- Practical Action
Founded over 40 years ago by an economist, Practical Action’s aim is to help impoverished people “use technology to challenge poverty”, to gain “access to technical options and knowledge”, and “influence the social, economic and institutional systems for innovation and use of technology.” The “Downloads” tab has a link to “Practical Answers” that cover almost two dozen themes and lets you browse the extensive library, submit technical questions to expert, and it also provides you with a section entitled “Share” which documents peoples’ experience with Practical Action. You will also find the “Featured Articles” section of the Downloads useful and full of such practical information as “Build Your Own Tippy Tap”, for hand washing after toileting and a “Solar Voltaic System Design Info Sheet” that covers electrical design issues. Back on the homepage, you will find links to their social networking, e-newsletter, and the latest from their series of blogs.
- Education for Employment: Realizing Arab Youth Employment
The Arab world is “overwhelmingly young”, and the human potential throughout the area is tremendous. Recent events across the region have “amplified the social and economic disconnect between skills, jobs, and opportunity.” To address this situation, a group of organizations (including the Islamic Development Bank), started the Education for Employment (e4e) initiative. The basic goal of the initiative is to position “education as a major priority to drive improved employment prospects.” On their website, you can look over a brief summary of their work, and also look over their report from April 2011. The report is based on 200 in-depth interviews and surveys of over 1500 employers and 1500 youth throughout the region. You can download the 150 page report, or view the executive summary here in Arabic or English. The report’s chapters include “Perspectives of e4e Stakeholders” and “The e4e Challenge in the Arab World”.
- United Nations Development Programme: Open Data
In an effort to expand access to large data sets and information about their work, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has created this website to provide access to such materials. You can dive right in with the “Exploring the Data” section, and they have the option to look over information organized by country or project. The helpful diagram on the homepage provides a basic visual representation of where the UNDP directs its various resources. Recent data indicates that the top three recipients of UNDP funds are Afghanistan, the Republic of the Sudan, and Zimbabwe. On the right-hand side of the homepage, You can use the “Our Stories” section to learn about how the UNDP deploys its resources in Somalia to support local governance and their work supporting fishermen in Panama. When looking through the countries or projects for data sets, you will note that they can look over the data in a visual format, export it for other uses, and also filter through the dataset.
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 17, Number 48, December 2, 2011]