Youth at Risk: How can the Private Sector help Nigeria Fight Boko Haram?

By Catarina Santos


Since 2007, Nigeria has attracted the most foreign direct investment in Sub-Sahara Africa due to its well-developed legal and banking systems. However, Boko Haram’s spread of violence to regions where oil and gas are extracted is now intimidating investors. Economically empowering youth is a key piece in this puzzle: the private sector needs a workforce, and youth need employment opportunities as an alternative to joining insurgent groups. Although radicalized Nigerians have not yet reached European or American cities, the potential for global economic impact from terrorism in Nigeria deserves attention. This article discusses the importance of the private sector’s involvement in fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria and recommends that the private sector focus on engaging in the northeast region of the country. The private sector should provide capacity building in various skills, especially sustainable agriculture practices; support youth education; and provide financial grants in areas that government programs have not reached.

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A youth rally in Lagos, Nigeria in September 2012. Youth compose a significant portion of Nigerian society and lack economic opportunities, making them vulnerable to recruitment by Boko Haram. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Temi Kogbe, under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

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Buy Social: A New Way for International Organizations to Create Social Impact

By Waka Itagaki


International organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank have significant purchasing power. In 2014, the UN purchased $17.2 billion in their procurement process. Despite this purchasing power, international organizations have arguably not made the most of it to generate social impact across the world. “Buy Social,” a procurement process that seeks not only economic value but also social and/or environmental impact, has the potential to be transformative. This article highlights the benefits and challenges of Buy Social compared to “Socially Responsible Procurement,” and recommends that international organizations implement Buy Social.


There is no widely agreed term to describe this kind of socially conscious procurement. This article uses “Buy Social” but other names include “Social Procurement,” “Socially Impactful Procurement,” “Social Impact Purchasing,” “Social Purchasing,” and “Socially Impactful Purchasing.” It is important to note that Buy Social is different from Socially Responsible Procurement, which is already implemented by international organizations.

Socially Responsible Procurement applies negative or positive screens to bidders by using a “do no harm” approach. For example, the UN buys from companies that meet labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Socially responsible procurement typically only considers if a bidder is a business with social consideration, and does not measure the outcomes.

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Hosting the Olympics: The Developing World’s Burden?

By Jackson Celestin 

The Olympic Games are supposed to be a celebration – a demonstration of global unity and national pride wrapped in ancient ceremony.  For the host city, the Olympics is more than just an opportunity to show off to the world.  It affords a collapsed timeframe for cities to take on huge projects that jolt their economy and catalyze long-term growth.  Though some cities have benefitted from the Olympics, for others, the hosting experience has been less than golden.  The expensive infrastructure and operating costs of Olympic projects have left cities with crippling debt that stagnates development rather than kick-starts it.

As Rio de Janeiro, Brazil prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games, the outlook is not positive.  The glamor of hosting this event has been overshadowed by economic, social, and political turmoil.  Compared to past hosts, Rio is expecting to take a major economic loss from hosting the Olympics and to feel the impact for years to come.  To understand Rio’s Olympics struggles, it is important to compare Rio to previous hosts while keeping Rio’s unique circumstances in mind. This article provides this analysis and concludes with a prediction of Rio’s post-Olympic status and questions for further debate.


Protestors marching on the National Congress building in Brasilia on March 13, 2016 (just under five months before the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio).  Photo courtesy of Flickr user Agência Brasil Fotografias, under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

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