and policy. USAID can then make a determination about whether it is prudent to change its posture with
respect to legislative strengthening and support.
Encourage national dialogue and consensus
While some of the proposed reforms require unilateral government action, others require negotiation
among government leaders, Congress, elements of the political opposition, the media and civil society.
USAID can play a role in bringing together these diverse actors and promoting dialogue and consensus
around the proposed agenda for reform. Should opportunities arise, USAID should also encourage the
generation of specific policy proposals in the above mentioned issue areas, based on the considerable
expertise and research experience of its current grantees.
If the political commitment to democratic reform increases dramatically over the next year or two, and
significant progress is made in addressing the central problems of competition and balance of power,
then it would make sense to work more directly with government institutions, and to include other
strategic priorities. Some of these additional options are also mapped out briefly as part of the following
issue specific recommendations.
Issue Specific Recommendations and Priorities
The following recommendations emphasize opportunities for the promotion of more effective democratic
competition and balance of power over the next five years, in five critical issue areas. Clearly, they are
not all of equal priority, and together they would well surpass the annual resource limitations of the
current D/G program. In order to assign them relative priority, three criteria were considered: (1) their
importance to addressing the central problem, (2) the likelihood that the recommended activities, if
successfully implemented, would have the desired impact, and (3) the comparative advantages of USAID
over other donors. When these criteria are considered, the following order of priority emerges:
Justice and Human Rights
In addition to its failure to uphold the rule of law,
the Judicial branch of government
uphold Constitutional limits on Executive and Legislative authority, and in many cases, endorses abuses
. The Judiciary has failed to exercise its constitutional prerogatives largely because the
Executive and Legislature have limited its independence and autonomy. While there is also a lack of an
institutional capacity to deliver justice more broadly, this is not the primary strategic problem. Members
of the Judiciary are endorsing executive abuses of power not because they lack capacity, but instead
because the majority of judges and prosecutors are beholden directly or indirectly to the Executive for
their positions, and because they allow politics to influence their decisions.
: There are many constraints to working directly with the Judiciary. First, it has been so
politicized that any assistance at the present time may simply be subject to further Executive control.
Second, the Judiciary is disempowered through the appointment of Executive Commissions that assume
judicial authority. Third, the fact that roughly two thirds of judges are provisional means that they can be
appointed and removed at will by the Executive, and therefore they will not take risks to challenge abuses
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