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Owning the Conversation: Assessing Responses to Russian and Chinese Information Operations Around COVID-19

March 31, 2022

The crisis around COVID-19 and the resulting "infodemic" has been exploited by authoritarian regimes to spread propaganda and disinformation among populations around the world. The Russian Federation and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have used the pandemic to engage in information warfare, spread divisive content, advance conspiracy theories, and promote public health propaganda that undermines US and European efforts to fight the pandemic.In 2021, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) published two reports, Information Bedlam: Russian and Chinese Information Operations During COVID-19 and Jabbed in the Back: Mapping Russian and Chinese Information Operations During COVID-19, comparing how the Kremlin and CCP have deployed information operations around the COVID-19 pandemic, virus origins, and efficacy of the vaccines to influence targeted populations globally, using the infodemic as a diplomatic and geopolitical weapon. The CCP mainly spread COVID-19 narratives to shape perceptions about the origins of the coronavirus and often push narratives to shun responsibility. Meanwhile, the Kremlin recycled existing narratives, pushing and amplifying them via validators and unsuspecting people in order to sow internal divisions and further exploit polarized views in the West about the efficacy of vaccines, treatments, origins of new variants, and impact to the population. While the world has learned about new COVID-19 variants, such as Omicron, China and Russia have evolved their tactics to spread COVID-19 disinformation and propaganda and further sow doubt and confuse the population about the pandemic.As Russia and China's tactics evolve, this policy brief examines whether Western institutions, including governments, digital platforms, and nongovernmental organizations, have been able to counter information warfare around this unprecedented crisis. This paper examines a broad range of initiatives and responses to counter COVID-19 disinformation coming from Russia and China, and to strengthen societal resilience more broadly. Because addressing this challenge requires a whole-of-society approach, this report highlights government, technology, and civil society interventions, both in Europe and in the US, identifying what works and where there are existing gaps.Of note, the interventions and related assessments presented here are based on currently available data. It is important to highlight that governments regularly pass new regulations and measures, and digital platforms continue to evolve their policy, product, and enforcement actions in response to COVID-19 disinformation.

Taking the Pulse of the European Foundation Sector : Moving from Proving Impact to Improving Impact

January 1, 2022

This report contains key insights, survey data and case studies from the first year of the European and Spanish Communities of Practice on Impact Measurement and Management (IMM), coordinated by the Esade Center for Social Impact with the support of BBK. These groups of foundation professionals from 15 countries have come together to increase the level of transparency, knowledge-sharing and exchange within the European foundation sector on this topic. Building on the transcribed discussions and surveys of approximately 40 European foundations, the authors have developed several learnings they hope will help the whole European foundation sector, as well as any other organizations that want to measure and manage their impact. In this perspective, the report also includes tables outlining what the different 'levels' of practice might be, so that the reader can understand what the impact management learning journey looks like at different stages (beginner, on the journey, and advanced).In addition to the present report, the following page provides links to the recording of the launch of the report as well as presentation slides: https://www.esade.edu/en/faculty-and-research/research/knowledge-units/center-social-impact/research/community-practice 

Global Public Opinion in an Era of Democratic Anxiety

December 7, 2021

As democratic nations have wrestled with economic, social and geopolitical upheaval in recent years, the future of liberal democracy has come into question. In countries across the globe, democratic norms and civil liberties have deteriorated, while populists have enjoyed surprising success at the ballot box. Newly democratic nations have struggled, while more-established, once self-assured democracies have stumbled, exposing long-simmering weaknesses in their social fabrics and institutional designs.These trends have been well-documented by organizations such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, International IDEA and the Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), which measure and track the quality of democracy around the world. Public opinion researchers have also focused on these issues by examining how citizens think about democracy and its alternatives. At Pew Research Center, we've applied a comparative, cross-national lens to explore global trends in attitudes toward political representation and individual rights.

When Costs Are a Barrier to Getting Health Care: Reports from Older Adults in the United States and Other High-Income Countries: Findings from the 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults

October 1, 2021

Issue: Unlike older adults in other high-income countries, those in the United States face significant financial barriers to getting health care, despite Medicare's universal coverage. These barriers may affect use of health services as well as health outcomes.Goal: To compare the out-of-pocket spending and care-seeking experiences of older Americans with those of older adults in 10 other high-income countries.Methods: Analysis of findings from the Commonwealth Fund's 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults.Key Findings: One-fifth of older Americans spent more than $2,000 out of pocket on health care in the past year. Only a small share of older adults in most of the other surveyed countries had such high out-of-pocket health costs. Similarly, a higher share of older Americans reported forgoing health care because of costs. Rates of skipping dental care because of costs were similar for older adults in nations that do not offer coverage of such services, including the U.S.Conclusions: Older Americans pay more for health care and are more likely to not get care for cost-related reasons than people in other high-income countries. Affordability remains a concern and should continue to be a focus of research and policy.

Mirror, Mirror 2021: Reflecting Poorly - Health Care in the U.S. Compared to Other High-Income Countries

August 4, 2021

Issue: No two countries are alike when it comes to organizing and delivering health care for their people, creating an opportunity to learn about alternative approaches.Goal: To compare the performance of health care systems of 11 high-income countries.Methods: Analysis of 71 performance measures across five domains — access to care, care process, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes — drawn from Commonwealth Fund international surveys conducted in each country and administrative data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization.Key Findings: The top-performing countries overall are Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia. The United States ranks last overall, despite spending far more of its gross domestic product on health care. The U.S. ranks last on access to care, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes, but second on measures of care process.Conclusion: Four features distinguish top performing countries from the United States: 1) they provide for universal coverage and remove cost barriers; 2) they invest in primary care systems to ensure that high-value services are equitably available in all communities to all people; 3) they reduce administrative burdens that divert time, efforts, and spending from health improvement efforts; and 4) they invest in social services, especially for children and working-age adults.

Social Aims of Finance: Rediscovering Varieties of Credit in Financial Archives

January 1, 2020

The papers included in this volume are a selection of those presented at a joint eabh and Fondazione 1563 conference in 2018 in Turin, Italy. The conference sought to expand upon research in the field of social responsibility and ethical finance and saw over 150 attendees examine the connections between banking and charity, ethics and profit and explore case studies of financial from across the world.Papers ranged from Italian Monte di Pietà in the Middle Ages to the recent advent of contemporary impact financing, from rural moneylenders in Western India to the mutualism of French agricultural credit, from the Swedish savings banks and the British building societies to the German and Dutch Raiffeisen banks, from Rothschild philanthropy to the public economic and social aspects of the Italian banking system, from the Spanish bank archives to those in Canada and South Africa. Each paper ends with a list of bibliographical references.

Living Together, Part Three: Projects Promoting Inclusion in European Cities

June 1, 2014

This guide illustrates 37 regional and local initiatives, policies, and projects that seek to help and support socially excluded communities, including those of Somali and white, low-income communities, or address similar issues faced by other groups, in eight cities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.This guide is intended to be a resource for governments, local authorities, policymakers, and civil society organizations, with the hope that readers will be both informed and inspired by the examples of good practice that it presents. The additional practices highlighted here are divided into chapters on identity, belonging, and interaction; education; employment and training; housing; health; policing and security; and the role of the media.As with the two previous Living Together reports, this publication is intended as a place to showcase innovative local, regional, and national practices that have arisen since the completion of the Open Society Initiative for Europe's At Home in Europe Project's Muslims in EU Cities research.Some of the examples were identified as part of advocacy activities following the At Home in Europe's Muslims in EU Cities reports and some through meetings across Europe with actors who work to challenge and resolve inequalities, discrimination, and marginalization of other groups at local and national levels. 

Product-service System Concept as a Means of Reaching Sustainable Consumption?

January 1, 2001

This study provides a better understanding of a product-service system and discusses its intended contribution to the shift towards more sustainable patterns of consumption. It shows that the idea of function provision originates from existing business examples of service extension to customers, the major driver of which is business opportunity. The concept of PSS takes one step further and pursues the idea of "more quality of life with less material intensity" by decoupling economic and consumption growth from environmental impact. In order to realise this, this study analyses the role of authorities, consumers, and producers in minimising environmental impacts of consumption. It suggests patterns of consumer involvement, and analyses policies and instruments that can serve as a starting point for introducing PSSs. Several examples of Nordic companies that are moving towards more service-oriented offers are provided. Discussion is held on the possible consequences for society, businesses and private consumers of the PSS concept's introduction and dissemination.