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Overcoming the Big Challenges ×
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The New York Times

Erica Goode

10 March 2012

Mississippi, United States

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A positive transformation in a Mississippi prison has become a focal point for a growing number of states rethinking the use of long-term isolation. Humanitarian groups have long argued that solitary confinement has d...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

2 February 2012

Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Solar lighting will revolutionize Africa - but access infrastructure is a difficult thing to build. Three different, innovative business models get lights into the hands of the people who need them most.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

19 January 2012

Kailalia District, Nepal

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How can rural African children learn to read when there are no books in their languages? Save the Children helps kids to create their own books, creating a homemade library for their village.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

13 December 2011

Oklahoma, United States

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Water pumps often break and no one locally has the skill or parts to fix them. Two columns on Water Aid’s program in India to train women to be handpump mechanics.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

9 December 2011

Guinea

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“For many tiny, endangered languages, digital technology has become a lifeline.” Phones, the web, software systems, these are all technologies being employed to keep heritage languages alive.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

8 December 2011

Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh, India

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In Tanzania, mapping of water points showed that nationally, less than half the existing rural water points were working—of water points that were less than two years old, a quarter had already stopped functioning. Br...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

8 December 2011

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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The United States can outsource certain kinds of "microwork," such as accurately digitizing large swaths of information, to developing countries without taking jobs from Americans ― if it’s done carefully, and ethical...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

1 December 2011

New York, New York, United States

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America’s system of health care is based on an old industrial-era model, without taking into account a decentralized, mobile, independent workforce that remains largely unprotected without health and unemployment insu...

The New York Times

Amy Yee

16 November 2011

Sharbaga, Punjab, Pakistan

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Thanks to a partnership between the United Nations Development Program and the government of Punjab, the state is seeing a reduction in poverty and a regeneration of agriculture. Since implementation, farmers incomes ...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

15 November 2011

Irving, Texas, United States

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While weight loss can be challenging to maintain, different structures are being created to help. Certain support groups, financial incentives, and tough love are proving to be effective.

The New York Times

Nicholas Kristof

2 November 2011

Afghanistan

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Family planning, including access to contraception, is the key to reducing population growth. Not only does family planning therefore reduce poverty and environmental damage, it also saves money. “If you think family ...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

27 October 2011

Somalia

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World Concern, a Seattle-based Christian humanitarian group, provides people around the world with vouchers they can use in select markets, rather than the traditional emergency food aid of rice and other grains. In D...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

20 October 2011

United States

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A group called Positive Coaching Alliance is training thousands of coaches and parents to change to culture of youth sports for the better, using a "relentlessly positive" approach, and trading out the win-at-all-cost...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

13 October 2011

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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For first-time youth criminal offenders, the traditional American jury falls short in encouraging behavioral change and may even set the juvenile on a course for repeated crimes. Washington, DC’s Youth Court is a jury...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

11 October 2011

New York, New York, United States

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Child-mentoring programs around the United States have helped at-risk youth during crucial years of development. However, New York City's Friends of the Children has improved the model by placing at-risk youth with ad...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

4 October 2011

Sudan

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Rapid Results Initiatives are micro social change projects that a village, government office, or business will work accomplish in just 100 days. They have proven to be sustainably effective at various tasks because ...

The New York Times

Maia Szalavitz

22 September 2011

Massachusetts, United States

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury-related mortality. Naxolone, a drug used to revive overdose victims, is only available by prescription. Howev...

Orange County Register

Brian Joseph

Tony Saavedra

2 September 2011

New York, New York, United States

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The California prison system is overwhelmed after adopting tough-on-crime laws with no improvement. New York adopted more tolerant policies and has decreased the state's crime rate and its prison population.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

1 September 2011

Dadaab, Garissa, Kenya

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American humanitarian aid and programs by the United Nations have proved beneficial to equip Middle Eastern refugees with resources for self-settlement outside of camps. The self-settlement model has empowered refugee...

The New York Times

Lisa Margonelli

11 August 2011

Keene, New Hampshire, United States

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More Than Wheels, a New Hampshire-based non-profit offers an economically stable solution to the high cost of owning a car. The program offers low-cost car loans that go toward the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

9 August 2011

Khanh Hoa, Vietnam

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Hospitals in the U.S. throw out huge amounts of supplies and equipment, and third-world hospitals need it. Many organizations help bridge the gap to transport supplies, but end up donating unusable equipment - teachin...

POZ Magazine

Benjamin Ryan

4 August 2011

District of Columbia, United States

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When health care funding was cut in the United States, HIV clinics were hit harder than some other areas, impacting not just the medicine, but also the staff in these facilities. The Whitman-Walker Clinic in the Distr...

PBS Frontline

Atul Gawande

3 August 2011

Camden, New Jersey, United States

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The highest hospital costs come from preventable emergency room visits. A doctor in Camden developed a home visit program which gives better and cheaper care.

The New York Times

David Bornstein

2 August 2011

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Organizations are mobilizing volunteers in hospitals to connect low-income families with human services which address social factors like poor housing, nutrition, etc. so patients are able to work and thus afford heal...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

14 July 2011

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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A non-traditional program called the Family Independence Initiative (F.I.I.), uses a radically different approach from the traditional American social service model to empower entire families alleviate themselves from...

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