Archive for May, 2015

Building Democracy and Markets in Post-Conflict Societies

Muhamet Mustafa

Post-conflict reconstruction is a crucial period for societies dealing with the damage inflicted by violence. Those societies face complex challenges. But they also have a unique opportunity to build institutions of democratic governance and market economy. Capturing this opportunity is a necessary condition for achieving long-term development. In the short term, reconstruction is a balancing act of providing humanitarian relief without compromising the recipient country’s ability to develop a local capacity for sustained growth. International assistance is an important factor in reconstruction, but not without risks. In most cases, aid flows are poorly timed, do not account well for the absorptive capacity, and trigger some negative macroeconomic phenomena. The key lesson – and challenge – is to make sure that proper mechanisms exist for transparency, accountability, and grassroots input regarding how this aid is applied.

Transcripts available in English and Arabic

Political and Economic Empowerment of Women

Melanne Verveer

Although women make up half of the world’s population and contribute to a majority of production in developing countries, they generally remain excluded from formal participation in the economy. Around the world, women face barriers to entry when it comes to access to finance, training, gender biased regulation, and many other issues. Reducing these barriers and encouraging women to start and grow businesses is simply smart economics.  Any country that prevents 50% of its population from contributing to the economy will fail to realize its full potential. Furthermore, economic empowerment of women helps them to gain a political voice as well, and trends have shown that female participation in the political arena leads to better governance and a more stable environment.

Excerpted from a speech given at CIPE’s 2011 Conference “Democracy that Delivers for Women”

Barriers to Entrepreneurship

Hernando de Soto

The idea of entrepreneurship is prevalent in many discussions regarding effective methods of development.  By unleashing the economic productivity of populations in developing countries, those emerging markets can become competitive and innovative, overcoming developmental challenges by creating local solutions supported by local capital.  However, around the world countries struggle to foster entrepreneurship in a way that yields high impact results.  One main reason for this is that they fail to address the underlying institutional framework that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and grants protections for those that assume the risks associated with entrepreneurship.

Democracy, Market Economy, and Development Goals

Betty Maina

The Millennium Development Goals resulted in the most rapid reduction in poverty around the world in human history. Because of this success, it was deemed untenable to simply abandon these efforts when the 2015 deadline came to pass. As a result, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established a High-Level Panel to advise on a global development framework beyond 2015.  Constituted by 27 representatives from civil society, the private sector, and government institutions, the panel set about outlining a new development agenda that would “carry forward the spirit of the Millennium Declaration…with a practical focus on things like poverty, hunger, water, sanitation, education and healthcare.” At the heart of their discussions for creating sustainable development, the panelists focused on the vital components of “good governance and institutions that guarantee the rule of law, free speech and open and accountable government” that were not included in the original MDGs.

Half the Pie: Economic Growth Without Women is Incomplete

Selima Ahmad

Lack of cultural support, access to capital, and legal infrastructure still plague women business leaders in many parts of the world. Women chambers of commerce and women business associations offer a platform to address these barriers by advocating for necessary changes to open up the market to women’s economic activities. Through evidence based campaigns, these organizations are demonstrating that including women in private sector operations leads to financial gains for the full economy.


Advocacy as a Policymaking Tool

Camelia Bulat

Business represents an important segment of society – one that provides goods and services, creates jobs, attracts investment, drives innovation, and increases the standard of living. Yet, to fulfill its functions, business must be able to operate in a sound legal and regulatory environment. Experience of various countries shows that for such an environment to emerge, it is imperative for the private sector to participate openly in the policymaking process. Business associations’ engagement in public policy advocacy provides the private sector with such an opportunity. As a voice of the private sector, voluntary, independent business associations can lead advocacy efforts to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and business development and growth.