Nora Sulots
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The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law’s (CDDRL) Leadership Network for Change (LNC) is an expansive group that encompasses over 2,000 up-and-coming leaders and change-makers from all corners of the globe. This diverse and widespread network is comprised of alumni of three practitioner programs based at CDDRL: the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program, Leadership Academy for Development, and the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program.

Last summer LNC, in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), launched an RFP for an innovative grant program — the Local Democracy in Action Grants Initiative. These collaboration grants were designed to bring together LNC leaders and CIPE partners to work across industry, sectors, and borders to introduce local democratic approaches, analysis, research, or dialogue to improve the way in which local communities solve today’s greatest democratic challenges. 

We were pleased to award grants to six teams of alumni whose projects aimed to support democratic reform efforts, civic discourse, and the incorporation of new technology to make a wider impact on the local political and economic environment:

  • Ethiopia: Insuring Public Accountability Through Tailored E-Government
  • Georgia: Democracy Podcast Series
  • Kazakhstan: Data Protection Regulation Upgrades
  • Lebanon: Enhancing Decision Making & Transparency in the Public Procurement Process
  • Nepal: Strengthening Technology-Driven Democracy Through Robust & Digitally Secured Civic Space
  • Ukraine: Enhancing the Quality of Decisions & Creating Local Coalitions Around Key Reforms

On August 17, 2022, CIPE convened the grantees to present the culmination and impact of their work. Below you can view a recording of the event and read about each of the six projects.



Ensuring Public Accountability Through Tailored E-Government (Ethiopia)
Wondwossen Mitiku (LAD), Begashaw Tizazu (LAD), Getachew Teklemariam

LNC and CIPE alumni Wondwossen Mitiku, Begashaw Tizazu, and Getachew Teklemariam worked to strengthen the use of digital technology for public participation and accountability in Ethiopia. Through research and dialogue with e-government representatives in Estonia, South Korea, and Tunisia, the team developed local advocacy strategies that promoted greater public participation and accountability of e-government services in Ethiopia. The team developed a policy paper capturing their recommendations and organize a workshop promoting their findings.

Democracy Podcast Series (Georgia)

Nino Evgenidze (DHSF), Natia Zambakhidze (LAD)

In Georgia, the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) and Radio Liberty collaborated to organize a series of podcasts and lectures to strengthen public understanding of important issues facing Georgian society. EPRC and Radio Liberty hosted leading experts to foster discussion on a diverse set of issues facing Georgia and the wider region. Topics included democratic and economic development, economic security, democracy and technology, and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Data Protection Regulation Upgrades (Kazakhstan)

Ruslan Dairbekov (DHSF), Nino Evgenidze (DHSF)

LNC alumni Nino Evangenidze and Ruslan Daiyrbekov led a virtual study tour of Georgia’s development and implementation of the nation’s data protection regulatory regime. Evangenidze and Daiyrbekov led a group of policymakers and think tank leaders to identify data protection best practices and lessons learned from Georgia’s experience. Following the study tour, formal recommendations were developed to inform a draft data protection law in Kazakhstan.

Enhancing Decision Making and Transparency in the Public Procurement Process (Lebanon)

Rabih el Chaer (DHSF), Mohamad Najem (DHSF)

The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) collaborated with LNC alumni Mohamad Najem and Rabih El Chaer to produce policy recommendations on enhancing the e-procurement system in Lebanon. To inform their work, the team met with Ukraine’s e-procurement system administrators to learn about the country’s system and identify lessons in its development and implementation. Based on their findings, they produced a policy paper outlining their recommendations and shared it widely with policymakers, journalists, and civil society representatives in Lebanon.

Strengthening Technology-Driven Democracy Through Robust and Digitally Secured Civic Space (Nepal)

Narayan Adhikari (CIPE), Bikin Ghimire (CIPE)

The Accountability Lab Nepal (ALN) and Digital Rights Nepal (DRN) collaborated to develop a toolkit for civil society organizations to equip them with the ability to manage digital security threats and vulnerabilities while defending democracy. ALN and DRN conducted desk research, disseminated a survey, and organized workshops with key stakeholders to identify best practices and develop tips and advice to navigate the internet safely. Through their efforts, ALN and DRN helped to build a more robust and digital secure civic space in Nepal.

Enhancing the Quality of Decisions and Creating Local Coalitions Around Key Reforms (Ukraine)

Iryna Nemyrovych (LAD), Matvii Khrenov (LAD), Pavlo Kovtonyuk

The Ukrainian Healthcare Center (UHC) and LNC alumni Iryna Nemyrovych, Matvii Khrenoc, and Pavlo Kovtonyuk worked to create local coalitions in several Ukrainian municipalities to foster dialogue and promote strategies to improve the country’s healthcare systems.  Through this advocacy work, the team enhanced local democratic engagement and strengthened the transparency and quality of medical services.
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CDDRL's Leadership Network for Change and the Center for International Private Enterprise awarded collaboration grants to six teams of alumni to foster cooperation and strengthen democratic development on a regional and global scale.

CDDRL/HAI Predoctoral Scholar, 2022-2023

Eddie Yang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego. His research focuses on repression and the politics of Artificial Intelligence. His dissertation studies how existing repressive institutions limit the usefulness of AI for authoritarian control, with a focus on China. His work has been published in both computer science and political science. 


SMS information campaigns are increasingly used for policy. We conduct a field experiment to study information sharing through mobile phone messages. Subjects are rural households in Mozambique who have access to mobile money. In the baseline intervention, subjects receive an SMS containing simple instructions on how to redeem a voucher for mobile money. They can share this non-rival information with other exogenously assigned subjects unknown to them. We find that few participants redeem the voucher. They nonetheless share it with others and many share information about the voucher they do not use themselves. Information is shared more when communication is anonymous and we find no evidence of more sharing with subjects who have similar characteristics. We introduce treatments to increase the cost of sending a message, shame those who do not send the voucher to others, or allow subjects to appropriate the value of information. All these treatments decrease information sharing. To encourage information diffusion among strangers, the best is to 'keep it simple'.

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Publication Type
Working Papers
Publication Date
Journal Publisher
IZA Discussion Paper
Catia Batista
Marcel Fafchamps
Pedro C. Vicente
No. 14780

 Register for System Error, Live!

This event will be held outside on Stanford's campus. In accordance with Santa Clara County Public Health, masks are encouraged to be worn by all at crowded outdoor events.

Join Profs. Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami, and Jeremy Weinstein — the authors of System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot — for a discussion hosted by Professor Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The operating system of Big Tech is broken, and this panel discussion will explore the path to a reboot. Plus, it will also allow you experience Professor Sahami’s famous tradition of throwing candy into the audience!

A forward-thinking manifesto from three Stanford professors — experts who have worked at ground zero of the tech revolution for decades — System Error reveals how Big Tech’s obsession with optimization and efficiency has sacrificed fundamental human values and demands that we change course to renew our democracy and save ourselves.

Armed with an understanding of how technologists think and exercise their power, these three Stanford professors—a philosopher working at the intersection of tech and ethics, the director of the undergraduate computer science program who was also an early Google engineer, and a political scientist who served under Barack Obama—reveal how we can hold that power to account. Troubled by the values that permeate the university and Silicon Valley, these professors worked together to chart a new path forward, creating a popular course to transform how tomorrow’s technologists might better approach their profession. Now, as the dominance of Big Tech becomes an explosive societal conundrum, join us as they share their provocative insights and concrete solutions to help everyone understand what is happening, what is at stake, and what we can do to control technology instead of letting it control us.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, and the authors will be signing copies as well.

This event is hosted by Professor Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and it is co-sponsored by the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, the Stanford School of Engineering, and the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences.

Rob Reich | FSI Affiliate
Mehran Sahami | Associate Chair for Education, Computer Science Department Associate Chair for Education, Computer Science Department
Jeremy Weinstein | FSI Senior Fellow at CDDRL
CDDRL Visiting UELP Scholar, 2021-22

Yulia Bezvershenko is the former Director General of Directorate for Science and Innovation at the Ministry of Education and Science. The Directorate was created for policy development and implementation in the research, development and innovation sector.

Since the Revolution of Dignity, Bezvershenko has been deeply involved in the reform of science development and implementation process. Her mission is to build knowledge-based Ukraine as economy and society based on knowledge, science and innovation. She has contributed to the Law on Science, which was adopted by Parliament in 2015. In cooperation with scientists and reformers she developed and actively participated in the creation of two new institutions, the National Council on Science and Technology and the National Science Fund. Bezvershenko currently works both on implementation of the aforementioned law and on its future iterations.

Bezvershenko holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics (National Academy of Science of Ukraine) and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Governance from the Kyiv School of Economics. She has diverse experience in the research and development sector, having worked as a researcher at the Bogolyubov Institute as well as a senior lecturer on quantum theory at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Until 2019, Yulia was a Deputy Head of Young Scientists Council of National Academy of Science of Ukraine and Vice-President of NGO "Unia Scientifica" aimed to promote science and to advocate reform of science in Ukraine.



Bangladesh is situated on the deltas of several large rivers passing into the Bay of Bengal. The country’s location on this alluvial plain means there is little natural rock available for use in construction, necessitating use of bricks as the primary material for building.  Bricks are used both directly and broken up into coarse aggregate for the production of concrete. To supply this need there are approximately 5000 privately operated brick kilns within Bangladesh, including 1000 around the capital, Dhaka. Unfortunately, brick kilns have severe negative consequences for health and the environment, across local and global scales. Technical innovation can mitigate some of the negative consequences of brick production, but complex geographical, social, economic, and political factors currently impede adoption of technologically improved kilns. As the key decision-maker in BRAC (an international development organization based in Bangladesh), Nepal Dey must decide whether the institution should offer financial support to brick kiln owners for upgrading their kilns.  In order to produce lasting change, he must determine an appropriate strategy to align the varying interests of kiln owners and landlords, workers, nearby residents, brick buyers, and government officials.

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Leo Kirby


From the point of view of institutional economics, growth is related to the implementation and enforcement of property rights. The system that emits, and enforces those rights needs to have very low transactions costs leading to the least possible frictions. The lowest the transactions costs the highest the level of security of investment, as well as the benefits of direct and indirect socioeconomic impacts. However, traditional economic development models do not focus on transactions costs and property rights systems, both of which seem to be the suspects for low productivity, slow growth, and informality. Many developing countries suffer from systems of property rights that are unpredictable because they are inundated with overwhelming bureaucracy, difficult to follow, track, and measure. The speaker has developed a methodology to best diagnose the reasons why a country has such high transactions costs and how to reduce them systematically. This diagnostic method is called Reality Check Analysis (RCA) and its outcomes allow for the best design of policy reforms and strategic application. The presentation will focus on the theoretical definition of the problem, the analysis of Reality Check Analysis, its application and important results measured through a socioeconomic 3,000 household survey. This survey presented the direct benefits of applying a simple property rights system to investment, savings, property values, trust, child labor, to mention a few.

Speaker Bio

panaritis photo
Elena Panaritis until recently served as a senior economic advisor, handling the Euro and Greek Economic Crisis, to two Greek Governments (2009; 2015). In 2015 she also served as the Special Envoy for Negotiating the Greek Sovereign debt and lending program of Greece. Elena worked directly with 3 Greek Prime Ministers and the Minister of Finance, as well as EU and IMF high-level officials, lenders to Greece. In 2015 she was appointed the Alternate Director to the IMF of Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Albania and San Marino, from which position she resigned the same year after strong political pressures. In 2009 she was appointed honorary Member of the Hellenic Parliament until 2012. She is the founder of Panel Group, a triple-bottom-line business that focuses in the informal sector, transforming the wealth base of poor property holders, to proud middle class owners. She has also founded Thought4Action, an Action Tank that works as an educational foundation to create awareness and calls for action, about transforming countries under solvency, economic crisis and informality. Elena Panaritis has taught economic development, housing finance and property markets reform courses at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD, and the Johns Hopkins University- School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Elena Panaritis Founder and CEO Thought 4 Action - Panel Group
Visiting Scholar, Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program 2017-18

Olexandr Starodubtsev is a Ukrainian reformer who is deeply involved in the creation of a new electronic public procurement system Prozorro, which is one of the most famous reforms in the country. Currently Starodubtsev is the Head of the Public Procurement Regulation Department in The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, and is an official policy maker in the spheres of public procurement and economic development in Ukraine.

The Prozorro system is famous for its different approaches to bottom-up reform based on the close collaboration between government, business and civil society. In 2016, the Prozorro system won several distinguished international awards, such as the Open Government Partnership Award, the Public Procurement Award, and was also recognized by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Open Contracting Partnership. Moreover, Prozorro and its principles became an inspirational example for other Ukrainian reforms.

Starodubtsev was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine in 1979. He graduated from Kharkiv National University in 2002. Previously he worked on the stock market where he made his career as a back-office specialist up to a managing partner of a Ukrainian branch of a multinational financial institution. He received an MBA degree from the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School and became Alumnus of the Year in its first competition in 2015. He is married and has a son and a daughter.


Encina Hall 616 Jane Stanford Way Stanford, CA 94305-6055
Adjunct Lecturer
Research Affiliate

Jerry Kaplan is widely known as an Artificial Intelligence expert, serial entrepreneur, technical innovator, educator, bestselling author, and futurist.

A renowned Silicon Valley veteran, Jerry Kaplan founded several storied technology companies over his 35-year career, two of which became public companies. Kaplan may be best known for his key role in defining the tablet computer industry as the founding CEO of GO Corporation in 1987. Prior to GO, Kaplan co-founded Teknowledge, Inc., one of the first Artificial Intelligence companies to commercialize Expert Systems, which went public in 1986. In 1994, Kaplan co-founded Onsale, Inc., the world's first Internet auction website, which went public in 1997. In 2004, he pioneered the emerging market for social games by starting, where he served as CEO for eight years.

Jerry Kaplan is currently a Lecturer and Research Affiliate at CDDRL, a Visiting Lecturer in Computer Science, and a Fellow at the Center for Legal Informatics at Stanford University Law School. His research and teaching focusses on the social and economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence. He is an inventor on more than a dozen patents, and has published over twenty refereed papers in academic journals and conference proceedings. Kaplan holds a PhD in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Chicago.

Jerry Kaplan is the author of three books, including the best-selling classic "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure" (Houghton-Mifflin).  Selected by Business Week as one of the top ten business books of 1995, Startup was optioned to Sony Pictures.  "Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” (Yale University Press) was honored by The Economist as one of the top ten science and technology books of 2015. His latest book, "Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford University Press) was a 2016 Amazon new release #1 best seller in Artificial Intelligence.

Jerry Kaplan has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Red Herring, and Upside. He is a frequent commentary contributor to major newspapers and magazines. He received the 1998 Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Northern California; served on the Governor's Electronic Commerce Advisory Council Member under Pete Wilson, Governor of California (1999); and received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from California International Business University, San Diego, California (2004). 


povgov conf  banner 2015

Following in the footsteps of last year’s international conference on violence and policing in Latin American and U.S. Cities, on April 28th and 29th of 2015, the Poverty Goverance and Violence Lab (PovGov) at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) turned Encina Hall at the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies (FSI) into a dynamic, instructive and stimulating discussion platform. The exchange of experiences, expertise and ideals that flourished within this space helped create a “dialogue for action,” as speakers and participants explored the various dimensions of youth and criminal violence in Mexico, Brazil and the United States, while advocating for the importance of opening up adequate pathways to hope. The event was sponsored by the Center for Latin American StudiesThe Bill Lane Center for the America WestThe Mexico Initiative at FSI, and the Center on International Security and Cooperation.

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Veriene Melo
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