Tag Archives: transparency

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #44: Aurelio Garcia on Making Trade More Inclusive

Podcast Guest Aurelio Garcia

Podcast guest Aurelio Garcia

This week on the CIPE Democracy that Delivers podcast, international trade expert Aurelio Garcia talks about trade facilitation and how tackling red tape makes trade more inclusive. Garcia differentiates trade policy from “trade facilitation,” which involves improving the procedures required to move goods across borders. He describes how trade facilitation helps bring the benefits of trade to more businesses and entrepreneurs. Garcia explains that you cannot “solve 21st century problems with regulations from the 1950s and 60s” and discusses how data and IT systems are key to making trade systems more efficient and accessible. Garcia also talks about his first job working for a garlic exporter in Spain and how that experience still informs his work today.

Watch a video that highlights the way trade facilitation makes cross border movement of goods much easier in Central America.

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

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #39: András Lőke on the State of Democracy in Hungary

andras-loke

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.

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 to help other listeners find the show.

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #38: The Rapid-Reaction Anti-Corruption Project

Discussion moderator Christian Caryl with panelists Carl Gershman, Sarah Chayes and Eric Hontz at the Rapid Reaction Anti-Corruption Project event on September 16, 2016.

Discussion moderator Christian Caryl with panelists Carl Gershman, Sarah Chayes and Eric Hontz at the Rapid Reaction Anti-Corruption Project event.

On September 16, 2016, CIPE hosted a panel discussion on the need for rapid response in countries where a significant opportunity has appeared for achieving anti-corruption progress. CIPE’s Rapid Reaction Anti-Corruption Project is designed to address this need by deploying a team of anti-corruption experts with international stature to countries in transition. The experts, with NGO, business, and law enforcement backgrounds, would be swiftly deployed to countries which have governments newly empowered to address corruption, and a strong economic interest from foreign firms previously repelled by corruption risk.

Today’s podcast is a recording of the event at which experts discussed corruption challenges and practical solutions. The event was opened by CIPE Managing Director Andrew Wilson [then Executive Director (acting)] and was moderated by Chrstian Caryl, Editor of the Foreign Policy Democracy Lab blog.

Panel speakers included President of the National Endowment for Democracy Carl Gershman;  Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for National Peace Sarah Chayes, and author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security Sarah Chayes; and CIPE Program Officer for Ukraine, Russia and Central Asia Eric Hontz.

Like what you heard? Listen to previous podcasts at: http://www.cipe.org/podcast

Ukraine’s Future Tied to Strengthening Public Governance

Francis Fukuyama giving a lecture about case study methodology at the Leadership Academy for Development in Ukraine

Francis Fukuyama giving a lecture about case study methodology at the Leadership Academy for Development in Ukraine.

Ukraine is a resource rich country, an entrepreneurial country, a country filled with talented individuals who work hard for their families, but why do so many Ukrainian people live in poverty? The answer, perhaps, is public governance, or more precisely, a lack thereof.

To be clear, allow us first to define the words “public governance,” as we understand them. Simply put, public governance is the relationship of power among the government, civil society, and the market. Given the strong skepticism concerning democracy in nations near Ukraine, without improvement in the standard of living of Ukrainians, the Ukrainian people may soon lose their excitement about their own bustling and fledgling democracy. In short, Ukraine’s democracy must begin to deliver tangible benefits to its citizens.

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Privatization in Ukraine: Not So Fast

lugansk-factory

In Ukraine, thousands of companies are still owned and operated by the government — a legacy of Soviet central planning that bleeds money from the already strained state budget. With the country in economic crisis, there have been renewed calls for Ukraine to speed up its privatization process and sell these firms to private owners who can restructure them and run them more efficiently.

Ukraine’s former Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Aivara Abromavicius, recently made a well-reasoned argument for faster privatization on the Atlantic Council’s blog. Similarly, the IMF has also urged Ukraine to speed up the pace of privatization.

However, focusing on the pace rather than the quality of privatization will likely result in a botched privatization process — which will undermine the little bit of faith Ukrainians have left in the free market and state institutions, potentially leading to the growth of populist movements and destabilizing the current government.

Ukrainian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) remain a drag on the national budget. They serve as incubators for corruption and gray market deals and in some cases serve as piggy banks for Ukrainian politicians. While I agree with Abromavicius that “simplicity, clarity, and transparency,” must be maintained in order to successfully privatize Ukrainian state owned enterprises, his concept of creating a simplified privatization procedure (without advisers) through an online auction of over 1,000 smaller SOEs will likely lead to public anger over a process that would surely enrich insiders.

Without independent advisors overseeing the due diligence process and hiring independent auditors, bidders will not have transparent access to information about the companies listed. This would, in effect, be like buying from an unrated seller on eBay with only a vague description of what is for sale – something that would not inspire confidence in potential buyers.

A lack of independent advisors–and the transparency and investor assurances they would bring to an auction—can lead to lower realized prices for the Ukrainian government, attracting only those bidders with inside knowledge of the true status of the enterprises for sale.

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Storytelling: A Tool for Changemakers in Civil Societies Around the Globe

Storymakers Twitterchat 2016

Join us for the #Storymakers2016 Twitter chat on May 4

On May 4, CIPE is partnering with Democracy International and Devex for TechSoup’s 24-hour, around-the-world #Storymakers2016 Twitter chat. We’ll dig into how civil societies are using traditional and emerging storytelling tools to empower individuals and shift democracy, governance and human rights conversations around the globe.

Join us for this one-hour live Twitter chat on May 4, 2016 at 4:00pm EST, 10:00 pm Johannesburg time.

#Storymakers2016 Twitter Chat: Storytelling: a tool for change makers in civil societies around the globe

Curious about this topic? Tune in by following along at #Storymakers2016 to hear from global development leaders and civil society experts to discuss these questions:

  • What is working in #DemocracyRightsGovernance #communications + #storytelling? How are int’l orgs supporting #HumanRights advocacy + #CivilSociety?
  • What is not working when #GlobalDev orgs try and support #CivilSociety or #HumanRights activists in developing countries or repressive regimes?
  • What risks do activists and #CivilSociety organizations face when they utilize storytelling and other #comms tools?
  • Can storytelling and #communications counter the trajectory of countries with closing democratic space, turbulent politics, or even conflict?
  • How can int’l orgs, NGOs, CSOs, and activists overcome these challenges and improve #GlobalDev outcomes through better #storytelling?

Participants will include:

  • CIPE — The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.
  • Democracy International — Democracy International (DI) promotes democracy, human rights, good governance, peace, and international development around the world.
  • Devex — Devex is the media platform for the global development community. We connect & inform 700,000+ dev professionals worldwide.

Follow the organizations on social media:

Twitter:  @CIPEGlobal, @DemocracyIntl, @Devex, @TechSoup
Facebook: Center for International Private Enterprise, Democracy International, Devex

Benchmarking Public Procurement

benchmarking-procurement

Did you know that public procurement — goods and services bought by governments — accounts for around one-fifth of global GDP? Or that in most high-income economies public procurement takes up a third of total public spending, and in developing countries even more – about half?

These figures represent a significant share of national wealth. If channeled properly, public procurement provides indispensable benefits to a society, such as infrastructure, hospitals, and schools. Yet, if squandered, public procurement can set back the economy and contribute to massive corruption. In fact, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) estimates that corruption drains 20-25 percent of procurement budgets globally, which amounts to staggering $2 trillion per year.

The World Bank’s recent report, Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016, goes beyond the aggregate numbers to compare data on regulatory environments that affect the ability of companies to do business with the government in an open and transparent way.

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