Asia

Challenges to democracy vary widely across countries in East and South East Asia, as does CIPE’s approach. In new, struggling, and transition democracies, CIPE projects target the institutional weaknesses that underlie political instability, such as corruption, governance, rule of law, and opaque policy-making processes. In countries making democratic progress, CIPE helps democracy deliver by improving government performance, thereby making deviations from their positive trajectories less likely. In closed political systems, CIPE facilitates the spread of the marketplace of ideas, creates space and opportunities for free association, and empowers at-risk populations with knowledge of their legal rights and protections.

Throughout the region, CIPE works to promote democratic societies and private sector led economies, to strengthen civil society, and to cultivate public demand for good governance and political accountability.

Program Results & Impact

  • Papua New Guinea: CIPE helped to establish the first Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGWCCI) in Papua New Guinea. PNGWCCI reached a major milestone as an organization and as a chamber of commerce when the chamber held a successful policy round-table event focusing on the government’s draft small business development plan. The chamber also published a policy white paper in response to the government’s draft Small and Medium Enterprise Master Plan, which included recommendations to address the challenges faced by women-run and women-owned small businesses in PNG.
  • Thailand: The Thai Institute of Directors (IOD), with CIPE support, has provided anti-corruption and anti-bribery training to more than 500 business executives. Approximately 650 companies have joined the Collective Action Against Corruption coalition and have signed the Joint Declaration On Fighting Corruption. This document lays out specific and tangible steps that a company must take to reduce corruption-related risks.

    Coalition companies include the largest and most prominent Thai and multinational companies, and business associations, in the country. More than 150 coalition companies have completed an external audit process to certify that they have fully implemented the steps identified in the Joint Declaration On Fighting Corruption.

    The program is inspiring organizations in other country’s to establish similar initiatives. For example, after hearing about the success of the Thai IOD program, the Mauritius Institute of Directors requested CIPE’s assistance to help them develop a similar program to address corruption through constructive business engagement.

  • Cambodia: CIPE partnered with Silaka, a local NGO, to improve transparency in the public procurement process at the local level, specifically by assembling a coalition of local NGOs, businesses, and village representatives as independent procurement observers. The project has empowered citizens locally to participate in and help oversee the bidding process to improve accountability in procurement and advocate for good governance. The Deputy Governor of Kampong Thom province has concluded that the project not only improved transparency but also encouraged citizen participation in public affairs, as demonstrated by higher rates of attendance at public dialogues. Moreover, provincial officials compiled data showing that competitive contract awards today are 50 percent cheaper compared to before the start of project due to improved competition and reduced opportunities for collusion and corruption. This was confirmed by the Commune Chief of San Kor, who noted that the resulting savings enable his community to conduct more public work projects for the same amount of money as previously spent.

Read more about CIPE's programs in Asia.

Publication by Region

Using Technology to Strengthen Civil Society in Cambodia

Article at a glance:

  • Cambodia remains one of the least developed countries in Asia, but internet connectivity is on the rise.
  • Digital tools, often inexpensive or free, can multiply the impact of advocacy and help associations run more efficiently.
  • CIPE and Panoply Digital worked with Cambodian partners to identify useful online tools for advocacy and capacity development.

Carrots Before Sticks: Motivating Mid-Sized Businesses in Emerging Markets to Launch Compliance Programs

Article at a glance:

  • Corruption is primarily an institutional issue and combating it requires proactively preventing corrupt practices through supply- and demand-side reforms.
  • Collective action and anti-corruption compliance are practical approaches that reform-minded businesses can use to build a critical mass of companies committed to operating with integrity.
  • Companies in emerging markets can greatly benefit from improving their anti-corruption practices, which makes them more attractive business partners in global value chains.

CIPE

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