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  • Author: Natalia Spinu
  • Publication Date: 11-2022
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This report is a two-factor analysis of cybersecurity, including the legislative framework and key national actors in cybersecurity. The report presents the main cybersecurity threats in Moldova and the needs arising from national security objectives. After analysing the national cybersecurity strategy for Moldova, an identification and need for the main actors within the state who would be responsible for the implementation of the national strategy on cybersecurity was undertaken. A national action plan for cybersecurity was designed. It was understood that for a responsible and developed society there is a necessity to collaborate with the private sector and academia, and thus a robust cooperation and communication mechanism was described to include all the relevant stakeholders. The report reflects the conclusions and final remarks that have made the operational cybersecurity architecture in Moldova an elaborate framework.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Governance, Cybersecurity, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova
  • Author: Safdar Sial, Muhammad Amir Rana, Najam U Din
  • Publication Date: 01-2022
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS)
  • Abstract: While the political and security situation in neighboring Afghanistan is still fluid, concerns are growing inside Pakistan about the possible fallout including in terms of increased insecurity, border tensions, and militant violence. For one, the developments in Afghanistan had already started influencing Pakistan’s militant landscape in 2021 as the year witnessed not only an increase in terrorist attacks by the Pakistani Taliban in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also an intensified terrorist violence by Baloch insurgent groups mainly in Balochistan. Meanwhile, Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) province also emerged as one of the key actors of violence and instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the year. While the Afghan Taliban find it difficult to convince the world to recognize their government and activate/unfreeze financial channels, they are also finding it increasingly hard to address the domestic challenges mainly those linked to governance, security, and intra-Afghan reconciliation. Despite their repeated promises to not allow anyone to use the Afghan soil against Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban have yet not seriously considered to act against the TTP; except having facilitated the talks between Pakistani government and the TTP which have also not shown any successes so far. Nonetheless, there have been critical statements about Pakistan from some Taliban officials on multiple occasions about Pakistan’s democratic political system as well as fencing of the border by Pakistani security forces. Pakistan has eventually conveyed its concerns to the Afghan interim government about Afghan officials’ repeated efforts to damage the border fencing saying it was observing maximum restraint.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, International Security
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: César Rodríguez
  • Publication Date: 01-2022
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This case study summarizes the evidence on the effect on Venezuela’s economic and social conditions of economic sanctions and other actions of economic statecraft taken by the United States and its allies in response to the country’s political crisis. The preponderance of evidence indicates that sanctions and other statecraft measures—including the formal recognition of a government with no de facto control over the territory—have had a strong and significant negative effect on the Venezuelan economy. These actions have made a sizable contribution to declining oil production, exacerbating the country’s fiscal crisis, and contributing to one of the largest documented peacetime economic contractions in modern history. Many arguments commonly voiced to dispute the effects of sanctions, such as those that appeal to temporal precedence of other causes of the country’s crisis, are either factually incorrect or premised on fallacious logic. Reforming the sanctions regime will be a complex task, given the interaction with other statecraft measures and a broader toxification of the country’s economic relations. Reform attempts should include the introduction of an oil-for-essentials program, support for political humanitarian agreements, issuance of clearer compliance guidelines, introducing an explicit differentiation between strategic and nonstrategic sanctions, and seeking multilateral alignment with international actors on key strategic issues including that of government recognition.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics, Sanctions, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: South America, Venezuela, United States of America
  • Author: Abdullah Al-Arian
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Prof. Abdullah Al-Arian discusses how Islamist movements have historically viewed diplomacy as important to their activist missions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Diplomacy, Politics, History, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, Egypt, United States of America
  • Author: Melinda K. Abrams, Reginald D. Williams II, Katharine Fields, Roosa Tikkanen
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: About one-quarter of U.S. adults report having a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety or depression or experiencing emotional distress. This is one of the highest rates among 11 high-income countries. While U.S. adults are among the most willing to seek professional help for emotional distress, they are among the most likely to report access or affordability issues. Emotional distress is associated with social and economic needs in all countries. Nearly half of U.S. adults who experience emotional distress report such worries, a higher share than seen in other countries. The United States has some of the worst mental health–related outcomes, including the highest suicide rate and second-highest drug-related death rate. The U.S. has a relatively low supply of mental health workers, particularly psychologists and psychiatrists. Just one-third of U.S. primary care practices have mental health professionals on their team, compared to more than 90 percent in the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Drugs, Substance Abuse
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: UK in a Changing Europe, King's College London
  • Abstract: Brexit is done. The formal negotiations are over — even though the Trade and Cooperation Agreement paves the way to many further negotiations between the UK and the EU. Our understanding of what Brexit does mean in practice is just beginning. Now the UK is finally able to embark on its new course, we believe that the need for social science to play a role in informing public and political debates is as great if not greater than ever. The contributions that follow underline the scale and scope of the agenda that confronts the United Kingdom. It is meant both as a guide to the issues that will loom large of the months and years to come and as a signal that we intend to deploy the best social science research in order to understand and address them.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Economy, Society
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Bürge Elvan Erginli, Gizem Fidan
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: A handbook on Data-driven Decision Making and Urban95: Data-driven Policy Tool (harita.kent95.org). The majority of the world population now lives in cities, while relations between technology and individuals and institutions and things are stronger than ever. The resultant growth in the volume and diversity of data has rendered the issue of data-driven policy development, which has been in existence since the 1990s, much more visible. We can define the concept of data-driven decision making as institutions that provide urban services making use of data to develop accurate, effective and measurable policies when planning how, to whom, with what content and where in the city these services will be provided. This has recently become an important topic in Turkey. We frequently encounter the importance especially of local administrations making use of data when making and following their strategic plans. In order to make use of data in developing urban policy, we first of all need to have a sense of what urban data is and the channels by which it is produced, providing us a holistic perspective. We can usually speak of five types of data in this context: The first is public administration data produced by local administrations and state agencies. The second is official statistical data such as census or household/workplace surveys gathered through questionnaires under the direction of the national statistical institute. The third is operational data on services provided by local administrations or specific institutions – institutions providing transportation service for example. The fourth is scientific data on environmental conditions such as the air, water level, pollution and noise. The fifth consists of composite indicators or estimates produced through combining and analyzing these four types of data. While most of the data in urban dashboards consist of traditional data updated monthly or yearly, operational and scientific data’s level of inclusion of real time big data in particular is increasing.
  • Topic: Governance, Urban, Sustainability, Data, Decision-Making
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Global
  • Author: Anindita Mukherjee, Anju Dwivedi, Neha Agarwal
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The state of Odisha has made unprecedented strides in increasing access to individual toilets from 14% in 2011 to a purported 100% in 2019 under the Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin. In light of the clarion call of a ‘Swachha Odisha, Sustha Odisha’, and the national imperatives set by the National Rural Sanitation Strategy, 2019-2029, the state has created a systematic framework towards the achievement of total sanitation in the form of the Odisha Rural Sanitation Policy, 2020. To inform the creation of the Policy and shape its contours for responding optimally to ground realities, we undertook a rapid assessment of the prevailing sanitation practices in three districts of the state. The present report discusses the resulting findings relating to varied aspects of rural sanitation - ranging from trends in toilet use and on-site sanitation systems to the availability and state of Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) infrastructure.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Governance, Rural, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Mekhala Krishnamurthy, Deepak Sanan, Karnamadakala Rahul Sharma, Aditya Unnikrishnan
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has caused extraordinary hardship since India’s first case was reported in Thrissur, Kerala in January 2020. Individuals and communities have since then made drastic changes to their behaviours, daily routines and lives, quite often in response to announcements or regulatory direction provided by the state. Officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) are important actors at the forefront of framing, implementing and evaluating the state’s response to the pandemic, and uniquely positioned between the political executive and India’s massive frontline state. Their views on the state’s response, preparedness, the public and stakeholders in governance, and their positions on important normative debates underlying policy formulation and implementation therefore offer useful insights into both how the Indian state governs, and how it might govern better in the future. This report presents the results of a representative survey of over 500 IAS officers conducted between August and September 2020, 7-8 months into the pandemic. The survey sought to engage members of the IAS in reflecting on the critical challenges, decisions, and trade-offs that confronted public administrators charged with managing the state response at different levels. In doing so, it revealed both widely shared and sharply contested views on a range of subjects, including the role of the civil servant, executive and bureaucratic functioning in a crisis, and perceptions of and relations between the state, the public, and other important actors and institutions. The report finds that on the one hand, IAS officers are remarkably consistent in expressing high levels of motivation and public service commitment and endorse the view that the Indian state and bureaucracy galvanise resources and deliver reasonably well in times of crisis. On the other hand, there is a consistent tension between some strongly expressed ideals and the realities of administrative action, especially on engagement and communication with, and trust in the public. Finally, there is significant diversity among IAS officers when it comes to perceptions of key stakeholders (civil society, international agencies and the media) and a striking distrust of the private sector. The report also highlights the diversity in responses of officers across state cadres and seniority in several places through disaggregated analysis. This report, by the State Capacity Initiative at the Centre for Policy Research is part of a larger body of work on understanding the norms and values underpinning different state institutions in India. As we develop this body of work over the coming years, our goal is to continue to probe not just how the state performs, but how it perceives its own capacity, why and how it makes choices, imagines possibilities for governance, and engages with citizens.
  • Topic: Governance, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the atrocity prevention lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 55 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Cameroon, the Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger), China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria and South Sudan.
  • Topic: International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Syria, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Sahel, Central African Republic, Global Focus, Niger, Burkina Faso