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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

There has been a shift in USA politics to politicians no longer knowing eachother, which has detrimental effects on governing and deal-making. William Weld has emphasized the importance of spending time with fellow policians in order to increase bipartisanship and function better in government, as exemplified in his weekly meetings with two other government members.

Larry Platt

July 18, 2017

Washington, DC, United States

Los Angeles has faced deepening issues of severe traffic and extreme smog pollution in the past several decades, but for years intentions and promises to broadly improve transportation have fallen flat. At long last, the most congested city in the world - once home to the most extensive urban rail network on the planet - is reviving rail lines and trains as a solution to both issues. Robust public transport has proven to have multi-layered economic, cultural, environmental, and social benefits to communities.

The American Prospect

David Dayen

July 17, 2017

Los Angeles, California, United States

Frustrated with poor network service and high costs, many Ghanians have had to tout multiple, cheap mobile phones around to conduct business and communications normally. One entrepreneur, Kwasi Twum-Ampofo, decided to develop his own improved brand of smartphone, usable both domestically and abroad, that has superior network access while still being affordable to most Ghanians.

Graphic Online

Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah

July 17, 2017

Accra, Ghana

As professor of medicine and gun-violence researcher Dr. Garen Wintemute notes, gun buyback programs have "struggled against the perception" of ineffectiveness: attracting only older and non-violent gun owners, for instance, and in some cases leading people to use the cash to buy superior firearms. But after a studying crowdfunding strategies and raising prodigious sums through a customized online funding campaign, a non-profit, Gun by Gun, aimed at reducing the number of guns in the U.S., has partnered with several California cities, using more than $100,000 of nationally-sourced individual donations to create demonstrably sustainable, more successful buyback programs across the state.

The New York Times

Claire Martin

July 10, 2017

Los Angeles, California, United States

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.


Casey Hynes

July 3, 2017

Lahore, Pakistan

Japan has a rapidly aging country, to help combat present and future ramifications it has implemented "Smart Wellness City Comprehensive Special Zones to Achieve Health and Longevity" to encourage and reward healthy living. So far it has resulted in citizens leading more active lives, BMI decreases for those who had a BMI of over 25, and lower medical costs.

Japan for Sustainability

Yuka Kume

June 30, 2017

Date, Fukushima, Japan

The USA is seeing rising maternal mortality rates in recent years, it shows higher rates than most developed countries, in part due to the country's lack of attention to women's health. California is reversing this trend through their California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) which analyzes data and then uses it to make recommendations and 'tool kits' for hospitals to be prepared should an emergency arise in childbirth.


Julia Belluz

June 29, 2017

California, United States

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.


Thomas Shomaker

June 28, 2017

Brooklyn, New York, United States

The economic development and growth all along the West coast has been a boon for such organizations as Amazon, Apple, and myriad tech start-ups, but the population increase has also contributed to skyrocketing housing costs, pushing thousands onto the streets in cities like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and many others; in response, organizations like Olympia, WA, non-profit Panza have developed a novel approach to sheltering homeless residents, a vital first step in the process of reintegrating them with society. With an affordable land lease from the county, and financial support from the state and local community organizations, Panza created a "tiny-house village" where 30 individual beds, toilets and sinks -- each within a single "tiny-house" -- has offered space, safety and support for 61 individuals to overcome their financial hardships and find jobs and housing on their own.


Matt Mills McKnight

June 28, 2017

Olympia, Washington, 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.


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


In an economy where even many people with jobs are unable to find affordable housing, a few initiatives - such as Habitat for Humanity in Maine - are finding the solution in shrinkage. Tiny homes offer a dignified, affordable, and accessible solution to housing for individuals and families that would otherwise be out on the street.

Portland Press Herald

Marina Schauffler

June 25, 2017

Rockport, Maine, United States

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

Artificial Intelligence could be the key to efficient collection of key information, even offering predictive data and potential solutions. This information can be used to improve agricultural techniques, poverty, and gain accurate data in numerous other fields.


Joseph Bennington-Castro

June 21, 2017

Stanford, California, United States

In Cuba, access to Internet, media, and other technology is prohibited or extremely limited, causing frustration and a feeling of isolation for many. Hence "The Weekly Package," carried by individuals who travel around on foot each week with a single, black market hard drive from which customers may download the content of their choice - telenovelas, celebrity gossip, movies, and more.

Harper's Magazine

Kim Wall

June 19, 2017

Havana, Cuba

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.


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.


Sarita Santoshini

June 15, 2017

Sikkim, Gangtok, India

U-Haul and supermarket supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers are partnering with The Conservation Fund in order to help offset their wood use and increase donations to this cause. This partnership has led to to promotion of the conservation of of the Success Pond and its surrounding forest, planting trees, and investing in land easements that will restore and protect native habitats.

Triple Pundit

Leon Kaye

June 15, 2017

Success, New Hampshire, United States

Rotterdam is increasingly threatened by climate change and the rising water levels. Instead of building barriers, they are choosing to work with the water and help it flow through the 'Room for the River' project and other innovations.

The New York Times

Michael Kimmelman

June 15, 2017

Rotterdam, Netherlands

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