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Weekly Wire: The Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Twitter Angling For More International Users
Tech President

“Twitter is following Facebook and Google's lead in creating an avenue for feature or "dumb" phone users to access their service, even without an Internet connection. They have partnered with the Singapore-based company U2opia Mobile, Reuters reports. Chief executive and co-founder of U2opia Mobile, Sumesh Menon, told Reuters that they will launch the Twitter service next year. U2opia Mobile already helps more than 11 million people access Facebook and Google Talk through their Fonetwish service without using data.”   READ MORE

Open government data emerging, trust in government declining
Internet Policy Review

“The use of open government data has declined since last year, a new study by the Initiative D21 and the Institute for Public Information Management (ipima) reported at a press conference in Berlin today. According to the fourth edition of the eGovernment Monitor, the number of users of eGovernment services in Sweden in 2013 was 53 percent, compared to 70 percent in 2012. On average, the decline was as high as 8 percent in those countries that were monitored. Numerous data breach scandals and the revelations about pervasive surveillance were obvious reasons for the heightened caution, the researchers wrote in their summary.”   READ MORE

A Growing Need for Greater Transparency in Philanthropy

“There are growing calls to increase transparency in Philanthropy. It is argued that transparency acts as a catalyst for social change – better positioning those involved to increase their impact and strengthen the field as a whole. Just last month, the Gates Foundation became one of the first private foundations to join the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), working to make information about spending on development easier to access, understand and use.”  READ MORE

ONE action you can take for International Anti-Corruption Day

“Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. We have a very real way in which your voice can make a difference in the fight against corruption. It’s no secret that corruption is a widespread problem in Africa. In Afrobarometer surveys of African citizens, 81 percent responded that they think at least some government officials are involved in corruption. An alarming 36 percent believe that most or all government officials are corrupt. More difficult than identifying corruption is trying to quantify it. By its very nature, corruption defies easy measurement, since there is seldom credible documentation of what is inherently an informal, and typically secretive, activity.”    READ MORE

Women Gain When You Give Poor People Cash via Mobile Money
ICT Works

“That’s the basic question asked by GiveDirectly in their overall business model to give unconditional cash transfers to poor Kenyans via M-Pesa. Based on a large evidence base, they believed it would have a net positive effect – maybe larger than other development program activities like training or capacity building. While we still don’t know if direct cash transfers are better than other activities, the results from an extensive Randomized Control Trial on cash transfers shows a definite improvement in people’s lives. Overall, recipients tended to spend monthly transfers on consumption items like food (and increase food security), while those reviving lump sum transfers invested in high cost assets like cattle and iron roofs.”   READ MORE

Africa’s Reformers: Re-wiring Governance
This is Africa

“Better governance is driving Africa's economic ascent. From public finance and banking reforms to stronger rule of law and public service delivery, African governance is changing.Through fieldwork, country studies and high-level interviews, this special report - produced by This is Africa and supported by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative - reviews the momentous reforms occurring across the continent.”   READ MORE

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