Online Publications

2 02 2006

[for the next several posts I’m lumping in several entries into one post as a means to enter a few back-issues of the Bulletin.]

Belarus: Is a Peaceful Turn Towards Democracy Possible?, A new U.S. Institute of Peace report. “Described as the last remaining dictatorship in Europe, Belarus is scheduled to have a presidential election in 2006 that could prove crucial to the future of the country. After nonviolent democratic revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, questions arise about similar changes in Belarus: Is a peaceful transition to democracy in Belarus possible? And if so, what would be needed to make that happen?”

Bolivia at the Crossroads: The December Elections, An International Crisis Group report. “Bolivia could disintegrate or find itself in confrontation with the U.S. unless the 18 December elections not only produce a new government but are the first step to major reforms and national reconciliation. While the elections are an opportunity to begin to tackle deep institutional issues, they are likely to bring their own problems. The leading presidential candidates, Evo Morales and Jorge Quirogo, personify the deep divides in the country. Neither is likely to win a majority in the popular vote, which would leave the Congress – also to be chosen on 18 December – to decide the winner. Whatever the outcome, it is likely to be greeted by more protest – even violence. The international community, especially the U.S. and Brazil, must support the result of the election and focus on promoting areas of common interest, or Latin America’s poorest country will lose its only opportunity for peace.”

Building an International Learning Community, A report describes the major lessons learned and insights realized during the creation and development of the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network.

Bulgaria — voter education and get-out-the -vote in advance of the 2005 parliamentary elections, A CEPPS/NDI Final Report.

Elections, revolution and democracy in Ukraine: reflections on a country’s turn to democracy, free elections and the modern world,
ECDPM: What matters in a communication strategy, The latest publication by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) as a part of it’s on-going InBrief 11 series that focuses on the issues and experiences regarding information society, communication and partnership building between developed and developing countries with the purpose of creating an opportunity in which stakeholders can learn from one another.

Ethiopia and Eritrea: Preventing War, An International Crisis Group report. “Key international actors need to re-engage if a disastrous new war between Eritrea and Ethiopia is to be averted. At the heart of the dispute is the ruling of the independent Boundary Commission, which assigned the border town of Badme to Eritrea, with Ethiopia refusing to accept that ruling, at least without a prior dialogue – in which Eritrea refuses to engage. Those who helped put together the Algiers peace accords in 2000 – the African Union, the UN, the U.S. and the EU – need to put together a “3-Ds” strategy, involving concurrent de-escalation, demarcation and dialogue. The stakes could hardly be higher: neither side appears eager for a second war, but the situation is very fragile, and to dismiss current tensions as mere sabre rattling would be a serious mistake.”

Forced Migration Review 24: Prospect, Published by USIP. “The Grant Program supported the production and distribution of a special issue of the journal Forced Migration Review, which focused on Sudan. Articles by a wide range of authors including government officials, civil society leaders, international organization officials, and academics, cover issues including the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the crisis in Darfur, and the roles of various actors. The journal editors made a huge effort to launch the issue in Sudan and got attention in the Sudanese press and among influentials.”

Internal Displacement and Protection in Eastern Burma, Prepared by the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), an alliance of non-governmental organizations working with displaced Burmese in Thailand and along the Thailand-Burma border.

Kyrgyzstan: A Faltering State, An International Crisis Group report. “The ouster of President Askar Akayev in March raised hopes for change, but the months since the revolution have been marked by uncertainty and paralysis. The new government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has a unique opportunity to win the trust of its citizens, to show that 24 March was indeed a revolution, not a mere reshuffling of ruling elites, but it does not have unlimited time. Most importantly, it must tackle the underlying issues behind the country’s many conflicts by committing itself to transparency, fighting corruption and developing the rule of law. If Kyrgyzstan is not to become a failed state, the U.S., EU and other donors must also give the shaky government more political and financial backing.”

Lebanon: Managing the Gathering Storm, An International Crisis Group report. “The international community must put aside its own agendas and take steps to sustain Lebanon’s fragile stability lest the country fall victim to deepening communal divisions or increased regional volatility. Lebanon has navigated Hariri’s assassination, government crisis, elections and Syria’s withdrawal but further shocks are inevitable. Outside actors tempted to use this period to further competing agendas do so at Lebanon’s peril. The U.S. and EU should refrain from pressure to disarm Hizbollah and leave its status to Beirut’s own decision-making. Lebanon should work with the UN to organise a third-country trial of Hariri assassination suspects if they include foreign nationals but it needs sustained calm and immunity from outside struggles to design and implement the economic, judicial and security reforms that will define its future. The focus of domestic and international actors should be on strengthening governing institutions to secure democratic transition.”
The Main Outcome of Elections in Chechnya: Two Verticals of Power, (Russian). A Carnegie Moscow Center Briefing Paper.

Montenegro’s Independence Drive, An International Crisis Group report. “Montenegro should decide on its own terms and its own timeline whether to hold a referendum on independence, which it is entitled to do in April 2006 under the terms by which it entered the State Union with Serbia. Resolving Montenegro’s situation will enhance, not undermine, the region’s stability and will not affect the international process underway to determine Kosovo’s final status. The EU should encourage opposition groups to participate peacefully in the process and make clear that if Montenegro chooses to leave its State Union with Serbia it will accept the outcome. In the event that Montenegro chooses independence – likely but by no means certain – the EU should stand ready to offer assistance to both Montenegro and Serbia.”

Research Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines, [Kristina’s Pick of the Month!] These sage-like guidelines were developed by the Communication Technologies Branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Although the publication was made for use amongst research-based institutions within the medical field, much of the information provided is equally relevant to the design of information-oriented organizations and can be applied across a wide spectrum of web sites. Primary audiences for the guidelines are web site designers, managers, and others involved in the creation or maintenance of web sites. Note that the individual chapters are quite large and may take some time to download.

The Rise and Fall of Parliament. Vol. 1, (Russian). By Viktor Sheynis. “The revival of parliament in Russia after a long period of non-existence, its political transformation and collapse, and the creation in 1993 of a new Russian Constitution are the central topics of this book. Contemporary documents from those days, their analysis and reevaluation from today’s perspective, together with previously unpublished archive materials, and personal memoirs, all combine to recreate a multi-dimensional picture of this turbulent transitional period in the Russian history. The book’s special value lies in the fact that the author himself was a key participant in these events.”

Rising Up in Response: Women’s Rights Activism in Conflict, This downloadable text by the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights considers the study of women’s rights activists who respond to conflict or crises in their own countries.

Strategic Technology Planning Toolkit, Ungana-Afrika has been providing strategic technology planning services to the development community in southern Africa for nearly three years. The processes have been refined through experience and are presented here in their current form to assist other technology support providers to implement technology planning in their own context.

WHO Global Study on Domestic Violence Against Women, This report by the World Health Organization presents a global perspective on domestic violence against women. Covering ten countries including Bangladesh, Peru and Tanzania, the document finds that violence against women is still widespread with far reaching health consequences. The report covers violence against women in both partner and non-partner experiences. It offers a set of fifteen recommendations to strengthen national commitment and action on violence against women.




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