Clinton Global Initiative Features ReGrow West Africa’s Innovative Approach to Post Ebola Economic Recovery

Sep 27, 2015

Today RESOLVE was featured at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting to announce a new CGI Commitment to Action, ReGrow West Africa, which aims to catalyze sustainable economic recovery in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Steve D’Esposito, President and CEO of RESOLVE and Jeffrey Wright, RESOLVE Board Member, award-winning actor, and business man who is active in development and philanthropy in Sierra Leone, shared the stage with international leaders, who were also recognized for their commitments geared towards building resilient public health systems.

Steve D’Esposito (President/CEO of Resolve) and Jeffrey Wright (RESOLVE Board member) on stage at CGI Annual Meeting

The Ebola public health crisis in West Africa crippled the economies of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The withdrawal of private sector investment in these countries has led to huge losses of employment, income and government tax revenue. RESOLVE and ReGrow’s implementing partners, including the German Development Agency (GIZ), Cordaid, Chevron, the TAIA Peace Foundation, the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLEIPA), leaders from the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group (“EPSMG”), will support the recovery and development of the private sector in the three affected countries by building public-private partnerships to overcome early development hurdles that block viable projects. Central to this initiative is the ReGrow Marketplace, a platform that will profile investment projects and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and help connect them with international investors, donors and other partners.

The panel session prior to the ceremony reaffirmed the fundamental premise behind ReGrow West Africa – that strong public health systems are reliant on strong economies with dynamic private sectors. Indeed, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister of Nigeria, cited that diverse perspectives and collaborations, particularly engagement with the private sector, are essential components of resilient public health systems. Similarly, actress Charlize Theron, founder of the Africa Outreach Project and United Nations Messenger of Peace, stated that a business mindset needs to inform and strengthen philanthropic initiatives.

Chelsea Clinton closed the ceremony by asking the audience for an unprecedented standing ovation for the featured participants. RESOLVE is honoured to have been featured among so many diverse and impressive initiatives at CGI, and will continue to develop novel collaborations to fuel economic development and the growth of robust public health systems.

To view a recording of the event, visit: http://livestream.com/CGI/events/4366856/videos/100493557

 

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Announcing WildTech.Mongabay.com: A New Online Hub for Innovation to Save Earth’s Biodiversity

Jul 22, 2015

RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions program has joined forces with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the environmental news website Mongabay.com to develop an online platform, wildtech.mongabay.com, to spark and share innovative, technology-driven solutions to address the alarming decline of Earth’s biodiversity.

The rapidly expanding human footprint, in the form of deforestation, illegal logging, habitat fragmentation, and the unsustainable hunting and harvesting of natural resources, is wiping out wildlife populations and their habitats worldwide. Resource managers and conservationists working against these threats must apply all tools possible, and they are eager to improve their capabilities. Many tech developers and engineers seek opportunities to apply their innovative skills and products. However, although technology is rapidly improving and more widely available, uptake in the field is stymied by infrequent communication, steep learning curves, and high development costs.

The new wildtech.mongabay.com site aims to accelerate the flow of information and communication. The site will serve as a meeting hub targeted at three audiences: (1) scientists and conservation managers in the field who would benefit from technology, (2) tech developers that want to help interesting conservation or research projects, and (3) potential funders interested in supporting novel collaborations that bring technology to the field.

The hub will highlight use of emerging and existing technologies around the world and facilitate the interaction of these groups to solve forest and wildlife conservation challenges through news, stories from the field, and a discussion area to interact and form collaborations. These features will be integrated with regular technology gatherings sponsored by the site.

We hope to create a dynamic and informed online community where stories can be shared about successes, failures, and areas of great potential—a place where conservationists and technologists can interact and learn about each other’s needs, skills, and products. These dialogues can catalyze rapid field-testing and adaptation of technologies, bringing the most promising solutions to scale. We invite you to engage in our effort to improve the status of global biodiversity by joining in this new initiative.

Sue Palminteri, Scientist and Program Manager

Media contact: Inquiries by the media can be directed to wild...@mongabay.com. Please mention Media in the subject line.

This image, taken with CAO lasers, shows a ground elevation map in dense tropical forest of western Amazon. The map uncovers a history of geologically old meanders in the Tambopata River in Peru. Today, only the main stem of the river persists, and all of the prehistoric meanders are now covered by forest. Images like these are essential to understanding how forest structures have changed and to inform conservation planning efforts. Caption and image courtesy of CAO.

 

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Engaging the Community and Health Care Providers to Help Prioritize the Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources

Mar 31, 2014

The H1N1 pandemic of 2009-2010 has resurfaced in the news lately. A recent article in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine finds that adult patients treated with drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza (or similar) were half as likely to die compared to those who went untreated[1]. These findings are indeed exciting, and assuming availability of the drugs, promising.

But what happens when lifesaving therapies or devices are in short supply? How do we make decisions to allocate scarce resources in a pandemic or other public health emergency? What kinds of ethical frameworks should be used to do so?

In partnership with the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute and University School of Medicine, and the Health System’s Office of Emergency Management, as well as the UPMC Center for Health Security, RESOLVE has managed a series of public engagement sessions to answer these complex questions. By engaging “lay” community members and health care providers, alike, this project seeks to collectively consider decision-making criteria for allocating ventilators in a pandemic flu. These discussions use a deliberative democracy model to probe views on different principles for allocating scarce medical resources.

The project’s principle investigator, Dr. Lee Daugherty Biddison, discusses the project in this Hopkins Medicine Magazine article by David Green

***Update 6/23/14*** Since the initial posting of this blog entry, the project was published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society. For more information, please see this abstract.

-Rachel Nelson & Chrissie Juliano


[1] Stella G Muthuri PhD, S. V.-B.-B. (2014). Effectiveness of neuraminidase inhibitors in reducing mortality in patients admitted to hospital with influenza A H1N1pdm09 virus infection: a meta-analysis of individual participant data. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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RESOLVE Senior Advisor receives award for environmental protection through conflict resolution

Sep 3, 2013

The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) has just selected RESOLVE Senior Advisor John Jostes to receive the 2013 Sharon M. Pickett Award for Environmental Protection through Conflict Resolution. The award recognizes “significant and important” contributions to environmental protection for a project or over the length of one’s career.

John deserves this award and the recognition it brings. He has helped stakeholders work through such dicey issues as sharing water and protecting species, and beyond conservation to issues like homelessness. As a Senior Advisor to RESOLVE, John focuses on water and climate.

Check out the award announcement here.

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My Summer Internship: Research for the Forest Collaborative

Oct 11, 2012

This summer, I had a wonderful three months working at RESOLVE as a policy research intern and completed my first-ever independent research – exciting, rewarding, and unforgettable!

My paper is a case study on the amount of public participation training in accredited forestry degree programs in New Brunswick, Canada. The working group within the Sustainable Forest Community-University Research Alliance (a.k.a. “Forest Collaborative”) asked me to research and answer the following question: Are there enough courses provided in New Brunswick to engage forestry students in public participation and to prepare them with necessary skills to work in the forest planning industry? The answer to this question will help the working group propose solutions for enhancing the region’s forest planning.

When I was first assigned to a group of Canadian stakeholders discussing forest planning and public participation, I literally had no idea what they were talking about. It took me almost two weeks to get familiar with terms like “collaborative efforts” and “public engagement.” Cathy Lu Wall - Map!It took me another two weeks to absorb all the other information I needed, including the state of forestry education, forestry planning practices, and the geography of  Canada  (I did hang a huge map in my office and it’s still there). Meanwhile, I started designing the survey and began conducting phone interviews. I ended up spending more than a month talking to about 20 Canadian scholars, educators, foresters, and government officials over the phone – the first-hand notes I took in the one-on-one interviews really helped me develop the structure of my research! Thanks to their diverse perspectives, I was able to have a broader view of the issue.

Two months after I first stepped into the office, I had read and heard enough about what the issue was – enough to get me started writing.  The information I had collected, however, was just so overwhelming that I didn’t even know where to begin. My supervisor, Juliana Birkhoff, spent a lot of time helping me get on the right track. To provide a model for my paper, I looked up the work of others who have done similar analyses; some scholars from the Forest Collaborative team generously provided me with their previous working papers as references. The actual writing time was not as long as I thought it would be – it helps to have a concrete idea of what you would like to say! My lovely RESOLVE co-workers helped me review the draft paper, as did the group members of the Forest Collaborative.  The final 14-page research paper has been delivered to the working group to review. I hope this research project I did over the summer can be of help to the advancement of forest planning in Canada.

- Cathy Lu

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Voluntary Governance

Apr 4, 2012

Yesterday’s blog post on a new RESOLVE pilot project highlights one example of voluntary collaboration among businesses to develop tools for addressing urgent environmental and social challenges.

In this era of globalization, supply chain dynamics are complex and often opaque. The Conflict-Free Smelter Program, along with the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals, and mineral mapping initiatives by the electronics industry aim to make supply chains more transparent, as well as environmentally and socially sustainable. These are just a few of RESOLVE’s projects supporting voluntary governance initiatives. We are also:

  • Helping to expand avenues for civil society engagement with the Climate Investment Funds, a joint initiative of five multilateral development banks housed at the World Bank
  • Advising extractives companies, civil society organizations, and agencies on best practices for stakeholder engagement and conflict resolution
  • Facilitating a state-of-knowledge assessment on the impact and performance of sustainability labels such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Utz, and FairTrade.

To learn more about these projects and our other voluntary governance work, check out our website.

- Taylor Kennedy

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Collaboration and Technology Discussion Series – The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

May 11, 2010

What makes for a good conversation? A seemingly simple question, but it reminds me of the importance of the basics as we venture into new terrain opened by technology.

I am having so much FUN exploring technological tools for public engagement! The process certainly looks different at times, which is part of the fun. And, yet, I keep coming back to the basics. What do we know about what makes a good conversation in person, and how do we translate that into a new setting, whether it be a web dialogue or a collaborative modeling process? (more…)

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Collaboration and Technology Discussion Series – Collaborative Values and Principles: Guidance for Choosing Collaborative Tactics and Tools

May 10, 2010

RESOLVE has published a new article opening the door to conversation about choosing and using collaborative technological tools to increase partnerships and consensus building. The article raises several important questions that we will continue to explore in a series of blog posts and articles about the use of technology in collaborative and consensus building processes. As this discussion unfolds, you can expect to hear from RESOLVE senior staff and board members and gain access to case studies and best practice findings. This paper kicks-off a discussion leading up to the launch of the USIECR Technology Network. Throughout the conversation, we encourage you to read and participate. Send us a video, comment to our blog posts, or shoot us an email! We appreciate the variety of perspectives and experiences from our colleagues and partners who are using collaborative technology in their work.

RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges through collaboration – your input is a key component of that collaboration, and we look forward to hearing from you.

The new article, “Collaborative Values and Principles – Guidance for Choosing Collaborative Tactics and Tools” can be found on theRESOLVE website Reports and Manuscripts page

Stephen D’Esposito

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Power Dynamics in Collaboration Discussion Series – Part 1

May 5, 2010

Mediation is a Field: Shared Ideological Framework of Power
Power is a fundamental concept for facilitators and mediators. In conversations, mediators talk about power when they discuss their cases, their decisions about what tactics and strategies they used, and what the impact of their practice is on individual and broader social change.

Check out this interview of Dr. Juliana Birkhoff from 2006 where she explains how her dissertation demonstrates mediation is in fact a field and that what is uniting among experienced mediators is the concept of power.


www.mediate.com

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