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

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Web 2.0 and Social Impact from the Ground Up and from the Server Out

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The focus of Development Gateway Foundation's dgCommunities (previous post) is providing web-based tools to make aid and development efforts more effective by increasing access to critical information, building local capacity and bringing partners together for positive change. Somewhat like computer geeks looking for some do-gooders to help. They are in the field, having just opened as opened a new office in Dakar, Senegal, but work more it seems on upgrading aid management systems or improving user interface.

The ICCO Alliance and its many partners or sponsors, including EUFORIC, seem to focus their efforts more towards on the ground efforts in aid relief than dgCommunities. They are also though seeking to extent their reach and effectiveness by using Web 2.0. tools, so do-gooders looking for help from the computer geeks. From the Web 2.0 perspective this would be the Integration of Collaborative Information Systems in Web 2.0 (pdf), but from the field operatives perspective looking to communicate and collaborate with other aid organizations it is ComPart.

Their system is impressive and should be a model for other collaborative progressive efforts on the Internet. While dgCommunities is out of Washington D.C., I have thought for a while that the Europeans were better at using the Internet for social action at the grassroots level than we are in the States. While we may have more people on Facebook signing up for the latest cause, Europe including Great Britain seem better at using Web 2.0 for socially beneficial impact.

The ICCO is now using these tools to create better connections with aid efforts going on in the southern hemisphere of our planet ComPart Learning Blog: ComPart South 2009 workshop

In 2007, ICCO started a project (with support from Euforic) working with Knowledge and Learning Networks. The project aims to contribute to ICCO Alliance capacity building, learning networks, and knowledge.

The basis for the ComPart system is ComPart Flowers. This 30 minute presentation found on blip.tv provides a more extensive look at what makes up the ComPart Flowers system:

Some of the tools used are blogs, social tagging and wikis. One outcome of these efforts is the web2share wiki.

This wiki introduces some 'building blocks' - tools and applications - for open information, knowledge sharing and communication in development. It builds on the efforts of ICCO, Euforic and their partners. It supports further investments in these tools and approaches.

The ICCO Alliance/ComPart folks are not having any trouble finding the computer geek types to help them including the founder of PBWiki, David Weekly.

David Weekly in the ComPart Learning Blog Post: Wiki, wiki, wiki, meet David Weekly.., explains his interest to listen to experiences of wiki users from Nepal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chile and Costa Rica during his participation in the ComPart support workshop in the Netherlands. He also explains how PBwiki continues to try to make wikis easier to use and how valuable it has been to meet some major daily users of the PBwiki platform.

Other tools include social-tagging on sites like Delicious of favorites like Everyone's bookmarks for "Happy Capacity Building".

How to promote a learning culture in an organization with huge workloads and pressure for the young staff? Start from scratch, from their needs and wishes, and help them crystallize their own ideas.

Most of what is featured here came from the ComPart toolbar, which I downloaded but can't now find a live link. I should disclose that I am not part of any of these organizations. I am just impressed and believe that even looking from the outside in that there is a great deal to learn.

diigo tags: compart, pbwiki, collaboration, web2share, wiki, web2.0, euforic, delicious, capacity, ICCO, euforic

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Updating Resources dgCommunities

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This blog became aware of dgCommunities last year and started to link back then. What was not fully appreciate back then was the tremendous amount of information that was available. The dgCommunities website is still part of the Collaboration Tools for the Millennium Development Goals found at the right hand column. The latest addition is giving dgCommunities its own section featuring links to specific areas of interest - Information and Communication Technologies, Capacity Development and Knowledge Economy.

The folks at dgCommunities obviously recognize the issue of information overload because near the top of each e-mail is the question "Too much e-mail?" The information content of this blog is exponentially going beyond the capabilities of one individual to absorb so I will be picking what is of interest and trying new strategies for organization.

Related posts:
Insights From dgCommunities
Collaboration Tools for the Millennium Development Goals
Implications for Aid Practice - From the Citizen Perspective and The Global Perspective

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Talking about the Girl Effect at Davos on YouTube

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The effect of the Girl Effect at Davos

I did a post at my other blog on using YouTube as a social media tool. One of the most recent examples is Youtube's own coverage of the Davos Economic Forum. Though nothing all that positive came out of the forum as a whole there were a number of videos on a subject close to this blog - The Girl Effect.

Ann Veneman talks about the Girl Effect at Davos


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala talks about the Girl Effect at Davos

Professor Muhammad Yunus responds to the Girl Effect


These and more videos can be found here at Playlist: The Girl Effect

Related posts:

From my other blog:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Ledger of Human Development - Accounting For Change

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To talk of achieving accurate measurements of aid program inputs and outputs and striving to enhance human development might seem mixing the profane and sacred, but the two arguably must work together to bring about change. There is also the seemingly vast distance between the individuals struggling daily with the challenges dealt with in this blog for survival and the global programmatic policies of world-spanning organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. This expanse is mediated by the interventions of organizations such as ONE, ActionAid, Global Call To Action Against Poverty or Oxfam UK, among many others, which though large still must struggle against the entrenched system of government and financial powers.

One path that developing countries can take is the HIPC Initiative or Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, the major debt relief system launched in the late 1990s by the International Monetary Fund.

The HIPC Initiative is a comprehensive approach to debt reduction for heavily indebted poor countries pursuing IMF- and World Bank-supported adjustment and reform programs. To date, debt reduction packages have been approved for 33 countries, 27 of them in Africa, providing US$49 billion (net present value terms as of the decision point) in debt-service relief over time. Eight additional countries are potentially eligible for HIPC Initiative assistance and may wish to avail themselves of this debt relief.

To be considered for HIPC Initiative assistance, a country must:
(1) Be IDA-only and PRGF-eligible;
(2) Face an unsustainable debt burden, beyond traditionally available debt-relief mechanisms;
(3) Establish a track record of reform and sound policies through IMF- and IDA-supported programs; and
(4) Have developed a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) through a broad-based participatory process.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are prepared by governments in low-income countries through a participatory process involving domestic stakeholders and external development partners, including the IMF and the World Bank. A PRSP describes the macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs that a country will pursue over several years to promote broad-based growth and reduce poverty, as well as external financing needs and the associated sources of financing.

diigo tags: prsp, mdg, mdgs, millennium development goals, hipc, development, IMF

The approach of the IMF is not without criticism from all points along the political spectrum, but the need for measurement is widely recognized. While the viability of the measurement of human development can be debated , both in application and precision, it does create a metric by which to test relative effectiveness. It can serve to provide both short term program objectives and longer term policy goals. It can help to create a strategic paradigm through which to organize continuing efforts which will be explored further in the next post.

Related posts: Human Development - The Measurement of Human Endeavors

Human Development - The Measurement of Human Endeavors

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The Human Development concept

Human Development is a development paradigm that is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means —if a very important one —of enlarging people’s choices.

Human Development Reports

One instrument for the measurement of such efforts are the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Reports. The reports provide not only a measurement of success, they also provide the motive for such efforts.

Eradicating poverty everywhere is more than a moral imperative - it is a practical possibility. That is the most important message of the Human Development Report 1997. The world has the resources and the know-how to create a poverty-free world in less than a generation.

Human Development Index and Human Poverty Index

There is a choice about the type of metric that could be used Human Development Index or HDI, "an index combining normalized measures of life expectancy,literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita for countries worldwide." versus Human Poverty Index , "a measure of the extent to which people in a country are not benefitting from development". Although both are important and should be used, this post will focus on the Human Development Index.

"(T)he HDI is a pathway for researchers into the wide variety of more detailed measures contained in the Human Development Reports."
Wikipedia provides a List of countries by Human Development Index, the table below provides a historical perspective from 1975 to 2005 of a selected set of countries.

Rank (2005)Country1975198019851990199520002005
12United States 0.870 0.890 0.904 0.919 0.931 0.942 0.951
63 Malaysia 0.619 0.662 0.696 0.725 0.763 0.790 0.811
70 Brazil 0.649 0.685 0.700 0.723 0.753 0.789 0.800
81 China 0.530 0.559 0.595 0.634 0.691 0.732 0.777
128 India 0.419 0.450 0.4870.521 0.551 0.578 0.619

The new Statistical Update was released on December 18, 2008, and compiled on the basis of data from 2006. According to the new data, the United States, China and India have gone down in HDI and ranking, Malaysia and Brazil went up in HDI but stayed the same ranking.

15 (3) United States 0.950
63 (0) Malaysia 0.823
70 (0) Brazil 0.807
94 (13) China 0.762
132 (4) India 0.609

We should not see measurement as a limitation. It is what we are measuring that needs to be examined. Below is a 2007 video from TED featuring Hans Rosling of GapMinder, who amazes his audience with his statistical presentations. One conclusion of his measurements is that countries that look first to the welfare of their people will have a better and more sustainable economic ascendancy. The current economic global crisis created by the pursuit of wealth, for wealth, by the wealthy has reversed and further threatened any previous gains. The response should not be to stop but to apply the paradigm put forward by Hans Rosling to the global community.

Related posts: The Ledger of Human Development - Accounting For Change

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms

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