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Revision as of 15:59, 15 November 2012 by Bill Densmore (talk | contribs) (Recalling the 1980s cross-continent TV of Phil Donahue and Vladimir Pozner)


These are Bill Densmore's running notes of the 2012 U.S.-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program. As other examples of coverage turn up on the web, I'll try to provide links.


The key question for the U.S.-Russia Civil Society Partnership: is it possible for ordinary citizens in each country to come together to share civil-actoin agenda items even in a climate of some official impediments?

In opening remarks, Dan Russell, deputy assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, descries the Russian government's decision to order the end, after 20 years, of activities by USAID in Russia. Despite this, said Russell: " for Russian civil society is going to continue." When the USAID program started, there were fewer than 100 civil-society organizations identified in Russia, said Russell. Now, he said, there are hundreds of thousands.

Some CSPP linkage projects underway

  • Sustainability of rural communities around issues such as lack of infrastructure, brain drain and outdated policies.
  • Study of wetlands degradation in both countries
  • Help with transition Russian orphanage residents to adoptive-home settings
  • Totem Necklace Project, Altai Republic and Glacier National Project
  • International Grassroots Collaboration for Sustainability Development (Lake Tahoe and Lake Baiku)
  • Forest-dependent communities in Russian Far East environmental compliance / Siberian Forest

Recalling the 1980s cross-continent TV of Phil Donahue and Vladimir Pozner

For several years in the early 1980s, American TV talkshow host Phil Donahue and Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner used cross-content satellite technology to co-host live at the same time in each of their countries a series of unscripted, Q-and-A citizens-in-the-studios discussions about their nations' points of common social interest. As a frame for this week's discussions in Washington, Donahue and Pozner are present, and we are reviewing that historic interchange which came as Russian society was becoming dramatically more open.