Tag Archives: democratic governance

Supporting Colombia’s Peace Process: Monitoring Economic Regulation and Transparency in the Use of Post-Conflict Resources

Colombia’s peace process aims to bring about reforms that will benefit agricultural families in post-conflict zones.

Introduction by Tim Ridout:

Colombia’s 2016 Peace Accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) made headlines throughout 2016 as it was in the final stretch of negotiations and eventual adoption on November 30, 2016. Although it has since attracted less attention in international news, the ratification of the agreement simply marked the completion of one step in the process. Since then, Colombia’s government, politicians, business community, and civil society leaders have been hard at work implementing the next phase in the accords, which seeks to bring rapid reforms and concrete gains to the Colombian people so they see the benefits of peace, particularly in the zones most affected by the conflict or previously controlled by the FARC. The key is to fill the vacuum quickly to prevent turmoil. Improved economic opportunity has been central to this effort, as have reforms to issues that fueled the conflict, such as coca production, land rights, and corruption.

Blog by Víctor Saavedra:

CIPE has joined forces with Fedesarrollo, Colombia’s primary think tank, in order to complete two objectives. The first is to monitor the extraordinary powers that the president has been given to issue rules that will implement the peace accord signed in December 2016; the second is to do an analysis of the public procurement system in the country and recommend how to more transparently administer the post-conflict resources (which in 2018 will reach nearly one billion U.S. dollars).

Regarding monitoring, Fedesarrollo has published two analyses thus far: one about regulation of a major land reform law (Decree 902 of 2017) and the other about substituting coca cultivation (Decree 896 of 2017). The land reform decree, which implemented one of the primary points of the Peace Accord, affected the processes for assigning, restoring, sanctioning, and regulating the rights of use and property regarding land. The business associations, primarily from the agricultural sector, had serious questions about the rule, which led to debates in the country.

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How Good Governance Got a Bad Name – and Why Governance Still Matters

Local leaders in the city of Talisay in the Philippines used CIPE partner the Institute of Solidarity in Asia’s performance governance system (PGS) to harness the city’s tourism-, agriculture-, and location-based strengths to reshape development and ensure sustainability through community involvement.

At CIPE, we’re accustomed to examining problems of democratic and economic development through a governance lens. We wonder how entrepreneurs can possibly succeed when the policy and regulatory environment is stacked against them. We wonder how good policy and regulation can be made without input and feedback from affected constituencies. We wonder what the point of policy is if government cannot be counted on to implement it. To address these problems of the enabling environment and government performance, we look for systemic change.

Not everyone thinks this way and many are frustrated by the demands and promises of good governance recommendations. They want to see immediate, tangible results from development. They see places where Western-style reforms have not delivered and other places that have done well economically despite a lack of rule of law or freedom. They see obstacles to fixing governance and wonder if it’s worth the effort.

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Threats to Democracy in Slovakia

By Peter Goliaš, Jozef Hajko, and Michal Piško

The Institute for Economic and Social Reform (INEKO), with support from CIPE and the National Endowment for Democracy, conducted a study on the recent trends in Slovakia affecting democracy in the country. The study shows considerable popular dissatisfaction with the quality of democracy, worsening in the last few years. In order to ensure broad input, the research was based on a representative public poll, a questionnaire conducted with selected public figures, detailed interviews with business people, and discussions with thought leaders and students. The results reveal that the most frustrated segment of the population is prone to accept radical non-democratic solutions. This is a warning sign that further strengthening of extremists and opportunists in Slovakia’s political life is a real possibility.

The latest CIPE Feature Service article summarizes key findings of this study along with recommendations for various stakeholders, including the government, political parties, civil society, media, businesses, donors, as well as teachers and the society at large.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #56: Aurelio Concheso on the Challenge Facing Liberal Democracy in Latin America

Podcast guest Aurelio Concheso

In this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, Aurelio Concheso, President of the Advisory Board of Venezuelan think tank Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento (CEDICE), and a member of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network, discusses populism in Latin America and the challenges to democracy in that region. He uses the example of Chile to discuss the importance of a free market for meeting citizen demands. He also discusses the need for a social context for market reforms, and how open markets and a level playing field create a vested interest in the rule of law by all citizens.

Concheso also talks about how problems with democracy and globalization have led to dissatisfaction and populism, and explains what he considers to be the antidote to the challenges facing democracy in Latin America today.

This podcast refers to a previous CIPE/NED panel discussion event titled “Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets.” Listen to that discussion here.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #55: Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets

(From left to right) Panelists Güray Karacar, Selima Ahmad, Aurelio Concheso, and moderator Karen Kerrigan

In recent years, populist and authoritarian leaders around the world have openly sought to discredit liberal principles and undermine democratic values such as the rule of law and checks on authority. This encroachment on liberal democracy has been accompanied in many cases by attacks on market principles and the suppression of independent business voices.

This week’s podcast is a recording of an event CIPE recently co-hosted with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) titled Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets: The Role of Free Markets and Rule of Law.

Specifically, the event explored whether liberal economic reforms and accountability in economic policy can help bolster the consolidation of democracy and, if so, under what conditions.

  • What are the common challenges facing liberal democracy and market economies?
  • What are the economic arguments in support of liberal democracy?
  • How can a free-market system respond to demands for economic and political inclusion?
  • What types of reforms would promote a level playing field and accountability in government?

Opening remarks were provided by:

  • Greg Lebedev, Chair, Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy

Three members of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network engaged in a panel discussion on the topic:

  • Aurelio Concheso, President of the Advisory Board, Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento (CEDICE), Venezuela
  • Güray Karacar, Former Secretary General, Corporate Governance Association of Turkey (TKYD)
  • Selima Ahmad, Founder and President, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)

The discussion was moderated by:

  • Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

We hope you enjoy the conversation!

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 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.

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.

Iraq’s Political Wrestling Arena

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.

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