Humanitarian Innovation

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.<p>Although the effort will be modest at …

Bill Gates

How to Save Lives: A Conversation With Peter Singer

<b>Do you feel like your thinking on this has moderated a bit over the years, as you try to bring these ideals into the real world?</b><p><b>Singer:</b> Yes, I think …

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 …

Vanuatu

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:<i>Citizen-based, crowdsourced election observation</i> …

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.

• <i>Published:</i> April 10th, 2015<p>New York State learned a big lesson after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to more than 8 million residents and did …

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 …

Phones

Drones Create Real-Time Maps of How Diseases Spread | Motherboard

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 <i>that</i> 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.<p>Now researchers have found that giving oral antibiotics …

Save the Children

In Parched California, Innovation, Like Water, Has Limits

California’s drought has not spared A. G. Kawamura.<p>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

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

Southeast Asia

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

Health

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, …

Sierra Leone

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 …

Health

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 <i>New England Journal of Medicine</i> today.<p>"this vaccine could be further tested in large phase III …

Ebola

Super beans, climate models and more

Climate

See How Diseases Spread in These Mesmerizing Graphics

You’re an H1N1 influenza virus—swine flu—just hanging out in Hanoi, Vietnam. But now it’s time to spread and infect. How should you go about your …

Disease

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

• <i>Published:</i> March 29th, 2015<p>In 2012, when the High Park Fire tore through a northern Colorado forest replete with dead trees left in the wake of a …

Drought

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

• Home<br>• Blogs & Case Studies<br>• Drones for Good: 4 Lessons from SXSW Interactive<p>Author: Andrew Schroeder | March 27, 2015<p>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.<p>The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute released their 2015 County …

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

<i>“When things get tough,”</i> Neil Gaiman advised on in his fantastic commencement address on the creative life, <i>“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 mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on</i> …

Surveillance

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 …

Central India

Atlantic Circulation Weaker Than In Last Thousand Years

• <i>Published:</i> March 23rd, 2015<p>A sweeping ocean conveyor system that ushers warm tropical waters into the North Atlantic appears to have partly recovered …

Climate Change