UNDP Paper on Evaluation Methodologies for Legal Empowerment

A really good paper, 'Measurement Methodologies for Legal Empowerment of the Poor', by Adam Masser published in 2009 giving an overview of the many, many definitions, methodologies and indicators that various organisations use to measure 'Legal Empowerment' and related issues.  

From the abstract, which summarizes it better than I can: 
This paper draws on existing methodologies and theoretical frameworks and argues that a narrowly defined, subject-centric approach to measurement of legal empowerment is key to the monitoring of progress towards legally empowering the poor. It argues that broad macroeconomic indicators and topdown assessments are fundamentally incapable of examining important aspects.

'The State of the Internet Operation System' by Tim O'Reily

At the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco in few months ago, I came across the report 'The State of the Internet Operating System' byTim O'Reilly (yes, of O'Relly publications). The report is easy to read and written for a non-techie, although you do have to know enough basic internet technology to fully appreciate it. (Update: 'The State of the Internet Operating System' byTim O'Reilly can be read on the O'relily website, click on link). This is Tim's introduction to the report:

I've been talking for years about "the internet operating system", but I realized I've never written an extended post to define what I think it is, where it is going, and the choices we face. This is that missing post. Here you will see the underlying beliefs about the future that are guiding mypublishing program as well as the rationale behind conferences I organize like the Web 2.0 Summit and Web 2.0 Expo, the Where 2.0 Conference, and even the Gov 2.0 Summit and Gov 2.0 Expo.

Law and Development Review Special Issue on Brazil and India

The Law and Development Review, which I previously announced, has produced its second Special Issue (2010): New Voices from Emerging Powers - Brazil and India. To date, since the Inaugural Issue in 2008, there is Volume 1 (2008), Volume 2 (2009) and Volume 3 (2010) No. 1, No. 2 being this Special Issue. You can access all these past issues on the Berkeley Electornic Press WebsiteYou'll need a subscription to read the articles online, or you can read it for free either at a library that has a subscription, (UPDATED 6/6/2009) or via free guest pass if you are a nonprofit or an academic after filling out a form.

Articles of this current issue are:

Hernando De Soto BBC interview on Legal Empowerment and property rights

Hermando de Soto, one of the leaders of the Legal Empowerment of the Poor movement (who also headed the original UN Commission together with Madeline Albright), has always been pushing the envelop with his theories of economic growth and legal rights. He was recently interviewed (and his work in Peru subjected to prodding) by BBC radio journalists, cumulating in a 30 minute report that you can listen here

From BBC's Crossing Continents website (Crossing Continents is BBC Radio 4's award-winning foreign affairs documentary series.): 
'Can an economist save Peru? 
The world famous Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto believes that the key to ending poverty for countless millions is to give them the right to own the land that they live on. If a person owns the land, and has the paperwork to prove it, his theory says, they can use it as collateral to borrow money from banks to help build businesses and improve their quality of life.
But de Soto's ideas have proved controversial. Now they are being tested in the rainforests of the Amazon. The indigenous Peruvians who live there believe that they already own the land and protest against what they see as the encroachment of big business. Last year, protests culminated in more than 30 deaths at Bagua
Linda Pressly journeys from Lima to the heart of the Amazon region with Hernando de Soto to discover how he is working with indigenous people.'

Live Coverage of the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit

The Global Voices 2010 Summit is happening! The internet allows us to attend it virtually- Via Global Voices:

... we're now less than 10 hours from starting this year's Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2010. For those of you who are here in Santiago with us, we will be delighted to see you tomorrow morning at the beautifulSantiago Public Library. For those of you who will be participating online, there are several ways to stay engaged throughout both days of the summit.
We will be live video streaming as much of the discussion as possible, so long as the internet gods are on our side. In addition to the live video streaming, Jorge Gobbi and Felipe Cordero will be liveblogging all discussions, witty remarks, and inevitable gossip in both English and Spanishthroughout the two days of the summit.
You can stay tuned on Twitter, and you can participate yourself by using the hashtag “#gv2010“. (Twitter has a guide to using hashtags.) Even without access to the internet, summit participants are reporting on Twitter that they have crashed the wi-fi at the hotel. There is also a Flickr groupfor photos from the summit.
Stay tuned to the Summit Blog for updates throughout the two days.

Web 2.0 Expo May 3-6 2010

I attended the Web 2.0 Expo today and am not surprised at the usual suspects- Microsoft and other big tech companies, and elance and other smaller companies. From the Web 2.0 website: 

"Web 2.0 Expo, co-produced by O'Reilly Media, Inc. and UBM TechWeb, showcases the latest Web 2.0 business models, development paradigms and design strategies for the builders of the next-generation Web. This annual multi-track conference brings together people, ideas, connections, contacts, products, and companies to foster stronger Web 2.0 communities. Web 2.0 Expo events occur in San Francisco andNew York and feature influential keynotes and speakers, detailed workshops, a Launch Pad startup program, an Expo show floor, a Web2Open unconference, and rich networking events."

New Book by Editor of 'Law and Development Review'

I am a big fan of and have blogged often on the 'Law and Development Review', a journal on law and development published by Berkeley's B-Press. It's editor, and one of my counterparts in the law and development world, has recently written a new book called Reclaiming Development in the World Trading System (Cambridge University Press). 

Descripton: Prevalent poverty in less developed countries is one of the most pressing issues of our time and economic development in these countries is necessary to bring them out of poverty. As seen in the successful development cases of East Asian countries, international trade is closely relevant to economic development, and export facilitation and effective industrial policies have been the key to the successful development. Current GATT/WTO provisions facilitating development are insufficient and some WTO provisions prevent developing countries from adopting effective development policies. This book is the first attempt to suggest a comprehensive modification of the current GATT/WTO disciplines to better facilitate development. The book also examines the need to elevate the level of regulatory treatment of development issues by the WTO and proposes the Agreement on Development Facilitation and the Council for Trade and Development within the WTO.

Event 18 June 2010: Law.gov: Putting It All Together

(Also see law.gov:MA)  The Harvard Law School Law.Gov workshop on June 18 is the last in a 6-month series of such workshops that have taken place throughout the country.  In this final workshop, participants will discuss the implications of some core principles about access to primary legal materials. Are these principles workable? What will it take to make them real? What are the implications of these principles? Our hope is that upon completion of this workshop, a crisp set of basic principles can be presented and discussed, perhaps leading to the enactment of some of these principles into policy through mechanisms such as judicial rules, executive orders, or legislation.

Event: Openness: How Increasing Accessibility and Responsiveness Can Transform Processes and Systems

Tuesday, May 11, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
RSVP required for those attending in person (rsvp@cyber.law.harvard.edu)
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.
The term "open" has been used in many contexts: open source, open standards, open access, open architecture, open spectrum, open innovation, and open educational resources.  Information, processes, and systems have become more accessible and therefore more open (Web 1,0),  but the evolving Web allows users to contribute and collaborate in new ways, increasing openness by making information, processes, and systems not only more accessible but more responsive. What are the various characteristics of “openness”?  How do open models differ from more traditional models?  What is their appeal?
The Committee for Economic Development has published a series of reports on openness, examining the relationship between openness, digitization, and the Internet.  Building upon economic, legal, and technical analyses, the reports address:
  • the relationship between openness and efforts to control the unauthorized use of intellectual property;
  • expanding the opportunity space for sequential and cumulative innovation;
  • the potential for transforming the U.S. healthcare system through increased openness; and
  • the implications of openness for institutions of higher education.
The presentation will address how greater openness has been enabled by IT and the Internet, the rise of a new theory of value based on use and sharing, the problems and pitfalls associated with greater openness, and how openness can serve as a lens to examine and a tool to reengineer different institutional and policy domains.