Massive Open Online Cities: Can Technology and Democracy Create Revolutionary Solutions from the Bottom Up?

As an urban planner working in the field of international development, I have spent my career working with cities around the globe to solve problems, plan for their aspirations, and help them learn from other cities in the process. Recently, at Global Communities, we partnered with five cities across India and Ghana to improve slum conditions and livelihoods.

How Much Does Foreign Aid Cost? (And 4 Other Things You Might Not Know)

Few Americans would disagree that the aim of U.S. foreign assistance to developing countries must be to help people help themselves. But did you know…?

Innovating at the Intersections of Cities

If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors. – Yoruba Proverb

Generation 1.0: The Mega Cities Project - We Cannot Wait Another Generation

The 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM): A Resource Pack for Non-Governmental Organizations

The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) in March launched its new Resource Pack for Non-Governmental Organizations on civil society engagement in the UN-led monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM). The launch took place at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York, and was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations.

Smartness in Three Flavors: Accelerating Innovation in the Internet of Cities

Several years ago in Beyond Smart Cities*, I wrote about cities on the prowl. By the thousands, cities from around the globe are flying every which way, searching like so many hunters and gatherers to learn and share information. By one estimate, the 1,000 cities on the planet that have more than half a million people are engaged in many thousands of exchanges every year. Why so much prowling?

Not Your Typical Hot Spot - But One the Humanitarian Community Must Monitor

For international security analysts, humanitarian operations planners, and humanitarian logisticians, the ability to identify emerging global hot spots is crucial. Over the coming months, areas such as Syria, the Crimea, Venezuela, Sudan, and the Central African Republic will no doubt make a list of potential shatter belts, complex emergencies, and geopolitical flashpoints worth monitoring.

5 Facts that #StoptheMyth about U.S. Development Assistance

By Ken Forsberg, Senior Policy Manager, and Jeremy Kadden, Senior Legislative Manager, InterAction

In their foundation’s 2014 Annual Letter, Bill and Melinda Gates hit head-on three of the most pervasive myths that block progress for the world’s poor. One of these myths is the idea that development assistance is a waste.

“…broadly speaking,” Bill Gates writes, “aid is a fantastic investment, and we should be doing more.”

Introducing...Development Impact & You by the Rockefeller Foundation & Nesta

DIY – Development Impact and You – has been produced by Nesta, in association with the Rockefeller Foundation. It is a toolkit designed to help NGOs find, test and implement new ideas in the field. It is quick to use, simple to apply, and Creative Commons which means that it’s also free to use and distribute. It’s available at


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The Next Step in Combatting Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Exploitation

InterAction will begin a new program to establish a culture of prevention, response, and support within the NGO community to address sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation. Learn more.


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Foreign assistance funding recommendations.

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