Susan Blaustein, Author at State of the Planet - Page 2 of 5

Susan Blaustein

Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is co-founder and Director of the Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), a project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University established to assist sub-Saharan cities in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Through a comprehensive combination of research, analysis, interventions and high-level advocacy, MCI identifies gaps in MDG-related areas, estimates the costs of filling those gaps and supports the Cities in designing integrated development strategies capable of accomplishing the Goals, thereby jumpstarting a period of fruitful social and economic development and making extreme poverty a thing of the past. Dr. Blaustein came to the sustainable development work of the Earth Institute out of her conflict prevention efforts with the International Crisis Group (ICG), her years as a foreign correspondent in Southeast Asia and her independent study of the roots of the Rwandan genocide. Prior to this, Dr. Blaustein was on the faculty of Columbia University, a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a lecturer at Yale University, where she also earned her doctorate. The recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the Guggenheim Foundation, Dr. Blaustein serves on the board of directors of the non-profit Millennium Promise, the lead UN partner in the Millennium Villages. She is completing a book about the Rwandan genocide and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her journalist husband and 15-year-old daughter.

Recent Posts

A Lasting Impression: Kumasi Stakeholders Truly Committed to Bettering their City

My lasting impression of Kumasi, Ghana, is one of incredible warmth; traveling there with the MCI team for the Kumasi Stakeholder Workshop, which was held October 11-13, I was happy to discover that the much talked-about “Ghanaian friendliness” was a generalization that proved to be true. I was also inspired by the number of Kumasi residents I met who face whatever obstacles they encounter – whether minor inconveniences or major developmental challenges – with grace and a true can-do attitude.

by |December 5, 2011

Increasing Access to Health Care Using a Community-Based Approach

Community Health Workers (CHWs), health assistants or lay health workers who provide a fundamental level of health care for residents in the community in which they live, have been shown to make a tremendous contribution to public health and community development. In Kisumu, Kenya, residents of Manyatta, an informal settlement with nearly 90,000 people that currently lacks any sort of government-run health facility, will soon benefit from an ongoing, wide-ranging CHW training, led by the Municipal Council of Kisumu’s Health Department, in collaboration with Cordaid Urban Matters, a Dutch development agency, and MCI, ably led by MCI’s Public Health Specialist Beldina Opiyo-Omolo.

by |November 15, 2011

“Standing Up for Girls” – and their Right to the Education they Deserve

For many in the developing world, education isn’t taken for granted. Around 35 million girls are out of school, the World Bank says, almost half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In support of girls’ education, MCI joined the literacy organization LitWorld and other partners, including Connect To Learn, Asia Initiatives and the Children of Kibera Foundation, for a “Stand Up for Girls” rally to celebrate the International Day of the Girl on September 22.

by |September 30, 2011

Ultrasound Trainings Improve Maternal and Newborn Care at Kumasi Hospitals

Maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high across the Millennium Cities and throughout much of the developing world. All the more reason why we’re excited about the second in a series of ultrasound trainings and screenings in Kumasi, Ghana, led by the London-based International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), MCI’s partner, which works all over the world to further maternal and child health through the use of this life-saving technology.

by |July 28, 2011

Where Poverty is Extreme, but Where Girls’ Clubs Have Taught Participants the World Has Possibility

The following is a guest blog, authored by Pam Allyn, Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children’s rights as readers, writers and learners, and an MCI partner. This account is based on Pam’s travels to the Millennium City of Kisumu, Kenya, to spend time with four Girls’ Clubs, which foster literacy while building self-esteem.

by |July 19, 2011

Empowering Girls through Literacy: Kisumu Girls’ Club Leader Honored at LitWorld Gala

In Kenya, as in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, girls have lower primary and secondary school completion rates than boys. Yet learning can empower girls, providing them with critical skills that enable them to become higher wage earners and community leaders. Ms. Lois Owiti, a teacher at Kisumu Day Senior High School in Kisumu, Kenya,… read more

by |May 24, 2011

A Medical Mission to a Millennium City

The following is a guest blog, authored by Dr. Medhat Allam, Chairman of International Surgical Mission Support, one of MCI’s partners.

In Kenya, like with many developing counties, residents often lack access to specialized medical care. International Surgical Mission Support (ISMS), which strives to train medical professionals and provide free care to those in need, recognized a gap in the level of care available in Kenya and decided to send two teams to Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in the Millennium City of Kisumu, Kenya.

by |March 23, 2011

Millennium City and U.S. Students Chat and Read Aloud Online, Celebrating World Read Aloud Day

Words – and worlds – were shared in celebration of the second annual World Read Aloud Day, organized by LitWorld, on March 9, 2011. As part of LitWorld’s much larger celebration of reading, literacy and learning, students from across the Millennium Cities connected with students in the United States via Skype, to share stories and talk about the importance of reading.

by |March 10, 2011

Widening the World for Students

The following is a guest blog, authored by David Homa, an anthropology and economics teacher at Los Gatos High School in California, one of MCI’s School2School partners.

As the world shrinks through the use of technology, it is possible to widen the world to students all over the world. During the past week, I have been in Kisumu, Kenya, visiting the Kisumu Day Boys High School. Kisumu Day is our partner school through the School2School program, started by Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute’s Millennium Cities Initiative.

by |February 14, 2011

My Work as a GSK Volunteer for MCI: Gathering Baseline Data on Maternal and Neonatal Health Services in Kisumu, Kenya

The following is a guest blog, authored by Mayuko Hashimoto, a GlaxoSmithKline PULSE volunteer from Tokyo, Japan, who is working with the Millennium Cities Initiative for six months in Kisumu, Kenya to further maternal and neonatal survival.

As a volunteer with GlaxoSmithKline, I’ll be in Kisumu for six months to support the Millennium Cities Initiative in its efforts to help the city become sustainable and improve its social services. My role here is to assess the existing capacity of neonatal and maternal health care services offered through health centres and the outreach efforts of community health workers.

by |December 1, 2010