Global Ideas News Brief: Mobile tech + India

Global Ideas News Brief: Mobile tech + India

Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps.

Global Ideas News Brief
July 1, 2014

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

Let Them Eat Cash
NYT
A Chinese millionaire tried to give $300 (and lunch) to homeless men and women in New York last week. This didn’t sit well with the nonprofit New York City Rescue Mission.

Education

Education is a powerful weapon, so let's arm young girls with it
The Guardian
Reducing child marriage, providing access to health services and getting more girls to stay in education will save many lives.

Education aid gets children into school but it's not the smartest solution
The Guardian
The education piggybank is poised to be replenished, but what poorest countries really need is sustainable domestic financing.

Tech

A Way To Send Mobile Messages Completely Off The Grid
Fast.Co.Exist
Firechat has quickly become a powerful tool for people affected by censorship and unreliable cell-phone reception. 40,000 Iraqis downloaded the app between June 14 and June 24, using it as a way to circumvent censorship.

India

'70% of India Has Yet to Be Built'
The Atlantic
Slums are cities waiting to be built. If and when these cities are built, they can be conceived as 21st-century metropolises, equipped to meet modern challenges like climate change in ways that established cities like New York can't be.

Modi Government's Message To NGOs In India: Big Brother Is Watching You
Forbes
India’s Intelligence Bureau gave the newly formed Narendra Modi-led government a classified document identifying several foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are “negatively impacting economic development”. In a statement to the press Greenpeace India rejected the claims.

Health

Watch Global Childhood Mortality Plummet Around The World
Fast.Co.Exist
The maps that track death and disease across the world aren’t usually uplifting. But a new map from the Pulitzer Center tells a different kind of story, one that actually marks a set of enormous, but quiet, wins for decreasing the rate of childhood mortality.

Longer lives mean more diseases of old age and rising costs
Financial Times
Behind the joyous images of Brazil’s World Cup lies a sport sponsored to a vast degree by beer, soft drink and fast-food companies. Globally, chronic conditions linked to poor diets and sedentary lifestyles are of ever greater concern. Yet tougher measures to control advertising or impose taxes on sugar, salt and fat remain in their infancy.

Emerging markets

What would an oil price shock mean for EM?
Financial Times: beyondbrics
Although the violence in Iraq has so far had a muted impact on global oil markets, if prices continue to rise there could be some nasty consequences in store for the more fragile of emerging market economies.

Politics

Philanthropy in a Time of Polarization
Stanford Social Innovation Review
The days when major foundations could remain above the partisan fray, even as they were deeply engaged in advocating changes in public policy, are all but gone. The polarization of the US political scene is imposing new limits on how foundations can operate in that sphere. But it’s also revealing new ways in which they can influence the policy process.

Interest

Why You Should Root for Nigeria (or Brazil, Mexico or Ghana)
NYT
Dean Karlan, a Yale economist, calculated a score for each World Cup team, based on its population, poverty level and interest in soccer. He argues a Nigerian championship would have brought the most aggregate happiness.

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