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- An increasing number of policy and governance challenges such as inclusive growth, poverty reduction, government accountability, business integrity, and innovation demand private sector participation in order to generate viable solutions.
- Public-private dialogue (PPD) provides a structured, participatory, and inclusive approach to policymaking directed at reforming governance and the business climate, especially where other policy institutions are underperforming. Governments that listen to the private sector are more likely to design credible reforms and win support for their policies.
- Dialogue platforms have proven their ability to deliver results. Practitioners around the world can learn from and apply successful PPD approaches through a new community of practice online hub, www.publicprivatedialogue.org.
Recent public opinion data from a number of democratizing countries supposedly reveal a disturbing trend to abandon democratic reforms in favor of a return to authoritarian rule. However, this popular disaffection stems not from a loss of faith in the principles and benefits of democracy, but from frustration at the slow pace of reform. Many citizens, frustrated with their economic situation, believe that a strong, centralized government could provide a quick fix, mistakenly blaming the lack of improvement in economic inequality on reform itself. In many cases, the democratic nature of these regimes did not extend beyond the ballot box, and reforms have either been abandoned or carried out incompletely. Meanwhile, states that have undertaken democratization more fully and transparently are reaping economic rewards. Therefore, instead of giving up on democratic reform and forfeiting their rights in hopes of rapid economic improvement, citizens should insist on the development of the institutions that underlie functioning democracies and market economies.Read more...
Analysts see Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva establishing a development model that combines the macroeconomic elements of the Washington Consensus with enhanced spending on social services. The new plan, dubbed the “Brasilia Consensus,” would elevate social welfare to the level of structural reforms within a larger economic reform process, providing a new model of development for the region. But notwithstanding some success, the reforms have hewn closely to macroeconomic elements and have not yet included the promised boost to social welfare programs that would have made the Brasilia approach unique. It remains to be seen if the current administration will end up implementing its new vision of economic reform that can serve as a model to other countries in the region.Read more...
China’s introduction of economic reforms in 1978 gave the private sector greater control over the economy, but under an official state ideology that severely restricted citizens from organizing or participating in the policy-making process, any business associations that existed then were most likely adjuncts of the government with no accountability to their membership. In recent years, though, private business associations have begun to develop at the local level in cities all over China as the result of the government’s need to reduce spending combined with the desire of private entrepreneurs to translate their newly created wealth into an enhanced role in the policy-making process. These newly formed voluntary membership associations enjoy financial independence and focus on networking, information dissemination, and business facilitation, but they also provide members with access to government officials, thereby creating a forum for a public-private dialogue. Though hesitant to confront the government as differences of opinion on policy matters are uncovered, associations will have to transition into policy advocates or risk losing membership.Read more...
Neoclassical economics fails to explain how countries can achieve economic growth because it was designed to talk about how well-developed markets work, but many countries have a fundamental problem in that their markets are not well-developed. Economic development depends on getting the right economic and political institutions in place that provide incentives for people to be productive. The most important of these institutions are well-defined property rights and a legal system that will enforce contracts and agreements. Because institutions represent local beliefs, values, history, and conditions, successful reforms must employ local knowledge.Read more...
Despite the liberalizing reforms of the past decade, the countries of Latin America have failed to secure stable political systems and sustainable, open economies. The region seems unable to break out of a pattern in which it veers between dictatorships and nascent democracies, lacking the core elements of prosperity: a functioning, impartial judicial system, property rights, and full rights for women and the region’s impoverished majorities. The reason for this instability lies in Latin America’s institutions – the moral and behavioral rules that guide citizens’ actions. The paradigm of underdevelopment includes ideas handed down through Latin Americans’ early education that include a fatalistic attitude toward politics and economics that bars one generation after another from honestly evaluating and resolving the intransigent state of Latin American development. Well-trained teachers represent the first option for transforming this paradigm into a paradigm of progress. In addition, the media, politicians, and other opinion leaders must band together to push for a broad public discussion of this issue in Latin America.Read more...
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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CIPE welcomes articles submitted by readers. Most articles run between 3-7 pages (1000-3000 words), but all submissions relevant to CIPE's mission of building accountable, democratic institutions through market-oriented reform will be considered based on merit. Economic Reform Feature Service articles are primarily geared toward an international, non-academic community of businesspeople, economic reformers, and policy-makers. Specific policy recommendations and articles based on direct experience are encouraged. In addition to articles, we are willing to adapt suitable lectures, speeches, research notes, and academic papers.
Articles should be sent to: email@example.com.