Tag Archives: reform

Democracy that Delivers #100: Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio during her First U.S. Appearance as Transparency International Chair

From left: podcast guest Delia Ferreira Rubio, guest host Gregg Willhauck and host Ken Jaques

On this special 100th episode of Democracy that Delivers, Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio shares her vision regarding the global fight against corruption and spotlights innovative new approaches that appear to be working.

Dr. Ferreira Rubio is an internationally recognized political scientist from Argentina and assumed the TI chairmanship in late 2017. She says the overall scale of corruption around the world has not diminished, but some unprecedented programs in key countries hold much promise. Critical to the anti-corruption efforts: “More information, more integrity, less impunity, and less indifference,” Dr. Ferreira Rubio said.

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Reforms are Needed to Help Turkish Women Gain a Greater Foothold in Politics and the Workforce

A woman runs several shops and bakeries in Kızılcahamam, Central Anatolia, Turkey. Despite important strides toward gender equality, just 32 percent of working-age Turkish women participate in the labor force.

In the past several decades, Turkish women have made important strides toward gender equality. Near-equal numbers of girls and boys now receive primary education, virtually closing the education gap. Women hold approximately half of all academic positions and comprise a third of engineers and lawyers. These gains are cause for celebration, but they only tell half the story of the quest for gender equality in Turkey. Women still hold little political power, and they struggle to maintain a presence in the labor market. With only 32 percent of working-age women employed full- or part-time, Turkey ranks last in women’s workforce participation among all 35 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Moreover, women account for just 15 percent of Turkish parliamentarians and hold only one cabinet-level position.

Pinpointing the cause of women’s absence from Turkey’s economic and political arenas is no simple task. The country has legislation in place to promote women’s equality and ease the hurdles that women face when entering the labor force. However, a combination of gaps in legal implementation and lingering traditional perceptions of women belonging in a domestic role hold women back from obtaining higher rates of employment.

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Bridging the Gap in Access to Justice: Lessons learned from Afghanistan’s Paktika Province

Disputes over property, such as land and cattle, and other matters are still settled by tribal leaders in many parts of Afghanistan. Huquq activities in Paktika may serve as a model for other communities and pave the way to a more formalized system of justice.

Despite substantial efforts by coalition forces and international donors to strengthen Afghanistan’s formal justice sector, many Afghans remain unaware or highly suspicious of the formal system. The system is considered highly corrupt, with decisions often made in the favor of the highest bidder. In contrast, public trust in informal justice mechanisms, primarily in traditional dispute resolution (TDR), remains high, according to a recent Asia Foundation report entitled “Afghanistan in 2017: A Survey of the Afghan People.” Afghans continue to prefer that tribal elders and local shuras (Arabic for religious councils) settle local disputes. Without improving access to more formalized justice systems or addressing the fragile state of legal reform, stabilization initiatives aimed at reviving the country’s economy will continue to have limited impact. Rather than create new parallel justice systems, often viewed as foreign and imposing, efforts to support and reform existing institutions have a far better chance of being locally accepted, effective, and sustainable.

Residents of Paktika Province are among those who continue to rely on traditional mechanisms to resolve disputes, primarily in the form of mediation shuras led by local tribal elders. Based on my experience in Afghanistan, Paktika provides an interesting case study regarding possible paths to strengthen the nation’s formal justice system. Unlike in other areas of war-torn Afghanistan, Paktika’s tribal system of governance has remained relatively intact, and ordinary citizens continue to resolve conflicts through locally accepted and readily available TDR. Understanding and regular use of the formal justice system by citizens of Paktika is likely, at least, a generation away. However, there is a way to begin closing the gap between the informal and formal systems. The key to improving the country’s justice system is finding the middle ground between the informal and formal systems and to begin knitting together the two systems. The Department of Huquq, which falls under Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice, is the place to begin.

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Democracy that Delivers #97: Reform Measures and the Role of Civil Society in Poland

From left: podcast guest Marek Tatala, guest host Marc Schleifer, and host Ken Jaques

What is the likely role of civil society in Poland amid calls for more policy changes and justice reforms? In this week’s podcast, Civil Development Forum Vice President, Marek Tatala shares his take and explains how CDF is using technology and other outreach mechanisms to empower citizens.

CDF is a CIPE partner and non-governmental think tank based in Poland. CDF’s mission is to promote and defend economic freedoms, rule of law, and also the concept of limited government.

For more background on some of the current challenges facing Poland nearly three decades after the fall of communism, as well as expert recommendations, read CIPE Global Director Anna Kompanek’s blog “Democratic and Market Values Face Obstacles in Poland”.

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Democracy that Delivers #95: Cadasta’s Frank Pichel Explains How Land Rights Impact Modern Economies

From left: guest host Anna Kompanek, podcast guest Frank Pichel, and host Ken Jaques

It is estimated that more than 70 percent of land in emerging economies is held informally, meaning without proper documentation. In this new podcast, Cadasta Foundation  Interim CEO Frank Pichel explains the vital role of land rights within modern economies and how Cadasta is leveraging new technology to strengthen and formalize land tenure systems in developing nations. Pichel, who co-founded the non-profit organization just two over years ago, says Cadasta now works with partners in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

CIPE Global Programs Director Anna Kompanek shares additional insight and describes other key projects aimed at addressing property rights issues, as well as related infrastructure or institutions such as access to finance and dispute resolution. CIPE has partnered with the International Real Property Foundation to create the International Property Markets Scorecard. The scorecard maps out the ecosystem of property markets in more than 30 countries to highlight strengths, weaknesses, and possible areas for future reform efforts.

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Democratic and Market Values Face Obstacles in Poland

The Committee on Defense of Democracy stages a protest in Warsaw on December 19, 2015.

After the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989, Poland became a poster child for democratic and market-oriented transition. While the necessary reforms were difficult and often painful to the average citizen, they did deliver political freedoms and rapid economic growth, reversing decades of totalitarian oppression and decline. Poland became a respected member of the European Union (EU) and a model for other countries in the region. Despite persisting challenges typical for transition countries, such as youth unemployment, the overall institutions of democracy and a market economy appeared solidly in place.

This began to change rapidly after the 2015 elections when the Law and Justice Party (PiS) candidate won the presidency and the party gained a majority of seats in the parliament. Inspired by the policies of Victor Orban and his party in Hungary, PiS began a rapid push to challenge Poland’s democratic institutions—from the Constitutional Tribunal to public media. However, unlike the Hungarian Civic Alliance (Fidesz), PiS does not possess the constitutional majority necessary to pursue such systemic changes, which put it on a collision course with Poland’s judiciary and civil society, as well as EU institutions.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #83: Jeffrey Smith on Political Change in Gambia

From left: podcast guest Jeffrey Smith, guest host Toni Weis and host Ken Jaques

This week’s guest is Jeffrey Smith, executive director of Vanguard Africa, a startup nonprofit that provides campaign advice and public relations support to pro-democracy leaders in Africa.

Smith aims to bring the international spotlight to Gambia, which is recovering from a more than two-decades-long dictatorship. Political and civil rights were nonexistent during the presidency of Yahya Jammeh, a former military officer who ruled the country from 1994 to 2016. Vanguard Africa partnered with Gambia’s presidential candidates in 2016 to campaign against Jammeh, who lost the election.

Despite this accomplishment, Smith says Vanguard Africa’s work in Gambia is unfinished; a country cannot transition from dictatorship to democracy overnight. The nonprofit is now focused on holding the new government accountable. To aide with the transition, CIPE has partnered with the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish a national business council for the private sector.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

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

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.