SciDev.Net Podcast: Who are the missing millions?

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Copyright: Samuel Aranda / Panos

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The missing milions are the world’s most vulnerable people. Often living in informal settlements and speaking only local languages, they are difficult to count and conventional surveys don’t capture their opinions, needs or even their presence.
A recent report by the Overseas Development Institute, in the United Kingdom, looks at the issue and tries to explain why the poorest are often left out of the official statistics that inform policymaking. Reporter Kevin Pollock speaks to one of the report’s authors to learn more.
If millions are missing from the global count, too many are also left offline, without access to the internet services that people in richer countries take for granted. We spoke with communication system expert Jon Crowcroft about the idea of moving away from the current trend of building a few big data centres that send and receive many people’s information, and instead decentralise the internet by establishing a larger number of more localised servers. Crowcroft argues that internet access should be considered a human right.
We speak to climate adaptation researcher Elizabeth Carabine to learn how communities and governments can use ecosystem services to estimate the value of their natural assets and protect them from industrial exploitation.
Finally, we travel to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone to discover how Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) armed local teams with motorbikes and GPS-enabled smartphones to map the disease.