Tag Archives: democratic governance

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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Drivers of Violent Extremism

The Kabul Bank scandal is a prominent case of corruption that undermines governance, and an example of one of a number of factors that can drive extremism.

Extremist violence presents a serious threat to democratic values and societies around the world. The last decade has witnessed increased attention to how and why individuals become involved in extremist violence, including “push” and “pull” factors. “Push” factors are underlying conditions favoring the rise or spread of violent extremism (VE). “Pull” factors work on an individual level and have a direct impact on recruitment and radicalization. They include: social status and respect from peers, a sense of belonging, adventure, and self-esteem, and the prospect of achieving glory and fame. There has tended to be an over-emphasis on the search for broad root causes and an under-emphasis on the examination of individual motivations. This tendency has reduced the success of past programs seeking to counter VE. In the future, programming should focus on preventative measures aimed at preempting radicalization by mitigating specific drivers that are known to heighten the likelihood of VE.

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Another Baldrige Ambassador Takes the Message Overseas

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.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #49: Ali Ayadi on Progress in Tunisia’s Democratic Transition

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.

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Private Sector in Ukraine Makes Strides Toward Curbing Corruption

ukraine-conference

When one thinks about Ukraine in the context of corruption, the picture typically does not look rosy. The headlines about corrupt oligarchs and continued graft easily come to mind – including recent revelations about the riches disclosed by top officials in their asset declarations. This wealth stands in stark contrast with the financial condition of most ordinary Ukrainians, causing public outcry. Not surprisingly, Ukraine was ranked 130th out of 167 in the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

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The Continued Decline of Internet Freedom

Image via Freedom House

Image via Freedom House

For the sixth consecutive year, internet freedom throughout the world has continued to decline. Although efforts to close the digital divide by bringing more people online has continued, 67%, or two-thirds of all internet users, fear the unprecedented penalties from living in countries with high levels of censorship. According to Freedom House’s latest report, Freedom on the Net Report 2016, Estonia, Iceland, and Canada are the most open countries when it comes to internet freedom, while China, Syria, and Iran are the most restrictive.

The 2016 report gathered information from 65 countries, measuring each individual country’s level of internet and digital freedom by using a variety of indicators. Since 2015, Turkey and Brazil have continued to move away from internet freedom, and just 14 countries registered overall improvements from the previous year.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #40: Claude Fontheim on the Need for “Globalization with a Human Face”

Podcast guest Claude Fontheim (left) with hosts Julie Johnson and Ken Jaques.

In this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, CIPE Board member Claude Fontheim talks about how the rule of law, transparency, and good governance underpin strong, inclusive development. Fontheim explains that investment alone is not enough and says that support for public institutions is needed to ensure that the benefits of trade and economic growth reach all segments of society. He further discusses the direct link between development around the world and U.S. national security interests.

During the episode, Fontheim also talks about how U.S. companies contribute to the good governance of countries they invest in, and how they partner with NGOs and civil society to support initiatives in sectors such as health, education, and women’s rights.

Fontheim also discusses his early work with the Democratic Leadership Council and how he was inspired by Bill Clinton’s vision of “globalization with a human face.” He also shares how his family’s experience during the Holocaust shaped his world view and generated his interest in the forces that knit societies together and create peace.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

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