Photo of the Week: Innovation and Global Development

February 10, 2012
Women Collect Water in Ethiopia

Our "Photo of the Week" comes to us from USAID photographer Morgana Wingard and depicts women collecting clean drinking water. Abebow Gesesse, the owner of a poultry farm in Mojo, Ethiopia, received a loan from Dashen Bank thanks to a USAID guarantee through their Development Credit Authority program. The loan allowed him to buy his own truck, construct an additional barn, and build a well and water pump for his farm. Abebow invited the 200 households in his town to access the water at no cost. One of the women said, "Before we had access to this water pump we would have to walk 6 kilometers to be able to purchase clean water. Abebow lets the community access his water pump for free, saving us hours every day."

This week, the White House announced a series of initiatives from across government to harness innovation for global development in support of President Obama's Policy Directive on Global Development. Released in Fall 2010, the directive recognizes that development is vital to U.S. national security and is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative for the United States. It charts a course for development, diplomacy and defense to mutually reinforce and complement one another. The directive also calls for investments in science, technology, and innovation to accelerate progress toward development goals in health, food security, climate change, energy and environmental sustainability, and broad-based economic growth. President Obama said, "We're expanding scientific collaboration with other countries and investing in game-changing science and technology to help spark historic leaps in development."

As part of these broader efforts, USAID recently announced the Higher Education Solutions Network program, which invites higher education institutions to compete to join USAID as new strategic, long-term partners and makes it easier to turn ideas from students and professors into action and results in the field. This announcement expands upon USAID's long tradition of engagement with universities, colleges, research institutes, and other institutions of higher education.

On February 9, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the President's Global Development Council, which will inform and provide advice to the President and other senior U.S. officials on U.S. global development policies and practices, support new and existing public-private partnerships, and increase awareness and action in support of development by soliciting public input on current and emerging issues in the field of global development. The Council will be comprised of government officials as well as no more than 12 individuals from a variety of sectors, such as institutions of high education, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, civil society, and private industry.

You can read more about these initiatives here, and more about USAID's work in Ethiopia here. You can find more photographs from Abebow's story here.



New Mexico, USA
February 11, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Hanna Johnson,

Here's an idea- Just about every American city has its version of a bicycle bone yard and parts-trading community among bicycleists, and waste management gets the junkers a lot of the time that arn't picked clean.

So what if USAID could put some unemployed folks here in America putting these bikes into working order, recycle them, and ship a few thousand at a time to remote villages globally.

They just have to be sturdy enough to go off-road w/ a load.

Plus most bicycle mags have enough readership that you could get a lot of working donations, wait till you have enough and start shipping them out by the Conex-full.

When I was building bikes for the homeless, it turned them into commuters.


On a housekeeping note:

It would be nice if we could bring back "The Question of the Week" on the blog, as it does solicit public opinion and food for thought to chew on.

And if we arn't getting "The week in review" anymore, can the blog borrow from a White House spokesperson tradition and do "The week ahead." instead?

And one more while I'm at it;

This would be a much more readable, user friendly blog if the first comment posted (the oldest) was always at the top of the comments screen.

That way if a comment runs more than 5000 characters (consective posts), the segments don't read backwards while reading down from the top of the page.

(or maybe it's too labor intensive to do throughout 4+ years of Archives as well)

Anyway, I still think you all might want to think about sending blog invitations out to the thinkers in universities via Diplomats in Residence, and via US embassies.

Then get folks @ State to dare to have a free for all discussion with all of us on the blog about the world at its current state of play.

The things I see missing from this blog's potential..., If you do this, I won't worry about the rest, that then will come in its own good time.



South Korea
February 12, 2012

Palgye in South Korea writes:

@ Eric


FTA with South Korea


In the United States and South Korea signed FTA, Korea's too difficult to accommodate the people, there are some provisions. For general information in the United States, but South Korea is not yet developed as the United States. I just got lucky, a little damage to the global economic crisis to go I think. - You are absolutely sure that all of the help .....

South Korea, economic, political, guarantee fair and equitable opportunity, with minimal effort, even if the country, the provisions likely to accept, the lead time required for a few years now, I think. Preparation period.

Countries to grow and open system is absolutely necessary, but Korea's political, economic, social, and cultural leaders, for their success and career, to think that taxes are used. But rather an ordinary interest to ...

The United States, as covered by the law to power by means of containment is not just a dictatorship country, the United States in its negotiations with the Republic of Korea, the United States as required by law to accept all of the, still need more time, I think.

If you ignore the special situation in Korea, like Japan, South Korea also are likely to be suspect ....

Thank You.


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