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The past 30 days in technology for development

UN Human Rights and Wrongs

By William Easterly

Last Friday’s post “Poverty is not a human rights violation” spurred a very healthy dialogue on rights, including a response from Amnesty International , which mentioned the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Where compliance is king

This is the ninth in our series of FrontlineSMS guest posts. In this latest post Aurelio Gomes, who works out of Universidade Catolica de Mocambique, explains their use of the software in monitoring and improving anti-retroviral treatment (ART) compliance among rural communities in Mozambique

Amnesty International Responds to "Poverty is Not a Human Rights Violation"

by Sameer Dossani, Demand Dignity Campaign Director at Amnesty International

Bill Easterly takes on Amnesty International’s 2009 Annual Report. I know and respect Easterly’s work; I’ve even been on a few panels with him over the years on aid effectiveness and the World Bank, but I have to say he’s pretty off base here.

The basic premise of his post is this:

Hiperbarrio: Winner Of The Prix Ars Electronica Awards

Rising Voices congratulates its grantee Hiperbarrio from Medellín, Colombia for winning the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica awards in the Digital Communities category and with it a 10,000 euro prize. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media. From the Ars Electronica website:

Focus on the users, and all else will follow

If we were to have a mantra on the FrontlineSMS project, it would be this: “Focus on the users, and all else will follow”.

Poverty is not a human rights violation

By William Easterly

The title of this blog will make many think I am callous, and yet I definitely agree that poverty is an EXTREMELY BAD THING. Perhaps some use the words “human rights violation” to be equivalent to “extremely bad thing,” but why? There are many different “extremely bad things,” and it helps if everybody discriminates between them.

Missions look to SMS in Nigeria

This is the eighth in our series of FrontlineSMS guest posts. Here, Mike Blyth - Computer Systems Coordinator at Serving in Mission (SIM) - discusses their use of the software among missions operating in central Nigeria

Here’s a US development program working – stop it immediately!

by William Easterly and Laura Freschi

“[O]pen trade and international investment are the surest and fastest ways for Africa to make progress,” President Bush said when he signed an extension to the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) in 2004. Originally signed into law in 2000, AGOA removes US quotas and duties for thousands of products coming from some 40 sub-Saharan African countries.

Task v. Relationship

Greetings all, this is my first post and my first blog ever! I guess a synopsis of today's activities related to the OLPC project is in order... At noon was Michael and I last group meeting with the OLPC team and the GSLIS team.

Making Uruguay's 300,000 Laptops Count - Part I

Engineering a single laptop to serve the educational needs of young students throughout the developing world is no easy feat. Designers at MIT's Media Lab needed to keep the cost of the machine well below $200, and yet it required many of the same features that owners of traditional laptops have come to expect: a wireless internet connection, USB ports, a color display, a built-in webcam, and a processor powerful enough to record and render video files.

Results are in -- Comparing Twitter Discussion Results with Blogs, Radio & Newspaper

The upcoming Twitter discussion I blogged about on June 1 (see below) took place last Wednesday, here's my top impressions:

First, you can see the full transcript here, posted by the event sponsor Ashoka. Its nice to have a transcript packaged, though you can also see it all by searching Twitter on hash tag #SocEntChat.

Nomad Green: Web Herders who Guard Mongolian Environment(1)

I am writing a series of posts about Nomad Green's workshops from 5/4-5/14 in Ulaanbaatar. This post is the first of them.

“They burn used tires just to get warm?” I asked.
“You have no idea how cold it is in Mongolia's winter” Boum replied.

As a Taiwanese living all of my life in this humid and hot island, I've never imagined that one day I would visit Mongolia, make dozens of friends there, and share their concerns about their crumbling mother land.

A New Era of Human Rights Advocacy

In our globalized world - where a single trip to the gas pump or supermarket is also an ethical decision which reveals our concern (or lack thereof) for the welfare of individuals and environments in other countries - it is readily apparent why we would need a global moral code to help guide our actions and their far-reaching repercussions.

Drop-In Center: Will Controlling Meds Cause More Harm?

Pavel Kutsev.
Rising Voices grantee Drop-In Center continues to discuss issues that impact people living with a drug addiction. On his Web blog, the organization's leader, Pavel Kutsev, reacted to the Ukrainian government's recent decision to tighten rules concerning medications that can be used by drug users to mitigate the abstinence syndrome (also known as drug withdrawal).

Rebuilding Together in Alexandria

For the second year in a row, Forum One participated in Rebuilding Together Alexandria's National Rebuilding Day.

IREX staffer Haratounian wrongly imprisoned for spying in Iran

While much of the US media has focused on the recent release of Roxana Saberi after being falsely accused of spying in Iran, other cases similar remain unresolved. Silva Haratounian was working in Iran on behalf of the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), which focuses on international education, academic research, professional training and technical assistance.

EWAMT-Yemen: First Workshop On Blogging Completed

Last month we introduced Ghaida'a Al Absi's project Empowerment of Yemeni Women Activists in New Media Techniques which will train a number of women activists of Yemen in collaboration with the Hand in Hand Initiative. It is one of the latest grantees of Rising Voices.

Government 2.0 and the web - what works, what doesn't, and why

We are excited about the upcoming June 4 event, "Beyond the Hype: Government 2.0 for Decision Makers," where we will hear from a great lineup of speakers about innovative ways government agencies are using the web. Click here to register.

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