#GFI4SD – Post 4: Can New Media Outlets Provide Accurate Information?


Many panels met during the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development to discuss maintainable actions that will hopefully result to radical innovations towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Various countries are keen to ensure that they increase the number of cities and businesses that drive changes that will meet the SDGs by the year 2030. This post follows the ‘disillusionment’ talk held on March 1st 2017, in particular a segment by Gonzalo Fanjul, Policy Director at ISGlobal and Co-founder of the Fundacion por Causa about media and its role in society (58’).

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Last Night in Sweden

Image credit: Getty Images

Social media has revolutionized over the past years, and the rate at which it influences humanity is boundless (Karakas, 2009). Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have been influential in creating a global village. With data a core aspect of social networking in an age of uncertainty, everyone can access and express their opinions on any platform and can instantly connect with thousands if not millions of people. The comfort zone, we all seek to have in our daily lives is spoon fed to us so that we get blinded by the negativity associated with the internet (Matthews, 2010).

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Health Equity: Role of Social Determinants of Health Data in Improving Health in Africa


During the 2011 World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health was adopted. The declaration expressed a global political commitment for the implementation of a social determinants of health (SDH) approach to reduce health inequities. Social determinants of health are defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age. These conditions influence a person’s opportunity to be healthy, risk of illness and life expectancy. Social inequities in health – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status across groups in society – are those that result from the uneven distribution of social determinants. All of these drive health inequity – systematic disparities in health between social groups who have different levels of underlying social advantage or disadvantage such as food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, proper clothing and have limited access to medical care, education and finance.

Video: Dr Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – use of data to visualize social determinants of health across the globe.

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Information Ethics and Whistleblowing

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Whistleblowers are individuals or a group of people who bring to public knowledge any information or activity that is regarded as illegal or unethical. These activities could be in several forms such as breaching company policies, corruption or threat to national security. Whistleblowing has much to do with a person’s ethics, and as a result, numerous debates arise as to whether it is allowable or not. Those in support of it maintain that it aims at protecting the public from government misconduct. Those in the opposite camp, however, argue that it breaches confidentiality (Brown et al., 2014).

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Spatial Big Data, Crisis Response and International Development Policy

“Social media, data and development”… It didn’t take me long to choose a focus within that theme: spatial data and mapping will be my common thread in the next few weeks.

Gathering geographical data about a crisis area is considered a traditional data-gathering target (Read et al., 2016, p. 6). According to some experts, the most mentioned application of ‘big data’ in developing countries is the possibility of mapping problems, for instance tracking and modelling the spread of diseases, through novel ways (Hay et al., 2013 cited in Spratt & Baker, 2015, p. 14).

Before going any further, let’s start with a video from the Geospatial Revolution Project.

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