Keep Calm and Test a Protocol: Improving Humanitarian Response

Do you know the old joke about the rushed cellist who flags down a taxi and asks how to get to Carnegie Hall? Rather than “take a right and walk two blocks,” he was told to “Practice, practice, practice!”

Living in the Age of Malala

"Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy, every girl who has raised their voice for their rights." So began 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai as she stood before the UN General Assembly, wearing a shawl of the late Benazir Bhutto on what is now known as the Malala Day: UN Youth Takeover. The sight of Malala standing before world leaders in the vast, hushed hall – her voice strong and steady – is nothing less than extraordinary.

Latest Budget Development in U.S. House Threatens Progress on Global Poverty

The House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) today approved their proposed  fiscal year 2014 spending plan for the Department of State and the U.S.

Survey Shows Americans Severely Underestimate Number of Child Laborers

The number of children and youths who work – whether they’re paid or unpaid – is notoriously hard to pin down. Many countries have laws against employing children, but industries still continue to use child laborers despite legal and social consequences.

What number would you guess is accurate? A million? Six million? Ten?

Not even close.

Giving Childhood Diarrhea a Name

Over the course of my career I’ve spent more than 30 years working in various developing countries trying to better understand and fight infectious diseases. One of the things that alarmed me most was that in many places, parents and caretakers didn’t even have a word for diarrhea. Sadly, this wasn’t because diarrhea was rare. On the contrary, diarrhea was so common that it was seen as a normal part of early childhood, and thus didn’t need a name.  

Did You Say There Was Agreement About Something in Washington?

Let’s hope it’s not too good to be true, but it looks like Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, the White House, and USAID might agree on something—that U.S. foreign aid needs to be more transparent.

On Wednesday “Judge” Ted Poe (R-TX), joined by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) in the House, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Senate, introduced the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2013 (H.R. 2638 and S. 1271).

A Critical Change: What the Humanitarian Field Must Do to Do Better

The humanitarian field is highly responsive to its fiercest critic – itself. Constant improvements are sought and solutions offered on how to better assist those in crisis.We often focus these evaluations on ourselves since we know that through greater coordination we can do more.

Why the G8 'Commitments' Lacked Measurable Actions

Last month G8 leaders met at the exclusive Lough Erne golf resort in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. Yet, what were the practical implications for those living in extreme poverty around the world or – for that matter – the 99 percent of people living in the G8 countries? Were concrete actions taken?

Before the summit, I wrote a piece about measurable actions the G8 should take that would bring meaningful change to people around the world. So, how did they do?

Youth and Media: Political Engagement in New Spaces

"Young people in development are both a project of reform and agents of change. This population is not static. They engage on multiple levels.” – Dr .Loubna Skalli-Hanna, Author, Editor and Professor at American University, School of International Service

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