated reparation processes for victims while conflicts are ongoing.
Bringing bananas to market, another vital crop for Colombians.
Therefore, the historic peace agreement, signed in December 2016 by the Colombian government and FARC rebels, removes one of the last obstacles on the country’s path toward economic development. The peace accord creates boundless opportunities for private investment in a number of ways. First, it opens vast expanses of territory that were isolated while under the guerrilla group’s control. Second, the peace agreement permits the state to redirect tremendous economic resources, previously destined for national defense, toward investment in regional economic development. Also, the accord allows society to focus on institutional reforms needed to combat corruption, strengthen the government’s role, and promote economic growth throughout the country.
By Peter Goliaš, Jozef Hajko, and Michal Piško
The Institute for Economic and Social Reform (INEKO), with support from CIPE and the National Endowment for Democracy, conducted a study on the recent trends in Slovakia affecting democracy in the country. The study shows considerable popular dissatisfaction with the quality of democracy, worsening in the last few years. In order to ensure broad input, the research was based on a representative public poll, a questionnaire conducted with selected public figures, detailed interviews with business people, and discussions with thought leaders and students. The results reveal that the most frustrated segment of the population is prone to accept radical non-democratic solutions. This is a warning sign that further strengthening of extremists and opportunists in Slovakia’s political life is a real possibility.
The latest CIPE Feature Service article summarizes key findings of this study along with recommendations for various stakeholders, including the government, political parties, civil society, media, businesses, donors, as well as teachers and the society at large.
Participants at the workshop in Argentina.
This article originally appeared on panoplydigital.com.
By Alexandra Tyers
Last week, I was in Rosario, Argentina with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and their partner in Argentina, Fundacion Libertad. I was there delivering a two-day training workshop on monitoring, evaluation and communication, and using technology for those M&E and advocacy activities.
The Kabul Bank scandal is a prominent case of corruption that undermines governance, and an example of one of a number of factors that can drive extremism.
Extremist violence presents a serious threat to democratic values and societies around the world. The last decade has witnessed increased attention to how and why individuals become involved in extremist violence, including “push” and “pull” factors. “Push” factors are underlying conditions favoring the rise or spread of violent extremism (VE). “Pull” factors work on an individual level and have a direct impact on recruitment and radicalization. They include: social status and respect from peers, a sense of belonging, adventure, and self-esteem, and the prospect of achieving glory and fame. There has tended to be an over-emphasis on the search for broad root causes and an under-emphasis on the examination of individual motivations. This tendency has reduced the success of past programs seeking to counter VE. In the future, programming should focus on preventative measures aimed at preempting radicalization by mitigating specific drivers that are known to heighten the likelihood of VE.
By Dawn Marie Bailey
The following is an interview with William Pawlucy, CIPE Consultant… about his work with Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Based outside of Washington, D.C., the Baldrige Program helps organizations identify, understand, and manage the factors that determine their success. Through his work with CIPE, Pawlucy has traveled to the Palestinian Territories and Jordan to work with business associations and CIPE partners on improving their organizational and financial sustainability. He is currently a member of CIPE’s team on the Local Enterprise Support (LENS) Project, a USAID/FHI360-funded initiative that works to enhance the effectiveness of Jordanian business support organizations and promote growth for micro and small enterprises. Pawlucy’s engagement with associations through the LENS Project builds on his work with the Baldrige Program; he is developing targeted organizational strengthening programs for several business associations, based in part on the standards of performance excellence used by Baldrige. This article originally appeared on Blogrige, the official blog of Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been reposted with permission from the author.
The Baldrige Program has always been fortunate to have engaged ambassadors—many of whom are current or former examiners, judges, or overseers—who carry the Baldrige message of continuous improvement, core values, and a systems perspective, as well as the Baldrige framework itself, with them when they speak in the Unites States and abroad. In Blogrige, we’ve written about such ambassadors traveling to India, China, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and elsewhere. [Please accept this note as a sincere thank you to those folks and others who support Baldrige.]
William Pawlucy, CAE
Below is another story of a Baldrige community member’s travels; this time the story takes place in the Middle East. William Pawlucy served on the Board of Examiners in 2012 and now does work for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), whose mission is to “strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.” Pawlucy and his colleagues have raised awareness of Baldrige resources in places across the region, including Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, and Egypt.
By Yini Wu
The refugee crisis in the Middle East is nothing new and it continues to evolve as new conflicts arise. Some host countries have been saturated with refugees over the years and have become especially sensitive when confronted with the current Syrian refugee crisis. To address these sensitivities, innovative insights and new approaches are needed to solve such a long-term crisis.