Students in Instituto Invertir's EmprendeAhora program, discussing and learning about the links between democracy and market economics. (Photo: CIPE)
Some would argue there is no one size fits all approach to development, no cookie cutter solution applicable to every problem. That does not mean translatable ideas are nonexistent.
CIPE draws on an extensive partner network from over 25 years of experience, gathering and sharing leading practices in the field of democratic and market reform to promote benchmarking and the translation of effective program ideas across time and borders. Intent on facilitating transfers of knowledge among its international network of reform leaders, CIPE launched the Leading Practices Contest in 2011 to recognize innovation and good practice.
Instituto Invertir (Invertir) took first place with its entrepreneurship education program for university students called EmprendeAhora.
Invertir believes the best way to overcome poverty in Peru is by promoting entrepreneurship and a market economy, and views education as the primary method to achieve these objectives. It targeted university students because the youth in Peru often face limited job opportunities and harbor feelings of rejection or dissatisfaction with market economy.
Since its inception, EmprendeAhora has trained over 500 university students who went on to create over 40 new businesses so far. In the near future, CIPE will bring a representative from Instituto Invertir to Washington, DC to share their story and experiences, as well as meet with donors, policy institutes and other experts.
The 2010 presidential election in Colombia presented second place winner Fedesarrollo with the unique opportunity to enhance economic policy in the country.
In an effort to raise the quality of debate on economic issues, Fedesarrollo organized presidential debates and wrote policy papers for the incoming administration. The debates required candidates to make public statements about their specific policy agendas.
Fedesarollo also distributed approximately 800 copies of the policy papers and debate materials to government officials, members of congress, business associations and the academic community immediately following the debates, and an e-book containing all of the documents was made available to the public through the Fedesarrollo website.
As a result of Fedesarrollo’s efforts, numerous debate topics became priorities in President Santo’s administration and several recommendations from policy papers have been passed into law.
Economic information is not clearly understood or reported by much of the media in the Kyrgyz Republic. Many journalists lack a basic knowledge of economic concepts necessary to interpret economic information, and they do not know how to accurately convey information to the public. Misinformation and published mistakes occur often.
To address these issues, third place winner, the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange Press Club, adopted an innovative approach to journalist education. KSEPC recognized that many journalists do not attend training during working hours because it cuts into their ability to do their job, so they infused trainings sessions with press conferences to allow journalists to gain both economic education and access to information they can use to write stories.
The leading practices submitted by Instituto Invertir, Fedesarrollo, and KSEPC embody innovative approaches to common problems facing developing countries. While many regions have vastly different operating environments, key components of these approaches can be tailored to fit the local context when necessary.
The contest also yielded several other quality entries with practical and creative approaches to democratic and market oriented reform. CIPE is currently building a platform to share a collection of these practices and stimulate a discussion about what really works. Currently, all three winning entries can be read here. Congratulations to the winners!