Governing is Not Just Government: The Importance Of Self-Regulation In Development

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Monday, October 29, 2018     05:258PM  / By CIPE


Most democracy programs focus on advocacy directed toward influencing government policy. But this gives all the power to government. Join us Nov. 1 for a discussion on self-regulation by civil society and its importance for sustainable local #civilsociety


Self-regulation is necessary to promoting democracy and social justice, yet it is one of the least understood aspects of the democratic process. Democracies advance, in part, because of self-regulation. Self-regulation is essential to developing strong democratic institutions, for without it, democratic institutions are easily compromised.


On November 1, 2018 CIPE will host a panel discussion on the critical role of self-regulation and civil societies in ensuring there is transparency in both market and governmental development. The panel will highlight numerous successful examples and activities in emerging democracies and fragile economies. The event is part of CIPE’s ongoing series on how to help civil society build sustainable organizations.



  • Sarah Owen, Manager of Global Government Affairs, Underwriter Labs (UL)
  • Rick O’Sullivan, Principal, Change Management Solutions
  • Frank Brown, Director, Anti-Corruption and Governance Center, CIPE
  • Lars Benson, Regional Director for Africa, CIPE (Discussion Moderator)


Speaker Bios

  • Sarah Owen is the Manager of Global Affairs at Underwriter Labs (UL). She coordinates UL’s self-regulatory activities with government officials at all levels and leads UL’s engagement with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Prior to working at UL, she served as a government relations professional for two different trade associations. She spent the first nine years of her career working as a legislative assistant/director to senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Rick O’Sullivan is the Principal of Change Management Solutions. He has advised numerous U.S. and European associations in several sectors on how to expand their standards and self-regulation programs internationally, including into developing markets.  A former assistant director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, O’Sullivan has developed a number of tools to help local CSO partners to become self-sustaining and self-financing in response to many requests at the end of projects to “make local partners self-sustaining.” Key to this approach is re-balancing the governance roles of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors through what he calls “Advocacy’s Three-Legged Stool,” included in this discussion.
  • Frank Brown is the Director of the Anti-Corruption & Governance Center. The Center focuses on streamlining CIPE’s existing programming and exploring innovative approaches based on new partnerships, economic trends, and law enforcement priorities. Before the launch of the Anti-Corruption & Governance Center, Brown covered a portfolio that included Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia. In Russia, he launched an anti-corruption program aimed at regional, mid-sized businesses and enlisted the support of multi-national corporations doing business in Russia. In addition to his work in Eurasia, Brown worked on cross-regional trade programming with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, of which CIPE is an implementer.
  • Lars Benson is the Regional Director for Africa at CIPE. He works closely with partners representing the private sector, civil society, and government to implement policy and regulatory reforms, enhance anti-corruption initiatives, engage in public-private dialogue, and improve democratic governance across the continent. Prior to joining CIPE, Benson served as the country director assisting small and medium enterprises to provide services and products to the oil industry in Angola. He also led an economic development and private enterprise program in Azerbaijan and worked on numerous projects in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. In the private sector, Benson served as a regional sales manager for a U.S. manufacturer of electronic repair equipment and was responsible for sales and marketing in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.




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