Volume 2 (2005)

Childcare Experiences and Decision Making for Single Mothers Leaving Welfare

Mona Basta

Literature to date on single mothers leaving welfare for employment lacks research based on decision making models. This paper focuses on two decisions that impact women leaving welfare: 1) the selection of childcare providers and 2) the decision whether or not to use a childcare subsidy. Based on interviews with twenty single mothers from a welfare advocacy group in Philadelphia, I developed an ethnographic decision tree model to map mothers’ decision making during their transition from welfare to work. Findings suggest the level of trust between parents and childcare providers, related to bad experiences with centerbased care, and the availability of information about center-based care facilities were important decision making criteria. The cost of childcare, from the mothers’ perspective, did not play as pivotal a role in the decision making process as did previous bad experiences with center-based care.

Transnational NGO Involvement in the New Age of Migration: Building a Framework for the Protection of the Human Rights of Undocumented Economic Migrants

Jaime Kelly

This paper explores ways for transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGOs) to deepen their involvement in international, multilateral debates on undocumented international labor migration. It also addresses how TNGOs can promote policies that uphold migrants’ human rights in this new age of migration. The first section presents an analysis of the scope of international migration and recent changes in global migration patterns. It then outlines state-level responses to undocumented labor migrants and the inadequacy of national regulatory mechanisms. The second section addresses regional forums in which migration policies are devised, before focusing on United Nations’ international treaties and protocols that attempt to safeguard the rights of undocumented international migrants. This section concludes that policies created in these multilateral forums do not sufficiently protect the rights of migrants. The final section presents an alternative approach, one that requires a concerted effort among global TNGOs, to collaborate in launching a campaign for the human rights of undocumented migrants. As a starting point, the International Convention on all Migrant Workers and their Families (ICMW) provides an excellent opportunity for advocacy.

What’s in a Word? “Genocide” as a Tool of U.S. Foreign Policy

Katy Hull

Coining the word genocide in 1943, Raphael Lemkin, a Polish refugee to the United States, hoped that the horrors of the Nazi holocaust would never be repeated. Lemkin hoped to enshrine the word into the moral vocabulary of a nascent international system so that states would feel loathe to commit it and compelled to prevent it. Lemkin’s expectations were unfulfilled, as evidenced by the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the current crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. The United States’ linguistic response to these two crises demonstrated the inadequacy of words, however weighty, when unaccompanied by meaningful actions. In both cases U.S. concerns – whether strategic, diplomatic or driven by domestic interest groups – dictated the linguistic response. Any desire to improve the reality on the ground in Africa was at best a secondary concern. By failing to accompany words with an array of complementary actions, the United States failed to use the word genocide as an effective tool of foreign policy. Instead, it divested the word genocide of much of its intended legal and political weight. The ongoing crisis in Darfur provides an opportunity to consider optimal responses to genocide. By acting to prevent genocide as, or preferably before, it happens, the United States could inject meaning once more into words.

Fostering Land Use Dialogue: Community Preservation as a Growth Management Strategy in Massachusetts

Christopher J. Hodges

The Community Preservation Initiative (CPI) was an innovative attempt by the Massachusetts state government to stimulate discussion about land use and growth management at the local level. Based on land use and zoning information, CPI relied on geographic information systems (GIS) to model a potential development scenario for each of the 351 municipalities in the state. The process for generating GIS data and maps purposefully involved officials at local, regional, and state levels. This paper examines the success of the CPI process in evolving land use dialogue within and between communities, and amongst planners at all three levels of government. Town planners in two Massachusetts metropolitan regions, Boston and Springfield, were interviewed about CPI’s impact on local land use discussions. This research was supplemented by interviews with other regional planners and CPI staff. The results suggest that while CPI may eventually lead to changes in local land use, in the short term few changes have occurred to the dialogue on growth management in the state. The results of this investigation should aid state and regional decision-makers in determining what future policies and approaches are needed to promote smart growth and regional planning in Massachusetts and other states.

Adopting Open Source and Open Standards in the Public Sector: Five Deciding Factors behind the Movement

Soo-yeon Hwang

This paper examines the five major factors that influence the worldwide spread of open source, open standards-compliant solutions in the public sector. These factors include reduced software expenses, increased security and transparency, digital data durability and future interoperability, national information technology independence and economic development, and the benefit of reducing software piracy. Although public agencies may have different reasons for considering open source and open standards, the findings show that open source and open standards provide a solution to a number of public sector challenges, and have become feasible alternatives to their commercial, proprietary counterparts.

Not as Easy as “ABC”: Uganda’s Approach to HIV/AIDS and Implications for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

Kate Fogelberg

A note.

Diaspora Peoples/Hometown Associations, Nation-States and Development

Nneoma Nwogu

A note.