Fragile states are those facing particularly severe development challenges: weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability, and often ongoing violence or the legacy of past conflict. About 600 million people currently live in countries affected by fragility and conflict. In these countries, building an effective state is both urgent and difficult. Everything is pressing and resources and skills are often scarce.
This past week, an interesting debate erupted in the aid community on the role of the layman in international charity, after Jason Sadler started an organization dedicated to sending 1,000,000 shirts to African countries.
Called 1millionshirts, Sadler's initial plan was to gather these t-shirts in the US along with monetary donations. The monetary donations would support shipping the shirts abroad.
World Press Freedom Day is one of my favorite UN days. It is a tribute to the fundamental principles of press freedom and the journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It also reminds us of the importance of freedom of information and how this impacts societies everywhere.
Microfinance has been both praised and criticized, but on what basis are these judgments being made? Taking a closer look at how microfinance institutions (MFI) are evaluated there seems to be a disconnect between the goals and measurable results. This has created a danger for MFIs to tout themselves as real do-gooders when in fact they are mere bottom feeders, preying on the poorest of the poor, charging exorbitant interest rates and making a killing.
Well, this will probably be my last update from Battery Operated Systems in Community Outreach (BOSCO) Uganda in northern Uganda. Over the next week, I will be shifting to Syria for new learning experiences in a region I have never visited. As a closing thought on my work with BOSCO, I wanted to briefly reflect on the organization's future.
The press has done a great job portraying Somali pirates as evil and greedy individuals who hold innocent seafarers hostage for exorbitant sums of money. While that might be true to an extent, let’s look at it from another point of view.
This week, I took brief leave from the office to visit two of Battery Operated Systems for Community Outreach (BOSCO)'s Internet sites. The first one I visited was the Pagak Peace and Information Center. Located on the Pagak Primary 7 campus, this is one of BOSCO's most successful Internet sites.