Around the Institute

A Digital Native Shares His Insights

July 19, 2013

Register Soon for APEP’s Next Breakfast Discussion

Mercy Corps’ Jon Kurtz and Oxfam America’s Gabrielle Watson are stopping by on Thursday, July 25th to talk about monitoring and evaluation in international development. Gabrielle commissioned an Oxfam America study on practices and perspectives concerning advocacy evaluation at nine major global NGOs. She’ll review major findings and recommendations from the report including this key finding: effective advocates build internal capacity for strategic learning and adaptation. Jon will talk about how developmental evaluation is tailored for just that. We provide the coffee and entertainment, you just RSVP!

Email Isn’t Passé (Neither Are Pen and Paper)

EdSurge has a new series called Student Voices about how students today actually use technology in their daily lives. There’s a lot of discussion regarding “digital natives,” a label used for the current generation of tech-savvy teenagers and children, (mis)using technology. But how do these discussions line up with what students do and say? This profile of a student shows that students are not necessarily moving away from e-mail as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested in 2010, nor are they giving up on old-school notebooks; rather they are blending old and new methods of communicating and recording information in a way that works best for them. In fact, 53% of students wished their instructors communicated more using face-to-face interaction—maybe we need to start re-thinking our assumptions about young people.

Not Everyone Has Clean Water: Or How We Can’t Fix a Thousand Year Old Problem

On July 10th, the World Justice Forum held a panel on Sustainable Water Solutions featuring panelists from NGOs, government, the private sector and the academy to talk about the (lack of) availability of clean water and what is being done to fix it (not enough). The moderator of the panel and CEO of WASH Advocates, John Oldfield, wrote a blogpost afterwards to say the reason there has not been enough movement on this non-controversial issue is the lack of political will. Once recognized, that can be a key part of the solution. A Prime Minister of a Sub-Saharan African country told Oldfield that politicians need to hear two things: constituents talking about this problem, and solutions on the ground that are already working or could be put in place. Not easy or simple–but a great start to moving the political needle.