Syndicate content

Innovation

No toilets, but they have Bluetooth

Aleem Walji's picture

No toilets, but they have BluetoothI recently spent a day in a township near Cape Town, South Africa called Langa. My colleagues and I met a family of four who recently moved from a bleak room within a hostel to a shack in the back of a private house. They were immensely grateful for their good fortune (all sharing one bed and one room) explaining how much better their lives were with access to a private toilet.

What struck me was the optimism of the middle daughter, her desire to improve her life, her hope, and her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She smiled as she told us she could not play outside because it was not safe and had no heating as winter approached. But she was grateful because of another reality she knew too well.

 

Open Data in French, Spanish, and Arabic Levels Research Playing Field, Empowers NGOs

Edith Wilson's picture

The World Bank’s data will now be available in French, Spanish and Arabic! This is huge.  It is going to empower local researchers, academics, grad students and civil society in a whole new way.  It changes the game for measuring government performance and pushing for openness. 

Dr. Abdelkhalek Touhami, an open data advocate in Morocco and researcher, was interviewed for his reactions to the World Bank’s announcement.

Here are the main points he made (summarized by me):

Climate Projects Can Win Big Bonuses in 'Green' Fund-Raising Challenge

Tom Grubisich's picture

Innovative climate change projects that succeed in raising at least $4,000 will be eligible for bonuses that could win the top performer up to $13,000 extra in the Green Open Challenge sponsored by "online marketplace" GlobalGiving.

In particular, the Challenge is a perfect fit for DM2009 finalists -- whose  projects are built around climate adaptation -- and DM2008 finalists -- whose agriculture projects almost always include climate adaptation.  Other nonprofit climate projects that emphasize innovation and are locally based -- like the DM ones -- are also prime candidates.  Fund-seeking projects can find out how to join the Challenge here.  The deadline for applying is April 25.

Participating projects that meet the $4,000 threshold in donations from at least 50 donors during the Challenge period from July 5 to July 30 will be showcased by GlobalGiving on its website and have ongoing access to the organization's considerable, and proven, fund-raising know-how. Since 2002, 96,147 donors have given $27,596,968 to 2,538 projects promoted by GlobalGiving.  The nonprofit organization's specialty is matching givers to specific development causes around the globe. On top of that, GlobalGiving keeps donors up to date on what their targeted money achieves in results.

Green Open Challenge is just one of a series of challenges that GlobalGiving sponsors annually to build and energize relationships between givers -- anyone anywhere who contributes at least $10 -- and nonprofit causes and developing countries.  Targeted donations can be made quickly on GlobalGiving's website.

Geography and Aid

Soren Gigler's picture

Why can’t international donors and project managers think more in terms of the geography and location of their programs? Last week the Aiddata conference in Oxford discussed new approaches to enhance aid transparency and donor coordination. Key issues many panelists discussed were:

 

  1. To what extent aid flows are responsive to local needs?
  2. How to enhance the social accountability of development aid?
  3. How to improve the impact of aid on improving the well-being of poor communities?

The next Generation Web: Greater Choice and Voice for Citizens?

Aleem Walji's picture

 

 

Last Monday, Gordon Brown delivered a speech in which he laid out a fascinating and bold vision for how Britain could lead the world in knowledge industries and create a quarter of a million skilled jobs within 10 years. What I found most interesting in his remarks was how he linked leadership in the digital economy to leadership in public service delivery and increasing “voice and choice for citizens”.

Underlying his message was his palpable excitement in the next generation of the web: the semantic web or the web of linked data. The semantic web is a relatively new term popularized by the British scientist and early founder of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. Tim suggest that the web of linked data has the potential to transform the way we manage knowledge, make decisions, and understand relationships between previously unconnected phenomena. Nearly a year ago, speaking at a TED conference in California, Tim issued a call to action to public agencies and data aggregators – Free Data Now. He argued that only by freeing data into easily searchable and downloadable formats could we expose relationships between issues like housing and crime, access to water and race, or government spending and the quality of public services. From the perspective of international development institutions, imagine if we could see relationships between aid flows and poverty or even poverty at a sub-national level (say through maps) and where development projects are located in a particular country?

Pages