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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.
 

One Internet
Global Commission on Internet Governance

Internet governance is one of the most pressing global public policy issues of our time. Some estimates put the economic contribution  of the Internet as high as $4.2 trillion* in 2016.1 The Internet of Things (IoT) could result in upwards of $11.1 trillion in economic growth and efficiency gains by 2025.2 And, the Internet is more than simply a system of wealth generation; it also acts as a platform for innovation, free expression, culture and access to ideas. Yet across multiple levels, the Internet’s basic functionality and the rights of users are under strain.

The Lopsided Geography of Wikipedia
The Atlantic

Think about how often, in the course of a week, you visit Wikipedia. Maybe you’re searching for basic information about a topic, or getting sucked into a wiki-hole where you meant to study up on the “Brexit” but somehow find yourself, several related pages later, reading about the carbonic maceration process for making wine (to take just one example that has totally never happened to me).  Now imagine you can’t access Wikipedia. Or you can, but not in your native language. Or there are plenty of entries in your language, but few on the subjects that are part of your daily life. Or those entries exist, but they’re not written by locals like yourself. You certainly have other ways of getting information. But Wikipedia is one of the most ambitious information clearinghouses in human history. How would these challenges shape your understanding of the world? And how would that understanding differ from the worldview of those who don’t face such challenges?

Norm Diffusion and Reputation: The Rise of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Governance Journal

Transparency in the extractives sector is widely seen as an important tool for improving accountability and deterring corruption. Yet for those very reasons, it is a puzzle that so many governments in corruption-prone countries have voluntarily signed up to greater scrutiny in this area by joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). We argue that EITI serves as a reputational intermediary, whereby reformers can signal good intentions and international actors can reward achievement. International and domestic actors thus utilize EITI to diffuse the norm of resource transparency and to advance reformist aims in a highly problematic policy area.

Hardware Pioneers: Harnessing the Impact Potential of Technology Entrepreneurs
Lemelson Foundation

2016 report from FSG investigates the obstacles to development and scaling faced by those seeking to bring innovative hardware technologies, such as solar lanterns or low-cost medical devices, to people living in poverty throughout developing countries.

2016 Global Nutrition Report
Global Nutrition Report

Few challenges facing the global community today match the scale of malnutrition, a condition that directly affects one in three people. Malnutrition manifests itself in many different ways: as poor child growth and development; as individuals who are skin and bone or prone to infection; as those who are carrying too much weight or whose blood contains too much sugar, salt, fat, or cholesterol; or those who are deficient in important vitamins or minerals. Malnutrition and diet are by far the biggest risk factors for the global burden of disease: every country is facing a serious public health challenge from malnutrition.

Head and Heart: Are More Generous Donors Less Effective?
Views from the Center

When it comes to development aid, you might think that there is a trade-off between head and heart: that more generous donors would be less serious about making sure that their aid is used properly. There are some examples of this: Luxembourg has a large aid programme which appears to be relatively less effective compared to its peers; whereas Ireland, which spends a lower proportion of its national income on aid, has the most effective aid programme among the donors we were able to evaluate. But in a new CGD working paper, we find that these are indeed exceptions. In general, more generous donors tend also to be the most effective.



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