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Overcoming the Big Challenges ×
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The New York Times

David Bornstein

21 August 2013

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

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Water:Charity assumed that money and celebrity exposure would be able to solve the world’s access-to-clean-water crisis. But this approach often led to more abandoned water pumps. Charities – and journalists who cover...

Yale Environment 360

Paul Bogard

19 August 2013

Paris, France

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More people are beginning to acknowledge the adverse effects of light pollution on wildlife and human health alike, as countries like France are enacting light ordinances to restrict the use of lights at night. Along ...

San Francisco Chronicle

Jill Tucker

18 August 2013

Oakland, California, United States

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In Oakland, black males are almost as likely to be killed as they are to graduate high school. One school is giving them special classes with black mentors to better address their emotional needs and keep them in scho...

The New York Times

Damien Cave

17 August 2013

Jamaica

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Marking a departure from other countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, Jamaica has seen its crime rate fall after many years of lawlessness. A combination of factors helped bring this about, includin...

Next City

Sarah Goodyear

22 July 2013

San Antonio, Texas, United States

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For the past three years, water levels in the San Antonio Edwards Aquifer have decreased to uncomfortable levels and drought periods may continue as the population booms. The San Antonio Water System organization has ...

USA Today

Laura Baverman

21 July 2013

Antigua, Guatemala

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Development work is evolving beyond short-term mission trips and one-off donations into a more comprehensive, in-depth model that addresses long-term sustainability of a solution paired with empowerment of those being...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

17 July 2013

Kembata Alaba and Tembaro, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, Ethiopia

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There is nothing more difficult than changing entrenched cultural practices, especially those as shrouded in taboos as female genital cutting. A grassroots approach in Ethiopia, however, has nearly completely eradicat...

The New York Times Magazine

John Buntin

10 July 2013

Los Angeles, California, United States

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In the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles,the Crips and Blood gangs have violently fought each other for decades. By 2013, the LAPD has enforced new measures including community policing with an emphasis on fairness ra...

The Guardian

Dan Collyns

8 July 2013

Tambopata, Peru

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Rainforest Expeditions, an innovative eco-tourism company in Peru, helps the local economy while also promoting conservation of the natural rainforest. By working with Infierno, the local indigenous community in a sou...

NPR

Sarah Hulett

20 June 2013

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Radio

3-5 Minutes

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In Detroit, many business owners and the city itself hope that filing for bankruptcy will help the city start fresh and ultimately become a thriving urban center, mirroring other cities that recovered from near financ...

The New York Times

Sabrina Tavernise

19 June 2013

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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The human papillomavirus is a primary cause of cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine has reduced the rate of infection by half in recent years among teenagers. However, the vaccine has still encountered resistance by some ...

FastCompany

Stan Alcorn

18 June 2013

Moore, Oklahoma, United States

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After a powerful storm destroyed their hospital and left lives at risk, Moore, Oklahoma is rebuilding a new type of facility that can weather a tornado. They are helping other cities learn how to do the same, ensuring...

Bloomberg CityLab

Sarah Goodyear

13 June 2013

Bogotá, Colombia

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Under 800 Words

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Bogotá has become a danger for pedestrians. Cars have the right of the way and it is up to pedestrians to stay alert and safe. Now, citizens are using paint on sidewalks and roads to draw attention to dangers such as ...

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Meg Kissinger

8 June 2013

Houston, Texas, United States

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In Houston, TX, many individuals with mental illnesses cycled in and out of emergency care while arrested or incarcerated. Houston’s police department has decreased the number of incarcerated who have mental illness b...

Slate

Sam Kornell

5 June 2013

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

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The American prison system is in dire need of reform. Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, or HOPE, seeks to turn around behavior that the system ordinarily, though inadvertently, seems to perpetuate.

The New York Times

Denise Grady

5 June 2013

Democratic Republic of the Congo

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In Democratic Republic of Congo, rape has become a routine weapon of war - but the country has little or no treatment for those with mental health issues resulting from sexual assault. A method of group therapy design...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

22 May 2013

Kisumu, Nyanza, Kenya

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For-profit companies are making good private schools available even to Africa’s poor. They can do it – and can do it on an enormous scale – by hiring neighborhood residents to teach, and scripting out every word of ev...

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

Allison Frost

21 May 2013

Oregon, United States

Radio

Over 15 Minutes

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Playworks, a recess-based school program, provides public schools with coaches who facilitate games that teach students skills for conflict resolution and cooperation. In Oregon, elementary schools across the state ar...

The New Yorker

Rebecca Mead

20 May 2013

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

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More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s or similar illnesses, and that number is growing as the population ages - without any immediate prospect of a cure, advocacy groups have begun promoting ways to offer ...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

15 May 2013

New York, New York, United States

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Blue Engine, which places recent college grads as full-time teaching assistants in New York City public schools, is helping poor students thrive in college. They focus on small teacher-student ratios, frequent feedbac...

Al-Fanar Media

Sarah Lynch

11 May 2013

Cairo, Egypt

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Maps, art exhibitions, and online documents, are all methods in which women, activists, and students are fighting against sexual harassment on university campuses in the middle east. “It’s actually being broached as a...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

8 May 2013

Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Bangladesh schools had very low attendance because children were kept home to work and conditions were unsafe for girls, ethnic minorities, and those with disabilities. BRAC, one of the world's largest and most compre...

United Nations University

Sarah Hasaba

8 May 2013

Kenya

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Many of the issues facing underdeveloped rural communities stem from low rates of literacy. Researchers have found that cooperation between "formal and non-formal education systems" is an effective method in strengthe...

The Globe and Mail

Frances Bula

6 May 2013

Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada

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The architecture of a hospital can have huge effects on those inside it: the strain that old hospital buildings put on nurses, who spend too much of their time walking from one supply room to another, and on patients,...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

24 April 2013

Aceh, Indonesia

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In a lot of places, food is available and the market is working but people are too poor to buy it, so cash donations are more effective than food. Previously U.S. aid laws did not allow cash donations but a new propos...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

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