Global Ideas News Brief: Afghan youth + Wasteful measurement

Global Ideas News Brief: Afghan youth + Wasteful measurement

Kuchi community members in Konduz, Afghanistan. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps.

Global Ideas News Brief
April 8, 2014

A weekly roundup of mainstream news about the context in which Mercy Corps works.

Youth

The Newfound Political Power of Afghan Youth
The Atlantic
Arguably the most important storyline in this weekend's election—which marks the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's modern history—is the participation of Afghan youth, who will play an outsize role in shaping the country's future

Arab youth turn from “Arab spring” to starting businesses
Financial Times
Young Arabs are increasingly turning their backs on cushy public sector jobs in favour of working for private companies and starting their own businesses, a survey in 16 countries has found.

Why Street Protests Don't Work
The Atlantic
Behind massive street demonstrations there is rarely a well-oiled and more-permanent organization capable of following up on protesters’ demands and undertaking the complex, face-to-face, and dull political work that produces real change in government.

Innovation

Experimentation: A Shortcut to Innovation
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Leading organizations are placing bets on action over rhetoric.

In Switch, Development Agency Welcomes Business and Technology to Poverty Fight
NYT
“We can’t keep funding things and doing what we have done in the past,” said Dr. Rajiv Shah, the ambitious 41-year-old USAID administrator who is raising the profile of the Kennedy-era agency in more ways than one.

USAID Is Getting Its Own DARPA-Like Innovation Lab To Solve Global Development Challenges
Co.Exist
The Global Development Lab, a just-announced science and technology initiative from USAID, will be a breeding ground for technologies that tackle some of the most vexing problems around the globe.

Measurement

Measuring Impact Isn’t for Everyone
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Collecting data to demonstrate your organization’s impact is great to do when you should, wasteful when you should not.

Giving generously
Economist
To improve nutrition, free distribution of food and subsidy policies designed to keep prices low may not always be the best strategy. The World Food Programme has been experimenting with the greater use of cash benefits and food vouchers.

Financing development

Smarter Philanthropy for Greater Impact
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Special Spring Supplement: 11 perspectives on “scaling what works”—what it means, what it takes to do it right, and what needs to happen to increase the impact of successful solutions to social challenges.

World Bank to Lift Lending to Developing Countries
NYT
The World Bank announced on Tuesday that it was nearly doubling its potential lending to so-called middle-income countries like China, India and Brazil, adding about $100 billion in new financing capacity over the next decade.

Aid

Lebanon Hosts Over a Million Who Fled Syria, U.N. Reports
NYT
The number of registered Syrian war refugees who have flooded into Lebanon exceeded one million on Thursday, the United Nations said, describing it as a devastating milestone in a humanitarian crisis that has overwhelmed this small country and severely taxed the ability of the government and aid organizations.

Behind Barbed Wire, Shakespeare Inspires a Cast of Young Syrians
NYT
Parents and aid workers fear that Syria’s war threatens to create a lost generation of children who are scarred by violence and miss vital years of education. A “King Lear” performance, the conclusion of a project than spanned months, was one attempt to fight that threat.

Politics

Relief in Afghanistan after largely peaceful landmark election
Reuters
Afghanistan's presidential election closed on Saturday amid relief that attacks by Taliban fighters were fewer than feared for a vote that will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power in a country plagued by conflict for decades.

Indonesian, Indian Stock Markets Rallying on Hopes of Business-Friendly Leadership
WSJ
Stock markets in India and Indonesia are rallying on hopes that new leaders will push forward with measures to correct fiscal imbalances and encourage economic growth.

A Primer on India’s Parliamentary Elections
NYT
Over the next five weeks, Indians will take part in what is considered the world’s largest democratic exercise. Q&A.

Rwanda

If We Can Let Syria Burn, Have We Learned Anything at All from Rwanda?
Foreign Policy
The legacy of genocide and why humanitarian intervention still needs a president that's compelled to act.

Violence Begets Violence
Foreign Policy
One of Congo's most brutal militias sprouted from the Rwandan genocide. But will sending troops to fight it cause yet another humanitarian catastrophe?

'There Is No Hope To Get a Better Life'
Foreign Policy
How Rwanda's remarkable, two-decade march from genocide has left women behind.

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