Humanitarian Innovation on Flipboard

By Direct Relief | Intersections of science, technology, health and humanitarian assistance.

Gates Foundation Plans Teams to Determine Causes of Child Mortality

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to create a network of disease-surveillance teams in poor countries to do “minimal autopsies” on children to plumb causes of child mortality and also possibly spot emerging epidemics, the foundation announced Wednesday.

Although the effort will be modest at …

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

How to Save Lives: A Conversation With Peter Singer

Do your charitable donations suck? Are you failing to save lives due to greed you don't even realize you have? Do poor people have the right to take …

Drones and crisis mapping - digital aid in Vanuatu

NAIROBI, 14 April 2015 (IRIN) - The cyclone-hit Pacific islands of Vanuatu are the latest proving ground for new information technology and the …

Artificial Intelligence for Monitoring Elections (AIME)

I published a blog post with the same title a good while back. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

Citizen-based, crowdsourced election observation

Elections

In Africa, Health Workers Deliver Urgent Care Despite Adversity

Every day, in dozens of countries across sub-Saharan Africa, tens of thousands of women and men rise each morning and travel many miles across rough …

New York’s Smart Grid Research May Shape U.S.

New York State learned a big lesson after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to more than 8 million residents and did billions of dollars in economic …

Energy

These researchers want to turn phones into earthquake detectors

Early warning on earthquakes can help save lives, but many countries can't afford them. That's why scientists are turning to another location sensor already widespread in many countries: the smartphone. A single smartphone makes for a crappy earthquake sensor — but get enough of them reporting, and …

Drones Create Real-Time Maps of How Diseases Spread

As tools for good and not evil, civilian drones are often most useful in environments that are otherwise hard to navigate. We’ve seen UAVs pitched for used humanitarian and environmental initiatives to help map and monitor remote areas. Now researchers are going one step further, and using that data …

Maps

Oral Antibiotics Are Found to Save More Infant Lives

While vaccines, mosquito nets and other health measures have saved millions of children younger than 5 in the last decade, death rates from pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis among babies in the first weeks of life have remained stubbornly high.

Now researchers have found that giving oral antibiotics …

Antibiotics

In Parched California, Innovation, Like Water, Has Limits

California’s drought has not spared A. G. Kawamura.

A former state secretary of food and agriculture, Mr. Kawamura grows vegetables and strawberries south of Los Angeles in Orange County. He was relatively lucky, losing 15 percent of one green bean crop when his well went dry last June, two and a …

California Drought

Success of ASEAN integration hinges on interconnectivity - SciDev.Net South-East Asia & Pacific

Using Facebook to address social issues in the Pacific - SciDev.Net South-East Asia & Pacific

Facebook

Health crises need real-time reporting of good practice

Yes, We Were Warned About Ebola

MONROVIA, Liberia — The conventional wisdom among public health authorities is that the Ebola virus, which killed at least 10,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, was a new phenomenon, not seen in West Africa before 2013. (The one exception was an anomalous case in Ivory Coast in 1994, …

Ebola

A Day in the Life of Community Health Workers

Celebrating World Health Worker Week (April 5 -11, 2015), a new story map from Esri, The Earth Institute at Columbia, and Direct Relief, aims to raise

Maps

The life-saving Ebola drugs the world is ignoring

SERGY HAUT, FRANCE, 3 April 2015 (IRIN) - Last month, IRIN published this interview with UN Special Envoy for Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, outlining his

Experimental Ebola vaccine makes researchers hopeful in human trials

Another Ebola vaccine is making its way through human trials with promising results. The vaccine was well tolerated by healthy volunteers in an early safety trial, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today.

"this vaccine could be further tested in large phase III …

Super beans, climate models and more

Vegetables

See How Diseases Spread in These Mesmerizing Graphics

Scientists can visualize the spread of diseases in lots of ways. This viz treats swine flu like it's a commuter taking a train around the world.The …

Disease

Pictures: Humanitarian UAV Mission to Vanuatu in Response to Cyclone Pam

Aéroport de Port Vila – Bauerfield International Airport. As we land, thousands of uprooted trees could be seen in almost every direction.

Massive …

Vanuatu

New Report - Four Years of Human Suffering – the Syria Conflict as Observed through Satellite Imagery

18 March 2015, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) has produced a report illustrating the immense …

Satellite Imagery

Wildfires Tied to Drought, Heat & Topography, Not Beetles

In 2012, when the High Park Fire tore through a northern Colorado forest replete with dead trees left in the wake of a mountain pine beetle …

Wildfires

When Technology Helps Us Become More Human

The human desire to help combined with new technological tools could create solutions to some of the world's biggest problems

It was Tuesday January 12, 2010, and the Haitian capital had just been hit with a massive earthquake.

Far away in Boston, Fletcher School PhD candidate Patrick Meier was faced …

Crowdsourcing

Drones for Good: 4 Lessons from SXSW Interactive

The view of small unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones,” has evolved quickly in the past two years from objects of fear or hobbyist fascination to …

SXSW

Drones for Good: 4 Lessons from SXSW Interactive

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Author: Andrew Schroeder | March 27, 2015

The view of small unmanned aerial …

SXSW

These 10 U.S. counties vastly improved their premature death rates

When looking where to move, you might check out counties based on crime rates and school districts. A new report suggests you should seriously consider health as well.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute released their 2015 County …

Corbis

How to Block a Surveillance Camera: A DIY Art Tutorial from Ai Weiwei

A wine opener usage George Orwell would approve of.

“When things get tough,” Neil Gaiman advised on in his fantastic commencement address on the creative life, “this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a

DIY

The Deadly Global War for Sand

The killers rolled slowly down the narrow alley, three men jammed onto a single motorcycle. It was a little after 11 am on July 31, 2013, the sun …

Atlantic Circulation Weaker Than In Last Thousand Years

• Published: March 23rd, 2015

A sweeping ocean conveyor system that ushers warm tropical waters into the North Atlantic appears to have partly recovered …

Circulation