Global Ideas News Brief: Improving microinsurance + Building peace online

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Global Ideas News Brief: Improving microinsurance + Building peace online

Solar lamps can be an immediate way to help the "energy poor" but may not provide the long-lasting development that connecting to a grid could. Photo: Nick Brubaker for Mercy Corps.

Social entrepreneurship

Curb Your Social Entrepreneurial Enthusiasm
Foreign Policy
Why the market for the global poor isn’t as big as you might think.


Why Solar Lamps Are the Cash Transfers of Energy Poverty
Center for Global Development
Cash is an efficient immediate way to help the poor and very often a better alternative than other standard development interventions like training or building schools. But it’s not a replacement for economic growth or industrialization or a steady income. Same for solar lamps.


Solving Problems for Real World, Using Design
Focusing on how to ease people’s lives is a central lesson at Stanford’s D.School, which is pushing students to rethink the boundaries for many industries. The school challenges students to create, tinker and relentlessly test possible solutions on their users — and to repeat that cycle as many times as it takes — until they come up with solutions that people will actually use.

Financial inclusion

Microinsurance: A hard sell
The Economist
New research suggests insurance can be made more attractive for poor farmers.

Economic development

The Two Latin Americas
Wall Street Journal
A continental divide between one bloc that favors state controls and another that embraces free markets.

Youth and conflict

The Real eHarmony
Foreign Policy
How young people meeting on the Internet might help build peace in some of the world's most volatile regions.

Financing development

The Rockefeller Foundation's big year in Africa
On the foundation’s to-do list is unlocking tens of thousands of digital jobs for African youth, improving food security by taking a harder look at supply chains and of helping several countries better define universal health care. 

Development impact bonds: success depends on a supportive network
The Guardian Global Dev
To make the most of this new funding model, be clear on where Dibs will and won't work, keep management costs low and help adapt the broader sector to support them


Lebanon: Will it hold together?
The Economist
The civil war in neighbouring Syria is putting an ever-greater strain on Lebanon’s fraying political fabric.

Fear Keeps Thousands of South Sudanese on the Run
As the city of Bor fell into chaos, Lual Alier watched a fellow teacher pick up a Kalashnikov rifle and kill a shopkeeper. Then the man turned and began firing at him, too.

Post-Colonialism: Why the U.S. Should Help Govern South Sudan
The Atlantic
We can't fully address the young country's failures with more peacekeepers or a power-sharing deal. Here's why Washington should launch a joint venture with Juba.

After typhoon, Philippines faces one of the most profound resettlement crises in decades
Washington Post
The typhoon that recently barreled through the Philippines has left in its wake one of the most profound resettlement crises in decades, with the number of newly homeless far exceeding the capacity of aid groups and the government to respond.


A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet
Planet Money
This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.

Aid on the edge of chaos – book review
The Guardian Global Dev
The solutions Ben Ramalingam offers to the problems in the aid system are innovative ways of aligning aid with its complex environment and introduces 'exotic' new development terms.

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