Newsletters

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Year: 2009
id21 insights  is a thematic overview of recent policy-relevant research findings on international development
Year: 2008
The Mountain Forum Bulletin focuses on the theme of climate change in mountains and adaptation to climate change
Year: 2007
This issue of id21 insights focuses on mobile phones and development:
  • Mobile phones and development - The future in new hands?  'Explosive' is the only way to describe mobile phone growth
  • Micro-enterprise and the 'mobile divide': Mobile phones are starting to penetrate the informal sector in developing countries. Do they bring benefits? Reinforce inequalities? Both?
  • 'Mobile Ladies' in Bangladesh: Villagers often lack information they need to help improve their livelihoods. Such information exists but is often denied to them by the lack of connection to mainstream information systems. Mobile phones can solve this problem.
  • Mobiles reinforce unequal gender relations in Zambia: Mobile phones affect more than just communications. They can also reinforce society's unequal power relations. A three-year study in Zambia looks at this, partly in terms of relationships between husbands and wives.
  • Beyond the three billion mark: In mid-2007, we passed the symbolic mark of three billion mobile phones in use around the world. How did we get here? And how will we reach the next three billion users?
  • M-banking: For many people across the developing world, storing or sending small sums of money is economically impractical. This is due to the high cost and inaccessibility of banks and formal financial services. Recently, however, telecommunications providers, banks, and other companies have begun offering a variety of financial services via a basic mobile phone handset.
  • Mobiles and impoverished households in Jamaica: How do mobile phones affect low income households? Has this technology spread so far that it can now create a development impact right down to the poorest families?
  • Big versus small innovation: While 'big innovation' around mobiles may struggle in developing countries, 'small innovation' is booming.
  • Good practice for mobiles and health: Mobile information and communication technologies (ICTs) are not just phones. In healthcare, personal digital assistants (PDAs) – small hand-held computing devices – are also used.
  • From surveillance to 'sousveillance' in elections: New technologies are often associated with state surveillance of citizens. Mobile phones are no exception.
  • Mobile networks at the centre of infrastructure: Reflecting Northern models, mobile telecommunications in developing countries were initially conceived as secondary to fixed lines.

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Year: 2007
This issue of id21 insights focuses on innovation for poor people:
  • Towards pro-poor innovation - Putting public value into science and technology: We live in a rapidly changing world
  • Biotechnology in Bangalore - The politics of innovation: Bangalore in Karnataka, southern India, has become an iconic technology capital, fuelled by massively successful software and technology industries. Many people see it as a taste of Asia's future, where the old concerns of 'development' are banished by a high-growth knowledge economy.
  • Nano-dialogues - Helping scientists to meet poor people's needs: Researchers from Demos, Practical Action and the University of Lancaster collaborated on a project designed to engage Zimbabwean community groups and scientists, from both the North and South, in debates about new nano-technologies. The dialogue was one of four experiments in public engagement with nanotechnologies, known as the nano-dialogues, funded by the Sciencewise programme of the UK Office of Science and Technology.
  • Supporting local innovation in Nepal: For poor and vulnerable rural communities, innovating through local experimentation and adaptation in farming and other practices is an important means of survival. How can local innovation be fostered and valued alongside the wider development of high technology, which is commonly associated with globalisation?
  • China: the next science superpower?  China in 2007 is the world's largest technocracy: a country ruled by scientists and engineers who believe in the power of new technologies to deliver social and economic progress.
  • Enhancing rural livelihoods: The role of ICTs: Access, empowerment and individual champions are all essential ingredients for creating a local environment in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can contribute to rural livelihoods.
  • Case Study - Social entrepreneurship in Kenya: Technological innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial to development. A new entrepreneurial approach to development is emerging. This involves designing new technologies and adapting existing ones to suit the specific requirements of poor people. These are then bought by poor people to form the basis of small businesses or used to help people meet their basic human needs.
  • Threats, opportunities and incentives for pro-poor innovation: Many advocates of pro-poor innovation fear a globalised world that is exploited by large corporate enterprises and powerful countries, now including China and India. Perceived threats include loss of local knowledge and powerlessness of low income economies and their enterprises in the face of cheap goods produced elsewhere. Pro-poor innovations, such as drought- or disease-resistant crops or effective and cheap drugs are often not prioritised.

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Year: 2007
Income from illegal opium poppy cultivation helps sustain the livelihoods of millions of rural Afghans, but also provides significant revenues to criminals and armed groups fighting the government
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Year: 2007
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a leading agency in the development of the value chain approach and in making it more applicable to the small-farmer agriculture context
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Year: 2006
The development community increasingly recognises the many links between human health and the practice and products of agriculture
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Year: 2002
This issue of ETFRN News explores innovative financing mechanisms for conservation and sustainable forest management, whether in conceptual stage, under development, or operational
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