Online Publications

2 05 2006

Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy,

The Banyan Tree Paradox: culture and human rights activism, Published by the International Human Rights Internship Program. ‘The Banyan Tree’ posits that human rights are fundamentally about power – protecting individuals from the power of the state, or maintaining an equal balance of power among individuals and groups. It suggests that: “Human rights standards represent the best current understanding internationally of what is needed to protect human dignity.”

Building a Successful Palestinian State, “The United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations — along with Israel and the Palestinian Authority — all officially support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. This study focuses on a single analytical question: How can an independent Palestinian state, if created, be made successful? This book, a collaboration between two units of the RAND Corporation — RAND Health and the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy — examines what it will take to put the new state on the road to stability and economic, political, and social prosperity over the first decade of its independence. The authors examine options for strengthening the governance of the new state and the structures and processes that will ensure its public safety and security. They describe approaches for promoting the state’s economic development, access to safe and adequate supplies of water, health and health care, and education, identifying ways that leverage Palestine’s many strengths and address the many challenges a new state will face. Finally, the authors estimate the investment required over the first ten years of statehood to help ensure security, build infrastructure, and facilitate the success of the new state.”

Capacity Building of Civil Society, “The main purpose of this project (November 2004-October 2005) was to build up the capacity of civil society by improving NGOs’ knowledge on the two EU anti-discrimination directives (2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC) and relevant national legislation and policies in this area. NGOs were trained to become a key interlocutor of the authorities and to assist the victims of discrimination.”

Caricature… The Laughing Tragedy, (Arabic), (English). This report contains content analysis of caricatures and cartoons published in Egyptian newspapers during the period March 1st to December 31st 2005. This quantitative report is the third of its kind that aims at giving a closer look at issues and problems of human rights in Egypt through analyzing the relevant materials published in Egyptian newspapers. The final goal of the publication is to help expanding the scope of freedom of publication on issues related to human rights and development in Egypt.

Central Asia: What Role for the European Union?, An International Crisis Group Report. “The European Union is missing its opportunity to make a positive impact on Central Asia, where despite a surface calm, the potential for instability and conflict is high. EU assistance to the region has largely taken the form of technical assistance, which shows few results for the time and money invested. The EU has to rethink its approach: there should be a move away from failed regional projects and recognition that the five Central Asian states face very different domestic political and economic situations. Technical aid may be appropriate for Kazakhstan, but Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan need more classic development help, particularly in infrastructure and public health. Engagement with the repressive regimes in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is unlikely to yield results, and EU policies should instead focus on facilitating their transition from dictatorship.”

Congo’s Elections: Making or Breaking the Peace, An International Crisis Group Report. “The Congo’s first free elections in 40 years should be a major step toward ending the country’s long conflict, but any missteps could disrupt the fragile peace. The election date, already postponed five times, is still uncertain. There is potential for electoral fraud, parties are relatively weak, and the main opposition group plans to boycott. The most immediate threat to stability comes from the east where the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) stands to lose most of its influence and could try to fuel chaos in hopes of undermining the polls. Disenfranchised politicians elsewhere might also challenge the results violently if the elections are not fair and inclusive. The international community and the transitional government must ensure there is adequate monitoring of the whole process, or the Congolese will suffer the consequences for years.”

The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance, A Working Paper by the Center for Global Development. “What economic policies are necessary to win popular support, and in turn help support fledgling democracies? Are they necessarily the same as the policies required for tackling difficult issues of economic stabilization and reform? Conversely, what sorts of economic policies are most likely to spark a backlash against young and fragile democratic regimes? Do the leaders of young democracies face trade-offs as they ponder their electoral and economic strategies? In this Working Paper, Nathan Converse and Ethan Kapstein address these questions and find that deteriorating or stagnant economic performance constitutes a red flag or warning signal that a country is at risk of democratic reversal. They also find considerable variation in economic performance, suggesting that the design of political institutions in new democracies may have a significant influence on the probability of their survival.”

Establishing Law and Order After Conflict, “In a nation-building operation, outside states invest much of their resources in establishing and maintaining the host country’s police, internal security forces, and justice system. Strengthening all these elements is crucial for achieving sustainable law and order. This book examines in detail the post-Cold War reconstruction efforts of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, three major cases in which the United States and its allies have attempted to reconstruct security institutions. It then compares them with similar but smaller projects in Panama, El Salvador, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and East Timor. In doing so, the authors make three main arguments. First, establishing security during the “golden hour” — the period immediately following major combat operations — should be the most significant concern of policymakers. Second, building a functioning justice system is a critical and often overlooked task of rebuilding security. Third, the authors provide rough guidelines for successfully reconstructing security after a major combat operation, including recommended force-to-population ratios, financial assistance, and duration of reconstruction. For future policy recommendations, the authors encourage decisionmakers to consider such principal elements as negotiating formal peace treaties or surrenders, establishing of comprehensive post-conflict doctrine, and using outcome-based metrics to measure success.”

Foresight 2020: Economic, industry and corporate trends, A new report by Economist Intelligence Unit. “Almost 40% of the increase in global GDP in the coming 15 years will come from China (27%) and India (12%). Brazil and Russia trail in their wake, each contributing just over 2% to the increase in world GDP between now and 2020.”

Global Corruption Report 2006, Unfortunately the entire report is not as one download (boo!), but each section is available as separate downloadable files.

Human Rights Lesson Plans for Southeast Asian Schools, (English), (Indonesian). “This publication is an initial attempt at developing human rights teaching guides for Southeast Asian schools. It is based on the experience of educators in the sub-region in teaching human rights. It is the result of a continuing partnership among educators and institutions in Southeast Asia.”

Nepal’s Crisis: Mobilising International Influence, An International Crisis Group Report. “As strikes and demonstrations across Nepal signal the approaching end of the king’s direct rule, international actors must prepare for a transition and help start a peace process. There is a need for a Contact Group – including India, the U.S., and the UK, working with the UN – and a complementary Peace Support Group of other key donors and financial institutions. Together they should create a common front to maximise international influence in assisting Nepal to escape from its worsening conflict. The Contact Group should focus on immediate practical planning and maintain pressure for a peace process, while the Peace Support Group should review development assistance. Time is clearly running out for royal absolutism. The people of Nepal should now decide the course of events, but the international community can help guard against the risks of a messy transition.”

The Net for Journalists: A practical guide to the internet for journalists in developing countries, This training handbook has been designed for print and broadcast journalists and journalism students in developing countries around the world, to help gain practical skills in using the internet for day-to-day journalistic assignments. It provides a step-by-step guide to understanding and utilizing the many and varied aspects of the internet. The major part of the book is devoted to explaining how to search the internet.

North Korean nuclear crisis: settlement perspectives, (Russian). Written by Rose Gottemoeller and Yuri Fedorov; jointly published by the Carnegie Endowment and the Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations (MGIMO). “[The book] contains a comprehensive analysis of the factors and prospects for the development of the situation resulting from the implementation of North Korea’s own nuclear program.” The publication will be officially launched March 14 at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Online News, For many home broadband users, the internet is a primary news source, This March 2006 report looks at trends in use of online news sites, compared with traditional news sources such as TV news and newspapers. Factors discussed include type of Internet connection, age of users, type of news sites visited, willingness to visit sites with registration and paid content, and more. From the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Political Transition in Mauritania: Assessment and Horizons, An International Crisis Group Report. “The international community must press Mauritania’s leaders who seized power in a coup in August 2005 to respect their promises of democratic transition. The new strong men have made a good start in some ways but some are closely linked to the old regime and may prefer not to redress past injustices. This could fuel political tensions. Deep and controversial reforms cannot be completed quickly, but the government should at least work closely with all national political forces to take initial steps. Until parliament is elected, a framework for regular consultation should be established and unilateral decisions avoided. Contracts should be fairly allocated and rule of law promoted. A law-bound democracy within a reasonable timetable is a common interest. The international community should insist the new leaders promote change rather than preserve the status quo.”

The Promises and Challenges of Digital Learning, The supposed promise of digital learning initiatives across the globe continues to draw commentary from both passionate believers to unrepentant skeptics. Recently, the staff at the Development Gateway website, created a special report on the topic of online education, and more specifically “…at lessons learned, innovations that work, and the future of ICT in education for developing countries”. The homepage contains a number of “Issue Roundtables”, where a variety of experts in the field weigh in on topics such as “Can it solve the education crisis in poor countries?” and “Is high internet cost the only obstacle?” After perusing a few of these archived roundtable discussions, visitors will want to look at some of the other sections, which include explorations of best practices in online education and some of the potential roadblocks to creating and sustaining e-learning initiatives.

Responding to Crisis in Nigeria April 2006 A report produced by the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) currently faces a three-pronged crisis involving Muslim-Christian relations, the Niger Delta region, and presidential term limits. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) held a public workshop in March 2006 for the purpose of assessing the situation in Nigeria and considering ways in which the international community might respond.

State of the World’s Children, “Each year, UNICEF’s flagship publication, ‘The State of the World’s Children,’ closely examines a key issue affecting children. The report includes supporting data and statistics and is available in French and Spanish language versions.” The site features reports back 1996, with themes such as excluded and invisible children (2006), education and development (2004), nutrition (1998), and children at war (1996). Also find photo galleries. From the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Steadfast in Protest, Reports on 1,172 human rights defenders in 90 countries who face terrible risk denouncing human rights violations.

Women’s right to a political voice in Thailand, This report by the UNDP Human Development Report Office highlights the current status of Thai women’s role in government, analyzing the reasons behind the slow progress to date, and proposing ways and means to overcome existing barriers to women in politics, be they implicit, or explicit, latent or manifest. The report provides information as well as serving as a tool for mobilizing support for increased women’s participation in politics and administration.

Working with the media: a guide for researchers, A guide to a successful relationship with the media. “This guide has been designed to support strategic thinking on media engagement and to address researchers’ need to act autonomously. Step-by-step practical advice on working with different sections of the media has been combined with information about the options available and recommendations about what to consider when developing a media strategy.”




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