Monday, November 29, 2010 launched to share knowledge

With support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Global College recently launched LEPnet— an International Applied Research Learning Network on Poverty and Human Rights—to foster research collaborations and knowledge-sharing on legal empowerment of the poor.

The Applied Research Learning Network on Poverty and Human Rights ( is a project of The University of Winnipeg Global College. The network stems from the work of the UN Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor which issued its final report in June, 2008 entitled "Making the Law Work for Everyone." The network has been developed to serve as a portal through which a diversity of organizations’ contributions to the field of poverty and human rights are channeled, as well as to be a collaborative space where researchers and practitioners can collaborate on the development and publishing of new research and learning materials.
Following two successful conferences on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor in November 2008, with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), The University of Winnipeg Global College committed to developing this network to support the growing community of practice in the field of legal empowerment. By bringing together researchers, practitioners, and students in a common collaborative space, the network portal aims to foster sharing, collaboration, and the development of new research on poverty and human rights.

Much of the site is set up to make educational materials that are used in the teaching of undergraduate and graduate subjects available on the Web, free of charge, to any user anywhere in the world. This venture continues the tradition in higher education and communities of practice, of open dissemination of educational materials, philosophy, and modes of thought, and will help lead to fundamental changes in the way we utilize the Web as a vehicle for education.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Met with Jin Ho Verdonscot from Tilburg

Finally met Jin Ho Verdonscot at the Imperial Hotel in downtown Kampala today. Jin Ho, a researcher at Tilburg University Law School, has been my virtual counterpart for years. We had a great talk about microjustice and how technology can help with legal empowerment. He is also a part of TISCO, which I blogged about before. Ahh, he inspires me with his recent list of publications:

  • Gramatikov, M.A., & Verdonschot, J.H. (2010). Legal needs of vulnerable people: A study in Azerbaijan, Mali, Rwanda, Egypt and Bangladesh. (TISCO Working Paper Series on Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems, 009/2010)  Further information
  • Gramatikov, M.A., Barendrecht, J.M., Laxminarayan, M.S., Verdonschot, J.H., Klaming, L., & Zeeland, C.M.C. van (2010). A handbook for measuring the costs and quality of access to justice. Apeldoorn | Antwerpen | Portland: MAKLU. Further information
  • Verdonschot, J.H. (2009). Delivering objective criteria: Sources of law and the relative value of neutral information for dispute resolution. (TISCO Working Paper Series, 001/2009)  Further information
  • Barendrecht, J.M., Kamminga, Y.P., & Verdonschot, J.H. (2008). Priorities for the justice system: Responding to the most urgent legal problems of individuals. (TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2008/011 | TISCO Working Paper No. 001/2008)  Further information
  • Barendrecht, J.M., & Verdonschot, J.H. (2008). Objective criteria: Facilitating dispute resolution by information about going rates of justice. (TISCO Working Paper Series, 005/2008)  Further information

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Harvard and Stanford Law School Call for Papers



Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School have established an International Junior Faculty Forum. The idea behind this is to stimulate exchange of ideas and research, among younger scholars in the academy, from all parts of the world; and to encourage younger scholars in their work. We live today in a global community - especially a global legal community - and it is important to develop legal scholarship on a transnational basis. Scholars in different countries are often divided by barriers of time and space, as well as barriers of different legal traditions and cultures. We hope that the Forum will be a step in the direction of surmounting these barriers. The papers at the 2010 Forum were on a very wide range of subjects, from the treatment of science by the World Trade Organization, to the concept of evil in German and American law, to the role of Islam in the development of national legal system. The young scholars came from many different countries, as did the senior scholars. In all, five continents and a wide range of viewpoints and methodologies were represented.
The sponsors, Harvard and Stanford law schools, are pleased to announce plans for the fourth International Junior Faculty Forum. The Forum will be held in November 17 - 19, 2011 at the Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA.

In order to be considered for the 2011 International Junior Faculty Forum, authors must meet the following criteria:

• Citizen of a country other than the United States.
• Home academic institution is outside of the U.S.
• Have held a faculty position or its equivalent (including positions comparable to junior faculty positions in research institutes) for less than seven years as of 2011.
• Last degree earned less than ten years earlier than 2011.

Papers may be on any legally relevant subject. We especially welcome work that is interdisciplinary. The papers can make use of any relevant approach; they can be quantitative or qualitative, sociological, anthropological, historical, or economic. The sponsoring schools would like to emphasize that they welcome papers from junior scholars from all parts of the world. No country or group of countries has a monopoly of talent. Please note that already published papers are not eligible to be considered.

The first step is to submit an abstract of the proposed paper. We would like these to be no more than four (4) pages and be in English. Tell us what you plan to do; lay out the major argument of the paper, say something about the methodology, and what you think will be the paper's contribution to scholarship. The due date for the abstracts is January 17, 2011, although earlier submissions are welcomed. Please submit the abstract electronically to both schools-- at Harvard, to Juliet Bowler (, and at Stanford, to Lisa Woodcock ( with the subject line: International Junior Faculty Forum. The abstract should contain the author's name, home institution, and the title of the proposed paper. Please also send a current CV.

After the abstracts have been reviewed, we will in February invite a number of junior scholars to submit full papers of no more than 15,000 words, electronically (in English) by May 31, 2011. Please include a word count for final papers.

An international committee of legal scholars, who themselves come from across the globe, and represent many different styles and approaches, will review the papers. In the end, about ten of the papers will be chosen for presentation at the conference. And, as before, at the conference itself, two senior scholars, will comment on each paper. After the commentators give their remarks, all of the participants, junior and senior alike, will have a chance to join in the discussion. Meeting junior and senior colleagues, and talking about your work and theirs, may be one of the most valuable - and enjoyable-- aspects of the Forum.

The sponsoring schools will cover expenses of travel, including airfare, lodging, and food, for each participant. Questions should be directed to Juliet Bowler ( or Lisa Woodcock (

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another Conference: Emerging Economies and the Rule of Law: Challenges and Opportunities

The 17th Commonwealth Law Conference will take place in Hyderabad, India, Feb. 5-9, 2011. Organizers expect over 1,000 lawyers, judges, and legal academics from 54 Commonwealth countries to attend. The theme of the conference is Emerging Economies and the Rule of Law: Challenges and Opportunities and the diverse business program will cover human rights and the rule of law, corporate and commercial law and the legal and judicial professions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Berkman Event 9 Nov 2011: Chair Lecture: The Path of Legal Information

Chair Lecture: The Path of Legal Information

John Palfrey, Henry N. Ess Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School & Berkman Center Faculty Co-Director

Tuesday, November 9th, 5:00PM
Harvard Law School
Space is limited; RSVP *Required* to Amar Ashar (

On the occasion of his appointment as the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law, John Palfrey will give a lecture entitled, “The Path of Legal Information.”

I propose a path toward a new legal information environment that is predominantly digital in nature. This new era grows out of a long history of growth and change in the publishing of legal information over more than nine hundred years years, from the early manuscripts at the roots of English common law in the reign of the Angevin King Henry II; through the early printed treatises of Littleton and Coke in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, (including those in the extraordinary collection of Henry N. Ess III); to the systemic improvements introduced by Blackstone in the late eighteenth century; to the modern period, ushered in by Langdell and West at the end of the nineteenth century. Now, we are embarking upon an equally ambitious venture to remake the legal information environment for the twenty-first century, in the digital era.
We should learn from advances in cloud computing, the digital naming systems, and youth media practices, as well as classical modes of librarianship, as we envision – and, together, build – a new system for recording, indexing, writing about, and teaching what we mean by the law. A new legal information environment, drawing comprehensively from contemporary technology, can improve access to justice by the traditionally disadvantaged, including persons with disabilities; enhance democracy; promote innovation and creativity in scholarship and teaching; and promote economic development. This new legal information architecture must be grounded in a reconceptualization of the public sector’s role and draw in private parties, such as Google, Amazon, Westlaw, and LexisNexis, as key intermediaries to legal information.

This new information environment will have unintended – and sometimes negative – consequences, too. This trajectory toward openness is likely to change the way that both professionals and the public view the law and the process of lawmaking. Hierarchies between those with specialized knowledge and power and those without will continue its erosion. Lawyers will have to rely upon an increasingly broad range of skills, rather than serving as gatekeepers to information, to command high wages, just as new gatekeepers emerge to play increasingly important roles in the legal process. The widespread availability of well-indexed digital copies of legal work-products will also affect the ways in which lawmakers of all types think and speak in ways that are hard to anticipate. One indirect effect of these changes, for instance, may be a greater receptivity on the part of lawmakers to calls for substantive information privacy rules for individuals in a digital age.

An effective new system will not emerge on its own; the digital environment, like the physical, is a built environment. As lawyers, teachers, researchers, and librarians, we share an interest in the way in which legal information is created, stored, accessed, manipulated, and preserved over the long term. We will have to work together to overcome several stumbling blocks, such as state-level assertions of copyright. As collaborators, we could design and develop it together over the next decade or so. The net result — if we get it right — will be improvements in the way we teach and learn about the law and how the system of justice functions.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Conference on Global Competition Law in New Delhi, 19 nov 2010

Global Competition Law Conference: Implementing Competition Law and Policy, Global Perspectives

Global Competition Law Conference:
Implementing Competition Law and Policy, Global Perspectives
19 November 2010, New Delhi, India
Conference website
(From Law and Development Blog)

The recent adoption of competition law statutes in East and South Asia, culminating with the enactment of the Indian Competition Act and the Chinese Antimonopoly Law, mark a significant development to the global business community. Merger control, the application of competition law to unilateral conduct such as distribution agreements, competition issues in intellectual property rights, and state activities in the economy create important challenges in the enforcement of competition law in these crucial markets for policymakers, multinational corporations, law firms and economic consultancies. A number of panels and roundtables will examine these issues, composed by the international and local leaders of the competition/regulatory law and M&A practice.

The public conference will be preceded by an invitation only one-day workshop on the issue of economic development and competition law, a theme that is of particular importance to the global as well as to the local business community.

View the website for the invitation only conference

Major policy makers, academics and practitioners from around the world will analyze these topics and will share their unique expertise in the area of competition law and more specifically in merger control, evidence in competition law, joint ventures, distribution, cartels, and the interaction between competition and intellectual property.

The Centre for Law and Economics (Competition, Regulation and Public Policy section) at UCL acknowledges the support of our Exclusive Indian Legal Partner, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co.

Registration Fees:
£130 early bird ticket, available until 5pm on 1 October 2010
£170 standard ticket
£130 UCL alumni / Staff / Students ticket
Group discount of 10% discount on the standard ticket price is available for groups (3 or more delegates from the same organization)

The registration fee includes:
- Conference lunch and all other refreshments during the conference on 19 November
- Delegate pack with the conference materials
- Certificate of Participation from the UCL Faculty of Laws

There are three methods of payment for this conference that you can use once you have chosen your ticket:

1. Via credit card - using Google Checkout button at the bottom of the page
2. Via bank transfer - an invoice will be issued with our bank details
3. Via cheque (in GBP) - choose to pay via cheque

To view options 2 and 3, make sure that you click on the 'show' link next to the Other Payment Options section at the bottom of the booking page.

Conference Schedule
08:15 Registration
08:45 Welcome and Introduction
Ioannis Lianos (UCL) & Daniel Sokol (University of Florida)
09:00 Keynote Speakers:
His Excellency Mr. Salman Khurshid (Minister of State for Corporate Affairs of India)
Justice S. H. Kapadia (Chief Justice of India) (tbc)
09:30 Parallel Sessions

PANEL 1: Mergers
Laura Carstensen (UK Competition Commission)


•Simon Baxter (Skadden, Arps)
•Dhanendra Kumar (Chairman CCI)
•Vijaya Sampath (Bharti Airtel)
•Paul Seabright (University of Toulouse, IDEI)
•Pallavi Shroff (Amarchand Mangaldas)

PANEL 2: Evidence in competition law proceedings (burden of proof, standard of proof, presumptions, economic evidence, admissibility and evaluation)

David Lewis (former Chairman, Competition Tribunal of South Africa)

•Jean Yves Art (Associate General Counsel, Microsoft)
•Cristina Caffarra (Vice-President and Head of European Competition Practice, Charles River Associates)
•John Kallaugher (UCL & Latham & Watkins LLP)
•Damien Neven (Chief Economist, DG Competition, European Commission)
•Naval Satarawala Chopra (Amarchand Mangaldas)

11:15 Parallel Sessions

PANEL 3: Competition Issues in Joint Ventures and Distribution Issues

Damien Neven (Chief Economist, DG Competition, European Commission)

•Kiran Desai (Mayer Brown International)
•Ashok Gupta (Aditya Birla Group)
•Jeremy Calsyn (Cleary Gottlieb)
•Ioannis Lianos (UCL)
•Stephen Malherbe (Genesis Analytics)
•Suzanne E Wachsstock (Chief Antitrust Counsel, American Express)

Scott D. Hammond (US Department of Justice Antitrust Division)


•John Beyer (Nathan Associates)
•Marcus Bezzi (Executive General Manager, Enforcement & Compliance Division, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)
•Ariel Ezrachi (University of Oxford)
•Scott D. Hammond (US Department of Justice Antitrust Division)
•P N Parashar (Member, Competition Commission of India)
•Maarten Pieter Schinkel (University of Amsterdam)

13:30 Key note speakers:

•John Fingleton (Chief Executive at the UK Office of Fair Trading / Chair of the Steering Group, International Competition Network)

14:00 Parallel Sessions
PANEL 5: Intersection between Antitrust and Intellectual Property law issues

Howard Shelanski (Deputy Director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission)

•Andrea Appella (Deputy General Counsel, European & Asia, News Corporation)
•Harry First (NYU Law School)
•Damien Neven (Chief Economist, DG Competition, European Commission)
•Robbert Snelders (Cleary, Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP)
•Doug Melamed (General Counsel, Intel)
•P N Parashar (Member, Competition Commission of India)

Government Barriers to Competition

Pradeep S. Mehta (Secretary General, Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS))

•Allan Fels (Dean, The Australia and New Zealand School of Government and Former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)
•Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, (Director, India Development Forum)
•Martha Licetti (Head of Competition Policy, World Bank)
•Rahul Sarin (Member, Competition Appellate Tribunal)
•Daniel Sokol (University of Florida)
•Bharat Vasani (GC, Tata Sons)


16:00 Enforcers' Roundtable:
Limits to the discretion of competition authorities: a comparative perspective
(due process, judicial review, priorities setting, guidelines and reductive versus expansive interpretation of the law, comity principles)

Frederic Jenny (Cour de Cassation (Judge of the French Supreme Court) and Chairman, OECD Competition Committee)

•Marcus Bezzi (Executive General Manager of the Enforcement & Compliance Division, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)
•Laura Carstensen (Deputy Chairman, UK Competition Commission)
•John Fingleton (Chief Executive at the UK Office of Fair Trading / Chair of the Steering Group, International Competition Network)
•Dhanendra Kumar (Chairman, Competition Commission of India)
•Damien Neven (Chief Economist, DG Competition, European Commission)
•Shan Ranburuth (South African Competition Commission)
•Scott D. Hammond (US Department of Justice Antitrust Division)

18:00 Close of Conference

The public conference on 19 November is preceded by an invitation only workshop on the issue of economic development and competition law, a theme that is of particular importance to the global as well as to the local business community.

Additional speakers at this workshop include:

•William Kovacic - Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
•Masahiko Aoki - Stanford University
•Tom Arthur - Emory Univ. Law School
•Aditya Bhattacharjea - Delhi School of Economics
•Thomas Cheng - University of Hong Kong, Law
•Vivek Ghosal - Georgia Institute of Technology, Economics
•Abel Mateus - New University of Lisbon
•George Priest - Yale Law School
•Patrick Rey - IDEI, Toulouse
•Barak Richman - Duke University
•Paul Seabright - IDEI, Toulouse
•Rahul Singh - National University of India, Bangalore
Friday, November 19, 2010 from 8:45 AM - 6:00 PM (GMT+0530)
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UCL Law Faculty
The Faculty of Laws at UCL has a world-class reputation for research, and has been rated by the UK government in the highest categories for both research and teaching.

We value research not only in contributing to the quality of our teaching and the supervision we give our students, but also in its contribution to the development of law and its influence on legal practice and public policy.

The Faculty was ranked 2nd in the UK by The Times Good University Guide (subject table: Law) in 2008. UCL is ranked 4th in the World University rankings.

See more UCL Laws events at

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?

(From the Law and Development blog)

Michael Woolcock, World Bank - Development Research Group, Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government, Simon Szreter, World Bank and Vijayendra Rao, World Bank have an interesting new paper that ask How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?

ABSTRACT: The consensus among scholars and policymakers that"institutions matter"for development has led inexorably to a conclusion that"history matters,"since institutions clearly form and evolve over time. Unfortunately, however, the next logical step has not yet been taken, which is to recognize that historians (and not only economic historians) might also have useful and distinctive insights to offer. This paper endeavors to open and sustain a constructive dialogue between history -- understood as both"the past"and"the discipline"-- and development policy by (a) clarifying what the craft of historical scholarship entails, especially as it pertains to understanding causal mechanisms, contexts, and complex processes of institutional change; (b) providing examples of historical research that support, qualify, or challenge the most influential research (by economists and economic historians) in contemporary development policy; and (c) offering some general principles and specific implications that historians, on the basis of the distinctive content and method of their research, bring to development policy debates.

Monday, September 20, 2010

berkman Series: Becoming a Networked Nonprofit

Tuesday, October 5, 12:30 pm

Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
Many nonprofit organizations have dipped their toes into the set-me-free world powered by social media, but too many still have trepidations about turning their organizations inside out to take full advantage of the new tools. The Networked Nonprofit, a new bestselling book by leading bloggers and thinkers, Beth Kanter and Allison Fine, enables organizations to overcome their fears of losing control and evolve to meet the informational and cultural needs of today's donors and volunteers. In their research, Allison and Beth discovered that the organizations that are immersed in social media — whether they are created that way or are becoming so — look and act more like social organizations than traditional organizations. They will discuss the myths and realities that make organizations leery of opening themselves up, and they’ll share specific stories of how other organizations have been successful in doing so. 

About Allison

Allison studies and writes about the intersection of social media and social change. She is the author of the award-winning bookMomentum:  Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age (Wiley & Sons, 2006). Her new book, The Networked Nonprofit, co-authored with Beth Kanter, was published by Wiley & Sons in 2010.

She is a Senior Fellow on the Democracy Team at Demos:  A Network for Change and Action in New York City. In 2008, she published a paper on young people and activism commissioned by the Case Foundation call Social Citizensbeta, and edited a collection of essays, Rebooting America, about transformative ways to reinvent 21st century democracy using new media tools. Allison hosts a monthly podcast for the Chronicle of Philanthropy called Social Good and writes her own blog, A. Fine Blog.

Allison was the Founder and Executive Director of Innovation Network, Inc. from 1992-2004 providing program planning and evaluation support for nonprofits and foundation.  She served as the C.E.O. of The E-Volve Foundation in 2004-2005.  Allison is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and New York University.

About Beth

Beth is the author of Beth’s Blog (, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits and co-author of the highly acclaimed book, The Networked Nonprofit, published  by J. Wiley in 2010.

Beth is the CEO of Zoetica, a company that serves nonprofits and socially conscious companies with top-tier, online marketing services.  In 2009, she was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.”  She is currently the Visiting Scholar for Social Media and Nonprofits for the Packard Foundation.

She curated NTEN’s “We Are Media: Nonprofit Social Media Starter Kit,” an online community of people from nonprofits who are interested in learning and teaching about how social media strategies and tools can enable nonprofit organizations to create, compile, and distribute their stories and change the world.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Legal Institutions and Economic Development

Thorsten Beck (Tilburg - Economics) has a new paper on Legal Institutions and Economic Development.

ABSTRACT: Legal institutions are critical for the development of market-based economies. This paper defines legal institutions and discusses different indicators to measure their quality and efficiency. It surveys a large historical and empirical literature showing the importance of legal institutions in explaining cross-country variation in economic development. Finally, it presents and discusses three different views of why we can observe the large cross-country variation in legal institutions, the social conflict, the legal origin and the culture and religion hypotheses.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Berkman Event: I'm in the Database, but Nobody Knows

Tuesday, September 28, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floorRSVP required for those attending in person (

This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.
Co-hosted by Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society

A statistical database provides statistical information about a population, while maintaining the privacy of individuals in the database. A popular interpretation of this statement, due to Dalenius, says that "anything learnable about an individual, given access to the database, can be learned without access to the database." In non-technical terms, we will discuss why any such definition is problematic, and suggest an alternate notion of privacy for statistical databases, differential privacy, that arises naturally from an observation about the impossibility argument.

A thriving research effort has produced high-quality differentially private solutions for a wide range of data analysis tasks. We will try to give a feel for the broad spectrum of things that can be done by accessing information through a privacy-preserving programming interface. Finally, we will touch on some privacy problems arising in the context of behavioral targeting that are not addressed by this approach, and pose some questions about mitigation.
About Cynthia

Cynthia Dwork, a theoretical computer scientist, has made fundamental contributions to cryptography, distributed computing, and complexity theory. Her current focus is the development of a mathematically rigorous framework and algorithmic techniques for the privacy-preserving analysis of data. A Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft, Dwork is a recipient of the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Attended USIP's Awesome Rule of Law Course

I recently attended the USIP's Rule of Law Course in Washington DC this past month and it was an excellent overview about the confusing and overlapping (and sometime contentious) field of 'Rule of Law', which we also know as 'Law and Development'. Piloted just this year, and highly recommended, for the curriculum, the networking opportunities and the wonderful staff at USIP (like Vivienne O'Connor)

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), (from it's official literature) is "an independent, nonpartisan organization, created and funded by Congress to prevent and resolve violent international conflicts. USIP’s mission is to increase the United States’ capacity to manage international conflict—to think, act, teach, and train. It uses its convening power to bring together diverse communities to devise practical approaches to peacebuilding"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three Important Nonprofit Operations Manuals

Heather Carpenter, a colleague and my personal guru for nonprofit operations (ie intentional operations) in the US, has a very useful blog called Nonprofit Leadership 601. As I slowly set up operations here, I am reminded to adopt and adapt best practices. Her following post, which you can also find on her blog here, lists three important manuals with templates and samples. As I apply them to the work at hand, I will blog more about what I can adapt here and what might be too operationally or culturally different to use here.

Three VERY IMPORTANT Manuals for Nonprofit Organizations

Many times I've blogged about the importance of nonprofit operations. Ever so often accounting, human resources, and technology practices get pushed aside in a nonprofit organization because program work is prioritized as being more important. This is fine and dandy until a crisis occurs, like someone embezzles money from the organization or a disgruntled employee sues the organization. These types of things happen more often than not. That is why it is important to put the proper operations policies and procedures in place ahead of time to prevent these horrible things from happening.

Whether you run a new nonprofit or your nonprofit has been around for years, I recommend that EVERY nonprofit implement and actively use these three manuals in their organizations:

Accounting manual
Employment manual
General operations manual

The accounting manual will keep an organization in compliance with nonprofit specific Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as well as protect its financial assets, and ensure that proper internal controls are in place. The contents of a nonprofit accounting manual generally includes:

· Division of Duties
· Cash Receipts Procedures
· Cash Disbursements Procedures
· Reconciliations
· Petty Cash Fund
· Purchases
· Fixed Asset Management
· Payroll
· Financial Reporting
· Grant Compliance
· Fiscal Policy Statements

Sample Nonprofit Accounting Manual
Steps for Creating an Accounting Manual

The employment manual will help protect an organization against employee lawsuits and grievances. This manual will also help nonprofit employees understand key employment policies as well as the benefits available to them and mandated by California employment law**. The contents of an employment management generally includes, but is not limited to:
· Employment Policies
· Leave from Work and Other Benefits
· Vacation and Sick Leave
· Other state mandated policies
· Conditions of Employment
· Compensation and Other Administrative Matters
· Grievance Policies
· Verification of Receipt
· At Will Employment Statement

**Always involve a personnel attorney in creating or revising your employment manual

Sample Employment Manual
Creating an Effective Employment Manual for Your Nonprofit

Personnel Policy ManualsThe operations manual will document critical organizational information and general operating procedures. This manual will also improve operational efficiency. The contents of an operations manual generally includes, but is not limited to:
· Security Culture/Procedure
· File Saving Procedure
· Back Up Procedure
· Marketing and communications Procedures
· New Hire Procedure
· Emergency/Evacuation Procedure
· Fundraising Filing Procedure
· Human Resource/Personnel Filing Procedure
· Events Procedures

Operations Manual Template
Operations Manual Example
Operations Best Practices

Monday, August 30, 2010

Does International Development Aid work? - a review of recent books

I'm a big fan of books, and related to this blog, in particular books on intentional development and law work. Here in Uganda, in one of the better foreign-friendly bookstores, I see an abundance of aid-related books, focusing on many different topics. One thing that surprises me is the number of books on aid in general, trying to answer the question of whether international aid works. 

On that very topic alone, you will find a spectrum of views varying from aid euphoria to skepticism to downright contempt/ridicule of aid. Over the last few years alone, some books I've come across, in order on the spectrum from 'aid is bad' to 'aid is good' are:
  • The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty, R. Glenn Hubbard (2006) - Not surprisingly, these authors, being from the Columbia Business School, make the case that current foreign aid and Third World projects are not working because the general strategy for aid creates a charity trap, instead of promoting real growth through cultivating a functioning business sector. 
  • Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, Ha-Joon Chang (2007)- An effective critic of globalization and a protectionist on the side of the free-trade debate, the author considers the first world to be bad Samaritans because they had used the same unfair protectionist approaches to improve their economies and now are in fact advocating for free market and free trade to the poor countries in order to capture larger shares of the latter's markets and to pre-empt the emergence of possible competitors. 
  • Does Foreign Aid Really Work?, Roger C. Riddell (2008) - I'm personally a big fan of Riddell's previous books, and his current book does not disappoint as one of the most comprehensive, scholarly and objective on the subject. He undertook a massive literature review of aid (although some have criticized that they are mainly inherently biased donor reports), which,  combined with his own long personal experience as a practitioner, concluded with something that sounds like 'yes, aid is working, but not as well as it should'.
  • Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics, Carol Lancaster (2006) - looking at bilateral aid from both a seasoned practitioner and academic point of view, this former USAID administrator looks at the motivations behind aid in the biggest donors- United States, Japan, France, and Germany, and Denmark. She shows that bilateral aid is neither purely a tool of diplomacy or altruism towards developing countries, but it is really used for a combination of reasons. From this point of view, aid then makes sense, because it at least fulfills most of these goals of the donor countries. 
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