Category Archives: Global

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 #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.

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Insights for Global Entrepreneurship Week: The Connection Between Entrepreneurship and Democracy

A restaurant owner makes gözleme, a traditional Turkish pastry, in her small storefront in the Beşiktaş neighborhood of Istanbul. She opened her business four years ago, where she now works with two employees.

When business owners are given the freedom to innovate and support to get started, they launch companies that create jobs, provide needed goods or services, and fuel economies. In CIPE’s latest feature service article, Director of Knowledge Management Kim Eric Bettcher examines the connection between entrepreneurship and democracy— the cornerstones of a free society.

Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is observed in 160 countries, provides an opportunity for CIPE and others to spotlight key issues facing entrepreneurs and their communities, as well as a platform to share information about ground-breaking programs and successful strategies or approaches. CIPE is developing a new series of “Partner Portraits,” podcasts, reports, and blogs designed to provide additional insight and recognize individuals, organizations, and partners working on a multitude of global projects to strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.

Economic empowerment for women continues to be a top concern worldwide. One inspirational leader and CIPE partner is Rezani Aziz, who recently founded the Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations of Sri Lanka (FWEASL). Nearly 40 percent of women there are unemployed. Aziz describes some of the biggest hurdles facing women attempting to enter the Sri Lankan workforce and how her organization and others in the region hope to foster change on a new Democracy that Delivers podcast.

Meanwhile, the Women’s Business Resource Center in Papua New Guinea is celebrating its one-year anniversary. The Center is a U.S. State Department-funded initiative that is led by CIPE. In a country where women have few legal rights, the Center helps women of all backgrounds access business services, training, and support—free of charge and in a safe environment with round-the-clock security. Read CIPE Program Officer Sarah Yun’s blog for real-life stories about women who have benefited from the Center’s support.

Job creation efforts and new business growth present major challenges and opportunities in many societies. Consortium partners in Turkey just launched Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE), one of CIPE’s newest projects. The program is intended to support sustainable livelihoods for Syrians and other refugees, as well as members of the host country. LIFE partners will establish two food business incubators in Istanbul and Gaziantep. In all, the project will support more than 200 entrepreneurs and over 1,000 workers in the food industry. Listen to Hans-Joachim Hogrefe with Refugees International discusses how the LIFE project will benefit the Turkish economy. Gastrodiplomacy expert Dr. Johanna Mendelson-Forman explains how food builds a sense of community and offers an opportunity for cultural exchange.

Anti-corruption and trade issues are top priorities in many nations. A new CIPE program in Colombia plays an important role in supporting the country’s ongoing peace process. With assistance from CIPE and others, Colombia’s government is offering incentives to businesses that expand operations in regions ravaged by years of violence.  The groups are reaching out to local communities for input on economic development. CIPE’s lead in-country consultant Jaime Arteaga explains how the efforts will pave the way for positive change and investment opportunities. Another result will be proposals to improve transparency and effectiveness, shares Víctor Saavedra, economist and a researcher with the think tank Fedesarrollo.

Youth entrepreneurship and mentoring is another priority. The Xelajú Naranja program in Guatemala in early 2017 is intended to help young men and women learn to be effective entrepreneurs, particularly in the cultural and IT sectors. Participants have received training in basic business principles and ways to get their creative enterprises off the ground.

In Africa, CIPE has partnered with Gambia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish a national business council for the private sector, as the country attempts to embrace democracy following two decades of dictatorship. Jeff Smith, Executive Director of the non-profit Vanguard Africa discusses current challenges, which include accountability issues.

Democracy that Delivers #91: Hudson Hollister on how Open Data Supports Accountability and Business Opportunities

From left: guest host Ryan Musser with podcast guest Hudson Hollister

Hudson Hollister quit his congressional job in 2012 and used his retirement savings to found The Data Coalition.  His mission: to make U.S. government spending information more transparent and publicly available.  The Data Coalition successfully pushed for new laws requiring federal agencies to release key financial figures on one internet site and use the same format.

Despite some big implementation challenges, Hollister says the requirements make government leaders more accountable to the public and provide new business opportunities to the private sector.  In this week’s podcast, Hollister outlines next steps and new value propositions for entrepreneurs.  CIPE’s Ryan Musser provides a global perspective, sharing his experiences about coalition building among competing businesses in Africa.

Visit the Data Coalition website for more information, news, events, and updates.

See also our recent CIPE project surrounding Open Internet.

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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Democracy that Delivers #90: Frank Vogl on Confronting Corruption in the Private Sector

From left: podcast guest Frank Vogl, guest host Louisa Tomar and host Ken Jaques

Businesses that take on corruption and pursue a path of integrity can come out ahead financially, says Frank Vogl, anti-corruption expert and adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

During the podcast, Vogl explains how corruption can hurt a company’s bottom line. Integrity, on the other hand, is good for business because it allows companies to be innovative and builds trust amongst members of the organization.

Vogl began his career as a journalist, covering corruption scandals during the Nixon and Ford presidency. In the late 1970s, Vogl covered the Lockheed scandals that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act. Despite this law and other efforts to curb corruption, it is still an endemic problem in the private sector, he says.

Vogl is a founding member of Transparency International, a nonprofit organization that works with governments, businesses and citizens to stop corruption.

For more information about Vogl, his blogs, lectures and a new book visit his website.

For more of Vogl’s insights on curbing corruption in the private sector, read CIPE’s Corporate Compliance Trends (CCTrends) blog by Louisa Tomar, guest podcast cohost and CIPE’s program officer for Global Programs.

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 Local Private Sector is Vital to Peacebuilding and Reconstruction

Two women now earn a living producing yams in their field after peace returned to Burundi. Photo by Pamela Beecroft.

By Morgan Frost and Pamela Beecroft

CIPE works with partners in a number of conflict-affected contexts around the world. While political, security and humanitarian issues typically draw the most attention, CIPE has found there are major benefits to working with the local private sector on economic issues at almost every stage of a conflict and recovery cycle. As the examples below illustrate, local businessmen and women can play a unique and indispensable role in reducing violence, building peace, and rebuilding countries and communities.

In Mexico, the notorious Tijuana Cartel, which had gathered strength during the 1990s, dominated large swaths of the city, turning it into a battlefield that endangered citizens and deterred businesses. In 2006 and 2007, local businesses, civil society, and government leaders worked together to develop solutions to effectively reclaim the community from criminal networks. For a time, their efforts succeeded in significantly reducing violence and improving the city’s economic life. In 2015, CIPE led a project that helped Tijuana tell its story, which showed how private sector leadership and collaboration with government and civil society can address high levels of criminal violence. Since then, violence has sky-rocketed again in the city for a number of reasons. CIPE will help Tijuana business leaders and their allies seek to repeat their past success and improve life for citizens and businesses again while refining the earlier model and collecting new evidence about what works.

Even in fragile environments like the Democratic Republic of Congo, economic activity continues, creating an opportunity for a peaceful and sustainable future. Photo by Pamela Beecroft.

In Syria, CIPE helped a group of Syrian business leaders build an economic think tank, now based in southern Turkey, called the Syrian Economic Forum (SEF). The organization is a leading source of information and analysis about the economic situation in Syria, as well as an originator of market-oriented solutions, which humanitarian agencies, local councils, and other stakeholders can use to respond to the situation on the ground. SEF has also expanded opportunities for displaced Syrian businesspeople in Turkey by negotiating access to an underutilized free economic zone and facilitating the transition of Syrian-owned businesses into the formal economy. Other initiatives encourage entrepreneurship, including a new CIPE-led project to incubate food-based enterprises and provide workforce training in the food sector.

Read More…

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #86: Daniel O’Maley and Sarah Moulton on the Importance of Open Internet

From left: guest host Maiko Nakagaki, podcast guests Sarah Moulton and Daniel O’Maley, and host Pamela Kelley Lauder

This week’s podcast guests discuss the relationship between a thriving democracy and an open and accessible internet.

O’Maley is associate editor at the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), and Sarah Moulton is a senior manager of technology and innovation at the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

CIPE has partnered with CIMA and NDI to launch A Democratic Framework to Interpret Open Internet Principles, an initiative intended to counter oppressive actions and preserve internet openness. The initiative is composed of nine principles that reflect a commitment to inclusion, participation, and accountability in an open and free internet.

In the podcast, O’Maley explains that open internet, without the threat of government surveillance, gives citizens access to independent news media and information. Access to open internet also allows citizens to exercise their right to communicate freely with one another.

Moulton provides examples of authoritarian states that have shut down the internet, or slowed down internet speed, to silence opposition parties during elections.

The public is encouraged to provide feedback on A Democratic Framework to Interpret Open Internet Principles by October 31, 2017.

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.