Global training in the world today: an overview of international initiatives and programs that the US government and nonprofit organizations undertake to assist nations in achieving a democratic structure and economic health.

Author:Bates, Ellen

Since the waning days of World War II, the United States government and many nonprofit organizations have embarked on a series of initiatives to help war-torn governments and developing countries everywhere get back on their feet. The United States directed its initial efforts toward Europe via the very successful Marshall Plan. Later, in the sixties, our government created the Peace Corps and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Many other agencies and organizations have launched global training programs; at the federal level, the US Department of the Treasury and the Graduate School, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are examples, and the American Bar Association, the International Law Institute (ILI), and East-West Management Institute (EWMI) are among the professional and nonprofit organizations that have provided assistance. Some programs help governments directly in building legal and financial infrastructures; others provide aid to economic ventures. Many, such as the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program, stress leadership development. The common thread in all these programs has been well-targeted training.

Legal Training

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the resulting new governments had little experience with the rule of law and therefore had to begin a legal reform process. Since 1990 the American Bar Association, through its Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI), has recruited volunteer lawyers to help those Eastern Bloc countries create independent legal systems. CEELI currently has lawyer liaisons serving for one or two years in countries such as Albania, Belarus, Latvia, Georgia, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan on various projects, including constitutional drafting, court administration, white-collar crime, and legislative procedures. Technical legal assistance projects and training programs are held throughout these countries. CEELI lawyers have provided expert assessments of more than 450 draft laws addressing antitrust, tax, foreign investment, and criminal law, as well as the constitutions of 15 countries.

Since 1971, the ILI, a nonprofit organization, has brought more than 8,000 lawyers and other professionals from 180 countries to its training program at its Washington, DC headquarters. Through a series of seminars, participants learn to "lead their nations toward improved legal regimes, sound economic policy, and effective capital markets."

Financial Management

USAID has funded training in financial management worldwide. In 2002 it directed a study in Indonesia that focused on how local governments could effectively exercise their newly decentralized borrowing powers. The emphasis was on developing a strategy for establishing a project financing system for local governments.

In other areas, the USDA Graduate School's International Institute has developed several courses for USAID. It delivered a financial management overview course to USAID's finance and program staff in Washington and to its...

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