Global Ideas News Brief: Accountability

Global Ideas News Brief: Accountability

Photo: Leah Hazard/Mercy Corps

Global Ideas News Brief
June 24, 2014

A weekly roundup of mainstream news about the context in which Mercy Corps works, focused on economic development and innovations.

The U.N. Has Been Undercounting the World's Poor—by 400 Million
The Atlantic
Good news: Economists at Oxford have come up with a better method for measuring global poverty. Bad news: There are way more poor people than previously thought.

Accountability

People, Power, and Accountability
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Any approach to measuring social impact that doesn’t include a transfer of power to stakeholders is just marketing.

As Brazil Cheers, Protesters Struggle to be Heard
NYT
With Brazilians loudly rallying behind their national team, theseleção — and whole cities exploding in a din of cheers and fireworks following every goal — activists concerned about social issues like poverty, corruption and police brutality have struggled to make their voices heard.

Financing development

A BRICS bank: Can it outdo the World Bank?
Beyond Brics
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa plan to erect an actual edifice amid the swirling mists of rhetoric with the launch of a development bank dedicated to filling some of the gigantic hole in the financing of infrastructure and growth in fast-growing emerging economies.

Emerging markets

A healthy, peaceful and secure Africa is now within our grasp
The Guardian
In an open letter, Kanayo F Nwanze tells African Union heads of state that it is time for them to deliver on their promise to allocating at least 10% of national budgets to agriculture and rural development.

Counting the cost of Sri Lanka’s violence
Beyond Brics
Any further upsurge in ethnic tensions is likely to have broad implications for one of Asia’s most vibrant frontier markets.

Education

The literacy injustice: 493 million women still can't read
The Guardian
Giving women a second chance at literacy will increase their earning power and give their children a brighter future.

Development and profit

Ethiopia’s Condom Dilemma
NYT
Which is the better approach: to price condoms just like any other product, or to treat them as potential lifesavers that should be available to anyone, anywhere, free at any time?

Cashing in on cotton: Can west Africa ever compete with US subsidies?
The Guardian
Cotton could be a profitable crop for west African farmers, but US subsidies and local difficulties are costly obstacles.

Telling the story of development

Storytelling and the Dangers of Disbelief
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Social innovators can benefit from embracing complex characters and stories.

Millennials and the Social Sector: What’s Next?
Stanford Social Innovation Review
How the Millennial generation connects, gets involved with, and gives to social causes—insights from a four-year study.

Interest

Which countries have the worst record for human trafficking? (interactive)
The Guardian
The US State department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Friday. Thailand, Malaysia, Colombia, Cyprus and Qatar were downgraded after revelations of appalling maltreatment of workers that amount to modern-day slavery, while Afghanistan and Sudan improved their rating.

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