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The past 30 days in technology for development

Who’s in charge of global health spending?

by Laura Freschi

There’s something I’ve noticed when talking about international aid to people who work outside the development/aid community: they always assume that there’s someone, somewhere who’s in charge.

The concept they seem to have in mind is something like the Deist “Divine Watchmaker”—not a bearded fellow dictating our every move, but rather a benevolent force that set things in motion and is now generally keeping tabs on us.

Obama, Medvedev pledge to reduce nukes, dress the same

Diplomacy in action:
At a signing ceremony, Obama and Medvedev, wearing identical dark suits, white shirts and red ties, pledged to finalise a treaty by the year-end to cut the number of deployed nuclear warheads on each side to 1,500-1,675 from levels above 2,200.

If they both happened to wear the same thing, then maybe they just happened to choose similar target numbers for warhead reductions.

Economic crisis threatening progress on MDGs

It's often been said that the global economic crisis has hit the developing world the hardest. I've always taken that to be sort of a given, but the new 2009 Millennium Development Goals report, just released, is one of the first documents I've seen to actually quantify the toll that the current economic downturn has taken on the world's poor.  

More bombs, more sanctions?

The Security Council is holding a closed-doors meeting in five about two minutes to discuss North Korea's most recent missile launch.  In the meantime...
A U.N. sanctions committee is considering blacklisting more North Korean companies and individuals for supporting Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. It is meant to complete its work by Friday.

The folks in Pyongyang don't seem to be doing themselves any favors.

Going to Nepal…

YES, I’m back on the road! :-) I’m typing these lines as I’m making use of a kiosk with free WiFi and charging here at Doha International Airport while waiting for my flight to Kathmandu. I’ll be in Nepal until the end of September, hanging out with my friends of OLE Nepal and soon to be joined by the one and only Daniel Drake.

Takaungu meet your XOs!

Today, the XOs were introduced to the Standard 4 and 5 classes and their parents! The meeting was a huge success and everyone is very excited about the program.

Some Video from our trip

You can tell that Stephanie is excited! This was taken some time ago, on the 23rd of June.

A couple of positive outcomes from the UN investigation in Gaza

Even though Israel is not participating, or did not allow the commission -- headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone -- to pass through Israeli territory, it seems to have helped bring about two developments that can be applauded.

Getting a modem to work…

One of the goals of this project is to provide internet access for the XOs. However, trying to get it has thus far been quite an adventure. When the team first arrived, they spoke with the telecommunications company SierraTel, and they told us that they could provide a modem and internet no problem, but that [...]


The ball is rolling. And now, the waiting game…
This post is a continuation of “XOs Please…”.
So after my arrival, Katie R and I spent a couple of days in Freetown to try and resolve the Customs issue, as well as pick up a modem from the head SierraTel office (per the office in Kenema’s instructions). [...]

United Nations Stakes

As in the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes -- the United Nations Stakes is a horse race.  I had no idea the United Nations had a horse race named after it --

North Korea and Burma – Sharing Nukes?

Well, this certainly scares me. North Korea and Burma are growing increasingly close. The two countries re-established diplomatic relations in 2007, and they’ve been growing closer ever since. According to the Bangkok Post, a high-level military delegation from North Korea was in Rangoon in November 2008, where they signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation.

Listen to ICC radio in (the) C.A.R.

One of the controversies the ICC has had to deal with is the notion that it is "biased" against Africa. Even though most of the ICC's work to date has been in African countries, this is a pretty hollow charge; the reason that the ICC is operating in three of these four states is because they asked it to do so.

Morning Coffee - 6 July 2009

Starting 5
Top Story: 




Honduras is a tiny country with a world-class flair for publicity.

UN Plaza: Conflict Minerals

I talk to David Sullivan of the Enough Project about his new report on the role that minerals used for electronics are playing in prolonging conflict in the Congo. You've heard of blood diamonds. Think different. Think "blood ipods."

School's Out for Summer

No more pencils, no more books. We are finally tying up all the loose cable ends so that this summer computer training can begin. This happened to be timed well with both the end of the school year party and the 4th of July. For all of these reasons, Saturday was a celebration.

Greetings from Kibwezi!

Hey! So we're finally settled & situated in our little tent village in Kibwezi, Kenya, and our project is definitely under way. I'm sitting in the computer classrom used by the secretarial students in the Polytechnic school and behind me, Greg, Krista, and Dave are working furiously to update and reflash all 106 computers we have here (the extra six are six that we brought here last year that need some updates).


I really like the music here and I’d like to share two items with you.This is some Cape Verde music that Dany, STeP UP’s director’s driver and employee, shared with us. The artist is Bana and the album is Livro Infinito. The songs are pretty slow but talented and beautiful.

Kliptown #4

Two of the kids from the creche--an old-English term for nursery school--next to KYP blessing Thulani, Darion and I with their enthusiasm in the KYP office a week ago. They don't look amused--especially not Christopher Wallace.

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