DRC Research Bulletin

10 05 2010

April 2010


Announcements :
Welcome to our new NDRI Digital Library Intern Zayne Reeves – We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new NDRI Digital Library Intern Zayne Reeves. Zayne has a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Alabama and will be working with us part time to add publications to the new Digital Library on Democracy database of publications of the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI). A “sneak preview” of the database is provided below.

Awards, Funding and Educational Opportunities :

HREA offering the following e-learning courses, which will be offered in the third trimester of 2010 (September-November) http://lists.hrea.org/phplist/lt.php?id=Kh5XBQJQCQJWSlUAAgQHHwsFAFQ%3D :
• Armed Conflict, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
• Election Observation NEW!
• Gender and Peacebuilding
• Gender Mainstreaming NEW!
• Genocide: What Role for International Law?
• Human Rights Advocacy
• La Programmation axée sur des droits de l’enfant NEW!
• Le Monitoring des droits de l’enfant
• Le Plaidoyer pour les droits humains
• Monitoring & Evaluation in the NGO Sector
• Monitoring Children’s Rights
• Project Development and Management in the NGO Sector
• The European System of Human Rights Protection and Promotion
• The United Nations Human Rights System
• Women in War and Armed Conflicts
Please note that the registration deadline for these courses Tuesday, 1 June 2010. Applications can be submitted online.

Human Rights Web Archive nominations
http://www.hrea.org/wv/index.php?base_id=116&list_id=39&language_id=1&msg_id=17120
Source: The Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research (CHRDR), Columbia University. As part of Columbia’s larger initiative to collect free and at-risk web resources, the Human Rights Web Archive is dedicated to preserving web-based information of importance to the global community of human rights researchers, students, policymakers and advocates. We’d like to hear your suggestions for human rights-related websites to be considered for the archive. If you would like to nominate a website, please use our nomination form. If you would like nominate your own website, please use the website owner form instead.

Just for Fun:

53rd Annual Capitol Hill House and Garden Tour http://www.chrs.org/ SATURDAY, May 8, 4 to 8 p.m. and SUNDAY, May 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than a dozen traditional and contemporary homes (see Sneak Preview Photos) will be on open to ticket holders, showcasing the finest in Capitol Hill living. The theme of this year’s tour Community Experiences – Cosmopolitan Stories, features homes that blend the past with the present. Sleek, modern kitchens, specialized media rooms, and high tech “one-touch” household control panels are integrated with other more traditional Capitol Hill nuances. A number of the tour homes have been in their families for generations–three have been in residence since the early 1960s.

Cathedral Flower Mart http://www.allhallowsguild.org/fm/come.html FRIDAY, May 7th, 10 a.m. TO 6 p.m. and SATURDAY, May 8th, 10 a.m. TO 5 p.m. It’s the first opportunity of the year to climb the 333 steps to the top of the central tower of Washington National Cathedral to enjoy a view from one of the highest points in D.C. There will also be plant sales, boutique booths, music and entertainment, and activities for children, including rides on the antique carousel. This year the Flower Mart honors Ukraine.

Homegrown:
NEWRosetta Stone We have recently acquired a network license to all the languages of the Rosetta Stone online learning service http://www.rosettastone.com/ We are in the process of testing the service and will have a brown bag meeting later in May to officially roll it out. We will keep you posted!
Sneak PeakNDRI Digital Library http://bit.ly/ndrilibrary The DRC has been working with nearly 20 members of the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI) to upload their full-text publications to a database which is searchable on the Intranet. We have uploaded some 600 full text reports and will be make an official announcement launching the new service later in May.
New Books. New Books and Publications for April 2010 are located next to the main desk in the library. The listing is ordered by region and subject, and includes links to publisher pages with “Table of Contents” and also electronic publications.
Democracy Resource Center Guide http://intranet/library/DRCGuide.docx – A comprehensive listing of the services and resources of the DRC. Take a look you’ll be amazed at what we have!
Sign Up for a Library Orientation! – New staff and interns or staff who just want a refresher on the resources and services offered by the library are encourage to attend one of our library orientations. To sign up for a library orientation contact Tim Myers tim@ned.org or ext. 686.
NEXIS News Search is a service offered by the DRC to NED staff and fellows. NEXIS is one of the largest database services in the world offering thousands of daily articles on news stories from around the world. If you are interested in getting news on a particular topic or country as the arrest of a grantee or a rapidly developing political situation in a country please an email to: NexisSearch@ned.org with a brief summary of what you are interested in finding and one of the library staff will respond to your request.

Internet Spotlight:
5 (More) Google Labs Projects that Should Be on Your Radar Source: CIO via ResourceShelf. From Google’s first foray into Twitter apps to a more visual way to peruse the best blogs and articles from the Web, this class of Google Labs has something to offer everyone.

Amazon sends Kindles to Africa Source: Pocket-lint via ResourceShelf. A charity called Worldreader.org, which is attempting to boost literacy rates in the third world using technology, has persuaded Amazon to send a big pile of Kindle ereaders over to Africa.

Chromatik Source: ResourceShelf. Search for images by color.

Flightstats Allows one to track flight status, departures, arrivals, airport delays, and other flight and airport information.  A mobile-friendly site is also available.

Google Docs gets better — but is it ready to take on Office? Source: Computerworld. The new version of Google Docs sports considerable collaboration tools, as well as improved editing and formatting, a faster, more useful spreadsheet and new collaborative drawing software.  But because it no longer allows offline access to documents (for now), and because it’s still not as powerful as Microsoft Office, it’s not likely to knock Office off of its throne as king of the productivity suites.

Google Rolls Out Virtual Keyboards On Non-English Search Portals Source: TechCrunch. The basic idea behind the virtual keyboard is that users can enter the precise search terms they want, regardless of the language keys on their real keyboards. Google Search has virtual keyboards for 35 languages.

Improved Britannica Online Site Significant enhancements are coming to Britannica Online Academic Edition, starting with a more engaging interface and improved search and discovery. You can preview the new site by clicking the link in the “New Site Preview” section of the home page.

MindMeister MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions. Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere.

New and Improved Prints and Photographs Online Catalog from Library of Congress Source: ResourceShelf. In addition to a whole new look, it has more robust searching and some new features, including easy ways to share and save links to images and searches you like.

New Website launched for Africa Renewal Source: UN. The Africa Section of the Department of Public Information has just launched its new and revamped website: http://www.un.org/AfricaRenewal. The Africa Renewal information programme provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today.

See What Facebook Publicly Publishes About You Source: Lifehacker. With Facebook’s new Open Graph API causing such a stir, many people are questioning what Facebook is publishing to the public. Developer Ka-Ping Yee has created a simple tool shows you what everyone else can see.

Social Media Count Source: Gary Hayes via ResourceShelf. A counter that constantly updates to show: Total Number of Tweets, Number of Mobile Phones Shipped, New Facebook Members, New Blog Posts, Amount of Mobile Video Watched by Americans, and many more.

Think Again: The Internet Source: Foreign Policy. They told us it would usher in a new era of freedom, political activism, and perpetual peace. They were wrong.

Voice of America Pronounciation Guide Source: ResourceShelf. It’s a repository of pronunciation keys and audio files (mp3) for people and places in the news from around the world.

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine Source: ResourceShelf. This service wipes your online accounts clean on one or more of the following social media services: Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, and Twitter.

Who Writes Down Everything? NPTechies. Notes, photographs, blog posts, videos, slides and tweets from the 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

Online Publications:
Africa:
Congo: A Stalled Democratic Agenda
Source: International Crisis Group. Examines the failure of the leaders elected in 2006 to radically change governance and to fulfil the democratic aspirations of their citizens.

Congolese Hopeful About Peace in Eastern Congo Source: Gallup. Despite the grim reality, Congolese surveyed late last year were optimistic about the future of the region; a majority (63%) agree there can be peace in eastern Congo within the next 12 months.

Guinea: Background and Relations with the United States Source: CRS. This report analyzes developments in Guinea, a poor West African country, following the death of longtime president and former military leader Lansana Conté in December 2008.

Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Source: Pew Research Center. The survey asked people to describe their religious beliefs and practices. The survey also tried to assess their degree of political and economic satisfaction; their concerns about crime, corruption and extremism; their positions on issues such as abortion and polygamy; and their views of democracy, religious law and the place of women in society.

LRA: A Regional Strategy beyond Killing Kony Source: International Crisis Group. To make an end of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) once and for all, national armies, the UN and civilians need to pool intelligence and coordinate their efforts in new and creative ways.

Sleight of Hand: Repression of the Media and the Illusion of Reform in Zimbabwe. Source: Human Rights Watch. This report says that the Zimbabwe Africa National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), the former sole ruling party, still holds the balance of power in the coalition government forged with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the former opposition movement, in February 2009. ZANU-PF promotes political propaganda and restricts independent reporting through repressive laws that remain unchanged, and it retains its control of security forces and key resources.

Struggles for Citizenship in Africa Source: Open Society Institute. This book brings together new material from across Africa of the most egregious examples of citizenship discrimination, and makes the case for urgent reform of the law.

Asia:
ADB Annual Report 2009 Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB) via ReliefWeb. The Annual Report of the Board of Directors to the Board of Governors reviews ADB’s operations, projects, internal administration, financial management and includes a separate report on the activities of the Special Funds of ADB.

Burma: After Cyclone, Repression Impedes Civil Society and Aid Source: Human Rights Watch. The Burmese government continues to deny basic freedoms and place undue restrictions on aid agencies despite significant gains in rehabilitating areas devastated by Cyclone Nargis two years ago.

Happy News: Censorship, Nationalism, and Language Ideology in China Source: The Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies. This article examines aspects of China’s language ideology regarding the exposure or concealment of negative news and the promotion of positive news, focusing especially on the 2008 riots in Tibet and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Restoring Parliamentary Democracy in Pakistan Source: Institute of South Asian Studies via Zunia. This paper comments on the recent Constitution (18th Amendment) Bill passed by the National Assembly in Pakistan. Apart from the many important amendments in the bill aimed at restoring Parliamentary democracy in Pakistan, it also marks the first time that a President has voluntarily relinquished his special powers.

Southeast Asian Media: Patterns of Production and Consumption Source: Open Society Institute. The report includes coverage of television, radio, print, online journalism in Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Eurasia:
Hungary Dissatisfied with Democracy, but Not its Ideals
Source: Pew Research Center. With parliamentary elections approaching, Hungarians are in a funk. Overwhelmingly, Hungarians are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working and discontent with political elites, with about three-in-four saying political corruption is a major problem.

Kyrgyzstan: A Hollow Regime Collapses Source: International Crisis Group. The collapse of the Kyrgyz regime is a case study of the risks facing authoritarianism in Central Asia. What happened in Kyrgyzstan could happen in most of its neighbouring countries. And the consequences could indeed be much worse.

Poland Relatively Stable, Prosperous Before Tragedy Source: Gallup. Before Poland’s president and scores of other officials died in a plane crash last week, the country in many ways was in a stronger position than ever. In contrast with other former socialist countries in the region, for example, two-thirds of Poles in January 2010 said they are satisfied with their standard of living and about one-third said it is getting better.

Preventing Conflict in the “Stans Source: United States Institute of Peace. On February 16, USIP convened an expert meeting on Central Asia to build a greater understanding of regional stability issues that could affect U.S. development aims. This brief focuses on Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the Central Asian countries most prone to conflict.

Latin America:
Addressing Corruption in Haiti
Source: American Enterprise Institute. In the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake of January 12, 2010, Haiti will receive unprecedented aid for reconstruction and for its promising economic strategy. But given the country’s legacy of corruption, massive aid could simply result in another massive Haitian failure.

ICRC Annual Report on Colombia Source: International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC released its annual report on Colombia this week in which it concludes that while “fighting has become less intense around densely populated areas of the country … For certain rural communities, … it is a different story.” The report also warns that the victims of Colombia’s armed crisis are in danger of being forgotten, as “they remain anonymous” even though they experience counter the armed conflict’s consequences on a daily basis. Download the full report (in Spanish).

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections Source: CRS. This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country.

MENA:
Afghanistan: Searching for Political Agreement
Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Coalition strategy in Afghanistan has reached an impasse: tactical successes will not defeat the Taliban while Pakistan offers sanctuary, nor can security be “Afghanized” by a government that lacks legitimacy and is irreparably unpopular. A less costly—both in lives and money—and more effective option would be a negotiated agreement with the Taliban that paves the way for a unity government.

Human Rights Dimensions of Poverty in Afghanistan Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The report, Human Rights Dimensions of Poverty in Afghanistan, argues that “poverty is neither accidental, nor inevitable in Afghanistan”. Rather, it is caused by and is a consequence of a “massive human rights deficit”.

Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations Source: CRS. This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations.

The Uncertain Politics behind Iraq’s Election Source: CSIS. Although Iraq has made political progress over the past few years it still falls far short of the level of political accommodation it needs to control its ethnic and sectarian divisions, ensure adequate representation for all ethno-religious groups, and create the conditions for effective governance.

Multi-regional:
How Insurgencies End Source: RAND. This study tested conventional wisdom about how insurgencies end against the evidence from 89 insurgencies.  While no two insurgencies are the same, the authors find that modern insurgencies last about ten years and that a government’s chances of winning may increase slightly over time.

Our Money, Our Responsibility: A Citizens’ Guide to Monitoring Government Expenditures Source: International Budget Partnership via Zunia. This Guide offers an overview of government budget implementation, including budget execution, procurement, impact measurement, and auditing and legislative oversight processes. The Guide provides practical, tested tools that can be used by independent organizations interested in monitoring government expenditures.

Predators of Press Freedom Source: Reporters Sans Frontiéres. There are 40 names on this year’s list of Predators of Press Freedom – 40 politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias and criminal organisations that cannot stand the press, treat it as an enemy and directly attack journalists.

USCIRF Eleventh Annual Report on Religious Freedom in the World Source: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) announced its 2010 recommendations to Congress, the White House, and the State Department that 13 nations–Burma, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam–be named “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs.

U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology. Source: CRS via Federation of American Scientists. Legislation now under consideration in the 111th Congress would mandate that U.S. companies selling Internet technologies and services to repressive countries take actions to combat censorship and protect personally identifiable information.

World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010 Source: World Bank via ReliefWeb. The World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010 is a comprehensive overview of development. It is the statistical benchmark that helps measure the progress of development. The 2010 WDI includes more than 900 indicators and they are available through http://data.worldbank.org, in print, or on CD-ROM.

Research Tip:
OCW Search
OCW Search is a search engine dedicated to helping you find the best free university courses online. Several universities publish their course materials for free online, under the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative. OCW Search is an independent search engine that indexes all these courses so you can find these courses faster. Some courses include anthropology, statistics, China foreign policy, the rise and fall of democracy/regime change, and civil society and the environment.
Universities currently found OCW Search include MIT, Stanford Engineering Everywhere, and Open University LearningSpace.
The search engine allows for simple keyword searching using a single search box. An advanced search help page is also provided to assist users with their course search.

Good luck with your research and as always feel free to contact a DRC staff member with your questions.

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10 05 2010
DRC Research Bulletin « Democracy Resource Center | congotoday

[…] Agenda Source: International Crisis Group. Examines the failure of the … Excerpt from: DRC Research Bulletin « Democracy Resource Center Share and […]

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