Tag Archives: annual report

Why Words Matter

Created with WordItOut.

Created with WordItOut.

Researchers have recently identified 23 words they term “ultraconserved,” meaning they haven’t much changed since the end of the Ice Age 15,000 years ago. These words—mother, man, fire, worm, and spit, among others­—sound and mean the same in most Eurasiatic language families. The most commonly shared word is “thou” – the singular form of “you”. Imagine that. Among the nearly 700 languages in these families, stretching from Great Britain to Western China, the Arctic to southern India, all of them share a very close version of this word.

Words matter because they allow us to communicate clearly. A decade ago, no agreed-upon phrase existed in Arabic for corporate governance, making debate and reform difficult. An issue can’t be addressed if it can’t be clearly defined. To that end, a CIPE-led effort resulted in the first standardized term for “corporate governance” in the Arabic language: hawkamat ash-sharikat. Developing a common term opened the door for broad-based dialogue on corporate governance in the Arab world.

Sometimes it seems that CIPE has its own language. Look at the word cloud above, created from CIPE’s 2012 Annual Report. Democracy, business, governance, public sector, private sector. These words are probably familiar, but it might not be immediately clear how they work together.

If you look at it more closely, however, you’ll see they are parts of a fully functioning, democratic, free market society. All of the pieces move together—an empowered, informed electorate can hold its government accountable. A strong private sector forms the engine of job creation and economic growth within a society. A true democracy is dependent on its citizens, its private sector, and its government to act in good faith and with good intentions.

Words matter for what they represent. The words in the image above represent the hard work of CIPE’s partners over the last year. Their stories and successes are inspiring, and we hope you’ll take the time to read about them here.

CIPE Pakistan Releases 2011 Activities Report

CIPE established its Pakistan field office in 2006, making a commitment to strengthening democratic and market reforms in one of the world’s most challenging countries. Relying on extensive international working with chambers of commerce, business associations, think tanks and other NGOs, CIPE sought to provide Pakistan’s private sector with the tools needed to serve as a catalyst for institutional reform.

Each year, CIPE releases a Pakistan Activities Report, highlighting the results of these efforts, and the successes and achievements of our partners. The 2011 Activities Report, which can be found here, demonstrates the encouraging impact that CIPE’s programs have begun to demonstrate.

Through our capacity-building initiatives for business associations, these organizations have realized the importance of their role in a democratic society, and have begun to take the lead in advocating for economic policy reform, and strengthening dialogue with government agencies, regulators and political parties. CIPE’s partners in the business community have become significantly more effective in such dialogue, and as a result, has become to have a positive effect on the policymaking process and the business climate.

In addition to capacity-building and policy advocacy, CIPE has worked with its partners in 2011 in areas such as corporate governance, economic journalism, and entrepreneurship development. CIPE and its partners are also becoming more active in using blogs and social media tools to advance the message of economic and democratic reform in Pakistan.

CIPE and its partners look forward to continued successes in Pakistan in 2012.

25 years of… making the world a better place

Call me an idealist, but I am positively inspired by the stories I’ve heard over the past several months from my colleagues here at CIPE. I’ve had the great pleasure of talking with, well, just about everyone at CIPE about the accomplishments of our partners over the past year as we’ve put together CIPE’s 2008 annual report. I remember my colleagues saying things like…

“I think we should talk about how people in Ghana have had this unprecedented opportunity to participate in the political process through the presidential and parliamentary debates ahead of the December 2008 elections. Many communities, for the first time, organized debates for their parliamentary representatives. Because of the debates, people found out what their representatives’ views actually were. In a lot of places, the incumbent was voted out of office in favor of the more qualified candidate.”

“We HAVE to talk about the Bishkek Business Club (BBC). They have done so much over the past several years – their ability to bring together Kyrgyzstan’s business community has been really amazing. They are just so persistent about creating dialogue with the government, and it shows. The government is actually listening to the business community, even asking for its input, precisely because of BBC’s efforts.” (Having lived in Kyrgyzstan and having seen how little interaction there has been between government and ordinary people, I cannot applaud enough the magnitude of this accomplishment.)

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Hernando de Soto about his letter in the report’s introduction. As CIPE’s first partner, he has a unique perspective on the value of CIPE’s approach. For me personally, it means a lot to work with an organization that is, as de Soto remarked, “in touch with the emerging-market perspective.” De Soto approached CIPE back in 1984 because CIPE staff “understood” what he and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy were trying to do. In my personal experience, I’ve seen well-meaning international organizations in a number of countries miss huge opportunities because they haven’t started by listening to the local people. Conversely, organizations that let local priorities shape their strategy are often the most successful.

The CIPE 2008 Annual Report

The CIPE 2008 Annual Report

Celebrating 25 years of strengthening democracy through market-oriented reform, CIPE’s 2008 annual report details these stories and many, many more. Hear what our partners have said about CIPE over the years, and be inspired!

What would you like to say to CIPE on its 25th anniversary? What story would YOU like to tell?