Vantage Points







Security Sector Reform as a Tool for Development

In its 2017 report, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) highlighted that security and justice institutions are often the main interface between states and the populations they are meant to serve. However, the states protracted ineffectiveness or poor governance can leave the door open for conflict to escalate. DCAF’s Dr. Hans Born spoke with VantagePoints to share his thoughts and experience on how an effective and robust security sector reform (SSR) process can be an important tool for peace and development. How did you get interested ...

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Storytelling for Social Impact

In the digital era, the shape and delivery of stories have evolved dramatically. It has provided an opportunity to reach more people and get them engaged. Our Better World (OBW), the digital storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation, leverages the power of stories and digital media for social impact. Rebecca Lim, Head of OBW, shared with VantagePoints that their approach is to tell stories of people doing good in Asia to inspire their global online community to take action. In September 2018, OBW won the Best International Not-for-Profit Case ...

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Honoring Humanity Through a Lifetime of Humanitarian Service

Bruce Muir recently retired as director of the Emergency Response Division in the Welfare Services Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His duties included supporting emergency response to natural disasters and refugee crises globally. Bruce has also held numerous positions in the Church including director for temporal affairs in the Philippines and Chile Areas, and the managing director of the Translation Department.

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The Value of Peacekeeping

This year, the United Nations (UN) celebrates 70 years of peacekeeping. Since 1948, more than one million UN peacekeepers from over 100 countries have served to stabilize some of the world’s most volatile conflict zones. Studies have shown that peacekeeping makes a huge difference in terms of preventing the resurgence of conflict when sufficiently resourced and equipped. But with recent budget cuts to several UN Peacekeeping missions, there is a growing concern about the future of the institution.  VantagePoints recently spoke with Chandrima Das on this issue. Ms. Das ...

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Propelling Empowerment in Barangay Communities

The Philippines has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In contrast, the Philippines also faces considerable challenges due to social and environmental issues. Education and health are persistent problems. 1 out of 4 Filipinos live in poverty, and 1 in 3 children are developmentally stunted due to malnutrition. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods frequently devastate the nation. Additionally, pollution and plastic waste are ongoing problems experienced throughout the country. Project Propel has been working in the Philippines ...

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Coding to Fight Gender Inequality

In the 2017/18 Women, Peace and Security Index launched by the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace, and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Afghanistan and Syria tied at the bottom as the worst countries to be a woman. In both countries, years of violence, discriminatory practices, and cultural barriers have denied women job opportunities and inadequate representation in the society.  In this feature, Fereshteh Forough drew upon her own experience of being born a refugee in Iran during the Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan. She witnessed ...

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Basic Lines of Operation: Governance, Development and Security

21st-century global environment demands that good governance and development must be incorporated in security strategies.  How and when can the security sector shift from mere affording physical protection to the long-term benefits of human security and development needs?  In this VantagePoints piece, James Creighton, a former commander of Combined Team Uruzgan and Chief of Plans for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan shares how the interconnected challenges of governance, development, and security require significant integration within and ...

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South Sudan: One People, One Country

John Dau Foundation
South Sudan will become a more resilient place once you educate the younger generation so that they can overcome the tribal thinking. Help them overcome the urge to first help their own relatives. It’s good to help your relatives, but also help those who are not related to you. If you bring education and educate these young generations–they will think positively, they will think critically, they will think globally.

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The Future of Development is Agile

Innovation is very key. The rate of change is so fast, and innovation is very key. Now, with innovation comes a level of disruption. It’s almost creating some level of chaos. As practitioners of projects and project management, we’ve got to understand that things are going to be chaotic, and we need to adapt our structure to be able to deal with the chaos.

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A Spirit of Service: Technologists Are Advancing UN SDGs

There are many wonderful, bold projects around the world, not just in the US, being developed in answer to the world’s most pressing problems, from giving identity to the most vulnerable to trafficking, giving banking to the unbanked, transparency in food supply chain, and tokenizing activities to give everyone financial inclusion in this data-driven economy.

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