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Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

This Week in Markets and Democracy: Tackling Corruption in Guatemala, Snap Elections, and AGOA’s Challenges

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, August 28, 2015
Workers stand on top of bags of sugar at the Mumias sugar factory in western Kenya February 24, 2015. In the sugar cane fields of western Kenya, farmers complain that falling prices mean they can barely make ends meet. Yet rival African producers can still offer cheaper supplies. With much of the production coming from small rain-fed plots rather than large irrigated plantations, costs are much higher than Kenya's competitors (Reuters/Thomas Mukoya). Workers stand on top of bags of sugar at the Mumias sugar factory in western Kenya February 24, 2015. In the sugar cane fields of western Kenya, farmers complain that falling prices mean they can barely make ends meet. Yet rival African producers can still offer cheaper supplies. With much of the production coming from small rain-fed plots rather than large irrigated plantations, costs are much higher than Kenya's competitors (Reuters/Thomas Mukoya).

International Anticorruption Efforts Seem to be Working in Guatemala

A far-reaching battle against government corruption is unfolding in Guatemala. Prosecutors have uncovered a widespread customs bribery ring through the use of wiretaps, email interceptions, close monitoring of individuals, and financial analyses. They accuse government officials of siphoning off tens of millions of dollars in import duties. Evidence suggests that the fraud’s biggest beneficiaries have been Vice President Roxana Baldetti (who resigned and is awaiting trial), and President Otto Pérez Molina, who so far is resisting demands for his resignation. Whether now or later, it is quite likely both will face jail time—a first for this nation and all of Latin America.

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Countering Violent Extremism: Falling Between the Cracks of Development and Security

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Police stand guard during a mass burial of victims of religious attacks in the Dogo Nahawa village, about 15 km (9 miles) to the capital city of Jos in central Nigeria, March 8, 2010. Soldiers patrolled the central Nigerian city of Jos on Monday and aid workers tried to assess the death toll after attacks on outlying communities in which several hundred people were feared to have been killed (Reuters/ Akintunde Akinleye) Police stand guard during a mass burial of victims of religious attacks in the Dogo Nahawa village, about 15 km (9 miles) to the capital city of Jos in central Nigeria, March 8, 2010. Soldiers patrolled the central Nigerian city of Jos on Monday and aid workers tried to assess the death toll after attacks on outlying communities in which several hundred people were feared to have been killed (Reuters/ Akintunde Akinleye).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Dr. Khalid Koser, executive director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) and Amy E. Cunningham, an advisor with GCERF. Here they discuss how a global policy shift to tackle violent extremism is exposing tensions between the development and security sectors.

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This Week in Markets in Democracy: What We Are Reading

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, August 21, 2015
A vendor selling flowers hands over change to a customer in Kunming, Yunnan province, August 19, 2015. China's currency devaluation should give a shot in the arm to global foreign exchange volumes as traders take advantage of and protect themselves against the surprise surge in volatility, but its longer-term impact on market activity may not be so benign (Wong Campion/Reuters). A vendor selling flowers hands over change to a customer in Kunming, Yunnan province, August 19, 2015. China's currency devaluation should give a shot in the arm to global foreign exchange volumes as traders take advantage of and protect themselves against the surprise surge in volatility, but its longer-term impact on market activity may not be so benign (Wong Campion/Reuters).

This Week in Markets and Democracy will return on August 28. Until then, here is what CSMD is reading this week.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Calais Crisis, TPP Stalls, and Post-2015 Agreement Reached

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, August 7, 2015
Sudanese migrants stand at "The New Jungle" camp in Calais, France, August 6, 2015. For most of the 3,000 inhabitants of the "Jungle", a shanty town on the sand dunes of France's north coast, the climax of each day is the nightly bid to sneak into the undersea tunnel they hope will lead to new life in Britain (Juan Medina/Reuters). Sudanese migrants stand at "The New Jungle" camp in Calais, France, August 6, 2015. For most of the 3,000 inhabitants of the "Jungle", a shanty town on the sand dunes of France's north coast, the climax of each day is the nightly bid to sneak into the undersea tunnel they hope will lead to new life in Britain (Juan Medina/Reuters).

This is a post in a new series on the Development Channel,“This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each weekCFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program will highlight noteworthy events and articles.

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Child Marriage in Latin America

by Rachel Vogelstein Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Flower girls wait next to the bride's carriage before a wedding ceremony on Paqueta island in Rio de Janeiro Flower girls wait next to the bride's carriage before a wedding ceremony on Paqueta island in Rio de Janeiro, September 14, 2013. The island, which located about 15 km (9 miles) from the city of Rio de Janeiro in Guanabara Bay, is an auto-free zone where residents are able to live in a relax environment away from the intense urban life of the city. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Over the past decade, world leaders and practitioners alike have increasingly recognized that the practice of child marriage undermines development and stability. This is especially true in regions like sub-Saharan Africa, where Niger claims the highest rate of child marriage globally—at 75 percent—as well as in South Asia, where India is home to about one third of the world’s known child brides. Less common, however, are efforts to combat this practice in Latin America, despite high numbers in the region: According to a report launched in July by Promundo, a Brazil-based non-governmental organization (NGO), Brazil is ranked fourth in the world in terms of absolute numbers of girls married or co-habitating by age fifteen. More than 870 thousand women ages twenty to twenty-four years are married by age fifteen, and about three million—or 36 percent—will be married by eighteen.

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Where Did You Get That Dress?: Bangladesh Two Years on From Rana Plaza

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, August 3, 2015
A worker works in a factory of Ananta Garments Ltd in Savar June 10, 2014. Picture taken June 10, 2014. To match Insight Bangladesh-Textiles (Reuters/Andrew Biraj) A worker works in a factory of Ananta Garments Ltd in Savar June 10, 2014. Picture taken June 10, 2014. To match Insight Bangladesh-Textiles (Reuters/Andrew Biraj)

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory, which manufactured apparel for Benetton, Primark, and J.C. Penney, among others, collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The disaster killed over 1,100 and injured another 3,000, most of them young women. In the tragedy’s wake, Bangladesh has tried to help the victims and their families, and to improve industry safety and working conditions more generally, with mixed results. Rana Plaza highlights both the best and the worst of what globalization and global supply chains bring to developing countries.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: TIP Report Questioned, Turkey Targets Kurds, and Cardin’s Anti-Corruption Agenda

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, July 31, 2015
The leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, July 30, 2015. The main aim of Turkey's recent military operations in northern Syria is to prevent Kurdish territorial unity and not to combat Islamic State, the leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition HDP said on Thursday. Selahattin Demirtas told Reuters in an interview that the ruling AK Party was dragging the country into conflict in revenge for losing its majority in a June 7 general election, when the HDP entered parliament as a party for the first time. To match Interview MIDEAST-CRISIS/TURKEY-KURDS REUTERS/Umit Bektas The leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, July 30, 2015. The main aim of Turkey's recent military operations in northern Syria is to prevent Kurdish territorial unity and not to combat Islamic State, the leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition HDP said on Thursday. Selahattin Demirtas told Reuters in an interview that the ruling AK Party was dragging the country into conflict in revenge for losing its majority in a June 7 general election, when the HDP entered parliament as a party for the first time. To match Interview Mideast-crises/Turkey-Kurds (Umit Bektas/Reuters).

This is a post in a new series on the Development Channel,“This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each weekCFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program will highlight noteworthy events and articles.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Obama in East Africa, Democratic Backsliding, and Diplomatic Openings

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, July 24, 2015
Wycliff Madegwa prepares to display a t-shirt newly printed with the image of U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of his scheduled state visit, in Kenya's capital Nairobi July 23, 2015. Obama will land in Kenya on Friday with a mission to strengthen U.S. security and economic ties, but his personal connection to his father's birthplace will dominate a trip that Kenyans view as a native son returning home (Noor Khamis/Reuters). Wycliff Madegwa prepares to display a t-shirt newly printed with the image of U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of his scheduled state visit, in Kenya's capital Nairobi July 23, 2015. Obama will land in Kenya on Friday with a mission to strengthen U.S. security and economic ties, but his personal connection to his father's birthplace will dominate a trip that Kenyans view as a native son returning home (Noor Khamis/Reuters).

This is a post in a new series on the Development Channel,“This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each weekCFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program will highlight noteworthy events and articles.

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Underground Railroad to Save Yazidi Women from the Islamic State Could Offer Critical Intel

by Catherine Powell Thursday, July 23, 2015
Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, June 20, 2015 (Umit Bektas/Reuters). Yazidi refugees stand behind fences as they wait for the arrival of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at a Syrian and Iraqi refugee camp in the southern Turkish town of Midyat in Mardin province, June 20, 2015 (Umit Bektas/Reuters).

It has been nearly a year since the self-proclaimed Islamic State kidnapped an estimated three thousand Yazidi women and children during an attack on their villages in northern Iraq. The Islamic State views these attacks, kidnappings, and killings as justifiable because they consider the Yazidi people—a religious minority group—infidels and devil-worshipers.

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Innovation in Development

by Rachel Vogelstein Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Pregnant women holding their prescription papers wait to be examined at a government-run hospital in the northeastern Indian city of Agartala March 17, 2015. India is betting on cheap mobile phones to cut some of the world's highest rates of maternal and child deaths, as it rolls out a campaign of voice messages delivering health advice to pregnant women and mothers. Amid a scarcity of doctors and public hospitals, India is relying on its mobile telephone network, the second largest in the world with 950 million connections, to reach places where health workers rarely go. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey Pregnant women holding their prescription papers wait to be examined at a government-run hospital in the northeastern Indian city of Agartala March 17, 2015. India is betting on cheap mobile phones to cut some of the world's highest rates of maternal and child deaths, as it rolls out a campaign of voice messages delivering health advice to pregnant women and mothers. Amid a scarcity of doctors and public hospitals, India is relying on its mobile telephone network, the second largest in the world with 950 million connections, to reach places where health workers rarely go. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

Amidst final negotiations over the Sustainable Development Goals, both private and public sector development funders are turning their attention to the gap between this ambitious agenda and available resources. Last week, government, business, and NGO representatives gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the Third Financing for Development Conference to devise ways to support this new development agenda. One proposal is to support innovation to fuel cost-effective approaches to development.

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