Category Archives: Blogs

Global Commitment Report Reveals Companies’ Plastic Footprints
By admin March 19, 2019

For the first time, a Global Commitment Report (GCR) has been released, detailing the amount of plastics used in packaging and production by global companies, and calling for an end to secrecy in their plastic footprint data. The report was a collaborative effort between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment and gave data on

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Empowering Women and Building Inclusive Societies
By admin March 18, 2019

In the United States, March is Women’s History Month and on March 8 the global community celebrates International Women’s Day. This year the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women is taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 11-22, 2019. While every day is a great day

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Investing with Purpose: Mobilizing Private Capital in Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
By admin March 15, 2019

  The fast-growing industry of impact investing demonstrates the promising role of private capital in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An increasing number of fund managers, diversified finance institutions and individual investors are mapping their existing portfolios into the SDGs and align their investment strategies with their targeted objective of producing positive and measurable

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Venezuela Update: 4 Days Into The Country’s Longest Blackout
By admin March 12, 2019

On Thursday, the San Geronimo B substation went down, sending Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas, into darkness. Today, 18 of the country’s 23 states remain affected by the outage, food supplies are running short, and it has been reported that the country’s private sector has lost an estimated $400 million as a result of the blackout.

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Ecosystem Restoration Gets a New Spotlight with UN Declaration Decade
By admin March 11, 2019

Humans have an impact on the environment, for better or for worse. Destruction, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, pollution, the list of harmful effects humans have on the planet can seem endless. So, what are some positive actions humans are taking to reverse the damage done to the planet? The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed

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Preparing Women for the Future of Work
By admin March 8, 2019

  The disruptive transformation of the labor market for the future of work presents both opportunities and challenges for women. Women could first face actual challenges before benefiting from technological advances: recent research shows that a larger proportion of the female workforce is at high risk for displacement. Women face higher risk of losing their

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Ethiopia: Africa’s Emerging Giant
By admin March 6, 2019

Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most-populous country, has suffered military rule, civil war, and catastrophic famine over the past half century. Yet, in recent years, it has emerged as a beacon of stability in the Horn of Africa, enjoying rapid economic growth and increasing strategic importance in the region. However, starting in 2015, a surge in political turmoil

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The US Saw Exponential Clean Energy Growth in 2018…So Why Have Emissions Risen?
By admin March 5, 2019

Since pre-industrial times, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have caused a 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in global temperatures as a direct result of human activity, and experts now warn that this must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to avoid causing irreparable damage to the planet’s intricate eco and biosystems. The

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Turning to Solar Power Solutions in Latin America
By admin March 4, 2019

Harnessing the power of solar energy in Latin America is becoming a competition. Luckily there is unlimited shine to go around. First there was the Atacama solar plant in Chile, then the Coahuila solar plant in Mexico was installed, and now the Cauchari solar plant in Argentina was named as the largest solar plant in

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Why Kites May Have a Future in Renewable Energy Generation
By admin February 26, 2019

New research from the University of Madrid (UC3M) is using high-altitude kites and drones in an experimental energy study. The research was recently published in Applied Mathematical Modelling and presents a flight simulator software that is aimed at analyzing energy generation systems. The study specifically researches Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES), which harness wind energy

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Sharing the Responsibility to Reduce Plastic Waste
By admin February 25, 2019

Here is a challenge: Try not to buy single-use plastic for a day. That may be easy, but now try for three days, now try a week, a whole month. Resisting products packaged in single-use plastics may not always be in control of the consumer. Single-use plastics are commonly used for one-time use, such as

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Stalled Governments: A Cause for Concern
By admin February 20, 2019

The U.S. government’s partial shutdown shares some similarities with the collapse of a Brexit deal. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has not been able to agree on southern border security with Democrats. Across the Atlantic, Prime Minister Theresa May is not having much luck with the members of parliament on the terms

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Crisis in Eastern Ukraine – First Test of the Return of the Cold War
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Ukraine is of deep interest to Russia due to their shared history. Ukraine was a territory in the Russian empire since the 1600’s, only separating in 1918 with the collapse of Czarist Russia. In 1921, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was established after Russia conquered two-thirds of the country. The third part integrating into independent Poland

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A Green Economy By 2030: The Caribbean’s Commitment To Renewable Energy
By admin February 19, 2019

The top ten contributing countries to Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions account for 72 percent of total emissions versus the bottom one hundred, who emit under 3 percent. However, the consequences affect all in the form of global warming, giving moral incentive to take the lead in renewable energy. The Caribbean is a prime example

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The Green New Deal: ‘Green Dream’ or the American Future?
By admin February 12, 2019

Last week, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced the bill “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal (GND).” This bill calls for a ten-year mobilization plan that will eventually allow the United States to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by making aggressive moves toward cleaner forms

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Global High-tech Players’ Local Considerations
By admin February 11, 2019

    Some studies show that the significant increase in the access to the Internet and digital services in the developing world was to a large extent attributed to the activities of large multinational high-tech corporations. However, despite prospective economic and social outcomes, a growing number of governments from these countries have expressed concern over

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3 Ways to Advance Women and Girls in Science
By admin

Every day is a great day to celebrate women and girls in the field of science. February 11th is marked as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Women and girls remain underrepresented in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. So, what is holding so many women and girls from

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How Yemeni Women Are Using Solar Panels to Overcome Food Insecurity
By admin February 5, 2019

In 2009, Yemen had the lowest electricity connection in the Middle East, with 75 percent of the population living in rural areas, and only 23 percent of that rural population having access to electricity. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), only 40 percent of the country’s overall population had access to electricity, either

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The Bassiouni Group Launches TBG Purpose
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New York, New York, USA – February 5], 2019 – The Bassiouni Group (www.bassiounigroup.com) announced the launch of TBG Purpose, a new division that will exclusively provide customized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability services and solutions to Fortune 1000 companies,  SMBs/SMEs and INGOs/NGOs on a global basis. The global CSR/Sustainability market is now worth an estimated

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The Venezuela Crisis – Largest Exodus in Western Hemisphere in Search for a Bridge of Desperation and Hope
By admin

Venezuela’s problems go back to 1999 when the charismatic and ebullient late President Hugo Chavez established a socialist government, at a time when Venezuela was against the backdrop of vast wealth but had huge inequality. That is the government his predecessor President Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013.Venezuela has been caught in a downward spiral

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How Alignment and Partnering Should Come into Play to Pursue CSR goals
By admin February 4, 2019

  At the intersection of business and social impact, corporations are increasingly thinking about integrating the two while pondering over strategies that turn Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into value-creating activities. More professionals have seen previously separated functions of sustainability and business operations merged. The biggest challenge for executives is how to develop an integrated approach

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Handling Human Waste at Cox’s Bazar
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UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Oxfam worked together in Bangladesh to service the biggest human waste treatment facility ever built in a refugee settlement. The facility can process the waste of 150,000 people-40 cubic meters a day. UNHCR has also been working with partners in over 275 small scale sludge treatment sites in Cox’s Bazar,

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Introducing TBG Purpose!
By admin January 30, 2019

                                                                   The Bassiouni Group is excited to announce the launch of TBG Purpose (http://bassiounigroup.com/our-services/tbg-purpose/) new division solely focused on customized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability

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Renewables on the Rise: How CSR Can Help Your Company Thrive
By admin January 29, 2019

Modern companies are being held more and more accountable for their social responsibility policies, from huge changes like renewable energy to smaller, more accessible things, such as recycling. In all sectors of business, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming a strategic tool in long-term company plans. Effective CSR programs have been proven to increase employee

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Good Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Look at Patagonia
By admin January 28, 2019

When companies are hiring new people to join the ranks, they may ask the interviewee about their values. Answering the question informs the company of the individual’s principles and how that might guide their decision-making. It is now just as important for the interviewee to ask companies what they value. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is

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Fintech Dynamism Amid Financial Innovation and Regulations
By admin January 25, 2019

  Fintech has grown rapidly around the world in recent years, but there are great variations among countries in terms of banking structure and regulations. While offering an alternative funding source for businesses and consumers that enhances financial efficiency, it also gives rise to a number of challenges for regulators. Authorities can play important role

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THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: THE MOTHER OF SMARTPHONE BUT VICTIM OF RICH NATURAL RESOURCES
By admin January 23, 2019

Established as an official Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960. The country’s early years were marred by political and social instability and today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is still reeling from the effects of a widespread civil war, preventable diseases and starvation. Weak governance

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Climate Change and the Government Shutdown: What’s the Link?
By admin January 22, 2019

The US Government’s shutdown, which began in December of 2018, will be entering its 32nd day come midnight on Tuesday. Its effects are being felt by the estimated 380,000 federal employees that were furloughed or are working without pay, as well as by federal courts, and even small businesses. Now, in addition to its social

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Is Africa Ready for Population Growth?
By admin January 17, 2019

Africa’s population today is estimated at 1.2 billion. Population growth in Africa is projected to double in the next three decades to 2 billion. As the world faces many challenges related to global warming, civil and international conflicts, and humanitarian crises, the thought of more people on this earth heightens insecurities. However, more people can

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Trade Talks Update: Is a Peace Deal in the Works for US and China?
By admin January 16, 2019

The trade war between the US and China has been ongoing throughout 2018. Its beginnings can be traced back to March when the US proposed tariffs in reaction to China’s “unfair trade practices”, and China responded by revealing their own tariffs on US goods. The back and forth of various tariffs continued to increase until

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The Rohingya – The Stateless People Even a Nobel laureate Does Not Want
By admin January 7, 2019

The Rohingya, considered by the international community to be the “most persecuted minority in the world”, are a majority Muslim ethnic group that represent the largest percentage of Muslims in Myanmar. They have their own language and culture and are descendants of Arab traders and other groups who have been in the region for generations.

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The Yemen Crisis Pt. II: MBS’ War
By admin December 17, 2018

Conflicts in the Middle East are often viewed through the lens of identity, ideology and geopolitics that take the form of tribe versus tribe, Sunni versus Shia, Iran and its proxies versus the US and its allies. The genesis of the Yemen conflict cannot be divorced from this underpinning of causes and motivations. However, what

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Uber Plans to Put Self-Driving Cars Back on the Road in a Scaled-Down Launch
By admin December 7, 2018

Eight months after one of Uber’s self-driving cars hit and killed a pedestrian, the ride-sharing company is on the verge of putting its vehicles back on the road in a more reduced pilot of earlier efforts. Before the accident, Uber was driving its autonomous vehicles on public roads in four cities at speeds up to

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How Did US and China Agree on a Pause in Trade War Escalation
By admin December 5, 2018

After a dinner meeting at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a cease-fire on tariffs. The US will hold off on increasing the tariff on $200 billion Chinese imports after January 1, 2019. This positive sign toward a truce on the trade war pushed major markets,

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Breaking Down the New Waves of Energy in Developing World
By admin December 4, 2018

Campaigning for using environmentally-friendly sources of energy – renewable energy – to replace destructive sources of energy has been a global phenomenon. Today, the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is being held in Portland, marking the second stage of the Paris

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Towards a Climate-Neutral Future: Europe Commits Itself to New Targets and Increases Cleantech Investment
By admin December 3, 2018

    In 2015, European Union (EU) leadership committed to reducing domestic emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030. Promises to roll out initiatives to minimize global temperature increases and adopt national climate actions plans (INDCs) were also notable elements of the accord. As of November 2018, the European Union’s Climate Action Tracker (CAT)

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Yemen Crisis: The Weaponization of Aid
By admin

  Yemeni citizens are caught in the crossfire of a proxy war that involves much more than an exchange of bullets.  It is estimated that 80% of the domestic population have been forced into dire humanitarian need; some 18.5 million people are food insecure and 16 million have no access to safe, clean water and

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Cube Satellites- Are They the Future Generation of Space Exploration?
By admin November 29, 2018

NASA’s InSight lander arrived on Mars earlier this week after close to a seven-month journey through space. In the months ahead, InSight will begin its study of the planet, listening for tremors and collecting data that will be pieced together in a map of the interior of the red planet, which could help scientists better

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Foreign Aid: What Is the Actual Impact and How Can We Improve?
By admin November 28, 2018

Foreign aid is defined by the OECD as “financial flows, technical assistance, and commodities that aim to promote economic development and welfare, is a common practice in the field of international development.” However, controversies over aid effectiveness and transparency have led many countries to rethink traditional practices. The Chinese government, for example, has been criticized

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From “He for She” to “She for We”
By admin November 27, 2018

25 November is universally recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Thousands of people took to the streets of countries around the globe, media coverages more or less shifted their attention to gender-based violence cases, a bunch of panels and seminars were held to echo the major appeals of the

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Flushing Out Poverty with a Hygiene Approach
By admin November 20, 2018

It’s easy to take toilet for granted. With the coming of the 6th World Toilet Day, the general public and development actors begin to realize that the sanitation crisis is far from being solved. One in five primary schools and one in eight secondary schools globally do not have any toilets, the group WaterAid said

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Are Plant-Based Plastics All They’re Cracked Up to Be?
By admin November 16, 2018

Trillions of pounds of plastic have been produced to date, of which billions flow into the ocean each year. They ensnare marine life, including the fish we eat at our meals, appear in our table salt, and traces of them have even been discovered in our own bodies. As research into the harmfulness of plastic

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The Digital Gap: A Persisting and Evolving Challenge to Development
By admin November 14, 2018

A digital gap between the rich and the poor is deepening inequality around the world. A 2018 Pew Research survey found that about 50 percent of low-income US households do not have access to high-speed internet or traditional computers at home. Nearly one third of Americans from low-income households do not own a smartphone, while the

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Restore the Power of “Truthtelling”
By admin November 13, 2018

While Khashoggi’s death is still a myth to the general public, there is little doubt that the safety of journalists is not getting better in the tide of international development. From 2006 to 2017, UNESCO has recorded 1,010 killings of journalists. A total of 80 journalists and media workers were killed in 2018 as of

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Using Canines for Malaria Detection
By admin November 8, 2018

Dogs’ extremely sensitive sense of smell allows them to detect bombs, drugs, and other contraband that passes through airports in luggage or pockets but is it possible for them to sniff out malaria and could it be useful? At the annual meeting at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) last month, researchers

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Is Universal Basic Income an Effective Way to Eliminate Poverty?
By admin November 7, 2018

The exponential advancement of computing power and artificial intelligence has galvanized heated debates on Universal Basic Income (UBI) in recent years. People are concerned that technology will take away low-paying human jobs and leave poor people worse off. UBI is seen by the Silicon Valley as one of the proposals to cure inequality and poverty

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“Index Mania” and Stories Untold
By admin November 6, 2018

When doing research on international development, one can hardly open a newspaper or a web push without finding a reference to an international index. Being different from indexes solely used for investment and market outlook projection, these indexes are usually created by international organizations and cover key issues like corruption, human rights, education, freedom of

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The Circular Economy & Development
By admin November 2, 2018

  At the beginning of 2018, the World Economic Forum stated embracing the circular economy was “the biggest opportunity of our lifetime.” The circular economy is a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. This framework builds economic, natural, and social capital and is based on three principles: (1) design out

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Stablecoins, are they the next buzzworthy investment?
By admin November 1, 2018

A new form of cryptocurrency is gaining traction among proponents of digital cash: stablecoins. Unlike bitcoin, whose prices have swung from a peak of $19,000 to its current level of around $6,200, this emerging cryptocurrency aims to maintain a stable price at all times. Proponents of stablecoin argue their rise is instrumental for active investors

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Birthright Citizenship and A Century-long Struggle for Immigrants
By admin October 31, 2018

  This week, President Trump said in an interview with Axios that he plans to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship. He is seeking to stop kids of non-citizens or undocumented immigrants from getting citizenship automatically at birth, which would have a major impact on the immigration laws the country has established through

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