Opinion

‘Aid Organizations Must Include the Youth Voice’ August 12, 2022—International Youth Day

Today marks International Youth Day, a global celebration of the transformative power of young people. Introduced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, the event was inaugurated not only to observe the power of the youth voice, but to serve as a promise from those in power to activate the power of youth across the development sector.

Democracy in Iraq Under Threat Following the Storming of Parliament

The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Al-Sadr was motivated by years of political impasse — threatening Iraq's democracy and peace

Pariah Solidarity Between Myanmar & Russia

On August 3rd residents of the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw were suddenly awakened by the sound of military helicopters in the air. The helicopters hovered over the city all day. The way to the regime's foreign ministry was also blocked for hours.

Climate Change Conclusion: Time for Bold Action

With climate change bringing about increasing numbers of human deaths and untold suffering, and rising economic, social, and environmental consequences worldwide, it’s time for governments to take bold action to address the climate change emergency.

UN’s Education Summit: An Opportunity to Create a Bottom-Up Global Governance

The upcoming summit on Education, part of the UN Secretary General’s ambitious agenda, can truly bring accountability and participation to the inevitably new ways education will be imparted in the future.

Women Have Always Trailed Men in Research Output: How COVID Made the Situation Worse

The under-representation of women in research is well documented. Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this inequality and disrupted the research enterprise globally.

Colombia’s New President May Need U.S. Blessing to Realize his Domestic Agenda

For the first time in its contemporary history, Colombia has a left-wing government. The presidency of Gustavo Petro, who took the reins August 8, marks a significant break from the political status quo. He also represents a stiff test for U.S. influence in Latin America.

April Fool’s Inflation Medicine Threatens Progress

The world economy is on the brink of outright recession, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Ukraine war and sanctions have scuttled recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indigenous Women at the Forefront of Transformational Change

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, commemorated annually on August 9, is a day to celebrate the many contributions of the 476 million Indigenous peoples worldwide.

The Plastic Crisis Has Deep Corporate Roots: To Protect Our Planet, They Need To Be Exposed

This spring, I taught a new undergraduate course in environmental sociology. Most of my students took the course because they were curious to see what their desire to live more sustainably had to do with sociology.

Women Play a Key Role in Food & Nutrition Security in Nigeria

In Nigeria, women play key roles in food and nutrition security through their contributions to agricultural production, their influence on how to allocate household income, and their efforts to ensure proper nutrition for all household members.

UN Chief Urges Governments to Tax “Immoral” & Excessive” Oil and Gas Profits

The war in Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on the people of that country. Civilians are dying in the most tragic circumstances every day. Millions of lives have been destroyed or put on hold.

A Demographic Snapshot of the Philippines: One Step Forward, a Half Step Back

With the national election and transfer of power in the Philippines from outgoing President Duterte to incoming President Marcos Jr. in July 2022, it seems an appropriate time to briefly take stock of the country’s current demographic situation, as well as recent related developments.

The Myanmar Junta Continues to Wreak Death & Destruction

Myanmar has been embroiled in violence and civil unrest since the military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February 2021. The initially widespread peaceful protests were crushed with deadly force by the military and police.

Frugal Innovation is Key to Advancing the UN’s Global Goal for Education

The world needs tens of millions of new teachers by 2030, according to UNESCO – an order of magnitude that requires “frugal innovation.” I’ve studied frugal innovation for more than a decade, and it holds a vital key to this global challenge. A model created by BRAC in Bangladesh deserves special attention in this worldwide pursuit.

Neo-Colonial Currency Enables French Exploitation

Colonial-style currency board arrangements have enabled continuing imperialist exploitation decades after the end of formal colonial rule. Such neo-colonial monetary systems persist despite modest reforms.

To End AIDS, We Need to End Punitive Laws Perpetuating the Pandemic

This week, the global HIV response community is gathering in Montreal to address the crisis of stalling progress that is putting millions of people in danger.

Introducing Hope Over Fate: the Story of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and BRAC

About seven years ago, I started working on a project with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC. It was originally supposed to be a memoir: the story of Abed, the mild-mannered accountant who would rid the world of poverty, as told by the man himself. I was privileged to be Abed’s speechwriter for the last several years of his life, and I would sit for hours listening to stories from his remarkable life: of his boyhood in British India, his love life in London in the 1960s, his three marriages, and how, in 1972, with a few thousand pounds from the sale of his flat in Camden, he launched a small nonprofit organization to aid refugees, originally called the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee. Many people would go on to call BRAC, which Abed led until his death in 2019, the world’s most effective anti-poverty organization.

Climate Change is Putting Women & Girls in Malawi at Greater Risk of Sexual Violence

It is often those least responsible for causing climate change that suffer the most from the impacts. And such is the case with women and girls in Malawi - one of the world’s poorest and lowest carbon-emitting countries but ranked fifth in the Global Climate Index 2021 list of nations worst affected by climate-related extreme weather.

Heat Waves and Agricultural Production: In the Race to Mitigate Extreme Heat, We Must not Forget Strengthening Agriculture

Across the U.S., and around the world, particularly Europe, heat records are being shattered. Accompanying these extreme temperatures are fires caused by the heat that are burning both homes and forests. While extreme heat is impacting some areas of the world, flooding is impacting other areas including Colorado and Virginia in the U.S., and in other countries around the world including Brazil and Ecuador.

Sidestepping Hunger & Boosting Food Security

Until Russia went to war on Ukraine in February, Ukraine was known as the “breadbasket of Europe”. One of the largest grain exporters in the world, it provided about 10 per cent of globally traded wheat and corn and 37 per cent of sunflower oil, United Nations figures show. The yellow and blue of its flag mimic its rolling golden fields under blue summer skies.

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