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HKS in the News February 23, 2012

1. Sanctions Alone Won’t Bring Down Assad (Sullivan) Bloomberg

2. Buying sex? It will cost you (Hunt) The Boston Globe

3. Willing a way to clean water (Kremer, Lantagne, Mullainathan) Harvard Gazette

4. Kenya: Making a Tidy Sum From a Low-Cost, Urban Greenhouse (Juma) AllAfrica

Sanctions Alone Won’t Bring Down Assad
Bloomberg News
February 22
Commentary by: Meghan O’Sullivan, Belfer Center
Topic: Events in Syria

On Feb. 24, the U.S., European nations, members of the Arab League and other sympathetic countries making up the newly established “Friends of Syria” group will gather in Tunisia for an emergency meeting on how to stem the bloodshed in Syria. Their deliberations are almost certain to involve calls for more crippling sanctions to bring about regime change and debates over providing military support to the fractured opposition groups inside the country.

While more economic steps can and should be taken, policy makers need to rethink the incorrect assumption that the more ambitious the objective (regime change, in this case) the more comprehensive and aggressive sanctions must be. Instead of simply looking for more ways to isolate Syria economically, the U.S. and its allies need to think about how sanctions can be used specifically to advance regime change. This will require creating a sanctions policy more subtle and nuanced way than one aiming just to contain a regime, or even to change its behavior.

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Buying sex? It will cost you
The Boston Globe
February 21
Commentary by: Swanee Hunt
Topic: Human trafficking

Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in this country. A century and a half later, people are still bought and sold – here in Boston.

Attorney General Martha Coakley warns that human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in Massachusetts. The term “trafficking” evokes images of people smuggled across borders; but FBI, UN, and Congressional definitions describe any children, women, or men coerced into physical violence, mental abuse, and even death. …

Organized crime has to be fought with organized action: we’re teaming up to bust those abusing the most vulnerable among us. On Sunday, the nation’s strongest anti-trafficking legislation went into effect. The new law supports victims of human trafficking (which includes most prostitution), increases punishment of pimps and complicit businesses, and – focusing on cause, not effect – targets those fueling the sex market: the buyers.

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Willing a way to clean water
Harvard Gazette
February 16
Quoted: Michael Kremer, Daniele Lantagne, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Sendhil Mullainathan
Topic: Water purification efforts

A year and a half ago, a pilot program to give rural families affordable water purification had issued 40 dispensers that served 6,000 people in Kenyan villages. Today, more than 400,000 people in Kenya and other countries have access to clean water based on this method.

The approach, which uses an inexpensive chlorine solution and a plastic dispenser that was custom made to distribute doses at communal water sources, was developed by Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Economics Department and a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School, Professor of Economics Sendhil Mullainathan, and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Emory University, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Based on the initial study that concluded a year and a half ago, the Gates Foundation supported the nonprofit group Innovations for Poverty Action to scale up the approach, with Daniele Lantagne, a two-year Georgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in Harvard Kennedy School’s Sustainability Science Program, providing technical assistance. Several local governments in Kenya, along with the ministries of Water, Public Health and Sanitation, and Education, and the nonprofit One Acre Fund have all invested in the approach.

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Kenya: Making a Tidy Sum From a Low-Cost, Urban Greenhouse
February 23
Quoted: Calestous Juma, Belfer Center
Topic: Greenhouse farming

Harvard Kennedy School Practice for International Development, Professor Calestous Juma, says greenhouse farming should be promoted in urban areas across the country to meet the growing consumer market, and as a way of adapting to climate change.

Prof Juma says this type of agriculture is a major step in ensuring food security in light of declining land and water availability, urbanisation and climate change.

"Cities like Nairobi should have well-staffed urban farming departments whose work would include hydroponics for vegetable and fish production. Much of the food production that happens in African cities does not enjoy the same level of technical support as rural activities do," Prof Juma said.

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Broadcast Notes

John Park, Belfer Center

Bloomberg “First Up,” 2/23
Topic: North Korea

Linda Bilmes

WBUR “Here & Now,” 2/22
Topic: Unmanned drones

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Bryan Galcik



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