Cipe Development Blog

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #14: Arian Ardie on How Indonesian Companies are Coming to Grips with Anti-Corruption Compliance

Arian Ardie talks about the burgeoning Indonesian economy, foreign investment opportunities, and how Indonesian companies are coming to terms with anti-corruption compliance. Meeting cultural norms and being compliant with international business practices is a real challenge in Indonesia. As one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia shows an inherent 'sloppiness' of implementing decentralization and democracy.

Girl Rising: Civic Education and its Role in Economic Empowerment

There is a strong correlation between education and positive health and socioeconomic outcomes for women and girls, yet education is often one of the first things to be disrupted when conflicts break out. In areas where traditional educational models become unavailable or unfeasible, civic education courses that nurture cultures of peace, promote dialogue and non-violent conflict resolution, and build the cognitive and participatory skills of participants can help fill a critical gap. Education, in concentrating on helping students realize their self-actualization, has been shown to make it more likely that there will be a democratic outcome to these conflict situations.

Kuwait Needs More Young Entrepreneurs

According to the official statistics, nearly 85 percent of the Kuwaiti population is still employed by the government. While the last decade has showed a surge in entrepreneurial initiatives, roadblocks and barriers remain. There have been many initiatives for and by entrepreneurs, such as support organizations, bazaars, and farmers markets that were geared toward small businesses and entrepreneurs, many of them just in their first or second year of operation. In 2010, Kuwait passed its first long-term development plan in almost 25 years. The government planned to spend $104 billion over four years to diversify the economy away from oil, and to boost private sector participation in the economy. Young business people are extremely supportive of the government’s initiative and focus on SMEs.

Defining Syria’s Future

Syria now has one of the lowest education rates in the world. A 2015 Save the Children report estimates that 2.8 million Syrian children are not attending school and a quarter of school buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Many youth must forego education and work to help their families survive. Yet what often gets lost in this picture is the resilience shown by many young Syrians and their determination to play a role in building a better Syria. The Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) is helping Syria’s youth to play an active role in society through a CIPE-supported course for recent high school graduates that provides an immersion in entrepreneurship, leadership, and civic skills.

The Trillion-Dollar Question: Financing the Sustainable Development Goals

After years of consultation, discussion, and debate, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will guide development efforts for the foreseeable future are close to becoming a reality — meaning a global commitment to end poverty in all its forms everywhere and eliminating extreme poverty entirely by 2030. The Financing for Development (FfD) conference met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia earlier this month to try to reach an agreement on the right mix of development aid, taxes, loans, trade, and private investment to pay for the ambitious agenda set out in the SDGs. The trillion dollar question is perhaps if we can most effectively unleash the full potential of the global economy in an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative way.

Economic Inclusion: Leveraging Markets and Entrepreneurship to Extend Opportunity

Burgeoning youth populations across the developing world emphasize the importance of achieving sustainable economic growth and providing widespread employment opportunities. Economic inclusion refers to equality of opportunity for all members of society to participate in the economic life of their country as employers, entrepreneurs, consumers and citizens — and the private sector is a central partner in fostering economic growth. CIPE’s latest Economic Reform Feature Service article outlines strategies to build a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem by engaging traditionally under-represented groups in economic and political life.

The Importance of Corporate Governance in Family-Owned Companies

The adoption of good governance practices is beneficial to listed companies, unlisted companies, and family-owned enterprises. Good governance practices strengthen companies by building relationships among investors, boards of directors, managers, and employees. Implementing corporate governance guidelines allows businesses to obtain capital at lower cost, enhance business strategy, and attract the best human capital. Corporate governances also promotes competitiveness in the marketplace and is an antidote to corruption. CIPE partnered with the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan to assess sectoral needs and develop the Corporate Governance Guide for Family-Owned Enterprises.

Startup Rising: Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in the Middle East & North Africa

The book Startup Rising, from the author Christopher Shroeder, is perhaps the first major portrait of the startup scene in a region that is often deeply misunderstood. It describes the desire of young people in the GCC and MENA regions to have social impact through their business ventures. It also tells the story of how businesspeople have used technology to work around cultural barriers and institutional challenges. Most importantly, the book attempts to map out the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. Shroeder sees three groups of people shaping the MENA entrepreneurship ecosystem: Investors, Conveners and Recognizers. They are all engaged in their societies, because they feel a sense of national pride and a desire to level the playing field for all businesses to compete.

Building a Culture of Corporate Governance in Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, state-owned companies play a significant role in the economy, especially in the banking, mining, and transportation sectors. Cronyism and corruption within these companies presents a major obstacle to Kyrgyzstan’s market- economic transition. The existing dynamic only reinforces a patronage system—the antithesis to democracy—resulting in poor economic performance and public service delivery. To reduce such overt political influence in corporate management and increase board independence, CIPE and its local partner, the Corporate Governance School (CGS), are educating board members from state-owned enterprises about the principles of corporate governance. During 56 hours of lectures, discussions and case studies, participants learn the fundamentals of corporate governance, including the function and responsibilities of boards of directors.

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