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Across the country in efforts to diminish violent crime, police agencies like that in Rockland, IL, are revisiting a model law enforcement strategy of the 1970s, "community policing," as an alternative to the more recent "broken windows" style of the late nineties and early aughts. Research substantiates its effectiveness, too, in building citizens' trust of law enforcement, helping a community's ability to solve its own problems, and, in turn, decreasing crime rates; despite redefined priorities in the wake of 9/11 and post-recession budget cuts, community policing is again on the rise and bringing positive results, too.

John Buntin

July 22, 2017

Rockford, Illinois, United States

Call it "carbon compensation": in a randomized experiment in western Uganda, scientists demonstrated the effectiveness of paying rural farmers not to chop down trees (responsible for annual CO2 emissions worldwide), studying for two years the declines in forest cover between a control group (no payment) and the participant group (paid). Thus building on a United Nations project in which wealthy nations pay poorer ones in an attempt to equalize the costs of responding to climate change, the design and outcome of the project proves the existence of a low-cost environmental policy solution to stemming rising global temperatures.

The New York Times

Brad Plumer

July 20, 2017

Hoima, Kibaale, Western Region, Uganda

Cleveland has been battling human trafficking in various forms. In charge of those efforts are a small group of people who have used billboards and gift bags –amongst other creative ways– to fight human trafficking.

The Christian Science Monitor

Christopher Johnston

July 9, 2017

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

An alternative approach to education has long existed, but in the last decade, collaborations between non-profit student-support organizations and public schools have fostered a model called "Last-Chance Schools" with remarkable success among the population served: high-school students who dropped out, often for reasons related to economic disadvantages, unaddressed mental health challenges, violence and unstable home lives. As several Boston charter schools demonstrate with "last-chance" programs, though, use of social-emotional learning, conflict-mediation instead of zero-tolerance discipline, and flexible curricula based on "what you know," has helped over 65% of their students graduate -- with 70% going on to college -- and boasts one of the lowest suspension rates in Massachusetts.

The Hechinger Report

Natalie Gross

July 5, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The rapid evolution of technology is continually opening new doors for how microfinance projects can be implemented, improved, and scaled. The team at ADDO A.I. sees artificial intelligence as the catalyst for both microfinance and microinsurance in the emerging markets of Asia. A.I. reduces the need for human assessments, facilitating faster pay-outs and reduced losses through predictive data, while combining information such as financial histories and social media activity with historic context data to create fair, realistic risk assessments that lead to improved credit products.

Forbes

Casey Hynes

July 3, 2017

Lahore, Pakistan

ParkRx, as one of many new programs spanning several states, allow doctors to give out Park Prescriptions to their patients in order to encourage them to go to parks and get physical activity. THese programs are a way to encourage exercise, open patient and doctor dialogues, and reduce the use of medications or procedures.

National Geographic

Tik Root

June 29, 2017

South Dakota, United States

GreenCityForce has expanded to many of New York City's public housing projects with a two-pronged approach: helping to develop professional skills and job opportunities to young adult residents with high school diplomas, while simultaneously addressing the need to transition to a more environmentally-sustainable city. So far it has not only provided opportunities for youths but also help promote sustainable living, such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs.

NationSwell

Thomas Shomaker

June 28, 2017

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Mitigating homelessness on Los Angeles' infamous "Skid Row" comprises myriad obstacles, from securing funds and fostering political will needed to create affordable housing, to overcoming local residents' concern that shelters bring crime, blight and diminished property values. But a collaboration between city officials, a USC architecture class project, and the Skid Row Housing Trust has responded with a multi-pronged solution in "pod-style" housing units: a cost-effective pre-fab design technology eases their transportation, on-site construction and visual imposition on a neighborhood, while the pods' zoning classification as "congregant housing" minimizes the risk for local opposition to homeless support services on claims of structural or aesthetic noncompliance.

CityLab

Liz Wolfe

June 28, 2017

Los Angeles, California, United States

Given climate change, population pressures, and mobilization epidemics are only going to occur more frequently, and past ones have proven to be disastrous and expensive. The Center for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is focused on developing vaccines to viruses such as ebola, as well as creating a fast approval path for future vaccines and help increase global preparedness for future epidemics.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

June 27, 2017

Norway

It is expensive to be poor in America. When a mother of two could not afford repairs, lost her job and found her self homeless with her children. It seemed as if there was no hope in the world. The Pathway of Hope program by the salvation army helped that mother to pick her self up and start over.

The Courier-Journal

Morgan Watkins

June 22, 2017

Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Microfinance was widely lauded for decades as a surefire and promising way to break the cycle of poverty and uplift the economies of the developing world, especially when targeted for women. But hard data has shown that, on its own, micro-loans don't serve to create sustainable change without a comprehensive approach, and that there are many other factors - such as education and healthcare - to consider when leveraging these tools.

Barron's

Dyan Machan

June 17, 2017

Pokuase, Ghana

Kentucky is rethinking its penal system for dealing with drug offenders and has shown success in reducing recidivism and relapse rates. Instead of leaving addicts to languish in the typical jailhouse environment of "extortion, violence and tedium," more than two dozen of the state's county jails have created separate units devoted to full-time addiction treatment and support-services for prisoners that involve peer-policing.

The New York Times

Sam Quinones

June 16, 2017

Covington, Kentucky, United States

Many young people turn to drug use without sufficient support systems. A group of ex-users of narcotics formed a football team, providing social support, a distraction and excersise which is proven to aid in recovery from drug use.

Livemint

Sarita Santoshini

June 15, 2017

Sikkim, Gangtok, India

The Martu people, once again granted rights to their native land, are bringing back the bioregenerative technique of small-scale land burning. In the past century, wildfires have ravaged the areas these people call home and has lead to the loss of over 18 species of animal. It is hoped that by imparting this traditional method of ecological maintenance that wildfires will diminish along with the extinction that they bring.

Al Jazeera

Rachael Hocking

June 14, 2017

Australia

With the reintroduction of predators such as wolves and grizzly bears in Montana's national parks, ranchers' livestock are increasingly being targeted by these carnivores. When livestock is threatened their health decreases due to the stress of survival. To mitigate this issue, livestock composting sites have been created providing meat for the predators and increased safety for the ranchers and their livestock.

Montana Public Radio

Rachel Cramer

June 13, 2017

Wisdom, Montana, United States

A report by the Rails to Trails Conservancy in Milwaukee has identified how increased access to bike paths could be a catalyst for development and economic growth in low-income, minority neighborhoods where people are less likely to be able to afford a car. Ironically, it is those neighborhoods that currently have the fewest bike trails. To call attention to this, the study created a "connectivity score" outlying the massive potential that bike trails create to key community entities such as schools, hospitals, and employment centers, while better connecting diverse neighborhoods and improving overall quality of life for the city as a whole, as they have done in Minneapolis.

Urban Milwaukee

Bruce Murphy

June 11, 2017

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

By creating pneumatic refuse systems, Singapore is hoping to reduce both the man power necessary for waste collection as well as the environmental impacts of open systems.

GovInsider

Nurfilzah Rohaidi

June 9, 2017

Singapore, Singapore

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is working to implement maternal and newborn child health programs in East Africa. Though the project has incorporated a wide-range of initiatives, many of them have relied on a single underlying principle that has proven to be effective: the empowerment of local women.

Anglican Journal

André Forget

June 9, 2017

Masasi, Tanzania

Chehalis had such a low college admissions and graduation rate that the Washington county was not competitive in the midst of the technology jobs in the state. The Chehalis school district has teamed up with the Chehalis Foundation, a non-profit that fundraises for schools, and has helped the district to purchase new technology, offer free classes, and fund student counseling services. The district succeeded in changing the social norms that a college education wasn’t necessary, by forming partnerships with community colleges and advocating for higher education through social events.

The Seattle Times

Katherine Long

June 2, 2017

Chehalis , Washington, United States

Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood with the highest poverty levels, struggles to keep kids in school from engaging with gangs and crime to make money for themselves and their families. But College Bound Dorchester (CBD) is fast rewriting the solution to high drop out and recidivism rates, paying ex-offenders a weekly stipend to enroll in and complete a diploma program and proceed to (and through) college. With "core influencers" -- ex-gang members who have "left behind their troubled pasts" -- as role models in the community, CBD emulates similar programs in Chicago and Baltimore, and studies show the initiative is working.

CityLab

Andrew Zaleski

June 2, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Many Nepalese women are lacking a place in the job market and unable to support themselves in the Nepalese economy. A traditional way of weaving has brought a new source of income to some women entrepreneurs.

News Deeply

Liza Ramrayka

June 2, 2017

Kapilakot, Sindhuli, Nepal

Extensive research by TARU, an Indian thinktank, shows how cities and towns in India have combined decentralized action and "multi-stakeholder engagement" in public policy to respond to problems of scarcity in water and power as well as climate change-related natural disasters. With "active engagement of communities, scientists, civil society and an elected representative," municipalities put responsibility for improving local lives at the grassroots level; integrate disruptive technologies from the private sector; and foster collaboration between government and citizens.

Citiscope

Patralekha Chatterjee

May 29, 2017

Surat, Gujarat, India

Hopeworks 'N Camden prepares teens for jobs in Camden, NJ. through programs aimed to address any previous childhood trauma or socioeconomic stresses. It was characterized by set backs but the program is proving to set to provide the next generation with employable skills.

The Philadelphia Citizen

Sarah Jordan

May 25, 2017

Camden, New Jersey, United States

In 1986, the city of Baltimore battled the Reagan administration over its local anti-apartheid ordinances—and won. How they prevailed may have important lessons for cities trying to resist Trump today; from his policies regarding immigration to climate change.

CityLab

Brentin Mock

May 24, 2017

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

The Prospect Community Garden has proven to be a valuable resource for students attending the elementary school, as well as local residents who help out and receive produce from the garden.

Richland Source

Emily Dech

May 19, 2017

Mansfield, Ohio, United States

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