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The role of the private sector in building democracies that deliver prosperity and opportunity to all citizens is often overlooked. That is why the contribution made by private sector participants at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies is particularly noteworthy. The Ministerial, which took place on July 22-24 in El Salvador, gathered representatives of governments, parliaments, civil society, the private sector, and youth in the capital of the Community’s 2013-2015 Presidency, San Salvador. The leading theme for El Salvador’s Presidency was “Democracy and Development.” About 800 participants from more than 70 countries attended.
The Conference facilitated more in-depth interactions between representatives of civil society, parliaments, the private sector, and youth in designated sectoral forums. These forums took place on the opening day of the Conference and met simultaneously to discuss the most urgent issues in their areas of expertise and make recommendations to the participating governments. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) organized a panel at the Private Sector Forum on the topic of Public-Private Dialogue (PPD).
The Private Sector Forum produced a Declaration that emphasizes the principles of dialogue and corporate social responsibility as key elements of progress toward democracy and development. The Declaration of the Private Sector Forum was subsequently presented to high-level government officials from around the world during the final day of the Ministerial.Read more...
The World Economic Forum has surveyed 114 countries each year since 2006 to measure inequality between men and women in terms of economic participation and opportunities, educational attainment, health, and political empowerment. The Global Gender Gap Report index scores can be interpreted as the percentage of the gap that has been closed between women and men. According to their findings, no country has yet to achieve complete gender equality.
The inequality in economic participation (salaries, participation, and highly-skilled employment) and political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures) remains particularly wide. Globally, only 59 percent of the economic gap and 19 percent of the political empowerment gap have closed (100 percent would signify complete equality). Regionally, Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa are more unequal than North America, Europe, and Central Asia. The Middle East and North Africa region shows the largest gender gap.
There has, however, been progress. Of the 114 countries examined by the World Economic Forum, 97 have improved their gender inequality gaps over the last four years.Read more...
Frequently, business associations are the best advocates for government policies and regulations that affect business. Local business associations can identify constraints to conducting business regardless of sector or industry. The policy solutions they recommend can have a broad impact because business associations do not ask for individual favors; rather, they represent the interests of a specific sector or the business community in general. I encourage businesses everywhere to value advocacy and to value the development and strengthening of business associations because that is crucial to improving business climate and public-private policy dialogue in many countries and at many levels.Read more...
The Center for International Private Enterprise’s (CIPE) unique approach to effecting institutional change involves partnering with members of the business community in developing countries to help them become advocates for democratic and market-oriented reform. CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan, Ph.D testified before the Canadian Parliament on February 13, 2012 at the invitation of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the House of Commons.
“The challenges to reduction of poverty are many, but at the core addressing them comes down to the need for policy reforms that expand access to opportunity and instill confidence in public and market institutions,” Sullivan said. “Consequently, the role of the private sector in international development cannot be understood solely as the actions and contributions by individual companies from industrialized nations such as Canada. Rather, that role extends to engaging the local private sector in institutional reforms that help create a level playing field for all businesses in their countries, both domestic and foreign.”Read more...
Think Tanks and Democratic Governance
The wave of think tank proliferation across the globe since the 1970s has paralleled and enhanced democratic development. In young democracies and transitional economies, think tanks (also known as policy research institutes) have played vital roles in raising the quality of policymaking. These institutes bring new ideas to the attention of policymakers and the public, and new perspectives on policy formulation.
Armed with the information that think tanks provide, policymakers can make better decisions, civil society can advocate for citizens’ interests, and the public can participate more effectively in the policy process. Each becomes less dependent on existing sources of information and better equipped to make policy choices based on evidence.Read more...
Building Bridges: Why and how key linkages between economics, democracy, and governance affect economic growth
The debate on the best strategies to generate economic growth remains as relevant as ever, especially when it comes to the nature of political systems worldwide. What we have learned over the years is that to sustain inclusive economic growth over extended periods of time, it is essential that countries look more closely at the importance of democratizing reform and governance processes. In other words, democracy plays a key role in a country’s socio-economic development and economic reform is inseparable from the surrounding political climate.Read more...
- Access to Information
- Business Association Development
- Combating Corruption
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- Corporate Governance
- Democratic Governance
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
- South Asia
Call for Items
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.