These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“In April this year Global Voices reported how social media was being used in India to power civil society's push for a proposed anti-corruption bill (popularly known as the Jan Lokpal Bill). There was, at the time, a lot of debate about the sustainability of the fledgling movement, which was being led from the front by a Gandhian social activist Sri Anna Hazare.
A lot has happened since then but what has been undeniable is that the anti-corruption movement, after having proved the nay-saying pundits wrong, has gradually managed to capture the imagination of a large section of the Indian public.” READ MORE
Space for Transparency
Famine in Africa requires more aid, but also transparency
“With drought and famine back in the Horn of Africa, Nicolas Seris, Programme Coordinator Humanitarian Aid, Transparency International Kenya, talks about the challenge of accountability and integrity in the humanitarian aid sector.
The Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in 60 years, with an estimated number of 12 millions people in urgent need of food assistance in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya alone, the international community alongside the Government and Kenyan citizens are mobilising themselves to bridge the funding gap of over 51 millions dollars to ensure the availability of food to vulnerable population until the end of the year. The needs are colossal and likely to result in a massive influx of relief aid and food commodities to drought affected areas.” READ MORE
Corruption campaigner warns of ‘revolution’
“Anna Hazare, the Indian anti-corruption campaigner, has stepped up his attack against Manmohan Singh’s government, calling for it to shepherd anti-corruption legislation through parliament by the end of this month or face an “unprecedented revolution”.
The 74-year old social activist is leading a public hunger strike in the centre of Delhi to put pressure on the government to confront widespread corruption. His movement is gaining in popularity, particularly among young people, across the country in the days following his detention last week in the capital city.” READ MORE
Governance and Social Development Resource Center
Aid, Institutions and Governance: What have we learned?
“This article reviews research on institutions, governance and aid. Three constructive themes emerge: how and with what qualifications 'institutions rule'; the limitations of the instruments easily accessible to development assistance organisations; and the idea of context-sensitive facilitation of institutional change. Research indicates that both institutions and policy choices influence development outcomes. The nature of the 'right' institutions is context- and time period-specific, and institutional change is not self-generating. Aid needs to become more context-sensitive, more politically-informed, and less supply-driven. Donors should abandon formulaic 'best practice' interventions and think about how to build on institutions that already exist. Researchers should deliver more finely-tuned ideas about the building blocks, and the potential room for manoeuvre, in facilitating appropriate and feasible institutional innovations.” READ MORE
Berkman Center for Internet and Society
New: Three Reports on Circumvention Tool Usage, International Bloggers, and Internet Control
“The Berkman Center's Circumvention project is engaged in designing and conducting research aimed at gaining a broad understanding of the usage of circumvention tools, as well as field-building in the area of circumvention research. Activities include a workshop convening circumvention tool developers, a survey of circumvention tool usage, a survey of VPN providers, and an evaluation of circumvention tools to complement research undertaken in 2007.” READ MORE