Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Humphrey MPP McManigal receives Boren Award for study in Morocco

Congratulations to Humphrey MPP candidate Brooke McManigal, who has been awarded the prestigious Boren Fellowship to study in Morocco during the 2016-17 academic year. Brooke will study Arabic at the Arabic Language Institute in Fez.

Boren Fellowship Basics

Boren Fellowships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

Boren Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Humphrey Fellow Onishchenko affiliation with Atlantic Council

2015-16 Humphrey International Fellow Kirill Onishchenko will serve his professional affiliation in May and June at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, working with staff in the Eurasia Center.  Mr. Onishchenko will conduct a research project on political transition in Central Asia while in residence there.

Mr. Onishchenko started his public service career at the age of 21 as an elected member of the municipal council in his hometown of Kingisepp near Leningrad, Russia. From 2005- 2011 he coordinated local social development projects funded by the Netherlands government and was responsible for the regional outreach campaign of the project "Strengthening Access to Justice for the Poor in the Russian Federation" supported by the World Bank. In 2011 he joined the Eurasian Development Bank as the Leading Specialist at the Centre for Integration Studies, focusing on social and economic transition in the former Soviet countries. He also served as the Managing Editor of the quarterly Journal of the Eurasian Economic Integration. Mr. Onishchenko is Vice Chair of the Russian Red Cross Society in Leningrad region where he oversees humanitarian aid work, programs for children, youth and socially unprotected populations. He holds a specialist degree in public relations from the Institute of Foreign Economic Relations in Saint Petersburg and is pursuing a Ph.D. in political studies.

Friday at HHH: Global Policy capstone presentations, 12:30

Global Policy Capstone Presentations

Join us Friday, May 6, at 12:30 in 170 Humphrey for a light refreshments while you listen to student presentations of Global Policy Capstone reports on projects with:

· The Stimson Center—Examining good practices in local conflict resolution efforts in conflict areas on three continents.

· HIAS—Assessing the impact of The Linking Communities grant project, designed by a consortium of NGO’s to promote welcoming attitudes toward refugees in the U.S.

Light refreshments will be served!

For more information, contact: Mary Curtin, mtcurtin@umn.edu

Diplomat in Residence/Global Policy Area Coordinator
Human Rights Program Advisor
143 Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
email: mtcurtin@umn.edu
phone: 612-624-1065

Monday, May 2, 2016

Humphrey Fellows Aluiz, Lukić and Zahra prof affiliations with World Bank Global Governance programs

2015-16 Humphrey International Fellows Abdelmajid Aluiz (Morocco), Staša Lukić (Serbia)  and Najia Zahra (Pakistan) will each conduct a professional affiliation in May and June this year with the World Bank's Governance Global Practice Department. 

Mr. Aluiz will work in the Africa section, Ms.Lukić on Europe and Central Asia, and Ms. Zahra on South Asia Region.

CARE video: "Women as Refugees in Intern'l Devel" with Rep. McCollum


Women as Refugees in International Development

Hosted by CARE Action Network, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Global Minnesota March 8, 2016 at the University of Minnesota

Women are key to international development. Numerous studies and experiences of international agencies such as CARE show that empowering women through health care, education, and finance results in better lives for themselves, their families, and communities. But what happens when large numbers of people are uprooted from their homes and social systems by political upheaval and violence? Women, in particular, are prevented from performing the economic and social activities that would otherwise lift their families from poverty, causing further dependence rather than self-sufficiency.

Panel discussion included US Representative Betty McCollum (D - St. Paul) and Reem Khamis, Protection and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Technical Advisor for the American Refugee Committee. Sherry Gray of the Humphrey School was event moderator.

Panelists offered their observations about women as refugees and their involvement or absence in international development and the current political environment.

CARE Action Network (CAN), the public policy arm of CARE, is comprised of over 200,000 volunteer advocates across the U.S. who communicate with legislators about issues critical to the fight against global poverty, learn about upcoming CARE events happening in their community and become part of a global movement standing up for the rights of women, children and poor families around the world. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs inspires leaders to advance the common good in a diverse and changing world. As a top-ranked public policy and planning school situated in a major metropolitan area, we provide students a wide array of skills, expertise, and real-world experience to transform ideas into action. For 60 years, as Minnesota’s Door to the World, the Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center) has provided rich and varied opportunities for individuals from Minnesota and around the world to serve as citizen diplomats and to gain a deeper understanding of their place in the world community. Travel assistance by Delta Airlines

Humphrey Fellow (Law) Matthews & UMN grad students on "Using budget analysis to confront gov'ts"

reprinted from: https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ian-allen-megan-manion-thandi-matthews-robert-ralston/using-budget-analysis-to-conf

Using budget analysis to confront governments: what practitioners need to know
Ian Allen, Megan Manion, Thandi Matthews, and Robert Ralston 2 May 2016

Millions of dollars that could address socio-economic disparities are lost through illicit financial flows, but budget analysis could help. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rights.

Budgets are where the rubber of international commitment meets the road of government policy. Budget analysis allows advocates to enter complex debates concerning a country’s political economy and analyze budgetary decisions, beginning with country obligations under international and national law. Armed with budget data, human rights researchers can assess governments’ budgetary policies and provide alternatives. Yet, budget analysis is a vastly underutilized tool in human rights circles. As demand for numerical data on human rights continues to rise, practitioners should take budget analysis seriously as a method of confronting governments about their revenue, allocation and spending on human rights-related aspects of their budgets, particularly within the realm of economic and social rights (ESR).

Governments often argue that they are unable to meet their obligations in terms of economic and social rights because they do not have the resources to do so. Yet, as recently articulated in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda issued by the United Nations, millions of dollars that governments could use to address socio-economic disparities are lost through illicit financial flows created through corrupt practices and tax evasion by wealthy individuals. Understanding how budgets operate and what governments prioritize is becoming more necessary to rebut these claims and hold governments accountable.

Understanding how budgets operate and what governments prioritize is becoming more necessary to rebut these claims and hold governments accountable.Budget analysis is not new in the human rights field, of course. It is especially relevant to monitor ESR, which, in terms of the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, requires an assessment of whether a government has made attempts to progressively realize its ESR obligations over time, and within its maximum available resources.

During 2000, Fundar Centro de Análisis e Investigación, in partnership with International Human Rights Internship Program and International Budget Project, gathered human rights activists and applied budget analysts in a series of meetings exploring the use of budget analysis to assess government compliance with its ESR obligations. The result was an in-depth budget analysis from an ESR perspective, Dignity Counts, which dissected Mexican healthcare spending prior to the country’s revolutionary 2002 reform.

Today, others are involved in similar activities, including the International Budget Partnership (IBP), the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), and the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net). Budget analysis work is conducted around the world and at all levels of government, by organizations located in both the Global North and South.

There are three main types of budget analysis: revenue-focused analysis, budget allocation analysis and budget expenditure analysis. Revenue focused analyses examine how governments generate income, with special attention paid to taxation. For example, are certain groups in a country sharing an unequal amount of the tax burden? Revenue focused analyses also point to areas in which the government is missing opportunities to generate revenue. The Center for Economic and Social Rights, for example, demonstrated how the Spanish government, by failing to take meaningful efforts to stop tax evasion, was missing important sources of revenue during times of economic crises and austerity measures. CESR was able to show that Spain was failing to live up to its obligations to exhaust “alternative and less restrictive measures.”

Budget allocation analysis considers the budgetary characteristics of governments’ ESR commitments and obligations. Researchers compare spending patterns to see if governments are fulfilling their obligations. For example, budget allocation analysis can look at tradeoffs between national security and education spending; spending on government events, entertainment and advertising; disparate allocations to different groups; or per capita health allocations from one district to another. In the case of Spain during a period of austerity (2010-2014), budget analysis revealed that spending by the Spanish government on social spending dramatically decreased, particularly for those most vulnerable members of society.

Budget expenditure analysis compares budget allocation to actual spending and is often the most important of the three types of budget analysis because it evaluates actual spending by governments. For example, in the original budget, a government may pledge 15% of its GDP to healthcare, but may only end up spending 10%. Returning to the case of Spain, during a period of economic crises and subsequent governmental austerity measures, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) was able to demonstrate that Spain has had one of the steepest drops in health spending relative to other European countries. This finding, alongside other analyses of Spain’s spending on ESR-related programs, was used to make specific recommendations during Spain’s Universal Periodic Review.

From an ESR perspective, each of these types of budget analyses are informed by the legal obligations articulated in international law. Therefore, it is essential that state obligations to progressively realize to the maximum availability of their resources be transformed into measurable components. Turning these legal concepts into those measurable components is, however, an area of this work that experts seem to agree is in need of greater research and development.

We recognize that conducting a budget analysis on its own is insufficient to make conclusive findings on whether or not a government has met its obligations to progressively realize ESR within its maximum available resources. Human rights practitioners who plan on conducting budget analyses to monitor ESR should also consider:
Transparency and data quality. Budgets are at times inaccessible or are populated with poor quality data—advocates can push for better transparency of state budgets that prioritize as a broader ESR advocacy strategy.
Partnerships with budget organizations. Human rights practitioners should consider partnerships with budget organizations that are not specifically focused on human rights to aid in budget analysis from a technical standpoint. Also, partnering with local organizations that monitor ESR through the lens of budget analysis can add to the authenticity of findings, and contribute to soliciting the necessary action from politicians and lawmakers.
Using budget analysis alongside other methods of monitoring ESR. Budget analysis is not an end in itself. Existing human rights methods that measure incremental steps of progressive realization remain relevant, particularly when there are missing data. These include an analysis of obligations contained in laws to measure policy efforts, and outcomes assessments, such as indicators and benchmarks.

As governments transition to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, human rights researchers and advocates invested in ESR should consider budget analysis as an essential tool to hold governments accountable to their own policies. Beyond advocating that governments recognize ESR as rights to which citizens are entitled, rather than mere outcomes of economic development, it will become necessary for human rights practitioners to understand the nuances of state budgets to ensure that the claims they make are pragmatic and capable of enforcement.

About the authors

Ian Allen is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota studying Comparative and International Development Education.

Megan Manion is a graduating law student at the University of Minnesota Law School concentrating on international law and international human rights law.

Thandi Matthews is a South African human rights attorney and research fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Robert Ralston is a graduate student in Political Science at the University of Minnesota.

Read On

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MPP Plouff awarded Smaby Fellowship for study in Oslo

Congratulations to Humphrey School Master's of Public Policy Candidate | Environmental Policy Abbie Plouff has been granted a Philip C. Smaby Peace Fellowship award to attend the 2016 University of Oslo's International Summer School (ISS).   

Philip C. Smaby was proud of both his Norwegian immigrant heritage and his life-long commitment to building global business relationships that encouraged economic stability and supported a more peaceful world. A 1942 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Smaby wished to reflect these deeply held values in a gift to his alma mater to endow a graduate fellowship at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs designed to inspire and engage students to pursue academic studies at the world-renowned University of Oslo International Summer School in the fields of world peace, social justice, conflict resolution and human rights. A biography of Mr. Smaby can be found at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/startribune/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=119311647.

Previous Humphrey School Smaby Awardees are:

2015 Meredith Cavin (MPP)2014 Erin Cowles (MSTEP)
2013 Tenzin Khando (MPP) and Brendan Crosby (MPA)
2012 Harshada Karnik (MPP) and Erik Sande (MPP)
2011 Brandon Baumbach (MPP) and Duane Johnson (MPP).

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