These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings
Open Society Foundation
Is a world where there are almost as many mobile phones as people, more than half the globe can access digital TV signals, and almost 3 billion people are online a better place for journalism? The Global Findings of the Mapping Digital Media project assess these and other forces affecting digital media and independent journalism worldwide. Researched and written by a team of local experts, the 56 country reports, from which these Global Findings are drawn, examine the communication and media environments in 15 of the world’s 20 most populous countries, covering more than 4.5 billion of the world’s population, and in 16 of the world’s 20 largest economies.
Global Inequality: What to Address?
We normally would not expect a seven-hundred-page scholarly tomb full of numbers and figures written by an academic to become an international bestseller. The success of Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty indicates that the public discontent caused by the rising inequality in the modern capitalist societies may have reached a boiling point. The debate surrounding Capital has been intensely polarizing, inciting passionate responses from the intelligentsia of both the Left and the Right.
Despite Declines, Child Mortality and Hunger Persist in Developing Nations, U.N. Reports
New York Times
The United Nations on Tuesday reported significant declines in the rates of child mortality and hunger, but said those two scourges of the developing world stubbornly persist in parts of Africa and South Asia despite major health care advances and sharply higher global food production. The trends, detailed in two annual reports by United Nations agencies, were presented before the General Assembly meetings of world leaders, where the Millennium Development Goals, a United Nations list of aspirations to meet the needs of the world’s poorest, are an important discussion theme. While one of those goals — halving the number of hungry people by 2015 — seems within reach, the goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds is years behind, the reports showed.
Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2014
Global Humanitarian Assistance
How much is spent on humanitarian assistance? Is it enough? Where does it go? How does it get there and what is it spent on? Knowing who is spending what, where, and how is an essential first step in ensuring that resources can best meet the needs of people living in crises – yet this information is often hard to access. To answer these questions, the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2014 uses unique methodologies to gather and analyse data to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of global humanitarian financing.
Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good - G8 report
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Governments can unleash billions of dollars to tackle social problems more effectively if they take bold steps to reduce barriers to investing for both profit and social good, a task force set up by the world's richest nations said on Monday. In its first report, the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force calls on governments to make tax and regulatory reforms to catalyse the market in investments that generate social or environmental benefits alongside financial returns. "This is not about increasing or reducing public expenditure, but helping government to benefit from innovation and private sector capital in order to achieve more impact with the money it has," Ronald Cohen, the chair of the year-old task force, said in a statement.
Savings Groups, Mobile Phones And A New Solution For Rural Women
Women are the backbone of the household in Africa -- they manage the home, care for the children, are responsible for education and healthcare, and contribute to the household's livelihood. Helping women helps the entire family. However, women continue to lag men in participating in the formal economy, including accessing financial services. For the rural poor -- especially women -- accessing formal financial services is nearly impossible. Few have formal identification needed to open an account; others lack a stable job or collateral needed for a loan. Often bank branches are far from a rural village, making the trip to deposit or borrow funds too expensive and time-consuming. Many of the rural poor have taken up an approach to support saving and borrowing by forming Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).
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