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#14 - JRL 7019
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 15:15:51 -0500
Subject: Publication: Azerbaijan, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, and NGO Action (ISAR)
From: "John P. Deever" <john@isar.org>

Dear JRL readers:

I'd like to offer you ISAR's quarterly publication, Give & Take: A Journal on Civil Society in Eurasia, released this week. Thanks for having a look: http://www.isar.org/isar/GT16.pdf


John P. Deever
Publications Program Officer
Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia
1601 Connecticut Ave NW #301
Washington DC 20009
tel: 202-387-3034, fax: 202-667-3291

Full announcement follows

"Azerbaijan's Groundswell of Civil Society"
ISAR Announces the Winter 2003 Issue of Give & Take: A Journal on Civil Society in Eurasia

ISAR: INITIATIVE FOR SOCIAL ACTION AND RENEWAL IN EURASIA, a US-based NGO (http://www.isar.org), is pleased to announce the Winter 2003 issue of its quarterly publication, Give & Take: A Journal on Civil Society in Eurasia.

This issue of Give & Take, dedicated to the country of Azerbaijan, highlights citizen activism, the obstacles to fostering social change, and the interaction of big oil and government in a developing society. Hundreds of local citizens' groups have completed the difficult registration process and now tackle an incredible range of issues -- from diabetes education to professional development for beekeepers. Their accomplishments largely unsung in the West, these NGOs have done tremendous work with tiny sums of money. Those highlighted here represent only the tip of the iceberg: last year ISAR-Azerbaijan╣s local NGO directory detailed the work of over 400 grassroots NGOs throughout the country, not just in Baku and other major cities. They operate where international assistance is sparse and local philanthropy largely undeveloped, demonstrating creativity in fundraising and enthusiasm in responding to social injustice.

NGOs are also cooperating to advocate for environmental and social issues. A special section of the journal explores the debate over the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. When completed in 2004, BTC will transport Caspian oil and gas to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in the Mediterranean Sea, bypassing Iran and Russia. Give & Take presents several of the perspectives in this debate, including those of a British Petroleum (BP) executive, the government of Azerbaijan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and multiple NGO viewpoints. Svetlana Tsalik of the Open Society Institute looks at whether some portion of the revenues will be used to improve the conditions of Azerbaijan╣s people; her article, abstracted from a forthcoming book, offers concrete recommendations for using oil production profits to achieve social reform.

The oil industry, with its millions of dollars in investments and powerful international partners, is far more visible than those who practice grassroots civil society development, but the efforts of the local NGOs have an endemic strength that is all their own. Give & Take calls attention to these independent voices and seeks to include them in the wider dialogue.

Drawing on ISAR's grassroots contacts and nearly 20 years of experience encouraging citizen initiatives in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Give & Take blends stories about local NGO activity with analysis of the trends affecting civil society development. Back issues available.

SUPPORT GIVE & TAKE ON THE WEB: Give & Take is available in .pdf format at <http://www.isar.org> at no cost. We ask that readers make voluntary contributions to support ISAR's work, by check or via secure credit card donation. For a hard copy of the latest issue, or to order back issues, please send $5.00 (checks drawn on a US bank only) to Mieka Erley (mieka@isar.org), ISAR, 1601 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite #301, Washington, DC 20009

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