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Connect-World's top 10 good news stories from 2008

Connect-World, December 30, 2008

December is a popular time for making lists, and not just for Santa. Foreign Policy Magazine has a list of "stories you missed", MSF has listed the ten worst humanitarian crises. Instead of the many under-reported stories (also here), Connect-World has picked out some of the best "good news" stories of 2008, although, perhaps "silver linings" would be more accurate.

This did not seem like a good year for international development. The global financial crisis added gloom on top of the food crisis. Overseas aid levels fell in 2007 but all financial flows to developing countries were predicted to fall by a quarter from 2007-2009. The DRC, Zimbabwe and Somalia have had a terrible year, while Sudan has seen no progress. The once-in-a-generation opportunity of the Beijing Olympics to advance freedom and human rights in China and Chinese foreign policy appears to have been squandered. Progress on climate change has been limited and progress on trade negligible.

Nevertheless, there is positive news amid the gloom. While bad news can see more urgent and important, without some sense of perspective, problems can see more hopeless than they are. It is equally, if not more, important to step back when covering just bad news so that stories are better covered according to their importance and scale. Below is our top 10 in no particular order. Click on the links to read the accompanying articles. Comments welcome on our blog.

  1. Economic growth (before the crisis)
  2. Obama's election - we hope
  3. Ireland's commitment to development
  4. Chinks of light in the Tobacco smog
  5. Millennium Development Goals
  6. Cluster bomb treaty adopted
  7. Governance is improving
  8. A smart drug could save 13% of all babies who currently die: breast milk - one of many good opportunities
  9. Elections in Zimbabwe and Kenya - not good news but they contained some
  10. Death, disability and statistics

(We were not alone in looking for good news as well as bad as the year ends.)

 

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