The appalling violence in Syria has left millions of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The UK is a leading donor in the humanitarian response. To date we have committed £500 million in humanitarian funding. This is providing support, such as food, shelter, medical care and clean drinking water, for hundreds of thousands of people affected by the conflict, both inside Syria and for refugees. Learn more ›
UK Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that eight technologies are capable of delivering 90% of the UK’s needs for renewable energy by 2020 — including wind power!
Chocolate is a big part of today’s UK Easter traditions. Learn about some other Easter traditions in the UK from the British Council ›
Incentivizing Innovation in #Development
By Andrew Preston, Development Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington.
I’ve been getting into Twitter in the last couple of weeks. I know I’m only five years later than everyone else, but I’m loving the new insights and the quirkiness of it all. Two things were “trending” on my Twitter timeline recently that, seemingly unrelated, made me reflect on the incentives shaping donor effectiveness.
The Global Development Lab
First, USAID launched its Global Development Lab (#GlobalDevLab). This happened with much fanfare, including an event with Secretary Clinton (and a gazillion tweets!). There’s good coverage in Nature, the Guardian, Time, and DEVEX.
A HT (that’s ‘hat tip’ for Twitter newbies like me) to @RajShah for establishing this. Arguably, it represents the culmination of his vision and priorities over the last three years. It encapsulates his focus on science, evidence and innovation. It embodies his focus on “open source development,” encouraging USAID to engage with a much broader range of development actors, including universities, students, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders across the world. The lab’s stated purpose is “to discover, test, and scale breakthrough development innovations to solve development challenges faster and cheaper in support of US foreign policy and development goals and to accelerate the transformation of USAID as the world’s premier development agency.”
A Jordanian’s Perspective on Nonproliferation
By Ala’ A. Alrababa’h, Middle East Next Generation Arms Control Network Fellow
During my undergraduate studies Dartmouth College, I took several classes related to issues of international security and nuclear weapons. This prompted me to think hard about my background. I realized that three of Jordan’s neighbors, namely Israel, Iraq, and Syria, possessed or continue to possess weapons of mass destruction. I’ve had conflicting views on such weapons ever since. On the one hand, I appreciated the argument for nuclear deterrence, particularly during the Cold War. On the other hand, I feared the possibility of use of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Chemical weapons were used in the region in the past, and, according to some reports, nuclear weapons were close to being used.
My uncertainty about those issues drove me to investigate them further. Thus, during the summer of 2012, I worked as a Davis Fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. During my time there, Dr. Kane invited me to join the network. I welcomed the opportunity and participated in my first event with the network in July 2012. I have been a member since.
From fantastic actors and stunning locations, through to a wealth of behind the camera talent, Film is GREAT Britain. Have a look at our latest show reel.