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.
Posted on10 January, 2017byCIPE Staff|Comments Off on Democracy that Delivers Podcast #50: Marc Schleifer on Democratic Trends in Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia
Podcast guest Marc Schleifer
CIPE Regional Director for Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia Marc Schleifer works on democracy projects in vastly different parts of the globe. On today’s episode of the Democracy that Delivers podcast he discusses the trends that are affecting the health and development of democracy in his areas of focus, including the attitudes and outlooks of the citizens in each region.
Schleifer describes his early interest in social issues and how his fascination with Russia led to eight years living in the country working in law and international development (and his brief stint as a rock musician). His recollections from this time, including the exciting and chaotic mood in pre-Putin Russia, contrast sharply with his assessment of Russia both today and in the near future. He also talks about the rise in populist sentiment in many parts of the world and challenges us to avoid knee-jerk reactions and look at the political and economic developments behind it.
CIPE has long supported the belief that entrepreneurs and private enterprise drive gains in productivity and innovation and are thus crucial to building prosperous societies that deliver opportunity to all. As such, CIPE has devoted significant attention to the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs by supporting business education programs in countries around the globe. Through programs like Tashabos in Afghanistan, Riyadeh in Syria and Turkey, and EmprendeAhora in Peru, tens of thousands of young people interested in starting their own businesses have gained the skills necessary to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
Posted on15 November, 2016byCIPE Staff|Comments Off on Democracy that Delivers Podcast #42: Kalsoom Lakhani on her Journey from Storytelling to Empowering the Startup Community in Pakistan
Podcast guest Kalsoom Lakhani
On this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, Invest2Innovate (I2I) CEO and Founder Kalsoom Lakhani talks about the trends, opportunities, and challenges that entrepreneurs face in Pakistan and the report that I2I just launched that looks at the environment for start-ups and investors in the country. Lakhani traces her work today back to her childhood in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and to her early interest in conflict resolution that stemmed from hearing about her family’s experiences during the Bangladesh War of 1971. The stories she heard as a child still resonate today as she seeks to increase understanding around the world about what everyday life is really like in countries such as Pakistan that are often best known in the West for violence and instability. Lakhani talks about how her interest in social justice led her to venture philanthropy and to the work she does today helping shape a supportive environment for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses in Pakistan.
Posted on8 November, 2016byCIPE Staff|Comments Off on Democracy That Delivers Podcast #41: Manogya Sharma and Sarita Sapkota on Generating a Voice for Reform in Nepal
From left: Guests Sarita Sapkota and Manogya Sharma, with guest host Jenny Anderson and Ken Jaques
This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, Manogya Sharma and Sarita Sapkota from CIPE partner Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, discuss their organization’s work in Nepal providing policy solutions to economic challenges and generating public-private dialogue to forge a way forward on key issues facing the country. Sharma and Sapkota talk about how their organization has grown over the last ten years from focusing on youth-based programs to wider issues, including the development of a Nepal Economic Growth Agenda. They also discuss the importance of coalition-building and how to make sure your message reaches the government, even in times of political turbulence. Discussion also covers the investment climate in Nepal and the environment for entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses.
Learn more about Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation through their website and follow them on Twitter @SamriddhiTPF.
This past September was my second time visiting Papua New Guinea (PNG), known as “the land for opportunity.” From my experiences there, this phrase is no exaggeration. PNG is a country full of untapped (natural) resources, talents, and compassionate people who love their country and are devoted to their families. But, despite these advantages, gender inequality is crippling development in PNG.
Driving around town in Port Moresby, you can see street vendors selling all sorts of locally made goods and products. At a recently established Market Expo, you can purchase beautiful “bilum bags” and coffee beans, among other items, from the highland regions that are unique to PNG. But these products have untold stories behind them in that many were handmade by women whose meager income is solely dedicated to supporting her family while her spouse’s income is not shared. When and if the family is taken care of, these women are left with nothing else to spend, undercutting their independence and leaving them vulnerable to their spouses’ abuse.
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The CIPE Development Blog provides coverage of the Center for International Private Enterprise and its partner network at work -- highlighting successes, drawing out lessons from failure, and exploring the broader issues of political and economic development. For more information visit CIPE.org.