Online Publications

13 02 2006

Accord policy brief on Nagorny Karabakh, http://www.c-r.org/accord/nk/policy.shtml. Since the ceasefire of 1994, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorny Karabakh has remained firmly deadlocked. An internationally sponsored peace process based on closed talks between Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders has yielded several proposals but no significant agreement. Rather than preparing populations for possible compromises, leaders in the region have long sought to bolster their domestic ratings with hard-line stances. With the competing principles of territorial integrity and self-determination at the heart of this conflict, renewed violence remains as likely as a peaceful resolution.

Assessing the Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions, http://www.ichrp.org/paper_files/125_p_01.pdf (English), http://www.ichrp.org/paper_files/125_p_02.pdf (French), http://www.ichrp.org/paper_files/125_p_03.pdf (Spanish). Co-published with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This report proposes detailed benchmarks to evaluate national institutions’ compliance with the Paris Principles, and suggests how national institutions may use indicators to measure their performance and impact.

Choosing the right projects: designing selection processes for North-South research partnership programmes, http://tinyurl.com/d6ej3. This manual aims to help readers to design, revise, and implement project selection processes in North-South research partnership (NSRP) programmes. In particular, it addresses the complex challenge of dealing with the multiple objectives of NSRP programmes: scientific quality, development relevance, and adherence to partnership principles.

Community-based Networks and Innovative Technologies, http://propoor-ict.comunica.org/. Much of the talk about an information society and the use of technology in such a society remains an unfulfilled promise in the developing world. This disconnect is particularly strong in rural areas, which often do not have the necessary infrastructure to take part in any social or economic improvements that may be the by-product of such developments. This report from the United Nations Development Program, authored by Sean O Siochru and Brian Girard looks at how an innovative combination of community-driven enterprises and the new wave of wireless and related technologies may assist such communities most effectively. The report is divided into five primary chapters, and a number of appendices that contain detailed case study information from such countries as Poland, Argentina, Peru, and India. Those users who may be pressed for time may wish to read the preface and the report summary offered here.

Democracia en la Regin Andina: los telones de fondo, http://tinyurl.com/bcwkc. “In Democracia en la Regin Andina: los telones de fondo, thirteen analysts of political and electoral systems examine aspects of democratic life in the region and provide some guideposts for future action. The essays include an overview of the ways in which citizens’ perceptions of and attitudes toward democracy have evolved over the past decade; an assessment of the Andean party systems, including an examination of why they have been supplanted by authoritarian leaders in some countries but not in others; and an overview of the inner workings of the region’s parties, including the selection of candidates, financing of parties and elections, and obstacles to and effects of greater political participation by women and indigenous people.”

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Handbook for National Human Rights Institutions, http://tinyurl.com/cfo7t. “This handbook is intended to help national human rights institutions maximize the effectiveness of their functions and powers in addressing economic, social and cultural rights.”

Enter Hamas: The Challenges of Political Integration, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3886&l=1. An International Crisis Group Report. “Hamas is set to join the Palestinian legislature and possibly the government after next week’s elections. The U.S. and EU currently avoid (in the American case, bar) contacts with the Islamist movement, deny funding to projects with Hamas-run municipalities, and threaten to halt aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas joins it. The result is an emboldened movement the West has little leverage over. There are risks, but the West needs to adopt a policy of gradual, conditional engagement to encourage Hamas to choose politics over violence. Incorporation into local and national governance may cause it to move away from the military path by giving it a stake in stability and emphasizing the political costs of a breakdown. The EU, with more flexibility than the U.S., should move first and Washington consider following if the approach proves effective.”

The Filtering Matrix: integrated mechanisms of information control and the demarcation of borders in cyberspace, http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_1/villeneuve/. By Nart Villeneuve, “Increasingly, states are adopting practices aimed at regulating and controlling the Internet as it passes through their borders. Seeking to assert information sovereignty over their cyberterritory, governments are implementing Internet content filtering technology at the national level. The implementation of national filtering is most often conducted in secrecy and lacks openness, transparency, and accountability. Policymakers are seemingly unaware of significant unintended consequences, such as the blocking of content that was never intended to be blocked. Once a national filtering system is in place, governments may be tempted to use it as a tool of political censorship or as a technological “quick fix” to problems that stem from larger social and political issues. As nontransparent filtering practices meld into forms of censorship the effect on democratic practices and the open character of the Internet are discernible. States are increasingly using Internet filtering to control the environment of political speech in fundamental opposition to civil liberties, freedom of speech, and free expression. The consequences of political filtering directly impact democratic practices and can be considered a violation of human rights.”

Getting it Right, Doing it Right: Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, www.womenwarpeace.org/issues/ddr/gettingitright.pdf. This handbook produced by the United Nations Development Fund for Women is aimed at those planning and executing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). It contains reflections and lessons learned, case studies from Liberia and Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, and practical guidance in the form of a model standard operating procedure.

Global humanitarian assistance update 2004-05, www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/GHAupdFinal2inccov.pdf. This updated report by Global Humanitarian Assistance contains 34 charts that aim to provide the latest information and statistics on trends in humanitarian assistance. The document considers where money is being spent, by whom and on what.

Hong Kong Journal, http://www.hkjournal.org/. Carnegie Endowment and partner Robert Keatley have launched a new online publication that is devoted to political, economic, and social issues relating to Hong Kong and its relations with mainland China, the U.S., and other governments and international organizations.

In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How, http://tinyurl.com/9jtty (English), http://tinyurl.com/9ym2l (Arabic). A Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report. “A Council-sponsored Task Force says that the United States should support the evolutionary development of democracy consistently throughout the Middle East. It points out that a strategy to promote democracy entails inherent risks, but that ‘the denial of freedom carries much more significant long-term dangers.'” The Task Force finds that “democracy promotion is the best means to achieve stability in the Middle East and is further important in restoring America’s credibility in the Arab world. It is also consistent with American ideals. The report states that democracy will not resolve the problem of terrorism entirely, but that ‘more open political environments will likely weaken the pull of extremist ideologies that fuel violence.'”

Katanga: The Congo’s Forgotten Crisis, www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3861&l=1. An International Crisis Group Report. “Tensions in Katanga province could lead to acute violence in the March elections unless domestic and international actors move now to reform the army, rein in militias and eradicate impunity and corruption. Three conflicts set the stage for a tense campaign in the nation’s most mineral-rich province: rivalries between southerners and northerners, between outsiders and natives and between Mai-Mai militias and the national army. To help secure the province, the UN Mission (MONUC) should deploy several thousand more peacekeepers to Katanga to pressure Mai-Mai militias to integrate into the national army or demobilise. Parallel chains of command in army and administration need to be broken and the judicial system strengthened to curb abuses. Katanga cannot continue to be plundered and mismanaged by corrupt officials and substantially ignored by the international community.”

Local Government and Human Rights: Doing Good Service, http://www.ichrp.org/paper_files/124_p_01.pdf (English), http://www.ichrp.org/paper_files/124_p_02.pdf (Russian). This report looks at the increasingly important role played by local governments in our daily lives, from delivering health, water and sanitation to providing primary education, street lighting and housing. It discusses how applying human rights principles, such as non-discrimination, participation and accountability, can help local government officials perform more effectively and with more legitimacy.

The Police That We Want: A handbook for oversight of the police in South Africa, www.afrimap.org/english/images/report/file427a2bd1f3841.pdf. Published by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation & Open Society Justice Initiative. A handbook for assessing police performance in countries undergoing democratic transition.

CD-ROM on Political Party Finance, www.idea.int. A new CD-ROM by International IDEA that contains research material designed for political party experts, political foundations, students of politics and news editors. Included is the Handbook on Funding of Political Parties and Elections Campaign that looks at the strengths and weaknesses of different national political finance laws and regulations from a global and regional perspective. The CD-ROM also contains a matrix of political finance laws and regulations in 111 countries of the world. The disc provides access to IDEA’s database on political finance laws and regulations, a comparative resource covering regulation and enforcement; public funding provisions; bans on sources of funding; and on disclosure rules and ceilings for income and expenditure in more than 100 countries. To order a free copy of the CD-ROM, send an email to publications@idea.int. To download the books for free, visit International IDEA’s Political Parties homepage.

Radio Talkshows for Peacebuilding: a guide, www.radiopeaceafrica.org/assets/texts/pdf/Talkshows_EN_color.pdf. This guidebook is aimed at talkshow presenters and producers. It is a guide to exploring the questions surrounding conflict as a primary subject in the media that dominates news reports and fills up radio talkshows. Most of the examples in the book are drawn from African countries, and it is written with that continent in mind however, the issues, discussion and skills are relevant to a much wider spectrum of countries. The authors argue that talkshows which use conflicts and disagreements as a way of attracting listeners, risk doing more harm than good. They intensify the conflict under discussion, and rather than inform listeners, they leave them angry or fearful, or with the sense that the conflict will go on forever. The book highlights how good talkshows require diversity, spontaneity and flexibility, that there are no absolute rules about how to discuss conflict in a more constructive manner. The authors also consider radio talkshow formats and new ideas for these formats, the role of the presenter and the importance of the media telling the whole story.

Sudan: Saving Peace in the East, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3858&l=1. An International Crisis Group Report. “Eastern Sudan is a powder keg that could erupt into a new war unless the government and the insurgent Eastern Front agree to a provisional ceasefire, and internationally-backed negotiations with UN mediation begin this month, before the SPLM completes its scheduled withdrawal. To defuse the situation, Khartoum should send a senior delegation, with joint SPLM/ruling NCP party participation to negotiate sustainable peace based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which the NCP and the SPLM signed a year ago and which offers a framework to solve Sudan’s regional wars. The East, like Darfur and the South, has a legitimate claim on greater power sharing and wealth sharing in a new federal government. Unless those grievances are addressed and a piecemeal approach to peacemaking is abandoned, Sudan’s vicious war cycle will spread again.”

Synthesis report: Democracy in the Arab World, http://tinyurl.com/akdmm (English), http://tinyurl.com/dnhp9 (Arabic). “Jordan and Yemen have stressed the need to boost women’s participation in politics. With six female members of Parliament in Jordan’s Lower House and none in Yemen, political will and measures such as quotas will be required to enhance women’s access to the political field. Women’s political participation was one of the themes addressed in two national workshops on “Building Democracy: Approaches to Local Agendas”, held in Jordan and Yemen in November 2005. The workshops, co-organized by IDEA and its regional partners, also discussed political parties and electoral system reform in both countries. The two workshops were based on the findings of three recently released IDEA reports on Building Democracy in Jordan, Egypt and Yemen and suggested ideas for future democracy assistance and support to the democratic developments in the Arab region.” Individual country reports:

Towards a participatory regime, http://tinyurl.com/athjc. This paper attempts to understand theory and practice in participatory projects and programmes. By asking who participates, it aims to find out what theory holds and where the reality stands, as far as popular participation in development is concerned. This work is largely drawn from research projects in Kerala, in the area of participatory development and empowerment of women, looking at factors that contribute to women’s participation in government.

Verdad, justicia y reparacion, www.idea.int/publications/vjr/upload/IDEA-IIDH.pdf. “International IDEA, in cooperation with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, is taking forward the analysis contained in the Reconciliation After Violent Conflict Handbook published in 2003. The focus of the analysis is now the relationship between processes of reconciliation and agendas for democratization in the Latin American context. With five case-studies (Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru) as starting point, the work aims at re-launching the debate on reconciliation and democratization in the Latin American region.”

Winter 2006 Overseas Report, www.cipe.org/pdf/whatsnew/overseas/OR_Winter_2006.pdf. Produced by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) features stories on the Ukrainian conference on the business and economic priorities of the country, a conference in China that attracted 2,000 entrepreneurs, CIPE partner the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development’s win of the Templeton Freedom Prize for Initiative in Public Relations, the banking sector in Iraq, and businesswomen in the Balkans. The center spread focuses on the opening of CIPEs new field office in Karachi, Pakistan.

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