The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities that exist within and between communities, providing a challenge for remote education to reach everyone, as well as an opportunity to bridge the divides that exist by addressing them head-on in the re-imaged education system we are in the midst of creating. A new global education system, leveraging ICT for knowledge and skills-development, has the potential to close intra- and international achievement and well-being gaps, as well as to advance the understanding and implementation of education as life-long learning for all of society.
Access to appropriate and reliable innovations is essential to the improvement of public health in low-income settings and more broadly, reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Lessons from the Millennium Development Goals era have shown that an integrated approach is needed to implement and reach the SDGs, but it remains difficult to achieve as many sectors and interventions still operate in “silos”.
The Education team uses the SDG 4 framework to engage with NGOs and local and national governments to use action research on life-long learning opportunities internationally. The team works at the intersection of environment, education, gender social justice and economic development. Sustainability and partnership building are at the core of CSD-Education’s program design research.
With a team comprising of economists, education and public health experts that specialize in development, and have been working for close to two decades on development issues including infectious diseases such as Ebola, tuberculosis and HIV, the Center for Sustainable Development is in a unique position to provide technical expertise to countries or states prioritizing COVID-19 responses, and exploring sound scientific solutions that provide an appropriate balance between public health measures protecting communities and steps ensuring a revitalized economy.
The Center for Sustainable Development supports three primary research and policy projects on happiness and well-being. The World Happiness Report is a landmark, annual survey and analysis of the state of global happiness. The Global Happiness Council is a global network of academic specialists in happiness and key practitioners that identifies best practices at national and local levels to advance happiness and well-being.
As part of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) project at CSD, we are currently engaged in several different studies relating to COVID-19.
Refugees Act and Communicate for Health (REACH): Using Technology to Increase Health Literacy and Health Care Access for Refugees in Turkey and Lebanon. REACH is a regional initiative of CSD, which aims to bridge the gap in health literacy and health care access among refugee and local youth via digital health technologies in Turkey and Lebanon.
The Center for Sustainable Development is working with the Government of Paraguay to promote social, economic, and environmental policies and practices in the country. In the social sector, CSD is working with Paraguay's Ministry of Education to design and implement a nation-wide education reform towards 2030. Paraguay is also actively working towards a carbon-neutral economy, transforming its energy sector and leveraging its hydroelectric resources towards a 2050 fully carbon-neutral economy.
Directed by Columbia economists Jeffrey Sachs and Nirupam Bajpai, this three-year project at CSD is being undertaken in collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi. It will bring together cutting-edge technologists, macroeconomists, financiers, and public officials to examine the potential for a new ICT-led model of growth in India. The ultimate purposes will be to understand the role of ICT in India’s future economic growth and to make recommendations for India’s continued global leadership in ICT-based development.
The Cantril ladder serves as a proxy for life satisfaction. Life satisfaction is a powerful measure of the quality of people’s lives. The annual World Happiness Reports attributes the differences over time and between countries to good health, income and the quality of the social environment. These factors are changing under COVID-19, often in ways we have never experienced before.