Global Breezes – March 31, 2012

On April 2, 2012, in Current Highlights, by admin56

Continuing to expand the reach of our practice-oriented, global online journal and network – focused largely on emerging democracies and modernizing countries – the latest posts feature articles, commentaries and videos that explore a wider range of public management topics and locations, including:
1. Chile Moves towards Independent Program Evaulation of Government Agencies – In a brief video, University of Baltimore (UB) Smart Talks presents Patria de Lancer Julnes, professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and director of the Doctor of Public Administration program, explains her work with officials in Chile to improve that country’s delivery of governmental services.
2. Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development – As more than 120 nations prepare for the conference planned for Brazil in June 2012, Bill Miller reports that the bar has been raised by the “Istanbul Declaration” which calls on the world community to take bold action against global social inequities and environmental deterioration. The Declaration envisions global and national development strategies that put strong emphasis on social inclusion, social protection and equity – recognizing that economic development has often resulted in “environmental degradation and increased inequality.”
3. Bosnia and Herzegovina Prepares for its First Census in over 20 Years: Reporting from Sarajevo, Rob McBride, Ryan Dolan, Gabriela Iancu and Jasmin Panjeta, offer a feature article and video on preparations the nationwide population and housing census—the first to be held in the country in more than 20 years. At the Agency of Statistics for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Deputy Director Slavka Popovic proudly displays the census forms that will provide vital information for the country’s future. “Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of few countries not to have a census since 1991,” says Ms. Popovic.
4. ICMA International – ICMA International combines the experience of local government practitioners with that of seasoned international experts to design, implement and evaluate municipal development and management projects. Learn more from Elizabeth Kellar, President/CEO at the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and Deputy Director, ICMA, about this global network and the work the organization does to leverage the experience of local government practitioners and international experts to improve local governance worldwide. Links to current articles include:

For more in-depth reportage on ICMA’s collaborative good governance activities worldwide, check out the links to major world regions and specific countries – including:  Africa & the Middle East; Asia; Europe & Eurasia; and Latin America & the Caribbean.

International Exchange & Related Education Programs
Taking a look at recent international exchange program activities, we’ve included links to several good governance goings-on we thought many of you would be interested in, including:

  • FLEX-Ability Alumni Workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia: Nearly 60 Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program alumni from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia gathered from February 9 to 12 for the third South Caucasus FLEX-Ability workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • Eurasia FLEX Alumni Provide Knowledge and Hope on World AIDS Day: On December 1, 2011, 62 FLEX program alumni from across Eurasia marked World AIDS Day by coordinating HIV/AIDS awareness presentations, trainings, flash mobs and charity concerts with 15 partner organizations in their home communities. Since 1988, World AIDS Day has raised awareness about the transmission of HIV, supported people living with AIDS and helped to stop the pandemic, which has infected approximately 34 million people worldwide.
  • Works-in-Progress Kicks off Spring Discussion Series in Tbilisi: On February 1, 2012, the Tbilisi Works-in-Progress academic discussion series commenced its spring program with a presentation from Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. The lecture, titled “The Diversification of Post-Soviet Cultural Spaces,” engaged an audience of 35 participants in a discussion examining a post-Soviet shift from homogeneous to diverse cultural perspectives in Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Case illustrations were drawn from communities in Central Asia that embrace Islamic dress and symbolism, Goth culture and Japanese traditional and popular culture.
  • A Vision for the Future of Higher Education in Kurdistan: The role of higher education in the process of nation-building is indispensable, and raising standards in these institutions has long been a top priority for the people and Government of the Kurdistan Region. Clearly, the current system is dated and decision-making authority is concentrated at the top. There is little transparency, democracy and accountability in the system, and the role of staff and students in management is negligible. Internal audit, performance monitoring and quality assurance are virtually non-existent. Fortunately, there is now a unique and historic opportunity to bring a more wholesome vision closer to reality. The process of reform begins with a vision, followed by a well-designed strategy and a clear road-map. It will require close collaboration of all parties involved, including the Cabinet, Parliament, political leaders, professional organizations, media, universities, students and the people of the Region.
  • U.S. Educational Exchange Programs for Students from South & Central Asia: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Adam Ereli, discusses educational exchange programs with South and Central Asia on LiveAtState at the US Department of State in Washington, D.C. on November 23, 2011. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

Please weigh in with your comments on our “forum” and/or “blog” pages. And contact me directly at wciwmaster@aol.com if you have other practice-oriented content to propose or other questions or suggestions to help make the new site a work better for you.

 

Warren Master
Managing Editor
Good Governance Worldwide

 

2 Responses to “Global Breezes – March 31, 2012”

  1. juliesverne says:

    Dear Warren,

    I’m aware that you have some longstanding relationships with individuals in the Iranian-American community. I have recently developed some friendships with Iranian-Americans as well and have heard many comments from them about the American nuclear policy that is currently being forwarded. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a National Geographic reporter, as well as an Iranian-British friend from the UK to try and get a broader perspective. Their general opinion is in line with my friends here in Florida. They feel that the policy is too harsh, and that Iran’s government is trying to simply establish respect and power in that region. I have my doubts and would like to ask your opinion what on the overall goal of the Iranian government may be; and also how the Iranian people have formed their opinions – if they are legitimate sentiments, or if they are being led. I look forward to your reply.

    Sincerely yours,
    Julie Nguyen

  2. Yes, Julie, given my involvement with that part of the world – including 2 years as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkey (1965-67), related travel in Israel, Iran & Iraq at that time and subsequent study of the history, languages and cultures of the region – I have my views on these matters. First, as most “reasonable” experts on the region will tell you up front – irrespective of their political persuasions – this is a very complex neighborhood, where the “back-story” of virtually any issue can be traced back centuries, if not millenia. Second, although I am sorely tempted to explore the puts & takes of U.S.-Israeli-Iranian foreign policy positions and their respective citizenries’ opinions on the current imbroglio (i.e., wither nuclear weapons in Iran and elsewhere in the region), to do so would distract from this online journal & networking sites’s purpose – to promote good governance worldwide by sharing best practices, tools and techniques with the mere mortals who have to deliver public services 24/7, whether their political leaders are duking it out or not.

    BTW, the short answer to your question – in my humble opinion – is that all parties you mention have “legitimate sentiments.” That’s why we should encourage them to find a way to engage in authenitically civil discourse to avoid yet another major war.

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