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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

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

Like Water for Internet: Ory Okolloh Talks Tech in Africa

“Last week, ahead of her trip to Washington, D.C., to speak to the World Bank about Africa’s private sector, the 35-year-old Policy Manager for Google Africa took to her Twitter account and asked her followers, “What should I tell them?”
The responses came in fast and varied from rants about corruption in multinational corporations to comments about infrastructure and energy. For the most part, Okolloh didn’t engage the responses, but she did re-tweet them for all to read and she made sure to add the World Bank’s twitter account to the dispatches so that the behemoth institution could also see what Africa’s tweeting populace had to say.” READ MORE

Europe and CIS
Citizen local initiatives: the new force for a global change

“I am working with UNDP’s Knowledge and Innovation team in Bratislava as web communications intern. One part of my work is publishing posts from all the country offices in Europe and Central Asia. It is a great opportunity to learn from all the projects being implemented by UNDP in the region.

I’m especially interested in projects related to local governance, territorial development or social innovation.

And for me, these areas of development are closely linked to what I call ‘the citizen local initiatives.’”  READ MORE

Humanitarianism in the Network Age: Groundbreaking Study

My colleagues at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have just published a groundbreaking must-read study on Humanitarianism in the Network Age; an important and forward-thinking policy document on humanitarian technology and innovation. The report “imagines how a world of increasingly informed, connected and self-reliant communities will affect the delivery of humanitarian aid. Its conclusions suggest a fundamental shift in power from capital and headquarters to the people [that] aid agencies aim to assist.” The latter is an unsettling prospect for many. To be sure, Humanitarianism in the Network Age calls for “more diverse and bottom-up forms of decision-making—something that most Governments and humanitarian organizations were not designed for. Systems constructed to move information up and down hierarchies are facing a new reality where information can be generated by any-one, shared with anyone and acted by anyone.” READ MORE

Institutional Investor
Look Who’s Selling Electronic Money

“In the mid-1990’s, Bill Gates speculated that banks could one day be made obsolete by the Internet.  That didn’t exactly endear the Microsoft Corp. co-founder to his numerous customers in the banking industry.  As they began to understand the web’s boundary-breaking-implications, many bankers came to view Microsoft as an all-powerful gatekeeper that could control access to important new technologies and perhaps pose a direct competitive threat.”  READ MORE

Global financial flows, aid and development

“This paper sets out all the financial resources potentially available for development. It examines their key characteristics and discusses their poverty and sustainable development impacts, as well as the implications for aid.

This discussion could not come at a more important time. Aid is under severe pressure as donors seek to cut budgets and to reorient aid so that direct ‘results’ are more clearly attributable to it. Recent initiatives at European and donor level have sought to change the focus of the aid debate towards stimulating the private sector. This includes emphasising the role of private flows, particularly foreign investment. At the same time, the development community is gearing up to decide what targets should replace the Millennium Development Goals. Incorporating financing into this framework will be vitally important.”  READ MORE

World Economic Forum
Can social media crack India's corruption?

“Even though it has been 65 years since India’s independence, we as a country have not been able to effectively address the challenges of corruption and accountability and create a society where citizens feel empowered.

Pervasive scepticism exists with regards to the authorities and their intentions. The challenges of life are such that most of us these days only seem to care about ourselves and our families. Sadly, we find very little time to do anything for the broader community and our cities in an effort to make daily life better.

However, I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and a bright one too. This light is technology-powered social media. Mention “social media” and some of us instantly think of Facebook or Twitter and how they have “flattened the world” and brought us closer together. Others may talk about the problems that social media has caused, such as false anonymous rumours that have sometimes led to violence and riots.”  READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite


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