Posted on January 19, 2017 by
An array of sensors, batteries, motors, and cables lies before wide-eyed students in a classroom in Moldova. These children see the opportunity to build, tinker, and explore. But for educators, this is a long-term investment in the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals.
Information technology (IT) is a rapidly growing sector in Moldova and employs more than 20,000 people. Yet with fewer students studying STEM in university, there is a shortage of skilled STEM workers.The Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP), funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics, is creating opportunities for young learners to experience STEM in the classroom and potentially as a career.
In partnership with the Moldovan Ministry of Education, MCP is introducing STEM in Moldova’s classrooms through educational robotics. Robotics captivates students with the exciting and hands-on application of science and coding. Across 76 educational institutions and seven libraries in Moldova, MCP is implementing RoboClub, an educational robotics initiative that brings real-world engineering challenges to the classroom.
MCP also supported the Association for IT Development to organize the second edition of the GirlsGoIT Summer Camp in July 2016. With guidance from professional mentors and trainers, 40 girls from 10 Moldovan localities received training in web applications development and basic IT skills.
Catching children at a young age is key to creating a lifelong interest in these topics: Students who have early exposure to robotics are twice as likely to major in science or engineering. With these early experiences as part of their academic portfolio, students gain the skills, resources, and passion to confidently pursue STEM careers.
Posted on January 18, 2017 by
Mert Tangonan is the chief of party of USAID’s E-PESO
activity in the Philippines. E-PESO
seeks to accelerate the shift toward digital payments for
broad-based economic growth and financial inclusion in the
Learn more about how e-payments promote economic growth in a
Mert Tangonan's video interview
Electronic payments go
beyond mobile money, and include electronic funds transfers, credit
card transactions, and more. What everyday challenges does the
Philippines experience considering...
Posted on January 12, 2017 by
What does a start-up field assignment with Chemonics look like?
In my case, I landed in Burundi in August, charged with carrying
out recruitment efforts in the country for USAID’s Global Health
Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management project
(GHSC-PSM). In the end, I spent forty days in Bujumbura, at times
working 16 hours a day alongside my fellow start-up specialists in
a rush to fill 28 positions with local staff. I concluded my
assignment in October, two days before the...
Posted on January 10, 2017 by
As governments all over the world attempt to address global
issues, youth bring an important ability to challenge leaders to
look at issues from a different perspective. Youth often bring
innovative angles towards addressing social and economic
challenges. One of these challenges that continues to persist in
both Southeast Asian and European nations is gender inequality and
how it can be resolved through policymaking. With surmounting
recognition of the role of youth in gender equality...
Posted on January 5, 2017 by
This blog post is adapted from a post
that originally appeared on
Climate science is a complex field, and communicating that
science and its implications for development programming in a way
that is clear, but does not oversimplify, is a persistent
challenge. Yet bridging the gap between research and implementation
is vital for development practitioners to understand the variables
that projected climate changes may introduce into their planning
across sectors, and for them to manage...
Posted on January 3, 2017 by
Before a natural disaster hits in the United States, most
Americans learn about incoming dangerous weather events through
mobile phone weather apps, weather websites, radios, and
televisions. But in many developing countries, people are often
unprepared when a storm hits.
The consequences can be dire. In a country that is particularly
vulnerable to natural disasters, damages caused by flooding are
expected to cost Mozambique approximately $45 million by 2030, and
caused more than 2,000 deaths...
Posted on December 29, 2016 by
From measuring countering violent extremism programs to
explaining why land tenure matters, Chemonics’ staff have shared
diverse opinions, experiences, and technical approaches on the
Connections blog. Here are the 10 most popular blog posts
10. Predicting Human Rights Violations Before They
by Laura Zambrano, deputy chief of party for the USAID
Colombia Human Rights Activity.
9. Cambodia’s Shrinking Space for Civil Society and
the Role of Donors
by Morana Krajnovic, civil society...
Posted on December 22, 2016 by
Robert Anyang is the chief of party for the
Feed the Future Uganda Commodity Production and Marketing (CPM)
, which works to reduce poverty by improving the
production and marketing of maize, beans, and coffee for
smallholder farmers and strengthening relationships between actors
in the value chain.
Youth engagement in
agriculture is an important component of many agricultural
development programs. Why is it so important to reach
the current population that’s engaged in...
Posted on December 20, 2016 by
Open government is critical to enhancing essential services,
opening civic space, and making government more accountable to
citizens. Sustainable Development Goal 16
international community to aim toward building more effective,
responsive, and inclusive institutions, which evidence shows lead
to better development outcomes for citizens.
Recently, at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit
Paris, governments around the world, in consultation with civil
Posted on December 16, 2016 by
By Matthew Johnson, Kreshnik Kurtishi, and Terence
The World Bank Doing
The World Bank’s Doing Business report
is an objective
and comparative assessment that measures how easy it is to start,
run, and grow a business. For example, the report measures the time
and cost it takes to register a business, get electricity, and
enforce contracts. For over a decade, it has generated significant
attention from national governments and has become a trusted tool
for countries to use...
Posted on December 13, 2016 by
Michelle Gardner is the senior vice president of Chemonics’
Global Health Division. A public health professional with 20 years
of international experience, she brings a broad public health
background developing and overseeing programming in reproductive
health and family planning, maternal and child health,
immunization, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and safe
water, with a focus on both the public and private
What innovation in the
health sector are you most excited about...
Posted on December 9, 2016 by
Cristina Hardaga is the activity coordinator and gender
focal point on USAID’s EnfoqueDH: Human Rights Public Policy Activity
in Mexico. EnfoqueDH supports the government of Mexico and civil
society to incorporate a human rights perspective into regulatory,
federal, and state frameworks.
Why is inclusion important
for the development of Mexico?
is a culturally rich and diverse country with a wealth of natural
resources, but also a very unequal country. The already large
divide between poor...
Posted on December 8, 2016 by
At the Global Health
Supply Chain Summit
in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, we had the
opportunity to hear about innovations, public-private partnerships,
and other unique solutions that actors from various points of
pharmaceutical supply chains are utilizing to solve last mile
challenges. Unmanned aerial vehicles, blockchains, Uber-like mobile
phone applications for delivery of essential medicines,
country-wide electronic information management systems to replace
paper-based records — all these and...
Posted on December 7, 2016 by
Access to information is a fundamental right. More
than 100 countries worldwide have adopted right to information
(RTI) legislation, which are laws regulating public access to
information, particularly from public institutions (sometimes
referred to as access to information or freedom of information
laws). These countries are increasingly recognizing the connection
between good governance, accountability, and freedom of
information. Most recently, Sri Lanka joined the ranks of these
Posted on December 1, 2016 by
Mary Lyn Field-Nguer is the director for the HIV task order
under USAID’s Global Health Supply Chain Program — Procurement
and Supply Management
(GHSC-PSM) project. She has contributed
to HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs since 1991 in
Africa, Asia, and Central America, including training and
consulting on how to scale up pediatric care and
1. What supply chain
challenges inhibit universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention,
treatment and care?
treatment of people with HIV...
Posted on December 1, 2016 by
During the internship year of my medical training, Peru was
affected by a severe El Niño. At that time, millions of people
living in the poor peri-urban belt of Lima lacked access to clean
water and sanitation services. These factors were a recipe for a
massive outbreak of diarrheal diseases in children. The pediatric
services in the hospital emergency room where I worked received one
child affected by mild to moderate dehydration every three minutes.
That year, the Ministry of Health introduced...
Posted on November 29, 2016 by
The UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD)
will be celebrated this week around the world, on December 3. This
year’s theme, “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want,” focuses
on the role that the sustainable development goals play in
“building a more inclusive and equitable world for people with
disabilities.” For the international development community, IDPD
serves as a reminder to amplify our efforts to not only include
people with disabilities in development work but to...
Posted on November 22, 2016 by
By Rebecca Malinick and Jennifer Swift-Morgan
Overheard at a recent workshop: “Girls who are having sex with
their teachers need to be coached to make better choices.”
A debate ensued. Do they? Is that really a choice they are
making? Or is it the teachers who need to change their behavior,
school administration that needs to be part of the solution,
education and justice systems that must enforce policies and laws,
and families and communities who need to let girls know that this
is not normal or...
Posted on November 16, 2016 by
In 2013 I wrote a book called Redeeming REDD: Policies,
Incentives, and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation,
published by Earthscan.
the book I argue that reducing emissions from deforestation and
forest degradation (REDD, and the latest variant known as REDD+),
needs a suite of enabling conditions, independent of market
viability as well as measurement, reporting and verification (MRV)
systems in order to be redeemed as an effective approach. REDD
projects, it was hoped, would feed...
Posted on November 15, 2016 by
established an agenda for transforming the
world in which we live. SDG1
sets for the
ultimate objective for the global community: to end poverty in all
of its forms by 2030. The remaining 16 SDGs identify critically
interlinked objectives which are both necessary and sufficient to
achieve this objective. They clearly illustrate that economic
growth initiates should be viewed through the lens of a larger,
more complex development problem – one that requires...