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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.

Unlocking access to utility services: The transformational value of mobile
The Mobile for Development Utilities Annual Report highlights the transformational role of mobile in improving the delivery of essential services to the underserved, and the increasing viability of the business models currently being implemented. The report covers three areas: emerging trends, MNO collaboration and funding in the mobile-enabled utility sector.

Compulsory voting results in more evenly distributed political knowledge
LSE Blog

Given interminably low rates of voter turnout across most Western democracies, looking to compulsory voting as a panacea for democracy’s ills seems sensible. Comparatively low – or declining – voter turnout is viewed generally as a symptom of civic disengagement from politics. Compulsory voting can also mitigate inequality in participation and representation. Citizens with the most resources and influence are typically the most likely to vote, and by voting for candidates and parties who reflect their interests, their participation can perpetuate systemic social biases.

The Road toward Smart Cities: Migrating from Traditional City Management to the Smart City
Inter-American Development Bank
A Smart City is one that places people at the center of development, incorporates Information and Communication Technologies into urban management, and uses these elements as tools to stimulate the design of an effective government that includes collaborative planning and citizen participation. By promoting integrated and sustainable development, Smart Cities become more innovative, competitive, attractive, and resilient, thus improving lives.

Indigenous people have a right to quality education. But so far, we’ve failed them
World Economic Forum

Every year since 1994, on 9 August we celebrate United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – an opportunity to raise awareness and promote action for advancing the rights of 370 million indigenous people from over 90 countries. While indigenous peoples make up around 5% of the global population, they account for approximately 15% of the world’s extreme poor, and regularly appear at the bottom of human well-being index ratings. The reasons behind this are of course complicated, but one of the key causes of this persistent disadvantage and marginalization is the lack of quality education that does not align with their rights as indigenous peoples: education that is well-resourced, culturally sensitive, aligned with their learning needs, languages, priorities and aspirations, and delivered through culturally appropriate teaching strategies, and in culturally appropriate settings.

Cash transfers: what does the evidence say? A rigorous review of impacts and the role of design and implementation features
Overseas Development Institute

Cash transfers have been increasingly adopted by countries worldwide as central elements of their social protection and poverty reduction strategies. A growing number of studies provide rigorous evidence on the impact of cash transfers, and the role of specific cash transfer design and implementation features in shaping outcomes. This rigorous review of the impact of cash transfers is the largest and most comprehensive review of its kind to date. It consolidates and assesses the body of evidence from 2000 to 2015, covering low- and middle-income countries worldwide, to provide policy-makers, practitioners and researchers with a single resource on the most rigorous and up-to-date evidence available.

Blockchain technology to improve press freedom
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Blockchain, the new technology that can store and transfer data at minimal cost, decentralized, and totally secure, is a hot topic. It has the potential to disrupt many industries, and it is now finding its way into journalism. Dutch startup Publicism is developing a tool to use the innovative technology to promote positive change in our industry. It enables journalists to publish and finance their work safely by guaranteeing the anonymity of sources, bloggers and themselves – hence encouraging press freedom.


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