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U4 Proxy Challenge Competition 2016 – Call for proposals

1 Sep 2016
The Proxy Challenge Competition was launched in 2013 to help aid donors better assess the results of anti-corruption efforts. In 2014, U4 ran the first edition of the challenge, and brought together a body of promising, bespoke proxy indicators. In this second round we still aim to find the best proxy indicators that can track progress of anti-corruption reform initiatives. We need reliable, intuitive, accessible, and cost-effective assessment methods that are useful across country-contexts.

Ending child marriages: Not only a question of law

4 May 2016 | CMI Field Notes
The new Marriage Act in Malawi has been hailed for raising the legally prescribed age of marriage to 18, yet the truth is that there is no absolute minimum age of marriage in Malawi and that legal inconsistencies threaten the enforcement of the law.

Assisted return not a permanent solution for all asylum seekers

3 May 2016 | Blog post
Many asylum seekers who choose assisted return are from a country destroyed by war and conflict. More than half of those who return to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq plan to migrate again. Assisted return is a viable type of support to assist with the return, but is not sufficient to prevent large numbers of people once again leaving insecure countries of return. Only minor changes are required, however, to increase the potential for permanent return.

Reduce judicial corruption and improve access to justice for all

26 Apr 2016
Corrupt judicial systems undermine reforms and are a major impediment to ensuring access to justice and human rights for ordinary citizens across the world, says a new report published by the United Nations Development Programme and U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre on 8 April. Titled, A Transparent and Accountable Judiciary to Deliver Justice for All, the report cites survey data suggesting that the public perceive the judiciary as the second most corrupt public institution, after the police.

Legislative Candidacy in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes. Evidence from Tanzania

26 Feb 2016
Authoritarian regimes is the most common regime type aside from democracy. In these settings, the ruling party permits opposition but stifles their chances to win. Why do individuals run for legislative office on opposition versus ruling party tickets in such regimes? asks Keith Weghorst, Post-doctoral fellow at Vanderbuilt University in this seminar.

Networking on migration

10 Dec 2015 | Meeting on:
How can we promote migration research at CMI and UiB that responds to regional and international migration crises?

Why did the Tunisian dialogue quartet win the Nobel peace prize?

9 Dec 2015
As the Tunisian dialogue quartet was awarded the Nobel peace prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee hailed the Tunisian quartet's essential role in advancing peaceful democratic developments. To make further advances, the Tunisian people must regain their sense of participation and significance in the process. If this happens, the Nobel peace prize can make an actual contribution to safeguard democracy in Tunisia.

Reality defeats good intentions: The power of religious leaders in Touba

27 Nov 2015
Legislation is a widely used tool for increasing the number of women in politics. But laws seeking to promote gender parity come short in facing the ‘sociological realities’ in Senegal, as the case of the holy city of Touba shows.

The best way to tax natural resources

24 Nov 2015
-A 'good' natural resource tax regime is one that does not undermine - or strangle - the development of the ordinary tax system, says CMI researcher Odd-Helge Fjeldstad. Different segments of the tax system 'interfere' with each other. If the most resourceful companies and individuals do not contribute with tax revenue due to tax avoidance and exemptions, this will affect the taxpaying behaviour of others.

Protection of civilians: Why they die in US strikes

10 Nov 2015
The US military strike that devastated the MSF hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on 3 October generated profound, if short-lived, outrage in much of the world. The US government promised an investigation, and in late October appointed a military panel to do so. Yet its investigation is unlikely to address the more fundamental questions this attack raises: Why have US-airstrikes repeatedly produced catastrophic cases of “collateral damage” in Afghanistan?

A new push for peace in Colombia

4 Nov 2015
A conversation between Diego Martínez, General Secretary of the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia, and Elin Skaar, Senior Researcher, CMI

Education fees in Nepal give households a hard time

7 Oct 2015
During my fieldwork in Ilam district, Eastern Nepal, I had the chance to visit many different homes, and to experience parts of the everyday life of Nepali families. So far, in every single stay, I was impressed by the children’s motivation for doing homework until late in the evening, and their great ability to speak English. One of them, a 4,5-years old was copying mathematical rules and letters several times, “just for fun, as he is doing it every evening”, as his older brother told me.

Five things you need to know about the SDGs

25 Sep 2015
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been criticised for being too broad and vague. What are the chances of success?

Blurred lines: When the military becomes intertwined with civil society

17 Sep 2015
When general al-Sisi appeared wearing a suit for the first time, it caused public outrage among the middle class in Egypt. It also sparked immediate speculations of a presidential run. The suit became another symbol of the blurred lines between military and civilian relations.

No magic bullets for reconciliation

17 Aug 2015 | Rwanda
When societies go from military dictatorship to democracy or from internal armed conflict to peace, one of the toughest choices facing the government in the new order is how to deal with past violence. Great hopes have been pinned on transitional justice mechanisms, but the anticipated positive effects of transitional justice mechanisms on the process of restoring peace or (re)constructing democracy may be too high.

Seven months of war in the favela

13 Aug 2015 | CMI field notes
In the past, Brazilian intellectuals have coined the term “metaphor of war” to account for the representations of the crime and violence in Rio de Janeiro. The logic of war is at the very core of Rio’s pacification of the favelas, which in practice is carried out through armed confrontations between the police and armed groups within pacified favelas, where the main objective (on both sides), in spite of the rhetoric of peace, is still to kill the enemy.

Making remittances work against money laundering

20 Jul 2015
Hawala networks can be useful partners in the work against money laundering of corruption gains, rather than the obstacle they are often considered to be.

Kindergardens and shootouts

6 Jul 2015 | Blogpost from Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro:
So far, kindergartens and shootouts have by and large been completely unrelated issues in my world. Not anymore. Now, for the past days, every morning around 7.30, I have slowed down and scouted cautiously: Does anyone seem tense, watchful? Are there any police troops in a state of mobilization hiding somewhere close? Are there any heavy fireworks all of a sudden, alerts of that something is about to happen?

Media Development, Cross-cultural Communication and Public Diplomacy

12 Jun 2015 | Conference on China-Africa Communication

Jobs for the Poor: The Role of Private Sector Development

2 Jun 2015
Minister EEA and EU Affairs, Vidar Helgesen, presents Norwegian priorities. Mary Hallward-Driemeier (World Bank) shares findings on expanding job opportunities in developing countries. Followed by panel debate.

Violence against women in Afghanistan: Getting away with murder

19 May 2015
On 19 March, Farkhunda was lynched by an angry mob on the streets of Kabul. She had been falsely accused of burning the Quran. In a swift trial, four men were sentenced to death, eight to 16 years in prison. The Farkhunda trial is a statistical outlier. In Afghanistan, few men are punished for violence against women.

Covering up a massacre in Angola?

19 May 2015 | Will the international community take a stand?
In mid-April 2015, news emerged about the killing of nine police-men in Angola's Huambo province. The incident involved the police and members of Juliano Kalupeteca's "Light of the World" religious sect. In the following days, grizzling reports emerged of a massacre of perhaps hundreds of sect members. We do not yet know the truth. Angola's government appears to do its utmost to prevent knowledge of it to transpire. Will the international community remain passive?

Corruption hunters - investigating and prosecuting financial crime

11 May 2015 | Panel discussion
Norad’s international corruption hunters network meets in Bergen. Hear how they work to prosecute corrupt criminals.

The Iran-US nuclear agreement: Beginning of a new era?

6 May 2015
If the nuclear framework agreement is to be the start of something bigger, the US and other Western countries need a vision beyond the fight against terrorism, argues Walter Posch at the National Defence Academy in Vienna. Recognizing the role of energy security and economy in the region may be key to long-lasting change.

Policing the Favelas: Reform, Rank, and Resistance in Rio’s Pacifying Police Units

24 Mar 2015 | Rio, March 2015
Felipe doesn’t like it much, shootouts occur almost every day, but he knows that he can’t show any signs of weakness, so he tries to keep up appearances. Two weeks after arriving at Fazendinha he was shot in a confrontation with armed traffickers.

How can Norway best support Afghanistan?

24 Mar 2015 | Afghanistan Week 2015:
The current situation in Afghanistan is the subject of two opposing narratives: one is a success story about international support and involvement since 2001; the other is a story where much has gone wrong and everything can only get worse. Agreeing on a narrative that is closer to the truth is crucial when deciding what form Norwegian support and involvement should take in the future, write Arne Strand and Liv Kjølseth.

The harsh realities of life

10 Feb 2015 | CMI Field Notes
I am in Malawi on a short field trip to interview some of the main actors involved in pro-women policy processes in the country. On the road to Mulanje from Blantyre in southern Malawi the scenery is beautiful. It is hard to imagine that only a couple of weeks ago this district was one of the worst-affected by the flood disaster.

Playing the Ethnic Card? The political game in Malawi

4 Feb 2015 | CMI Field Notes
The good (but not so new) news from Malawian politics is that some of the democratic basics are in place, making the somewhat impaired democracy keep stumbling on, writes CMIs Inge Amundsen and Gift Sambo from the field.

Civil-military relations in Venezuela…by the pool

27 Jan 2015 | CMI Field Notes
In Venezuela, views on the relationship between civilian politics and the military are highly divergent. Yet, at the pool club Circulo Militar el Lagunito all boundaries between civilians and the military are blurred. In this social club, anyone is welcome, no questions asked. The idea of civil-military alliances is at the core of CMI researcher Iselin Åsedotter Strønen's field work in Caracas.

Multinational accounting firms: On both sides of the table

23 Jan 2015
Big accounting firms advice multinational companies on tax loopholes and lobby for tax exemptions. At the same time they advice governments in developing countries on tax reforms and engage in government task forces. A new research project delve deeper into the dual role of multinational accounting firms.

The dubious effects of economic growth

22 Dec 2014
Ethiopian women are flocking to the labour market making money of their own. Does this mean that there will be more gender equality? With a grant from the Research Council of Norway's scheme for Young Talented Researchers, CMI’s Lovise Aalen will lead a new project studying the impact of economic growth on the lives of women in developmental states.

Creating successful businesswomen

4 Dec 2014
A field experiment from Tanzania shows that female entrepreneurs have less success than their male counterparts even after training and provision of grants. Why is it so hard to succeed for women running small businesses, and what will it take to shift the tide?

CMI researchers appointed to Afghanistan Review Commission

21 Nov 2014
The Norwegian government has appointed a committee that will evaluate Norway’s engagement in Afghanistan. The main objective is to review and draw lessons from the operation. Senior researchers Astri Suhrke and Torunn Wimpelmann at CMI will be part of the Commission.

African Transformation

29 Oct 2014 | Seminar
If African economies are to transform, they need more than growth - they need growth with depth.

Key stakeholders gathered to discuss Tanzania’s future as a petro-state

27 Oct 2014
Close to 200 representatives from the government, academia, civil society and media were present when CMI, REPOA, and the National Bureau of Statistics presented their new research programme Tanzania as a future petro-state at the Hyatt Hotel in Dar es Salaam Friday 24 October.

Angola and Norway - the perfect partnership? Business, politics and the challenge of human rights

23 Sep 2014 | The Angola Conference 2014
LIVE STREAMING NOW Angola is Norway's "biggest and most important economic partner in Africa" says the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Does Norway's activity in Angola contribute to Angola's stability and development over time?

Store penger, tett tåke: Norge, Statoil & Angola

22 Sep 2014 | Angola konferansen
LIVE STREAMING NOW Angola er Norges største økonomiske samarbeidspartner i Afrika. Bidrar norske investeringer til utvikling? Fellesrådet for Afrika og Chr. Michelsens Institutt (CMI) arrangerer en serie seminarer og debatter om Norges engasjement i Angola i tre norske byer i september.

Following guidelines saves lives

28 Aug 2014
Pneumonia is the biggest child killer in developing countries. Simple medical procedures can improve diagnosis and save lives. Yet, studies show that many clinicians do not perform these procedures. Why?

Researching the social dynamics of law  

21 Aug 2014
Law is increasingly center stage for political battles. Across the globe, people are going to court to claim their right to health or education, to fight for their right to engage in sex work or same-sex relationships - while others mobilize courts and legislatures to criminalize prostitution or homosexual practice.

Reducing poverty: The role of labour markets

12 Jun 2014
Poverty is in decline in Nepal. Steady economic growth and labour migration is part of the explanation.

Non-food challenges to nutrition

6 Jun 2014 | Open lecture
How politics interfere with nutritional programs