Strengthening Democracy around the Globe
through Private Enterprise and Market-Oriented Reform


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Senior Advisor, The Robertson Foundation
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

As we write this letter, the unpredictable winds of change are sweeping through the Middle East. Not unlike the time after the fall of the Berlin Wall over 20 years ago, that empowered millions of citizens to call for representative democracies and take an active role in their formation, CIPE finds itself at another moment of great opportunity. Then as now, CIPE’s global mission – to strengthen democracy through market-oriented reform – holds true.

Our partners in the Middle East and throughout the world are poised and prepared to provide thoughtful input and guidance to the transformation of their own countries and economies, and are embracing the opportunities and responsibilities of democracy. This worldwide movement away from autocratic control, crony-capitalism, and state-driven economies and towards transparency, accountability, fairness, and free enterprise echoes the transformation of other new democracies. To aid these initiatives, CIPE works to empower local organizations to exert their leadership in order to change – politically and economically – the environments in which they live and work. CIPE calls this Democracy that Delivers, and it is the single unifying theme of all our work.

Since its founding in 1983, CIPE has teamed with nearly 500 partners – business associations, think tanks, journalists, academics, and a variety of private sector groups – in more than 100 countries where there is both a need and an opportunity for market reform. CIPE brings international best practices, lessons learned, unique intellectual resources, and successful methodologies from across the world to its partner network. And, CIPE’s engagement encourages local ownership and responsibility, thereby ensuring that its work is relevant to those who will ultimately benefit. With resources and approaches refined over 27 years of successful programs and partnerships, addressing such topics as advocacy, anti-corruption, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, and rule of law, CIPE is well-positioned to continue helping its partners build the public institutions crucial to successful democracies. Now more than ever – there is much to be done.

We are pleased to present CIPE’s programs for 2010 and to report on the hard work and accomplishments of our many global partners. With the ongoing support of the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State, the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others, CIPE and its partners have been and will remain committed to building market institutions that provide opportunities for sustainable economic growth and the development of democracy around the world.

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Throughout 2010, CIPE worked across the globe to support democratic reform and developing market economies. This report highlights our partners, their success and achievements, and the exceptional nature of their work.


CIPE partners with the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) in Ghana to provide advocacy support to more than 100 farmer-based associations in four districts in northern Ghana. With CIPE and PEF support, these associations have strengthened advocacy skills and dialogue with local government officials, providing better access to community development programs.


The Institute for Solidarity in Asia works to reform and build the capacities of local governments across the Philippines and emphasizes that delivery of government services is an important part of democratic growth. In 2010, the city of Iloilo increased local tax collection rates and reduced the time required to process business licenses by 85 percent. This healthier economic environment contributed to an expected quadrupling of the city’s manufacturing output.


With support from the Association for Foreign Investment and Cooperation in Armenia, a coalition of Armenian business associations successfully advocated for new legislation on state support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The new law will ensure that government resources intended to promote small enterprises are allocated appropriately, demonstrating that private sector advocacy is an important voice in the democratic process.

In Russia, CIPE partner OPORA (Union of Business Associations of Russia) successfully advocated for a significant change in the way companies bid on federal, regional, and local government contracts. Russia’s Federal Statistical Agency estimates that the change will help free up approximately $50 million in SME capital.


The Paraguayan Foundation for Cooperation and Development has been building an entrepreneurial culture by introducing entrepreneurship education in public schools in Paraguay. Over 1,600 young people have already benefited from this program.


CIPE’s work with partners in Lebanon was integral to encourage and support the establishment of a Good Governance Unit within the Lebanese Prime Minister’s office. This unit stresses public-private dialogue and works with a wide range of civil society organizations on anti-corruption and governance issues within the public administration.


CIPE’s 2010 youth essay competition attracted more than 600 entries from 81 countries with essays on issues of women’s empowerment, democracy that delivers, and the linkages between entrepreneurship and development. CIPE published and shared the winning essays with its extensive global network. Several essays have been published by local media around the world.

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Functional democracies deliver tangible benefits for all segments of the population and ensure the protection of basic freedoms and human rights. Their effectiveness and durability are not defined by passing a single law or strengthening a regulation; functional democracies involve strong, transparent processes and institutions for holding elections, making policy decisions, developing laws and regulations, and ensuring accountability. Appropriate and consistent governance ensures that political systems are responsive to the needs and concerns of a country’s citizens, and that electoral promises translate into real action and outcomes.

  • By working with the business community to reduce corruption in Russia, CIPE is both improving the economic competitiveness of small firms and helping improve transparency in public governance institutions.
  • In Yemen, the CIPE-sponsored documentary film Destructive Beast addresses corruption’s damage to the economic, political, and social fabric of Yemeni society. Government agencies in Yemen are using the film and its concrete policy recommendations to train officials on efforts to reduce corruption.
  • By improving governance in towns across the Philippines, CIPE is strengthening democracy on the local level and creating a more solid foundation for economic development and entrepreneurship.
  • By engaging students in Afghanistan through entrepreneurship and civics courses, CIPE is providing the next generation of Afghans with alternatives to state employment and is strengthening their belief in and understanding of democracy.

“CIPE nurtures private enterprise throughout the developing and post-Soviet world by creating partnerships with the constituency most eager for democratic and market reforms – ordinary, grassroots entrepreneurs.”

— Hernando de Soto

CIPE operates at the intersection of democratic and market reforms. By including the business community in the reform process, CIPE helps put real economic solutions in the hands of decision-makers. In partnering with associations, think tanks, media groups, and other civil society organizations CIPE brings a wealth of knowledge from 27 years of experience conducting 1,300 reform programs in more than 100 countries around the world. CIPE provides technical expertise, helps build capacity for business associations and chambers of commerce, and helps strengthen private sector advocacy. It has been at the forefront of key reform initiatives from Egypt to Russia, from China to Venezuela, and from Iraq to Pakistan, engaging business in policy reform, removing barriers to participation for historically underrepresented groups, strengthening governance processes, building the capacity of civil society, improving the quality of economic legislation, and reducing corruption.

CIPE forms partnerships with local organizations and develops programs that have local ownership. In developing a program strategy, CIPE focuses on the root causes of the key problems that countries face (including corruption, lack of jobs, and poor functioning of public services) and works to remedy the underlying causes.

By focusing on institutional reforms, these programs can achieve a much greater impact than by addressing singular or special interest concerns.

At the very core, democracies and market economies are closely linked. Basic human and economic rights are indivisible – whether one is talking about freedom of associations, rule of law, property rights, or freedom of expression. These rights are necessary both for democracies to function and for market economies to take root and thrive.

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CIPE works to create and strengthen institutions of accountability and increase public participation in reform.


With the private sector leading the way, CIPE seeks to improve governance mechanisms and standards and make a link between cultural norms and the rule of law.


CIPE supports grassroots participation of private sector organizations by providing support and technical assistance.


CIPE initiates and supports programs to educate private sector leaders and the public on fairness, accountability, responsibility, and transparency.


CIPE encourages the private sector to identify laws and regulations that hinder business activity and make reform recommendations.


CIPE works with local partners to achieve greater transparency in government and an unrestricted voice for reformers.


CIPE supports women and youth through entrepreneurship and management programs.


CIPE and its partners support the democratic voice and participation of the informal sector, reforming business registration procedures, and strengthening private property rights.

  • Foster institutions necessary to establish and sustain market-oriented democracies.
  • Increase private sector participation in the democratic process.
  • Increase support for and understanding of the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities essential to market-oriented democracies among government officials, businesspeople, media, and the public.
  • Improve governance through transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors.
  • Strengthen freedom of association and private, voluntary business organizations.
  • Promote an entrepreneurial culture and understanding of how markets work.
  • Expand access to information necessary for sound entrepreneurial and policy decisions.

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“Creating and integrating the institutions of democracy and the systems that facilitate a free market is a major challenge for nations emerging from authoritarian rule. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) has helped the proponents of reform meet this challenge in the developing and former communist worlds for over two decades. CIPE has worked with its partners to clear the way for entrepreneurial activity, bringing structure and predictability to economic transactions, and encouraging the risk taking that fuels growth and prosperity. CIPE’s mission is at the heart of the development mission. The organization has successfully targeted the informal economy that so saps the life blood of nations trying mightily to combat poverty while simultaneously building enduring institutions and rule-of-law systems. CIPE has been part of contemporary history in new democratic nations around the world.

It has been said that building market democracies is a journey, not a destination. If so, [Strategies for Policy Reform, Volume 2] is a road map, a highly useful manual for the architects of successful societies.”

— J. Brian Atwood,
Chairman, Development Assistance Committee
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Center for International Private Enterprise

1155 15th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
ph: (202) 721-9200
fax: (202) 721-9250

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy. Since 1983, CIPE has worked with business leaders, policymakers, and journalists to build the civic institutions vital to a democratic society. CIPE’s key program areas include anti-corruption, advocacy, business associations, corporate governance, democratic governance, access to information, the informal sector and property rights, and women and youth. CIPE programs are supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of State, including the Middle East Partnership Initiative and the U.S. Embassy in Iraq Office for Private Sector Development.

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© 2011
Center for International Private Enterprise

Center for International Private Enterprise

2010 Annual Report