Evolving Assessments of Human and Natural Contributions to Climate Change

Evolving Assessments of Human and Natural Contributions to Climate Change. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jane A. Leggett. February 1, 2018

 This CRS report provides context for the Administration’s Climate Science Special Report (October 2017) by tracing the evolution of scientific understanding and confidence regarding the drivers of recent global climate change.

 [PDF format, 25 pages].


Learning Champions: How 15 Countries, Cities, and Provinces Came Together to Rethink Learning Assessment

Learning Champions: How 15 Countries, Cities, and Provinces Came Together to Rethink Learning Assessment. Brookings Institution. Kate Anderson and Joshua Muskin. February 13, 2018

 Between 2012 and 2016, the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) laid out an ambitious agenda for nations and the international community on how to define and measure learning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first phase of the task force’s work—“LMTF 1.0”—focused on two main objectives in 2012 and 2013. One was to catalyze a shift in the global education conversation from increased education access, to access plus learning. The second was to build consensus on a set of global learning indicators and actions to improve measurement of learning worldwide.

The second phase—“LMTF 2.0”—took place between 2014 and 2016 and concentrated on applying the task force’s recommendations. This entailed influencing the SDG indicator process to include learning outcomes and developing practical strategies for countries and other jurisdictions to improve the measurement of learning across a broad range of skills.

This report describes the process undertaken by a group of 15 “Learning Champions”—countries, provinces, and cities—that came together to experiment with the LMTF 1.0 recommendations and develop strategies for improving their education systems. They did this by seeking to measure learning across the seven learning domains and seven measurement areas captured in the LMTF 1.0 recommendations. First, the authors describe these domains and measurement areas along with the structure of the Learning Champions initiative. Next, they present the experiences and activities of the 15 Learning Champions. Finally, they discuss the lessons learned from the initiative and present examples of the tools developed through it. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 60 pages].

Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver

Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver. Pew Research Center.  Amy Mitchell et al. January 11, 2018.

 Publics around the world overwhelmingly agree that the news media should be unbiased in their coverage of political issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 38 countries. Yet, when asked how their news media are doing on reporting different political issues fairly, people are far more mixed in their sentiments, with many saying their media do not deliver. And, in many countries, there are sharp political differences in views of the media – with the largest gap among Americans. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 55 pages, 2.26 MB].

Remittance Flows Worldwide in 2016

Remittance Flows Worldwide in 2016. Pew Research Center. January 23, 2016.

 Worldwide, an estimated $574 billion (USD) was sent by migrants to relatives in their home countries in 2016, a 1% decline from 2015, when the amount was $581 billion, according to economists at the World Bank. This is the second drop in global remittances since the global financial crisis. Despite this recent decline, remittances sent by migrants are still about double what they were a decade ago, before the sharp decline in the global economy during the late 2000s. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

Worldwide, People Divided on Whether Life Today Is Better Than in the Past

Worldwide, People Divided on Whether Life Today Is Better Than in the Past. Pew Research Center. Jacob Poushter. December 5, 2017.

Fifty years ago, the world was a very different place. The United States and its allies were locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, personal computers and mobile phones were the stuff of science fiction, and much of the world’s population had yet to experience substantial improvements in life expectancy and material well-being.

How far do people around the globe think they and others like them have come, compared with 50 years ago? Pew Research Center put that question to nearly 43,000 people in 38 countries around the globe this past spring. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 574.29 KB].

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. World Economic Forum. November 2, 2017.

Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide. The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition also analyses the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 361 pages, 10.90 MB].

Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy

Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy. Pew Research Center. Richard Wike et al. October 16, 2017.

A deepening anxiety about the future of democracy around the world has spread over the past few years. Emboldened autocrats and rising populists have shaken assumptions about the future trajectory of liberal democracy, both in nations where it has yet to flourish and countries where it seemed strongly entrenched. Scholars have documented a global “democratic recession,” and some now warn that even long-established “consolidated” democracies could lose their commitment to freedom and slip toward more authoritarian politics.

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country. Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 43 pages, 593.52 KB].