A Call to Action: Stop “Bride Kidnapping”


Filed under: Central Asia Gender equality Human rights and rule of law

One of the less pleasant things associated with Kyrgyzstan is the cruel tradition of “bride kidnapping”. Recent research from local NGOs show that at least fifty percent of the marriages in the country involve elements of this ritual. Essentially, “bride kidnapping” is the ritual of ambushing a young woman and detaining her until she agrees… Read more »

On violence: A new approach in Serbia with the New School


Filed under: Gender equality Human rights and rule of law Social innovation

Recent statistics reveals the alarming prevalence of violence against women in Serbia: 54 percent of women were exposed to some form of violence during their lifetime, while only 10 percent contacted services for assistance. This violence presents a complex social problem. It is both a root cause of gender inequality as well as an extreme… Read more »

The road to development: Why we need more economists in the driver’s seat


Filed under: Development Human rights and rule of law Migration and remittances Poverty Social inclusion

Economists and development professionals are not always natural bedfellows. I suspect that most fund managers often disregard the development folks with their “fuzzy math” and wonky jargon. Similarly, a lot of development professionals probably don’t understand how a credit-default swap works. Does it matter?

Belarus: Prepping the SI-lab


Filed under: Development 2.0 Environment Human rights and rule of law Social innovation

In last week’s blog post, I wrote about the hackathon idea, and how we’re planning it to use it in Belarus to kick off Shift week. We chose to explore three overarching themes: healthy lifestyles, environmental protection, and disability-friendly employment. We held an open call for ideas and out of the 20 applications received, nine seemed like… Read more »

Good intentions, bad results: How inadequate laws in Central Asia violate human rights


Filed under: Central Asia Development Health HIV Human rights and rule of law

I have lived and worked in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for most of my professional life. As a human rights lawyer, I am always happy to observe when adequate legal solutions are found, paving the road to progress and development in our region. It is equally difficult for me to see the process in… Read more »