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Jul 15 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Data and Indicators

Each of the Federal Reserve Banks has its own outreach efforts, which include public lectures, discussion groups, and a panoply of materials related to financial reports, manufacturing trends, and topics both far-ranging and quite focused. This section of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s website brings together key reports and data sets divided into areas such as Dynamic Data and Maps from the New York Fed, Tools and Indicators from the New York Fed, and Key Data from the New York Fed. The reports here include quarterly trends for consolidated U.S. banking organizations, the indexes of coincident economic indicators, and the Empire Manufacturing Survey. This last one is quite important, as it includes a money survey of manufacturers across the state. Policy makers and other folks will appreciate the regional economic indicators charts and the very important real-time data set for macroeconomists created by the Philadelphia Fed as it includes time series snapshots of major microeconomic variables.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 28, July 12, 2013]





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Jul 05 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

  1. Demos: A/V
  2. The Demos group in Britain conducts high-quality public policy research on a wide range of topics, including urban design, social assistance policies, and the housing market. Like many other think tanks, the group also produces a wide range of presentations on its work. This section of the site presents full-length programs like “Multi-Dimensional Poverty,” “The Future of Open Data,” and “How Labour Wins Again.” One of the programs that should not be missed is the conversation on “It’s Who You Know: The Power of Social Networks.” It’s a response by Richard Horton of The Lancet to another speech on social networks and it’s quite insightful. All told, there are about three dozen programs in the Video section, while the Audio area contains podcasts and speeches dating back to 2006. Two recommended programs are “The Power Gap” (on power in contemporary societies) and a conversation with Evgeny Morozov on the relationship between politics and the Internet.

  3. International Development in Practice: What Works in Development?
  4. The very title of this OpenCourseWare site asks a question that has bedeviled non-governmental organizations for decades: what works in development? Created by Professor Steve Relfenberg of the University of Notre Dame, this course explores diverse approaches to thinking about international development and processes that bring about individual and societal change. As with many OpenCourseWare offerings, your can ramble through the syllabus, readings, course schedule, lectures, discussions, and essay assignments. The Lectures area is worth a look, as it contains PowerPoint slides for discussions on Studying Haiti, Taking Ideas to Scale, and The Complex Worlds of Foreign Aid. The Discussion area contains video resources that complement each lecture. Courses cover various Areas of study such as Sociology, Political Sciences, Poverty Studies, Architecture, Physics, Civil Engineering, English etc. Finally, you can look over the Essay Assignments area and the very helpful Additional Resources section, which features links to the Poverty Action Lab at MIT and the United Nations Development Project

    [Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 25, June 21, 2013]

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Jul 05 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Resources for Teaching Social Psychology

This website was created by Professor Jon Mueller of North Central College in order to help fellow professors teach a range of social psychology topics to their students. The resources here are divided into 10 areas, including Online Lectures, Examples of Concepts, and Class Assignments. The site is updated frequently, and visitors can click through each of these sections to get a sense of the offerings. The Topics Resources area contains helpful links and activities related to conformity, aggression, and group influence. Moving on, the site also includes links to other teaching psychology sites, including Science of Relationships and the GoCognitive project, which offers an online center for teaching in cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 26, June 28, 2013]


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Jun 20 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

  • Resident-Centered Community Building: What Makes It Different?
  • How do we build community? How can we learn from each other? What does it mean to create a community responsive to the needs of its occupants? The Aspen Institute recently took on the challenge of thinking about such matters. In 2012, the Institute, along with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, sponsored a conference on community building. The participants in this exercise included resident activists, community organizers, and additional parties. This 25-page document presents some great findings from their work, along with some basic information on how other organizations might work to include a diverse set of participants in community-building activities. Some of these basic building blocks include “Meet people where they are” and “Be flexible about how people participate.”

  • Immigrant Assimilation into US Prisons, 1900-1930
  • The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) conducts research on a wide range of topics and its work is frequently cited by scholars around the world. This intriguing piece was authored by Carolyn M. Moehling and Anne Morrison Piehl and released in May 2013. The 39-page paper looks into the statistical patterns behind immigrant assimilation into US prisons from 1900-1930 by drawing on newly released data. Some of the initial findings from this work note that immigrants “rapidly assimilated to native incarceration patterns.” The introduction offers a bit of research literature overview which is quite helpful. Also, the report contains helpful figures, along with information on the authors’ methodology and statistical analysis.

    [Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 24, June 14, 2013]

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Jun 14 2013

Best of the Scout Report for 2013

  • Better Data, Better Health
  • There has been extended discussion about the ways in which better data can improve public health problems such as obesity, rising health care costs, and other areas of concern. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is intimately concerned with the possible applications of “big data”, and this site offers some fine commentary and reporting on this situation. A good place to start is the Q&A with RWJF Chief Technology and Information Officer Steve Downs. “Better Data = Better Health: Stories from the Field” looks at the applications of mobile health applications, GPS sensors in the service of tracking asthma symptoms, and much more. The footer of the site includes sections analyzing how data is transforming the overall health of communities. There are data sets, reports, rankings and access to publicly available reports that include information on the quality of care delivery, patient outcomes, and patient feedback on physicians, hospitals, and cost.

  • Frontline: Digital Nation
  • How is technology changing our lives? It’s a very difficult question to answer, but this engaging program from Frontline takes first steps into this brave new digital world. This website covers various topics such as Family/Children, Foreign Affairs/Defense, Government/Elections/Politics, Race/Multicultural and so on. On a note that appears on the site’s homepage, Rachel Dretzin (the producer) remarks that “Digital Nation is an effort to define this new space and to put some walls around it.” On the homepage, visitors can watch the entire 90-minute program and also view special segments such as Living Faster, Relationships, Waging War, and Virtual Worlds. The Virtual Worlds area is particularly compelling, as it looks at how virtual reality is being used to treat the post-traumatic stress disorder experienced by soldiers.

    [Source: Scout Report]

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Jun 14 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network

The Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) offers a fine range of educational materials for educators hoping to build their students’ “understanding of the core ideas in climate and energy science.” Visitors can look over the What’s New area to learn about updated lesson plans, classroom activities, and featured resources like “Soil Microbes and Global Warming.” Users shouldn’t miss the Browse the Reviewed Educational Resources area. Here they can learn about scientifically and pedagogically reviewed digital resources for teaching about climate science, organized by resource type and grade level. Some of these activities include “What is the fate of CO2 produced by fossil fuel combustion?” and “Paleoclimates and Pollen.” Additionally, visitors can sign up to join the CLEAN community and access more webinars and workshops, become a CLEAN reviewer, or learn about new resources as they are released.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 21, May 24, 2013]

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May 23 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Bureau of Labor Statistics: The Editor’s Desk

The Editor’s Desk (familiarly shortened TED) at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, brings out daily “fresh information from all over the Bureau,” coupled with intriguing data and links of note. On the site’s homepage, visitors will find sections like Topics, Archive by Year, Archive by Program, and About TED. The Topics area includes a panoply of subjects, such as Benefits, Projections, and Technology. The Recent Articles area contains links to pieces on job openings, payroll employment, and large technology firms. Additionally, the site contains an On Interest area which features statistical overviews of major trends in employment, health care, and collective bargaining.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 20, May 17, 2013]

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Apr 18 2013

New publication is available at the Scout Report!

Top Five Reasons Why Africa Should Be a Priority for the United States

Released in March 2013, this report from the Brookings Institution’s African Growth Initiative provides compelling information on why the African continent should be a public policy priority for the United States. The report is divided into five short sections, including “China in Africa: Implications for U.S. Competition and Diplomacy,” “Transforming the U.S.-African Commercial Relationship,” and “Advancing Peace and Security in Africa.” It’s a timely work that sets out a cogent argument and will be of particular interest to public policy scholars, journalists, and others interested in global politics.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 15, April 12, 2013]

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Apr 10 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

  • Mapping for Results: The World Bank
  • The effective visual representation of key demographic data through the use of dynamic maps is a powerful tool for policymakers, journalists, and others. The World Bank developed such a program in 2010 as part of the Mapping for Results website. So far, their team has analyzed over 2,500 World Bank-financed projects and geo-coded more than 30,000 locations spanning 144 countries. Visitors can look over the featured articles on the homepage to get a flavor of the projects here, which include stories like “Mapping for Results Goes Local” and “Mapping the Financial Sector in Africa.” Visitors can use the interactive map to view projects by country or indicator, which include population density, malnutrition, and infant mortality. Visitors can also learn about the Methodology deployed throughout the maps, which will be useful to those persons looking to understand the inner workings of this complex underta king. Visitors can sign up to receive updates about the site via Twitter or RSS feed.

  • Mershon Center for International Security Studies
  • Based at the Office for International Affairs at The Ohio State University, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies “fosters interdisciplinary faculty and student research on national security in a global context.” On the homepage, visitors can learn about their upcoming events, read their biennial report, and also check out their newsletter. In the Publications area, visitors can read thoughtful publications like “Terrorism Since 9/11: The American Cases,” back issues of the Center’s formal reports, and the “Mershon Memo.” The Areas of Expertise section includes information about their key areas of interest, which include the use of force and diplomacy and institutions that manage violent conflict. The site also includes the News area, which features updates about their research, media appearances, and forthcoming publications.

    [Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 14, April 5, 2013]

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Mar 06 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

  • WomenWatch: UN Information and Resources on Gender Equality and Empowerment
  • The WomenWatch website is dedicated to providing “information and resources on gender equality and empowerment of women.” It is an initiative of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) and the site is a veritable cornucopia of information on this vast and timely subject. In the Quick Links and Features, visitors can view the UN Gender Equality News Feed, which is a great way to get a sense of the main issues affecting women around the world. Moving on, the Documents and Publications area contains seminal reports such as “Seeing Beyond the State: Grassroots Women’s Perspectives on Corruption and Anti-Corruption.” Also, the News and Highlight s area contains links to partner organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. These links include radio clips, news releases, and other key pieces of information.

  • Gifts of Speech: Women’s Speeches from Around the World
  • The Gifts of Speech site brings together speeches given by women from all around the world. The site is under the direction of Liz Linton Kent Leon, who is the electronic resources librarian at Sweet Briar College. First-time users may wish to click on the How To… area to learn how to navigate the site. Of course, the FAQ area is a great way to learn about the site as well, and it should not be missed as it tells about the origin story for the site. In the Collections area, visitors can listen in to all of the Nobel Lectures delivered by female recipients and look at a list of the top 100 speeches in American history as determined by a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A & M Univ ersity. Users will also want to use the Browse area to look over talks by women from Robin Abrams to Begum Kahaleda Zia, the former prime minster of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 9, March 1, 2013]

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