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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Development economist William Easterly says too much aid undermines the rights of the poor.
William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University, is one of the most prominent iconoclasts in the field of international aid. In 2006 he published White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. Kent Annan (Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle; After Shock) talked with him on a frigid Manhattan day over hot green tea the day after the launch of his new book, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (2014).
What are the "forgotten rights of the poor"?
The rights of the poor should be the same as the rights of the rich: the core, inalienable rights that started with the language of the Declaration of Independence, including the idea that governments exist by the consent of the governed.
There is an ongoing debate around the world between the advocates of freedom for the individual and the advocates for more authoritarian, powerful states like Russia and China, and seen in battles from Ukraine to Venezuela to Ethiopia.
The sad thing is that the field and practice of development have too often been on the wrong side of this debate. They've implicitly painted themselves into a corner where they're on the authoritarian side. Then they're backing the autocrats, backing the oppressors against the oppressed.
You are an economist, but this book seems to largely make a moral argument.
As an economist, to include such a strong moral dimension is a bit unusual. I start the book making it clear that the idea we can have a purely technical approach to resolving the problems of poverty without any moral implications is an illusion.
For me, this has been a long intellectual journey, from being one of the experts who was oblivious to the "rights of the poor" issue, to now criticizing those experts. In my development career, I worked closely at various times with autocratic governments and officials in places like Mexico and Russia and Pakistan, and in Africa with Ethiopia and Ghana before it was democratic.
I realized our attitude towards the poor is so often condescending and paternalistic. We think of them as helpless individuals. We don't respect their dignity as individuals.
The next step was not to just avoid paternalism or condescension but actually to go back to first principles and think about the rights of the poor and what role those rights play in development. Economists' research actually does give the institutions associated with individual rights a lot of the credit for the development in the West and the rest of the world. This combined with my own moral awakening that these rights are a desirable good in and of themselves. Whenever we violate them, we set back development.
Humility or self-restraint seems to be a theme through your work.
My cultural and faith upbringing contributed to the feeling of humility. I grew up in the Midwest, in Ohio, with a faith background that stressed humility, not being over-confident in your own wisdom, not being too self-important. That informs my openness to a critique of experts as being too arrogant in their own knowledge and too oblivious to the moral consequences of their overconfidence that can lead to doing damage to other people.
For example, if you work with the government of Ethiopia, you have to consider whether you may be indirectly contributing to someone being kept in jail for 18 years like Eskinder Nega, a peaceful blogger who made quite innocuous criticisms of the government.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/april-web-only/poverty-is-moral-problem.html
ተጻፈ በሀገሬሰላም ሆሮረሳ 
ምንጭ፦ የሲዳማ ኣርነት ግንባር( ሲነግ) ድህረ_ገጽ ፤ http://sidamaliberation-front.org/ 

የዓለም ህዘብ በስሱና የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በጥልቀት እንደሚያውቀው የሲዳማ ህዝብ በደል፣ህገመንግሥታዊ መብት መጣስና ድፍጠጣ፣ የሰብዓዊና ዴሞክራሲያዊ መብቶች መካድና የሲዳማ ህዝብ ሀብት መበዝበዝ ረዥም ዘመናትን ያስቆጠረ መሆኑን በቅን ልቦና ለሚመለከት ለማንኛውም ሰው ግልጽ ነው፡፡የሲዳማ ህዝብም በሚፈጸምበት ግፍ መማረሩንና ሥራዓቱን ሊታገሠው አለመቻሉን ግልጽ በመድረግ ለነጻነቱ እየታገለ ይገኛል፡፡ 

ወቅቱን እየጠበቁ በሚፈራረቁ ካድሮች የሚሰቃየው የሲዳማ ህዝብ አሁን ደግሞ ኑሮ ውድነቱና ብልሹ አስተዳደር የህዝቡን አንድነት 
እያናጉ ይገኛሉ፡፡ 
 የኢህአዴግ ተላላኪዎች በሚያቀርቡት ‘በሬ ወለደ ፕሮፓጋንዳ’ የሲዳማ ህዝብ የመለያየት እርኩስ መንፈስ የተጠናወተውን ነገር ግን 
የማይበቅለውን ዘር እየዘሩም ይገኛሉ፡፡ እንደዚህ እንዲል ያነሳሳኝ ካለፈው ሁለት ዓመታት ጀምሮ ይበልጥ እየተጠናከረ የመጣውን 
የሲዳማ ህዝብ ትግል ያስፈራው ኢህአዴግ/ሕወኻት መንግስት በአቶ አድሱ ለገሰ በኩል የሲዳማ ክልል ለመጎብኘት ብቅ ብሎ ከክልሉ የተለያዩ ዞኖችንና ወረዳዎንች በመሄድ የነበረውን(ያለውን) የፖለትካ ውጥረት ለመቃኘትም ጭምር አብዛኞቻችን እናውቃለን፡፡ በዚህ ጉዞው የተለያዩ የሲዳማ ህብረተሰብ ክፍል ያነጋገሩ ሲሆን የጋጠማቸውም የሥርዓቱ ባዶነትን ቁልጭ አድርጎ እንዳሳየው ህደቱን በቅርበት ስከታተል ከነበረው ምንጫችን ለማወቅ ተችለዋል፡፡ 

ነገር ግን የተሰማውን የሲዳማ ህዝብ ዘርፈ ብዙ ችግሮች(multidimensional problems) ወደ ጎን ትተው ‘’የሲዳማ ህዝብ በራሱ 
ብሔርና ብሔረሰብ ስብስብ’’ ነው በማለት የኢህአዴግን የመሰነጣጠቅ አጀንዳውን ሹክ ያለው አፍትልኮ ወተው ነበር፡፡ ዳቦ ተጠይቆ ድንጋይ(ጥይት) ማቀበል የለመዱ የኢህአዴግ/ሕወኻት ተላላከ ካድሮች የሲዳማን ብሎም የሀገሪቱን ብሔሮች፣ብሔረሰቦችና ህዝቦች 
የማከፋፈል አጀንዳቸው የሚተገብሩበት ጊዜ የመጣ ይመስላል፡፡ ምክንያቱም ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ የሲዳማ ህዝብ እየተራመሰ ስለምገኝ 
ነው፡፡ የሲዳማ ህዘብ በጎሳ፣በቤተሰብ፣በታናሽና ታላቅ፣ በባልና ምስት እየተከፋፈሉ ይገኛሉ፡፡ 

ተጨማሪ ለማንበብ ይህንን ሊንክ ይጫኑ ኣድማጭ ያጣ

አዲስ አበባ መጋቢት 24/2006 አንዳንድ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች በቀጣዩ ዓመት የሚካሄደው 5ኛው አገር አቀፍ ምርጫ ህጋዊ፤ሰላማዊና ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሆኖ እንዲጠናቀቅ  የበኩላቸውን አስተዋጽኦ ለማበርከት ዝግጁ መሆናቸውን ገለጹ።

ኢዜአ ካነጋገራቸው  ተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች መካከል ሰማያዊ ፓርቲ፣ቅንጅት ለአንድነትና ለዴሞክራሲ፣ የመላው ኢትዮጵያ አንድነት ድርጅት(መኢአድ)የኢትዮጵያ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ፓርቲ(ኢዴፓ) ይገኙበታል።

የሰማያዊ ፓርቲ ሊቀመንበር ኢንጅነር ይልቃል ጌትነት ፓርቲው በምርጫው የህዝቡን ይሁንታ ለማግኘት ግልጽ ፖሊሲና ስትራቴጂ  በመከተል ሰላማዊ ትግሉን መቀላቀሉን ገልጸዋል።
 
የምርጫ ዝግጅት ዘርፈ ብዙ ተግባራትን የሚጠይቅና የህብረተሰቡን ሁለንተናዊ ለውጥ ለማረጋገጥ ዋነኛ መሳሪያ በመሆኑ ፓርቲው አባላትን በማፍራትና እጩዎች በመመልመል ላይ ይገኛል።

ምርጫው ፍትሃዊና ህጋዊ ሆኖ እንዲጠናቀቅም ፓርቲው የሚጠበቅበትን አስተዋጽኦ ለማድረግ ዝግጁ መሆኑን ሊቀመንበሩ ተናግረዋል።                     

የቅንጅት ለአንድነትና ዲሞክራሲ ፓርቲ የህዝብ ግንኙነት ሃላፊ አቶ ሳሳሁልህ ከበደ በበኩላቸው የፓርቲው አባላት የድርጅቱን ህግንና ደንብ መሰረት በማድረግ ምርጫው ዴሞክራሲያዊና ሰላማዊነት የበኩላቸውን እንዲወጡ ያደርጋል።

በቀጣዩ አመት በሚካሄደው ምርጫ ፓርቲው ብቁና ጠንካራ ተፎካካሪ ሆኖ ለመቅረብ ከወዲሁ በአባላት ምልምላና የስነ-ምግባር ደንብ ግንዛቤ የመፍጠር ስራ እንደሚጀመር ገልጸዋል።

አቶ ሳሳሁልህ እንዳሉት አንዳንድ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችና አለም አቀፍ ድርጅቶች በአገሪቱ የፖለቲካ ምህዳሩ ጠቧል በሚል የሚያነሱትን ስሞታ ድርጅታቸው አይቀበለውም።

በአገራና ወቅታዊ አንገብጋቢ ጉዳዮች ላይ  በፓርቲዎች መካከል ተቀራርቦ  የመወያዬት ባህሉ
ዝቅትኛ መሆኑን ተናግረዋል።                   

የመላው ኢትዮጵያ አንድነት ድርጅት(መኢአድ) ፕሬዝዳንት አቶ አበባው መሐሪ በቀጣዩ አገራዊ ምርጫ ፓርቲያቸው የገዥው ፓርቲ ዋነኛ ተፎካካሪ ሆኖ እንደሚቀርብ  ገልጸዋል።

መኢአድ በአገሪቱ አብዛኞቹ  አካባቢዎች ጽህፈት ቤቶችን በመክፈትና አዳዲስ አባላትን ለማፍራት ከወዲሁ  እንቅስቃሴ መጀመሩንም ተናግረዋል።
                        
የኢትዮጵያ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ፓርቲ(ኢዴፓ) ሊቀመንበር አቶ ጫኔ ከበደ በበኩላቸው ፓርቲው ራሱን  በአዲስ መልክ በማደራጀትና በማጠናከር ላይ መሆኑን ገልጸዋል።

ፓርቲው በሁሉም የአገሪቱ አካባቢዎች ክልሎች፤ወረዳዎችና ቀበሌዎች ስለ ድርጅቱ ፖሊሲና አላማ ለህብረተሰቡ ግንዛቤ ለመፍጠር እየሰራ መሆኑን ተናግረዋል።    
            
የኢትዮጵያ ብሄራዊ ምርጫ ቦርድ ሰብሳቢ ፕሮፌሰር መርጋ በቃና ቦርዱ ቀጣዩ አገር አቀፍ ምርጫ ስኬታማ  እንዲሆን የተለያዩ የቅድመ ዝግጅት ስራዎች እየተከናወኑ መሆኑን አስረድተዋል።

በአሁኑ ወቅት በመላው አገሪቱ 78 ክልላዊና አገር አቀፍ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች በቦርዱ ህጋዊ እውቅና የተሰጣቸው ቢሆንም አዳዲስ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችም የተቋቋሙ ይገኛሉ።

ቀጣዩ ምርጫ በመራጮችና በተወዳዳሪ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ቁጥር ከፍተኛ ለውጥ ይታይበታል ተብሎ እንደሚጠበቅም  ጠቁመዋል።
            
ባለፉት አመታት በተካሄዱት ሁለት ምርጫዎች  የነበሩ ጉድለቶች እንዳይደገሙ ቦርዱ በርካታ ማሻሻያዎችን ማድረጉንም አስድረድተዋል።

ለአብነትም የምርጫው ሂደት ግልጽና አሳታፊ እንዲሆን በተለያዩ ቋንቋዎች የተዘጋጀ ለፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች እና የመራጮች የስነ-ምግባር ደንብ ማሻሻያን አንስተዋል።
 A grassroots surveillance network stretches even to remote rural areas (Adam Jones / Flickr)

Last week Human Rights Watch published a 100+ page report on government surveillance in Ethiopia that explains how the authorities use technology from countries like China, Germany and Italy to spy on opposition members, dissidents and journalists, even after they flee the country.
Ethiopia's Information Minister, Redwan Hussein, dismissed the report. “There is nothing new to respond to,” Hussein said, according to the AFP.
Felix Horne, who co-authored the HRW report with Cynthia Wong, told techPresident that is simply not true.
“[Ethiopian authorities] often castigate HRW for their coverage on Ethiopia,” Horne said.
“There's always been a perception [in Ethiopia] that phone calls and email are monitored,” Horne explained, but they did not have the evidence until recently, or a good idea of how it was used.
The government, Horne said, "has completely unfettered access to the metadata of all phone calls, and can record calls at the click of a mouse.”
The report details how the information gleaned from phone calls—both metadata and content—is being used against people for offenses as small as talking politics with your brother.
Not all of this technology is new and cutting-edge. In 2011, reporter Jennifer Valentino-Devries looked into the “off the shelf” surveillance market for the Wall Street Journal. By 2012, the Journal had pulled together a “catalog” of the kind of technologies available to governments around the world. They also posted attendance sheets from surveillance industry trade conferences.
(In 2011, Jerry Lucas, whose company runs a surveillance trade show, told the Journal "We don't really get into asking, 'Is this in the public interest?'")
Between 2007 and 2009, the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense, Information Network Security Agency, Ministry of the Interior, and the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission attended four industry conferences, where they could attend training sessions on “exploiting computer and mobile vulnerabilities for electronic surveillance” and meet with representatives of companies like FinFisher, which was boasting about being able to monitor Skype calls as early as 2011.
University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, which collaborated with HRW on research for the Ethiopia report,has found servers for FinSpy, one of FinFishers surveillance products, in 25 countries, including Ethiopia.
The most advanced tool the Ethiopian government has probably acquired since 2012 is ZTE's ZSMT monitoring system, which can centralize surveillance across multiple platforms: phone lines, mobile networks and the Internet. I write "probably" because ZTE, a Chinese telecom giant, would not confirm the purchase to HRW.
"The technical capacity of surveillance is very high,” Horne said, “but what they're doing with it is somewhat limited by a lack of human capacity—how to effectively use the tools—and a lack of trust between key government departments. But the net effect is the same. When people have a perception that they are being watched, they self-censor.”
Horne added that sometimes he calls someone in the country and they use “so many code words that 10 minutes in you don't understand what you're talking about.”
Many of the surveillance tactics described in the report sound downright thuggish, like forcing people to give up their phone and email or social media passwords upon arrest. A police officer explained to Horne and Wong that they simply do not need to use technology because they have a sprawling network of informants. “We know everything,” the officer said. “Nothing happens without someone knowing.”
But, hypothetically, if they didn't know where someone was? The officer explains it is as simple as calling the federal police and having them get in touch with Ethio Telecom, the sole telecom company in Ethiopia, and they will provide the person's location.
This is not really a story about cutting-edge cyber tools run amok—not yet at least. Internet penetration in Ethiopia is still less than two percent.
This is mostly a story about a country with a state-owned telecom monopoly, a robust network of informants, even in largely disconnected rural areas, a lack of privacy protections for its citizens, and a history of human rights abuses.
However, the report warns that that could be just the beginning: “Ethiopians may increasingly experience far more prevalent unlawful use of phone and email surveillance should the government’s human capacity increase.”
“One of our big asks,” said Horne, “is that these kinds of technologies be included in lists of things that might require an export license.”
That and, to paraphrase nearly two pages of recommendations for the government of Ethiopia, “Will you pretty please start respecting the rights of your citizens?”
Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network and the UN Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.
http://techpresident.com/news/wegov/24884/surveillance-ethiopia-bad-right-now-human-rights-report-warns-it-could-get-worse