The Grassroots Rise of a New Learning Technology

by | January 20, 2015 | 2 Comments
Multimedia and a touchscreen display bring learning to life in schools without electricity.

Lessons Learned From the Field in Potou, Senegal By Jim Teicher, CEO & Director, CyberSmart Africa CyberSmart Africa, a digital learning social enterprise, has been working with The Earth Institute and teachers and students in Potou, Senegal since 2011 to actively test and refine a whole-classroom learning technology solution that has the potential to achieve massive […]

Pioneering Innovation in the Education of B.Ed. Students in Madhya Pradesh, India: Preparation for the rolling out of a Blended course in 2015

by | December 22, 2014

Authors: Jubilee Padmanabhan, Kayhan Sanyal, Kamiya Kumar, Shreyanka Rao, Angelique Mahal, Radhika Iyengar Jubilee Padmanabhan is Head of Education Department, Hindupat Institute of Teacher Training. Kayhan Sanyal is Senior Program Manager at Avanti Fellows, specializing in instructional design using ICT. Kamiya Kumar is a current Master’s of Education degree (M.Ed) student in the Curriculum and […]

EFA Global Monitoring Report – Consultation for the 2016 Report

by | December 8, 2014

Dear Colleagues, Starting in 2016, a new series of reports will monitor the state of education in the framework of the anticipated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be finalized by the UN in September 2015. The first report in this series, the 2016 Report, will focus on ‘Education, sustainability and the post-2015 development agenda’, as […]

Learning Assessments Occurring at Millennium Village Pampaida, Nigeria

by | December 2, 2014

By: Adamu Bulama and Angelique Mahal Adamu Bulama is the Millennium Village Education Coordinator at MV Pampaida, Kaduna State, Nigeria Based on the UWEZO ( learning assessment model and framework, MV Pampaida began in May 2014 the process of developing, reviewing, and conducting literacy (in Hausa and English) and numeracy learning assessments for primary grades […]

Gender Parity for Boys in Ruhiira, Uganda

by | October 15, 2014
Category: Education
Boys playing soccer during a break at Omwicwamba Primary School

By Lindsee Gregory, MA Candidate International Educational Development, Teachers College, Columbia University When you think of gender and education, what usually comes to mind? Most people probably think about girls, specifically those girls who lack access due to cultural expectations, high school fees, or dangerous treks to school. But what most people aren’t considering is […]

Literacy focused workshop for MVP East Africa teams

by | October 1, 2014
Workshop participants visit Mwandama to discuss with Community Education Workers (pictured above) their experiences in using this method to teaching literacy in their VLCs

In late September, MVP education team members from New York, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya gathered for a workshop hosted by MVP Mwandama to share ideas and approaches to teaching children basic literacy. The workshop included local partner organizations also focusing on literacy in the Zomba Rural district, including representatives from Save the Children and […]

Community-Based Support for Education in Ghana’s Millennium Villages Project

by | September 9, 2014 | 1 Comment
Category: Education
1.)	A community education worker stands in front of Dunwura School’s kindergarten, built by the community.

By: Sarayu Adeni It takes a village to raise a child…and a child’s school. While education initiatives in the Bonsaaso village cluster, Amansie West District, Ghana, are largely led by Millennium Villages Project, several communities have their own ways of offering local support. The most common contribution is school building construction: classrooms, teachers’ cottages, administrative […]

Technology for Accessing, Maintaining, and Using Education Data: Are We There Yet?

by | August 13, 2014

Authors: Radhika Iyengar Angelique Mahal Background to EMIS Countries have been investing in their Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) to collect, manage, display and use education data. EMIS have been used to inform budget and resource allocation (International Institute for Educational Planning [IIEP] 2006; InfoDev, 2006d) and to aid educational management, policy formulation, […]

Conference on Sustainable Development Practice Sept. 17-18

by | August 6, 2014

Author: Bryan Lee The UN-hosted Millennium Summit (2000) called upon the world to end extreme poverty in all forms. The summit ended with the ratification of the Millennium Development Goals, which provided tangible development objectives to be achieved in developing countries by 2015.  The Millennium Development Goals marked a turning point in the fight against […]

Coaching Health Workers to Maximize Performance

by | August 1, 2014
coaching 3

Health workers strive to achieve high performance in the same way professionals do in many fields – gain knowledge through study and refine skills through practice. Ongoing coaching is also often needed to achieve peak performance. Most health systems, however, deploy health workers to the field with little further mentorship to help them hone their […]

Breaking Down The Basics: A Community Based Local Language Literacy Program in Mwandama, Malawi

by | July 16, 2014
Category: Education

Global attention is increasingly being drawn to learning levels of students in school, particularly literacy.  Students in low income countries often drop out of school early, and leave either illiterate or with very limited reading abilities.[1] For those who do remain in school, they are often found to have very poor reading skills, even in […]

Strengthening Health, Education, and Water Systems Across Nigeria

by | July 14, 2014
Nigeria 2

Countries around the world are accelerating efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of global milestones adopted by the United Nations, before the 2015 deadline. Though approaches for advancing progress have been effective in some places, achieving development at scale remains a major challenge, particularly for large countries with diverse conditions. Since […]

Ghana Completes the 1st Community Health Worker Roadmap

by | May 6, 2014
Photo of Ghana 1mCHW Team, courtesy of Anne Liu (1mCHW Campaign Implementation Advisor).

The One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign, through close collaboration with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health, is pleased to announce the release of the government’s national Community Health Worker (CHW) Roadmap. The Roadmap details the technical model of the new Ghanaian CHW program including health services to be delivered, essential supplies package, training requirements, terms […]

Return to Senegal: Success with Digital Learning and the Potential for Scale

by | May 1, 2014

Author: Jim Teicher, CEO and Director of CyberSmart Africa The CyberSmart Africa team returned to Potou Elementary school in Senegal six weeks after a professional development workshop was held to reinforce whole-class digital learning using a specially adapted interactive whiteboard that can also operate in schools without electricity. We were at the school to observe […]

Skill-based Volunteerism by Lawyers in Haiti

by | April 28, 2014

The Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development launched its Spring 2014 Haiti Dialogue Series with a discussion on pro-bono work in Haiti, featuring three distinguished lawyers: Marie-Claude Jean-Baptiste, the program director for the Human Rights and Access to Justice Program at the Vance Center for International Justice; Eric […]

The Curiosity of Youth and Innovative Teaching Methods- a Discussion at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), India

by | April 2, 2014
Secondary school participants discussing and writing their reflections.

Earlier this month Professor Judith Parker was invited to the Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE) in Bhopal, India. IASE is in charge of the professional development of teachers from secondary school on and includes awarding degrees such as Bachelors, Masters and Diplomas to potential school teachers. The morning of Professor Parker’s visit started […]

Highly Scalable Digital Learning for Potou Elementary School, Senegal

by | March 21, 2014
The Potou Elementary School principal uses a specially adapted interactive whiteboard.

Author: Jim Teicher, CEO & Director of CyberSmart Africa In partnership with the Millennium Villages Project in Potou, Senegal, CyberSmart Africa has developed an innovative, highly scalable digital learning solution for sub-Saharan Africa. The “21st Century School-in-a-Box” integrates a specially adapted interactive whiteboard (powered by a solar-charged battery), learning content, teacher training, and broadband access […]

Can Coaching Health Workers Improve the Performance of Health Systems?

by | March 17, 2014
Launch of the On-Site Coaching Pilot with members from the Mahbubnagar District administration, SVS Medical and Nursing College, and the Earth Institute/Columbia Global Center team (November, 2013).

Co-Author: Shubhra Kumar, Research Associate at Columbia Global Center South Asia In a 2011 article in the New Yorker, surgeon and writer Atul Gawande explored the idea of having coaches, such as in sports and singing, for other professionals including teachers and doctors. Different than managing or simply teaching, coaching combines judgment, guidance, and accompaniment […]

The Nigeria MDG Information System (NMIS) Takes Open Data Further

by | March 10, 2014
Nigeria MDG Information System (NMIS) homepage.

Author: Candice Heberer, Interaction Designer Right now is an exciting time for the Nigeria Scale-up Project. The Sustainable Engineering Lab at Columbia University, in collaboration with CGSD, are currently in the process of transferring data, technical knowledge and planning resources to our local partners on the ground, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to […]

Android Phone Data Collection for an Updated Nigeria MDG Information System

by | February 20, 2014
Category: Education
Angelique 3

Building a culture around the use of data — including collecting, validating, and presenting it numerically and visually — provides an efficient foundation to establish a data-driven planning process applicable to proposal development, program implementation, program analysis, and resource allocation. The process of data collection, validation, and presentation needs to be implemented with strict standards […]

SurTab and Haiti’s ICT Revolution: Dialogue with Maarten Boute, CEO Of SurTab Haiti

by | February 10, 2014

The Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development concluded the Fall 2013 Dialogue Series with guest Maarten Boute, CEO of SurTab Haiti, the first Android tablet manufacturing company in Haiti. Boute is the former CEO of Digicel Haiti, a mobile phone network provider operating in 31 markets across the […]

One Million Community Health Workers Campaign Marks One Year Anniversary

by | January 29, 2014

January marks one-year since the launch of the One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign! We have lots to celebrate as we continue to mobilize support for the integration of professionally trained community health workers (CHWs) into national health workforces in sub-Saharan Africa. Here are some highlights of the year: Ten countries have requested support […]

How Factors of Population and Environment Influence Infrastructure Investment

by | January 13, 2014
Haiti Team

The Earth Institute’s Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development launched the Fall 2013 Haiti Dialogue Series, focusing on the multi-dimensional aspects of implementing Haiti’s National Strategic Development Plan (PSDH).  HRPP welcomed our first guest speaker – Frantz Verella – the Former Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communication […]

Executive Training on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development

by | December 13, 2013
Executive Training_Banner_UPDATED

Mega investments in the extractive industries – including oil, gas, and mining – have the potential to be a springboard for development in many low- and middle-income countries, through major tax revenues, technology transfer, infrastructure development, employment and capacity building. However, reaping those benefits is challenging, and more often these investments have been a source […]

Creative Teaching Methods: Linking theory and practice

by | December 10, 2013
Teacher uses locally available materials to create learning materials for class, this keeps students interested

The concept of “learner centered pedagogy” is embedded in education policies and theoretical jargon in teacher training colleges, but rarely reaches the pupils it is intended to help. The connection between theory and practice is often lost when teachers are forced to manage large classes in poor environments with a dearth of materials and the […]

“Youth for Action & Arts for Change” Fundraiser and Film Screening

by | December 2, 2013

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 – Teachers College RECEPTION & SCREENING (Room: 179 Grace Dodge): 6:00–8:00 PM  –  Tickets Here SCREENING ONLY (Room: The Chapel): 8:00 PM  –  Tickets Here This fundraiser for “Youth for Action & Arts for Change” will support two youth groups in rural Sauri, Kenya that are part of the Millennium Villages Project’s vision of eradicating […]

Perspectives from Women in Bonsaaso on Nutrition Interventions

by | November 19, 2013
CHW Deborah Adjei measures the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of 7-month-old Abena Boadiwaah on a home visit in Takorasi, Bonsaaso Millennium Village. The MUAC measurement is an potential indicator of malnutrition - the green result indicates a healthy weight and size.

Written by: Uyen K Huynh & Meena Lee In Bonsaaso, Ghana, it is common practice to feed newborn babies water. Water in this district can be infected with rotavirus, which can cause dangerous bouts of diarrhea in newborns, exacerbating Bonsaaso’s malnutrition problem. Changing long-held beliefs – even beliefs that negatively impact community health – can […]

GlaxoSmithKline Supports African Health Workers Campaign

by | November 18, 2013
A community health worker in the field. Photo: Marjorie Lau.

By Nathalie Zapletal For the past several years, the Earth Institute and its corporate partner, global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline, have had a successful working relationship on social service-related projects. The latest development in this long-standing partnership includes the Earth Institute and GlaxoSmithKline’s shared goal to broadly expand the reach of healthcare services in sub-Saharan Africa. […]

Koranic Schools Pose a Challenge to Millennium Development Goal Two and the Definition of a Basic Education in Potou, Senegal

by | November 4, 2013
Category: Education
Young religious students, often without schoolbooks, use tablets, or aloua to write and memorize Koranic verses.

Written By: Diptesh Paresh Soni While there are 54 public primary schools in the village cluster of Potou in Senegal, there are also around 60 private Koranic schools, or daaras. The popularity of the daaras poses significant difficulties for attaining universal basic education in the area: daaras do not teach French, the official language of […]

Prime Minister of Haiti and Liberia’s Minister of Finance Co-Host Fragile States Dialogue Series

by | October 7, 2013
From left to right: Haiti Research and Policy Program Director Tatiana Wah, Liberian Minister of Finance Amara Konneh, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and CGSD Director Glenn Denning

On Sept. 27, CGSD’s Haiti Research and Policy Program  welcomed Laurent Lamothe, prime minister of the Republic of Haiti, Amara Konneh, minister of finance of the Republic of Liberia, and Saidu Nallo, representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone, for a high-level discussion on the realities and needs of fragile states under the New Deal for […]

Education Initiatives at MVP Mayange, Rwanda

by | September 5, 2013 | 1 Comment
Category: Education
Mayange A Primary School Compound

Written with John Mugabo, MVP Rwanda Education Coordinator The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) at Mayange, Rwanda supports five primary schools and 89 teachers. This project supports students at Mayange A, Mayange B, Kamabuye, Mbyo and Muyenzi Primary Schools from level Primary One (first grade) to Primary Six (sixth grade) while also providing partner-supported supplementary services […]

A Contemporary Threat to the “Gateway to the East”: Managing Climate and Disaster Risk for India’s City of Guwahati

by | August 28, 2013
Brahmaputra River from the banks in Guwahati

By Justin Fung It has been said that during conflicts in the 17th century, the Kingdom of Assam — whose multi-ethnic citizens co-existed in harmony for over six hundred years — defended the eastern border city of Saraighat from the aggressive advances of the Mughal Empire on no less than sixteen different occasions.  As war […]

School Safety and Post-2015 Educational Priorities in Kenya

by | August 9, 2013 | 1 Comment
Category: Education
Food Scarcity in Kenya’s Schools
Source: BBC (2009)

Author: Reinier Terwindt As Zimbabwe is preparing itself for upcoming elections, Minister of Education David Coltart is concerned about the impact that these elections will have on school safety. During the previous elections in 2008, president Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) was accused of using rural schools as torture bases for its political campaign. ZANU PF […]

Stakeholder Meetings Aid Successful Exit Strategies

by | July 18, 2013

Author: Diptesh Soni With just over two years left to achieve the MDGs, Millennium Village Project sites must now find sustainable exit strategies by working with numerous stakeholders, particularly governments, in order to ensure the proper functioning and necessary support for the villages in the absence of the Projects. At a recent forum in Louga […]

Addressing The Global Learning Crisis: The Case of MVP

by | July 16, 2013
Category: Education

Authors: Radhika Iyengar and Alia Karim Currently, in sub-Saharan Africa 76% of primary school-aged children enroll in primary schools, of which only 53% complete primary school. Only 28% of those who complete primary school enroll in secondary schools, of which only 6% enter any tertiary education. What is going wrong with the education system in […]

Impressions from Myanmar: Turning “Frontier Development” into Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

by | July 1, 2013

Lately, Myanmar (sometimes referred to as Burma) has featured heavily in the international media. The buzz was heightened earlier this month as the World Economic Forum was held in the country’s capital, Naypyidaw. A flock of world leaders, politicians, NGOs, investors, academics and journalists descended into the city for discussions on Myanmar’s economic and political […]

Leveraging Paraguay’s Hydropower for Sustainable Economic Development

by | June 28, 2013 | 1 Comment

At the request of the Ministry of Finance in Paraguay, CGSD has been working with the Vale Columbia Center for Sustainable International Investment (VCC) over the past few months on an analysis of Paraguay’s hydropower industry, with a specific focus on leveraging this vast resource for sustainable economic development internally. Paraguay is one of the world’s largest […]

The Significance of Stunting

by | June 19, 2013
An estimated 58% of children aged under 5 in Timor-Leste are stunted.

Jessica Fanzo and Sarah Curran recently wrote in the State of the Planet blog about the dangers of stunting. Excerpts from the State of the Planet blog post: It is often said that a picture can tell a thousand words. Sometimes the same can be said for an indicator. Stunting – a measurement of chronic malnutrition […]

Talking Nutrition at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Timor-Leste

by | June 2, 2013 | 1 Comment
Glenn with Minister

This spring, I returned to Dili with colleagues Dr. Jessica Fanzo and CGSD Director Glenn Denning. This was my third nutrition-focused trip to Timor-Leste in the last year and over the course of that time I have been struck by the increasing attention paid toward nutrition, and the number of positive developments that have taken […]

Myanmar’s Economic Outlook

by | May 9, 2013
Myanmr blog

By Sarah Logan and Talia Smith On Wednesday 24th April 2013, the Asia Society hosted a lunch and discussion entitled Myanmar’s Economic Outlook: Prospects and Challenges. CGSD kindly sponsored our tickets for the function, as we will be spending the summer working in Myanmar as part of our summer field placements for our MDP program, […]

Social and Emotional Learning in Ruhiira, Uganda

by | May 6, 2013
Category: Global Health

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an educational approach that promotes self-awareness, social awareness and relationship skills, among other things. The initiative was started after an ethnographic assessment by Dr. Yanis Ben Amor and Michael Healy showed that 70 to 80 percent of girls and young women in the Ruhiira, Uganda cluster are affected by […]

Interview with Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister of Haiti

by | May 2, 2013
Prime Minister of Haiti Laurent Lamothe with Glenn Denning

The Earth Institute’s Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable  Development hosted to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe on April 22, 2013. The event was part of the Spring 2013 Haiti Dialogue Series and focused on articulating strategies for data-driven policy support. Following the program and a Columbia University World Leaders Forum event with the […]

Using Digital Maps as a Tool to do Spatial Planning in Education

by | April 19, 2013
Category: Education

Picture this! I am in a rural District in India. I have been tasked to conduct a situation analysis of Education needs in the district. Sitting in the District Collectors Office (An officer who is in charge of the District’s functioning for all the Sectors). Where do I start? “I need a map of the […]

Navigating Complex Landscapes in the Philippines to Improve Water Management

by | April 18, 2013 | 1 Comment

The Bicol River Basin is one of the major drainage areas in the Philippines. It also happens to be one of the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters, and home to some of the poorest municipalities in the country (nearly 40% poverty incidence among families). On average, the Bicol region receives one strong typhoon every year! In addition to […]

Proposal Evaluation of Education Interventions in Nigeria

by | April 10, 2013 | 1 Comment
Category: Education
OSSAP Nigeria Photo, March 2013

In continuing to support Nigeria to meet the 2015 education and gender Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), representatives from the Education Team at the Earth Institute collaboratively worked in Abuja in March with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria for the MDGs (OSSAP-MDGs) to technically evaluate proposals from 148 Local […]

Publication: 1 Million Community Health Workers in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015

by | April 4, 2013
Categories: Global Health, News

A new article in The Lancet, authored by Dr. Prabhjot Singh of CGSD and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, describes the promise of scaling up community health workers (CHWs) around the world. The international perception of CHWs has changed over the last ten years. They have increasingly come to be seen as a core way for community health […]

Apply: Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development Executive Training

by | April 3, 2013
Category: Announcements

Investments in oil, gas and mining can be the source of rapid advancement in sustainable development around the world, but too often may lead to corruption, social degradation, and environmental catastrophe. To address these challenges, the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC) and CGSD have partnered to present an executive level training course that targets public sector officials in resource rich nations on how best to […]

Calling For Abstracts

by | April 2, 2013
Category: Announcements

The Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs, in collaboration with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), will present the First International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice on September 6-7, 2013 at Columbia University, New York. Registration is now open. The conference is seeking proposals for practical solutions to address the complex challenges of sustainable development. The […]

Use of Real-time Data on Children’s Learning

by | March 28, 2013
Category: Education

coauthored by Radhika Iyengar and HaeIn Shin Until recently, large–scale assessments of children’s learning levels were considered to be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. They were seen to limit the frequency of useful assessment reports and restrict immediate usage of results to inform schools, communities or policy interventions, where remediation action is needed the most. The […]

Cultural Vibrancy in Haiti’s Development: A Conversation with Kimberly Green

by | March 22, 2013
Kimberly Green

The Haiti Research and Policy Program continued its Spring 2013 Dialogue Series with Kimberly Green, president of the Green Family Foundation. This discussion explored the role of small foundations in supporting Haiti’s cultural vibrancy. According to Ms. Green, in the post-earthquake period, many foundations frequently present bleak outlooks on the country’s development challenges, framing the dire narratives that describe […]

Monitoring and Evaluation in Bonsaaso

by | March 13, 2013
A farmer drying cocoa in the sun. Photo Credit: Liya Aklilu

I recently collaborated on a process evaluation in Bonsaaso, Ghana with staff from the Bonsaaso Millennium Village’s monitoring and evaluation and community development teams. The work documented project implementation and collected qualitative data — via interviews with community members, project staff and government officials — on the strategies employed by the Bonsaaso Millennium Village, as well as […]

The Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs Meets in Senegal

by | March 7, 2013 | 2 Comments
Category: Education

Senegal hosted the fifth Annual Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) Summit from February 27 to March 1, 2013. The 2013 Summit, held at Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD/Dakar, Senegal), provided the more than 60 attendees the opportunity to not only review this past year’s accomplishments, but to discuss and plan for the future. Participants hailed […]

Earth Institute Education and Technology Projects Featured in Broadband Commission Report

by | March 6, 2013
Broadband Commission Report Cover

The Education Sector for the Millennium Villages, based at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, Connect To Learn, and the Modi Research Group, are pleased to announce that a few of their most innovative and exciting projects have been featured in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development’s report, “Technology, Broadband, and Education: Advancing the Education for […]

In Conversation with Leslie Pean: Challenges to Local Development in Haiti

by | March 5, 2013

Leslie Pean, Former World Bank economist and advisor to the former prime minister of Haiti, joined Tatiana Wah, Director of CGSD’s Haiti programs and a panel for a roundtable discussion in February. The discussion was on the challenges of decentralization and local development financing in Haiti. Mr. Pean discussed the history of centralized power in […]

Haiti Development Discussion with Author Jonathan Katz

by | February 25, 2013 | 1 Comment

As part of the Haiti Research and Policy Program’s Dialogue Series, Program Director Dr. Tatiana Wah welcomed author and journalist Jonathan M. Katz to discuss his new book, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came To Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster, and his observations from two years of reporting on the […]

Alum Gets Further Involved in Earth Institute

by | February 25, 2013
Category: Education
Caroline-Fox MPA '12

Caroline Fox, MPA in Environmental Science and Policy alum(’12) joined the program seeking a career change and the chance to make a positive impact on the world. A year after graduation, she now works as Project Manager for the Nigeria Scale-Up Initiative at Columbia’s Earth Institute. Her current project is funded through a grant with […]

Proposal Development Training in Nigeria

by | February 11, 2013
A Technical Assistant poses a point of discussion at the January training

  Since 2010, a formal partnership between the Nigeria Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President for the Millennium Development Goals (OSSAP – MDGs) and The Earth Institute (EI) at Columbia University has existed. Known as the Nigeria Scale-up Initiative, the focus is an ongoing collaboration through technical support and knowledge transfer, to […]

Glenn Denning’s Road to Bali, and the Earth Institute

by | December 3, 2012
Category: Announcements

From Brisbane to the Philippines, from Cambodia to New York, Professor Glenn Denning has travelled far and wide before his recent appointment as director of the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute. He was profiled for the State of the Planet blog, describing his passion for confronting major challenges in development […]

Using Genomics Tools to Tackle Hunger

by | November 26, 2012
New York Genome Center

CGSD Director Glenn Denning was recently interviewed by the New York Genome Center on the role of genetic modification to improve crop productivity and resistence, key challenges in addressing global hunger. “Conventional farming solutions, such as improved water management, better soil fertilization, and higher quality seeds, are most important to boosting yields, he says. But […]

Taking Stock and Moving Ahead: Education Push for 2015 in the Millennium Villages

by | November 15, 2012
Category: Education
Education Retreat 2012

Kigali, Rwanda Last week, staff from the MDG Centre for East and Southern Africa, the MDG Centre for West and Central Africa, and the Earth Institute met in Kigali, Rwanda for an education-focused retreat. The theme was, “Embracing Impact-driven Innovative Strategies & Re-energizing Existing Efforts to Fast-track MDG 2 Indicators by 2015: Stock-taking and Moving […]

Prabhjot Singh wins $40,000 Young Leader Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

by | October 26, 2012

Prabhjot Singh, director of systems design for CGSD, has won a $40,000 Young Leader Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Prabhjot is one of 10 winners of the first-ever Young Leader Awards, which mark the 40th anniversary of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The awards recognize leaders who are ages 40 or under “for their […]

How Will We Feed Our Growing Population?

by | October 23, 2012

On October 11, 2012 the Earth Institute hosted the State of the Planet Conference, an opportunity to assesses the state of global, natural and human systems in order to identify those factors central to achieving sustainable development.As part of the conference, the Earth Institute fielded public questions via a Crowdhall forum. One question raised was […]

Global Approaches to Tackling Malnutrition with National Level Impact

by | October 18, 2012
CGSD's Glenn Denning discusses the challenges and opportunities in combating malnutrition with local NGO "HIAM Health" in Timor-Leste

It is estimated that around 165 million children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished. Chronic malnourishment is a term that captures the effects of the persistent, pervasive and long-term poor nutritional status of a child, typically measured by a low height-for-age indicator called stunting. Chronic malnourishment has a devastating impact on a child. […]

CGSD to Join Forces with the Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED)

by | September 20, 2012

This week the Earth Institute announced that beginning Oct. 1, the Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED) will migrate its staff and projects to CGSD. “The merger of CGHED’s health, education and other development professionals with CGSD’s economic development team will strengthen the Earth Institute’s ability to undertake cross-sector research, education and policy projects,” […]

Comparing Millennium Villages: A Lesson in Localization

by | September 6, 2012
Students on break at a local school in Ruhiira high above the valley. Since the arrival of MVP, this school now benefits from pumped water and reliable energy, school meals prepared in clean burning cook stoves and new teacher housing.

The Earth Institute houses development expertise that spans sectors, agro-ecological zones, and nearly every region of the world, and we have been able to draw on this global experience and the lessons learned to provide innovative approaches to some of the world’s most complex development challenges.  The Millennium Villages (MV) Model is an example of […]

Green Growth and Equity in the Context of Climate Change

by | August 15, 2012
Categories: Climate Policy, News
Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 11.41.42 AM

By Carita Chan Figure 4: Adaptation Cost Estimates Based on Various Methodologies In July, Professor Jeffrey Sachs and CGSD Director of Climate Policy Shiv Someshwar, authored a working paper entitled “Green Growth and Equity in the Context of Climate Change: Some Considerations” for the Social Science Research Network. The paper, written for a conference organized […]

Building a New Model for Development with the Honduran Government

by | August 14, 2012
Dr. Glenn Denning, Dr. Gordon McCord, along with Lidia Fromm from the Ministry of Planning and Vice-Minister of Social Development Karla Cueva hear from a local farmer in Choluteca about the pest problems in local agriculture.

  In early June, the Honduras Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation hosted Dr. Glenn Denning, Dr. Gordon McCord, and me to explore a partnership for the design of an integrated rural development project in several regions of the country.  Over the course of our visit, what started as a municipal-level, “Millennium Village” style development […]

IRRI on Innovations in Rice Production

by | August 8, 2012 | 2 Comments

By Carita Chan On July 23, 2012, Dr. Robert Zeigler, Director General and CEO of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) presented to a room of researchers and students at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. IRRI utilizes research and partnerships to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability.  […]

Timor-Leste: Challenges and Promise in Development

by | August 3, 2012 | 1 Comment
timor map

By Kathy Zhang Often times, money isn’t enough. Timor-Leste, a small island country in Southeast Asia, recently “struck oil,” putting it in a unique position to accelerate its development and address the country’s extraordinary reality of widespread malnutrition. However, development planning can be undermined by a series of challenges, many stemming from a history of […]

Community Health Workers: Effective & Efficient Healthcare Solution, with Dr. Prabhjot Singh

by | July 23, 2012 | 1 Comment
Categories: Global Health, News
Community Health Worker Deborah Adjei Checks Up On Baby Abina. Photo via Millennium Promise.

Prabhjot Singh, CGSD’s Director of Systems Design, was featured in last week’s The Academic Minute, a daily radio program on WAMC which invites academic experts from a range of disciplines to share their research. During the program, Prabhjot addressed how the US, with its exorbitant healthcare costs, could look to certain practices in the developing […]

Reducing fire risk in Central Kalimantan: What will it take?

by | July 13, 2012

By Joyce Wong and Quinn Marshall Central Kalimantan is home to a large proportion of Indonesia’s carbon-rich peat forests—many of which have been drained for agricultural use and palm oil plantations, leaving them degraded and vulnerable to the spread of uncontrolled fires.  This risk is heightened during the dry season, when farmers prepare their land […]

Training a New Generation of Development Practitioners: An Impact Story

by | July 6, 2012

A young woman named Afnan lives in Amman, Jordan. She is 22-years-old, deaf and with limited verbal skills. She is likely part of the Palestinian refugee community in Eastern Amman and has never before worked outside of her home. Two months ago, she was welcomed into the Al-Karma Center, run for the last 17 years […]

Domestic Production vs. Imports for Rice in Haiti: A Delicate Balance to Strike

by | June 16, 2012 | 3 Comments
Glenn_Haiti Rice

At the end of May, I visited Haiti with a team from CGSD and CEISIN to explore some of the current constraints and opportunities in the agriculture sector. The problems faced by Haitian farmers have been well documented; small land plots, limited access to agricultural inputs and improved technologies, disputed land tenure rights, degraded watersheds […]

Building connections with the International Rice Research Institute

by | June 7, 2012

My 3 ½-week visit to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines has come to a close.  It’s been an intense and incredibly rewarding introduction to the amazing work of this institution.  As part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), IRRI seeks to reduce poverty and hunger while ensuring […]

Developers for Development: Open-Sourcing for Global Good

by | May 23, 2012

Since 1998, more than 10,000 volunteers have contributed code to Firefox, the web browser developed by Mozilla.  As we toured the nonprofit, public-benefit organization’s Mountain View offices, Chief of Innovation Todd Simpson pointed out the web conference podium that broadcasts all of Mozilla’s internal company meetings, accessible to anyone on  We were impressed; this […]

Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation in Vietnam

by | May 14, 2012
Category: Climate Policy
Vulnerability in Vietnam

By Hue Le On May 3-4, I presented two talks in Colorado on climate vulnerability and adaptation in Vietnam. The first was presented at the Anthropology Department at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, addressing to faculty members of the Anthropology Department, the Department of Economics and Agricultural and Resource Economics, and PhD and MA students […]

CGSD: Building a Center for Innovation and Learning

by | May 9, 2012
CGSD All Team Photo

At the end of last month, CGSD hosted its first all-team retreat. We gathered our researchers from across the country to brainstorm and build opportunities for greater collaboration. We kicked off with a strategy session with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, followed by two days of group discussions around our contribution to the field of sustainable development […]

Catalyzing Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change through Conservation

by | May 3, 2012 | 1 Comment
Category: Climate Policy

On Thursday, April 26, we had the honor of welcoming Mr. Satya Tripathi, Director of the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID). A lawyer and an economist by training, Mr. Tripathi’s career includes high-level UN positions in Bosnia, Liberia, Cyprus, Iraq and Indonesia. Most recently, he led the UN office responsible for coordinating […]

Student Engagement through Strategic Summer Placements

by | April 30, 2012
Categories: Capacity Building, News
2011 MDP Graduate Fumi Tosu in Malawi

In January, Sarah Curran and I, Program Associates at CGSD, headed to West and East Africa, respectively, to begin meeting with partners to develop strategic summer placements for the third cohort of MPA-DP students.  The placements have come a long way from the first year, when twenty-four students – Sarah and I among them – […]

Securing Continued Economic Growth and Managing Ecological Constraints in Chile

by | April 24, 2012 | 2 Comments
Chile Columbia Global Center

A few weeks ago, I was in Santiago attending the launch of Columbia’s new Global Center in Santiago   The Center will provide logistical support for students and faculty doing research in Chile, including projects at CGSD. Thanks to Center Director Karen Poniachik (former Minister of Mining and Energy), we were able to secure a […]

Climate Information for Risk Management in Agriculture: India Case Study

by | April 18, 2012 | 4 Comments
Category: Climate Policy
Climate Information for Risk Management

On Monday, April 16 I had the opportunity to share some exciting project work with graduate students in Columbia University’s MA Program in Climate and Society. As a guest lecturer in the Regional Climate and Climate Impacts course, I presented “Climate Information for Risk Management in Agriculture: A Case Study in India”. The material drew […]

Tackling the Complex Issue of Donor Coordination in Haiti

by | April 11, 2012 | 1 Comment
MPA-DP students discuss their research with the Prime Minister, Gary Conille

On April 2nd 2012, 5 MPA-DP students presented their research on donor coordination to the Prime Minister of Haiti, Dr. Garry Conille.  The student team, working under the guidance on CGSD, conducted a critical analysis of top multilateral and bilateral donor activities across the country since the 2010 earthquake. Using the most recently available donor […]

Linking Executive Training and Institutional Innovation in Jordan

by | April 11, 2012 | 1 Comment

Typical executive training works under the assumption that sharing knowledge and skills in the classroom will improve job performance, productivity and impact. Whilst executive training may be well-suited to competitive business environments, these types of training models typically offer limited room for cooperation between participants from different organizations due to rivalry between them. Public governance […]

9.5 Billion People: Too Many?

by | March 4, 2012
Glenn Denning discusses the need for crop improvement techniques in order to feed a growing population

On March 3rd, 2012, the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy invited Dr. Tim Fox of the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) to participate in a speaker-panel session. Prof. Fox, the lead author on a report discussing the role of engineering in sustainable development, argued that engineering has the technical solutions to address problems associated […]

Please Explain: How to Save the World – Food Security

by | February 17, 2012
Timor 5

Glenn Denning, Director of CGSD, was featured on the Leonard Lopate Show’s “Please Explain” segment as part of a series on How to Save the World. Prof. Denning, along with J. Matthew Roney of the Earth Policy Institute, examined the global food supply and the problems in current global food systems. To listen to the […]

Bridging The Communication Gap

by | February 12, 2012

Shiv Someshwar, Director of Climate Policy at CGSD, was interviewed by Businessworld to discuss sustainable development and climate policy from a global perspective as well as an Indian one. Shiv highlights the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as an opportunity to highlight and remedy existing inequalities between industrialized and developing nations. He discusses challenges in development […]

Agricultural Development in Africa: NEPAD’s Contribution over a Decade

by | January 19, 2012

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) was launched in 2001 by the African Union with the aim of offering a new approach to development. Glenn Denning, Director of CGSD, was interviewed by Africa Renewal to discuss NEPAD and its contribution to agriculture in Africa thus far and its potential role moving forward. To learn […]

Enabling Change: Training Development Practitioners in Jordan

by | January 11, 2012
JSachs Teaching

CGSD has been working with the Jordanian Ministry of Planning on a variety of issues, including policy advising and practitioner training, as part of a larger plan for poverty reduction at different levels of government. André Corrêa d’Almeida highlights a program developed and conducted by the Earth Institute (EI) and the Institute of Sustainable Development […]

Collaborating on Policy and Practice with Garry Conille, Prime Minister of Haiti

by | December 4, 2011

On December 2, 2011, the Earth Institute (EI) hosted Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille at a daylong event with policy discussions as well as a seminar with Master in Public Affairs Development Practice students at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Prime Minister Conille discussed the work that has been done by EI in […]

Climate Change through a Southern Lens

by | February 3, 2011
Timor 1

Shiv Someshwar, Director of Climate Policy at CGSD, was interviewed by OneWorld South Asia on the multifaceted issue of climate change and its implications for development. Shiv advocated dynamic policies that do not simply focus on the climate, but also take into consideration socioeconomic variables such as population growth and increased demand for resources with […]