These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
New Platforms, New Public Opinion? 
"With the continued growth of new communication media and technologies, the public opinion and research sector is abuzz with equal doses of optimism and skepticism for its future. In a world of falling response rates and increasing costs for phone and face-to-face surveys, does this new frontier ask us to merely measure the chatter on Twitter and Facebook or does it reframe the definition of public opinion itself? This is among the many questions challenging the Digital Team here at InterMedia." READ MORE 
DFID Research for Development
The engagement of women's movements with religion: legal reform in Anambra state, Nigeria 
"Campaigning by the women's movement in Anambra State was instrumental to the introduction of a new law in 2005 designed to prevent the maltreatment of widows. Religion is often implicated in gender inequality and discrimination against women, but religious leaders and organizations played key roles in this campaign. The case study enabled the researchers to address the questions of when, why and how religious actors facilitate rather than obstruct legal reform intended to realize women's rights." READ MORE 
Guardian Global Development
Mobile phone boom in developing world could boost e-learning 
"A study of young people in Ghana, Morocco, Uganda and Maharashtra aims to encourage networks to improve education through mobile technology
Globalisation, as defined by the rich, is a very nice thing, the former US president Jimmy Carter once reflected. "You're talking about the internet, you're talking about cell phones, you're talking about computers," said Carter. "This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people in the world."
That was in 2001; a lot has changed. In Kenya, mobile phones have become an integral part of cash transfer schemes, enabling poor people in urban areas to buy food. In remote rural areas of Peru, computers provided by the Euro-Solar programme are fuelling an appetite for learning among children. And the senior US political adviser Alec Ross – acknowledging the galvanising influence of social media on the Arab spring – has described the internet as "the Che Guevara of the 21st century"." READ MORE 
National Democratic Institute
Democracy and the Challenge of Change: A Guide to Increasing Women’s Political Participation 
"Drawing on its 25 years of experience in the women’s political participation field, NDI has released a new guide for democracy practitioners to help them develop and carry out effective programs to bring more women into government and politics.
The guide, Democracy and the Challenge of Change: A Guide to Increasing Women’s Political Participation, focuses on programs in the areas of citizen participation, elections, political parties and governance. It presents the case for increasing women’s participation and provides information on best practices and strategies to move that goal forward." READ MORE 
Public Management Review, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2012
Special Issue: The Politics and Governance of Public Services in Developing Countries 
"Politics and governance have become central to explanations of the widespread under-provision of public services in developing countries. Political analysis offers an understanding of what might otherwise appear to be exclusively managerial or capacity problems. The articles in this special issue of PMR contribute to three main aspects of this new literature on the political economy of service provision: how the incentives of elites are formed and affect whether, to whom and how services are provided; how top–down and bottom–up systems of accountability may act and also interact to affect incentives; and the effect of service provision on state–society relations. The analysis in this and the following articles suggests that the politics of service provision should be understood as a cycle of causation: politics affect the policy, governance and implementation of services, but in turn service provision is a theatre of politics and affects citizen formation and the development of state capacity and legitimacy. Taken as a whole, the articles suggest that a political perspective enables new insights into the causes of weak service provision, and how it can be improved." READ MORE 
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