The Practical Radical

Mobile Phones Improve Health Services in Africa

September 9, 2010
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Having worked with youth to establish One Stop Youth Centres in Kampala, Uganda, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nairobi, Kenya, and Kigali, Rwanda, I have seen the power of mobile phones both to convene people as well as disseminate important information. What I find really exciting is to see how quickly and to what success mobile phones are being adopted in the health field, especially around the prevention of HIV/AIDS, an issue so important to youth in this region.

Here are four posts from the last 24 hours on mobile phones and health from the Urban Health blog of USAID:

  1. Mobile learning for HIV/AIDS healthcare in peri-urban clinics
  2. Mobile phone-based interventions India
  3. Mobile direct observation treatment for tuberculosis patients
  4. Uganda – Challenges in Using Mobile Phones for Data Collection

Who do Mama Grizzlies vote for?

August 27, 2010

Obviously Mama Grizzly bears vote for Sarah Palin. Why? Because Sarah comes from Alaska, and so do grizzly bears and their mamas. Alaska is also close to Russia, which is called the “great bear”, and Sarah stares them down when she wakes up in the morning. She is fearless. She knows.

So … she can speak on behalf of grizzly bears.

Democrats don’t know grizzly bears. They probably have only seen them in the zoo. They haven’t lived in Alaska, and probably have NEVER seen Russia. But, Democrats have lefty friends in Hollywood who have deep pockets like that Star Wars guy who can make mean videos about our Mama Grizzly. They can get free wookie or ewok suits, which kinda look like grizzly bears.

So, vote for Sarah Palin, one angry Mama Bear.

UN-HABITAT awards 51 global youth empowerment projects

August 12, 2010

Youth Partnership for Peace and Development from Sierra Leone (2009 recipient)

UN-HABITAT has awarded grants from its Urban Youth Fund to 51 projects proposed by young people from around the world.

The beneficiaries were drawn from a pool of 1,563 applicants from 85 countries. India, Kenya and Zimbabwe generated the greatest number of successful applicants under the programme which awards grants worth in total close to USD one million annually.

The 51 winning projects from 31 countries will be announced globally on International Youth Day on 12 August. The projects showcase innovative ideas aimed at alleviating poverty, improving employment prospects for young people and increasing the participation of young people in democratic processes.

“My congratulations go to these youth groups for their outstanding projects,” said Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. “The winning applications contain innovative ideas that will truly contribute towards sustainable urbanization and I wish them every success in their projects and their future.”

Among the recipients are a Sierra Leonean association providing vocational training for disabled youth, a Zimbabwean youth network empowering young slum dwellers to advocate for secure land tenure; a Palestinian youth forum setting up youth councils to influence the local government, a Haitian organization establishing an ICT training center for youth and an Indian youth group seeking to hold the local government accountable through young citizens media.

The UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund awards eligible organizations grants of between USD 5,000 and USD 25,000. The groups that qualify have to meet strict UN criteria and are required to report on results and effectiveness.

Of some one billion slum dwellers in the world today, it is estimated that more than 70 percent are under the age of 30. These young people have few resources available to improve their own living environments.

Click here for a complete list of this year’s grant recipients.

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Obama to Young African Leaders: ‘Yes, Youth Can’

August 8, 2010
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I think it is important after successes such as the constitutional referendum in Kenya for the international community and especially the US to get behind African youth. They need the support of the international community both in word and action to affect the positive change they desire. Please go to the USAID Yes! Youth Can initiative to learn more about how the US is supporting Kenyan youth.

Click to read the transcript from Obama’s address.


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Toilet mandatory for citizenship

August 5, 2010
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Ok, people have asked me why I am blogging about sanitation, as for most places in the developed world it is not a sexy topic. Well, as this post underlines, the people in Kalikot, Nepal obviously see it as important enough to link it to citizenship. As i have blogged before – – sanitation is linked not only to health, but safety, especially for women.

Anyways, extremely important, if not sexy. Here is the original blogpost from USAID.

It has become mandatory for the Kalikot residents to produce a certificate of possessing a toilet in order to obtain a citizenship certificate. In a bid to make Kalikot district open defecation free within 2015, the District Council endorsed 11-point declaration on sanitation last year, which states that those applying for citizenship certificate have to produce a certificate that shows that the applicant has a toilet in his house. Similarly, the … Read More

via Sanitation Updates

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An interview with Lee-Anne Ragan, President, Rock.Paper.Scissors Inc.

August 3, 2010
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This is an interview of Lee-Anne Ragan on’s Exceptional Women Northwest (EWN) program. The EWN program seeks to profile outstanding women who live in the Pacific Northwest (North America). To get on the program you have to be nominated and selected, as Lee-Anne was. To find out more about Lee-Anne and the more about RPS please listen at or go to

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Spicing it up on Youtube

July 14, 2010
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If you haven’t seen the shirtless old spice guy videos, they are hilarious. Here are a few of the video responses to stars and other prominents as collected by Chad Catacchio of The Next Web.

Ryan Seacrest

Tweeted on June 30 to Shirtless Old Spice Guy, and he responded today…

Ashton Kutcher

Tweeted today in support of Kevin Rose, and Shirtless Old Spice Guy responded…

Rose McGowan

Tweeted today in response to Alyssa Milano’s tweet, and Shirtless Old Spice Guy responded…

Ellen Degeneres

Tweeted on July 1 to Shirtless Old Spice Guy, and he responded today…

Justine Bateman

Tweeted today to Shirtless Old Spice Guy, he responded…

Apolo Ohno

Tweeted on July 8 to Shirtless Old Spice Guy, who responded today…

Kevin Rose

Tweeted on June 30 to Shirtless Old Spice Guy, who responded today…

Biz Stone

Tweeted today, and Shirtless Old Spice Guy responded…

Jason Calacanis

Tweeted today and Shirtless Old Spice Guy responded…

Guy Kawasaki

Tweeted today, and Shirtless Old Spice Guy responded…

Cleanup in aisle 4 …

June 7, 2010

Cleanup is what you do when you break a jar of pickles at the grocery store.

Cleanup suggests that you can bring something back to its original state – before whatever made it “unclean”.

Cleaning up is not what you can do after oilspill in the gulf. “Cleaning up” used here is a public relations term, a term lawyers use to wriggle out of responsibility for the mass killing of wildlife and marine species, the destruction of  marine and  terrestrial environments, and the wrecking of economies.

The effect of the spill on Pelican populations will be "catastrophic" (Getty Images)

Now that this oil spill is close to the end of its news cycle, we need to ask what we have learned, and what we will do differently. We need to err more to the precautionary principle and less to biased corporate science.

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    Practical things that make me radical

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