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.
Participants at the EPAC G4G anniversary event in September 2016. Photo courtesy of the G4G facebook page.
The 2008 Rose Revolution, which marked Georgia’s turn down a more democratic, market-based and Western-oriented path, kicked off a process of robust reforms and aggressive moves headed by then-President Mikheil Saakashvili to tackle the endemic corruption that had long hampered the country’s economic development. The turn was affirmed in 2014 when Georgia signed the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) and Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), signaling a commitment to enact further reforms and open its markets to Europe – a step that Georgians envision as eventually leading to EU membership.
However, despite the strong anti-corruption measures enacted after 2008, concerns about the rule of law and quality of governance also arose during that period. While there was not necessarily a threat of reforms being derailed, there were legitimate questions as to how representative the process was under the then-ruling government. Those trends led (in part) to the defeat of Saakashvili’s party in parliamentary elections in 2012, followed by the defeat of the presidential candidate from his party the following year. The business community had generally been in favor of many of the changes enacted under Saakashvili—though small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) did not always have a seat at the table.. With the change in government came some concerns that the economic reform trajectory could be reversed.
Posted on1 November, 2016byCIPE Staff|Comments Off on 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.
As I prepared for the final paper of my college years, I recall my unwavering conviction in the infamous saying by Muhammad Yunus – Founder of Grameen Bank – that, “Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations.”
Multiple public policies and methods have been devised, yet the primary objective has always remained unchanged: provide citizens with a decent standard of living. This, I believe, can be achieved through paving the way for entrepreneurial initiatives and creating a just and equitable investment environment, where investors, citizens, workers, and employees alike are familiar with their respective rights and obligations.
Posted on25 October, 2016byCIPE Staff|Comments Off on Democracy that Delivers Podcast #39: András Lőke on the State of Democracy in Hungary
Podcast guest Andras Loke
This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, President of Transparency International Hungary, András Lőke, discusses the state of democracy in Hungary and the hard work it takes to maintain that system over time. He also discusses the cultural differences between countries in Central Europe and how culture can influence democratic development. Lőke is also founder and editor-in-chief of www.Ittlakunk.hu, a group of websites covering 23 Budapest neighborhoods that receives 800,000 unique visitors a month. He speaks about the government’s influence on the media. Lőke also talks about how corruption undermines democracy and the “economy within the economy” that institutionalizes corruption in Hungary.
Lőke recently spoke at the conference The Illiberal Turn?: Reasserting Democratic Values in Central and Eastern Europe. The conference was co-hosted by CIPE with the Atlantic Council, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. You can conference presentations and panel discussions on the Atlantic Council website.
Women from the Papua New Guinea Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry participating in a capacity building workshop
Since its creation in 1983, CIPE has been working with business associations, chambers of commerce and economic think tanks around the world to promote institutional reforms and advance economic and political empowerment.
Women business associations are one type of business associations that CIPE has partnered with in order to support the economic empowerment of women. Recognizing the unique role such organizations play, CIPE has focused on strengthening women business associations and thus empowering women to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their local communities and countries.
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.