Our favorite Hub Originals from 2016

In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of our favorite Hub Originals from 2016. The Global Health Hub publishes original pieces from writers engaged in global Read More

Reproductive Health in Madagascar

I vividly remember the beginning of my trip to Madagascar to perform reproductive health research. At the end of providing an update to my mentor Read More

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


5 Lessons Learned in Creating Webmaker, a Mobile Content Publishing Platform

Recently, the Mozilla Foundation product development team set off to design a new, general purpose content publishing platform that could enable creativity among first-time smartphone owners. The intent was to create a simple, streamlined content creation platform for low cost-smartphones – something like the 2015 equivalent of the early web page creation software “FrontPage”- while taking into consideration the lower literacy levels of the target market. Here, product design was used as a research method and documented in Approaches to Local Content: Realising the Smartphone Opportunity. This contributed towards a greater understanding of the content creation opportunities in emerging markets, as well as the development of software to meet real user needs. Webmaker is the result—a tool tailored to empower ordinary mobile users as creators and content producers

The Best of in May

Meet the business owners featured in our first-ever TV spots, plus: WordPress turns 14, Android users get a new update, and how to design for inclusiveness.

Field report: Workshops on strategic communications & CVE in Balkans

As we posted recently, the ICT4Peace Foundation, with CIJA US in cooperation with BIRN and Talks 2.0 is conducting a series of interactive, hands-on workshops in the Balkans to support community leaders, civil society, independent media and technologists with online communication strategies to effectively respond to online dangerous content in their communities. With direct guidance and feedback, participants leave the workshops with practical ideas about how to carry their project ideas forward. Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the Foundation, is one of the two lead trainers for these workshops

What does Feminist Social Innovation look like?

Guest post from Chloe Safier In the global development world, there are a lot of conversations about social innovation and (separately) a lot of discussions about feminist approaches to development and women’s rights. Social innovation labs, incubators and accelerators are popping up everywhere, from San Francisco to Beirut to Delhi. Major development actors like the Gates Foundation are issuing ‘challenges’ to advance innovation and cultivate …

One last throw of the dice.

I’ve always found the global development system frustrating. It was the 1980’s when it first got my attention, with suffering and extreme poverty dominating my daily news feed. The Ethiopian famine in 1985 was the turning point, forcing me to seriously question why a sector awash with money and resources could have so little visible impact (and when it does, how it struggles to effectively communicate the change). While I still don’t have all the answers I think I know a lot more about what needs to be fixed.

Can you make a #Loop4Dev? Our Cities Boomerang Challenge

Ever notice how cities can really encapsulate many of the things that make life enjoyable? Green spaces to enjoy the outdoors, access to jobs, affordable housing for all, a well-connected public transportation system, access to healthy food, schools for all children, and so on. Some cities achieve this better than others, but creating a city that works for all of its citizens can be a challenge for governments and communities alike. Why? Let’s look at some numbers: Up to 1 billion people living in slums in the cities of the world are in need of better services; Cities consume 2/3 of the world’s energy and account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions; 66 out of 100 people will live in cities by 2050, which tells us the global population is becoming increasingly urban.

The Massive Myanmar Opportunity for Digital Financial Services

Myanmar is experiencing one of the world’s fastest adoption of mobile phones. Three years ago, less than 10% of the population had access to ma mobile phone. Today, over 90% of population of Myanmar has 3G coverage. Despite this rapid uptake of mobile technology, Myanmar remains one of the least developed financial systems in Southeast Asia. The country’s largest bank by asset has only 307 branches.

Can Hegel (and Geoff Mulgan) chart a new progressive agenda?

Geoff Mulgan is one of the UK’s most original thinkers about the future of society. He set up the thinktank Demos, advised the early Blair government, and now runs NESTA (an ‘innovation foundation). According to Wikipedia he even trained as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka. I recently came across his essay on a progressive response to Brexit, Trump etc – it’s brilliant, and although …

Is technology a third lever for financing the SDGs?

When governments adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their message was one of ambition: a world in which poverty is eliminated, growth made sustainable, ecosystems restored, and no one is left behind. This came with a price tag: annual investment needs of $4 trillion. With only $1.5 trillion now being invested, this means closing an investment gap of $2.5 trillion every year until 2030. For International Finance Institutions, this is the central challenge of our time. It involves aligning the interest of global savers, and the investors who represent them, with the interest of citizens as they are expressed through the SDGs

Expanded Mexico City Policy Threatens Free Speech, Women’s Health

ACLU: Trump’s Version of the ‘Global Gag Rule’ Threatens Global Health and Free Speech Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, and Georgeanne M. Usova, legislative counsel at the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, discuss the potential implications of the Trump administration’s expansion of the Mexico City policy, writing, “[W]ith this…More

Contemporary issues in global health

The global health community recently descended on Washington DC for the discipline’s annual conference held under the capable auspices of the ‘Consortium of Universities for Global Health’. Many of the session topics, satellite sessions, and coffee-break conversations offered microcosmic illustrations of global health issues and evolving trends that warrant further discussion outside of this microcosm. We don’t understand what Planetary Health is, but we know it’s important The theme of the conference – healthy people, health ecosystems – was an uncontroversial choice that plays to the dominant development zeitgeist. Climate change is undeniably preeminent as a global health threat, however it is clear than no one feels particularly confident with the subject – planetary health is still too big and too complex for most. Part of the problem is that the exact definition of planetary health is still up for grabs

The Continuing Need for Infomediaries in Digital Development

When we advocate for investments in new digital development solutions, we often make the case for them to be dead simple to use, expecting our constituents to be able to adopt and utilize them effectively by themselves. Join us at ICTforAg to learn more about infomediaries in agriculture However, this assumption has four flaws that often lead to failure: 1. Basic Literacy: In many countries, the majority of adults cannot read even simple text messages. There is no way they are able to read your fancy app pages, especially your consent forms. 2

AMR Industry Alliance Formed To Ensure Pharma Involvement In Addressing Antimicrobial…

CIDRAP News: Pharma leaders announce alliance to fight antimicrobial resistance “An international association of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and diagnostics companies [Thursday] announced the formation of a new alliance to monitor and drive industry efforts to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The AMR Industry Alliance aims to bring together stakeholders from the life sciences industry to ensure progress is…More

New Treatment Guidelines, Developments In Technology Can Help Sub-Saharan African Countries…

Scientific American: Helping Cancer’s Forgotten Victims Sally Cowal, senior vice president of global cancer control at the American Cancer Society, and Jennifer Ryan Crozier, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship and president of the IBM International Foundation “…[During a meeting that took place in Nairobi last month, for] the first time, cancer treatment guidelines were…More

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