Category Archives: UNICEF

A Promising Future for Child Nutrition?

This ProgBlog article by Robbie Lawrence, WikichildCoordinator, is part of the Wikiprogress Health Series.

“In June, the Prime Minister will host the Nutrition and Growth event ahead of the G8; we hope Mr Cameron takes this timely opportunity to pledge significant investment in nutrition programmes and show real leadership in improving children’s futures, as well as those of their communities and their countries.” David Bull, UNICEF UK

Wikichild is currently focusing on nutrition as part of the wider Wikiprogress spotlight on health this month. On Monday, UNICEF released ‘Improving Child Nutrition: The achievable imperative for global progress’ which reports that significant advances have been made in the fight against stunting – the long term effect of hunger and malnutrition. Citing successes in eleven countries – Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Vietnam, the report shows that stunting and other forms of undernutrition can be brought down by improved understanding of the problem and the implementation of practical measures that target pregnant mothers and children in the first two years of their life.
According to UNICEF, one in four of all children suffer from stunting because they haven’t had the right nutrients in the critical 1,000-day window following conception. Malnutrition, through lack of both macronutrients and certain micronutrients has long-term negative impacts on brain and nerve development and function, including mental activity, and the acquisition of skills needed to interact well socially. This impairment is often reflected in lower IQs and poorer performance at school (Save the Children). The damage done to a child’s body and brain by stunting is irreversible. It brings down performance at school and later at work, and heightens children’s risk of dying from infectious diseases.
‘Improving Child Nutrition’ builds on UNICEF’s earlier report ‘Tracking Progress on Child and Material’ by highlighting new developments and showing that attempts to improve nutrition programs are working. An estimated 80 per cent of the world’s stunted children live in just 14 countries spanning across Africa and Asia, and by working in communities within these nations, UNICEF and other organizations have reduced stunting by applying a series of steps including, improving women’s diet, early and exclusive breastfeeding and providing minerals and appropriate food to new mothers.
These programs all have common elements: political commitment, national policies and the presence of trained community workers to deliver information and aid. To use two examples of their success; we can look at Ethiopia, where stunting has been cut from 57 percent to 44 percent in the first decade of this century through the implementation of a national nutrition program, and at the Maharashtra state in India where the percentage of stunted children fell from 39 percent in 2005 to 23 percent in 2012 due to the support of frontline workers. 
Such progress is undoubtedly promising, and presents a unique opportunity for future global frameworks to further alleviate the problem of undernutrition. UNICEF itself acknowledges that there is still a great amount of work to be done if the World Health Assembly’s new global target of reducing the number of stunted children under the age of five by forty percent by 2025 is to be achieved. 

More recently, inequality has been a hot topic on the Wikichild, Wikiprogress and Wikigender platforms so we are well versed in the hidden realties that large, all encompassing goals such as this can mask, but it is encouraging that new approaches are targeting individual countries and communities, allowing accurate data systems to be developed that can describe and monitor changes in the circumstances of different population groups.
Furthermore, tools like the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (released last week) provide greater transparency and public accountability by measuring what governments achieve, and where they fail, in addressing hunger and undernutrition. Even Duncan Green has commended the HANCI, stating that ‘it could become one of the more useful annual league tables’, as it forces governments to be ‘slapped’ if they underperform. 
Nutrition should remain at the center of the global development agenda leading up to Post 2015. The evidence laid out in UNICEF’s report and the momentum generated by their successes shows that improving child and maternal nutrition is an achievable necessity for global progress.

Wikichild Coordinator

Nutrition and Obesity Week in Review

This Week in Review blog is part of the Wikiprogress Health focus. See the full range of health articles on Wikiprogress

The theme of this Week in Review is nutrition and obesity as part of wider focus on health during April. Highlights from this review include: IDS UK’s new Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, a collaborative report from PBS News Hour and the OECD on obesity in America, a joint paper on global malnutrition from UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank and more.
*The Institute of Development Studies’ new Hunger and nutrition commitment index is a measurement of political commitment to tackling hunger and malnutrition in 45 developing countries. The index was created to provide greater transparency and public accountability by measuring what governments achieve, and where they fail, in addressing hunger and undernutrition.
*PBS News Hour has released its first commentary in a collaborative series with the OECD, which explores how health care and health policy in the latter’s member countries compare with the US. New data reveals relatively promising figures with obesity rates slowing in the America, England, France and Korea. However, these encouraging trends show that obesity has become one of the biggest threats in developed countries and increasingly so in emerging economies, as today’s article from the Guardianrelating to the growing problem of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in Africa shows.  The article references the OECD’s “Better Life Index” tool, which allows members of the public to firstly rank what they value in life and then see how their own country measures up on the topics they value most.
*For the first time UNICEF, WHOand the World Bankreport joint estimates of child malnutrition for 2011 and trends since 1990. The aim of the initiative is to alleviate the double burden of malnutrition in children, starting from the earliest ages of development. To find out more, visit our Wikichild page.
*While it was released last year, the EFA Global Monitoring Report has been an important touch point for preceding publications related to malnutrition, particularly in relation to its effects on children. Despite a decline in the global number of deaths of children under five from 12 million in 1990 to 9.6 million in 2000 and 7.6 million in 2010 (EFA 2012), this drop is not sufficient if the fourth Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015 is to be met. 

In 2005the WHO reported that more than half of all deaths among children are caused by malnutrition. It is therefore arguable that if governments seek to provide adequate quantities of higher quality food with more micronutrients, child mortality levels may drop to the targeted percentage. Malnutrition, through lack of both macronutrients and certain micronutrients has long-term negative impacts on brain and nerve development and function, including on mental skills and activity, and the acquisition of skills needed to interact well socially.
*A new report by UNICEF to be published next week reveals the high prevalence of stunting in children under five years old, but also outlines the tremendous opportunities that exist to make it a problem of the past. In response to nutrition crisis in Chad and the Sahel Belt region, UNICEF, the Government of Chad and partners such as ECHO have scaled up services and facilities to treat the growing number of children affected by malnutrition. Check out the video below to find out more about the initiative. 

Look forward to more health related articles, blogs, tweets, spotlights and videos over the next few weeks. 

Robbie Lawrence
Wikichild Coordinator  
The Wikiprogress Team

Protecting Children in Conflict Zones

This ProgBlog article, will focus on the destructive affects of conflict on children and the need  the issue to be a priority when the final post-2015 framework is put in place. The article is part of the Wikiprogress Post 2015 series.

“Millions of children inside Syria and across the region are witnessing their past and their futures disappear amidst the rubble and destruction of this prolonged conflict,” Anthony Lake, UNICEF Chief
Since the Syrian Civil War erupted mid way through March 2011, 70,000 people have died, millions are said to be displaced and the battle scarred country has been segmented into areas controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime and those who oppose him. Through articles, photos, tweets, Youtube videos, interviews, documentaries, and reports, the world has been witness to genocide in, second by second detail, experiencing the hopeless situation in all the exactitude that modern information engines provide.
To mark the two year anniversary of the conflict, UNICEF and Save the Childrenhave released up to date reports on the war’s devastating affect on Syria’s children. UNICEF notes that nearly half of the four million people in need of aid are under the age of 18 and 536,000 of them are children under the age of five. Furthermore, some 800,000 below the age of fourteen have been internally displaced, while more than 500,000 are spread across neighboring nations as refugees.
Similarly, Save the Children’s report ‘Childhood Under Fire details the impact of the war on children, showing that many are starving, living in pitiful conditions and are losing out on the chance of an education. Citing new research carried out in refugee camps by Bahcesechir University of Turkey, the report reveals that children have been specifically targeted in the war, with one in three children claiming to have been hit, kicked or shot. Instead of going to school, girls are being forced to marry early as a form of protection against the threat of sexual violence and the armed militias are using boys as porters, runners and human shields. One man, Safa, said:
‘I don’t think there is a single child untouched by this war. Everyone has seen death, everyone has lost someone. I know no one who has not suffered as we have. It is on such a scale.’

Save the Children warns that the conflict had brought about ‘a collapse in childhood’ echoing UNICEF’s caution that Syria’s children risk becoming ‘a lost generation’. We need only look at how the lengthy conflict in Somalia catalyzed a collapse in the country’s education system to know how war can curb the development of a country’s child population.
Both reports emphasize the necessity for governments to deliver the $1.5 billion pledged to the humanitarian appeal for Syria, which is designed to target aid both inside the decimated country and to refugees living on its borders and beyond. While STC and UNICEF scramble to acquire these funds, it is arguable that the international community must take a step back and readdress how it can better prevent the fallout of war and disasters.
The brutalities being enacted on Syria’s children is a strong example of why governments must try and find new solutions to deal with the changing nature of modern conflict, which, according to the Minister of International Development of Finland, Heidi Hautala, usually features child- and gender- based violence. On March 13th, more than 100 delegates from over 20 countries met in Helsinki to urge the Post 2015 panel to make conflict prevention, violence reduction, peace building and disaster resilience an integral part of the final framework. The UN convened discussion agreed that despite the relative success of the Millennium Development Goals, they have not managed to fully encompass the vision of the Millennium Declaration, particularly in relation to human rights, justice and equality. In a similar vein, a statement from the Civil Society Core Group stipulated that ‘supporting change in conflict affected and fragile states is now a central challenge in international development.’ The document made a concise and practical list of suggestions for how the Post 2015 development agenda should prevent violent conflict in all societies and concluded with a call for the panel to:
‘build on the vision of the Millennium Declaration and upholds the right of all people to enjoy peace, security and human rights as essential elements of sustainable development.’
Only the coming years will tell if this grandiose statement can be realistically implemented, and if we are to turn our eyes back to Syria, its people will find little comfort in such words. However, it seems essential that in the future, financial aid programs must be supported by a more far-reaching framework that will go some way to preventing such atrocities from happening again.    

Wikichild Coordinator

How should we measure child poverty?

This ProgBlog article written by Robbie Lawrence, Wikichild Coordinator, is part of the Wikiprogress Post-2015 series.

“Children living in poverty experience deprivation of the material, spiritual, and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society”(UNICEF, 2005)

As many of you will know, we are currently running an online consultation* entitled Reducing poverty is achievable: Finding those who are hidden by inequalities” on the Wikiprogress platform. The comments we have had up to this point have been interesting and diverse, ranging from practical suggestions for tackling inequalities in the new Post 2015 framework to personal reflections on how the problem affects the lives of everyday people around the world. This article will first assess the dangers inequalities pose to children and then provide an analysis of current methods of measuring child poverty referencing UNICEF’s ‘Child Poverty and InequalityNew Perspectives’ report, published in 2012.
In late January 2013, at the Third High Level Meeting on advancing a Post 2015 Development Agenda, Prof Gita Sen stipulated that the forum should give special attention to the most vulnerable people, in particular children, youth and adolescents. Save the Children’s report ‘Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future’ shows that children bear the brunt of inequality, demonstrating that in some cases children born into the richest households have access to 35 times the resources of the poorest.
Children as a group experience the detriments of poverty differently from adults. While an adult may suffer poverty over a certain period, falling into poverty during childhood can alter a person’s life indefinitely – ‘rarely does a child get a second chance at an education or a healthy start in life.’ (New Perspectives, page 1) EFA’s Global Monitoring Report stresses that early childhood is the ‘critical period’ in which the foundations for success in education and beyond should be put in place. Even short periods of malnutrition threaten a child’s ability to grow physically and intellectually, impacting their long-term development.
It is important to emphasize that while on a micro level, inequality impedes the right of every child to have an equal chance to survive and thrive, widening disparities in income have been shown to compromise a country’s economic growth, damage well-being outcomes and threaten poverty reduction. Child poverty endangers not only the individual, but it is likely to spread to future generations, entrenching and perpetuating inequality in society (New Perspectives, page 1).
Despite the considerable progress of the Millennium Development Goals, there remain major questions over the current framework’s ability to reach those who most need help. In the opening chapter of ‘New Perspectives’, Alberto Minujin discusses why child poverty should be measured separately from adult poverty.  He argues that the standardized monetary approach to identifying and gauging poverty should be replaced by multidisciplinary methods to provide a more accurate picture of the specific detriments that face disadvantaged children.

A strong example of why the monetary approach is limited can be seen in the widespread malnutrition currently affecting Indian children. While India has experienced exponential growth over the last decade, there has been little progress made in improving nutrition. Stunting rates have remained high and almost half of children under five are malnourished, a statistic that the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decried as a “national shame.” (EFA, 43)

Minujin focuses the bulk of his chapter on identifying new and progressive methods of defining and measuring child destitution, from the Bristol deprivation model which not only aims to quantify the extent of child poverty but also the depth of child poverty to the Young Lives project which seeks to understand its causes and consequences. It is his opinion that by combing different methods, policy makers and organisations will be able to apply a multifocal approach to tackling inequalities. Arguably, only by shifting attention to those who have not benefited from the MDG program will its aims be fully achieved. As one contributor in our online discussion stated,

Let us please keep in mind those that are so easily falling through the cracks…the main thing we can do in a next round of goals is to concentrate on the most vulnerable.’

The Wikiprogress online consultation closes this  Friday 15 March. You can post a comment in a few clicks by going to the “Contribute!” section of the online consultation page. Make sure your voice is heard. 

Wikichild Coordinator 

Measuring development post-2015: highlighting the poorest of the poor

This ProgBlog article written by Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), is part of the Wikiprogress post-2015 series. 
We saw the culmination of the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, led by UNICEF and UN Women with support from the governments of Denmark and Ghana.
One of the recommendations put forward in the consultation’s Synthesis Report is that better data systems should be developed at country level that can describe and monitor changes in the circumstances of different population groups.
‘One important tool in strengthening these systems is a Multidimensional Poverty Index, which shows the deprivations a household (or child) experiences simultaneously, highlighting the poorest of the poor as those experiencing a large set of simultaneous deprivations at the same time,’ the report states.
‘This approach not only highlights changes in multidimensional poverty but also illustrates trends in social exclusion and marginalization.’
Also, Andy Sumner and I published a briefing in which we call for a new ‘headline’ measure of multidimensional poverty to be considered for the post-2015 MDGs; a measure that reflects participatory inputs (including new dimensions), can be easily disaggregated, and that we believe could serve the purpose set out in the Inequalities Consultation report.
A global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2.0 – building on the MPI reported in theHuman Development Reports for over 100 developing countries since 2010 – could provide an intuitive overview of multidimensional poverty to complement a $1.25/day measure and indicators on individual goals such as health or education.
Such a measure could enable policymakers to see at a glance whether and how multidimensional poverty was being reduced across states, for example, or different social groups; it could be quickly and easily disaggregated to show which overlapping disadvantages are faced by agricultural labourers, or by families with small children in different geographical regions.
The MPI reported in UNDP’s Human Development Report is based on ten indicators of health, education and living standards, and shows both the incidence and intensity of poverty. It measures deprivations directly, and shows in which regions or among which groups poverty is being reduced, and how that reduction is being achieved; for example, that a particular group has moved out of poverty thanks to an improvement in its access to education or safe water and electricity.
For the post-2015 context, an MPI 2.0 could be created with dimensions, indicators and cutoffs that reflect the post-2015 development agenda. The process of selecting the indicators and cutoffs should be participatory, and the voices of the poor and the marginalised should drive decisions. A “child MPI” could also be created to measure multidimensional poverty among children, using the same methodology.
In addition, governments or civil society organisations can create their own national MPIs with indicators, cutoffs and values that reflect their national plan or goals, complementing and enriching a global MPI 2.0. Such measures are already in use – for example, by the Government of Colombia.
An MPI 2.0 could reflect effective social policy interventions immediately, thereby acting as a monitoring and evaluation tool. In doing so, it would provide political incentives to policymakers not only to implement effective interventions, but to reduce the many different aspects of poverty together. A disaggregated MPI could also be used alongside geographic data to give an overview of the nexus between poverty and sustainability challenges.
Andy and I suggest that an easy to understand and disaggregate measure that clearly shows the inequalities between those living in poverty, in terms of the number and type of interconnected deprivations they face, provides an essential complement to income measures and individual goals for policymakers, by enabling them to see quickly and easily what is happening ‘beneath the averages’. We hope to discuss this further with all sides and see what kind of MPI 2.0 could be truly useful.
To close with a quote from the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing InequalitiesSynthesis Report:
‘Whatever the methodologies to be used, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of the intersecting and multidimensional nature of prevailing inequalities, such that the use of “simple” or proxy indicators does not serve to distract policy attention from the inherent complexities, or from the need for comprehensive, multi-sectoral policy responses.’
Sabina Alkire is Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
This post is based on the OPHI briefing ‘Multidimensional Poverty and the Post-2015 MDGs’, by Sabina Alkire and Andy Sumner of King’s College London. It first appeared on The University of Oxford’s Debating Development Blog on February 21st, 2013.
The OECD Global Forum on Development (GFD) is currently running an online consultation* entitled Reducing poverty is achievable: Finding those who are hidden by inequalities” on the Wikiprogress platform. You can post a comment in a few clicks by going to the “Contribute!” section of the online consultation page, so if you have an opinion, make sure your voice is heard. 
We look forward to hearing what you have to say,
The Wikiprogress Team

Wikichild Blog Catch Up – 2012

Hi Everyone,

2012 has been an exciting year for Wikichild and we decided to wrap it up by blogging a selection of  child related articles from the last 12 months. Enjoy!

Rapid urbanization is leaving millions of disadvantaged children behind by guest blogger James Elder of UNICEF – March 5th

Kids in High Poverty Communities: 5 Ways it Affects us all by Laura Speer is the Associate Director for Policy Reform and Data at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore Maryland, USA – March 15th

“I am fighting for my future” by Hannah Chadwick – 19 June 

Early stimulation and micronutrients interventions: the next frontiers to break the cycle of child poverty by Christelle Chapoy, 3ie International Initiative for Impact Evaluation – 13  July 

The Child Development Index 2012 by Alex Cobham, Save the Children – 19 July 

The Global Whole Child by Sean Slade, ASCD the Whole Child – August

A Kony 2012 for Syria??? by Hannah Chadwick – 19 August 

Education for All – A Focus on Nutrition by Robbie Lawrence, Wikichild Coordinator – 1st November

The threat of inequality to children by Robbie Lawrence – 20 November 

Thank you to all who have followed us in 2012 and stay tuned for a diverse and interesting range of Child Well-being blogs in the new year. 

Robbie Lawrence 
Wikichild Coordinator 

Giving Children A Voice

Image taken from ‘Out in the Cold’ ©Save the Children

The Syrian conflict has now entered its 21st month and is showing few signs of abating. Over the course of this period between 40,000 and 55,000 Syrians have been killed and about 1.2 million people are said to be displaced.

The violence has been universal, afflicting all parts of the country’s population, but one of the most striking features of this civil war has been brutality enacted on children. Thousands of children have died in attacks and many more have been injured, traumatised and driven from their homes.

Save the Children has followed the conflict closely; having published a number of timely reports the charity, like UNICEF, has set up an appeal to protect Syria’s children and provide them with food, shelter and emotional support.

Save the Children’s most recent report ‘Out in the Cold, Syria’s Children Left Unprotected’ documents the appalling winter conditions facing child refugees who have dispersed across the Middle East, attempting to find refuge in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. Sub-zero temperatures have already hit the region and “startling low levels of aid” (Out in the Cold, page 14)  mean that children will have to endure this winter without enough support. According to Justin Forsyth, the chief executive of the STR, world leaders must act quickly:

“[the] international community needs to match its diplomatic and security concerns with funding to help children. Unless there is a surge in funding, thousands of children are going to spend a bitter winter without proper shelter from the cold, and many will become sick as a result.”

One only has to look at Andrea Bruce’s devastating photo essay published earlier this year by The New York Times to understand the truly horrendous effects that cold can have. Bruce’s haunting, Caravaggio like pictures tell the story of Lailuma, an Afgan mother living with her family in a refugee camp outside Kabul who lost nine of her children over the course of the winter.

‘Out in the Cold’ follows a similar structure to Save the Children’s previous report ‘Untold Atrocities,The Stories of Syria’s Children’ in that the majority of its contents is made up of first person accounts of the deteriorating situation for refugees. Among the testimonies are stories of children huddling three to a blanket, sleeping in makeshift shelters made of billboards and falling sick as temperatures plunge in the region. One such story comes from 11 year old Ali, who has been living in an abandoned school in northern Lebanon for close to two years:

“I need clothes to wear… My parents dont have money, they dont have anything. Who should I ask for clothes from? I’m not happy at all. We would love to go back to Syria.”

A feature of these reports is that they break from what might be seen as a more traditional style of research based dissemination. Instead, they aim to allow the emotive force of the featured children’s stories to emphasise the need for changes to be made. This is certainly not a new form of reporting; organisations from past and present have released similar reports and campaigns, however, it seems that these groups are increasingly using children’s voices to deliver their message in a bid to inform policy making. Aside from STR, UNICEF has dedicated a section of their overall mission statement to the VOICE‘s of children, the UN followed up on its MACHEL Strategic Review by publishing a compilation of the views and recommendations of some 1,700 young people from 92 countries to raise awareness about the issues facing children in armed conflict and Defence for Children International has released a number of publications voicing the issues faced by Palestinian’s in East Jerusalem.

It is arguable that in highly politicized humanitarian crises like the one in Syria or nearby Palestine, the simplicity of a child’s story transcends the debate over who is in the wrong and forces us to remember that innocent humans are suffering. There will of course be those who criticize such reports, arguing that they only provide a limited perspective on complex situations. However, it seems that if a one sided report is going to be effective – using first person child accounts to drive an argument may be a less fallible method than others as children are unlikely to approach their testimonies with a strong political leaning. Save the Children’s Syrian reports are undoubtedly subjective, they have an agenda, but the stories coming out of them are far from politicized, they do not point fingers, they only speak of the confusion and terror felt by children who cannot comprehend the violence going on around them. At a time when we are bombarded with information on a daily basis, ‘Out in the Cold’ and the reports that have preceded it offer a concise, easily accessible and striking message that forces us to view the Syrian conflict through the lens of those who most need rescuing from it. 

Robbie Lawrence
Wikichild Coordinator

Week in review

The Week in Review 13.01.2012
Hello, glad you could join us for the Wikiprogress week in review — a handful of headlines that have caught our eyes over the last week. You can find all news articles and blog posts on the progress community in the  Wikiprogress Community Portal     

On information and the Internet
In a networked world, why is the geography of information uneven? (Guardian Poverty Matters 09.01.2012)
The rise of user-generated content on the Internet has had a phenomenal impact on the way information and knowledge is developed and understood. While optimists like Jimmy Wales believe that the Internet will become ‘the sum of all human knowledge’ it is ever more important that the uneven geographies of online information are addressed by rebalancing digital labour and focusing on the South.
See more and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on wikis

On progress in Haiti
Haiti: two years after quake tangible signs of progress (World Bank Blog 10.01.2012)
This week saw the second anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake that killed 220,000 people; currently, it is estimated that 520,000 people live in tents and almost 1 million Haitians are displaced. But there has been significant progress made. Since the earthquake in 2010, Education for All has provided free schooling to 405,000 children, with numbers growing.
See more and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on Haiti

Gender Equality – report release on gender equality in the Pacific
Human Development Report on Pacific: Gender, Culture and the Pacific (UNDP 11.01.2012)
A UNDP report released this week provides a deep understanding into how the culture in the Pacific impacts gender equality and human development.  The paper analyses two key issues in the region: that gender is biologically determined and that culture is sacred and should not be adapted.
See a selection of article in the Wikigender Society and Culture category

On child well-being
UNESCO chief stresses the need for innovation to ensure equitable education (UN News 10.01.2012)
With 67 million children out of primary school and an estimated 793 million adults around the world illiterate, the United Nations has called for new and innovative approaches to education. While technology plays an important role in education, it must be integrated into learning and teaching styles.
See more and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on education

On data and prediction
The future of prediction  (The Boston Globe 01.12.2012)
On Friday the 13th it seems inappropriate to say that tarot cards and tea-leaf readings are dubious in predicting future events; but this article says that the systematic use of data in prediction isn’t much better!
Do you know of any interesting projects to predict the future  using data? Share them with us on Twitter @Wikiprogress

In the Spotlight: 2011 Democracy Index
We hope you will tune in the same time next week. In the meantime, if anything interesting passes your desk that you would like to see in the next Wikiprogress week in review, please tweet it to us  @Wikiprogress  or post it on our  Facebook page.

Yours in progress,

Philippa Lysaght.

The week in review

Hello, glad you could join us for the Wikiprogress week in review – a handful of headlines that have caught our eyes over the last week. You can find all news articles and blog posts on the progress community in the  Wikiprogress Community Portal

On the #occupy movement
The New Progressive Movement (New York Times 12.11.2011)
Development Economist Jeffrey Sachs comments on the Occupy Wall Street movement as a turning point in modern history; according to Sachs the last thirty years or ‘Reaganomics’ have ended with the rise of the new progressive era.
See more on and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on progress in the US

On philanthropy
New directions in philanthropy- report from the Bellagio Summit (From Poverty to Power 15.11.2011)
Duncan Green blogs on the ‘Future of Philanthropy and Development in the Pursuit of Human Wellbeing’ summit hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation this week. Green gives a brief scorecard of what’s hot and what’s not according to philanthropists working in development.

On gender equality
Mexican Women Demand Climate Justice (IPS 14.11.2011)
In a recent meeting hosted by Mexicans Against Inequality, issues were raised about the displacement of women throughout Mexico due to ecological disasters such as drought, water scarcity and socioenvironmental conflict.
See more and contribute to the Wikigender article on gender and climate change

On happiness in the UK
The wellbeing agenda isn’t navel-gazing, it’s innovation and survival (Guardian 13.11.2011)
Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron have both played very significant roles in the development of a well-being agenda; the Stiglitz Commission launched in 2009 and general well-being (or GWB) have been invaluable to the momentum of the global progress movement.
See more and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress

On Visualisation of data: Afghanistan
Asia Foundation Unveils Data Site “Visualizing Afghanistan” for 2011 Survey of the Afghan People (PR Web 17.11.2011)
To accompany the broadest and most comprehensive public opinion poll of Afghan citizens, “Afghanistan in 2011: A Survey of the Afghan People,” The Asia Foundation has launched an interactive mapping platform and data visualisation site, “Visualizing Afghanistan.” Through “Visualizing Afghanistan,” the Foundation is making its Afghan survey data available and downloadable to researchers and the public to use and republish, with citation.

See more and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on the Afghanistan.

That’s all from us this week. We hope you tune in the same time next week. In the meantime, if anything interesting passes your desk that you would like to see in the next Wikiprogress week in review, please tweet it to us  @Wikiprogress  or post it on our Facebook page.

Yours in Progress,

Philippa Lysaght