Tag Archives: advocacy

Using Technology to Strengthen Policy Advocacy across South Asia

CIPE training session in Kathmandu, Nepal

Throughout South Asia, women in business have faced several barriers to achieving full civic and economic participation. To tackle these challenges, the South Asia Regional Women’s Economic Network has helped amplify women’s empowerment in the region. Supported by CIPE, the network has been able to effectively advocate for policy reforms that create more opportunities for women-owned businesses. This network is comprised of women business associations from Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

The achievements of the network continue to show that now, more than ever, focusing on women’s economic growth is key to strengthening democracy. For example, Multan, in South Punjab, and Peshawar—both cities in turbulent regions—are home to large artisan communities consisting mainly of women working on hand embroidery and handcrafted textiles. Despite challenges for women to participate economically and politically, both the Southern Punjab and Peshawar Women’s Chamber pushed the government to change a policy that was impeding the earning potential of women artisans. Eventually, the State Bank issued policy instructions that led to lengthening the amount of time that artisans have to pay back their loans. Extending credit will help them in fulfilling orders, and allows them to plan purchases and sales further in advance, with less pressure for rapid repayment.

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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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Women Head More than a Quarter of Refugee Households. What’s Next for Them?

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.

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Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets

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.”

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Launching a Platform for Peer Learning for Economic Think Tanks in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is currently home to around 8% of the world’s population. Collectively, the countries that comprise Southeast Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – are projected to become the fourth largest economy globally by 2050, with a combined workforce that is already the third largest in the world – after China and India. The region has experienced rapid economic growth over the past decade and exhibits tremendous diversity in terms of ethnicity, culture, religion and income levels. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 signaled a strong support from members for closer economic integration of these diverse populations.

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Implementing the New Urban Agenda

Image via FIABICI website

Image via FIABICI website

I staffed a stand at the UN Habitat III Exhibition in Quito, Ecuador in October. FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation launched The City We Need is Affordable book during the conference. Any citizen of Quito could visit attend the UN meetings, the Exhibition and the Habitat III Village. For a week we demonstration how our cities can be sociality inclusive and engaging.

The City We Need is Affordable book was the culmination of a contest to identify practical, profitable and scalable private sector solutions to quickly increase the supply of affordable, accessible and equitable housing around the world. Housing markets are the foundation of economically vibrant and inclusive cities. Millennials want to work, live and play in diverse cities and are driving the revitalization of many urban districts.

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Public-Private Dialogue Key for Economic Development in Afghanistan

112816-vivek-afghanistan

Fifteen years after the U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan began, it feels as if many of the same problems persist. Thousands of Afghans have been made jobless as military bases have closed across the country and development and foreign assistance programs have been reduced or have ended; the National Unity Government continues to be paralyzed by political infighting and rampant corruption; and a resurgent Taliban have threatened to overrun several provincial capitals and have orchestrated a number of terrorist attacks across the country, including in Kabul. Despite these worrying trends, the Afghan people have made significant progress since the overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001. Basic services such as electricity and running water were unavailable even in Kabul during the years of Taliban rule, and have now spread throughout the country. Trips between cities that used to take days due to unpaved roads can now be completed in hours. Prior to October 2001, making an international call involved traveling across the border to Pakistan. Today, almost 85% of the population has mobile phone coverage, according to a 2012 USAID assessment.

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