Data, truth and beauty

The shortlist has just been published for the 2016 Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards. Although a few could be regarded as trivial, all are fascinating in their own way, and it’s interesting how many deal with issues related to international development and globalization – from the compelling interactive Unfiltered News visualizing today’s top news stories by country, through the complexity of the Determinants of Health, and the alarming Climate Spiral, to the New Arrivals Atlas of where Berliners really come from.

Good data visualizations (dataviz) can simplify and clarify – for example this one showing how only 9% of Americans actively chose the US election nominees: Continue reading

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Being online, being threatened: About the digital gender divide

In 2012, Malala Yousafazi was attacked on her way to school by the Taliban who aimed to punish her for her promotion of girl schooling. She was 15 years old and had published diary entries on the Taliban’s violence on a BBC blog. Malala survived the attack with severe injuries. By now, she is a well-known Nobel Peace Prize winner. Nighat Dad is a Pakistani lawyer and leader of the Digital Rights Foundation which educates women in secure online communication. After she took position on the attack on Malala, who she knew through her teaching, she herself was threatened online in a way that made her and her daugther go hiding for two weeks (Ebeling, 2015). Continue reading

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Social media + healthcare = a prescription for the future?

A Google-search on the terms “social media”, “healthcare” and “developing countries” generates an impressive number of articles that explain how Internet and social media is changing healthcare in developing countries in a seemingly revolutionary way. Undoubtedly new media and technology has a lot to offer in this area: from mobile health (“mHealth”) programs, communities and Facebook-groups connecting the public with experts, to projects monitoring people´s health concerns and locating the presence of epidemic diseases through various social media channels. Social media and technology can benefit people in developing countries by strenghtening the communication between Continue reading

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