Archive for February, 2014

February 28, 2014

What do countries want from aid? Some reflections from the field

A must read for development workers

Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs?

As part of  Development Progress’ Valuing Progress blog series, Annalisa Prizzon takes a look at the priorities of aid recipient countries and how they would like to see aid flows meet them. Reflecting on her field work, she also draws on the MY World survey to take a look at citizen preferences.

“Nearly two years ago, on a sunny day in Lusaka I decided to take my time before starting my next meeting. The radio was blaring out a heated and fractious budget hearing from Parliament, centred on the future of aid from donors and its alignment with national priorities. I have stopped being surprised by the headlines in newspapers across developing countries about the latest high-level meeting with donors or the latest project approved or results achieved. While aid dependency is declining in most of these countries, aid is still an important part of the equation, as important 

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February 26, 2014

Mathare Population Structure

statisticsIn the above age distribution chart for Mathare Constituency, I have tried to analyze  age based of the total area population as per 2009 Census and percentages from the latest CIA website; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html while the total population. (Next implication of poor CDF investment to Mathare population)

February 26, 2014

Advancing Women’s Rights in a Changing Landscape for Development Co-operation

Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs?

Written by Ana Abelenda, Association for Women’s Rights in Development on the Effective Development Co-operation blog :

“Development actors worldwide accept that advancing women’s rights and gender equality is not only a desirable goal, but a cornerstone of any successful sustainable development framework. Women and girls are in the public eye and recognised as key agents in development as never before.

‘Investing in women and girls’ is increasingly heralded as a keystone strategy for women’s economic empowerment, and indeed, for broader development and economic growth. Variations on this discourse are coming from as diverse actors as the World BankNewsweek, and Walmart. Funding agencies and international NGOs have increasingly adopted the language of “investing in women” via new policies and programmes. Corporations are emphasising women as a key constituency of consumers, economic agents and small-scale entrepreneurs. Mass media feature stories on the power of women in addressing…

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February 26, 2014

More to do on Measuring Hunger

Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs?

Written by Joachim De Weerdt, Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman and John Gibson on VOX EU

“One of the first Millennium Development Goals is to reduce hunger by half between 1990 and 2015. To date, the global hunger count has fallen slightly, from 1 billion in 1990–1992 to 870 million in 2010–2012 (Food and Agriculture Organization 2013). As a proportion of the world’s population, this is just a one-third fall in the hunger rate, from 19% to 13%. In contrast, the other highly visible Millennium Development Goal – reducing extreme poverty by half – was achieved by 2010.

The failure of the hunger rate to fall as fast as poverty undoubtedly has many causes. Increased volatility of world food prices and the damaging responses by some countries hardly help (Rocha et al. 2012). But researchers also are starting to study measurement issues – the methodology for measuring the hungry differs from…

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February 26, 2014

Crisis Mapping without GPS Coordinates

This can very good if done with local administration in areas which do not have logistics for address, remote places and with limited access to modern technology

iRevolutions

I recently spoke with a UK start-up that is doing away with GPS coordinates even though their company focuses on geographic information and maps. The start-up, What3Words, has divided the globe into 57 trillion squares and given each of these 3-by-3 meter areas a unique three-word code. Goodbye long postal addresses and cryptic GPS coordinates. Hello planet.inches.most. The start-up also offers a service called OneWord, which allows you to customize a one-word name for any square. In addition, the company has expanded to other languages such as Spanish, Swedish and Russian. They’re now working on including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and others by mid-January 2014. Meanwhile, their API lets anyone build new applications that tap their global map of 57 trillion squares.

Credit: What3Words

When I spoke with CEO Chris Sheldrick, he noted that their very first users were emergency response organizations. One group in Australia, for example, is using What3Words…

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February 26, 2014

New Insights on How To Verify Social Media

This is a must read for people in the field of social media.

iRevolutions

The “field” of information forensics has seen some interesting developments in recent weeks. Take the Verification Handbook or Twitter Lie-Detector project, for example. The Social Sensor project is yet another new initiative. In this blog post, I seek to make sense of these new developments and to identify where this new field may be going. In so doing, I highlight key insights from each initiative. 

VHandbook1

The co-editors of the Verification Handbook reminds us that misinformation and rumors are hardly new during disasters. Chapter 1 opens with the following account from 1934:

“After an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck northern India, it wasn’t long before word circulated that 4,000 buildings had collapsed in one city, causing ‘innumerable deaths.’ Other reports said a college’s main building, and that of the region’s High Court, had also collapsed.”

These turned out to be false rumors. The BBC’s User Generated Content (UGC) Hub would have been…

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February 19, 2014

Mathare or Kibera?

Both places, Mathare and Kibera are a reflection of low income areas with overcrowding, lack of social amenities, high crime level, unemployment, teenage pregnancy cases, gender based violence and general lack of strong accountability and governance structures. Mathare a place of less than 3 Km sq has more than 200,000.

kiberaMathare and Kibera share four things in common. First both had quarry at stage in life. Second they neighbour some of the most rich neighbourhoods. Kibera has Karen while Mathare is to Muthaiga. Another interesting observation is that the too have golf courses nearby. Mathare is next to Muthaiga Golf Club and Kibera has Royal Golf Club. Major road road construction are going, across Kibera we have while Mathare has Thika Highway.

Despite all these abundance nearby there is imbalance in the investment made by civil society. Kibera attracts high profile attention and funding than Mathare. The slum upgrading in Kibera is just one of the example how huge investments have been made. One might argue that most of the land in Kibera is government owned and that is why is easy to carry out housing projects.

Poverty level in Kibera is more glaring compared with Mathare. From housing condition and to terrain the place is terrible. In Mathare people also suffer too but they ‘hide’ it wth smile and welcoming charm. So many research have been conducted in Mathare but very little has been used to transform people’s life?-Simon

February 17, 2014

Using Crowd Computing to Analyze UAV Imagery for Search & Rescue Operations

iRevolutions

My brother recently pointed me to this BBC News article on the use of drones for Search & Rescue missions in England’s Lake District, one of my favorite areas of the UK. The picture below is one I took during my most recent visit. In my earlier blog post on the use of UAVs for Search & Rescue operations, I noted that UAV imagery & video footage could be quickly analyzed using a microtasking platform (like MicroMappers, which we used following Typhoon Yolanda). As it turns out, an enterprising team at the University of Central Lancashire has been using microtasking as part of their UAV Search & Rescue exercises in the Lake District.

Lake District

Every year, the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team assists hundreds of injured and missing persons in the North of the Lake District. “The average search takes several hours and can require a large team of volunteers to set…

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February 13, 2014

Crisis Mapping in Areas of Limited Statehood

From personal experience, slums can also be classified as places of limited statehood this because when government is unable to provide basic social amenities informal structures emerges within to fill in the gap. Sometimes this informality leads to creation of vigilante to provide security

iRevolutions

I had the great pleasure of contributing a chapter to this new book recently published by Oxford University Press: Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood. My chapter addresses the application of crisis mapping to areas of limited statehood, drawing both on theory and hands-on experience. The short introduction to my chapter is provided below to help promote and disseminate the book.

Collection-national-flags

Introduction

Crises often challenge or limit statehood and the delivery of government services. The concept of “limited statehood” thus allows for a more realistic description of the territorial and temporal variations of governance and service delivery. Total statehood, in any case, is mostly imagined—a cognitive frame or pre-structured worldview. In a sense, all states are “spatially challenged” in that the projection of their governance is hardly enforceable beyond a certain geographic area and period of time. But “limited statehood” does not imply the absence of governance or services. Rather, these may…

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February 13, 2014

Hot, Warm and Cooling Topics on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Post2015.org - what comes after the MDGs?

Written by Prof. Richard Heeks, Director, Centre for Development Informatics at the University of Manchester, on the ICTs for Development blog:

“The analysis presented in my previous blog entry helped understand the post-2015 development agenda.  But it was static, giving no sense of the dynamics and trends within that agenda.  Those dynamics are important to all development stakeholders: “hot” topics garner funding and attention and political support, and so can gather momentum and produce real-world impact.

So, using the MDGs as the comparison point, what topics are falling down, continuing on, and rising up the international development agenda?

A textual analysis – for details see “From the MDGs to the Post-2015 Agenda: Analysing Changing Development Priorities” – was undertaken comparing core MDG with core post-2015 documentation.”

Its findings suggest that topics such as environmental sustainability and migration have become more important and are increasingly talked about, while…

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