As of 2009, at the time of Kenya’s last census, roughly half the population lacked access to clean water. The shortage was more pronounced in the nation’s northern, arid counties. This case looks at the challenges and choices facing one northern county, Garissa County, where Issa Oyow, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Water and Sanitation, tried to meet citizen demands for increased water access in the face of a complex and incomplete decentralization process.
Is America in a period of democratic decline? I argue that there is an urgent need to consider the United States in comparative perspective, and that doing so is necessary to contextualize and understand the quality of American democracy. I describe two approaches to comparing the United States: the first shows how the United States stacks up to other countries, while the second uses the theories and tools of comparative politics to examine relationships between institutions, actors, and democratic outcomes.
At the end of 2014, Ukraine faces a series of challenges: constant friction between supporters of Russia and supporters of the West brought about by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, negative growth of GDP at -6.6%, an oligarchy that dominates power, devaluation, political uncertainty and alarming levels of corruption. Amidst this “perfect storm,” the newly appointed board members of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) have undertaken the daunting task of stabilizing the country’s macro-economy through a comprehensive and lasting internal transformation.
In the second decade of the 21st century, the world experienced the rise of a global populist movement built around ethnic nationalism and hostility to foreigners and immigration. This movement has been led by the United States after the election of Donald J. Trump as President in 2016, and today includes leaders in Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Brazil, and a host of parties throughout Europe that challenge the liberal international order. Canada, Australia, and the United States are three former British colonies that were settled by successive waves of immigrants from abroad.
Western observers have raised concerns over the rise and now predominance of Chinese state-backed bilateral lending in international infrastructure development. These range from China's growing geopolitical influence to the increasingly unsustainable debt levels of some of the nations receiving investments as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In fact the BRI today is simply the next phase of a decades-long shift in the infrastructure sector towards China and away from traditional western development lending institutions.
This case looks at the challenges of managing and evaluating new models of healthcare delivery in international development. It follows the story of a social franchising initiative funded by the Gates Foundation in Bihar, one of India's poorest states. The initiative sought to create primary healthcare centers at scale in remote rural parts of the state through a franchisee based private sector intervention. These centers were intended to provide high quality preventive care targeted at certain infectious diseases through technology and telemedicine enabled infrastructure.
This case analyzes Argentinian President Macri’s decision to continue or suspend the construction of two mega dams financed by Chinese banks in the Santa Cruz River. President Macri faces a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, the project has low economic profitability and could pose negative impacts environmentally and socially. On the other hand, if Macri decides to suspend the project, it puts other project loans that China is financing in the country, and a swap of US$ 11 billion to guarantee the stability of Argentine currency at risk.
The Ethiopian government is planning on constructing the country’s first light rail in its capital city Addis Ababa. The project is expected to bring both short-term and long-term benefits: it can help with alleviating the city’s traffic congestion problem, and more importantly, lay the technological foundation for Ethiopia’s grand strategy for a national railway system. Once completed, this modern public transport system will boost the political legitimacy of the incumbent regime.
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian nation strategically located along major regional trade routes. Its national government must balance intense geopolitical pressures from neighboring countries with the need for domestic economic growth. In an effort to divert trade routes away from Singapore and to increase connectivity between its coasts, Prime Minister Najib Razak has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China to build a Chinese-backed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) across peninsular Malaysia. As an outspoken Member of Parliament in the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), Dr.
A new account of modern Iraqi politics that overturns the conventional wisdom about its sectarian divisions
How did Iraq become one of the most repressive dictatorships of the late twentieth century? The conventional wisdom about Iraq's modern political history is that the country was doomed by its diverse social fabric. But in State of Repression, Lisa Blaydes challenges this belief by showing that the country's breakdown was far from inevitable. At the same time, she offers a new way of understanding the behavior of other authoritarian regimes and their populations.
From 1962 onward, Myanmar was a military dictatorship. In 2007, General Thein Sein became Prime Minister and began a process that would lead to the country’s gradual democratization by releasing political prisoners and talking with Aung San Suu Kyi. At the same time, Thein Sein worked to attract foreign investment and made a proposal to Japan to develop a special economic zone together. Although China had been its most important partner, Myanmar wanted to strengthen relationships with countries such as Japan, India, and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
In this case, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanović must decide whether to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Pacific Construction Group to build a highway between his country and neighboring Albania. This highway, known as the “Blue Corridor,” is part of Europe’s proposed Adriatic-Ionian Highway, which would stretch from Italy to Greece, connecting the Balkans via a coastal road. As Djukanović makes his decision, he considers domestic pressures, both economic and political, as well as international pressures from China and Europe.
The cholera response in Yemen was and remains extremely complicated and challenging for a variety of political, security, cultural, and environmental reasons. The study team recognizes these challenges and commends the government, international and national organizations, and the donors for working to find solutions in such a difficult context. There are no easy fixes to these challenges, and the conclusions and recommendations are meant to be constructive and practical, taking into account the extreme limitations of working in Yemen during an active conflict.
For three and a half decades following the end of the Maoist era, China adhered to Deng Xiaoping’s policies of “reform and opening to the outside world” and “peaceful development.” After Deng retired as paramount leader, these principles continued to guide China’s international behavior in the leadership eras of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
In 2013, President Barack Obama announced Power Africa, the U.S.’s initiative to bring energy infrastructure to Sub-Saharan Africa. In the years following, the initiative enjoyed bipartisan support and congress passed enabling legislation in 2016. Despite early momentum for Power Africa, the initiative has yet to achieve its potential. This case follows the challenges and limitations of Power Africa in the face of growing and evolving Chinese pressures on the African continent. At a time when China is investing more than ever in Africa’s infrastructure, the U.S.
The emergence of a global digital ecosystem has been a boon for global communication and the democratization of the means of distributing information. The internet, and the social media platforms and web applications running on it, have been used to mobilize pro-democracy protests and give members of marginalized communities a chance to share their voices with the world.
This case examines the environmental permitting process leading up to the construction of the Bui Dam, the second largest hydropower facility in Ghana. Intended to provide much needed relief to the nation’s persistent power challenges, the project secured proper funding from China Exim Bank in 2005, fulfilling several decades of attempts to build the dam. At issue, however, are the potential environmental and social impacts associated with dam construction.
This case describes the preparations and decisions made by Actis, a leading global emerging markets private equity firm, in the lead-up to its partial divestment via an initial public offering (“IPO”) of Umeme Limited (“Umeme”), Uganda’s national electric distribution company. The case describes the challenges encountered by Actis during the seven year period from when it first took over Umeme in 2005, through the years of work to turnaround the company, until 2012 when final preparations for the IPO were underway.
This case is about Ecuador's decision to finance the country's largest hydropower plant: Coca Codo Sinclair. The country's president is facing a shortage of financial resources and an urgent need to build the hydroplant so as to fulfill political promises. The only feasible option was to borrow money from China at a high cost. How did Correa ultimately decide on and negotiate with China in order to procure funding for the national project?
Political parties in the United States and Britain used clientelism and patronage to govern throughout the nineteenth century. By the twentieth century, however, parties in both countries shifted to programmatic competition. This book argues that capitalists were critical to this shift. Businesses developed new forms of corporate management and capitalist organization, and found clientelism inimical to economic development.
This case focuses on a private sector initiative to fight deep-seated corruption in Thailand. The Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) was founded by a charismatic business scion in late 2010, but an untimely heart attack a few months later left CAC reeling. A new leader named Bandid Nijathaworn was suddenly responsible for delivering the rapid growth and good-faith commitments that his predecessor had envisioned. At the center of this case, Dr.
This case examines the decision process of a team of volunteers that started a public procurement reform named ProZorro. ProZorro was named after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in early 2014. The team originally pushed for government-led reforms, but eventually endeavoured to enact the reform themselves. However, they lost all political support for their desired reforms during the process.
A year into the Trump Administration, the health and stability of American democracy remain an open question. At a time when almost four in 10 Americans say they are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in the U.S., there is ample reason to ask how committed the American people are to our democracy.
Violence in war must have a limit. Those who are not participating in the hostilities should be protected to prevent war from sinking into barbarity. Today, this is safeguarded by international humanitarian law (IHL), of which the cornerstones are the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Additional Protocols.