Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises

Authors: David Leblang, Danielle N. Poole, Daniel J. Escudero, Lawrence O. Gostin, Elizabeth A. Talbot

Over 168 million people across 50 countries are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2020. Response to epidemics in complex humanitarian crises— such as the recent cholera epidemic in Yemen and the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo— is a global health challenge of increasing scale. The thousands of Yemeni and Congolese who have died in these years-long epidemics demonstrate the difficulty of combatting even well-known pathogens in humanitarian settings. The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may represent a still greater threat to those in complex humanitarian crises, which lack the infrastructure, support, and health systems to mount a comprehensive response. 

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A View from the United States

Authors: Harry Harding

Since early June, Hong Kong has been experiencing one of the most serious political crises in its history, arguably the worst since the Maoist-inspired demonstrations against British colonial rule in 1967. The city has been wracked by near-continuous mass protests, some peaceful, some violent. 

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The Right Way to Capture College “Opportunity”: Popular Measures Can Paint the Wrong Picture of Low-Income Student Enrollment

Authors: Caroline Hoxby, Sarah Turner

Higher education may be one of the most important channels through which people can attain improved life outcomes based on their merit rather than family background. If qualified students from lower-income families are underrepresented in higher education, there is potentially a failure not just in equity but in economic efficiency as well.

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Charlottesville Works: Harnessing Social Networks to Promote Employment and Fight Poverty

Authors: Bala Mulloth, Stefano Rumi

Ridge Schuyler believed that social networks were a unique and innovative way to fight poverty through sustainable employment opportunities. This case study describes how Ridge scaled up Charlottesville Works locally around a formalized social network model that connects unemployed individuals living under the federal poverty line to promising jobs through word-of-mouth, at little cost. 

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iThrive Games: Championing Responsible Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Games

Authors: Bala Mulloth, Susan E. Rivers

This case aims to study the growth, evolution, and social innovation of iThrive Games, a socially minded initiative that aims to create meaningful opportunities using technology for teens to enhance the knowledge, mindsets, and skills they need to thrive through development and across the continuum of mental disorder to wellness. iThrive’s focus has been on creating “meaningful games” that is, games that promote health and well-being of teen players. 

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The University of Virginia Pay-for-Success Lab: Jump-Starting University-Based Pay-for-Success Research Labs

Authors: Bala Mulloth, Stefano Rumi

This case study gives an overview of the creation of the Pay-for-Success (PFS) Lab at the University of Virginia (UVA). It promotes discussion of how other university institutions can scale up their own research labs with a limited budget, and also introduces students to the PFS concept and the role university research institutions can play in the social impact process.

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Revitalizing the Yamuna River: Social Entrepreneurship Approaches

Authors: Bala Mulloth, Bharat Rao

New Delhi, India’s capital city, with a population of almost twenty-two million faces a daunting challenge: Its sacred river, the Yamuna, is one of the most polluted in the world. In fact, within the city limits, the Yamuna is primarily constituted by treated and untreated sewage and other toxic effluents. The water is rendered “dead” with zero oxygen, thus posing serious health hazards to the citizens of New Delhi. Might there be a way to cleanup and revitalize the river plain using social entrepreneurial approaches?

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Party Calls and Reelection in the US Senate

Authors: Ethan Hershberger, William Minozzi, Craig Volden

Minozzi and Volden advance the idea that a substantial portion of partisan voting activity in Congress is a simple call to unity that is especially easily embraced by ideological extremists. If correct, Minozzi and Volden’s findings should extend from the House to the Senate, despite differences in institutional structures and in tools at the disposal of party leaders across the two chambers. 

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