Back to the books, assignments and test — back to what students do best.

In my neck of the Canadian woods, students went back to school yesterday. Watching the yellow buses drive by, I couldn’t help but wonder how many Eggo Waffles were toasted and brown bag lunches — equip with Dunkaroos — were packed and shipped off.

Expanding wireless coverages to the more remote areas of the world is the obvious first step in enabling individuals to benefit from the myriad mobile tools under development by social entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, for a traditional network provider building a base station requires too much capital investment to be cost effective in sparsely populated areas. As is often the case when commercial interests aren’t aligned with what is socially desirable …

In international development, as with so many other fields, information is everything. OK, that’s kind of a broad statement, and a bit of a “no duh” to boot. But our ultimate goal is capacity building writ large, and so a failure of information exchange is in some ways a failure of the development industry as a whole. The reality is far too many projects reinvent the wheel with each iteration: Programs don’t scale. people don’t build on one another’s successes. It is to respond to this issue that Tony Barclay, ex-CEO of DAI, started the Development Practitioners Forum, after retiring from DAI as CEO for many years. But this post is less about our organization (the curious can read more at our website), and more about a different way of looking at audiences and the mechanics of knowledge sharing.

To the billion individuals who lack access to electricity, the promise of new technologies for development pales in comparison to the more immediate challenge of keeping their home lit and phone charged. I recently spoke with Roey Rosenblith, Director of Village Energy Uganda, about his work expanding access to safe solar energy in a locally sustainable manner.