Category Archives: Eastern Europe

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #66: Maya Eristavi on Georgian Women and their Role in the Business Community

Podcast guest Maya Eristavi (second from left) with the recipients of the Women Leader Award at the 3rd
Annual Women’s Role in Economic Growth and Policy Development Conference. Photo Courtesy of G4G.

On this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, Maya Eristavi, CIPE’s representative with USAID’s Governing for Growth (G4G) Project, talks about the role of women in Georgia and how women in business have been taking on a larger role in society, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. She also talks about the young entrepreneurs and businesswomen who have benefitted from the comprehensive free-trade agreement Georgia has with Europe.

Eristavi also reflects on growing up in Tbilisi, studying abroad in America, and how this shaped her attitude towards business and put her on the path to where she is today.

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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.

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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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Francis Fukuyama: Ukraine Should Rebuild the State Management System and Eliminate Corruption

By Anastasia Baklan

Francis Fukuyama recently visited Kyiv and Lviv on behalf of a joint initiative between Stanford’s Center for Democracy Development and Rule of Law, the Ukrainian Catholic University’s School of Public Management and CIPE, to kick start the Leadership Academy for Development (LAD) to Ukraine. On February 2, 2017, as an addendum to the lessons, more than 250 representatives of the business community, officials from the state authorities and the Verkhovna Rada, and civil society institutions took part in a public forum on building democracy that delivers.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #53: Jerzy Pomianowski on Supporting Democracy and Freedom in the EU Neighborhood

Podcast guest Jerzy Pomianowski (Photo courtesy of Deutsche Welle /K. Danetzki via Flickr)

This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, Executive Director of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) 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.

Pomianowski also discusses the need for a new political philosophy to communicate the promise of democracy and solidarity, and how his experience as a student activist in Poland shapes his drive to help those taking risks today to support democracy and freedom in their countries.

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

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #52: Lindsey Marchessault on Using Open Data To Ensure Public Money is Spent Honestly, Fairly, and Effectively

Podcast guest Lindsey Marchessault

On this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, 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.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter and learn more about the Open Contracting Partnership.

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 to help other listeners find the show.