Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Financial Fears * Global Challenges * Some Potential Answers

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The Center for Global Development on 10/19/08 wrote about an interview of CGD president Nancy Birdsall by National Public Radio regarding the financial crisis' impact on foreign assistance to poor countries - Experts Fear Financial Crisis Will Hurt World's Poor (National Public Radio).

'When a country is hit by a crisis, there will be a decline in aid in the subsequent couple of years," says Nancy Birdsall, who runs the center, which promotes policies to fight poverty. "There has been a return to trend in the past: Sweden's aid flows declined after its banking crisis in the early '90s, and Japan's aid flows declined when it had its problems in the '90s, but they have come back.'

One of the members of End POVERTY / Fim POBREZA, SpongeBob (likely not his real name) introduced me to this report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). A "laundry" list of what the IFPRI is calling for covers a number of the Millennium Development Goals. The report and information on the IFPRI itself is provided below. The challenges raised by the IFPRI are only made greater by the outlook from the Center For Global Development. Even obtaining the most hopeful of outcomes in the American elections could still potentially mean a diminishing of the United State's future role, at least for a time, though it will likely be greater than what exists currently.

  • diigo tags: hunger, mdgs, mdg, GHI

    Combating the food crisis will require
    1. More food aid for poor people;
    2. Much greater investments in agriculture - especially the small farm sector;
    3. More investment in social protection programs and social sectors - education & health;
    4. Reforms to create a fair world trading system;
    5. Changes to biofuel policies;
    6. Measures to calm global food markets;
    7. Better data collection and improved monitoring of the food and nutrition situation;
    8. More support for nongovernmental organizations that work on behalf of poor people in developing countries.
  • The 2008 Global Hunger Index (GHI) shows that the world has made slow progress in reducing food insecurity since 1990, with dramatic differences among regions and countries. In the nearly two decades since 1990, some regions — South and Southeast Asia, the Near East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean — have made significant headway in improving food security. Nevertheless, the GHI remains high in South Asia. The GHI is similarly high in Sub-Saharan Africa, where progress has been marginal since 1990.

  • tags: ifpri, hunger, mdg, mdgs

      • IFPRI's Mission: To Provide Policy Solutions That Reduce Poverty and End Hunger and Malnutrition

        This mission flows from the CGIAR mission: "To achieve sustainable food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through scientific research and research-related activities in the fields of agriculture, livestock, forestry, fisheries, policy, and natural resources management."

      • Two key premises underlie IFPRI's mission:

        1. Sound and appropriate local, national, and international public policies are essential to achieving sustainable food security and nutritional improvement.

        2. Research and the dissemination of its results are critical inputs into the process of raising the quality of food policy debate and formulating sound and appropriate policies.

SciDev.Net , found below under Global News Sources, on 10/16/08 provided three essays, published by the same International Food Policy Research Institute, offering if not final answers to the food crisis then insightful perspectives on the global food crisis and how to deal with it.

Joachim von Braun, director-general of IFPRI, discusses high priority policy responses including: expanding emergency responses and humanitarian aid; freezing biofuel production; eradicating export bans and investing in rural infrastructure and agricultural research.

Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), discusses WFP activities, including their food-for-assets programme used to train local populations, school feeding for around 20 million children and disaster-preparedness activities including canal-building and river bed restoration. Sheeran calls for more agricultural research and higher investment across the value chain.

Namanga Ngongi, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, discusses the policy implications of high food prices for Africa. Policies are needed, he says, to create sustainable food production driven by advances in productivity rather than by expansion of cultivated area.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Change Initiative to Empower Adolescent Girls Investing in the Girl Effect

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The World Bank joined governments and the private sector today to launch the Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) to promote the economic empowerment of adolescent girls in poor and post-conflict countries...The AGI is being piloted in Liberia through a partnership between the Bank, the Nike Foundation...It will be expanded in the coming year to include Afghanistan, Nepal, Rwanda, South Sudan......Every global company should invest in the girl effect. Economists have demonstrated that it is the best possible return on investment, said Mark Parker, President and CEO of Nike...
Somebody else who was impressed with this campaign was Nathaniel Whittemore. He discusses the power of good design in social ventures and Social Entrepreneurship at and he was surprised by the video's upbeat tone:
  1. How refreshing that the viral nonprofit video of the last few years doesn't have a single picture of war, poverty, disease and death, and its message fundamentally comes down to "the solution may not be simple, but the start of the solution is."
The approach has not, however, been without controversy.

The U.S. Election and Science and Hope

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The next event of major importance to the United States, and arguably to the world, is the American Presidential Election. My political leanings put me squarely in the Barack Obama camp and have from the beginning of the primaries. The question for us in the States is how will President Obama govern? Here is one possible paradigm.

success Lynn Sweet Predicts the Senate Outcome if Obama Wins
Sweet recognizes Obama's allies in the Senate as a strength, but also asserts Obama goes by the numbers and may initially cater to Republican Senators.

The question for this blog is how does that relate to the Millennium Development Goals? The answer is significantly. The inquiry though goes beyond specific political choices to understanding how this affects our world and our ability to make beneficial changes in it. One important pathway for change has been science and one favorite source has been Scientific American. They recently had a special issue on the American Election. I am providing links that they sent me below.


According to Avaaz, this election will change the globe -- it's as simple as that!It will determine if we see a timed end to the war in Iraq, whether America joins the global community in tackling climate change,how much the nation invests in renewable energy and whether America redoubles its commitment to fighting global poverty.

If you want to see if your views generally match the views espoused by this weblog take the U.S. Presidential Choice Quiz Now.

Outreach from Uttrakhand

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The reach of the World Wide Web continues to amaze me. I belong to the Orkut group End POVERTY / Fim POBREZA. The membership is primarily from India with a good number from Brazil (which has by far the greatest number of people on Orkut) and a few from Europe and America. I have credited the Orkut End Poverty group with getting me involved online with this cause before. Today I am highlighting another online connection.

PSSP ("Paryavaran Sanrakshan Samiti” Pati) an NGO, in Uttrakhand contacted me.


Hi, We are Uttrakhand (India) based NGO. We have FCRA registration, could you guide us how we can get fund from foreigin organisation.

They have overestimated my connections and influence. This weblog's objective is to educate myself as much as it is to educate and influence anybody else. One point of ignorance, I don't know what FCRA registration means in this context. I also can't vouch for them. I will though put their information out where I can and let the collective intelligence of the web take over.

Others within the Orkut community have said that they should identify themselves better, which they should, but I could see a situation where a NGO in a remote area, with limited resources was able to use the web to leverage connections across the globe. In order to do so, their connection would have to grow like crystals expanding. They would need others to take up their cause.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reaping from Yesterday's Efforts Planting for the Future

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Both Blog Action Day - Poverty and Stand Up Take Action are now in the past. You can see the results of the Blog Action Day here. Stand Up Take Action will be holding their press conference tomorrow to talk about the results. I already provided input to both the folks at Blog Action Day about an idea for next year's Blog Action Day and my views to the Orkut group I belong to supporting EndPoverty2015.

I had two basic messages to the Orkut group. One was to send in what they had done as stories, pictures or links. This is actually a bit self-serving because I get so many useful and interesting resources this way. The other was to register online as having Stood Up Against Poverty Online if they couldn't make it to an actual event.

The idea of pushing Universal Education as a means of promoting the Millennium Development Goals has been running around my head for awhile. I did see one local event at a near by Long Beach magnet school on Understanding Global Poverty, then I realized that it was 6th to 8th graders. Now I am very happy that they are studying global issues, but it wasn't something I would want to attend unless I still had my own eighth grader. So I participated online with the the Australian Council for International Development Make Poverty History Campaign.

Looking over some of the other posts at Blog Action Day I found Lucy Barrow's EduBlog post on Blog Action Day - What does the world think about poverty? | ICT and TLC. I did not know what an ICT trainer was until now. Lucy's post lead me to a more interesting resources such as Edublogger, and the polling site Ask 500 People. The pertinent question was “Do you believe it is possible to make poverty history?” That led me back to to Make Poverty History.

Another new and interesting find was Blog Action Day posts by "association" bloggers courtesy of Lisa Junker via Acronym by on 10/17/08. I have to admit that I am not familiar with the use of the term Association as a profession, but it seems like they do great work and that there is a great deal to learn from them. The Bamboo Project seems to have a good deal to offer.

I particularly liked the insight from October 15th “Blog Action Day”.

Can one day’s worth of blog posts fundamentally shift public discourse on a major social issue? All I can say is that issues definitely won’t be addressed if no one is talking about them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Next Year's Blogging Action Day - Getting an early start

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I left Collis of Blogging Action Day the following message by e-mail (sans some typos).

I am getting my "vote" in early about next year's Blog Action Day - Universal Education. Not too long ago I got interested in the UN Millennium Development Goals. I joined an Orkut group supporting Stand Up Take Action and the thought came to my mind wouldn't it be cool if the Blog Action folks had poverty as their focus this year, lo and behold you did. Trouble is despite the online success of Blog Action and the participation of people around the world in Stand Up Take Action these issues are still not mainstream which can be seen by the lack of 1st level mass media attention. Yes, I know that they are owned by corporations, but if this was understood and appreciated by the average person in the Western World there would be more main stream stories on it. So then Blog Action Day 2009 focuses on supporting Universal Education and then we can use it as a means of increasing awareness of all the related issues. Get Junior High School students on board and by 2015 they are or just about ready to vote. People are likely to be more willing to provide education for others when they are educating their own kids. Kids are more likely to be comfortable with the net having grown up with it. Lastly, this came to me because of the recent work of TED and Dave Eggers Once Upon a School, seems like there is something there that could be built upon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Standing Up Today Take Action Against Poverty Today and Tomorrow and on

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I am basically re-blogging my self. This is from the forum of the Orkut group of which I am a part. This is based on a previous post, Stand Up Take Action Online.

Last Post: by Brian Dowling

I have Stood Up Against Poverty today Online with the Australian Council for International Development Make Poverty History Campaign. There are relatively few events in the United State 196 compared to 176 on the British Isles. This has not gone mainstream in America. India has had the best showing with 760 events planned and over 27 million scheduled to attend. There are though some glimmers of hope in my own backyard. Here is my message on Standing Up Against Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals.

Subject: Standing Up Against Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals
Date: October 17, 2008 7:47:19 AM PDT

I am Standing Up Against Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals Online as a member of the Orkut group End POVERTY / Fim POBREZA

I think of this as only a starting point, like the beginning of a race towards a goal. The question is how to get people to complete the marathon to the finish line? I believe that the online communities will be a very important tool in getting as many people involved as possible.

Brian Dowling
BrianDRPM preferred email

The New Change-Makers: An Introduction to Digital Activism

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I had posted on the Berkman Center before in my other blog. Now things come full circle as I endeavor to find new means of engagement online. The point is that blogging opens you to new possibilities and builds upon those connections.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

5 Minutes of Caring About World Food Day -

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Yesterday was Blog Action Day Poverty. Last time I looked they were up to 12,730 sites participating and an estimated audience of 13,430,685. I figure about 10 to 12 of them were my readers, but I am beginning to believe more and more that the real impact will come from the "longtail" overtime from this blog and thousands like it. CoolPeopleCare also blogged on Poverty yesterday. They have significantly more impact. Today Sam Davidson of CoolPeopleCare is reminding us that today is World Food Day.

Sam Davidson has been featured in this blog previously and World Food Day helps address and create awareness about Millennium Development Goal 1. End Hunger. Tomorrow is STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY”.

5 minutes of caring from


World Food Day by Sam Davidson | Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today is World Food Day, which is designed to increase awareness and inspire action in order to alleviate hunger. With more than 35 million Americans facing hunger-related problems, the issues related to food security have never been more crucial. So what's a cool person to do?

Problems this big won't go away in 5 minutes. But with our concentrated effort, we can take that first step.

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Tell us how you save the environment and you'll be entered to win an Eco-Me home kit! But hurry - the contest ends on October 17!
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day Is Today The Struggle Continues

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This is my Blog Action Day post against poverty. It's a workday and I am doing this on my lunch hour. This is where I am suppose to make a statement against poverty, for a cause, on some worldwide solution. The truth is that I am not that good of a writer. Obstinately, it appears to be one day to add one small voices to over 10,000 others.

Not that I haven't been dealing with the subject of poverty or promoting this event. The last few days have been spent doing that, leading up to this with a number of posts; all inspired by Easton Ellsworth's post on How to Make Blog Action Day 2008 Unforgettable which appeared at Blog Action Day 2008 on 9/22/08. Here are my takes on these themes.

1. Ponder. Think about poverty.

2. Believe: Blog Action Day 2008 Reminder!

3. Dream

4. Act.

5. Share - Across The Globe

6. Change For Today - For Oct 15th - For the World

Easton has done it again with his post on 88 Ways to DO something about Poverty. Easton has done what many of us do and that is take ideas from across the World Wide Web and shared them with others. We, in turn, do the same again. That may be the essence of Blog Action Day.

It is not one day to add one small voices to over 10,000 others. It is 2,500 and more days following today to add my voice to growing millions. It may be small, often simple, but like water it can be made a persistent, unyielding force, especially en mass.

Today, of all days, I was given the opportunity to become of a moderator on the Orkut group End POVERTY by 2015 United Nations Millennium Campaign Stand UP Take ACTION 17-19 Oct 2008.

One Small action (from Easton's list) Visit The Hunger Site every day and click the link to feed the hungry. It’s fast and it’s free and there’s absolutely NO excuse not to do it every day you’re online!

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills. - Buddha ...

It's Blog Action Day TODAY!

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Like it says below, today is Blog Action Day. This is not my post for the effort. It is about half an hour before the work day and I am just putting this up to get the word out to a few more people who may not already been signed up.

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Blog Action Day - October 15thIt's Blog Action Day Today!

Hello Bloggers! The day is finally here and it's already rockin! Thousands of posts have been going up in the last few hours as countries wake up to Blog Action Day. Follow the action over at

Posts!Posts, Press and More ...

There are so MANY amazing posts, ideas and articles going up, here's just a small taste:

  1. Use Your Business Success To Help Eliminate Poverty
  2. How To Make Yourself Happier During the Economic Crisis
  3. On Footy and Poverty
  4. 30 Simple Ways to Battle Poverty With Technology
  5. 15 Volunteers with 200 Lunches hit the streets of San Antonio
  6. Instantiate Podcast- How Technology Companies are Contributing to Fighting Poverty

It's all happening people! Find TONS more articles through Google's Blogsearch

Kiva Lending TeamsStart a Kiva Lending Team!

Mobilize your blog audience into a Kiva Lending Team. Starting a lending team is easy and you can invite your readers to join getting them involved too!

Anyone can lend money to entrepreneurs, allowing them to build sustainable businesses in their areas to help lift the community!


MicroplaceMobilize your Audience to Microfinance at Microplace

Kiva is filling loans very fast! Fortunately you can also mobilize your audience to microfinance action with MicroPlace.

MicroPlace lets you invest in microfinance to enable loans to hard-working entrepreneurs in developing nations.

Visit MicroPlace

KivaB4BKiva B4B Donates $10k

The KivaB4B Project has committed $10,000.00 USD to Blog Action Day 2008 to help us encourage conversation about and solutions for alleviating poverty. Got an idea on how we should spend the $10,000? Tell us now.

BlogTalkRadio12hr BAD08 BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio will host a special 12-hour live radio show from noon to midnight Eastern (New York) time on Wednesday, October 15. Get call-in and prize info here (yes, there are prizes for good listeners!).

TheGlobalFund$1700 and Counting - Donate to the Global Fund

The Global Fund combats AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria which have a crippling effect on the fight against poverty.

You can donate to the Global Fund via:

AGoodCauseShop for Poverty with aGoodCause

As a part of Blog Action Day 2008 we've teamed up with who offer a revolutionary shopping concept
to fight poverty.

Now it is possible to fight poverty through shopping! Grab their software and when you purchase from more than 5,000 online shops you'll be automatically making a donation to a charity of your choice.

Digg!Vote for BAD08 on Digg & Reddit

Help get the word out about Blog Action Day through Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and ... well any way you can think of!

Voting buttons for Digg and Reddit are on the Blog Action Day homepage!

Solving PovertyPoverty Buttons - Proceeds to Charity

Buy one of these nifty Blog Action Day "Solving Poverty" buttons from CafePress and all profits go to entrepreneurs. Designs from PSDTUTS and VECTORTUTS artists.

Visit the CafePress Store or Buttons of Hope

Change.orgGet Social with and Causecast

It's always better doing things with friends, so get social and join one of these two awesome social networks for people interested in a better world!

Better yet, get your readers to join with you!

Visit | Visit Causecast

Stand Up Against PovertyOrganise a Stand Up Against Poverty Event!

The United Nations Stand Up Against Poverty event is happening just two days after Blog Action Day. Last year 43 million people participated and organisers are aiming to smash that record this year.

Why not organise a Stand Up event with your readers and help tell our leaders that poverty is an issue we care about passionately!

Visit StandAgainstPoverty

Heifer!Heifer - Charitable Gift Giving

We are thrilled to have the support of Heifer International as well. Heifer Intl is a nonprofit charitable organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas, dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. It provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially-disadvantaged families around the world.

Visit Heifer

What Can 1 Person DoWhat Can One Person Do?

Looking for ideas on how regular people can make a difference? We've got lots of ideas - from advocacy to professional contribution, find out how you can get involved in the fight against poverty, and how you can get your readers involved too!

What can one person do?

... more updates on the Action Blog and Twitter Feed!
Not enough Blog Action Day updates for you? Tune into Easton's barrage of news and awesome links on the Blog Action Day Twitter Feed or the Action Blog

And from all the team ... Happy Blog Action Day!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Best hearing aid under the sun

Sphere: Related Content I am a member of the group Eco20/20 at

Fellow Diigo user Joshua Sherk shared this link on 10-14-2008 about Howard Weinstein's goal to build a company that could produce affordable hearing aids for Africans.


A significant problem with hearing aids in Africa is how to keep them in working order. Batteries wear out quickly, and cost about $1 each to replace. That's too expensive for most people in countries where the average wage is about $1 a day.

This is an innovative solution that addresses the challenge of a global health issue.

The World Health Organization estimates there are about 250 million hearing impaired people globally, with about two-thirds of them living in developing countries, yet only six million hearing aids are manufactured each year.

It also finds an environmentally sustainable means of doing so.

"You have these great organizations like the Rotary and Kiwanis and World Vision, and they give out tens of thousands of hearing aids each year," he says. "And after a week, the hearing aid is put in a drawer because the battery dies. That's the weakest link.

"We started with the battery and worked backward. The common factor in most developing countries is sun. So let's use that energy to make something."

What was particularly inspiring was Weinstein's attitude.

Weinstein is particularly proud of the 10 deaf employees he hired to run Godisa. "We had three come to Canada and take an aviation soldering course in Montreal, given in sign language. Then they went to work in industry as part of the course. And industry wanted to keep them, they are so good. Yet they decided to go back to Botswana and train other deaf people."

As for his role, Weinstein insists it's no big deal.

"Any social entrepreneur will tell you, you have to be stubborn and stupid. It's just as simple as that." Jokes aside, he believes perseverance pays off when intellect alone can't get the job done.

DiigoTags: aids hearing solar

See More from EC20/20 »

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stand Up Take Action Online

Sphere: Related Content One of the objectives of this blog is to use social media to get the word out about the Millennium Development Goals. Just as important is getting the word in. Starr Guzman, the National Campaign Coordinator for the Australian Council for International Development Make Poverty History Campaign, is providing a way for Facebook users to send their participation in Stand Up Take Action in on the Internet. Great, if your one of those who can't tear themselves way from the laptop. Maybe, you will still be worked up over the Blog Action Day post you did two days before.

Starr Guzman wrote on October 10, 2008 at 9:24pm on the Stand Up Take Action Facebook page.

If you can't attend a STAND Up event in your region or can't organise your own, why not stand up online?

Last year over 5,000 people took a stand against poverty via an online stand up. Here's how you can participate this year.

Read the pledge as shown on the Stand up against poverty facebook page (or provided below).

Email us at - and let us know how many people are participating in your online action.

Let us know also what region of the world you're in and a postcode.

Once we've received your email, we'll add you via our official and approved online stand up action.



We are standing now with millions around the world on this symbolic day, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to show our commitment to the fight against extreme poverty and inequality.

We are standing because we refuse to accept more excuses in a world where 50,000 people die every day as a result of extreme poverty and the gap between rich and poor is getting wider.

We are standing because we want our leaders to honour their promises to meet the Millennium Development Goals – and we ask them to exceed these goals.

We join in solidarity with people from over 100 countries to say:
To the leaders of the wealthy countries – We urge you to keep your promises on poverty – debt cancellation, more and better aid, trade justice and gender equality. To the leaders of poorer countries – make it your first responsibility to save the lives of your poorest citizens. We ask you to tackle inequality, to be accountable to your people, to govern fairly and justly, to fight corruption and to fulfill human rights. Today, and every day, we will stand up and speak out against poverty. We will continue the fight against poverty and inequality and t o hold our leaders to their promises.

We are asking not for charity but for justice. We are millions of voices standing in solidarity to say, no more excuses - end poverty now.

-- Four days to go to Stand Up and Take Action 2008!

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Yesterday the word for the day was Change. To create change means an action has to be taken. Blog Action Day is this Wednesday and two days later, starting on Friday and going until Sunday is the day for

Dear friend, Stand Up and Take Action 2008 will be taking place during October 17-19, less than four days away!

Last year, 43.7 million people around the world took part in the biggest global mobilisation to end poverty and inequality and for the Millennium Development Goals. It wouldn't have been a success without your support and participation.

This year, at a time of global financial crises and food shortages, more than ever we need to ACT together in order send a strong message to world leaders to keep their promises to end poverty and inequality. Your actions count, and this year we're hoping to mobilise 1% of the population - that's over 67 million people around the world.

Today, we are asking you to Stand Up and Take Action once again. What can you do?

Find an event near you
Take a look at the Stand Up and Take Action map:

Spread the word about Stand Up and Take Action.
Download the Stand Up and Take Action e-card:

Organise your own event
It's not too late to host an event. Take a look at our event toolkit.

Together we can make this cause prevail...Stand Up and Take Action!

All the best

The Stand Up team
  • Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Change For Today - For Oct 15th - For the World

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    The last of of the 6 different ways to make Blogging Day unforgettable that Easton Ellsworth provided in his Action Blog post, is 6. Change.

    Decide to care a little more about poverty from now on. When it comes up in conversation, take it seriously. Changing the conversation is the first step toward changing the people in it. Please join us in making Blog Action Day 2008 an unforgettable experience for thousands - maybe millions - of people across the world.

    Change for me is taking place through a number of different avenues that I have been exploring over the last year. This blog and my original one have started me thinking more globally than I had before. This blog and my other have also begun exploring the world of social-enterprise, though I have done little on that subject here beyond listing a few at the right-hand column. Both are tools for educating myself, and hopefully benefiting others, and exploring different avenues to bringing about change. That will be a discussion that will go beyond October 15th.

    Here are a couple done today:

    Using the Web to take action is Change

    Adding your voice to a cause is Change

    Using the Web to take action is Change

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    The outreach of the web as a tool for change is undeniable. What could be questioned is its effectiveness. What seems to insure effectiveness is, like any other political action, is the number who participate. Worrying if my particular post is going to change the world is not useful, but participating even with a small voice in a greater cause does have efficacy.

    Being relatively new to this endeavor, I continue to find new resources for engagement. The latest is Avaaz. is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Sydney and Geneva.
    My first action with them was to sign the petition The Poverty Promise Breakers.

    This week world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Here, all focus is on a multi billion dollar bailouts of financial institutions and the real untold scandal -- global poverty -- risks being forgotten. France, Canada, and Italy are threatening to slash their development aid budgets and break their promise to assign a mere 0.7 % of national income to the world's poorest. If these countries retract on commitments, others may follow --

    Petition to President Sarkozy, Prime Minister Berlusconi and Prime Minister Harper:
    As concerned global citizens, we urge you to honour your pledge to deliver 0.7% of GDP to development aid. This aid is vital to lift the world’s most vulnerable people out of extreme poverty. Keep your promise so that the potential of the world’s poorest communities can be unleashed and our common future can be built.

    They are looking to reach 150,000 signatures. They were at 136,726 when I wrote this. I grabbed to petition off of the Avaaz site under the belief that people are more likely to sign if they see it immediately as opposed to going to another window. I am taking it for granted that Avaaz won't mind.

    clipped from
    Sign the Petition
    Already Avaaz member? Enter your email address and hit "Send".

    First time here? Please fill out the form below.
    Cell/Mobile (optional):
    Postcode: will protect your privacy and keep you posted about this and similar campaigns.
    Get Clipmarks - The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web.
    Sent with Clipmarks

    Second action with Avaaz.

    Adding your voice to a cause is Change

    Sphere: Related Content
    I have added my voice to the campaign for buy-ins and a global public rescue plan, instead of bailouts which benefit reckless financiers most. The petition will be delivered to Finance Ministers of the G7 countries in Washington by the end of the week, and to a Global Crisis Summit including many heads of state in November.

    I have never been a Milton Friedman-type freemarketer, but I do believe in the Free Enterprise system as the most effective tool to bringing beneficial change to the world. That is a seemingly tenuous statement to make in these times. There are many who will deride me for having too much or not enough faith in the capitalistic system. My argument is not with the system, but with those who have abused the system and those who have institutionalized the means of abuse.

    Yesterday MARK LANDLER of the New York Time BUSINESS reported on Rich Nations Pushing for Joint Financial Rescue

    The United States and six other nations agreed to a plan to rescue the financial industry, but fell short of offering concrete steps to backstop bank lending.

    My action was signing the petition supporting a "buy-in" rescue package instead of a bail-out. I am not in favor of nationalizing banks, but my action or the collective action, will not lead to that. It will endeavor though, I believe, to put greater controls on those institutions. I signed the Avaaz petition because I believe they made a viable argument for doing so.

    Leading economists now agree that citizens and our governments are the only force powerful enough to solve this crisis -- only the public can mobilise the investment and oversight needed to fix the financiers' failings, get the economy moving and revive things on a sounder basis. The Great Depression of the 1930s teaches us that we cannot address this crisis with each acting alone -- only by acting together can countries head off disaster.

    According to Calculated Risk, "This would essentially be the plan supported by most economists":

    VOX cites 18 leading economists from across the political spectrum and around the world -- "Rescuing our jobs and savings: what G7/G8 leaders can do":

    How we respond to this crisis will shape our lives for years to come. We're still a long way from tackling the fundamental problems of the global economy, but the tide is moving in our direction. So let's take control of our future in the interests of people not financiers, and raise a worldwide voice across borders for a global public rescue. 3.4 million of us in every nation of the world will get this email -- that's a start. Click below to sign, forward this email to all your friends and family, and let's raise a voice our leaders can't ignore:
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