In Kosovo, RTK Public TV filmed an episode of “Classroom Makeover”, in which parents and teachers use materials donated by the community to update and improve classrooms. The show was inspired by a USAID project of same concept.
In Nicaragua, we are supporting fair elections. In the face of this complex, non-transparent environment for the November 6th national elections, USAID’s election program is focusing on supporting civil society groups that will demand a fair and transparent process. Etica y Transparencia (ET) and the Instituto para el Desarrollo y la Democracia (IPADE), while not accredited, will deploy citizen observers who conduct crowdsourcing via an interactive election website (www.vivaelvoto.com) to document any complaints, irregularities, and violence that may be detected. ET’s 240 observers will mainly collect tally-sheets from the political alliances participating in the elections at the municipal level. They plan to scan the tally-sheets and transmit the information via internet to a centralized area in Managua. IPADE will concentrate on producing five departmental samples (Chinandega, Leon, Managua, Masaya and Matagalpa) and one national sample. They are planning to field around 3,200 observers nationwide. USAID also supports a network of media election observers who will share stories and disseminate election news to a network of 15 radio stations via www.lavozdelademocracia.com. In addition, we support various groups that are producing and disseminating voter education messages through televised electoral programs, radio spots, debates, billboards and websites (www.sebusca.org.ni).
Moldova, for the second time in three years, is among the top 10 reformers in the annual World Bank Doing Business Report. This year, Moldova jumped 18 places, moving from 99th to 81st place in the world, and came in second overall as the most improved country in the ratings. The final rating is based on reforms adopted and implemented which help to improve the investment climate – including areas such as starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes, and registering property. USAID’s Biztar program played a major role in helping Moldova to achieve these results through targeted support to the business enabling environment. Other key reforms supported by USAID were passed after this year’s report deadline, so more progress for Moldova is expected in next year’s report.