December 2016

Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Update

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Five Questions on Innovative Finance

Reuters/Noor Khami

Reuters/Noor Khami

Reducing poverty, mitigating climate change, and improving access to medicines are global problems that require massive investments beyond the capabilities of governments and philanthropists. Helping to fill the resource gap is innovative finance, a growing field that looks for creative ways to put both private and public capital to work for the common good. 

In the newest of its Five Questions series, the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy (CSMD) program interviews Georgia Levenson Keohane, executive director of the Pershing Square Foundation, adjunct professor of social enterprise at Columbia Business School, and author of Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance is Tackling the World’s Most Urgent Problems. She talks about what innovative finance means and how it works, and addresses both its successes and limitations.  Read the full conversation on Innovative Finance »



How to Measure Corruption
Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann  

Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann


Niklas Kossow of ANTICORRP and the European Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building lays outs a new approach to measuring corruption: the Index of Public Integrity.  Read more on the Development Channel »

Mexico’s Corrupt Governors
Shannon O'Neil



Corruption was a top concern for millions of Mexican voters who went to the polls last June and elected new governors in twelve of the country’s thirty-one states. Seven of Mexico’s outgoing governors face serious corruption allegations; five are already under investigation either by the Mexican or U.S. governments. CSMD Director Shannon O’Neil gives a rundown of the governors’ alleged misdeeds, including money laundering, fraud, and embezzlement.  
Read more on the Development Channel »

Brazil’s Hunt for Offshore Cash
Matthew Taylor
Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino  

Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino


Ahead of an October deadline to reveal hidden offshore assets, more than 25,000 Brazilians disclosed $12.6 billion in foreign bank accounts to revenue authorities, bringing in nearly $4 billion in fines and unpaid taxes. CFR’s Matthew Taylor explains how and why this program worked, helped along by a similar U.S. disclosure program and an increase in cross-border data sharing.   Read more on the Development Channel »




Global trade and the supply chains that support it are undergoing a period of profound change. Supply chains face threats including climate change, decaying infrastructure, human rights abuses, and a resurgence of protectionism. An ongoing Development Channel series highlights expert analyses on global supply chain trends and challenges, including these two recent posts:

Keeping Workers Safe With Stronger Labor Standards
Reuters/Joe Tan  

Reuters/Joe Tan


As global supply chains have proliferated, so too have efforts to enhance good business practices within them. Beth Keck of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies explains the evolution from government-regulated labor standards to companies’ own policing initiatives. She argues that collaborative approaches are more effective in improving worker protections.   Read more on the Development Channel »

Facing Cataclysmic Risks in Supply Chains
Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain  

Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain


The rise in outsourcing has transformed many companies into global supply chain managers, vulnerable to unpredictable disruptions such as factory shutdowns, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. Sang Kim, associate professor at Yale School of Management, argues for making supply chains more flexible to guard against these kinds of risks. Strategies like designing products that use multipurpose parts and production lines that can be used for a range of goods give companies built-in backups when a crisis hits.   Read more on the Development Channel »


CSMD Spring Internship Opportunity

CSMD is accepting applications for a volunteer internship this spring. A project within CFR’s David Rockefeller Studies Program, CSMD seeks to advance inclusive economic, political, and social policies that support openness, transparency, and accountability worldwide. Ideal candidates are undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in trade and global supply chains, democracy, and anticorruption. See full internship description on



The Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy (CSMD) program seeks to better understand the economic, political, and social dynamics shaping the twenty-first century. By examining how to address corruption and implement and enforce the rule of law more generally, how the private sector is evolving its supply chains and its social responsibility, and how technological innovations drive civil-society engagement, CSMD aims to inform better policies globally.



Shannon K. O'Neil
Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program


John Campbell
Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies

Jared Cohen
Adjunct Senior Fellow

Steven A. Cook
Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies

Joshua Kurlantzick
Fellow for Southeast Asia
Gayzle Tzemach Lemmon
Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy

Matthew M. Taylor
Adjunct Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies

Catherine Powell
Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy

Rachel B. Vogelstein
Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program


Leslie Dewees
Assistant Director
Sabina Frizell
Research Associate