These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Malala Strikes Back: Behind the Scenes of her Fearless, Fast-Growing Organization
After Pope Francis finishes his opening remarks at the UN General Assembly, the room’s attention quickly begins to stray. Colombian pop star and UNICEF ambassador Shakira launches into a well-intentioned rendition of "Imagine," but the gathered heads of state begin to twist in their seats in conversation and mill in the aisles. Then the song ends, and a gentle but firm voice calls down from the upper mezzanine balcony, cutting through the buzz of distraction. "Before I start, may I ask for some quiet. Please pay attention to what youth is asking here." Chastened, the world leaders take their seats. In elegantly simple language, 18-year-old Malala Yousafzai implores the adults below—who have convened to adopt a series of development goals for the world’s most underserved communities—to follow through on their promise to deliver free, safe, quality education for children across the globe.
Five reasons funding should go directly to local NGOs
A cohort of small villages comes together to lobby for protection of a local forest upon which they depend. A group of church women gather under a tree to plan for how they will get orphaned children back into school. A self-help group forms a cooperative to get better prices for their products. Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah’s discussion of why donors seem unable or unwilling to directly fund local organisations like these was certainly indicative of the international aid and philanthropy world. As he also mentioned, there is a growing community of international small grantmakers that know how to find and fund effective grassroots initiatives. Here’s why we focus our efforts on getting funding down to local NGOs
More than the Sum of its Parts: Making Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Work
Global Development Incubator
Now more than ever, solving the world’s most pressing problems requires the kind of systems-level change that can only be addressed by collective action. Consider the ambitious post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) areas, such as food security, climate change, and universal education, whose challenges can hardly be addressed by a single government or donor alone. Simply financing these goals will require global coordination and action: estimates suggest an annual funding shortfall of roughly $2.5 trillion USD for the SDGs, across critical health, education, food security, climate change, and infrastructure targets. In response to increasingly complex global problems, the global development community has launched an ever-growing number of collective action bodies. A conservative, non-exhaustive count shows a more than fourfold increase in these types of efforts between 2000 and 2015 alone. In this report, we focus on 17 organizations that fit our definition of “multi-stakeholder initiatives,” or MSIs
Foreign Policy for an Urban World: Global Governance and the Rise of Cities
In the latest FutureScape issue brief from the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security's Strategic Foresight Initiative, author Peter Engelke discusses the long-term economic, environmental, and policy implications of urbanization. Entitled "Foreign Policy for an Urban World: Global Governance and the Rise of Cities," the brief examines how urbanization is hastening the global diffusion of power and how cities themselves are increasingly important nodes of power in global politics. Cities are shaping our collective fate in nearly every respect. As the predominant locus of human settlement, cities already wield considerable power and will continue to increase their influence in the decades to come.
State of the Illicit Economy: Briefing Papers
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum Meta-Council on the Illicit Economy publishes a briefing paper State of the Illicit Economy. It is a call to action for private and public sectors to pay attention to the growing impact of illicit economy. The Meta-Council sheds light into some areas of the illicit economy – human trafficking, counterfeit goods, illegal mining and metals and illicit financial flows – and highlight key recommendations and solutions to be taken to combat the impact of these illicit activities.
Heat, Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs
There are now 60 million forcibly displaced people on our planet – more than the population of Australia and Canada combined. They include refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs). This numbing figure is likely to increase further unless concerted action is taken to address the root causes of violent conflict. At a time when the humanitarian system is overstretched and underfunded, nothing could be more urgent. In the meantime, the imperative is to find humane, creative and cost-effective ways to respond to the needs of so many individuals, most of whom are women and children. Improving access to clean, safe and sustainable energy offers a promising way forward.
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