Evidence of our nation’s drug crisis is staggering. More than 2 million people in the United States suffer from an opioid use disorder. Opioid-related hospitalizations, illnesses, and treatment admissions continue to increase relentlessly. Overdose deaths skyrocketed more than 380 percent from 1999 to 2016. Communities across the nation are decimated, measured in the number of children left parentless, families destroyed, and health care and welfare systems overwhelmed.
As climate change continues to pose a threat, curbing the use of fossil fuels has been more important than ever. The world is experiencing the largest energy transformation since the Industrial Revolution, and hydropower has been a forefront in this revolution. Hydropower is one of the first renewable energy sources to be harnessed and remains a mainstay of many power company portfolios.
We live in a time of tremendous need: conflict and crisis forcing tens of millions of people to flee their homes, famine threatening more people than at any time since World War II, chronic diseases causing untold suffering, disability, and early death, structural inequalities burdening the people who need the most support.
Despite increased attention and dedication of resources, the U.S. opioid epidemic continues to generate significant increases in overdose deaths with no sign of decline. The age-adjusted opioid overdose mortality rate increased more than five times in the United States from 1999 through 2015. In 2016, the largest annual increase in overdose mortality was recorded, fueled partly by heroin laced with fentanyl—a synthetic opioid 25–50 times more potent than heroin.
There’s a growing movement in foreign aid to ensure that the countries and communities that receive assistance also have increased ownership over programs. In his welcome message, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green reminded us of this, saying “I believe the purpose of foreign assistance should be ending its need to exist.” We’ve all read articles debating the extent to which this is actually happening and the most effective ways to build country ownership.
How can policymakers from low- and middle-income countries determine their country’s economic growth potential? How can policymakers use and communicate data effectively to determine how to move forward with strategies to remain competitive in the global marketplace? There are various measures available, and various ways to interpret that data.
In 2016, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan launched its new Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy, which aims to achieve “talent-driven prosperity.” Early childhood education is a central pillar of that strategy, which mandates the universal provision of one year of kindergarten (the year immediately preceding first grade) by 2025, with simultaneous improvements in quality and accountability.