InterAction Blog

To engage the NGO community in a frank and constructive dialog about today's most pressing global challenges, InterAction hosts an open community blog featuring insights from InterAction staff, members, and other development and aid professionals.

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Combating Illegal Logging: Why the U.S. Should Stand Behind “Lacey”

A recent investigation into whether or not the Gibson Guitar Company illegally imported wood into the U.S. has led some politicos to call the entire “Lacey Act amendments of 2008” into question. This is a mistake, as the law both makes common sense and is in the U.S. national interest.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Efforts Recognized In Northern Guatemala

Ever looked at an empty plastic soda bottle as you’re throwing it away and wondered where they all end up? In Guatemala, they may become a sturdy wall in a new school.

Students, teachers and parents in the northern municipality of Raxruhá joined an innovative program that creates “eco-bricks,” in which plastic water and soda bottles are filled with inorganic plastic trash that can be used to create a variety of structures, from trashcans to classrooms.

Keyhole Garden Nurtures Ethiopians And Their Ecosystem

Carrots, beet root, leafy greens and other vegetables will finally be produced up to four times a year in a new environmentally friendly initiative involving raised-bed gardens in Central Ethiopia.

Called a “keyhole garden,” it is a circular raised soil bed about four-feet high and 6.5 feet wide with a small break in its round shape for access (the keyhole) to a composting basket in the center. The garden's circular keyhole shape makes all sections very accessible to tend.

Both Potato-Soy Mix, Corn-Soy Blend Can Meet Food Aid Needs, Study Says

Providing malnourished children with a potato-soy mix ration rather than the traditional corn-soy blend achieved similar health results, according to a study published in the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development.

Are Aid Organizations Upholding The Humanitarian Imperative?

Talking about sex is hard. Talking about staff misconduct—like trading sex for aid—can be like walking through a legal, financial, cultural, reputational and moral minefield. But talking about the rights, dignity and safety of disaster- and conflict-affected people resonates with almost every humanitarian and development aid worker I've met. And if that doesn't open the door for a thoughtful discussion on a sensitive topic, framing it around the organizational risk associated with a lack of prevention and response systems should ring an alarm bell (CEOs, I'm looking at you!). 

Scaling Up Solutions That Work

Throughout the world countries are working to improve education, and perhaps one of the most frequently overlooked solutions is deworming. Dr. Don Bundy of the World Bank recently referred to deworming as the “magic bullet” to achieving educational and social benefits. More than 600 million school-aged children are infected with intestinal worms or STH (soil transmitted helminthes). These worms eat up the nutrients a child takes in, leaving her lethargic, and in most cases, leading to anemia and stunted growth.

ReSurge Remembers September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001, ReSurge International (formerly Interplast) had U.S. medical volunteers teaching and providing surgeries in Nepal, Peru and Brazil.  While families of the volunteers asked that they return home immediately after the attacks, that was not an option, as planes were not flying.  More importantly, the medical volunteers wanted to stay overseas and complete the work they were doing.  For some, giving back by building surgical capacity and healing children was the best way to deal with their sorrow and anguish.