These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
"Nations in Transit is Freedom House’s comprehensive, comparative study of democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia.
Findings in Nations in Transit 2012 suggest that the countries that have achieved the greatest democratic success since the Cold War’s end are now displaying serious vulnerabilities in their young democratic systems. Over the past five years, stagnation and backsliding is evident in key governance indicators across the new EU member states and countries of the Balkans. Hungary, a powerful example of this trend, continued on a negative trajectory that was propelled by the current government’s drive to concentrate power. Ukraine’s scores similarly continued to worsen, with declines in five of the seven Nations in Transit categories, as authorities undertook a broad assault on institutional accountability and transparency. Difficult economic conditions and harsh austerity measures posed challenges to democratic development in the region. In the Balkans, critical reforms stalled in nearly all countries in 2011." READ MORE
"The current state of media freedom in Latin America was driven home in early May, when three journalists were murdered in Mexico within a week of World Press Freedom Day. This dramatic example underscores a larger trend identified by Freedom House in the recently released Freedom of the Press 2012 report, which noted that a range of negative developments over the past decade have left media freedom on the defensive in much of Central and South America." READ MORE
"Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to transform business and government in Africa, driving entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth. This new flagship report – eTransform Africa – produced by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, with the support of the African Union, identifies best practice in the use of ICTs in key sectors of the African economy." READ MORE
"Over the past several weeks UNESCO has been publishing individual titles in its Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning.
Recently the Organization concluded the first phase of the Series by releasing two Global Themes papers. These papers, unlike previous titles, are not region-specific. Instead they synthesize information contained in the regional papers to identify salient trends that cut across geographic boundaries." READ MORE
"No country is immune to corruption and the damaging effects it has for citizens and society. Across Europe – a new report from Transparency International reveals – corruption is undermining confidence in national institutions and contributing to a sustained economic crisis.
Three-fourths of Europeans consider corruption a growing problem in their societies. And gaps in governance continue to plague European countries’ attempts to pull the region out of its ongoing economic crisis." READ MORE
Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite