Technology Landscape for Digital Identification

World Bank Report: “Robust, inclusive, and responsible identification systems can increase access to finance, healthcare, education, and other critical services and benefits. Identification systems are also key to improving efficiency and enabling innovation for public- and private-sector services, such as greater efficiency in the delivery of social safety nets and facilitating the development of digital […]

Issuing Bonds to Invest in People

Tina Rosenberg at the New York Times: “The first social impact bond began in 2010 in Peterborough, England. Investors funded a program aimed at keeping newly released short-term inmates out of prison. It reduced reoffending by 9 percent compared to a control group, exceeding its target. So investors got their money back, plus interest. Seldom has a […]

Ethical Concerns of and Risk Mitigation Strategies for Crowdsourcing Contests and Innovation Challenges: Scoping Review

Joseph D Tucker at the Journal of  Medical Internet Research: “Crowdsourcing contests (also called innovation challenges, innovation contests, and inducement prize contests) can be used to solicit multisectoral feedback on health programs and design public health campaigns. They consist of organizing a steering committee, soliciting contributions, engaging the community, judging contributions, recognizing a subset of […]

Including all voices in international data-sharing governance

Jane Kaye et al in Human Genomics: “Governments, funding bodies, institutions, and publishers have developed a number of strategies to encourage researchers to facilitate access to datasets. The rationale behind this approach is that this will bring a number of benefits and enable advances in healthcare and medicine by allowing the maximum returns from the investment […]

The rise of public sector innovation labs: experiments in design thinking for policy

Paper by Michael McGann, Emma Blomkamp and Jenny M. Lewis in Policy Sciences: “Governments are increasingly turning to public sector innovation (PSI) labs to take new approaches to policy and service design. This turn towards PSI labs, which has accelerated in more recent years, has been linked to a number of trends. These include growing interest in evidence-based policymaking and the […]

Bias in Online Classes: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Paper by Rachel Baker, Thomas Dee, Brent Evans and June John: “While online learning environments are increasingly common, relatively little is known about issues of equity in these settings. We test for the presence of race and gender biases among postsecondary students and instructors in online classes by measuring student and instructor responses to discussion […]

Making Better Use of Health Care Data

Benson S. Hsu, MD and Emily Griese in Harvard Business Review: “At Sanford Health, a $4.5 billion rural integrated health care system, we deliver care to over 2.5 million people in 300 communities across 250,000 square miles. In the process, we collect and store vast quantities of patient data – everything from admission, diagnostic, treatment and discharge data to […]

The world’s first blockchain-powered elections just happened in Sierra Leone

Yomi Kazeem in Quartz: “On Mar. 7, elections in Sierra Leone marked a global landmark: the world’s first ever blockchain-powered presidential elections…. In Sierra Leone’s Western District, the most populous in the country, votes cast were manually recorded by Agora, a Swiss foundation offering digital voting solutions, using a permissioned blockchain. The idea was simple: […]

How to Make A.I. That’s Good for People

Fei-Fei Li in the New York Times: “For a field that was not well known outside of academia a decade ago, artificial intelligence has grown dizzyingly fast. Tech companies from Silicon Valley to Beijing are betting everything on it, venture capitalists are pouring billions into research and development, and start-ups are being created on what […]