Tread Softly is an educational resource, offering over 100 short briefings on topics relevant to sustainable development and global justice. These focus especially on the world’s poorest countries, striving for social and economic equality, amidst the scramble for scarce and degraded natural resources.
You can access every briefing from the menu above (or the footer menu below). The links that immediately follow are recent news stories chosen for their relevance to Tread Softly topics.
Update on the SDG Indicators 18/8/2016: The UN Statistical Commission has identified no fewer than 231 indicators for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals. A working group has acknowledged that suitable data for a large proportion of these indicators remains non-existent.
Analysis: the UN's new deal for refugees and migrants 20/8/2016: An Oxfam specialist reviews the draft agreement for next month's UN conference on refugees and migrants. There is little substance for tackling the major crisis that triggered the selection of this topic for the gathering of world leaders.
Poor data hampers African policy decisions 20/8/2016: An expert from the African Population and Health Research Center explains why accurate data about a population is important for good governance, why almost all African countries lack data capacity and what actions could help.
Why are we hooked on GDP? 16/8/2016: How have we become hooked on GDP as the measure of economic progress, despite its manifest inadequacies? This brief history of the application of GDP since the 1930s provides useful background.
UN science panel debates 1.5C as climate records fall 16/8/2016: Scientists have commenced a study into whether the safe threshold for global warming should be reduced from 2 to 1.5 degrees. Mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, the initiative is hampered by daily headlines which suggest it comes too late
The dubious success of micro drip irrigation kits 16/8/2016: Micro drip irrigation has appealed to many governments and development agencies as a technology for more efficient water management and improved food security. A study in Burkina Faso finds that the farmers themselves are reluctant users.