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Interview with David Beasley, Former Executive Director of the World Food Programme


On February 6, 2024, HKS Student Policy Review Senior Editor Ala’a Kolkaila spoke with David Beasley, the former Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP). The conversation focused mainly on food security and Beasley’s time at the WFP.

Poverty, Inequality and Opportunity

When Trauma-Informed Pedagogy Is Not Enough: The Need for Increased School-Based Mental Health Services in Public Schools


BY PRACHI NAIK   “Where I live, people don’t call the police.” There’s a palpable stillness in the room. Thirty-five pairs of adolescent eyes are fixed on Mariely[1] as she quietly, bravely describes witnessing a man get stabbed in front of her house, feeling unable to call the cops for help. Some students silently gesture […]

Roma, the Masterpiece, not the Social Redeemer


Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón received the Oscar for best director for his beautiful masterpiece Roma at the 91st Academy Awards. As he was handed the statue from another Mexican director, Guillermo del Toro, he said: “I want to thank the academy to recognize a film that is centered around an indigenous woman, one of the […]

Poverty, Inequality and Opportunity

Sharing the Community Schools Strategy


BY ABEL MCDANIELS Last month, teachers from Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school system, went on strike for nine days. Among their demands were community schools. A community school intentionally organizes school and community resources to support student success. These schools stay open well beyond 3pm, the typical end to a […]

American Dream Unrealized: A Wake Up Call from the UN


BY AMANDA HALLOCK Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, spent 2017 investigating an unexpected country: the United States. The United States takes great pride in its governmental, economic, and social progress and even provides aid all around the world. So, when the U.N. report on Extreme Poverty and […]

New Tax Break Promises Opportunity—But for Whom?


BY ALYSSA DAVIS Although several U.S. cities and towns have undergone revitalization in the last decade, there are still many persistent pockets of concentrated poverty—distressed neighborhoods where outcomes are worse for residents across-the-board. The places where crime rates are higher, schools are low-performing, unemployment is high, and vacant storefronts abound. This has a devastating effect […]

The Global North and Rising Poverty


BY NIELS PLANEL, HAY BADRA, YUSAKU KAWASHIMA, RASHA KENAWI, SUMI KRISHNAN, AND NINA PAUSTIAN “It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,”  U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley recently stated, strongly criticizing a new U.N. report doing just that. But is it really so ridiculous? For the past few decades, […]

Want to Fix the Development Sector? Stop Calling it “Development”


BY ANIKA MANZOOR The international development sector, like many other sectors under the Trump Administration, is undergoing some deep soul-searching as US foreign aid faces significant cuts. From a former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees official calling the humanitarian system “broken” to our newly-appointed USAID Administrator’s blatant aversion to handouts, development practitioners in the […]

The Cry of the Climate and the Cry of the Poor: Pope Francis’s Appeal for Climate Justice


By TOMÁS INSUA “I commend His Holiness [Pope Francis] and all faith leaders here, for raising awareness of the urgent need to promote sustainable development and address climate . . . Your influence is enormous. You speak to the heart of humanity’s deepest hopes and needs.” Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary general, addressing an interfaith […]

Beyond Mobile Phones: Will Virtual Nurses and Drones Deliver Healthcare in Africa?


BY MARTA MILKOWSKA “This technology will save millions of patients!” This was the elated comment from the head of a tuberculosis health facility in Lesotho, in response to my prototype of a mobile phone application. Last summer, I was exploring the value of machine learning in predicting patients’ default rates in HIV and tuberculosis treatment […]

Trials and Tribulations: Relevance Beyond the Poverty Lab


BY COURTNEY HAN The early 2000s was a heady time to be a researcher in Busia, Kenya. The town along Kenya’s western border was packed with young aspiring economists sharing group houses, waiting for roast meat at Chauma, the local eatery, and practicing Kiswahili with their Kenyan host families. They worked on projects ranging from […]

Are Global Goals Always Good? Reflections on the first anniversary of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals


BY GRANT TUDOR September 25 marks the first anniversary of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a list of global ambitions for improving the state of things. The first is to “end poverty.” The goal’s various targets, which intend to elaborate on what exactly is meant by ending poverty, tell us that by 2030 all […]

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