ICT Health India: Gov Uses Video Chat to Bring Healthcare to the Poor in India
The Sanjeevani project "combines the use of cell phones and computers to enable services such as Tele-consultations, Tele-education and Tele-diagnosis. Tele-consultations allow for patient histories to be placed online so they can be accessed by doctors in different parts of the country with ease. Tele-diagnosis allows specialist to consult with local physicians via video-chat and calls. This facility could prove to be particularly helpful to poorer sections of the society that live in rural areas, and have limited access to specialists."
Sources:SFG June 2011, page 4:
Bamboo Laws Could Create New Source of Income for Impoverished Villagers in India
In a development that SFG says could "provide new sources of income for millions of poor that live off forests in the coming years," forest dwellers in India are now legally able to collect and sell bamboo.
The new rule is the result of the Ministry of Environment and Forests recently issuing a directive to state governments to "officially recognize bamboo as 'minor forest produce'" instead of "timber... which gave state government the right to collect and sell bamboo exclusively."
"Minor forest produce‟ includes everything valuable in a forest, except timber, that can be utilized."
Sources:SFG June 2011, page 2:
Multiparty democracy, Niger style
According to the Centre for Democracy and Development, Niger is an example of a successful multiparty democracy where the opposition acted as a safeguard against the ruling party turning dictatorial.
"The presidential elections in the Republic of Niger presents a ... scenario in which the opposition demonstrated a cohesiveness that ensured a victory for their leaders, Mahamadou Issoufou of the PNDS party against Seini Oumarou of MNSD who was said to have strong ties to Mohmoud Tandia the ousted former president.
Sources:Centre for Development and Democracy, April 2011, Pgs. 8-9
West African election very different from the western ideal
West Africa, due to unrest and other issues, has a very high rate of migration between countries. Add to that the issue of borders having been created across ethnic and tribal lines and you have an interesting set up for western style democracy.
Sources:Centre for Development and Democracy, April 2011, Pg. 5 – 6 and pg. 10
USAID's article on the Guinea election:
Turning acid mine drainage into a solution for water and energy shortages
“According to Dr Anthony Turton, director of Touchstone Resources, consideration should be given to studying the economic feasibility of ‘mining’ South Africa’s problematic acid mine drainage (AMD) and wastewater (mentioned in the December 2010 Scan) for metals, minerals, salt and even hydrogen. Turton is a protagonist not only of ‘mining’ AMD, but also the water in sewage works and obtaining phosphate, which is crucial for food security, as a by product. Turton favours consideration being given to the use of ion-exchange technology to remove the metals and minerals.
Sources:South Africa Node, April 2011, Pgs. 8 – 9
See the January / February 2011 edition of Water Wheel magazine for a comprehensive overview and background of AMD.
Climate change will stunt middle class growth
Contrary to general understanding, new research suggests that middle class farmers who invest in newer farming technology are going to be more negatively effected by climate change than poorer subsistence farmers.
Sources:South Africa Node April 2011, pg. 8
Organized crime becoming ubiquitous in poor urban communities and increasingly powerful thanks to a global economy
Organized crime is becoming increasingly globally connected and more powerful. In their capacity to grow they are changing the rules of daily life for poor communities in urban centers. Organized crime units are providing social services for communities where government has failed to do so, and at the same time are becoming increasingly embedded in everyday life of poor urban communities globally.
Sources:South Africa Node April 2011, pgs. 6-7
Erin Torkelson’s opinion piece:
Trans-border tourism parks expected to promote regional stability, environmental conservation, and development
In an innovative move Southern African countries have charted out a trans-border tourism park in the hopes of creating increased stability, environmental protection, and development.
Sources:SA Node April 2011, pgs. 4-5
For more information about the Okavango/Zambeze, aka Kavango/Zambezi (Kaza) project:
For more information about the Wildlife Management and Tourism colleges.
For many poor countries tourism is one of their main industries. Having a better understanding of how tourism contributes to the economies of these countries is a very important step that until know has not been much understood.
Sources:Source: Development Southern Africa, Vol 27 (5)
South Africa Node April 2011 pg. 4
Recent increases in oil prices could lead to longer-term economic damage for poorest countries
Increasing oil prices will not just effect the GDP of poor countries in potentially startling degrees, but will also make life dramatically harder for the poorest households.
Sources:South Africa Node April 2011 pg. 2