The US government strategy for improving its struggling reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan relies heavily on spending more money. More on bigger and quicker projects, more on aid workers, and more on monitors – a "civilian surge" to win hearts and minds.
One legacy of the 9/11 attacks was a distortion of American policy: By the standards of history and cost-effectiveness, we are hugely overinvested in military tools and underinvested in education and diplomacy.
The technologies that came to the fore in Haiti are not new. They include everyday technologies -- mobile phones, online mapping tools, GPS, and social networking. What is new is their use in the humanitarian context at the scale seen in the global response to Haiti's catastrophic quake.
United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes today allocated some $41 million in emergency funding to boost humanitarian operations in nine countries where people are suffering the effects of hunger, malnutrition, disease, and conflict.