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  • Author: Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In 2012, when Bashar al-Assad’s regime withdrew most of its security forces from the Jazira in northeastern Syria, it ceded local power to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing. The PYD replicated past regime behavior, focusing on maintaining a secure hold of this strategic geographical area at the expense of effective governance. This approach has hindered the prospect of building a self-sustained administration. At the same time, outside actors such as Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, and the United States have inadvertently reinforced the PYD’s security-focused rule while pursuing their own security concerns. Exploring potential avenues to peace and stable governance in Syria requires carefully identifying the interrelated nature of these various actors’ security concerns in the Jazira.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt’s new authoritarian regime is rapidly closing the public space—cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and thwarting citizens’ peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. The government’s primary strategy is to institute wide-scale repression through lawmaking and justify its behavior through conspiratorial and populist narratives. With unprecedented resolve, it has passed new protest and terrorism laws, introduced legal amendments targeting nongovernmental organizations, and extended the military court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the regime is adapting lawmaking for its own purposes. To fight against the tide, those challenging the system need to fully understand how.
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: G. Thomas Kingsley
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: In 2015, the United Nations adopted an ambitious new agenda for global development, and its proponents have called for a “data revolution” to further its goals. How to mobilize this data revolution? Much of what has been written about it so far implies only the mounting of expanded surveys to track progress under each goal. Although surveys are essential, there are good reasons to believe that surveys alone would be insufficient and probably impractical.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, International Development
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Loren Landau, Kabiri Bule, Ammar A. Malik, Caroline Wanjiku-Kihato, Yasemin Irvin-Erickson, Benjamin Edwards, Edward Mohr
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Building on original quantitative and qualitative fieldwork in three refugee hosting cities – Nairobi, Gaziantep, and Peshawar—this study explores the role of social networks in furthering or hampering displaced persons’ ability to achieve self-reliance. Experiences are diverse, but several general findings emerge: (1) Group membership is remarkably low; (2) Social networks are an invaluable asset for many but are either unavailable or a hindrance for others; (3) The in-group networks that initially offer protection become less effective in the long-term; and (4) Economic security is closely depending on people’s ability to forge connections beyond co-nationals.
  • Topic: Immigration, Governance, International Development, Urban, Cities
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Kenya, Africa, South Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Nairobi, Gaziantep, Peshawar
  • Author: Mohammad Tariq
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper concludes a series on governance and human rights action in North Africa. Written by Mohammad Tariq, it presents a preliminary analysis of the issues of governance in human rights organizations in Morocco. Such a research faces methodological and practical impediments stemming from the scarcity of information on funding flows and other governance issues.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Hafedh Chekir
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: ARI's project on the Future of Human Rights Action in North Africa continues to explore the governance challenges and moves in this paper to Tunisia where prominent feminist, academic and human rights defender Hafidha Chekir explores the legal environment of civil society organizations in Tunisia and how this affected their own internal governance.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Yara Shahin
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper explores the state of internal governance in Egyptian human rights NGOs. It looks at their internal structures including; decision-making processes, the existence and role of governing boards, relationships with donors, levels of accountability and representation of constituencies along with the relationship with the government within a restrictive legal and political environment. It argues that while the restrictive environment for civil society in Egypt has hindered the development of stronger internal governance mechanisms in many organizations, the internal dynamics of these organizations have also contributed to the weak internal governance structures in most of them. The dilemmas that persisted through different generations and phases of Egyptian human rights organizations include balancing activism on public issues with bureaucratization and professionalization of vehicle organizations, the difficulty for and resistance from founders/directors to leave their influential posts, developing better participatory mechanisms of accountability towards the NGOs constituencies and addressing the “stigma” of foreign funding
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Jamie Boex, Ammar A. Malik, Devanne Brookins, Ben Edwards
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Cities are engines of economic growth that provide spaces for social transformation and political inclusion. Their ability to deliver widely accessible and efficiently functioning public services drives productivity and sustains development. We design and apply an assessment framework to 42 cities in 14 African and Asian countries to better understand the functional, administrative, and political dimensions determining the quality and coverage of water, sanitation, and solid waste collection services. We find that urban local governments are constrained in their authority and discretion to deliver basic public services. Reforming intergovernmental institutional structures to better match responsibilities is essential for realizing cities’ full economic potential.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Governance, International Development, Economic growth, Urban, Sanitation, Services, Cities
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Jameson Boex, Benjamin Edwards
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: This paper provides a general framework for understanding the political economy and fiscal determinants of sanitation service provision by urban local governments. The paper will address several questions: what do we expect to influence spending on local sanitation? Do different fiscal instruments have an impact on expenditure levels? Do increased local revenues lead to increased expenditures over the long term? What role do different stakeholders play in determining expenditure levels? The paper first looks at the role of political factors in constraining local expenditure decisions, then turns to a review of the fiscal determinants of service delivery expenditures.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Governance, Urban, Sanitation, Services, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jameson Boex
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The role of local governance within global development is approaching an important inflection point. To the extent that local governments function as effective platforms for collective local decision-making and as effective mechanisms for promoting the collective interests of their constituents, local governments are ideal partners for achieving development success. Moreover, regardless of the mechanism or type of decentralization or “localization” that is ultimately chosen, in the end, we cannot ignore the vertical governance mechanisms and multilevel service delivery mechanisms that are needed to ensure the effective delivery of public services at the local level.
  • Topic: Governance, International Development, Services, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus