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Over the past 20 years, increasing momentum has been gathering behind the idea that governments need to apply scientific standards of proof to making decisions about policy. The drive towards evidence-based policymaking is a drive towards a rationalist dream: that hard evidence can remove partisan wrangling from the equation and, instead, turn... Read More

Artificial intelligence promises a bright future but getting there isn’t without challenges. A 2016 White House report stated that AI-driven automation technology could potentially increase economic inequality by amplifying the wage... Read More

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Graduation season is approaching, and many students will soon be back in the public sector where they’ll have the opportunity to make meaningful change. I sat down with Harvard Kennedy School Lecturer Nick Sinai, former White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer, for a conversation about what it takes to create real innovation in the public... Read More

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Beginning in November 2017, some residents in Seoul have moved into a zero energy residential complex called “EZ HOUSE.” Built in Nowon District, this is the first zero energy building (ZEB) residential complex in South Korea that is at the scale of a small village. Tackling energy consumption in buildings will create significant long-term... Read More

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Aadhaar, Sanskrit for “foundation” or “base,” is a 12-digit unique identity number that has taken India by storm. While Aadhaar is not the first of its kind — it follows other Indian identification schemes such as the Multipurpose National Identity Card and the Smartcard Programme in the state of Andhra Pradesh — it is certainly the most... Read More

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Financial technology, or fintech, has experienced phenomenal growth in the past few years. In the first half of 2017, global investment in fintech companies reached 293 transactions totaling $8.4 billion. The rise of fintech has given way to new opportunities and alternatives in areas that only a decade ago were monopolized by traditional banks... Read More

Mexico faces significant challenges in education — one of these is to guarantee decent and good infrastructure in public schools. In the country, 10 percent of the schools lack electricity, in poor states the numbers increase up to 20 or 30 percent. To improve school infrastructure, the federal government launched the program Escuelas al 100 (... Read More

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For those of us watching from afar as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and most recently Maria tore through both urban and tropical landscapes, turning them into debris-filled rivers infested with balls of angry fire ants, social media quickly put a familiar face to the nightmare unfolding on our TV screens. In the age of Facebook status updates... Read More

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While technology can be transformative and improve lives, it can also be very disruptive. Some technologies have the potential to change societal norms, norms that we have maintained for decades or even longer. Take the case of Uber, for example, which has completely disrupted the traditional taxi industry. Likewise, Airbnb has been giving the... Read More

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The drive for evidence-based decision-making and the need for innovation in government have rapidly accelerated in recent years. Despite overlapping goals, it is not always clear how closely the two agendas are aligned. Is the creation of more and better evidence leading to more innovation? And fundamentally, is all this activity leading to... Read More

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The list of potential uses for interagency data-sharing to improve child welfare outcomes is never-ending. Hospital data on low-weight newborns could be shared with Human Services to target in-home nurse visits. Physicians deciding whether to order bone scans for children with suspicious injuries could access child protection records to better... Read More

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For decades, teachers have been paid according to seniority and educational degree level; that’s beginning to change. Lately, policymakers and education advocates have been experimenting with new tools for improving American public education, from adopting radical new pedagogical techniques to employing artificial intelligence-based adaptive... Read More

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