Tag Archives: MENA

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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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #47: Henry LaGue and Abi Stoltzfus on the Draw of International Development

Podcast guests Abi Stoltzfus (left) and Henry LaGue

Podcast guests Abi Stoltzfus (left) and Henry LaGue

This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, Ken and Julie sit down with two members of CIPE staff, Program Officer for Africa Henry LaGue and Program Assistant for Middle East and North Africa Abi Stoltzfus to discuss their work at CIPE, how they got interested in international development, and the paths that led them there.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Listen to past episodes of our show here.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes to help other listeners find the show.

Crunch Time for Egypt’s Economic Reform

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

This blog originally appeared in Arabic on CIPE-Arabia.org

Indeed, Egypt is going through a very difficult period. The current economic situation is intrinsically linked to the accumulated weight of poorly addressed economic challenges over the past forty years.  Economic problems were either ignored, or in other instances, their root causes were not addressed in a profound and decisive manner.  On the other hand, undoubtedly, Egypt has all the capabilities to become one of the largest world economies.  This potential has been noted in reports of financial institutions such as the 2010 Citibank report.

The current difficulty stems from fact that there is no alternative to undertaking a comprehensive economic reform program. However, in the short run all Egyptians- the wealthy, the poor, and the middle class, will have to bear the brunt of these reforms. That said, with sound management of reform program, Egyptians will enjoy the fruits of reform in the medium to long run.

There can be no doubt that enacting economic reforms is crucial for Egypt’s progress. Thus, “No,” is my final unequivocal answer to the most critical question of whether Egypt has other alternatives to entering into the loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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The New Middle East: An Uncertain Future

Map of Middle East Region

By Bahaa Eddin Al Dahoudi, CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS Fellow

What future awaits the Middle East? This question remains pivotal following the outbreak of the Arab revolutions four years ago. It keeps popping up as regional developments arise, especially with the decline of democracy and presence of revolutionary forces in many Arab countries. The region’s resort to military tools is increasing due to the rise of terrorism, violence, and political polarization, a decline of charismatic leaders, and a lack of support for institutional structures and democratic transitions. In a Middle East where “there is no winner,” two vital questions emerge: Is the Arab revolution the reason behind the chaos and collapses? And, what are the future scenarios for this inflamed region?

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A Way Forward for a Viable Syria

From left to right: Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Ayman Tabba, Ellen Laipson, and Geneive Abdo discussing the role of private sector and civil society democrats in reshaping Syria and countering extremism.

From left to right: Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Ayman Tabba, Ellen Laipson, and Geneive Abdo discussing the role of private sector and civil society democrats in reshaping Syria and countering extremism.

“We hear a lot about Syria— we hear the narrative of the Syrian government, we hear the narrative of ISIS, we hear the narrative of some of the opposition groups, but we don’t usually hear from the private sector, about what’s going on.”  

With this introduction, CIPE Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Abdulwahab Alkebsi opened a panel discussion on May 21 co-hosted by CIPE and the Stimson Center entitled “A Way Forward for a Viable Syria: An Insider Perspective from the Private Sector and Civil Society.” The panel featured Chairman on CIPE partner, the Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) Ayman Tabbaa, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Stimon Center Ellen Laipson, and Middle East Fellow at the Stimson Center Geneive Abdo. The panelists discussed the role of democrats from the private sector and civil society in reshaping Syria and countering extremism.

Tabbaa spoke of SEF’s role as the first independent economic think tank in Syria working to change the trajectory of the conflict and rebuild a better Syria for the future. “We have to go back to the roots of this conflict,” he told the audience. Under the regime of Bashar Al Assad, citizens are oppressed and disenfranchised— they lack opportunity for meaningful political and economic participation. But after four years of war, people are wondering what it means to be a Syrian anymore. It is crucial, in this context, to redefine the social contract and the relationship between the citizen and state. As a think tank, SEF is playing a leading role in doing so.

“…after four years of war, people are wondering what it means to be a Syrian anymore.”

Syrians are looking for democratic alternatives to the forces tearing the country apart. Every day we see news about atrocities and violence in Syria. Much of the media focuses on sectarian violence and ISIS-created mayhem. But, even with the chaos and human suffering, Tabbaa offered signs of hope through examples of SEF’s work during the conflict.

He spoke about the recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) that SEF signed with the Ministry in Local Administration of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG). SEF has a network of liaisons inside Syria who provide the SIG and Local Councils with economic data, analysis, and recommendations. Providing this on-the-ground information to decision-makers supports improvement of local governance and enhances the democratic legitimacy of the Councils

Another SEF project helps Syrian youth develop solutions to the challenges in their communities through civic education. SEF has provided 600 young Syrian high school graduates with training in entrepreneurship, leadership, and civic skills. The course offers an alternative to the regime’s propaganda and the empty promises of extremist ideology.

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A Ray of Hope on Health Care from an Unlikely Source

SAM_3681

Health care professionals in Egypt conduct a stakeholder analysis to help spell out governance principles for Egyptian hospitals.

A hip replacement in the United States, paid for out-of-pocket (i.e., without health insurance), would cost anywhere from $11,000 to $125,000, depending on what hospital you go to, according to a 2013 survey of 100 hospitals featured on National Public Radio.  And that was among the hospitals that, when asked, could actually produce a quote – 40 of the 100 hospitals surveyed couldn’t quote a price at all.

Those fortunate enough to have insurance don’t need to worry about price-shopping.  When I go to my primary care physician, I pay a $20 co-pay.  (Under our previous insurance, provided by my wife’s former employer, it was $10.  Why the difference?  Who knows?)  I have no idea how much my insurance company pays the doctor.  I suppose I could find out, but… honestly?  There’s really no compelling reason for me to do so.  It’s $20 no matter who I see.

And it turns out that, even if there were more incentive for me to price-shop, more expensive hospitals aren’t necessarily better hospitals, according to a 2014 study.

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