The Art of Letting Go and the Mandate of Going Further

This piece was previously published in the National Medical Journal of India, Volume 29, Number 1, 2016, pages 30-31, and reprinted with permission.   In Read More


New app lets public help map disasters, conflicts and outbreaks

By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Swiping right or tapping on a mobile phone are not typical ways of helping poor communities, but a new app launched by a medical charity on Friday aims to use technology to help aid workers map areas at risk of conflict, disasters and disease. Using the latest


Thoughts After 22 Years of Consumption and Organizing a Food System Symposium

Sarah Dwyer is passionate about developing a multidisciplinary understanding of the ways that food affects health through her work with a community-led nutrition education program Read More


International Governance for Peace and Security in Cyberspace

ICT4Peace’s Daniel Stauffacher was invited to give a lecture on “International Governance for Peace and Security in Cyberspace” at the Summer School of the Swiss Study Foundation organised in collaboration with Prof. Michael Ambühl, Chair of Negotiation and Conflict Management, ETH Zurich, and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, on 6. September 2016 at the Centro in Magliaso, Switzerland.

@MSF Video: Patents and the fight for #generics

Intellectual property protects those items that we can’t live without – think Netflix and the iPhone 7 – and those that we would surely die without, including life saving and extending medications.  Today’s video covers the latter and the barriers much of the developed world faces courtesy of patent laws that protect pharmaceutical companies.  This issue has come to recent attention as the UN’s Panel on Access to Medicines published its recommendations to Big Pharma’s chagrin. At the crux of the UN Recommendations is a struggle that pits profits against people.  Enacted in 1995 by the World Trade Organization, the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) introduced minimum standards for protecting intellectual property, including patents on medicine.  TRIPS proved a boon for international trade, but set a 20-year patent on novel medication.  Only after the patent lapses can generic alternatives hit the marketplace.  It is at this point when many lifesaving and extending drugs are first available to the developing world.  The price tag of a medication to treat HIV/AIDS can drop from $10,000 per year to $200 due to generics. Under TRIPS, each country has the right to a grant compulsory license, as stated in this excerpt: Where the law of a Member allows for other use of the subject matter of a patent without the authorization of the right holder, including use by the government or third parties authorized by the government, the following provisions shall be respected: (b)   such use may only be permitted if, prior to such use, the proposed user has made efforts to obtain authorization from the right holder on reasonable commercial terms and conditions and that such efforts have not been successful within a reasonable period of time. This requirement may be waived by a Member in the case of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency or in cases of public non-commercial use. In situations of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, the right holder shall, nevertheless, be notified as soon as reasonably practicable.

P20 Initiative: Data to leave no one behind

A year ago, world leaders agreed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030), which includes the much more ambitious goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and achieving the principle of leaving no one behind. Achieving these goals will be much harder than meeting the MDGs. It will require a different mindset, and a new way of measuring and monitoring progress. We must harness the energy of the Data Revolution and ensure that progress is measured by counting individual people to ensure that no one – no matter where they live, how old they are, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation or disabilities – is left behind. This is what the P20 Initiative is about

Managing the Data Transmission Constraints When Using ICTforAg Sensors

By 2018, according to a recent report from Ericsson, the largest category of connected devices in the world will be comprised of a variety of vehicles and machines, utility meters, sensor technologies and consumer electronics – all captured under the name “Internet of Things” (IoT). This has wide-ranging implications for how economic activity will be organized across multiple sectors including transport, power provision and agriculture. The change is already underway in industrialized agriculture. Connected farm implements, satellite imagery, ground sensor technologies, historical data on yield or inputs, and data analysis are beginning to be used to help make on-farm practices more precise and profitable. The Communications Constraint The full expansion of IoT to the farm, however, is constrained by the costs of wireless communications for IoT devices.

New Partnership Aims To Improve Data Collection On Women, Girls To Fill Development Statistics…

Devex: New U.N. Women, Gates Foundation partnership takes on gender data “…Women and girls are routinely not counted in global and national data collected on health, education, political participation, and human security, according to the U.N. Foundation-led organization Data2X. … U.N. Women, the U.N



Innovations to end preventable deaths of mothers and children

A goal once thought impossible, bringing an end to preventable deaths of mothers and children, is now a target that many experts agree is achievable. In fact, it is enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals, which 193 nations signed on to last year. However, we know that the current rate of change—although improving—is not yet fast […] ; ; ; ;Related StoriesA vaccine for malaria elimination?Idea to Impact: PATH recognized by “the Oscars of Silicon Valley”My early memories led to a life serving others ;

Oxfam’s Responsible Data Policy – Do You Have One Too?

As a rights-based organization, Oxfam is committed to using data responsibly in order to uphold the rights of the individuals, groups, and organizations with whom we work. Using data responsibly is not just an issue of technical security and encryption but also of safeguarding the rights of people to be counted and heard; ensure their dignity, respect and privacy; enable them to make informed decisions; and not be put at risk, when providing data. Register now for MERL Tech to join the session Developing and Operationalizing Responsible Data Policies with the authors of this policy. Oxfam recognizes that people have rights with regards to the information related to them and that Oxfam has a responsibility to uphold those rights.

African Researchers Using Data To Facilitate Development Of TB, Malaria, Cancer Treatments

Quartz: TB-tracking headbands, mapping cancer, and a malaria hackathon: How data is fighting disease in Africa “…At a recent five-day hackathon, medical researchers from around the world joined forces to work through data mapping solutions to malaria. Other more long-term research projects are also using data to treat diseases like cancer and tuberculosis. … [Some…More

Idea to Impact: PATH recognized by “the Oscars of Silicon Valley”

Silicon Valley is synonymous with innovation—a world-class incubator for ingenuity and bright ideas. It’s also home to The Tech Awards, an internationally renowned event and program hosted each year by The Tech Museum of Innovation. For the last 15 years, the museum has scanned the globe, searching for those behind the most promising solutions to […] ; ; ; ;Related StoriesMy early memories led to a life serving othersLes retombées du Brexit feront-elle perdre à l’Afrique tout espoir d’élimination du Paludisme?The breast and beyond: improving feeding practices in Kenya ;

Stop Giving Away Smartphones!

Pretty much every day, I hear the same failure refrain repeated again and again, “We gave away 50-100 smartphones for our mobile project.” Why is this an indication of failure? Please show me the Ministry that can afford to buy 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,0000 smartphones for all it’s frontline staff, even before maintenance, support, or replacement costs are added in. There are none. Which means every free phone pilot is doomed to fail to scale. So what can be done

3 Barriers to Using Sensors to Improve ICTforAg

As mentioned in Sabeen Dhanani’s initial post in this series, How Can Sensor Technologies and Precision Farming Improve Agriculture?, technology is the easiest part of using sensors to support improved agricultural practices in developing countries. Today, fairly inexpensive sensors are readily available that can measure almost anything related to agriculture. Yet, as identified through USAID’s ICTforAg convening in Silicon Valley, numerous technology barriers persist, including: Enabling efficient data transmission Testing and refining analysis to accurately reflect local conditions Reaching a production scale that supports a price point that enables widespread use in developing markets. These challenges can be overcome, however, as exemplified by the Betel Meter, prototyped by and Proximity Designs, that helps farmers optimize their irrigation and enable precision-farming techniques in Burma. Barrier #1: Data Transmission The Challenge There are a number of ways to transmit data from sensors.

Build Peace 2016: Reflections

The ICT4Peace Foundation was privileged to work with and support Build Up in the organisation of Build Peace 2016 in Zurich, from 9 – 11 September 2016. Several members of the Foundation were advisors to or part of the team behind Build Peace this year.

Protection Information Management Working Meeting: September 2016

The ICT4Peace Foundation has for many years worked with the UN and ICRC to strengthen the awareness and understanding of, need for as well as the meaningful implementation of standards, frameworks and technologies to protect the information of vulnerable communities in violent contexts, as well as refugees and internally displaced persons. In August 2012, Simone Eymann on behalf of the ICT4Peace Foundation participated in a one-day consultation, co-organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and InterAction, on “Protection in violent situations: standards for managing sensitive information“.

Older Posts »