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Weekly wire: The global forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture

World of NewsThese are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

What If We Just Gave Poor People a Basic Income for Life? That’s What We’re About to Test.
Slate
Over the past decade, interest has grown in an ostensibly unorthodox approach for helping people who don’t have much money: just give them more of it, no strings attached. In the old days of policymaking by aphorism—give a man a fish, feed him for a day!—simply handing money to the poor was considered an obviously bad idea. How naïve—you can’t just give people money. They’ll stop trying! They’ll just get drunk! The underlying assumption was that the poor weren’t good at making decisions for themselves: Experts had to make the decisions for them. As it turns out, that assumption was wrong. Across many contexts and continents, experimental tests show that the poor don’t stop trying when they are given money, and they don’t get drunk. Instead, they make productive use of the funds, feeding their families, sending their children to school, and investing in businesses and their own futures.

Media as a Form of Aid in Humanitarian Crises
Center for International Media Assistance
As the humanitarian crises following the Arab spring enter their sixth year, the media coverage of war, displacement, and migration in the Middle East and North Africa tragically have become all too familiar. For mainstream media, the millions of people whose lives have been upended are mostly data points, illustrations of the misery and upheaval that have swept across Syria, Yemen, Gaza, Iraq, and many places between. Yet for those who are caught in the crises, and plagued not only by insecurity and uncertainty but a lack of information, relatively little is available to help them make informed decisions for their own survival.  CIMA’s report, Media as a Form of Aid in Humanitarian Crises, examines how humanitarian crises around the world have led to a major change in the priorities and approaches in media development efforts. 
 

Freedom of the Press 2016: The Battle for the Dominant Message
Freedom House
Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power. The share of the world’s population that enjoys a Free press stood at just 13 percent, meaning fewer than one in seven people live in countries where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures

An age of choice for development finance: evidence from country case studies
Overseas Development Institute
National financing strategies will play a decisive role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. But the development finance landscape has dramatically changed since the early 2000s: there are now more development finance providers than ever before, offering a new ‘age of choice’ in financing options to developing countries. Governments need to better understand the sources of finance and potential partnerships available to them if they are to capitalise on this age of choice in a way that effectively supports their national objectives. This report and case studies examine the viewpoints of developing country governments on this new age of choice in general, and on non-traditional sources of development finance - defined as 'beyond official development assistance (ODA)' - in particular.

World Happiness Report, 2016 Update
Sustainable Development Solutions Network
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The first report was published in 2012, the second in 2013, and the third in 2015. The World Happiness Report 2016 Update, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, was released today in Rome in advance of UN World Happiness Day, March 20th. Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. They reflect a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as a criteria for government policy.

How Zika Is Shaping the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Agenda
New Security Beat
“The Zika outbreak is a result of something; it is the result of the lost attention to sexual and reproductive health issues as a human right and women as subjects of rights,” said Jaime Nadal Roig, the United Nations Population Fund representative to Brazil, at the Wilson Center on April 12. Given the growing evidence of Zika’s connection to birth defects, it is imperative to address inequities to provide all women – pregnant or not – the health care they need, said a panel of women’s health advocates and experts. “Zika has made a longstanding public health crisis impossible to ignore,” said Chloë Cooney, director of global advocacy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. They recommended governments and the global health community combat the disease by supporting vector control efforts, universal access to sexual and reproductive health care, and targeted outreach to marginalized communities and youth before it spreads further afield.

 

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