These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
International development according to Hollywood
“International development is just about at the bottom of the list of things that the average American thinks about each day.
Foreign bureaus are closing for major US news sources. One of the big television networks turned down more money for global health reporting after a series, entirely funded by grants, led to a dip in viewers. In other words ratings were so bad that the network turned down millions of dollars. It is that tough.
Aside from advocacy efforts like Kony 2012 and Oxfam advertisements, how are people learning about the world around them if they are not reading the news? The answer could be Hollywood.” READ MORE
The IBP contracted independent researchers to follow four civil society budget campaigns over several years — What did we learn?
International Budget Partnership
“The International Budget Partnership’s (IBP) Partnership Initiative (PI) developed an innovative package of comprehensive and sustained support for civil society budget work in 18 countries. A key component of the PI was its Learning Program, which sought to document the impact of civil society organization (CSO) budget analysis and advocacy on budget policies and implementation. The Learning Program has conducted a number of in-depth case studies of past civil society budget campaigns, while at the same time embedding researchers within current campaigns. The results of these “real time” case studies are now out. By following the campaigns as they happened the IBP was able to avoid cherry picking and to greatly expand our knowledge about what works, when, and under what conditions — and what doesn’t.” READ MORE
Facebook Aims to Get More People Online Through Mobile Partnership
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to get all of the world’s 7 billion people online through a partnership with some of the largest mobile technology companies. He says the Web is an essential part of life, and everyone deserves to be connected, whether they live in Norway, Nicaragua or Namibia.
‘The Internet not only connects us to our friends, families and communities, but it is also the foundation of the global knowledge economy,” Zuckerberg wrote in a paper posted to his Facebook page late Tuesday. The title asks “Is Connectivity A Human Right?’” READ MORE
The 3 Secrets to Kenya's Technological Success
“Over the past 5 years Nairobi, or the ‘Silicon Savanah,’ has blossomed into a global hub and a regional role model for cultivating innovation. mPesa, Safaricom’s mobile money platform, has led the globe in electronic payments serving emerging markets and base of the pyramid. Nairobi is home to the first tech incubator in Africa, the iHub, that has supported and inspired a movement of young tech-savvy Africans to develop community, think big, and take risks building products, services, and platforms for local markets.
This energy and excitement emanating from Nairobi’s tech epicenter has garnered the attention of governments, donors, VCs and impact investors, and Silicon Valley giants such as Google — all who regularly add Nairobi to their itineraries trying to understand what makes this place what it is.” READ MORE
Mobile early drought warning system
“Drought is a recurring climate event characterized by below-normal precipitation over an elongated period; a natural disaster that can be minimized through early warning system. Frequent and severe drought has become a recurring theme around the world; the challenges become more devastating for countries with agrarian economies. This research builds on two areas: freely available metrics for predicting drought and ubiquitous mobile devices. Rural communities, where farmers that benefit most from early drought warning systems live, often have poor telecommunication network infrastructure, which limits access to drought warning information. By utilizing the ubiquitous mobile phone as the platform for delivery this study bridges the gap in making drought warning systems easily and quickly accessible, in particular for rural communities where mobile phones are their only telecommunication network infrastructure.” READ MORE
Cash transfers: good governance and accountability in short supply
Global Development Professionals Network
“Cash transfers are very popular way of improving social protection, with a proven track record of reducing poverty at household level and increasing access to basic services around the world. But despite generally positive results, there's been little research done on how they affect household and community dynamics, or on their impacts on marginalised groups such as women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities. In addition, cash transfers and social protection more broadly, lags behind when it comes to involving beneficiaries in programme design (pdf).
Addressing some of these gaps, the Overseas Development Institute and country partners have just completed a DfID-funded study which explored beneficiary and community perceptions and experiences of unconditional cast transfers in five countries – Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Palestine and Yemen.” READ MORE