Online Publications:

19 06 2006

Afghanistan’s New Legislature: Making Democracy Work, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=4108. An International Crisis Group Report. “The fledgling National Assembly can play a vital role in stabilizing Afghanistan and holding President Karzai’s administration accountable but only if it gives voice to the country’s diverse population and gets major help from international actors. Its oft-delayed inauguration in December 2005 completed formation of the country’s main governing bodies but marked more the beginning of a political transition than its end. The parliament has potential to draw the regions to the centre in a way that has never happened before but if it is considered impotent, citizens are likely to lose faith in democratization. Unfortunately the Karzai administration appears to calculate that a weak, fragmented body would mean more power for itself rather than a loss for the country. The executive and legislative branches must not approach their relationship as a zero sum game.”

Beyond Tools: technology as a feminist agenda, http://tinyurl.com/mtlbr. In this piece published in the March edition of the Development Journal, Chat Garcia Ramilo argues strongly for a feminist agenda on technology. Drawing on the discussions at the AWID Forum, she shows how within the framework of women’s rights technology is a determining factor in women’s sexuality, representation and exploitation, and has to be seen as one more facet of violence against women. She calls on the feminist movement to engage technologies as a site of feminist political struggle.

Building a Successful Palestinian State, http://tinyurl.com/qr9dm. “Throughout the history of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, security has been the most important-and most challenging-issue for Palestinians, Israelis, and their neighbors. This study examines key external security issues that must be met for there to be a successful independent Palestinian state following a peace agreement with Israel. It makes proposals for an international (NATO-led) peace-enabling force, Palestinian security forces, and liaison and confidence-building cooperation between Palestine and Israel. This study also examines Palestinian policing, the nature of security arrangements along the Palestinian-Israeli border, counterterrorism efforts, intelligence functions, and broader Middle East security efforts.”

Chad: Back towards War?, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=4148. An International Crisis Group Report.”The internal situation in Chad is deteriorating rapidly, and spill-over from the Darfur crisis is only part of the reason. Sudan’s deliberate use of Chadian warlords in its counter-insurgency strategy in Darfur and as a tool in its attempts to topple President Idriss Dby is just one aspect of Chad’s woes. The ever deeper convergence of the two crises underlines the difficulty of settling one independently of the other. But Chad’s troubles are equally the result of Dby’s brittle semi-authoritarian regime, and the charade of the 3 May presidential election only made things worse. The April 2006 rebel offensive brought Chad to the brink of all-out civil war. The victory Dby ultimately achieved in pushing rebels back from the gates of the capital, N’Djamena, settled nothing militarily and highlighted the political fragility of the regime.”

CIPE 2005 Annual Report, http://www.cipe.org/about/report/index.htm. The Center for International Private Enterprise is pleased to present its accomplishments and those of its partners in its 2005 Annual Report. Especially notable are CIPE’s programs in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are presented in two-page spreads. CIPE also achieved great success in Egypt, where CIPE Cairo supported the drafting of the “Egypt Code of Corporate Governance,” the first code to be written originally in Arabic and developed locally, not translated from English. In Russia, recommendations made by CIPE partners the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Union of Businessmen OPORA were incorporated into amendments to five federal laws that were signed by President Putin. In Latin America, CIPE partner Ecuadorian Institute of Political Economy produced a weekly TV show, Tribuna Liberal, to discuss the main economic and political issues affecting Ecuadorian society. The report also details the opening of CIPE’s newest field office in Karachi, Pakistan. To request a hard copy of the 2005 Annual Report, please e-mail Sarah Siegel.

Cte d’Ivoire: Peace as an Option, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=4112. An International Crisis Group Report.”The four-year crisis in Cte d’Ivoire could finally end if the government of national reconciliation continues to make progress toward presidential elections, meant to occur before 31 October. However, no political actors have yet given up the capacity for violence or committed themselves irrevocably to elections they may lose. The government should embark on a nationwide campaign to inform the public of necessary preparations, including identifying citizens entitled to vote and disarming and reintegrating ex-combatants. Major donor support is needed for all these steps. Prime Minister Banny should continue an inclusive dialogue with all political actors and social sectors to mobilise opinion behind the government and should continue working with President Gbagbo, who may be tempted to delay elections to prolong his power. If concrete results are achieved in the next few months, peace may finally be within reach.”

Documenting Women’s Rights Violations by Non-state Actors, http://tinyurl.com/nvor5. “‘Honour crimes’ in Jordan, ‘sexual crimes’ to terrorize local populations in Colombia, ‘family violence’ in the United States or ‘sexual slavery’ in Ghana. Whatever the terms or examples used, in every case, it is violence against women. Whether committed by a member of the family, of the community or during armed conflict, this type of violence has no boundaries, it is rampant everywhere and takes different forms depending to the context. This manual, specifically addressed to groups and individuals not well versed in legal matters, provides tools to human rights activists and defenders who investigate violence perpetrated against women by non-state actors. Its goal is to offer guidance with regard to the legal definitions and human rights protection mechanisms that may help them compel States to fulfill their obligation to protect. It presents concrete examples of particular forms of violence committed against women by non-state actors and models of strategies that have been used effectively, particularly in Muslim communities.

Funding Sources for Gender-Equality and Women-focused Projects, http://tinyurl.com/o23dn. “Where do you go to find funding for gender equality and women focused projects? At a time when support for women’s rights and gender equality initiatives is declining across many development sectors, women’s groups and organisations need to know where to turn to for funds. This resource has been put together to meet this need. It is divided into five sections: Women’s Funds (those dedicated to gender-equality and women-focused rights projects), Foundations, International Development Agencies, Prizes, and on-line Directories. The Women’s Fund section provides website links, contact information for the funder along with information on what types of projects are funded, size of grants and applicant criteria. For the other sections, website links are given as well as a brief description of the type of issues that the funder is interested in.”

Index of Global Philanthropy, http://tinyurl.com/p5jxg. According to the newly launched Index of Global Philanthropy from the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity, the total amount of private U.S. charitable assistance to developing countries is more than three and a half times U.S. government foreign aid. According to the center, the report challenges the measure of foreign assistance by the Paris-based Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development, which only considers government foreign aid and underestimates the amount and impact of private U.S. foreign aid.

Managing Tensions on the Timor-Leste/Indonesia Border, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=4090. An International Crisis Group Report. “Closer border cooperation between Indonesia and Timor-Leste is needed to help reduce a legacy of tension. Although Timor-Leste has other significant security problems most recently the 28-29 April rioting in Dili fears of significant violence along the border with Indonesian West Timor are largely unfounded. The shared land border has been mostly peaceful: smuggling and illegal crossings, rather than militia incursions, have emerged as the main security issues. A soft-border regime is needed to establish an infrastructure for legal cross-border trade and improving security cooperation. Other recommended measures include investing in road works and deploying more police. The two countries should also work with donors on livelihood- and income-generation projects, address serious justice issues related to the 1999 violence and devise a lasting solution for ex-refugees.”

MEPs, Democracy Promoters Call for New European Foundation, http://www.nimd.org/upload/eurodemofoundation.doc. The European Union needs a more flexible and autonomous instrument for democracy assistance, says a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament, proposing a new €60 million a year European Foundation for Democracy. The European Union’s current instruments for promoting democracy, principally the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), with a current budget of 142 million, have been severely criticized for its lack of impact, inflexible procedures, and long lead times.

Moldova democracy and governance assessment, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF518.pdf.

Montenegro’s Referendum, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=4144. An International Crisis Group Report. “Montenegro’s successful independence referendum should on balance increase stability in the western Balkans. Following the pro-independence victory, Podgorica still faces significant transition challenges, but none should affect regional stability, and all can be resolved as the country moves forward with the Stabilisation and Association process towards European Union membership. The EU and other international actors should do everything possible to speed its accession to international institutions. Most neighbouring countries are openly pleased with the outcome, which they feel marks the end of the Greater Serbian project. In Bosnia, however, there is loose talk about holding a similar referendum, but the international community must continue to make it absolutely clear that partition of Bosnia is not an option. Meanwhile, Belgrade is still in shock from the referendum loss and struggling to formulate rational policy.”

Nepal: From People Power to Peace? http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=4099. An International Crisis Group Report. “The defeat of King Gyanendra’s absolute rule marks only the first step in Nepal’s long road to peace. The pro-democracy movement was a victory not only for the mainstream political parties and their tactical alliance with the Maoist insurgents, but above all for the Nepali people themselves. Donors must now understand their role as one of safeguarding the difficult transition from people power to peace. The new interim administration faces four immediate challenges: keeping the peace process with Maoist insurgents on track; containing the king and controlling the army; planning for constitutional change; and responding to calls for transitional justice. The outside world must help the government as it tackles these challenges in an environment which remains precarious, and it should coordinate an approach based on explicit shared principles to make stability and peace the top order of business.”

Nation-Building Efforts Hampered By Failures to Address Health Problems, http://tinyurl.com/p8a9d. “The U.S. missed opportunities to help win the support of the public in Iraq and Afghanistan by failing to make health a bigger focus of reconstruction efforts after U.S.-led invasions of the nations. Efforts to rebuild the public health and health care delivery systems were inadequately funded and the health initiatives that were undertaken focused on projects that had little impact on the daily lives of Iraqis and Afghans.”

On the Road to the EU: Monitoring Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in South Eastern Europe, http://www2.soros.org/shortlink/?131. Women in South Eastern Europe have yet to attain full equality and are at severe disadvantage compared to their counterparts in the EU, according to this report published by OSI’s Network Women’s Program.

Securing Health: Lessons from Nation-Building Missions, http://tinyurl.com/pfkx5. Rebuilding public health and health care delivery systems has been an important component of nation-building efforts conducted after major conflicts. However, few studies have attempted to examine a comprehensive set of cases, compare the quantitative and qualitative results, and outline best practices. The study assesses seven cases of nation-building operations following major conflicts: Germany and Japan immediately after World War II; Somalia, Haiti, and Kosovo in the 1990s; and Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. It concludes that two factors increase the likelihood of successful health outcomes: planning and coordination, and infrastructure and resources. In addition, the study argues that health can have an independent impact on broader political, economic, and security objectives during nation-building operations.

Reporters Without Borders 2006 Annual Report, http://www.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/report.pdf. The organization defending journalists and their assistants writes, “everyone’s interested in the internet – especially dictators. The internet has revolutionized the world’s media”. But, “traditional ‘predators of press freedom’ all censor the internet now,” it warns.

The Role of NGOs in International Democratic Development, Canada’s Support for International Political Development: The Case of Legislative Development, http://www.irpp.org/miscpubs/IDD/miller.pdf.

Somaliland: Time for African Union Leadership, http://tinyurl.com/qovm7. An International Crisis Group Report. “The dispute between Somaliland and Somalia will become an ever-increasing source of friction, and possibly violence, unless the African Union (AU) engages in preventive diplomacy. The self-declared Republic of Somaliland is marking fifteen years since it proclaimed independence from Somalia, and if Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) expands its authority across the shattered country, the dispute over Somaliland’s status is likely to become an ever-increasing source of friction. The AU should appoint a Special Envoy to consult with all relevant parties and report on the legal, security and political dimensions of the dispute and offer options for solutions within six months. Its Peace and Security Council should organize an informal consultation round with eminent scholars, political analysts and legal experts. Pending final resolution of the dispute, Somaliland should be granted interim observer status at the AU.”

The State of the World’s Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium, http://tinyurl.com/hpy87. This 2006 report “presents the challenges to refugee protection and assesses the response of the international community.” It looks at population dynamics, refugee protection, safety and security of refugees, emergency response, internally displaced persons, and potential solutions and future challenges. The “Annex” provides useful statistics. From the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

USAID in Africa, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF652.pdf.

U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants: obligations and loan authorizations, July 1, 1945-September 30, 2004, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF100.pdf. Serves as statistical annex I to the annual Development Coordination Committee report to Congress.

Women’s Empowerment: An Annotated Bibliography, www.siyanda.org/docs/bridge_rpc_empowerbiblio.doc. This bibliography gathers together a range of materials which discuss women’s empowerment from varied perspectives in order to provide an accessible introduction to key concepts, approaches and debates. This document contributes towards a five-year research program consortium (RPC), Pathways of Women’s Empowerment, launched by the Institute for Development Studies in March 2006 and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The RPC aims to understand what enables women to empower themselves and how changes in gendered power relations can be sustained. The program will involve practitioners, policy makers and researchers from 5 regions, with the goals of revitalizing discussion of women’s empowerment, generating new insights into the processes and policies that contribute to positive change in women’s daily lives, and exploring women’s own pathways to empowerment.

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