Feb. 21, 2014
If you live in the Boston area, we have t-shirts ($15), hoodies ($30), and – new this year! – mugs ($6.50 each or 2/$10). Based on popular demand, we’re using a throwback design. To see the designs and place your order, check out the link to the order survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12C2TkjOjxaLiL8QRTnQhT6mhKVD930jhAS_DBWFDvkU/viewform
Just a reminder – by filling out the survey, you are committing to buy – we’ll be collecting payment when we distribute the items! We want to be able to get people their sweet gear by spring break, so we are asking that you get your orders in by next Tuesday (February 25th ).
Merchandise will not be shipped; you will have to pick them up from us in Cambridge, MA. As always, if you have any questions, you can get in touch with Veronica at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALLIES Intellectual Roundtable: “The Changing Strategic Environment in the Middle East and North Africa and Evolving Civil-Military Relations”
ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services) will host the Intellectual Roundtable from February 26th-February 27th on the Tufts Campus. ALLIES’ principal annual event, the Intellectual Roundtable is attended by students and faculty from across the ALLIES national network, as well as military officers, government, NGO workers, academics and other professionals.
This year’s theme is “The Changing Strategic Environment in the Middle East and North Africa and Evolving Civil-Military Relations.” The Intellectual Roundtable will include a keynote address by Dr. Kathleen Hicks, Senior Vice President at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; panels featuring leading experts on civil-military relations in the Middle East and North Africa, and a student-run simulation of a geo-political crisis in near-future Algeria. Here is a link to the Facebook event.
(Cabot Auditorium is located at 170 Packard Avenue Medford, MA 02155.)
Feb. 20, 2014 - Hilary Oliva Faxon
The planet loses forest at the rate of 50 soccer fields per minute. Deforestation can be devastating for biodiversity and forest-based livelihoods, but it’s not just a local problem: land use change contributes almost 20% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, driving global climate change. Unfortunately, large areas of forests are challenging to access, making them difficult to track and police. Global Forest Watch aims change that.
The platform, envisioned and managed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with Google Earth Engine, the University of Maryland, and 40 other partners, documents near real time forest cover changes in over 200 countries on an interactive map. Zoom in to the region of your choice and scroll through time to see the when and where of forest gain and loss. The information has major implications for land tenure, REDD+ programs, protected area management, and indigenous and state natural resource claims.
Global Forest Watch harnesses amazing amounts of data – some from NASA, some that’s been languishing in USGS reels stored in South Dakota – and puts it online for free. It took 10,000 Google computers several days to upload a base map, said Google Earth Outreach and Earth Engine Engineering … Read More »
Feb. 14, 2014 – Andrea Titus
“Wanted: A New Data Revolution.” Such was the call issued by the United Nations High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda last year, no doubt in response to the two defining features of the current data landscape in development policy. The first is the dubious accuracy of national and official statistics that currently serve as the foundation of evidence for decisionmaking. The second is the rapid rise of technologies, social media, and crowdsourcing capabilities that have the potential to unlock new sources of data that are, at least on face, appealingly transparent and participatory.
When the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established at the start of the century, they placed a new focus on the importance of measurable development indicators on a global scale. From the start, however, there have been serious concerns about the quality of the data we use to assess progress towards the MDGs, much of which relies on infrequent censuses and extrapolation, filtered through national governments. As the World Bank notes just alongside its interactive data portal, “the quality of global data depends on how well these national systems perform,” and performance is uneven at best.
Enter “big data,” and the potential … Read More »
Social enterprise and the limits of philanthropy: emergency response in the “world’s most dangerous megacity”
Feb. 11, 2014 – Andrea Titus
Walking into the dusty command and control center of the Edhi Foundation’s ambulance service in Karachi, Pakistan, I am immediately struck by the modesty of the space. A row of metal chairs sit in front of old land line telephones. Three men in red shirts annotate a white board with a count of calls from city subdivisions. The phones ring steadily, but the ambience is calm. This is despite the fact that, according to the center’s manager, around 6,000 calls will be routed through command and control in any given 24 hours, many of these dispatched to the organization’s 300 ambulances spread across the city at strategically located key points.
When Abdul Sattar Edhi founded his ambulance service in the 1950s, it was the only one of its kind. Now the Edhi Foundation operates just one of a handful of ambulance services in Karachi, ranging from run-down vans with first aid kits to state-of-the-art vehicles with advanced life support equipment. When I arrived in the city with one of my classmates this past January to do field research on financial and operational challenges facing ambulance services in the region, disentangling the map of providers had felt … Read More »