Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson

Eric is an editor, writer, and community organizer based in Guelph, Canada.

Are Refugee Camps Hotbeds of Innovation?

Syrians flooding into the Za’atari refugee camp have made it Jordan’s fourth largest city, with over 83,000 displaced residents. They are victims of the worst humanitarian disaster of our time and face an uncertain future as the civil war continues to drive more people from their homeland. While resources in the camp are often scarce, a new project from the Fab Foundation helps residents share experiences, learn new skills, and connect with a global network to tackle daily challenges.

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Humanitarian Assistance Technology Series

  As mobile technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous around the world, particularly in high-income countries, it is also having a profound effect on how development projects are designed and implemented. This series by Lindsay Purchase explores the use of technology and telecommunications tools in humanitarian emergencies. These tools are being used by frontline responders and international aid agencies to deliver assistance to those …

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My Roof Eats Smog for Lunch

Smog has long been a ubiquitous presence in urban areas around the world. It is a major contributor to respiratory illness and can cripple a city’s ability to function, to say nothing of it’s psychological effects. Each city approaches the problem in their own way, from high taxes on vehicles to industrial restrictions. Now, researchers have developed a specially coated roofing tile that can reduce pollutants by 88-97% on contact.

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Portable, Affordable, and Fast Disease Diagnoses

  Treating malaria, HIV, and other diseases in remote and economically depressed areas is a monumental challenge, but accessible testing methods must be in place before treatment can even begin. With half a million deaths per year from malaria alone, there is a desperate need to find an affordable, intuitive, and portable diagnosis solution. To address this, QuantuMDx is developing …

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Click Your Heels to Call for Help

  iStrategyLabs has developed a small device called the Ruby meant to be worn inside a shoe that can trigger a command on a smartphone app, called Dorothy, by clicking your heels together three times. While it is marketed as a way to call an Uber cab or order a pizza, it can also be set to text friends with …

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Fresh Thinking Brings Solar-Powered Lighting to Indian Villages

TERI, India’s leading energy research institute, started the Lighting One Billion Lives initiative in 2007 to provide solar lanterns and charging stations (which also charge mobile phones) to villages in India that have no or little access to reliable electricity. The centralized stations power the lanterns during the day to make them ready for pickup by villages in the evening.

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17 Ways to Scale Your Innovation

The Guardian has recently collected a series of experts to discuss how to bring innovations to scale for use in development scenarios. They offer 17 insights ranging from seeking corporate financial help to focusing on usability. Read the whole article here. Do you have other methods of turning a prototype into a product, or an idea into a project? Let us …

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Is the aid industry becoming a cash-swollen big business?

A new report from Médecins Sans Frontières, titled Where is Everyone?, argues that other large aid organizations are backing away from emergency relief work, particularly in conflict zones, in favour of less dangerous projects in capacity building and governance. Specifically, the report targets the United Nations as being at the heart of the problem because they operate concurrently as the …

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The Guardian: “Should aid be withdrawn from countries violating LGBT rights?”

Uganda’s recent anti-homosexual legislation is the latest in a series of attempts by the nation’s government to make life extremely different for LGBTQ people. Since the country is a the recipient of a great deal of international aid, it leads to questions about how the donor and NGO community should react. The Guardian has launched an interesting public discussion on …

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