‘Spotlight’ feature collections produced with SciDev.Net:


Technology for peace Conflict and violence have escalated globally over the past decade. Digital tools are offering creative ways to counter the trend, with information and communications technology leading the way. What are its main peacebuilding functions, how can it make a real and lasting impact, and does it truly offer fresh hope for a more peaceful future? (SciDev.Net, 13.07.16)

Mental health matters Mental illness is a huge but overlooked challenge in the developing world — despite a high burden few people get the help they need and many are treated inhumanely. What is the evidence for the gap between needs and proper treatment, how does social stigma hinder care and in what ways does culture matter? (SciDev.Net, 16.03.16)

Shelter crisis: Rebuilding after the storm Shelter is a basic human need. But millions are homeless or live in substandard buildings, and disasters add to the urgency of the housing crisis. Can innovations in design, materials or technology make a difference? What can be learned from planning and rebuilding after disaster to secure safe homes for all who need them? (SciDev.Net, 24.11.15)

Joint action on climate change By the end of 2015, global policy processes on climate change, development and disasters will have set the stage for how the world responds to major challenges facing humanity. But science indicates that these topics are connected. How does climate change overlap with other agendas, what are the conflicts and how can they be aligned for joint action? (SciDev.Net, 14.10.15)

Managing health crises after Ebola The outbreak of Ebola that has affected West Africa since December 2013 is the largest to date, with enormous human and economic costs. It has also exposed weaknesses in the global response system, including the handling of communication and complex social responses. What can we learn from this to better manage future health emergencies? (SciDev.Net, 29.04.15)

Transforming cities for sustainability More people now live in urban than rural areas for the first time in human history. This growth challenges areas already struggling to provide services and cope with environmental pressures. How is planning and technology helping cities become more sustainable and reimagine their futures? (SciDev.Net, 19.11.14)

Making higher education work for Africa Higher education is taking a more prominent place in debates over Africa’s future. But efforts to boost advanced university degrees have been fraught with difficulties. How should graduate training change so it better aligns with development needs and employment opportunities? (SciDev.Net, 25.06.14)

Big data for development The volume and variety of digital data have grown in recent years, as have analytics capacities — a phenomenon dubbed ‘big data’. What drives the promise of big data, what are the risks and criticisms, and how can development benefit from the ‘data revolution’? (SciDev.Net, 15.04.14)

Ensuring food security for the future Access to an adequate and nutritious diet is about more than agricultural productivity. Which factors contribute to food insecurity, how do they relate to other development challenges, and what can scientific knowledge bring to efforts to tackle hunger and malnutrition? (SciDev.Net, 21.11.13)

Producing food sustainably Higher food demands and scarce resources are putting pressure on agricultural systems. How can productivity be increased within environmental limits, what is the role of science and technology in sustainable agriculture, and what can be done to further develop new crop management systems? (SciDev.Net, 16.10.13)

The challenge of science and NGO practice joining forces Development work may engage both NGO practitioners and scientists in research institutions, but they have limited opportunities for interaction. Our Spotlight asks how wide the divide is and what can be done to better align their efforts. (SciDev.Net, 22.05.13)

Improving early warning of disasters Advances in forecasting and technology promise more effective early warning systems for natural hazards. What stands between disaster alert and action, and how can the impact of early warning tools be enhanced? (SciDev.Net, 21.11.12)

Linking human rights, science and development Human rights principles can guide efforts to ensure that everyone benefits from scientific advances. How do they intersect with science, policy and practice, and what stands in the way of a rights-based approach to S&T for development? (SciDev.Net, 26.09.12)

Supporting grassroots innovation Innovators in developing countries are finding ingenious solutions to local problems. How can they be helped to realise their potential, make an impact on a large scale and put countries on a path to sustainability? (SciDev.Net, 02.05.12)

Ocean science for sustainable development Developing countries rely on marine resources for survival, particularly in the Pacific. How can ocean data help sustainable management and what should governments do to ensure effective use of scientific tools? (SciDev.Net, 15.02.12)

Nuclear power after Fukushima Nuclear power is an attractive energy option in the developing world. How has the accident at Fukushima affected plans for the technology, and what do policymakers need to consider when weighing up nuclear against other sources of energy? (SciDev.Net, 28.09.11)

Overcoming gender barriers in science Developing countries need more women scientists. How wide is the gender gap? What are the obstacles preventing women and girls from advancing in scientific fields, and what can be done to overcome them? (SciDev.Net, 22.06.11)

Detecting counterfeit drugs The trade in counterfeit medicines is flourishing. How can new technologies help to detect fakes? What will it take for developing countries to thwart the trade? And are current policies targeting the right threat to patients’ health? (SciDev.Net, 30.03.11)