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Stockholm International Peace Research Institute;
The ongoing renaissance of artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world. Just like many other developing countries, India and Pakistan—the two nuclear-armed states of South Asia—are exploring the subsequent opportunities for economic and social change. Their political leaders seem to prioritize civilian applications of AI over the military, and public attention reflects the political priorities. National efforts to militarize AI do not receive the same public coverage as civilian AI developments
This report released by Siemens Stiftung shines a spotlight on imperative solutions for social development's biggest hurdle: financing. The report is the result of an international expert round table which took place in Cairo in conjunction with the 2019 empowering people. Award ceremony on July 11. Involved in the round table were social entrepreneurs from around the globe, leading experts from the fields of social finance, development politics, philanthropy, and technologies for development. Based on their fresh perspectives and expertise, promising solutions and ideas came from these discussions, including two recurrent themes having potential to impact social entrepreneurs: partially-automated data generation systems and matchmaking by pooling different sources of capital.
Fund for Global Human Rights;
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and the Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR) recognised that it is imperative for networks of influence within civil society (organised and organic) to be harnessed and supported to respond effectively to growing threats to civic freedoms.
Observably, despite the growing numbers and influence of activists and social movements in West Africa on the one hand, coupled with a high number of existing social justice organisations on the other hand, the collaboration between these two groups is weak. This results to a significantly low level of pressure on the perpetrators of injustice (most often the government), and this often weakens the possibility of realising successful social justice campaigns. It is within this context that WACSI and the Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR) have conceptualised an initiative to explore whether the existing types of promoters of social justice see the need to join forces in their efforts to push for social justice in West Africa. They seek to promote a shared learning space for activists' social movements and social justice organisations to explore ways of effectively responding to the crackdown on civic freedoms and restrictions to civic engagements in West Africa.
This research, driven in partnership by the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), looks at the reasons why some national governments invest in supporting outward mobility scholarship programmes. The study aims to improve our understanding of why governments sponsor these programmes; how they are designed, administered, and funded; who participates and where they study; and what impact the programmes are having.
The report contains detailed case studies of 11 countries and their approaches to national outward mobility scholarship programmes, with comparative case study analysis and recommendations for countries looking to establish or develop outward mobility scholarship programmes.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation;
California's recent wildfires, exacerbated by extreme weather conditions, have focused the nation's attention on the problem of managing fire at the wildland urban interface. With the goal of understanding how new or re-imagined technologies could improve early fire detection and response, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation hosted a "Fire Immediate Response System" workshop (April 24 -26, 2019). The workshop identified the following priorities and recommendations, which are described in detail in the report.* Develop a shared, integrated platform for diverse sources of data, intelligence and information* Conduct new wildfire risk assessments with high-resolution mapping technologies* Improve scientific understanding of "megafires" through retrospective analysis* Enhance fire behavior models and associated inputs for real-time prediction* Perform a cost-benefit analysis of investment in solutions vs. reactive management* Target investments in the development and adoption of new technologies* Expand multi-stakeholder dialogue, collaboration and action
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);
The present report is being submitted pursuant to paragraph 9 of resolution 3/71 of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in which the Environment Assembly requested the Executive Director of UNEP to compile voluntary commitments, as applicable, targeting marine litter and microplastics; to provide an overview of their scope in support of the work of the Environment Assembly on that issue; to better understand progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal target 14.1 on preventing andsignificantly reducing marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025 (see General Assembly resolution 71/313); and to report to the Environment Assembly at its fourth session on the matter.
The report contains an analysis of the voluntary commitments made in the context of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Our Ocean Conference, the United Nations Sustainable Development Platform, the Clean Seas campaign and the Environment Assembly portal for voluntary reporting relating to marine litter.
Giving Circle Networks;
Together, we are 20 networks representing 1,500+ Circles, part of the broader giving circle field pooling potentially $1.29B in funding.
Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University;
Lighting should be provided for WASH facilities in Humanitarian contexts according to several standards. Evidence for this and the practical budget, operational and management responsibilities are less clear. A three-country research project looking at the impact of lighting on WASH use and Gender- Based Violence (GBV) required a multi-disciplinary approach, combining OXFAM's practical implementing expertise with WEDC's research-orientated approach. The research showed how much more is needed for safe sanitation than just building latrines. Lack of usage of latrines had implications for environmental health. A reason for not using latrines was due to fear of many things, including GBV. The location of the facility was a common concern, but simple lessons are not easy to distil as the context varies between settlements and changes rapidly overtime. The provision of lighting was welcomed by a wide range of stakeholders, but other factors still affect both GBV and WASH outcomes.
In order to address some of the challenges faced in implementation of Indian government's flagship program Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), the Madhya Pradesh state government introduced the direct benefit transfer of incentives to beneficiary households in 2016. This system uses an android application and web portal for digitizing the processes, resulting in direct transfer of toilet construction incentives into beneficiaries' bank accounts. The paper is based on a study which brings out the experiences of the direct benefit transfer model, based on field research in 3 districts of Madhya Pradesh. Findings indicate that the system has resulted in improved monitoring, efficiency and transparency; as well as reduction in scope for corruption. However, a few bottlenecks were observed including process gaps, community access, capacity building, equity and ethical considerations. The paper also brings out the key enablers for effective implementation of the model in large-scale government programs.
This paper underscores the need for market-based approaches in the delivery and management of Waterand Sanitation services especially in the rural and peri-urban areas. The paper seeks to highlight theimportant role that WASH enterprises which mostly serve as gap fillers in the many rural, urban & peri –urban areas that are mostly unserved / underserved plays in service provision. While appreciating theimportance of Community – based management model that has been universally practiced, the paperfocuses on the Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH's) approach to capacitydevelopment as crucial for ensuring improved and expanded WASH Services. This paper also discussesthe importance of Business Development Services in instilling a culture of performance and reorientingthe small and medium WASH enterprises embrace market based approaches to service delivery.
This paper highlights the process, successes, and challenges of commercial financing for WASH and identifies lessons for moving forward with continued commercial financing in Kenya. The paper is based on a review of the experience of the USAID's Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA)program which ran from 2010 to 2015, and which has been succeeded by the new USAID water sanitation and Hygiene Finance (WASHFIN) program designed to enhance access to commercial financing. The paper shows how commercial financing has and continues to build on accomplishments of the Kenyan government in advancing sector reforms in the context of devolution and decentralization.
Water services provision and resource management are devolved functions as per Schedule 4 of the current Constitution of Kenya. A critical determinant of the devolution success in Kenya's WASH sector will be how the County Governments as primary duty bearers will develop resilient WASH supply and management systems that are demand responsive and overall accountable to public needs. Therefore, tackling sustainability issues in WASH services requires a holistic approach focusing on governance and particularly principles of governance: transparency, participation and accountability as to improve service delivery. The USAID-KIWASH Project partners with water service providers in 9 counties including Kakamega County Water and Sanitation Company (KACWASCO) to support them improve and sustain water and sanitation coverage, water catchment protection and credit worthiness. This paper presents an evidence-base case study of KIWASH engagement with KACWASCO that enhanced accountability of its operations, water coverage, revenue collection, resource allocation, customer satisfaction, participation and transparency.