The Forest Peoples Program (FPP) is a nonprofit based in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the Netherlands. The organization focuses on aiding indigenous and forest communities globally. The charity works with these communities to support their livelihoods, which rely on the forest.

According to the Forest Peoples Program, indigenous communities protect more than half of the land but only formally own 10%. The FPP helps the 300 million people living in forests secure their rights. 

Five Facts about the Forest Peoples Program

  1. It aids indigenous communities with self-determination. The United Nations (U.N.) notes that one of its purposes is the “principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” Self-determination is the freedom of choice without external input. Regarding indigenous communities, self-determination means they should control their development. This idea includes economic and cultural decisions. In addition, the population should have the right to self-governance concerning local matters.
  2. The Forest Peoples Program works with these communities on a legislative level. The organization works to implement policies in the interest of indigenous people. For example, the FPP issued a 2022 annual report that noted the growth of its Strategic Legal Response Centre. This program allowed indigenous individuals to access legal action to support their land rights.
  3. It strives toward gender equality within indigenous communities. Within its humanitarian work, the Forest Peoples Program aims to create an inclusive environment for indigenous women. This idea includes working with organizations that specifically aid women and generating Gender Workshops. The FPP worked with the Sengwer people in 2016, an indigenous community in western Kenya. The organization advocated against illegal evictions that have been on the rise since 2014. The organization specifically focused on female experiences during these evictions. The report revealed that the evictions impacted women and children more than men.
  4. It supports indigenous-led education. According to the Australian government, in 2018, only 49% of indigenous students recorded more than 90% attendance. This gap reveals how underrepresented indigenous cultures and voices are within educational institutions. However, between 2020 and 2021, the Forest Peoples Program co-founded the Global Network on Indigenous-led Education (ILED). The network grew under a range of organizations that share the goal of supporting holistic education. These organizations, such as the FPP, aimed to combat the marginalization of indigenous people within traditional education structures.
  5. The organization has been reaching milestones since the 1990s. The FPP has been operating for more than 30 years. Since the 1990s, the organization has supported countless developments for indigenous rights. The year 1992 saw the creation of the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests. This group was the first of its kind, allowing indigenous people to use their voices in “international fora and meetings.”

A Look Ahead

More recently, in 2015, the FPP supported the development of the first autonomous indigenous government. The government was in the Wampis nation, located in Peru. As a result, the government integrated 1.3 million hectares of ancestral territory to strengthen the region politically. 

The Forest Peoples Program continues to aid indigenous communities facing poverty. Providing access to legal action gives these communities more stability as they obtain land rights. In addition, the FPP assists indigenous gender equality as women are more dependent on access to land and resources. The organization strengthens indigenous-led education and legislation to preserve indigenous traditions and voices. 

Overall, indigenous representation is crucial in tackling poverty, as the FPP protects indigenous livelihoods and underrepresented communities. 

Bethany Brown

Photo: Flickr

Artificial Intelligence BenefitsA branch of computer science that makes machines and technology usually performed by humans, artificial intelligence (AI) includes problem solving, decision-making and understanding language. AI systems rely on algorithms and data collection to observe patterns, make predictions and provide answers.

By ethically using the power of machine learning and analytics, AI can complete administrative and automotive tasks. It can also make informed decisions, and cater to individuals who are typically underrepresented in communities. Artificial intelligence benefits has the potential to transform our society by improving education systems, health care and environmental sustainability.


One of the main advantages of AI is its ability to create personalized learning plans for students. AI can collect data and analyze a student’s learning style and performance. It does this based on students’ response time and the types of questions they get correct. Data can be used to customize curriculums that are tailored for individual students.

A “one-size-fits-all” approach is what most education systems use today because it is unrealistic to expect a teacher to create a custom plan for every student in their classroom. Challenges are presented with this education system, though. Many students do not find the current approach engaging. In fact, they actually find that it hinders their learning experience. Personalized learning can help resolve issues that higher education institutions face, such as dropout rates and overall lack of motivation.

In Pakistan, the educational platform Maqsad creates personalized educational content for students, catering to their specific needs through data analysis. This digital learning has been embraced when its need surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artificial intelligence benefits education systems inside and outside of the classroom. At Staffordshire University in the U.K., an AI chatbot provides personalized answers to questions regarding university services and other support. This allows professors and campus staff more time to handle other administrative tasks. It also allows them to collect data on what individuals are confused about to better serve their student population.

Environmental Sustainability

Artificial intelligence benefits have the potential to facilitate environmental sustainability in many ways. Energy consumption, agriculture, manufacturing and resource management can improve with the help of AI technology.

When it comes to energy consumption, AI can optimize energy usage in buildings, transportation systems and manufacturing processes. The technology does this by using predictive analytics to manage the supply and demand chain of energy and stop carbon pollution.

In agriculture, AI can help predict weather patterns that would impact crops. It can reduce the use of fertilizer and water, two resources that, when used in large quantities, could harm the environment and ecosystems.

In Africa, advanced technology is being used to optimize agriculture and improve crop yields through “Digital soil mapping.” Digital soil mapping uses spatial data to predict the soil’s capacity to provide quality resources such as crops. It also identifies any deficiencies the soil might have, such as harmful aluminum toxicity.

By leveraging AI and machine learning, companies and communities can make data-driven decisions that have positive impacts on the environment and their businesses.

Health Care

Artificial Intelligence can improve patient outcomes with personalized treatment plans, medical imaging, decision-making and much more. It is documented that reviewing medical records and recording notes can take up to more than half a physician’s time. The use of AI language technology can free up time for medical practitioners by transcribing their meetings and inputting data into medical software. AI can also help diagnose patients by asking them a series of questions and analyzing their symptoms to provide accurate medical explanations.

In India, 70% of health care services operate from the private sector, which makes access to adequate health care extremely difficult for those living at or below the poverty line. AI-based technologies are being used to detect diseases and diagnose patients. One company, SigTuple, is developing a system that can analyze blood samples to detect abnormalities and diagnose diseases like tuberculosis.

These AI systems can help resolve the medical inequalities faced by people living in poverty. It can also uneven the ratio of doctors to patients in impoverished communities, as well as improve the overall efficiency of public health care.

Mental Health

Mental health is another area in which artificial intelligence benefits many people. A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that individuals suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses are more comfortable speaking with virtual programs because of the fear of being judged. This could help advance mental health services by initially having patients speak with AI technology and then taking those answers and providing them with the best care.

Moving Forward

Based on recent trends, artificial intelligence can be beneficial to society when used correctly. In places like Pakistan, India and Africa, artificial intelligence and advanced technology models have already led to progress in areas of education, environmental sustainability and health care. And the positive outcomes suggest that there is room for even more progress.

Kellyjohana Ahumada

Photo: Pexels 

POVERTY IN THE UNITED KINGDOMThe United Kingdom has a population of approximately 68 million people, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet and live in poverty. As of the parliament’s most recent studies in 2022, nearly one in five people live in poverty in the United Kingdom.

The Issue of Poverty

The issue of poverty has been a problem that has long plagued the United Kingdom. Many of these issues can be attributed to a decade of public service cuts. This has pushed many families to the brink of poverty and many others into poverty.

As of 2021, the poverty rate among working households is as high as it has ever been in Britain. Due to steadily increasing property prices, private sector rent hikes and record childcare costs, working families are adopting unhealthy lifestyles and using high-cost credit to pay off debts.

Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a member of IPPR’s welfare state advisory panel states that these families “are trying as hard as they can but still finding it impossible to feed their families and provide a safe roof over their heads,” the Big Issue reports.

Many of these factors are financially related, such as spiraling housing costs among low-income households, as well as low wages and modest pay rises, according to The Guardian. Other factors are systemically based, such as a constant lack of flexible as well as affordable childcare and a social security system that has proven unable to keep up with rising rental costs. Families who are unable to buy a home have to rent from private landlords. These systemic issues affect them the worst due to a benefits system that rewards landlords as opposed to its citizens.

The Impact on Children

According to The Children Society of the United Kingdom, 4.3 million children live in poverty in the United Kingdom, as of 2021. These children are less likely to have a strong support system around them, due to their guardians devoting their energy to surviving with the few resources they have. This could put these children at an increased risk of homelessness, addiction and exploitation by criminal gangs, according to the Big Issue.


Most experts agree that the key to reducing the poverty rate in the United Kingdom is reforming the welfare system. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) feels that “without long-term reforms, the government will face a perpetual choice between paying constantly rising social security bills or allowing the number of working families in poverty to increase unchecked, as is currently the case,” the Big Issue reports.

Thankfully, there are numerous organizations that are hard at work to ensure that the cycle of poverty in the United Kingdom comes to an end. The organization at the forefront of that fight is Oxfam. Since its establishment in 1942 it has been committed to “a kinder, fairer world – a world less divided by borders, money, race or gender” said Oxfam’s CEO Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah.

In the year 2021 alone, Oxfam assisted 12.8 million people who were at risk or facing poverty. With these far-reaching efforts in the face of such daunting statistics and the continued fight of the British people, the future of the United Kingdom appears much brighter than in recent memory.

– Austin Hughes
Photo: Flickr

Period Products Bill in ScotlandOn November 24, 2020, a groundbreaking moment occurred that changed the struggle against period poverty. The Scottish Parliament passed the Period Products Bill in Scotland. This new bill guarantees free access to necessary hygienic period products to all who require them. Member of the Scottish Parliament, Monica Lennon, championed the fight against period poverty in Scotland and played a significant part in passing this revolutionary legislation.

Ending Period Poverty in Scotland

Even with the United Kingdom being one of the world’s wealthiest countries, period poverty remains a recurrent problem. In 2018, more than 20% of those polled in Scotland stated that they either had limited or no access to period products. Another 10% had to sacrifice food and other necessities to afford them. One in 10 experienced bacterial or fungal infections due to a lack of sanitary products. These rates have gone up to nearly one in four during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Period Products Bill in Scotland practically eliminates these problems. Accessibility to sanitary products must be made by the Scottish Government and organized countrywide. Public restrooms in educational institutions must contain a variety of period products without charge and it also allows oversight over local jurisdictions to ensure enforcement of the law.

Ending Menstruation Taboos

Menstruation has become a stigmatized topic worldwide, despite half the population experiencing it. The dangerous and outdated idea that periods are not appropriate for discussion and seriousness is damaging to those subjected to these taboos.

From South America to Africa, antiquated menstruation views have led to long-lasting negative consequences for those suffering from period poverty. In some cultures, menstruating girls and women must separate themselves from the rest of their community. In Nepal, so-called ‘menstruation huts‘ have dire consequences for women, with local organizations stating that many deaths associated with the practice go unreported.

The importance of ending taboos about menstruation is evident. The Period Products Bill in Scotland is a meaningful step to engage the rest of the world over these unsound presuppositions of menstruation and begin addressing period poverty globally.

Implementing Period Poverty Legislation Worldwide

There has already been worldwide attention brought to the neoteric Period Products Bill in Scotland. Lennon has been fielding communications from leaders and lawmakers around the world, ready to implement similar laws in their own countries. According to Lennon, “Scotland has provided a blueprint and shown how it can be done.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, logistical problems of supplying period products and economic suffering are causing governments to reevaluate the impact of period poverty. Countries with strong infrastructure can utilize Scotland’s approach to combat the worsening situation fast and effectively. The rest of the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia have already taken note of the problem and Scotland’s practical policy.

Ending Global Period Poverty

In underdeveloped countries, Scotland’s lead in the battle against period poverty can pave the way for education and destigmatizing menstruation. Poverty-fighting organizations can create similar international implementation plans in developing nations with little investment. Thanks to Scotland’s leadership, period poverty may soon become as antiquated as the stigmas surrounding it.

– Zachary Kunze
Photo: Flickr

Child Poverty in the United KingdomWith the sixth-largest economy in the world, the United Kingdom has vast financial resources. Despite its economic strength, however, child poverty in the United Kingdom is a severe and growing problem.

Child Poverty in the UK

More than four million children live in child poverty in the United Kingdom, which accounts for nearly a third of children in the U.K. A child is considered to be in poverty when they live with a family whose income is less than 60% of the United Kingdom’s national average. For such a wealthy country, this is a staggering statistic.

Child poverty is becoming even more problematic. The rates of child poverty in the United Kingdom are expected to rise from four million to five million in 2020. There are a variety of reasons for the increase in poverty. Some of these include rises in living costs with lower labor wages, leaving parents having to choose between essential goods and services and feeding their children.

Does Employment Solve Poverty?

Poverty affects children, even when their parents are employed. Two out of three children living in poverty have a parent who is employed. A recent report highlighted the government’s role in child poverty, noting its increased cutting of social services since 2010. By enforcing work as a solution to poverty, the government essentially dismantled much of the social support systems upon which many citizens rely. Despite record levels of employment, one-fifth of people are in poverty, showing the limiting effects of work on decreasing poverty.

Child Poverty and Minorities

The impacts of child poverty in the United Kingdom are widespread and affect minority groups the most. Children who face poverty are more likely to struggle in academic environments, impacting their ability to find employment later in life, leading to lower wages, an increased likelihood of imprisonment for men and becoming a single parent for women. Children from minority groups, mainly Pakistani and Bangladeshi, are most likely to suffer from child poverty in the United Kingdom.

Buttle UK

There are charitable organizations addressing child poverty in the United Kingdom. While the government has cut social services funding, Buttle UK, a charitable organization, provides funds for desperate families who need to buy necessary household items. Of the 10,000 families it helped in 2017, over 3,000 of them used the money to buy beds for their children. Buttle UK estimates that hundreds of thousands of children could be without their own bed in what it calls “bed poverty.” Although the government has cut social services funding, fortunately, organizations like Buttle UK have helped thousands of families and their children every year.

The United Kingdom has many governmental and financial resources with its economic fortitude; however, the cutting of social services has been problematic for many families struggling with a lack of resources. Consequently, millions of children live in poverty, even when their parents are working and trying to provide for them. Fortunately, charities like Buttle UK are addressing some of the difficulties that children face in dire circumstances. Hopefully, with more awareness and support for social services, child poverty in the United Kingdom will soon subside.

– Eliza Cochran
Photo: Flickr

BrexitJanuary 31, 2020, was a historic day for the European Union, for it marks the day the United Kingdom left the Union based on a public vote (referendum) held in June 2016. Seventeen point four million citizens opted for Brexit in 2016 and, after several negotiations and talks, the U.K. is now the first former member of the European Union. An important and large-scale decision such as this has the ability to distort economic stability greatly.


The EU is the world’s largest single market that allows free trade among all its members. It is also responsible for negotiating trade policies on behalf of its members, establishing a single, strong voice throughout various negotiations. Since Britain is no longer a member, it must create its own suitable trade policies with the countries it wishes to trade within the Union. Britain also needs to negotiate for its own demands. It was projected that the U.K. stood to lose $32 billion after Brexit, with no trade agreement in place between the U.K. and the EU. Losses incurred are more likely to increase as the EU accounts for nearly 46% of the U.K.’s exports. Researchers project that Ireland’s exports to Britain may drop by at least 10%. This creates a serious trade imbalance and hence contributes to the national deficit of the nation.

Food Poverty

British citizens consume a significant amount of imported food. Brexit could lead to a rise in food poverty, as about 30% of food is imported from the EU and 11% is from countries whose trade policies were negotiated by the EU. Since there is no trade policy in place, food insecurity is bound to rise. Food prices will likely rise 6% by June 2020, according to researchers. Overall, an increase in food poverty may be on the horizon.


The U.K. had announced that post-Brexit only highly skilled immigrants will be able to secure jobs and the additional requirements have already created an impact on the economy. Immigrants mostly work low-skilled jobs and the implementation of this policy has already lead to shortages. At least one in 11 posts are vacant. Also, immigrants occupy nearly one-sixth (140,000) of the 840,000 care worker jobs. The new regulations will soon prompt vacancies and greatly affect people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Potential Solutions

Trade talks between the U.K. and the EU are taking place effectively. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed a “Canada-style free trade agreement” which the EU is prepared to accept, given the fact that the agreement would demand no tariffs or quotas from them. This shows that negotiations are productive and that the U.K. is trying to cause very little disturbance to the economy. Aware of its reliance on imports from the EU, the U.K. has opted for a mutually beneficial free trade agreement. As the cost of imports and exports are reduced, the trade imbalances are corrected. This in turn will influence food poverty as the general price levels will decrease and imported food will become affordable.

Additionally, there are multiple organizations and government schemes that help combat food poverty in the U.K. For example, The Trussell Trust and other independent foodbanks have distributed nearly 3 million food packages between 2018 and 2019. The organization Healthy Start allows the purchase of basic food necessities for pregnant women and mothers with infants.

What Are the Benefits of Brexit for the UK?

The U.K. is free to trade with other nations such as Japan, the U.S. and India without EU restrictions. This will stimulate growth in all nations involved in possible free trade and help tackle domestic issues, such as unemployment and hunger. Effective trading can lead to increased employment opportunities and better living standards.

The U.K. has given almost half a trillion pounds to the EU to be a member of the bloc. The amount the U.K. will save is significant enough to be directed at rising food insecurity, short-term deficit and unemployment. The U.K. is also able to craft specific policies to suit its needs instead of being subject to the ones crafted by the EU. The ability to do this helps the U.K. and other nations involved, as all policies will be tailored to be mutually beneficial and appropriate.

Overall, Brexit is a challenge. It is difficult to adjust to and likely poses serious threats to economic stability in the near future. However, this is only a short-term issue. Once the transition period is over, a structured agreement between the E.U. and the U.K. will help their economies regain stability.

 Mridula Divakar
Photo: Flickr

Top Five Facts About U.K. Foreign AidAs one of the most economically developed countries in the world, the U.K. plays a tremendous role in global prosperity. In 2017, the United Kingdom’s gross domestic product per capita was $39,953.60. Here are the top five facts about U.K. foreign aid.

Top 5 Facts About UK Foreign Aid

  1. How much is being spent?
    Since the 1970s, the United Nations has been urging all developing nations to invest 0.7 percent of their gross national income in overseas aid. This is in collaboration with the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to improve international welfare. The U.K. agreed and reached this target in 2013, along with five other countries. Shortly after, the U.K. included this goal in its legislation. By 2015, the U.K. legally required 0.7 percent of its G.N.I. goes toward foreign development. By 2016, the U.K. spent £13.3 billion ($16.9 billion) on international aid. As the U.K. economy continues to grow, the amount the U.K. spends each year does, too.
  2. What are the goals?
    On top of legislation, the U.K. created an aid strategy. The four primary goals of this strategy include promoting global peace, strengthening crises response, aiding in international development and helping the world’s most impoverished people. The government aims to do so by implementing several tactics. For example, 50 percent of all the Department for International Development’s (DFID) spending goes toward aid in developing nations. Moreover, it funds a £1 billion commitment to global health.
  3. How is funding being spent?
    The DFID spends approximately 74 percent of government spending. Smaller departments within the government spend the remaining 26 percent. Most funding (63 percent) goes toward bilateral aid, sent directly to countries in need. Organizations, such as the U.N., distribute the remaining funds. The top recipients of aid include Pakistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria. In 2015, humanitarian projects received the most amount of support. In order to ensure success and public awareness, the DFID site collects data to track foreign aid spending.
  4. What does the government think?
    Conservative parties within the U.K. have argued to reduce foreign aid. Accordingly, these parties believe the money could be better spent domestically. After the 2016 Brexit referendum, concern surrounding foreign aid increased. However, in 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May publically supported the 0.7 percent target goal. Bill Gates has also been a large advocate in support of U.K. foreign aid. In several interviews, Gates has expressed the U.K. should be proud of its contributions toward international poverty reduction.
  5. How does U.K. foreign aid compare?
    Since 2013, the nation has become a global leader in humanitarian aid. It is known as one of the first nations to offer assistance during crises. The U.K. provided relief during Hurrican Irma and the Ebola outbreak in Syria. In 2016, the U.K. ranked fifth in international aid, behind Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark. Norway gives more than 1 percent of its GNI to foreign aid, making it a model for other countries.

Overall, the U.K. should be proud of its contributions. These top five facts about U.K. foreign aid demonstrate the nation has contributed billions of pounds to reducing global poverty. For the future of society, may the U.K. continue to grow and prosper, deepening its stance against global poverty.

Photo: Google Images

Brexit and Poverty in Britain
In 2016, 51.9 percent of voters in The United Kingdom voted for Britain to leave The European Union. This controversial decision left many scholars and politicians scrambling to predict what social and economic consequences would follow for the country. Many significant studies have been conducted on the possible effects of Brexit and poverty in Britain, but it is impossible to definitively know what repercussions the transition will bring.

In March 2019, the transition out of the EU is set to begin. Many facets of British life, politics and economics will be impacted by this shift, yet the effect of Brexit on poverty in Britain remains complicated and vague. Some may claim that Brexit will not increase British poverty rates while others argue that it will. Some of the most influential determinants of national poverty are healthcare, food security, and household income and expenditure.

Health Care and Medical Services

The British National Healthcare System (NHS) has historically been dependent on non-U.K./ EU nationals to contribute to the medical workforce. In 2017, 60,000 workers in the NHS were non-U.K./EU nationals. Since Brexit, however, many medical professionals have left The U.K. due to uncertainty about legal status and protections post-Brexit. Leaving the EU also makes recruiting international employees more difficult as there will be less recognition of professional qualifications received in other countries.

Immediately after the Brexit vote, the number of non-U.K./EU nurses applying to join the British nursing register fell by about 96 percent. Patients are being forced to wait over longer periods of time for treatment simply because there are not enough medical professionals available. This is a dangerous and potentially fatal repercussion of Brexit.

Food security

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, food security would suffer as 30 percent of the national food supply comes from the EU The country does not have a clear food stockpiling location as it is accustomed to importing food and consuming it rather quickly afterward. The EU is such a large provider of food for Britain that no other country could easily replace this supply.

The U.K. itself will have trouble producing enough to make up for the deficit since it faces its own problems with food production as a result of things like changing weather conditions. Many are concerned that a no-deal Brexit could cause catastrophic food shortages in the country.

Household costs and incomes

Brexit will have a negative impact on the ability of the U.K. to import any kinds of foreign European goods and services. Because of this, the prices of goods and services will increase. Of course, this will affect all populations in Britain, but it will be felt most intensely by poorer households who will not be able to keep up with these price increases.

On the other hand, it is possible that if Brexit may lead non-U.K./EU workers to leave Britain, there may be an influx of job opportunities in the country. This could mean that some poor British citizens may be able to find more lucrative work.

As Brexit approaches, the United Kingdom is beginning to take precautions to ensure that the transition occurs smoothly. Though there is disagreement on what a proper Brexit would entail, all seem to agree that the priority should be the protection of the British citizenry. The political and partisan debates over what Brexit will mean for the country can only involve precaution and prediction as no one can be certain what March 2019 will bring or what the effect of Brexit on poverty in Britain will be. One can only hope that the well being of vulnerable citizens will be considered.

Julia Bloechl
Photo: Flickr

Development Assistance Committee
The Development Assistance Committee is an arm of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Founded in 1961 by the OECD to better organize and execute its agenda, the Development Assistance Committee also has the duty of innovating and monitoring future and ongoing development projects.

These projects target sustainable economic growth in countries who seek the committee’s aid. It also monitors how members of the committee and the OECD use development aid. The Development Assistance Committee is made up of 30 member nations, as opposed to the OECD’s 35 members.

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the UNDP are all observing members of the committee. The members, along with the observing members of the Development Assistance Committee form the world’s leading forum for bilateral economic development and cooperation. It is known for its neutrality.

Official Development Assistance is the or ODA is the term used by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to define all assistance rendered by member nations that target sustainable economic development. Due to the fact that the Committee is dedicated to furthering bilateral relations between member nations and nations it deems in need of assistance, ODA is not the only form of aid.

Member nations foster development in areas that are important to their national agendas. For example, Canada, which is a member of the DAC, will focus its foreign aid towards girls’ and women’s rights over the next five years. Denmark, another member nation, will be spending much of its aid in combating the refugee crisis.

This is not the only difference between member nations. Because there is no legally binding agreement holding a nation to the amount of money it must spend each year, there is a wide range in the percentage of assistance money spent. The DAC uses a percentage of a nation’s gross national income.

In 2014, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway and Denmark all donated more than 0.07 percent of their GNI, a target set in 1974 by the DAC. Germany spent 0.04 percent of its GNI on foreign aid and South Korea spent just 0.01 percent.

The OECD agenda is mostly economic. They focus on economic stability within nations. Currently, it is focusing on re-establishing confidence in markets, promoting public financing as a strong driver of economic growth, developing green strategies for economic growth and ensuring job growth and security for people of all ages.

In 2016, saw the appointment of a new chair of the DAC, Petri Gornitzka, who was the former head of the Swedish Foreign Aid Agency. Gornitzka is pushing for reform within the DAC and she hopes to bring smaller member nations into the fold when making decisions about future projects and funding. She also plans to make the private sector a more viable partner.

In the 2016 DAC Global Plan, the DAC also states that it wants to survey nations who receive aid linked to the DAC on what can be improved. The DAC also plans to bring the smaller donors into the fold by helping them improve the effectiveness of their aid. This is also one of the incentives that the DAC boast to countries who wish to become members.

The last members who joined the committee were Iceland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Poland and Slovenia in 2013 and Hungary in 2016. The European Union has made it a goal of all member nations to work towards joining the DAC.

Although the DAC does not do much direct work, its work behind the scenes promoting cooperation greatly benefits the world. The continued growth of the organization will also benefit the world. 

– Nick DeMarco
Photo: Flickr


Parliamentary Democracy Government
There are several types of democracies, and here we will explain what a parliamentary democracy is by comparing it to a presidential democracy, which we have in the United States.

In short, a parliamentary democracy is a system of government in which citizens elect representatives to a legislative parliament to make the necessary laws and decisions for the country. This parliament directly represents the people.

In a presidential democracy, the leader is called a President, and he or she is elected by citizens to lead a branch of government separate from the legislative branch. If you remember back to government class, you will remember that the United States has three branches of the government: the executive, the judicial, and the legislative. The President leads the executive branch of government.


Role of Parliamentary Democracy


In a parliamentary democracy, you have a Prime Minister, who is first elected as a member of parliament, then elected Prime Minister by the other members of the parliamentary legislature. However, the Prime Minister remains a part of the legislature. The legislative branch makes the laws, and thus the Prime Minister has a hand in law-making decisions. The Prime Minister works directly with other people in the legislature to write and pass these laws.

In our presidential democracy, we still have a legislature, but we also have a president. He is separate from the legislature, so although he works with them, it is not as direct as if he were a Prime Minister. The laws that the legislature wants to pass must first go through the president; he can sign them into being or he can veto them. The President can go to the legislative branch and suggest laws, but they ultimately write them for his approval.

Furthermore, in parliamentary systems, the legislature has the right to dismiss a Prime Minister at any time if they feel that he or she is not doing the job as well as expected. This is called a “motion of no confidence,” and is not as much of a drawn out process. In the US, impeachment is an extensive, formal process in which an official is accused of doing something illegal.

Some countries with a parliamentary system are constitutional monarchies, which still have a king and queen. A few examples of these are the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Japan.

It is important to remember that both of these systems of government are democracies. Ultimately, the citizens who vote have the voice.

– Alycia Rock

Sources: Wise Geek, Scholastic, How Stuff Works
Photo: Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants


parliamentary democracy government