To get people to build toilets, turn to subsidies

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PONKRUM, Ghana — The one public bathroom in Ponkrum collapsed a few years ago. An effort to build a new one yielded a large pit that is used for trash, not defecation. For the people living in the small village near the Ghanian coast, there is…

Missing measures in the push to empower women and girls

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By Amy VanderZanden, special to Humanosphere Twenty years ago, female leaders from around the globe gathered in Beijing to map out a strategy for advancing women’s rights. What’s missing is the information needed to accurately assess the success of that strategy. The Beijing Declaration and Platform…

Nepal: The disaster everyone knew was coming

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If you asked any disaster relief worker last week what calamity worried them most, an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, would have garnered a lot of mentions. The combination of a fault line ready to go and a densely settled region short on disaster safeguards added up…

Malaria vaccine disappoints, shifts strategy for eradication

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By Robert Fortner, special to Humanosphere For this year’s World Malaria Day, April 25, the big news is mostly bad news. An experimental malaria vaccine the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had long championed and that many had characterized as the ‘most promising’ such vaccine, a…

An open letter to people with good intentions

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By Brendan Rigby, Managing Director and Co-founder, WhyDev Dear People with Good Intentions, Hello! My name is Brendan Rigby and I, like you, have a sense of social justice, compassion and kindness. I’m motivated by the inequality and poverty I see in the world. I’m moved to…

Earth Day: Letting farmers define sustainable agriculture

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By Rebecca Randall, special to Humanosphere Fixing agriculture is today a high priority on the environmental, anti-poverty and social justice agendas, for good reason: Most of the poorest people on Earth are farmers and improving how we grow our food has become central to nearly every…

Map of the Day: A new future for the World Bank

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The World Bank’s influence is waning. Some point to the emerging Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as evidence of the body’s declining power, but it is the World Bank’s own projections that illustrate the change. Thirty-six countries will graduate from World Bank loans over the next four…