We know malaria is a big problem and we know fake drugs are a big problem. What do you get when you put them together? Bad news. A recent paper by Martina Bjorkman-Nyqvist, Jakob Svensson and David Yanagizawa-Drott (ungated version here) shows how bad this problem is in Uganda, and provides an innovative way to deal with it.
Sima is a chairperson of Ghoryan Women Saffron Association. Her association was formed by the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR) and received a small grant to help improve their post-harvest processing. The women purchased a saffron drier and learned post-harvest processing, including hygiene, grading, sorting, and packaging. They identified two women trainers to ensure quality control. In 2010, the association doubled saffron production, and the sales price increased by almost 110 percent. From the user fee, the women saved Af 108,700 (approximately US$ 2,100) and plan to buy another drier. “Men now make tea for their wives, when we are busy during the saffron season,” Sima says.
This is the last of a three-part blog series on Social Media for Good Governance (Social Media for Good Governance: No Silver Bullet Yet- I, Social Media for Good Governance: The Quality Challenge-II)
There is lot of garbage in the current social media stream today. For social media to be an effective tool in bringing about good governance, you have to be able to recognize quality information. Defining quality of information is a complex science but for the moment we can define quality as meaningful information for a given user or group of users, with an associated set of considerations that would help measure "meaningfulness".
There are a few quality related considerations that come to mind. One is identify measures of quality of the data itself, regardless of the source. Another is to determine the quality of the source and make the assumption that quality sources provide quality data in the social media stream.