The people of Libya were invariably forced to express their support for Muammar Qaddafi for over 40 years in order to ensure their personal safety. The intolerant and authoritarian nature of Qaddafi's regime constrained Libyan's political, civil, and religious rights by curtailing their freedom of expression and thought, freedom of association, and free access to information.
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
On Sunday, March 3, four pickup trucks filled with Ansar al-Sharia militiamen pulled up at the European School in Benghazi. The men jumped out and stormed the school, saying that they were searching for teaching materials that they viewed as contradicting sharia law or the values of Libyan society. The incident at the school continued for about two hours and caused mixed reactions among Libyans as they followed the story.
Photo by ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/GettyImages
Three students from the Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences have won the Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant worth $50,000 for their project WinSenga, a smartphone app that performs ultrasounds on pregnant women and can detect problems like ectopic pregnancies and abnormal heartbeats. The winning, Team Cipher256, consists of Aaron Tushabe, Joshua Okello, and Josiah Kavuma.
Reporting from Caracas, Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez explores scenarios after this Sunday’s presidential vote in Venezuela. The main question: Will Hugo Chávez give up power if he loses?
Christian Caryl tells the story of an elementary school teacher in Sudan who faces execution because she had the courage to stand up to the regime. And Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch presents a gallery of similarly courageous but little-known activists from around the world.
On the scene in Tbilisi, James Kirchick reports on the surprising aftermath of Georgia's parliamentary election -- especially President Mikheil Saakashvili's remarkable acceptance of his own defeat. And Kirchick's dispatch from election day provides a vivid account of the tensions and hopes leading up to the vote.
In an excerpt from his new book, economist Justin Yifu Lin compares the experiences of transition economies and offers a few useful rules of thumb for reformers.
Christopher Stephen, on the scene in Benghazi, describes a local backlash against the militants who killed a popular U.S. ambassador.
In the run-up to Venezuela's epochal election, Juan Nagel reports on the shifting balance of forces, while Francisco Toro takes a closer look at whether Hugo Chávez has improved the life of the country's poor.
Reflecting on Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to the United States, Min Zin takes her to task for neglecting to mention the country's continuing civil war.
Endy Bayuni reports on the Indonesian Anti-Corruption Commission's effort to take on one of the country's most graft-ridden institutions: the police.
Mohamed El Dahshan investigates the absurdities of Egypt's campaign against blasphemy.
And Jackee Batanda recounts the curious tale of a run-in between U.S. diplomats and a Ugandan general.
And now for this week's recommended reads:
A paper from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance provides an in-depth look at Venezuela's presidential election.
In a provocative op-ed, MIT scholar Brian Haggerty argues that those who argue for a "limited" intervention in Syria are likely to be proven wrong by conditions on the ground.
The International Crisis Group offers a handy backgrounder on Malaysia, where a long-anticipated general election may soon shake up the political landscape.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Sadanand Dhume explains why he expects little from the new anti-corruption party just launched in India.
The Jamestown Foundation's Igor Rotar worries that the explosive situation in Central Asia's restive Ferghana Valley is likely to aggravate instability throughout the region.
A new book from Democracy Lab contributor Francisco Martin-Rayo tells of his travels through the terrorist recruiting grounds of Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.
And finally, Jadaliyya offers a withering review of The Daily Show appearance of Jordan's King Abdullah II, who, they say, is incorrectly portrayed as a reformist "constitutional monarch." You be the judge: You can find Part I of the interview here.
The Daily Show
"The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities," John Dalberg-Acton wrote in 1877. Egypt now seems to be reveling in its failure to pass that test. (Though I should add that a certain degree of caution is advisable here.)
Christian Caryl reports on the Salafi movement, which has been implicated in many of this week's protests around the Middle East.
LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images
Rohan, an emaciated nine-year-old, lies coughing in his father's arms. "He has tuberculosis," the man tells me. "But I cannot afford the medications." Behind the pair stands Lakshmi, a slight young woman who cradles a pale, listless baby. Has her child had her vaccinations? "No," the mother says. "We began but they became too expensive." Both families have waited hours in line for a two-minute appointment with a doctor at a free healthcare camp.
Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images
Three Princeton researchers (Morgan Greene, Jonathan Friedman, and Richard Bennet) tell the story of how post-Yugoslavia Kosovo (with some help from the international community) managed to pull off a remarkable feat of state-building.
Endy Bayuni explains why Indonesians disagree about the start of Ramadan, and what it says about the country's climate of religious toleration.
While much of the developed world is mired in sluggish growth or downright recession, a few days ago Venezuela came out with healthy GDP figures. According the country's central bank, GDP grew at 5.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, outperforming Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, and equaling Chile. Unnamed government officials cited in the Wall Street Journal expect the GDP as a whole to grow by 5 percent in 2012.
This is welcome news, especially after the country was hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Unfortunately, this growth spurt will not last.
JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images
Three Ugandan pre-university students, Alvin Kabwama, Nigel Kinyera, and David Tusubira, have designed a bomb detector and detonator prototype. The design was announced at a press conference and has since made headlines, but it has been met with mixed emotions. While some people applaud the students' initiative, the majority of Ugandans are skeptical of their work.
Some have gone on to denounce a prototype car created last year by students from Makerere University as part of an MIT partnership. The argument is that the design was unoriginal, using parts from other car models. Such critics fail to see that this is exactly how most industrial innovations come about. Prototypes like this one are how you get to the developments that revolutionize societies.
Fadil Aliriza exposes the difficulties Tunisia's new government faces in rooting out corruption from the old regime.
Min Zin looks at Burma's first street protests in more than 20 years and examines their potential impact on the country's progress towards democracy.
Peter Passell argues that well-meaning efforts to reduce climate change won't work unless developing countries can be persuaded that it's good for the bottom line.
Francisco Toro shows why much-vaunted adult literacy programs in Venezuela haven't actually produced much bang for the buck.
Endy Bayuni analyzes the maneuverings in Indonesia's political elite -- including rumors that President Yudhoyono's wife could emerge as his most likely successor.
Mohamed El Dahshan makes the case for Tunisia as a soft-power leader in the Middle East.
And Christian Caryl explains why regulating the international arm trade can make life easier for fragile societies.
This week's recommended reads:
The big story of the week, of course, is the first round of the presidential election in Egypt. FP's own David Kenner offers a handy guide to the early results.
For those wishing to go into greater depth, the Atlantic Council's Egypt Source website presents a number of excellent background pieces on the election. Economist Hoda Youseff wonders whether Egyptians are really prepared for the changes that a new president will bring. Mustafa El-Labbad examines likely shifts in foreign policy following the election. And frequent Democracy Lab contributor Magdy Samaan offers a skeptical take on the prospects for political stability once the voting is over.
Elsewhere, Jadaliyya.com examines electoral trends in Egypt, while Ahram Online presents an intriguing interview with long-time dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim.
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Institute has published a detailed study of public attitudes in Libya in the run-up to that country's next round of elections in June. The bottom line: People don't believe the National Transitional Council is doing its job. And the Legatum Institute's Anne Applebaum, writing for Slate, offers a vivid dispatch from Libya that vividly captures the tension between chaos and hope.
The Jamestown Foundation offers a finely grained analysis of the Islamist insurgency in Yemen that has taken over several provinces in the south of the country. At The New York Review of Books blog, Hugh Eakin scrutinizes the role of Saudi Arabia as Washington escalates its involvement in Yemen.
At OpenDemocracy.net, the French journalist and Middle East expert Francis Ghilès reflects on the past few decades of Tunisia's history through the prism of his own biography.
A remarkable piece at ProPublica tells the extraordinary story of a man whose personal fate embodies the problems of transitional justice in Guatemala.
A new European Union survey documents the continuing discrimination faced by Europe's ethnic Roma.
Eurasianet.org explains how citizens in Central Asia cope with harsh governments and dysfunctional infrastructure. Writing for OUPblog (Oxford University Press), Alexander Cooley contends that the war in Afghanistan has actually reinforced authoritarianism and corruption in the rest of Central Asia.
And as Azerbaijan hosts the 2012 Eurovision song contest in Baku, Human Rights House tracks the fate of pro-democracy activists. (The photo above shows members of the group "Sing for Democracy.")
May has been an eventful month thus far in Uganda's literary scene. The African Writers Trust (AWT), a non-profit entity that brings together African writers -- both from the continent and the diaspora -- to share skills and knowledge, held a writers workshop in Kampala.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes, a London-based Ghanaian writer and experienced performance poet, led the workshop. For ten days, Nii Ayikwei mentored emerging Ugandan poets and university students, conducted poetry workshops, and shared his personal writing and publishing experiences with the writing fraternity.
"Poems move the world," Nii Ayikwei told his students. He stressed his belief that it is ambiguity, rather than big words, that moves a poem and makes it stronger: "If you know what you're writing about from the beginning, then there's no complexity, no emotion."
We already know that drones are powerful weapons. In "Predators for Peace," Jack C. Chow depicts a not-too-distant future in which airborne robots can be used to boost humanitarian relief efforts and good governance.
As governments cut back on foreign assistance budgets, Peter Passell makes the case for a smarter approach to development aid.
Alina Rocha Menocal, noting that Latin America still suffers from gross inequality, sees the answers in sound public policy.
Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images
In their recently launched report on inequality in Latin America, Christian Aid describes the situation as scandalous, and they're right. Latin America is by no means poor. With very few exceptions, most Latin American countries qualify as middle income. Yet the region remains the most unequal in the world, a dubious honor it has held for decades. Throughout Latin America, inequality remains rooted in highly unequal patterns of land distribution and other forms of wealth and power that are deeply entrenched and reproduce themselves from generation to generation. By one estimate, the richest 10 percent of the population in Latin America captures as much as 40 percent of total income, while the poorest 10 percent receives a mere 1 percent.
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Last Wednesday, hundreds or perhaps thousands of people took over Habib Bourguiba Avenue, Tunisia's revolutionary epicenter. Not to protest the prime minister and his assembly, and not to make political claims of any kind. They weren't carrying banners, but books. It was an odd sort of protest. People of all ages (though mostly young) sat on benches, on steps, under trees -- and read. They were reading novels, comic books, political books, philosophy essays, and newspapers. The youngest, 4-year-old Laila, had a coloring book: Quite the young star, she didn't skip a beat (or color outside of the line) as others took photos of her all day long.
All of them had answered a call for an event simply called "The Street Reads," which invited people to join "the first silent protest on the avenue, with no political claims; just to prove that Tunisians do read, and that those who read are those who will change the world." (Yesterday, on Sunday, they repeated it again for good measure.)
University student Taqwa Giga sat under a tree and read a Paul Auster novel, unfazed by the traffic of the central avenue. Her friend, Habib El Hafsy, went for a classic: He was reading the Quran. "We're here to remind everyone that books are not neglected," said Taqwa. "People are quite alienated from books, clicking away on their computers. They need to be reminded of the value and richness of books." Habib found it hard to abide by the no-politics theme of the day. "The people who made the revolution didn't just do it out of hunger; they did it out of consciousness," he told me. "We may be a third-world country economically, but intellectually we definitely aren't." Their classmate, Ehsan Timoumi, jumped in: "After years of intellectual sidelining, we wanted to show that change comes from changing mindsets," he said. "It's unfortunate that Arabs in general have little awareness of the importance of reading. But it's culture that will take the country forward." He blamed the censorship of the old regime, which allowed only works that showed it in a positive light, for discrediting reading.
The demonstrators were quite positive about the awareness effect of their campaign. "Plenty of people stopped by to ask us what we were doing," said Taqwa. "Some laughed at us and walked on. And some -- did you see the man who was leaving when you came? We told him what we were doing, and he went and bought a newspaper, and joined us." But there's more to this "protest" than showcasing the importance of culture. Tunisians were once again reclaiming a public space. The first time, they reclaimed it as theirs to declare their political opinions, defying the Ministry of the Interior that stands at the entrance of the avenue, and which had set the dials of freedom of expression at close to zero. This time around they were claiming it as a space that didn't necessarily have to be political.
FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Mourners attend the funeral of murdered gay activist David Kato on January 28, 2011.
Uganda is once again in the international spotlight, and not for the right reasons. The infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was dropped by the cabinet last year has resurfaced. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda. "It would introduce the death sentence for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for the second time, as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV," as this report by AFP explains. It also prescribes the imprisonment of family members, employers, or landlords who do not report "offenders" to the police.
David Bahati, the Bill's architect, re-tabled it Tuesday before Parliament. His submission was met with applause and a standing ovation from some members of the assembly. The MPs reportedly chanted: "Our Bill. Our Kids."
Speaking to the press, Bahati said the bill aims to protect children from gays and to cut off the funding of homosexual activities. He added that this time round, parliament would not bow to international pressure -- an allusion to the earlier attempt to pass the bill, which foundered, apparently, when officials began to worry that Western donors would cut aid to Uganda if the legislation was passed. (According to some reports, Bahati is now offering to remove the death penalty provisions to ensure passage, replacing them with life imprisonment.) The U.S., the UK, and other western countries have threatened to cut off assistance to countries that ignore LGBT rights.
Bahati is an MP of the ruling National Resistance Movement party and allegedly has ties to The Family, a group of Christian evangelicals that are said to have considerable pull in Washington.
Many Africans on social media sites and elsewhere have openly rejected the pressure, saying the West can keep its money.
Homosexuality is illegal in 37 African countries. Another piece by AFP (reprinted in the Ugandan paper The Daily Monitor) gives an overview of the situation faced by many gays around the continent:
Many African countries, with the notable exception of South Africa, have laws that ban or repress homosexuality. The subject took on added sensitivity after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently told leaders at an African Union summit they must respect gay rights....
MARC HOFER/AFP/Getty Images
"Folks in Uganda love your story," Elizabeth Wood, my publisher, wrote to me recently. She was referring to my children's book The Blue Marble, which has just been imported back into the country in a novel way. She forwarded an email from Daria, one of her colleagues, who is currently on a trip to Uganda for the Worldreader project:
I'm so excited! When the teachers at Humble [a school in Uganda] saw that there were African books on their e-readers they actually seemed astounded. A quick look into Humble's library and you know why: everything was American. This might be going too far but they looked like they were in a state of disbelief, almost as if they themselves had never really connected the idea of books and African authors. Actually, when Esther said The Blue Marble was by a Ugandan writer a few of them commented in disbelief. Seeing the Ugandan names actually made a few of them giggle with surprise and delight. Jackee Batanda is going to be the first Ugandan author most of them read.
Worldreader is a non-profit organization committed to delivering digital books to children and families in the developing world using e-reader technology. Already launched in Kenya and Ghana, the project seeks to promote reading through e-readers and works with underprivileged schools. Worldreader launched in Uganda last week, and, judging by the emails, Ugandan teachers are excited.
Generally speaking, teachers in Uganda have little to be excited about. Last week, I read with trepidation that the government has, for the time being, ruled out pay rises for all civil servants (except those in the security sector). This country's fixation on high defense spending over quality of education and health care bodes ill for the nation's future. Around the world, the debate on the failing education standards is growing. What are the nations with the best education standards doing right? And what are those with low education standards doing wrong?
Uganda boasts high student enrollment due to a policy of free universal primary and secondary education. The numbers look good when it comes to World Bank statistics on enrollment, but they tend to ignore the quality of education. In an op-ed he published in Uganda's The Independent newspaper last year, Bob Kasango argues for the need to overhaul the whole education system and motivate teachers. He quotes reports indicating that children who have passed through the Ugandan school system cannot tell time or do simple mathematical calculations. He argues that the need to improve education standards is of the essence.
To compete, we either must raise our educational standards or we shall be left out and left behind. But how do we do this? The answer is simple. Get more and great teachers, pay them well and treat them with the same professional respect we accord to lawyers, engineers, doctors, accountants etc. But developing great teachers requires an extremely rigorous and competitive process. They must be subjected to entry exams to a teaching job and continuously assessed and given regular periodical training to widen and upgrade their knowledge base. The teacher-student ratio must not defy the principal laws of meaningful learning....
Last year teachers participated twice in national strikes, calling on the government to increase their salaries by 100 percent. The average income of a primary school teacher is 260,000 shillings ($93 USD) per month, according to local press reports. They threatened another strike this year. Instead the government promised to raise their salary by 15 percent in the next financial budget cycle. The decision to increase teacher's pay by only 15 percent underscores the failure to grasp that more money needs to be channeled into education if we are to develop as a nation.
STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images
"I'm glad you're here," says Carmen. "I don't know if you know this, but a few weeks ago, the guy who delivers the school lunches witnessed four people getting gunned down at seven in the morning -- right here, just as the kids were coming to class. Now he doesn't want to come anymore. He's afraid he's next."
Welcome to Escuela Ebel Pastor Oropeza, a municipal school for special-needs children in the heart of Petare, Caracas' biggest, meanest slum (shown in the photo above). Surprisingly, the opposition won a 2007 election that put it in charge of the local government, including this school.
Carmen, one of the heroic teachers at the school, matter-of-factly recites these grievances to the authorities accompanying me, while at the same time giving us a slice of birthday cake for another teacher. Life and death, it's all in a day's work here, she says.
Escuela Oropeza treats at-risk children from the entire barrio. Kids with hyper-activity, Asperger's, ADD, and various learning disabilities find a sanctuary from the chaos of the shantytown in the school's tidy, narrow classrooms.
I ask Yosemi, the sixth-grade teacher, if her kids are on Ritalin. She looks at me as if I was from another planet. The school doesn't have running water. They haven't had an onsite psychologist in months.
She does what she can to help them, but the problems are overwhelming. Physical and sexual abuse, self-esteem issues, and abandonment are par for the course. A twelve-year old recently knocked on their door to enroll on his own initiative. His junkie mom had never bothered enrolling him. He was illiterate and had heard this was a school for kids like him.
I poke my head into the fifth-grade classroom. I ask the kids to guess where I'm from. When they hear I'm from Maracaibo -- Venezuela's second-largest city -- I ask them if they know what state it's in.
None of them know. I am later told most of them are barely learning to read and write.
LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images
Last week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a statement saying that Burma has a chance to become "the next economic frontier in Asia." But the IMF went on to note that the country can realize its potential only "if it can turn its rich natural resources, young labor force, and proximity to some of the most dynamic economies in the world" to its advantage.
In a word, it's up to the government.
Contrary to what you might think from the headlines, it's not western sanctions that are causing Burma's economic woes. It's government policy. The Burmese government's Industry Minister, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, admitted as much when he responded to a journalist who asked whether the country has done enough to get U.S. sanctions lifted: "We have a lot of things to reform and lots of things have to change: laws, regulations and institutions, not only in the political sector but also in the economic sectors. But sanctions are up to them."
In 2004, the well-known U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs wrote that sanctions against Burma had "systematically weakened the economy by limiting trade, investment and foreign aid." It's an argument that many critics of sanctions have made.
The media love to use terms like "pariah," "isolated," and "closed" whenever they describe Burma and the effects of sanctions on the country.
If the term "pariah" denotes a country that utterly disregards international norms and behavior, and correspondingly meets with unrelenting censure from the international community, then that's a pretty good fit for Burma. But when the word is used in a way that's supposed to characterize the country's overall economic position (invariably in combination with words like "closed" and "isolated"), then it doesn't describe the situation at all.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, in 2010 Burma's exports and imports stood at $8.7 billion and $4.9 billion respectively. That's higher than the data for some of the comparable members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), such as Cambodia and Laos. Meanwhile, many experts caution that the official figures for Burma's exports fall far short of the real numbers because they don't cover the value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice, and other products smuggled to neighboring countries.
As far as foreign direct investment (FDI) is concerned, Burma reached a record high in 2010-11 of almost $20 billion. That's more than the figure in the same year for Southeast Asia's latest investment darling, Vietnam.
These facts suggest that Burma's exposure to trade and FDI is higher today than ever before, and even higher than that of some comparable ASEAN countries. In this light it becomes extremely hard to argue that sanctions have deprived Burma of FDI and trade, much less that Burma is "isolated" or "closed." (This also offers an eloquent commentary on how ineffective the sanctions regime has actually been.)
Of course, sanctions do have negative effects on the economy (for instance, job losses in garment industry after the 2003 sanctions imposed by the U.S.), and there are many spillovers to other sectors, ranging from education to the growth of civil society. But the government cannot use sanctions as an excuse for its mismanagement and kleptocratic corruption.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
It was near midnight one day earlier this week when my colleagues and I returned from a long field trip. It was a searing experience. We had traveled about nearly 500 kilometers from Kampala, Uganda's capital, to one of the forgotten villages in the north. This village is called Tumangu.
A village in Northern Uganda is typically a place where people are extremely poor, illiterate, and have no access to social services. It's not that they don't want services; there are simply very few that are available. There's little access to health care or education. Tumangu is worlds away from Kampala, which for all its problems boasts many of the conveniences of modern life. In Kampala you can easily use a cell phone, or walk into a bar for a cold beer, or even catch a ride on a boda boda. And if you're sick, you can easily get treatment at a hospital or clinic (assuming you can pay for it, of course). But people can only imagine such things in a place like Tumangu.
And no one knows when the situation will change. For all its sadness, the trip inspired me to do something about the plight of the people of Tumangu, many of whom are suffering from an incurable ailment called "nodding disease."
It's an appalling situation. Some politicians have described it as "the silent genocide." You may have heard about some of the other problems of this part of Uganda, many of which stem from the conflict with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). In October 2011, for example, President Obama sent U.S. Special Forces to hunt down LRA rebels, who are notorious for the atrocities they've committed in the region in the past. Lately, though, they've been causing most of their chaos in Southern Sudan, and their absence from Northern Uganda has resulted in relative peace. This is not to rule them out as a future threat, of course.
People in Kampala are exhausted by corruption, inflation, and rising prices for food and fuel. Northern Ugandans are worried above all about their health. Disease is undermining their ability to cultivate food and provide sustenance for their families. In Tumangu, 9 children have already died from nodding disease, and another 97 have been admitted, in critical condition, to the local clinic - which, of course, has little in the way to resources. (There are no precise figures for the population of the town. In the election last year there were 456 registered voters in the town - which, of course, leaves out those under 18 and those who didn't register to vote in the first place.)
Shockingly, no one, not even health officials, really knows what causes this sickness or how it is transmitted. Nodding disease is a mysterious illness that stunts brain growth among the small children who are its victims, sometimes causing mental retardation. (It takes its name from the convulsive nodding motion that marks those infected with it.) Sometimes its victims break out in violent tantrums, as if possessed by demons; some act as though they're being pursued by people armed with machetes or guns. In some cases victims report being weighed down or suffocated by "something heavy" that they cannot see. Those who contract the disease usually die from it within a few years. It is a horrible thing to watch. The Ugandan media are filled with stories about it: see Monitor.co.ug, Irinnews, and Dailymail.
With all the information now available about this deadly disease, it is all the more astonishing that nobody has been able to figure out what causes it or how to develop a vaccine. Even AIDS, ebola, and cholera -- all diseases that have caused terrible epidemics in Northern Uganda -- are capable of treatment today. Why not nodding disease? It is spreading rapidly in Northern Uganda, and as the threat increases, so, too, does the urgency of the need for a response.
One side effect of the disease is that it is deepening the local people's sense of estrangement from the authorities. Many people say that the government does not care about them, and that it only pays attention during election season. (The photo above shows a woman voting last year in the northern village of Wiiaworanja.)
As one male resident of Tumangu put it to me: "Past election, nobody bothers about us, are we not Ugandans? If the President can spend millions of shillings buying fighter jets, yet there is no war to fight, why can't they attend to this killer disease?" Many people in this village say that they have lost all hope in a government that has failed to attend to their plight. Surely, by now, it is time to start paying attention.
MARC HOFER/AFP/Getty Images
Transitions is the group blog of the Democracy Lab channel, a collaboration between Foreign Policy and the Legatum Institute.