Archive by Author

The World of Indicators: The Making of Governmental Knowledge through Quantification

New Book by Richard Rottenburg et al: “The twenty-first century has seen a further dramatic increase in the use of quantitative knowledge for governing social life after its explosion in the 1980s. Indicators and rankings play an increasing role in the way governmental and non-governmental organizations distribute attention, make decisions, and allocate scarce resources. Quantitative knowledge promises to […]

Memex Human Trafficking

“MEMEX is a DARPA program that explores how next generation search and extraction systems can help with real-world use cases. The initial application is the fight against human trafficking. In this application, the input is a portion of the public and dark web in which human traffickers are likely to (surreptitiously) post supply and demand […]

‘Airbnb for refugees’ group overwhelmed by offers of help

Jessica Elgot at The Guardian: “A German group which matchmakes citizens willing to share their homes with refugees said it had been overwhelmed by offers of support, with plans in the works for similar schemes in other European countries. The Berlin-based Refugees Welcome, which has been described as an “Airbnb for refugees”, has helped people fleeing […]

When Big Data Becomes Bad Data

Lauren Kirchner at ProPublica: “A recent ProPublica analysis of The Princeton Review’s prices for online SAT tutoring shows that customers in areas with a high density of Asian residents are often charged more. When presented with this finding, The Princeton Review called it an “incidental” result of its geographic pricing scheme. The case illustrates how even a seemingly […]

Hacking the Obesity Epidemic

Press Release: “The de Beaumont Foundation, in collaboration with the Health Data Consortium and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is pleased to announce the winners of the U.S. Obesity Data Challenge at NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo 2015. The challenge is part of a joint U.S.-England initiative designed to harness […]

Design Thinking Comes of Age

Jon Kolko at HBR: “There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design to the way people work. This new approach is in large part a response to the increasing complexity of […]

Global platform launched to promote positive plagiarism among foundations

Ellie Ward at PioneersPost: “A group of leading foundations and NGOs, including the Rockefeller Foundation, Oxfam and the Skoll Foundation have launched a peer-to-peer platform to make solving pressing social issues easier. Sphaera (pronounced s’faira) is a peer-to-peer online platform that will collate the knowledge of funders and practitioners working to solve social and environmental issues […]

A data revolution is underway. Will NGOs miss the boat?

Opinion by Sophia Ayele at Oxfam: “The data revolution has arrived. ….The UN has even launched a Data Revolution Group (to ensure that the revolution penetrates into international development). The Group’s 2014 report suggests that harnessing the power of newly available data could ultimately lead to, “more empowered people, better policies, better decisions and greater participation and accountability, leading […]