Democratic governance and development go hand in hand. Transparency and the rule of law provided by well-functioning democracies create favorable business environments where firms of all sectors and sizes can thrive. In turn, inclusive economic growth lifts populations out of poverty and strengthens public expectations of accountability. To celebrate the International Day of Democracy, CIPE and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) held a joint event on September 15, titled “Democracy and Governance: Key Foundations to Sustainable Development.”
Democracy facilitates sustainable development and reducing poverty –primary objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Panelists at this CIPE-MCC forum demonstrated how the SDG goals that pertain to democratic governance are vital to fighting poverty, creating jobs, boosting economic growth, and making sure that development is sustainable. They discussed how strong democratic institutions, a robust rule of law, and inclusive economic policies that create a level playing field for everyone are essential elements of a development agenda with lasting impact.
In his opening remarks, CIPE’s Chairman Greg Lebedev noted,
Our two institutions [CIPE and MCC] are in the same business (…). We begin with a common raison d’etre: to help countries around the world enjoy a little more freedom and little more economic prosperity by embracing certain democratic behaviors. (…)
Bad governments will do almost anything to keep their seat in the limousine . . . with a callous indifference to their citizens’ interests or well-being. CIPE recognizes that all the ingredients of “democratic governance” don’t always exist at the same time or in the same place. (…) But all of these initiatives are intended to advance – albeit incrementally – a favorable climate for “democratic governance” and “free market behavior” because one can’t really exist without the other.
Other speakers at the event included: Beth Tritter, Vice President, Department of Policy and Evaluation, MCC; Chris Maloney, Managing Director, Selection and Eligibility, MCC; Alicia Phillips Mandaville, Vice President for Global Development Practice, InterAction; and Andrew Wilson, Executive Director, CIPE.
Greg Lebedev’s full remarks are available as CIPE’s latest Feature Service Article.
Full video of the CIPE/MCC event can be viewed here on the CIPE website.
Anna Kompanek is the Director for Multiregional Programs at CIPE.