The militarization of police forces in cases such as Ferguson, Missouri’s riots has led the state of Utah to question what can be done to prevent such an overuse of force from happening. Utah expanded upon a law passed by Democratic legislature in Maryland, which Utah’s ACLU reworked with some libertarians, to require the police to provide data about SWAT team usage. Utah’s success demonstrates that demilitarization bills passed with bipartisan support are not impossible.Read More
With more and more Americans having to pay medical costs out of pocket, a small company out of Philadelphia called ELAP is on the front lines of the war against escalating charges. By helping overwhelmed patients to de-mystify and negotiate medical bills, they are ensuring patients get the best value and avoid egregious financial distress.Read More
Many organizations are building distribution systems to get surplus items in one place to those who need them in another. For example, an organization in Brooklyn collects the surplus medical equipment from United States hospitals and ships it to hospitals in poor countries.Read More
Many different people are inventing health devices for resource-poor settings, but some organizations - like M.I.T.’s Little Devices group - are empowering developing communities and increasing access to healthcare by building medical devices that nurses and doctors in very poor settings can adapt themselves — or kits for making their own, often harvesting parts from toys to cleverly rig up medical equipment. It’s part of a major idea shift, one that’s transforming the design of foreign aid.Read More
For most well-meaning donors, it can be difficult to calculate which charities are most effective with their funding - that is those that aim to solve the most serious problems, use interventions that work, employ cost-effective strategies, are competent and honest, and can make good use of each additional dollar. Organizations like GiveWell are part of a new and welcome trend toward rigorous evaluation of social change programs, and helps people best decide where to donate based on what causes matter to them most.Read More
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 they create a sense of local ownership and empowerment within the community that inspires additional change and improvement.Read More
Two columns on microconsignment, a new variation on microcredit that helps poor people living in developing countries - particularly women in rural villages - start small social businesses without taking on debt or requiring previous business skills. The organization, Soluciones Comunitarias, partners with a non-profit and a university student program to manage the supply chain and other components of the business necessary to support the social entrepreneurs in successful micro-ventures.Read More
The Green Revolution in Asia and Latin America never spread to Africa, due to the continent's varied climate, degraded soil and lack of infrastructure. Now, scientists look to develop a high grossing wheat seed to bring a new green revolution to Africa. The seeds are extremely promising, but there are still some challenges to getting farmers to implement the seeds.Read More
Neighborhood Trust is a New York-based nonprofit offering financial advice to individuals experiencing economic hardships. Providing hands-on coaching, counselors are able to inform their clients about financial options they may have otherwise not known about like college financial aid or child care tax credits.Read More
Different programs in various nations are training ordinary people and creating community groups to effectively satisfy the mental health needs of their communities. In many of these regions, "treatment gaps" – where there are little to no mental health treatment plans or resources – exist, but this new informal infrastructure helps to fill that.Read More
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