Everyone Can Help with Contact Tracing

Everyone Can Help with Contact Tracing. YaleGlobal. Susan Froetschel and Douglas P. Olsen. May 13, 2020

Individuals and communities have some control over the spread of Covid-19. “As many communities in Europe, Asia and the Americas take steps to restart economies, public health departments rely on contact tracing to identify and isolate cases and prevent new waves of infections,” reports YaleGlobal. “To contain the virus quickly, WHO urges member states to recruit and train contact tracing team early when there is no or low transmissions.” Early on, many health providers recognized the benefit of recording their experiences. By mid-April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged New Zealanders to keep a daily diary of all activities and encounters, and Washington State considers requiring restaurants to gather names and contact details from diners. Slowing the pandemic requires social-distancing, masks, testing, contact tracing and tremendous self-discipline. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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The Effect Of COVID-19 and Disease Suppression Policies on Labor Markets: A Preliminary Analysis Of The Data

The Effect Of COVID-19 and Disease Suppression Policies on Labor Markets: A Preliminary Analysis Of The Data. Brookings Institution. Jonathan Rothwell and Hannah Van Drie. April 27, 2020

World leaders are deliberating when and how to re-open business operations amidst considerable uncertainty as to the economic consequences of the coronavirus. One pressing question is whether or not countries that have remained relatively open have managed to escape at least some of the economic harm, and whether that harm is related to the spread of the disease. A related issue is what forms of relief are most effective at preserving the employer-employee relationship and securing the foundations for a robust recovery once the economy re-opens. Some countries have leaned heavily on their unemployment insurance system, whereas others have prioritized business relief, which mandates the preservation of employee relationships.
To shed some light on these issues, we compiled data on unemployment and related benefit claims from 20 wealthy countries. Given the unusual circumstances of the pandemic and the variation across countries in novel policy responses—including the introduction of business relief programs designed to prevent unemployment, these measures should not be regarded as fully capturing the scale of economic disruption in a comparable way. Nonetheless, these data offer a useful preliminary look at what is happening across countries as we wait for more complete data from statistical offices. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Understanding Value in Media: Perspectives from Consumers and Industry

Understanding Value in Media: Perspectives from Consumers and Industry. World Economic Forum. April 2, 2020.

The disruption of the media industry, with the rise of social media, the digitization of content and the increase in mobile consumption has changed traditional funding models beyond recognition.
The role of media historically has been central to the making of society and the construction of identity. At this dark moment for humanity, threatened by COVID-19 with many people physically isolated, this role is vital in the search for information, stories and art to feed the human spirit and ignite the imagination to overcome the challenges ahead.
This report considers how different stakeholders in media – content creators, advertisers, marketing agencies and individual consumers – each value media content. By analysing this dynamic, the industry – and consumers – can make informed decisions about the future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 40 pages].

Combating Populism: A Toolkit for Liberal Democratic Actors

Combating Populism: A Toolkit for Liberal Democratic Actors. Center for a New American Security. Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Carisa Nietsche. March 19, 2020

The rise of populism in Europe and the United States is well documented. Although studies may disagree about the relative importance of populism’s drivers, there is broad consensus that rising inequality, declining bonds to established traditional parties, increasing salience of identity politics, and economic grievance have played a role in fuelling populism’s rise. Although populism is a symptom of democracy’s larger problems, the strategies and tactics populist parties and leaders use also provide their own, direct threat to liberal democracy. Many of the tactics that populist leaders use weaken democratic institutions and constraints on executive power. Populism is also detrimental to democracy because it exacerbates political polarization, which makes it hard for democracy to effectively function. As societies grow more polarized, people become willing to tolerate abuses of power and sacrifice democratic principles if doing so advances their side’s interests and keeps the other side out of power. The polarization that populism fuels, in other words, increases the risk of democratic decline.
This report offers recommendations for combating populism. It translates key findings from cutting-edge academic research in the political science, political psychology, sociology, and communications disciplines into practical, evidence-based recommendations. The first set of recommendations is intended to equip political parties, politicians, and candidates to create a political context more conducive to the success of liberal democratic actors. Research shows that context matters—although many people may hold populist attitudes, these attitudes must be activated by the political context to translate into votes for populist leaders. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages].

8 Charts on Internet Use around the World As Countries Grapple with COVID-19

8 Charts on Internet Use around the World As Countries Grapple with COVID-19. Pew Research Center. Shannon Schumacher and Nicholas Kent. April 2, 2020

People in the United States and around the world are turning to the internet to do their work and stay connected with others as the COVID-19 outbreak forces people to stay home and away from the office and crowds. A median of 77% across 34 countries use the internet at least occasionally or own an internet-enabled smartphone, according to a spring 2019 Pew Research Center survey. But there are stark digital divides. Younger people, those with higher incomes and those in wealthier countries are more likely to be digital technology users. Many people surveyed also use social media, but social media usage is not ubiquitous, even in economically advanced nations like Germany and Japan. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Data Flows, Online Privacy, and Trade Policy

Data Flows, Online Privacy, and Trade Policy. Congressional Research Service. Rachel F. Fefer. Updated March 26, 2020

“Cross-border data flows” refers to the movement or transfer of information between computer servers across national borders. Such data flows enable people to transmit information for online communication, track global supply chains, share research, provide cross-border services, and support technological innovation.
Ensuring open cross-border data flows has been an objective of Congress in recent trade agreements and in broader U.S. international trade policy. The free flow of personal data, however, has raised security and privacy concerns. U.S. trade policy has traditionally sought to balance the need for cross-border data flows, which often include personal data, with online privacy and security. Some stakeholders, including some Members of Congress, believe that U.S. policy should better protect personal data privacy and security, and have introduced legislation to set a national policy. Other policymakers and analysts are concerned about increasing foreign barriers to U.S. digital trade, including data flows.

[PDF format, 28 pages].

COVID-19 and School Closures: What Can Countries Learn from Past Emergencies?

COVID-19 and School Closures: What Can Countries Learn from Past Emergencies? Brookings Institution. Rebecca Winthrop. Tuesday, March 31, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, and across every state in the U.S., school systems are shutting their doors. To date, the education community has largely focused on the different strategies to continue schooling, including lively discussions on the role of education technology versus distribution of printed paper packets. But there has been relatively little discussion about how to take advantage of the know-how and good practice developed from years of work in the humanitarian and global development sectors. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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School Closures, Government Responses, and Learning Inequality around the World during COVID-19

School Closures, Government Responses, and Learning Inequality around the World during COVID-19. Brookings Institution. Emiliana Vegas. April 14, 2020

According to UNESCO, as of April 14, 188 countries around the world have closed schools nationwide, affecting over 1.5 billion learners and representing more than 91 percent of total enrolled learners. The world has never experienced such a dramatic impact on human capital investment, and the consequences of COVID-19 on economic, social, and political indicators are unknown but certainly will be dramatic.
Although a majority of governments are making substantial efforts to ensure continuing education opportunities, their capacity for quality learning—especially for the most disadvantaged populations—varies enormously. In this brief, the author uses data recently collected by the Center for Global Development and combine it with the World Bank’s classification method for countries’ income levels and regions of the world to take stock of the official education system responses to COVID-19 around the world and to analyze how these responses may affect gaps in student learning across regions, countries of various income levels, and countries with different student performance levels as measured by international assessments. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). World Resources Institute. Massimiliano Riva et al. March 2020

How countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are implemented and improved upon over time will determine whether the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement is achieved.
Each country will prepare for and implement its NDC in different ways, based on the nature of its NDC, how the NDC was first developed, and its national circumstances. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 116 pages].

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Samuel Brannen, Christian Stirling Haig, Katherine Schmidt. March 2, 2020

We are living in an age of global mass protests that are historically unprecedented in frequency, scope, and size. Our analysis finds that the mass political protests that have captured media attention over the past year, such as those in Hong Kong and Santiago, are in fact part of a decade-long trend line affecting every major populated region of the world, the frequency of which have increased by an annual average of 11.5 percent between 2009 and 2019. The size and frequency of recent protests eclipse historical examples of eras of mass protest, such as the late-1960s, late-1980s, and early-1990s. Viewed in this broader context, the events of the Arab Spring were not an isolated phenomenon but rather an especially acute manifestation of a broadly increasing global trend. Analysis of the root causes of these global protests suggests they will continue and could increase in 2020 and beyond. While each protest has a unique context, common grievances overwhelmingly center on perceptions of ineffective governance and corruption. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages].