Committing to a Responsible Data Revolution

By Neha Rauf

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Data scientists evaluate satellite data at the Center for Satellite-based Crisis Information. Photo courtesy of DLR German Aerospace Center, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Push for a Data Revolution

In order to accomplish the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community is rallying for a data revolution. The emphasis has been on increased access, interoperability, and actionable use of data, omitting necessary considerations of responsible use. Moving forward, the push for a data revolution which spans international development organizations and the private sector needs to be reined in by common ethics standards.

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What Steps Should Be Taken to Combat Superbugs in the Developing World?

By Christopher Metzger

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Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), photo courtesy of Flickr user NIAID under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

What is antimicrobial resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to the ability of microbes to grow in the presence of substances specifically designed to kill them, specifically antibiotics. Superbug is a non-scientific term used by the media to refer to a pathogenic bacterium that has developed an immunity to antibiotics. The annual economic costs of AMR and superbugs—measured in lost productivity—could be as large as that of the 2008 global financial crisis. Without a global containment effort, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be out of reach. In particular, goals 1 and 3—ending poverty, and achieving good health and well-being—will be unreachable by 2030. If containment efforts fail by 2050, more people will be dying from resistant bacteria than from cancer, as shown in Figure 1. The deaths and medical costs that would result from widespread drug-resistant bacteria could cost developing countries five percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050, yet the threat of superbugs is only just beginning to receive the international media attention that it deserves.

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Weekly Round-up

This week in development…

  • With the first-of-its-kind Africa Leaders’ Summit fast approaching, CSIS released Africa in the Wider World, a collection of essays by CSIS experts on the issues and trends central to the Summit, including trade, security, and governance.
  • Following its 13th review session, the UN’s Open Working Group (OWG) released the final version of its proposed Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on July 19, which are expected to be presented to UN Member States in September 2014.
    • The 17 SDGs include 169 specific statistical benchmarks, with emphasis on agriculture, health, education, gender equality, improved access to water and “modern” energy sources, economic opportunity, and sustainable development practices.
  • On July 22, the United Kingdom’s DFID hosted the inaugural Girls Summit in London in cooperation with UNICEF. The summit hoped bring greater attention to issues of child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) and female genital mutilation (FMG).
    • Advocates and survivors, as well as representatives from the public and private sector, discussed ways to put an end to these practices.

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Breaking Down MDG1: Halving Extreme Poverty

By Morgan Snow

The UN recently released its final Millennium Development Goals report, revealing how much (or in some cases, little) progress has been made fighting poverty over the duration of the MDG program. The first target, to halve extreme poverty (defined as the proportion of people who live on an income below $1.25 a day) by 2015, has already been met. Although this goal has been met globally, some regions have not reduced extreme poverty at the same level, which you can glean from newly released numbers from the World Bank, below.

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