X is now a step closer to delivering internet to the world via balloons

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By Catherine Cheney

Step inside Project Loon, part of X, Google's moonshot factory. Yesterday, the team announced a shift in their model. And they provided more details on how their efforts represent one part of the ecosystem approach needed to connect the unconnected.


Nigeria's Okechukwu Enelamah talks growth, private partnerships and economic diversity

The Nigerian government seeks to harness public-private partnership in implementing its newly launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. The scheme aims to create a diversified economy amid structural changes that would boost its growth prospects. Okechukwu Enelamah, the Nigerian minister of industry, trade, and investment, spoke to Devex about its progress.


Opportunities and risks for messaging apps in the development sector

As humanitarian organizations seek to engage more fluidly with impacted communities, the introduction of messaging apps, such as Whatsapp and Viber, could prove vital. Results from a recent ICRC-led study indicate the need to further explore potential risks, including lack of privacy, data protection and other security threats.


Q&A: Liberia's minister of health on lessons learned from the Ebola crisis

Bernice Dahn has a message for the global development community: Trust recipient governments.


4 takeaways from the Australasian Aid Conference

The 2017 Australasian Aid Conference, in Canberra on Feb. 15 and 16, gathered representatives from government, NGOs, the private sector and research community to discuss and debate issues in aid, development and humanitarian assistance, both in Australia and globally. Devex was there to provide four key takeaways about the future of Australian aid.


Former US disaster chief says White House 'credibility' key to international crisis response

The former U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance director said the White House and National Security Council staff play a critical "process management" role that sets the tone for international response.


Australia responds to the global gag rule

Australia has hit back at the Trump administration's gag rule by announcing $9.5 million Australian dollars ($7.3 million) in funding for the International Planned Parenthood Foundation. The announcement was met with cross-party parliamentary support and applause from Australia's development sector at the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference.


Q&A: The director of the Gates Foundation's HIV program on what's needed to accelerate efforts

Emilio Emini spent 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry before taking on what he jokes is his retirement job. But amid growing concerns about the future of funding for HIV, he certainly has his work cut out for him.


An $83 billion opportunity for fisheries

Devex speaks with an expert from the Environmental Defense Fund about approaches to make global fisheries sustainable, which a report released today from the World Bank says will boost the profitability of the fisheries sector from $3 billion to $86 billion annually.


ONE Campaign announces Gayle Smith as CEO

The former U.S. Agency for International Development chief will take over at the aid advocacy organization in late March.


In delivery drones, scrappy can beat costly

Field tests of drones in the Amazon Rainforest hold important lessons for anyone considering use cases for unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for humanitarian aid, development or environmental conservation.


New International Finance Corp. report benchmarks emerging minigrid sector

In a report published Monday, the International Finance Corp. looks at the minigrid sector to assess the state of the industry, identify key trends and barriers, and suggest possible solutions to help the sector scale and access finance. Here are the highlights.


Development talk at the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society annual conference

The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society's annual conference brought global experts in agriculture, horticulture and food security to Brisbane last week to discuss the state of play for the sector in the current politically charged world. Climate, Trump and Brexit were common points of discussion and Devex caught up with a number of speakers to discuss topics impacting the development sector.


Q&A: Antonio García Zaballos on the Inter-American Development Bank's connectivity plan

Internet connectivity and technology have not always been high-priority or big investment areas for the Inter-American Development Bank. In fact it used to be the job of just one man — Antonio García Zaballos. Devex spoke with Zaballos to hear about the bank's efforts today.


NGOs rethink emergency response plans amid Trump travel ban uncertainty

International humanitarian nonprofits say they are putting travel plans on hold for some staffers as legal uncertainty restricts their ability to deploy the right staff to the right places.


IFAD appoints Togo's former prime minister as new president

Togo's former Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo beats seven other candidates, including three women, to emerge as IFAD's new president.


New scorecard for national sustainable energy policies finds sub-Saharan Africa lagging far behind

The World Bank has launched a new scorecard that looks at the sustainable energy policies in 111 countries, marking them green, yellow and red. The scorecard, and accompanying report, reveal policies in sub-Saharan Africa are far behind those in other countries, and that many countries are failing to take advantage of "quick win" energy efficiency policies.


How to conduct a strategic job search

Finding a new job requires a strategic approach, particularly in the uber competitive world of global development. Here are three ingredients to conducting a job search the right way.


What bean to bar strategies improve the lives of cocoa farmers?

Devex speaks to a range of experts about efforts from the chocolate industry to raise the bar for cocoa farmers.


Derisking is causing significant banking problems for two-thirds of US nonprofits

A new report by the Charity & Security Network sheds light on the scale of the problem that derisking has created for U.S. NGOs operating abroad. Two-thirds say they have experienced banking problems, in some cases leading to lifesaving programs being canceled.


New Gambian president unfreezes EU aid ties, signing a pledge of 150M euros

Newly elected President of The Gambia Adama Barrow reverses a decade of declining aid relations with the EU, unlocking an unprecedented 150 million euros in new support, while European Development Commissioner Neven Mimica finds a new opportunity for his controversial counter-migration fund.


Inside Development

How development organizations can save money in a world of fluctuating currencies

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Smarter foreign exchange strategies helped the Global Fund save $55 million in 2015. In times of volatile exchange rates, how can development organizations save money and insulate themselves against currency risks? Devex spoke to the Global Fund about its FX hedging strategies and to Cambridge Global Payments about shopping around for better FX deals.

Global Views

Opinion: Where’s the action with drones for development?

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Drones have potential applications in a range of development sectors, particularly in mapping, evaluation and monitoring. More comparative studies are needed to asses the quality of drone-collected data as compared with human-led efforts. Giovanni Castaldo from the Center for Effective Global Action explores the role of drones in public works, agriculture and humanitarian aid — as well as the challenges ahead.

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