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What Do the Poor Need? Try Asking Them

The New York Times

Text / 800-1500 Words

Neighborhood Centers, a Houston anti-poverty program has a simple philosophy: “The people are the asset, the source of potential solutions, not the problem.” The non-profit has scaled nationally, employing its bottom-up approach to disburse funds in poor communities.

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Could adorable tiny tech backpacks save the honeybees?

The Christian Science Monitor

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Concerned with colony collapse syndrome in honey bees worldwide, scientists, farmers and tech companies teamed up in Australia to create a micro-sensor that collects data on the bee's environment.

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NASA and USAID pioneer the use of space technologies for development efforts

Devex

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SERVIR, a joint development initiative of the United States Agency for International Development and National Aeronautics and Space Administration, leverages data from space to improve environmental decision-making in 30 developing countries.

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How cities are searching for solutions among massive mounds of data

The Globe and Mail

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New York City suffered from fires that erupted in overcrowded, run-down apartments. Then the city sleuthed through residential records and found that landlords who foreclosed let their properties fall apart and ignored safety-code violations. Greater Toronto wants to expand upon New York City’s m...

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How Milwaukee Went Soft on Crime

Politico Magazine

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Milwaukee once had volatile police inner-city neighborhood tensions with prevalent violent crime. In addition to fostering relationships between residents and the police, the police force has experienced reforms. They include using Big Data to identify crime hot spots, bringing cops back into th...

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How to Grow More Food with Less Water

Ensia

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Water shortages caused by drought have increased across the globe, and farmers are faced with economic burdens. The U.S. government has developed different sensors for irrigation devices that gauge water demand and help conserve use.

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In Aleppo, cell phones are helping some desperate Syrians find clean water

Public Radio International (PRI)

Radio / 5-15 Minutes

In war zones, people have a difficult time finding clean water and safe areas to inhabit. Social media, smart phones, and technology applications are aiding in people’s survival. In Aleppo, Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross posted a map on Facebook to show alternative sources o...

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How Online Mapmakers Are Helping the Red Cross Save Lives in the Philippines

The Atlantic

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After typhoon Haiyan, the devastation to the Philippines was hard to locate and track. The Red Cross staffed volunteers to sort through crowd-sourced data to create maps. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap software application has helped the Red Cross better organize search and rescue operations.

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Curing Violence Like an Infectious Disease

Tiny Spark

Podcast / 5-15 Minutes

Neighborhoods in Chicago suffer from gang violence and gun-related deaths. A church leader and a physician trained in infectious diseases created Cure Violence, a program that sends teams of local residents to meet with gang leaders as a means of producing positive behavioral change by re-setting...

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What Will it Take to Get Plastics out of the Ocean?

Ensia

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The amount of plastic debris in our oceans and water sources - especially nanoplastics that are increasingly prevalent in our food chain - is so enormous it's often beyond comprehension, and immensely difficult to address. As countries continue to industrialize and single-use products become more...

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