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  • Author: Michael A. Carrier
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Big Tech is in the news. At the center of our political and economic dialogue is the effect that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have on our lives and what, if anything, governments should do about it. In this article, I explain how Big Tech has come under scrutiny, the antitrust implications of the industry’s behavior, and the potential remedy of breaking up the companies.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology, Regulation, Internet, Social Media, Business
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This report aims to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. Broad findings and trends emerging from the survey were discussed in details in the report – Sanitation in Large and Dense Villages of India: The Last Mile and Beyond. In this report we discuss targeted questions on the preference patterns for on-site containment systems that are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in deviations from prescribed design and demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Kaylee Steck, Mohammed Alhammami
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Last fall, Congress enacted a law that indirectly led to 29 young Arab leaders losing their scholarships to U.S.-accredited universities and dealt another blow to educational and cultural exchange programming, a critical part of U.S. public diplomacy efforts.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Law, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Vicki Valosik
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: A certificate program at the School of Foreign Service offers theoretical knowledge and practical training for aspiring diplomats. According to Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Director of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD), the skills needed by today’s aspiring diplomats haven’t changed significantly since the days when she was preparing for her own long and successful diplomatic career. “On one level, they will need the skills diplomats have always needed: the ability to understand and shape policy, to work comfortably globally, to be able to analyze a large amount of information, and—critically important—the ability to write,” she says. “At the same time,” adds Bodine, who served as Ambassador to Yemen from 1997 to 2001, “twenty-first century diplomats also need to be able to manage large amounts of data and comfortably move from a known issue, a comfortzone issue, to something new. They need to be able to extrapolate from past experience to a new experience without rigid templates.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: United States of America, North America
  • Author: Navroz K. Dubash, Ashwini K. Swain
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s move to electrify every village and household in the country has been lauded as a success. Building on decades of targeted programmes and public investments by multiple governments, the country completed 100% village electrification in April 2018; a year after, it has electrified nearly all ‘willing’ households. Despite the time it took to get here, these achievements are important milestones in India’s development trajectory. But does connecting households to the electric grid resolve the electricity access challenge? The answer depends on whether electrons flow through the wires and whether all consumers are served equally and adequately.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Investment, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee, Aastha Jain
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The aim of this white paper is to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in an earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. We find the preference patterns are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Maanav Kumar, Parag Mohanty
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study looks at the development of legal and regulatory framework governing drinking water and sanitation services in South Africa, England and United States. Around 780 million worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and almost 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation according to data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In such a situation, it becomes extremely important to study the legal and regulatory measures used internationally to control, manage and improve these resources. This study, covering South Africa, England and USA, sets out to identify, comprehend and analyze these legal frameworks and structures; examine the control exercised by national, state/provincial as well as municipal governments over water and sanitation-related questions; and the responsive measures being taken by them to preserve the water resources and their quality for future generations. The authors have observed that in presence of varying geographical, historical and social factors, while it would be impossible to compare each model against the other on the basis of merit, it becomes increasingly important for governments to balance the individual’s right to water with the planet’s ecological balance.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Natural Resources, Water, Law, Regulation, Legislation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report presents the proceedings of the National Conference on Decentralisation held at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda, on August 13, 2019. The theme of the conference was: Decentralisation: Trends, Gains, Challenges and the Future of Local Governments in Uganda. It was collaboratively held by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), and the Governance, Accountability, Participation and Performance (GAPP) Program with support from USAID and UKAID. The Conference assessed the impact of decentralisation policies and trends on financing for local governments, and highlighted measures [that can be] put in place by relevant stakeholders to support and strengthen decentralisation as per Article 176 of Uganda’s 1995 Constitution. Uganda’s decentralisation experiment was hailed as exceptional in the developing world. Its scale, scope of transfer of powers (devolution), responsibilities given to subnational units, and powers granted to citizens, were unprecedented. However, challenges of limited capacity of local government authorities, financing gaps, inter-governmental relations, and new problems of maintaining sub-national cohesion, continue to hamper the effectiveness of this governance reform. Accordingly, the August 2019 Conference was informed by the findings of two recent studies that took stock of trends and progress and also examined financing challenges to local governments under Uganda’s devolution form of decentralisation. It attracted different stakeholders including: national legislators/ members of parliament and policy makers, local government political and technical leaders, researchers and academia, civil society, media and development partners. It was also broadcast live on television and channeled through social media, which created space for the public to interact and appreciate the proceedings.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Democracy, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Beth Baron, Judith Tucker
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) recognized early on that the “Muslim Ban”—so called for its banning of individuals from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States—posed specific threats to its mission and its commitments to academic freedom, intellectual exchange, and the fostering of scholarly research. As the current and past presidents of MESA, we take great pride in the fact that the association decided to take a clear and active stand against all iterations of this ban.
  • Topic: Government, Border Control, Courts, Trump, Borders, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Balazs Romhanyi, Lukasz Janikowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Unsustainability and procyclicality of fiscal policy are problems that many developed countries face. The public debt crisis revealed that fiscal rules are a useful but insufficient instrument for mitigating them. A large and growing group of economists are calling for the creation of ‘fiscal policy councils’ – independent collegial bodies made up of experts whose role is to act as independent reviewers of government policy and advise the government and parliament on fiscal policy. Such councils currently exist in at least 40 countries. Poland is the only EU country that does not have a fiscal policy council. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of whether a fiscal policy council is needed in Poland and what kind of additional contribution such a council might make to the public debate on fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Governance, Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union