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Oct 25 2010
By David Bornstein
We’ve all seen the ads for fair trade coffee with the beautiful photos of villagers hand picking coffee cherries in exotic regions around the globe. Fair trade is one of those ideas that’s always in the air, but we don’t often consider what it means. What does it really take to connect rural producers in the developing world with consumers in wealthy countries — so that everybody benefits?
Oct 22 2010
By David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg
When we started Fixes, we were hoping that interested readers would write in with their own ideas and experiences. Anyone who read the comments on our debut column, “Health Care and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” knows that this is exactly what happened. Readers responded to our column on Riders for Health ─ an organization that maintains the motorcycles used by health care workers in rural Africa ─ with a variety of ideas for improving transportation on that continent. They also proposed many intriguing fixes of their own ─ some of which we will look into for future columns.
Oct 18 2010
By Tina Rosenberg and David Bornstein
Welcome to Fixes.
This is a series about solutions, or potential solutions, to real world problems. It focuses on the line between failure and success, drawing on the stories of people who have crossed it.
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.