By William Easterly
The new World Bank blog People, Spaces, Deliberation has already achieved one milestone: it covers exhaustively the field of “governance” with little or no usage of words that have historically been prominent in such discussions (see chart).
How to get these numbers: Click on one of these words in the list of “tags” and count the number of pages with search results. No tags existed on ‘consent’ or ‘liberty.’
We were inspired by the new blog to translate one historical document that is now badly out of date and frame it as a practical roadmap for further engaging civil society:
|We hold these truths to be self-evident
||The mainstream consensus among experts is
|that all men are created equal,
||All efforts should be inclusive,
|that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
||Development as a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative must be Broad-based and Community-driven,
|that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
||Including Social Sector Goals, Participation, and the pursuit of Capacity-Building.
This community-driven participator is unfortunately not adhering to Governance best practices set out by the authorities.
We … call on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and America’s Western allies to publicly repudiate Ethiopia’s efforts to use terrorism laws to silence political dissent. We also urge the U.S. to ensure that our more than $600 million in aid to Ethiopia is not used to foster repression.
This is the call to action from a letter published in the New York Review of Books this month.
We at DRI are inspired by the courage of Eskinder Nega, an Ethiopian journalist, newspaper publisher, and dissident arrested on September 14th after writing a blog post demanding freedom of expression and an end to torture in Ethiopian prisons. Despite previous arrests, both Eskinder and his wife, Serkalem Fasil, have chosen to remain in Ethiopia and continue their work.
While we don’t want to meddle in other countries’ politics, we do want to speak out against aid that supports rights-violating regimes, in solidarity with Ethiopian citizens who are simply asking to exercise their own civil liberties.