For an elderly man in West Africa, it is the comfort of hearing his wife’s voice on his long journey to receive cancer treatment. For villagers in Peru, it is an emergency lifeline following a devastating earthquake.
Poor communities rarely benefit from global emissions trading schemes, because of the high transaction costs of participation. However, the registration of small community-scale projects to the carbon market through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) might be a way for low-income communities to profit from their efforts to reduce emissions.
Access to water for poor residents in Jakarta, Indonesia, is limited. Among the challenges they face are the high prices demanded by water service providers, poor water quality, and limited access to water infrastructure. With support from IDRC, the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps worked with residents, local government, researchers, NGOs, and the private sector to tackle these challenges.
Research in Action
Information and Communication
An innovative IDRC initiative is improving evaluation capacities of researchers studying Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in Asia ongoing mentorship to learn and apply the Utilization Focused Evaluation (UFE) approach to their projects. DECI demonstrates the value of mentoring as a training approach, where researchers are coached as they make ready to use the approach.
An IDRC-funded project in Asia found that distance education can be as effective as traditional face-to-face education in delivering quality teaching and a good learning experience. This finding is particularly significant for remote and resource-poor regions in countries such as Mongolia and Cambodia. The project underscored the importance of choosing appropriate technologies and mediums of distance education based on learner needs, capacities, and the socio-economic context.
Health systems in countries across Asia struggle to provide access to health services, especially to vulnerable populations. Information and communication technologies like mobile phones are being used to address health challenges. This networked approach to health, or eHealth, can increase access to services and information. But can it fill critical gaps in health service provision?
Agricultural production is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia. While this can lead to improved food security, nutrition, and income in the region, it also increases the risk of disease, exposure to chemicals, and the loss of biodiversity. The IDRC-supported Ecohealth Field Building Initiative (FBLI) supports research in the region that aims to improve understanding of the effects of agricultural change on ecosystems and human health, and provide sustainable solutions.