I am their father. I am their mother. I am everything to them.
Each year on March 8, the world observes International Women’s Day, a day to recognize both how far we as a global community have come, and also how far we have to go, in achieving gender parity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that the gender gap won’t close until 2186. 2017’s theme, “Be Bold for Change,” challenges both men and women to take bold actions that will advance the gender agenda; the WEF study also indicates that the economic gender gap is widening—following a peak in 2013, the global economic gap between men and women has now reverted to where it stood in 2008. At this rate, it will take another 170 years to achieve parity.
From left: Panelists Güray Karacar, Selima Ahmad, Aurelio Concheso, and moderator Karen Kerrigan
Following a wave of global democratization, over the last decade democracies in emerging markets have been tested from above and below. In countries previously seen as successes, citizens are frustrated by economic stagnation and dislocation, dissatisfied with underperforming governments, and divided over identities and values. A new set of anti-establishment, populist leaders have capitalized on this dissatisfaction and are starting to contest the very idea of liberal democracy. The populist approaches have diminished the need for rule of law and challenged the liberal economic order. “We need to respond to the attack on democracy in new ways,” says Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and “defend the inter-dependence of liberal democracy and the market economy, without which economic progress and human freedom will not be able to survive.”
More than five and a half years deep into the Syrian war, the development aid space is crowded: crowded with emergency relief agencies working to supply besieged communities with critical food supplies and healthcare; crowded with multinational donors working to catalyze economic and political change in the Middle East’s countries of first asylum.
In these countries—namely, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey— many development organizations and practitioners have shifted the focus away from immediate, emergency assistance. Instead, they are opting for initiatives designed to generate longer-term, sustainable solutions for refugees and host communities on everything from livelihoods to mental health.
In Iraq, former governments spent billions of dollars to sustain the public sector at the cost of future generations with little foresight of potential economic ramifications. The public sector expanded to such a degree that the private sector was left with few opportunities to contribute to the economic development of the country. Past governments used the public sector as a tool to gain the votes and support of unemployed youth by employing thousands of them in public sector jobs prior to each election cycle. As a result, they were able to increase their political patronage. The public sector system of political, ethnic, and sectarian quotas, which divides positions in the Iraqi government based on sect, ethnicity, and political affiliation regardless of competency, resulted in inefficient administrations lacking capability and demonstrating an inability to provide necessary services. Such incompetence and weak rule of law increased corruption, permeating both the public and private institutions in the country. This chaotic situation offered an opportunity for corrupt political parties and their nominated governmental officials to abuse official positions and accumulate wealth and power.
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.
Podcast guest Ali Ayadi with guest hosts Barbara Broomell (center) and Ashley Fox
On this week’s Democracy That Delivers podcast, CIPE Country Representative for Tunisia Ali Ayadi talks about the country’s democratic transition since the revolution and areas of progress and challenge. Ayadi talks about a missing element in the country’s transformation – economic growth and development. He discusses how the government and the private sector are working together to improve the business environment in the country to boost growth and create much-needed jobs and the role of women in the new political system. He also talks about what it was like to move back to his home country after many years of working in Washington, DC and his current work with local leaders to help carve a path forward for Tunisia.
This podcast episode was co-hosted by CIPE Program Officer for the Middle East and North Africa Barbara Broomell and Communications and Digital Content Coordinator Ashley Fox.
Listen to past episodes of our show here.
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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.