Welcome to our weekly #ICT4D News Roundup! We are passionate about the intersection of technology and social good. Each week we look for the best articles that focus on the ICT4D industry, the issues that impact the sectors we work across, and interesting content for social enterprises.
Highlighted articles this week:
- Connecting the dots: read about one organization’s approach to analyzing data to make informed project decisions. – Council on Foreign Relations
- What happens when hospitals don’t have access to water? – PLOS Blogs
- A new study finds that the U.S. has one of the largest income-based health disparities in the world, outranked only by Portugal and Chile. Could these findings impact the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act? – The Atlantic
- What does the next ‘Facebook or Amazon’ of agriculture look like? – Forbes
- Impact investing: what is it and where does the money go? – CNN Money
DATA FOR DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE FOR INFORMATION, NOT JUST DATA
In 2015, the United Nations put together a set of internationally agreed upon Sustainable Development Goals for countries to hit by 2030. In two weeks, countries will share an update on their progress toward these goals. This can be a difficult task, however, because access to accurate data that is used to set benchmarks and track progress is often a challenge. In this article, Daniela Ligiero, CEO and executive director of the Together for Girls partnership, discusses how her organization leverages already existing data to make actionable decisions.
When it comes to development, more data is often better—but in the quest for more data, we can often forget about ensuring we have information, which is even more valuable. Information is data that have been recorded, classified, organized, analyzed, interpreted, and translated within a framework so that meaning emerges. At the end of the day, information is what guides action and change.”
WHEN WATER DOESN’T FLOW
In Ghana, due to limited access to water sources, healthcare workers are often forced to make difficult decisions regarding water and sanitation practices. In this article, the author details her work collecting data on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities, as well as her own stay in a hospital in Ghana when water was not available.
During water shortages, hospital staff adjust their expectations of patient care and have to make choices, which often compromise health outcomes. In the US, these kinds of managerial decisions occur mostly in times of crisis, but in Ghana, they are part of the daily reality in delivering healthcare.”
AMERICA’S HEALTH-INEQUALITY PROBLEM
A new paper put out by the journal Health Affairs suggests that the U.S. has one of the largest income-based health disparities in the world. The results are based off interviews with Americans in 2012, before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was in place. This was one of the study’s limitations because the ranking did not take into account the reforms that expanded coverage for 15 million low-income adults and children in the U.S. As Congress threatens to repeal the ACA, these findings may become more relevant in comparing how coverage has changed as a result of the ACA.
‘Our findings suggest that the high rates of uninsurance before the implementation of the ACA contributed modestly to overall income disparities in health care,’ the authors write. ‘Therefore, any policy change that threatens the insurance gains seen since the law’s implementation would likely reverse any improvement in income-based health care disparities that may have followed.’”
THE 25 MOST INNOVATIVE AG-TECH STARTUPS
How can we produce more food and with fewer resources? Around the world, startups are working to solve this question. Forbes, along with agriculture experts, venture capitalists, and accelerators in the agriculture industry worked together to identify the top 25 ag-tech startups in the industry today.
Today, there are hundreds of agriculture tech startups around the world, and some experts say the situation reminds them of the early days of the internet: There’s a lot of activity in agriculture, but no clear winners yet – it’s hard to say who might become the Facebook or Amazon of the scene. Couple that with climate change pressures, the fact that two billion more people will live on this planet by 2050, and that just 40% of the world’s land is available to grow crops, and you have yourself a market ripe for innovation — and big money.”
Recently, we sat down for an interview with Jack Hetherington, the Research Program Coordinator at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Read the interview here for information on a few of his projects, and how they use mobile data collection on a variety of agriculture projects
MAKING MONEY AND DOING GOOD: IMPACT INVESTING IS CATCHING ON
According to the Global Impact Investing Network, today there is at least $114 billion worth of impact investing assets under management, compared to $50 million in 2010. Impact investing options are rapidly becoming more popular, and this article discussing who is investing in them, and where the money is going.
There is now at least $114 billion worth of impact investing assets under management, according to a survey of 209 organizations by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a group of charities, banks, foundations, insurance companies and asset managers dedicated to increasing impact investing.”
WANT TO RECEIVE THIS ROUNDUP IN YOUR INBOX EACH WEEK? SIGN-UP BELOW!