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CSPP convening Nov. 14-15 -- Wrapup goals reports of working groups

These notes were compiled on the fly by Bill Densmore on Tues., Nov. 15, 2011, at Moscow, listening to presentations of the 11 working groups at the U.S.-Russian Civil Society summit sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Eurasian Foundation and the Russian-based New Eurasia Foundation. Some notes were added from slide presentations submitted by the groups. For links to the official reports, and an extensive commenting and participation system, go to the event collaboration site HERE. Names of presenters are missing and in some cases inaccurate and will be corrected or omitted within a couple of days.


Report of the Anti-Corruption Group

Three priorities:

  • Shape environment in which whistleblowers are a positive force in economic growth. "No anti-governnment activity is possible without whistleblower protection."
  • Identity incentives for business to engage in collective ation to counter corruption in specific high-risk industries. Reduce the demand for bribes. Provide incentives for business to take collective action.
  • Determine unmet needs and demand for different social media. Prevent retaliation against whistle blowers, democratice the flow of information regarding market performance, strengthen a community of US-Russia compliance.

"It is very clear that our market is not working because of poor governance, poor corporate governance, poor government governance . . . fundamental lack of fairness in U.S. markets. What we think we need is a kind of new Apollo-Soyuz moment between our two countries, combining our best minds to innnovate social transformation."

Report of the Public Health Working Group

Elena Dmitrieva, director, foundation Tatiana Bogdasarova, project manager, New Eurasia Foundation Dr. O. Marion Burton, MD, past president, American Academy of Pediatrics Andrey Dyomin, president, Russian Public Health Association

Five topics identified overall:

  • Prevent of non-communicable disease burdne for children and adolescents (tobacco, alcohol, nutrition, legal and illegal drugs): Intersectoral approach, family involvement, negative industry influence.
    • Roundtable discussion on nutrition, tobacco, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs.
    • List the programs funded by tobacco, alcohol, "junk food" industry
    • Method snad techniques reviewing PSSA and prograsm funded by tobacco and alcohol industry.
  • Building transparent health-care system: NGO participation, system of ratings, professional-general public, social media involvement.
  • Health of migrants and health-care provision for migrants: Lessons learned in USA and Russia. Of 75 million children in the United States, about 17 million live with one migrant parent and some 1 million are themselves undocumented. Deportation is a critical issue for them.
    • Roundtable
    • Researching health needs and health facilities for migrants
    • Creating health screen for migrants
    • Statement of principles on ethical obligation of HCP for health-care provision for migrants.
  • Modern problems of public health, health and bioscience
    • Roundtable discussion on international best practices related to conflict of interest policy in health care to be followed by series of publications.
    • Develop conflict of interest policy as applied to all actors including governmental and nongovernmental organizations (for instance health).
  • Building skills and knowledge of health care providers and clients: NCD, epidemiology, global health, communication and counseling, rights.
    • Partnership projectds on distance learning fro HCBPs on global health
    • Training course on communication of HCP and clients
    • Training for HCPS on clinical epidemiology (non-infectious diseases)
    • Public health jourals joint publications
    • Maintenance of certification
    • Making system of qualification of HCPs transparent,

Report of Education and Youth Group

Yvonne Marie Andres, co-founder, president/CEO, Global SchoolNet Foundation

"What GlobalSchoolNet has discovered: It wasn't until the web became available in 1994 and we started creating artifacts, archiving online, that it really caught on." You set the benchmark if you have your early work online -- successive groups wants to do better.

She works with the World Future Society. "There is a vision of trying to prevent the preventable future, bypassing the undesirable future, and really designing the preferable future."

  • Raise awareness and increase understanding between Russian/US youth to dispel stereotypes
    • Change anti-American perceptions by Russian youth
    • Change lack of global awareness by American youth
    • Prepare Russian/US youth to work collaboratively to solve or prevent global problems
  • Promote a collaborative process for Russian/US education and youth NGOs for sharing best practices.
    • Articulate the synergies between education and youth NGOs to create supportive partnerships and networks
    • Identify appropriate technology tools and their accessibility, and usage protocols for collaboration.
  • Create opportunities for youth involvement in decision making and development processes.
    • We want to give youth the skiills they will need to be our future leaers
    • YOuth often do not have a voice
    • Youth are not invested or empowered Free Access to Media Working group

Report of the Mass Media and Access to Information Working Group

Priority areas for grant programs:

  • Journalism in a Civil Society: Today and Tomorrow
  • Encouraging Open and Accessible Information
  • Effective and Innovative TEchnologies to Support Media

RECOMMENDATIONS DETAIL: Media Action Areas (detail)

Howard Finberg: "Journalism is not broke, it is some of the economic models that are threatening journalism."

Anna Koshman: In both countries there are problems with access to information.

Howard Finberg: "We have to learn from each other."

Anna Koshman: Make more active use of other people.

Report of Child Protection Working Group

Nadezhda Alenina, director, social development programs, New Eurasia Foundation Grace S. Mattern, consultant, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Children's victims of abuse early on average $8K less per year and have 17% higher health costs. "It is an issue that affects our nation and economic."

Priority areas for grant programs:

  • Children at risk or without parental care -- Efforts should revolve around prevention, intervention, follow-up care, research and collaboration.
    • Children at-risk or without parental care

/ Prevention / Efforts to prevent children from entering care / Increase societal trust of child protection initiatives / Intervention / Effective programs and services for those children in care outside of the family (e.g., to recover trust) / Evidence-based practices to effectively intervene so children can return to a family-based placement / Improve family functioning / Follow-up Care / Implementing child-oriented holistic services to re-integrate children into the family and community after being in care / Services to continue family strengthening Research / Prevalence, process and outcome data / Independent/external monitoring and evaluation / Longitudinal study / Return on Investment Analysis / Collaborations / Social Media/IT – child-specific media advocacy / Youth involvement and Empowerment

  • Training and technical assistance of child protection professionals and the broader society
    • Training -- Online, interactive, web-based skills training (e.g. hot lines, trust lines, school mediation services, creation of inclusive/child friendly environment, legal/regulatory framework, measurement)

/ Translation of “best practice” materials if valuable in other countries / Access to NCAC Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO) to obtain emerging research and **Best Practices / Education next generation of child protection leaders / Technical Assistance / Regular Peer Review of cases and process / Consultations on challenging cases

    • Collaborations:

/ IT/Social Media – Replication/implementation/dissemination mechanisms / Learning Management Systems and Dissemination Mechanisms / Higher Education - Child protection professionals offer classes at University in exchange for access to technology

  • Sustainability of evidence-based civil society child protection activities.

Resources -- Human, including volunteers / Financial - especially difficult for child protection since there is no natural or developing funding source

    • Communication

/ Settings should be child-friendly (including online communication) / Expertise (interface with education and online training)

    • Engagement

/ Government to support – NGOs to advocate / Other NGO networks and partnerships

    • Media – child-friendly and limited exposure to violence

/ Mechanisms for collaborative work / Bi-lateral cooperation is helpful

Alenina: Children with health diseases are priority.

Gender Barometer:

More boys are in care, and tehy are harder to place. Most significant are cases where there may be a teen pregnancy or risk for sexual exploitation; actions to mitigate inlcude shelter, parenting traing, vocational and mentoring programs for pregnant girls and teen-age mothers; training on sexual exploitation risks and prevention; actions to ensure equal participation in program activities; imporved reporting and referral.

Idea: pursue online web based interactive skills training for things like running hot lines, trust lines, school ediation services, creation of inclusivity/child-friendly environment, legal/regulatory.

Gender Barometer there: A need for more men in the child-protection arena.

Sustainability -- Need sustainability of evidence-informed civil society-based child protection activities. Needed resources include human, including volunteers, financial, communication, child-friendly settings, expertise. Engagmenet needed: Government support, GOs to advocate, ask media to be child-friendly and limited exposure to violence; mechanism for collaborative work and bi-literal cooperation.

    • Cross-collaboration possibilities

Social Media/IT – opportunities throughout the workgroup / Higher Education – opportunity to share resources with mutual benefit / Youth and Education – same clients, but not aligned needs / Human Rights – child protection is a basic human right / Gender Equality – differential perspectives related to gender and child sexual abuse

Report of Gender Equity Working Group

"We identified priority areas:

Vulnerability of women due to gender inequality:

  • Violence Against women
    • Russia seeks to develop and isntitute legislation to address domestc violence. Given long history in the US of DV legislation and policy initiaitves, there are opportuntieis to share best practices and lessons learned.
    • 30% of Russian families experience domestic violence. over 10,000 women are killed through domestic violence per year.
    • In U.S., 33% of women have experienced at least one assault by an intimate parnter and 15-20% of women have experienced sexual vioelcne. Almost 50% of women have experienced sexual violence and/lor domestic violence. About 1,200 women killed by DV each year.

Mattern: The human rights working group talked about access to justice. This is a huge issue in domestic violence. Also talk about prison reform. "There is an epidemic of sexual assaults in prisons."

  • Women in politics
    • Promote gender equality and motigate vulnerability thorugh education and advocacy.
    • Bias against women across all levels of society contributes to vulnerability to abuse and other social problems. By engaging men, youth and other partners in understanding gender inequity, we can build a network of people advocating for the fundamental social change that will allow women and children to have equal access to safety and wellbeing.
    • Russian women earn 66% of what men earn. In the U.S. women earn 77% of what men earn.
  • Women and economics
    • Empower women ito engage in leadership roles
    • Empowering and training women to engage in leadership roles and activities will provide positive role models for women's equality and help to shift the social problems that contribute to women's vulnerabilities.
    • Russia: 14% of the state duma women; one governor; 5.8% in Council of Federation; U.S. -- 16% of congressional reps and 17% of senators; six governors, 6 of 21 cabinet-level positions.

Report of Human Rights and Rule of Law Working Group

Criteria for subject selection -- timeliness of the problem for bot countries, political, cultural and other readiness for cooperation in this field; availability of existing institutional and expert resources on this issue; existence of parnterships in civil society; prospect of doing something positive with $70K.


  • Human rights in prison
  • Human rights and the police: Public scrutiny and participation
  • Access to justice

  • Human rights in the prison system
    • Repressive nature of the judicial system leads to a wide application of punishment related to imrisonment, including for minor and non-violent offenses;

    • This leads to large number of prisoners, overcrowding jails and prisons, dedcreased of socialization and increased risk of recidivism;
    • Human rights are systematically violanted inthe prison systemd, including freedom from torture and inhuman treatment, the right of adequate health care, access to lawyer, the right of self-defense and visits by relatives
    • Civil society groups have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the approach chosen for reform of the prison system in Russia, and are quite critical about the existing US model of the prison system.
  • Human rights and police -- prospects of public oversight and participation
    • Policemen use unjustified and excessive violence, the problem is more systematic in Russia.

    • Police not transparent enough in relations with society not developing a partnership approach in relations wtih local communities
    • Assessment of the efficiency of the work of the police is based on quantitative data rather than on measuring quality of its work
    • Professionalism of the police remains quite low (in Russia).
  • Access to justice: Free legal aid and strategic litigation
    • Significant numbe rof peole in both countries cannot get access to adequate legal support, in particular, for financial reasons and becasue of insufficient legal norms, regulating provision of free legal aid;
    • Russian human rights NGOs want to more actively use the method of strategic litigation to attain systematic change in laws, institutions and practices in the field of human rights and rule of law. US experience in this field would be useful. A more efficient iimplementation of the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights provides a good potential for applying the method of strategic litigation.

Report of Migration working Group

Elena Tyuryukanova -- Director, Center for Migration Studies

Unique opportunity to share experience.

Alexander talking: Both nations have huge migration flows. Intense migration between Mexico and other migration, lots of people. "The search for national and personal identity has become quite topical. You now that inter-ethnic relations are topical Russia. I think the same is true in the United States."

Russia is looking in to setting up visa-free migration between Russian and its neighbors. He is deputy director of the federal migration service. he used to draft documents to be addressed to higher government agencies stressing there is a need to look for new ways to resolve problems in migration. Has become a problem in the post-soviet time.

Elena: Some people have the view that we should not accept immigrants. Three priorities:

  • Mapping the insittutional context of migration: Understanding the role of Civil Society
    • Clarify roles of the NGO community and the public institutions they relate to; assess areas of need, document best practices;
    • Research and policy development, advocacy, direct slaes, networking
    • Comparative study of the institutions involved in migration will provide ...
  • Migrant integration and developing a tolerant society
    • Integration inthe labor market
    • Access to health care, education
    • Cultural integration (language, culture), access to information
    • Forming public opinion, positive image of migrant, fighting negative stereotypes, myths; measures to icnrease tolerance
    • Role of NGOs, local communities, migrant communities
    • Legalization, access to legal status for migrants and stateless persons

  • Migrants rights and the impact of migration policies
    • Access to information
    • Access to justice irrespective of legal status
    • Access to rights protection tools and services
    • Prevention of violantion of rights by law enforcement authorities
    • Impact of migration policies on migrants' rights

Report of Higher Education Working Group

Jonathan Becker, vp and dean, international affairs and civic engagement, and political science professor at Bard College.

  • University as civic actor
  • Network-to-network cooperation in higher education
  • Joint projects that form or enhance partnerships between networks of higher-education institutions or rleated associations in Russia and the United States. Proposals might include:
    • Associations of colleges and universities
    • Studente and professional associations
    • Unions and service networks
  • Analysis of current U.S.-Russian higher education projects

There are numerous collaborations right now. But there is a dearth of information about their scope and effectiveness. Propse projects to identify and analyze bilateral, institution-to-institution partnerships including:

  • Closing thoughts
    • Higher education can work with nearly all other CSPP groups
    • There are relatively los cost ways to have impact, by publicity etc.

Report of Community Development Working Group

Marina Mikhailova, director, Arkhangelsk Social Technologies Center Debra Martin, director of community development, WSOS Community Action Commission

Marina says all the subjects addressed by previous groups have been addressed by community development.

Group had two from the U.S., four from Russian Federation.

Same problems in both countries, same approaches and challenges.


  • Increase transparency and citizens participation in the decision-making process
  • Disseminating best practices for involving citizens and solving local problems
  • Creating an environment to stimulate the development of leadership in local communities


    • Citizens participation/leadership
    • Local entrepreneurship as a mechanism for community development
    • Building sustainable communities through partnership development

Projects should target small towns and rural communities facing multiple challenges and all priority areas need to stimulate sustainable local development.

Deb Martin now talks:

Priority No. 1: Civil Participation/Leadership

    • Increasing transparency and citizen participation in the decision making process
    • Disseminating best practices for involving citizens and solving local problems
    • Creating an environment to stimulate the development of leadership in local communities

Priority No. 2: Local Entrepreneurship

Projects should support the need of local communities to diversify and expand their economic base by:

    • Supporting the development of micro-enterprises and the expansion of existing small businesses
    • Focusing on utilizing local resources
    • Fostering the development of “buy local” initiatives

Now back to Marina Mikhailova . . .

Priority No. 3: Communities through partnership development

    • Support establishment of partnerships that contribute to the sustainability and development potential of local communities
    • Promote the exchange of experiences and practices establishing communication between groups and organizations both insdie adn outside the community to icnrease the success of residents in solving local problems.
    • Attract migrants and the other marginalized groups in the community.

"For very small communities there is a very real need for collaboration among and between communities. if communities are going to survive they are going to have to rely on each other and this concept of looking at regions and regional development is going to become more important."

Report of Environmental Protection working group

Evan Sparling talking:

what nations have in common. Both artic, major water ways, could carbon sequester, burn a lot of carbon, long history of cooperation to solve environmental problems.


    • 1. Sustainable and responsible development to protect Arctic ecosystems and prevent climate change

Problem: Lack of official channels for public participation in policymaking regarding development and conservation of climactic and socio-economic ecosystems. Solutions include civil society involvement in dialogue with industry and regulatory agencies; free, open, and informed consent of indigenous and local communities in decision-making processes; unified recommendations for environmentally responsible legislation.

    • 2. Civil society leveraging of markets and legislation to protect living natural resources

Problem: Lack of market mechanisms and legal provision. Solutions include voluntary certification of production and supply chains, inter-market supply chain monitoring and enforcement; environmental education about responsible consumption; system to evaluate ecosystem resources and strengthen existing legislation and law enforcement; Bilateral commission cooperation

    • 3. Participation of civil society in environmentally-sensitive decisions, access to information and environmental justice

Problem: Leverage the history of positive US and Russian NGOs to address projects. Solutions / priorities include: Land use and planning policy for ?Oil and gas, forestry sector, mining, endangered species protection ?Cooperation with inter-governmental and uUse of information technology.

Laurens wraps up

"This was the start of a process and not the end of a two-day meeting." Figure out when the working group is going to meet next. "You have gone live. Your presentations are now on the web."

Use for putting on events, meeting notices, interesting documents, blogging with each other. "There are all kinds of ways you can community if you are willing to spend time on this website."