The Rockefeller Foundation Establishes Atlas AI – New Startup to Generate Actionable Intelligence on Global Development Challenges

Development – AI

The Rockefeller Foundation Establishes Atlas AI – New Startup to Generate Actionable Intelligence on Global Development Challenges
Atlas AI appoints Victoria Coleman as CEO, most recently CTO of Wikimedia Foundation

NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2019 – The Rockefeller Foundation today marked the public launch of Atlas AI, a social enterprise established by the Foundation and a team of Stanford University professors to develop data products to support global development. Atlas AI works at the intersection of development economics, crop science, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence to generate detailed insights on poverty, crop yield and economic trends across Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier this week, Atlas AI named Victoria Coleman, previously Chief Technology Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer.

A B-Corporation founded in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation in 2018, Atlas AI uses machine learning algorithms and a rich array of ground truth data to estimate economic activity and crop yield from satellite imagery. Atlas AI validates its models against gold standard datasets collected by multilateral partners in the field, and their methods are backed by rigorously peer reviewed scientific research.

“Atlas AI is an innovative model for translating the best research thinking into products and services that accelerate sustainable development. Part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s vision is to unlock AI’s tremendous potential to improve people’s well-being while mitigating downside risks,” said Zia Khan, Vice President of Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We’re tremendously excited to welcome Victoria as Atlas AI’s new CEO. We conducted an extensive search and she brings a unique combination of skills and experiences to complement a world-class team.”

The reality is that it’s difficult to reach people living at or near the poverty line with critical information and services, especially if they are not online. Fielding a census or survey is time consuming and remarkably expensive—particularly for low-income, fragile, and conflict-affected countries. Atlas AI was founded to solve these challenges, delivering information more quickly and cost-effectively, and with greater accuracy and detail.

Based on years of cutting-edge research, Atlas AI was launched by professors David Lobell, Stefano Ermon, and Marshall Burke of Stanford University to give decision-makers in developing countries access to low-cost, cutting-edge data. Experts in artificial intelligence, data science, and development economics, Lobell, Ermon and Burke had already shown that satellite imagery can be used to map poverty and crop yields in Africa with a combination of economic data, space technology, and machine learning algorithms. Over the last seven months they began building Atlas AI with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, working with partner organizations in Africa to test and operationalize new products, including high-resolution datasets on wealth, consumption, and agricultural yields.

Atlas AI has assembled a team of the best scientists and engineers in the world with the passion and creativity to make a positive difference. Today, Atlas AI announced Victoria Coleman as the organization’s first CEO. As CTO at the Wikimedia Foundation – the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia, one of the world’s largest and most popular web properties – Ms. Coleman set the vision and strategy for technology and operations for Wikimedia projects in collaboration with the Wiki community. Previously, as Vice President Engineering at Yahoo! Inc., she led the company’s web services at scale. Before joining Yahoo!, Ms. Coleman served as Vice President, Emerging Technologies at Nokia. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to open data, a crucial part of Atlas AI’s mission. As a public benefit corporation, the company will support an open analytics platform allowing the public to browse economic datasets for the developing world, at sub-national resolution.

While private-sector businesses have been building and deploying artificial intelligence for years, most organizations in the non-profit, civic, and public sectors have yet to robustly apply these techniques towards the complex challenges they address. They have a strong appetite to use applied data to make their work go farther, faster, and ultimately help more people – but they may lack access to the skill sets and resources to do so in their context.

In an expanding effort to build the field of data science for social impact, in January 2019 The Rockefeller Foundation announced the creation of the Data Science for Social Impact collaborative in partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. The first activity by the collaborative was $20-million in funding to DataKind, a global non-profit that connects data science talent with social organizations – harnessing the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity.

As a science-driven philanthropy focused on partnering for the greatest impact, The Rockefeller Foundation supports the growth and success of Atlas AI so that its cutting-edge data products and services get to those who need them most. The Foundation maintains a seat on Atlas AI’s Board of Directors and will continue to be an active partner focused on long-term stewardship of results-oriented, global human development outcomes.
To learn more about Atlas AI, visit their website

Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become a New Nonprofit Entity Named Candid

Governance – Knowledge Management :: Not-for-Profit Organizations

Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become a New Nonprofit Entity Named Candid
Candid to Offer Most Comprehensive, Global Source of Knowledge About Nonprofit Work

February 5, 2019 (New York, N.Y.)—Foundation Center, the leading source for insight on philanthropy worldwide, and GuideStar, the leading source of information on nonprofit organizations, today announced they have joined forces to become a new nonprofit entity named Candid.

Candid brings together the deep expertise of the two organizations in data, technology, research, and training to serve the entire social sector—nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, and individual donors—and promote more and smarter giving. Building on more than 85 years of combined experience, Candid will enable new kinds of transparency about who is working where in the world and on what issues. Candid will also promote data standards and tools that can accelerate knowledge sharing and enhance collaboration. Powered with new insights, richer data, and increased access, Candid’s more than 16 million users will be better equipped to make more strategic decisions and better advance their missions.

Bradford Smith, previously president of Foundation Center, will be the president of Candid; Jacob Harold, previously president and CEO of GuideStar, will be Candid’s executive vice president.

“We are combining operations to fulfill a shared vision: connecting people who want to change the world with the resources they need to succeed,” said Bradford Smith, president of Candid. “And our name, Candid, speaks to our deep historical legacy of telling the story of foundations and nonprofits in a fair and objective manner as well as our renewed commitment to provide trusted data and knowledge for the sector.”

“Candid is a new organization but it is rooted in eight decades of experience in and connection to the nonprofit community,” said Jacob Harold, executive vice president of Candid. “With billions of pieces of data and millions of users, Candid will have the scale to weave together the stories of changemakers around the world. Our combined data and networks will allow us to understand the current state of the field in new ways. But, more importantly, Candid will be positioned to help the field imagine better ways of working for a better future.”..

Informed by the needs of users, the Candid team will explore a far-reaching range of new services. Currently in the planning phase, these initiatives will be developed over a period of years and include:
:: weaving together databases to enable much more inclusive search results;
:: enabling results-driven analysis based upon improved program data;
:: expanding and accelerating the adoption of data standards across the field;
:: driving a common profile—and, eventually, a common grant application and reporting framework—by providing a consistent data framework, a next-generation distribution system, and place-based campaigns;
:: providing people working in the social sector with opportunities to develop skills to help them succeed;
:: creating social functionality, including “give lists” and deeper integration into social media platforms;
:: developing a technology and knowledge-driven marketplace for RFPs;
:: creating a fundraising planning tool for nonprofits; and
:: directly integrating data and analysis into the tools that nonprofits, foundations, and their partners use every day.

Candid will be governed by a board composed of the current trustees of Foundation Center and GuideStar. Leading the board will be co-chairs Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, who has served as the chair of Foundation Center and serves as president & CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and Mari Kuraishi, who served as chair of GuideStar and is the new president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Prior to joining the Fund, Kuraishi was the co-founder and president of GlobalGiving…

Harnessing indigenous peoples’ knowledge for a food-secure future in the face of climate change

Development :: Heritage Stewardship

Harnessing indigenous peoples’ knowledge for a food-secure future in the face of climate change
04 Feb 19 – IFAD
What: The fourth global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) promotes indigenous peoples’ knowledge and innovations for climate resilience and sustainable development.
When: 9:00 Tuesday 12th to 17:00 Wednesday 13th February, 2019.
Where: IFAD Headquarters, Via Paolo di Dono 44, 00142 Rome, Italian Conference Room.

The Story: The Indigenous Peoples’ Forum was established in 2011 as a permanent process between representatives from indigenous peoples’ organizations, IFAD and governments. This year the Forum is focusing on the promotion of indigenous peoples’ knowledge and innovations for climate resilience and sustainable development to further strengthen rural transformation.

Over two days participants will focus on:
:: Reinforcing indigenous peoples role as custodians of a large part of the world’s biodiversity. Due to their close relationship with the environment, indigenous peoples are uniquely positioned to address and adapt to climate change.
:: Increasing investments to support indigenous organizations, institutions and communities, with a focus on youth and women, that build on their knowledge and innovations to address climate change and/or strengthen climate resilience.
:: Supporting indigenous peoples in securing their lands, territories and resources, including through mapping and advocacy.

Examples:
:: Indigenous peoples’ water-harvesting/irrigation systems increase water supply in water stressed environments. In Tunisia, the Amazigh people use the “jessour system,” which consists of dams and terraces for collecting run-off water, enabling cultivation of olives, fruit trees and grains.
:: Indigenous knowledge is used to rehabilitate the soil, and adapt and react to floods and droughts. In Bangladesh, flood-affected indigenous communities cultivate saline-tolerant varieties of reeds, and saline-tolerant and drought-resistant fruit and timber trees, reducing vulnerability to floods and sea-level rise and ensure longer-term income generation.
:: Indigenous peoples’ community-based forest management sets aside conservation areas, woodcutting and watershed management zones, which have an important role to play in reversing the process of deforestation. The Miskito people of Nicaragua maintain three land-use types (cultivated fields, pastures and forest areas), while in Indonesian Borneo, the Dayak Jalai utilize a shifting mosaic land-use pattern that includes patches of natural and managed forest.

Webcast: https://bit.ly/2S9wJWR

Emergencies

Emergencies 

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 6 February 2019
:: The 144th Session of the Executive Board concluded on 1 February with a renewed support from the public health leadership for a final push to end polio. Read more about polio eradication efforts and the report by the EB on polio eradication here.
:: The Global Surveillance Action Plan 2018-2020 is now online. The GPSAP aims to support endemic, outbreak, and high-risk countries in evaluating and increasing the sensitivity of their surveillance systems. 

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Afghanistan – Afghanistan- one case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1);
:: Pakistan – one case of WPV1 and six WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Niger – one case of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV2). five WPV1 positive environmental samples.

::::::
::::::

 
Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 9 Feb 2019]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo   7 February 2019
…During the last 21 days (16 January – 5 February 2019), 119 new cases have been reported from 13 health zones (Figure 2), including: Katwa (75), Butembo (9), Beni (8), Kyondo (5), Kayna (5), Oicha (4), Manguredjipa (4), Biena (2), Kalunguta (2), Mabalako (2), Masereka (1), Mutwanga (1), and Vuhovi (1)2. Current epidemiological analyses points to nosocomial transmission due to poor infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, persistent delays in detection and isolation of new cases, frequent community deaths (and subsequent contact with deceased), and transmission within family and community networks, as the main drivers of ongoing disease transmission. Insecurity and pockets of community resistance have continuously stifled efforts to combat these risks; nevertheless, response teams remain committed to actively strengthening community trust and participation in all affected areas, and are beginning to observe tangible improvements in Katwa and elsewhere….

:: 27: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  5 February 2019

Case management
On 24 November 2018, the MoH announced the launch of a randomized control trial for Ebola therapeutics. This is ongoing, with all confirmed cases in ETCs receiving therapy under the compassionate use protocol, together with supportive care.
As of 3 February 2018, 194 patients were admitted to Ebola transit and treatment centres. Among nine treatment ETCs and transit centres (TC), two have bed occupancy of more than 100% (Katwa ETC and Beni TC).
Patient sorting in Beni hospital and Beni ETC is being supervised; community re-integration of two cured cases is ongoing in Kirumba and Kanyabayonga.
…Implementation of ring vaccination protocol
As of 3 February 2019, a cumulative total of 73,309 people have been vaccinated since the start of the outbreak.
The Immunization Commission is being supported in their efforts to persuade contacts to be vaccinated in Kivika, Kambuli and Mukuna in Katwa health zone.

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new digest announcements identified  
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified  
NigeriaNo new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified  
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified  
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

 
::::::
 
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 9 Feb 2019]
Brazil (in Portugese)
:: Sarampo na Europa: número recorde de pessoas doentes e imunizadas  7 de fevereiro de 2019

Libya
:: WHO warns of increasing attacks on health facilities in Libya
5 February 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of increasing attacks on health facilities and workers in both frequency and scale. WHO has documented more than 41 attacks targeting health workers and facilities throughout 2018–2019 across the country. These attacks resulted in 6 health workers and patients killed and 25 health workers injured. An additional seven health workers were also assaulted during this period…

Cameroon  – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory  – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

::::::
 
WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 9 Feb 2019]
Afghanistan
Chad
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018
Kenya
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mali
Namibia – viral hepatitis
Peru
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut
Tanzania
 
::::::
 
WHO AFRO Outbreaks – Week 05: 26 January – 01 February 2019
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Lassa fever in Nigeria
:: Cholera in Burundi
:: Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia.

::::::
:::::: 
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Yemen
:: Yemen: Hajjah Governorate – Flash Update 2 | 28 January-3 Feb …
Syrian Arab Republic   – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Ethiopia 
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue #2 | 21 January-03 Febr …

Somalia 
:: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 1 January – 5 February 2019 …
 

 

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 6 February 2019
:: The 144th Session of the Executive Board concluded on 1 February with a renewed support from the public health leadership for a final push to end polio. Read more about polio eradication efforts and the report by the EB on polio eradication here.
:: The Global Surveillance Action Plan 2018-2020 is now online. The GPSAP aims to support endemic, outbreak, and high-risk countries in evaluating and increasing the sensitivity of their surveillance systems. 

Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Afghanistan – Afghanistan- one case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1);
:: Pakistan – one case of WPV1 and six WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Niger – one case of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV2). five WPV1 positive environmental samples.

::::::
::::::

 
Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 9 Feb 2019]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo   7 February 2019
…During the last 21 days (16 January – 5 February 2019), 119 new cases have been reported from 13 health zones (Figure 2), including: Katwa (75), Butembo (9), Beni (8), Kyondo (5), Kayna (5), Oicha (4), Manguredjipa (4), Biena (2), Kalunguta (2), Mabalako (2), Masereka (1), Mutwanga (1), and Vuhovi (1)2. Current epidemiological analyses points to nosocomial transmission due to poor infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, persistent delays in detection and isolation of new cases, frequent community deaths (and subsequent contact with deceased), and transmission within family and community networks, as the main drivers of ongoing disease transmission. Insecurity and pockets of community resistance have continuously stifled efforts to combat these risks; nevertheless, response teams remain committed to actively strengthening community trust and participation in all affected areas, and are beginning to observe tangible improvements in Katwa and elsewhere….

:: 27: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu  5 February 2019

Case management
On 24 November 2018, the MoH announced the launch of a randomized control trial for Ebola therapeutics. This is ongoing, with all confirmed cases in ETCs receiving therapy under the compassionate use protocol, together with supportive care.
As of 3 February 2018, 194 patients were admitted to Ebola transit and treatment centres. Among nine treatment ETCs and transit centres (TC), two have bed occupancy of more than 100% (Katwa ETC and Beni TC).
Patient sorting in Beni hospital and Beni ETC is being supervised; community re-integration of two cured cases is ongoing in Kirumba and Kanyabayonga.
…Implementation of ring vaccination protocol
As of 3 February 2019, a cumulative total of 73,309 people have been vaccinated since the start of the outbreak.
The Immunization Commission is being supported in their efforts to persuade contacts to be vaccinated in Kivika, Kambuli and Mukuna in Katwa health zone.

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new digest announcements identified  
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified  
NigeriaNo new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified  
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified  
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

 
::::::
 
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 9 Feb 2019]
Brazil (in Portugese)
:: Sarampo na Europa: número recorde de pessoas doentes e imunizadas  7 de fevereiro de 2019

Libya
:: WHO warns of increasing attacks on health facilities in Libya
5 February 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of increasing attacks on health facilities and workers in both frequency and scale. WHO has documented more than 41 attacks targeting health workers and facilities throughout 2018–2019 across the country. These attacks resulted in 6 health workers and patients killed and 25 health workers injured. An additional seven health workers were also assaulted during this period…

Cameroon  – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory  – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

::::::
 
WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 9 Feb 2019]
Afghanistan
Chad
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018
Kenya
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mali
Namibia – viral hepatitis
Peru
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut
Tanzania
 
::::::
 
WHO AFRO Outbreaks – Week 05: 26 January – 01 February 2019
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Lassa fever in Nigeria
:: Cholera in Burundi
:: Humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia.

::::::
:::::: 
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Yemen
:: Yemen: Hajjah Governorate – Flash Update 2 | 28 January-3 Feb …
Syrian Arab Republic   – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Ethiopia 
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue #2 | 21 January-03 Febr …

Somalia 
:: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 1 January – 5 February 2019 …
 

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 2 February 2019

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 2 Feb 2019

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

UNICEF appeals for $3.9 billion in emergency assistance for 41 million children affected by conflict or disaster

Child Protection/Emergency Assistance – Financing

UNICEF appeals for $3.9 billion in emergency assistance for 41 million children affected by conflict or disaster
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 29 January 2019 – Millions of children living in countries affected by conflict and disaster lack access to vital child protection services, putting their safety, well-being and futures at risk, UNICEF warned today as it appealed for $3.9 billion to support its work for children in humanitarian crises.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children sets out the agency’s 2019 appeal and its efforts to provide 41 million children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 59 countries across the globe. Funding for child protection programmes accounts for $385 million of the overall appeal, including almost $121 million for protection services for children affected by the Syria crisis.

“Today millions of children living through conflict or disaster are suffering horrific levels of violence, distress and trauma,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The impact of our child protection work cannot be overstated. When children do not have safe places to play, when they cannot be reunited with their families, when they do not receive psychosocial support, they will not heal from the unseen scars of war.”

UNICEF estimates that more than 34 million children living through conflict and disaster lack access to protection or child protection services, including 6.6 million children in Yemen, 5.5 million children in Syria and 4 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Child protection services include all efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, trauma and violence. UNICEF also works to ensure that the protection of children is central to all other areas of the organisation’s humanitarian programmes, including water, sanitation and hygiene, education and other areas of work by identifying, mitigating and responding to potential dangers to children’s safety and wellbeing.

However, funding constraints, as well as other challenges including warring parties’ growing disregard for international humanitarian law and the denial of humanitarian access, mean that aid agencies’ capacity to protect children is severely limited. In the DRC, for example, UNICEF received just a third of the $21 million required for child protection programmes in 2018, while around one-fifth of child protection funding for Syrian children remained unmet.

“Providing these children with the support they need is critical, but without significant and sustained international action, many will continue to fall through the cracks,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes. “The international community should commit to supporting the protection of children in emergencies.”

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades, threatening the safety and wellbeing of millions of children.

UNICEF’s appeal comes one month after the children’s agency said that the world is failing to protect children living in conflict around the world, with catastrophic consequences. Children who are continuously exposed to violence or conflict, especially at a young age, are at risk of living in a state of toxic stress – a condition that, without the right support can lead to negative life-long consequences for their cognitive, social and emotional development. Some children impacted by war, displacement and other traumatic events – such as sexual and gender-based violence – require specialized care to help them cope and recover.

The five largest individual appeals are for:
:: Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey (US$904 million);
:: Yemen (US$ 542.3 million);
:: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$ 326.1 million);
:: Syria (US$ 319.8 million) and
:: South Sudan (US$ 179.2 million).

Human trafficking and labor exploitation: Toward identifying, implementing, and evaluating effective responses

Featured Journal Content

PLoS Medicine
http://www.plosmedicine.org/
(Accessed 2 Feb 2019)
Editorial
Human trafficking and labor exploitation: Toward identifying, implementing, and evaluating effective responses
Ligia Kiss, Cathy Zimmerman
| published 29 Jan 2019 PLOS Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002740

Global estimates suggest that about 25 million people are subjected to “modern slavery” in the form of forced labor or human trafficking [1]. These men, women, and children are often migrant workers who are exploited in diverse sectors, such as agriculture, mining, fishing, factory work, domestic work, and forced sex work [1,2]. Although the eradication of modern slavery is among the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals [3], development of effective responses for trafficking prevention and assistance for victims remains elusive in this nascent field of health research. We believe that intensified efforts against trafficking require a greater understanding of modifiable factors and the causal pathways that lead to trafficking in different contexts and for individual populations.

Human trafficking frequently involves multiple forms of abuse, including deception, coercion, extortion, threats, and, for many, physical or sexual violence. A growing body of research shows that survivors of extreme exploitation often suffer severe and enduring health consequences [4–7]. Trafficking is associated with physical injuries including fractures, lacerations and lost limbs [5,8], chronic pain and headaches, significant weight loss [7,9], and symptoms of infectious and chronic diseases [8]. Sexual and reproductive health problems are common among women who are sexually exploited and abused while trafficked [4,9]. For trafficking survivors, persistent health problems include mental health consequences, especially symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidality [4,5,9,10].

Despite the significant health burden of human trafficking, only recently have health professionals begun to engage in responses to trafficking [2,11]. Findings from the study of violence against women suggest that healthcare providers are often a first nonfamily point of contact for victims of abuse. Recognizing that a healthcare setting can be a unique opportunity for well-trained providers to identify, assist, and refer trafficking survivors to necessary services [8,12,13], some governmental and intergovernmental agencies have begun to develop guidance. For example, the United Kingdom Department of Health has invested in research to support medical responses [9], whereas the United States Department of Health and Human Services recently launched the SOAR (i.e., Stop, Observe, Ask, Respond) training course [8,14], and international training tools are available to support healthcare providers to care for trafficked persons [13].

From a policy perspective, there has been disappointingly little engagement with modern slavery as a health concern by government health departments, such as health ministries, or by international agencies, including WHO. Evidence for prevention strategies is still scarce—particularly intervention-focused research and evaluations [13–16]. Given the scale of the problem and concomitant harms, human trafficking and modern slavery should be treated as a global health concern. Prevention and intervention approaches should, therefore, draw on and learn from approaches and methods used in the evaluation of other population health risks such as violence, smoking, and obesity.

In the first generation of research on human trafficking and modern slavery, efforts focused primarily on law enforcement initiatives, and research included case studies, in-depth research on surviving victims, and methods to assess global prevalence [17]. This work was important in the identification, definition, and description of the phenomena. Reports suggested the wide range of sectors that employ trafficked labor, highlighted the suffering of victims, advanced law enforcement responses, and indicated the global magnitude of the problem. However, this work was of little benefit to prevention initiatives—which, from a public health perspective, are badly needed to make substantial population gains in the reduction of labor exploitation and its consequences.

However, investment in obtaining prevention evidence is growing. For instance, emerging findings from the field suggest that there may be limited benefit in “awareness-raising” interventions [16,18] and indicate possible unintended harm from training courses that are not solidly grounded in contextual evidence [19]. These findings confirm the need for a systematic integrated approach across the migration pathway that addresses structural conditions in addition to individual-level behaviors and risks [20–23].

To make genuine progress in prevention, we must begin by developing more robust evidence on what defines extreme forms of labor exploitation. For instance, various forms of exploitation (under the umbrella terms of “human trafficking” and “modern slavery”) have different population distributions, and each of these phenomena is likely to affect subgroups differently. Similarly, trafficking-related acts are very diverse, ranging from those related to forced sex work to abuses occurring in other sectors using forced and exploited labor, during which severe occupational hazards may occur [1,24].

Researchers urgently need to address intervention-focused questions about modifiable factors in the causal pathways to human trafficking in different contexts and for different populations [2]. Therefore, serious consideration must be given to the structures and practices that enable exploitation and leave individuals with extremely limited ability to alter their circumstances [16]. For example, complex structural factors exist and interact to drive labor exploitation, including growing income inequalities, the increasing power of corporations alongside diminishing power of workers, extortionate labor recruitment practices, and governance structures that favor businesses or employers over workers’ rights.

To begin the second generation of research and evaluation of what works to reduce exploitation, we need to move beyond focusing solely on individual behaviors to incorporate questions about how larger forces contribute to or prevent extreme exploitation. Emerging fields of intervention research include the examination of social protections, such as cash transfer schemes, transparent labor recruitment methods, worker-driven social responsibility reporting (as distinct from existing corporate social responsibility programs), and fairer labor immigration legislation in destination locations.

Trafficking research for prevention is still in the early stages. To achieve meaningful advancements, researchers and practitioners will have to work together to develop intervention frameworks that recognize the genuine complexity and real-world challenges of addressing human trafficking. Intervention and evaluation designs are needed that are grounded in evidence on the complexity of determinants and that specify their targeted populations and intended outcomes. Evaluations are required that monitor and document [25] the effects of interventions over time and across subpopulations and the ways in which these interventions operate toward their intended impact.

Moreover, at this early stage in intervention research, investigators and implementers must leave space for regular learning and adaptation to course-correct programs and prevent unintended consequences. These types of dynamic evaluations can also respond to the appeal of realist evaluation, implementation science, or process evaluation to understand how, why, for whom, and under which circumstances interventions work in real-world settings [25–28].

We welcome the increase in well-intended calls for the use of experimental evaluation methods to address human trafficking. However, before interventions are subjected to resource-intensive evaluations, they will benefit from robust theories and implementation strategies that are grounded in evidence about causal processes and outcomes. Researchers should also consider if randomized trials are feasible, acceptable, and capable of answering questions of effectiveness for each specific intervention at its particular stage of development. Experimental designs may be extremely useful once developers, implementers, and evaluators have gathered sufficient evidence to be confident about the isolated contribution of an intervention to changes in the intended outcomes. Before then, resources need to be invested in the development of basic concepts, intervention theory, harm prevention, and appropriate research methods.

Future reductions in the global burden of labor exploitation will depend on researchers and practitioners working collaboratively to translate global good intentions into evidence-informed intervention designs. In this way, progress can extend beyond superficial patch-type responses to human trafficking and modern slavery in very diverse international settings and populations and address the deeper underlying drivers of this truly complex social problem.

2019 : International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Heritage Stewardship – Indigenous Languages

More than words: International year kicks off to protect indigenous languages
1 February 2019, New York
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives. They also make up our unique cultural identities. Yet, of the about 6,700 languages spoken in the world today, 40 percent are at risk of disappearing. Most of them are indigenous languages. And when a language dies, it can mean the end of a community’s values and traditions. This is where the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages comes in. UN DESA Voice spoke with Mirian Masaquiza in UN DESA’s Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD), about the year and its mission to protect and preserve the world’s indigenous languages.

How many indigenous languages are out there and how can we keep track of them?
“At present, 96 per cent of the world’s approximately 6,700 languages are spoken by only 3 per cent of the world’s population. The vast majority of the languages that are under threat are indigenous languages, and most of them would disappear.

States are the ones called to keep track on indigenous languages by recognizing the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples and developing language policies to promote and protect indigenous languages. Also, States should ensure that indigenous languages are adequately reflected in censuses and other data collection tools, such as questionnaires, surveys and participatory assessments.”

The UN has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. What makes them so important?
“The 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages is very important as it will inspire speakers of indigenous languages to use it in a daily life with pride. Member States and other stakeholders will understand the need to include indigenous languages into specific programmes and activities to promote and protect them. Most importantly, the world will see a revival of a movement that is fighting for the right to use the language of their ancestors.

This international year will continue to raise key issues and concerns associated with indigenous languages on an ad hoc basis. Further, it will be an opportunity to compile and share good practices and tools for language revitalization, considering the different needs based on the different situations of indigenous languages.”

What is threatening the indigenous languages?
“I think that globalization, non-recognition of indigenous peoples and the rise of a small number of culturally dominant languages has led to a situation in which, some indigenous peoples do no longer use their indigenous language or no longer transmit it from parents to their children.
We as human beings should care about indigenous languages in the same way as we should care about the loss of the world’s variety of plants and animals, its biodiversity.”

What can we do to protect them?
“Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures and that States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected…

Airbus and the World Bank launch a digital development project to connect Lima, the Andes and the central jungle of Peru #SmartBus

Development – Connectivity

Airbus and the World Bank launch a digital development project to connect Lima, the Andes and the central jungle of Peru #SmartBus
Lima, 28 January 2018 – Airbus and the World Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop SmartBus, an innovative geospatial monitoring pilot project.

Connected buses will gather and transmit information in real time about the state of the national road network, as well as enabling communication with areas isolated due to natural disasters. It will also study the use of new technologies to provide internet access in rural areas. The initiative, supported by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Peru (MTC), will be developed on the Andean road route between the capital city Lima, on the Pacific Coast, and cities located at the edge of the jungle and low Amazonian jungle.

Scientific data will be gathered with unprecedented precision, making it possible to map one of the most rugged – and busiest – sections of the country’s transport network, crossing the highest paved road in the central Andes, Ticlio, at a height of 4,818 metres above sea level.

Alberto Rodríguez, Director of the World Bank for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, said: “It will only be possible to maintain growth in the coming decade if our countries invest in development of human resources and scientific capabilities. This pilot project aims to achieve this very goal, connecting people in an extremely difficult geographical region of Peru and helping them to identify problems and possible solutions relating to road safety, meteorology and transport logistics. By connecting people and their problems with research centres, universities and leading technological companies, the project is making a tangible contribution to development.”

Meanwhile, Christophe Roux, Head of Airbus Defence and Space in Latin America said: “The support shown by Peruvian institutions is also proof of Peru’s strong interest in technological innovation. Airbus is committed to supporting this development, especially taking into account that Digital Transformation is at the heart of our growth strategy.”

The first phase of the project will involve installation of satellite antennas and sensors on various commercial buses covering the 742 km coast-mountain-jungle route. The data gathered by these devices will be complemented by satellite images provided by the Peruvian Space Agency (CONIDA), one of the entities collaborating on the SmartBus project.

The second phase will involve the organisation of a hackathon in Lima from 15 to 17 February 2019, which will bring together engineers, developers and students from across Peru to work on the development of innovative digital services and solutions using the information gathered by these sensors.

The project will allow measurement of the impact of innovative technological solutions such as: access to new connectivity models; systematisation of data gathered via wireless applications for the monitoring of infrastructure and maintenance of road networks; and the updating of information relevant to business activities at a local level…

Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 shows anti-corruption efforts stalled in most countries – Transparency International

Governance: State-Level Corruption

Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 shows anti-corruption efforts stalled in most countries
Analysis reveals corruption contributing to a global crisis of democracy
29 Jan 2019 Issued by Transparency International Secretariat
The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.

“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International. “Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). To view the results, visit: http://www.transparency.org/cpi2018

CPI highlights
More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of only 43. Since 2012, only 20 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Estonia and Côte D’Ivoire, and 16 have significantly declined, including, Australia, Chile and Malta. Denmark and New Zealand top the Index with 88 and 87 points, respectively. Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria are at the bottom of the index, with 10, 13 and 13 points, respectively. The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 35).

Corruption and the crisis of democracy
Cross analysis with global democracy data reveals a link between corruption and the health of democracies. Full democracies score an average of 75 on the CPI; flawed democracies score an average of 49; hybrid regimes – which show elements of autocratic tendencies – score 35; autocratic regimes perform worst, with an average score of just 30 on the CPI.

Exemplifying this trend, the CPI scores for Hungary and Turkey decreased by eight and nine points respectively over the last five years. At the same time, Turkey was downgraded from ‘partly free’ to ‘not free’, while Hungary registered its lowest score for political rights since the fall of communism in 1989. These ratings reflect the deterioration of rule of law and democratic institutions, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media, in those countries.
More generally, countries with high levels of corruption can be dangerous places for political opponents. Practically all of the countries where political killings are ordered or condoned by the government are rated as highly corrupt on the CPI…

Joint statement on the creation of INSTEX, the special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade with Iran in the framework of the efforts to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (31 January 2019)

Governance – States Create Corporate Entity to Enable Iran Trade

Joint statement on the creation of INSTEX, the special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade with Iran in the framework of the efforts to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (31 January 2019)
Joint statement by the E3 Foreign Ministers – Jean-Yves Le Drian (France), Heiko Maas (Germany), Jeremy Hunt (United Kingdom)
France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in accordance with their resolute commitment and continued efforts to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) endorsed by United Nations Security Council resolution 2231, announce the creation of INSTEX SAS (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges), a Special Purpose Vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran.

The E3 reaffirm that their efforts to preserve the economic provisions of the JCPOA are conditioned upon Iran’s full implementation of its nuclear-related commitments, including full and timely cooperation with the IAEA.

INSTEX will support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population – such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and agri-food goods. INSTEX aims in the long term to be open to economic operators from third countries who wish to trade with Iran and the E3 continue to explore how to achieve this objective.

The creation of INSTEX is a major first step taken by E3 countries today. The operationalisation of INSTEX will follow a step-by-step approach:
:: The E3 together with INSTEX will continue to work on concrete and operational details to define the way the company will operate.
:: The E3 will also work with Iran to create an effective and transparent corresponding entity that is required to be able to operationalise INSTEX.

INSTEX will function under the highest international standards with regards to anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and EU and UN sanctions compliance. In this respect, the E3 expect Iran to swiftly implement all elements of its FATF action plan.

The E3 underline their commitment to pursue the further development of INSTEX with interested European countries to make this instrument in support of trade exchanges with Iran operational by following the steps set out above.

Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 30 January 2019
:: 2018 in review and looking ahead to 2019: progress, challenges, milestones and takeaway lessons as we move forward. Read here.
:: The 144th Session of the Executive Board is meeting from 24 January to 1 February ahead of the World Health Assembly in May. Polio was one of the main talking points in the opening speech by the DG WHO and current Chair of the Polio Oversight Board, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Read his speech here. Concurrently, the DG also had a stakeholder consultation where he stressed on the need for strengthened and systematic collaboration between partners, health, and non-health actors, and committing to transparent long-term budgets for eradication efforts.

 Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Afghanistan – five WPV1 positive environmental samples;
:: Pakistan – ten wild polioviruses type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples;
:: Nigeria – two circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV2) positive environmental samples.

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Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 2 Feb 2019]
Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis
:: Bi‐weekly Situation Report 2 – 31 January 2019

KEY HIGHLIGHTS
:: The number of varicella cases reported in week 4 has increased to 5 376, which is more than double from week 3. WHO and the health sector are working in collaboration with community health working group; education sector and risk communication group for multi-prong response
:: Partners were provided with important guidance on key issues such as temperature control storage, disposal of drugs and content of Emergency health kits were shared with partners through a health logistics meeting
:: WHO was involved in developing a microplan for water quality surveillance in refugee camps for 2019.
:: The health sector is actively coordinating a systematic rationalisation process to reduce duplication of health facilities in the refugee camps

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Disease outbreak news: Update
31 January 2019
The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to respond to an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), despite persistent challenges around security and community mistrust impacting response measures. Relatively high numbers of cases were reported in recent weeks (Figure 1), mostly driven by the outbreak in Katwa Health Zone; the current focus of large scale response activities. Smaller clusters continue to be reported beyond Katwa Health Zone, including from Beni and Oicha; however, teams have quickly and systematically responded to these clusters to prevent onward transmission and guard against further geographical expansion of the outbreak. Teams are also working actively to strengthen community trust and participation in all affected areas.
As we approach six months since declaration of the outbreak, there have been a total of 752 EVD cases1 (698 confirmed and 54 probable) reported, including 465 deaths (overall case fatality ratio: 62%) as of 29 January 2019. Thus far, 259 people have been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) and enrolled in a dedicated program for monitoring and supporting survivors. Among cases with a reported age and sex, 59% (439/750) were female, and 30% (224/749) were aged less than 18 years; including 115 children under 5 years…

South Sudan
:: South Sudan vaccinates health workers against Ebola
Yambio, 28 January 2019 – The Ministry of Health of South Sudan, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners, today started vaccinating health workers and other front-line responders against Ebola as part of preparedness measures to fight the spread of the disease.
Vaccination began in Yambio, Gbudue State, but health workers in Tombura, Yei and Nimule as well as the capital city, Juba, will also be offered the vaccine. These are high-risk areas bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), now experiencing its tenth outbreak of Ebola. The outbreak began 1 August 2018. Neighbouring countries have not reported any cases of Ebola, but preparedness is crucial…

Syrian Arab Republic
:: WHO concerned over critical health situation in Al-Hol camp, Al-Hasakeh
31 January 2019, Damascus, Syria – The World Health Organization is extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Al-Hol camp in Al-Hasakeh governorate, and calls on all parties to the conflict to provide unhindered humanitarian access to people in need of life-saving aid….

Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified  
NigeriaNo new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 2 Feb 2019]

Brazil (in Portugese) – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon  – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory  – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

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WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 2 Feb 2019]
Afghanistan
Chad
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018
Kenya
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mali
Namibia – viral hepatitis
Peru
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut
Tanzania 

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WHO AFRO Outbreaks – Week 04: 19 – 25 January 2019
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 57 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Measles in Madagascar
:: Humanitarian crisis in Nigeria
:: Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

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UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Yemen
:: Hajjah Flash Update 1 | 27 January 2018

Syrian Arab Republic   – No new digest announcements identified

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UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Ethiopia  – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia  – No new digest announcements identified

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