Case Studies

From the Streets to Markets: Formalization of Street Vendors in Metropolitan Lima

By Gustavo Marini, Kim Eric Bettcher, Martin Friedl

Reforms of the 1980s and 1990s altered the historical pattern of informal street vending in Lima, Peru, to create superior commercial opportunities for poor vendors. Hernando de Soto’s Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) identified and promoted the crucial elements of growth that had eluded policymakers and businesspeople for decades: property rights, low barriers to market entry, cost-effective regulation, and a democratic policy process.

Promoting Government Accountability and Social Participation

In the mid-1990s, most private businesspeople in Georgia felt that they were caught in a “no-man’s land” between the command economy and a market economy. The Georgian Parliament passed 700 new pieces of legislation over five years to help create the legal framework for a market economy. Yet the legal transition was hampered by a lack of mechanisms for effective implementation, administrative lethargy, and contradictions among the different laws.

Building a Coalition Against Corruption

By Nafisul Islam

Bulgaria’s transition to democracy and a market economy in the 1990s was severely constrained by corruption. As state resources were privatized, institutional weaknesses left openings for corruption and allowed the influence of former communist nomenklatura and organized crime. Corruption reached every sphere of life and weakened public confidence in democracy.

Sustaining Policy Reform

By Cristina Grecu

Throughout Romania’s first decade of political and economic transition, the government paid little attention to the needs of the private sector. Although private enterprise became legal in 1990, corruption, weak market institutions, and a lack of information hindered growth. Because the government favored established interests, individual entrepreneurs struggled to keep up with state-owned competitors and had little means of communicating with policy makers, let alone influencing them.

Training Political Parties on Economic Platforms

By Nafisul Islam

Iraq’s efforts to establish a democratic system depend on the development of strong, professional political parties that are capable of both effective governance and representation of their constituencies. Within a short period, as many as 150 political parties came into existence to contest elections in 2005. Few of these parties had understanding of a market economy or plans for promoting economic growth.

Creating Frameworks for Anti-Corruption and Ethics

By Nafisul Islam

Drug trafficking and terrorism are often portrayed as the most severe threats to Colombia’s economic and political progress. But in a survey conducted by the Colombian Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (Confecámaras) and the Corona Foundation, more than 37 percent of Colombians identified corruption as the country’s main problem. Confecámaras pioneered the Probidad (“integrity”) project in late 1999 to fight corruption in the public sector and change the culture of business in Colombia.

Strengthening Women’s Business Associations

By Corina Schwartz

The political changes of 1989 triggered the development of the private sector in Romania and the creation of support organizations to represent the interests of the business community. Romanian women proved ambitious and willing to take risks, making their way into an arena previously reserved for men by founding successful businesses and ascending to top management positions.

Developing Women’s Entrepreneurship

Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, has held democratic elections since 1994. After three decades of rule by a president-for-life, the country is beginning to emerge from political and economic underdevelopment and an acute lack of civil society. Women’s groups in particular are beginning to play an important role in the development of civil society and the private sector. One of the most successful organizations has been the National Association of Business Women of Malawi (NABW).

Advising Legislators on Economic Issues

In the 1980s, the Congress of the Dominican Republic had little influence on public policy decisions, which were dominated by the executive branch. The country needed serious economic policy change in order to overcome debilitating problems like unemployment, inflation, foreign debt, and misuse of public funds. Yet legislators were at the mercy of the government bureaucracy when it came to estimating the economic impact of legislation. They had few resources with which to analyze legislation, lacking both personal and committee research staff.

Developing Regional Business Agendas

In 2003, using a process developed by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), business associations, think tanks, and civil society organizations in eight Russian regions formed local coalitions to advocate for a better business climate. In each region, the local coalition crafted a Regional Business Agenda (RBA) for improved private sector growth. Participants worked in small groups with their regional partners to identify common obstacles and development objectives.


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