In addition to being United Nations Day and Food Day (wasn't I just saying how many Official Days October has?), today is World Development Information Day.

So, that's a mouthful, and it's a little less straightforward than today's other observances. The purpose of World Development Information Day (instituted in 1972 by the UN) is "to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them." Also, "The Assembly felt that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development."

Got that? Right.

Baugha Gumba Village, Palpa District, Nepal.
Teju Thapa and her son Prem, members of the Sustainable Community Development Project, pick coffee.
Photo by Russell Powell.

Trying to define "development problems" opens quite the can of worms. Writing down a list of problems risks either over simplifying or overwhelming the situation. For the sake of digestibility, I'll work from the UN's Millennium Development Goals and add a few of my own:

Poverty
Hunger
Water
Gender equity
Health and disease
Environment and climate
Disasters
Conflict
Trade/economics
Energy

So how do we draw people's attention to development problems? Here on Heifer Blog, we write about it. We gather stories and information from our projects in the field, from both internal and third-party experts and news sources. We typically focus more on the solutions than the problems, but we're no Pollyanna when it comes to what we're up against. And if there's something to be sure about, it's that international cooperation is a must for addressing the issues listed above.

I hope that by reading Heifer Blog, you do gain a stronger understanding for the work we do here at Heifer International: the scope of the issues we're solving, the tactics we employ, the people we work with and for.

In that light, what would you like to see more of here on the blog? What kind of information can we give you more of?

Author

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She has a master's in social work and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is married, a mother of two, and a wannabe urban farmer, raising her own chickens and killing most of her vegetable crops.