David Bornstein’s New NYTimes Column – Fixes

On October 19, 2010, in Articles, by Josh Perlsweig

This week the New York Times Opinionator Blog features a new column by journalist/authors David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg: “Fixes”, set to appear every Tuesday, ”explores solutions to major social problems. Each week, it examines creative initiatives that can tell us about the difference between success and failure”

It’s a whole new reason to look forward to Tuesdays. In the first installment, Bornstein and Rosenberg set the tone for the series, expressing the need to amplify messages of effective solutions to social problems:

“Most of us tend to be better informed about problems than solutions.  This presents two challenges: if we rarely hear about success when it occurs, it’s hard to believe that problems can, in fact, be solved.  Also, knowledge about how to solve problems ends up being concentrated in too few hands.  It needs to circulate more broadly so that it can be applied where needed.

We are both journalists who have spent more than two decades reporting on social problems around the world, and where possible, exploring new models to address them. Here, we’ll be looking at examples of success in fields such as health care, education, employment, political change and environmental protection. The projects can be as specific as fixing motorcycles or as broad as improving the way we finance vaccines globally. Examples will come from all over — the poorest parts of Africa and South Asia, but also middle-income countries like Mexico and Poland and rich ones like Canada and the United States. In each case, we will look at what the people behind them did differently — what led to success in a world where plans so often end in disappointment. And we will explore what we can learn from their experiences.”

This week’s addition of Fixes focuses on effective delivery of services when solutions are simple, but target populations are isolated – Check out Health Care and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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