Annotations Blog

Annotations is a bi-monthly newsletter featuring commentary and blog-style writing on timely topics in domestic policy, international relations and development, and economic policy from SPIA students and alumni.

Formalizing Africa's Informal Sector Through the AfCFTA: An Opportunity for Economic Transformation
Sept. 11, 2023
Written by Funke Aderonmu

As African states move to accelerate regional integration through free trade, can they harness Africa's economic powerhouse - the informal economy?

India's National Register of Citizens Threatens Mass Statelessness
June 2, 2023
Written by Uma Menon

Leaders in support of the National Register of Citizens ought to consider the policy’s harmful consequences, which stand in contradiction to India’s constitutional principles of human rights and secularism. 

When Water Runs Dry, Women and Girls Bear the Brunt
April 11, 2023
Written by Ariza Francisco

The Consequences for Health of Women and Girls in the Horn of Africa

Eliminating the Unnecessary Risk of Congressional Part-Time Military Service
Jan. 31, 2023
Written by Wyatt Suling

As policymakers seek to mitigate threats to civil-military relations, one phenomenon that should be addressed is that of members of Congress serving in the National Guard or Reserves.

The Rent is Too Damn High. It's Time for Tenants to Organize.
Jan. 17, 2023
Written by Liz Brown

Without the right to organize, tenants don’t stand a chance against the increasingly concentrated power of landlords.

No More Stalling: Close LA County's Men's Central Jail Now!
Dec. 20, 2022
Written by Sergio Rodriguez Camarena

Now, more than ever, we can signal to the rest of the state and the country that LA County can lead efforts to decarcerate and rectify the overcriminalization of many of LA County’s most vulnerable populations. 

Seven States Vye for Water: The Colorado River Crisis in the American West
Aug. 11, 2022
Written by Claire Kaufman

The federal government needs to coordinate a response that ensures equitable water allocation, conservation, and adaptation, while continuing to aggressively address climate change.

Re-centering Morality in International Development
April 28, 2022
Written by Ishita Batra

A Conversation with Professor Manish Bhardwaj, CEO and co-founder of Innovators in Health

Food Security and Debt: Rebooting Puerto Rican Agriculture as a Path Out of Crisis
April 14, 2022
Written by André Zollinger

Puerto Rico can and should see food security not just as a basic right but also as a potential engine for growth on the island.

How to Save the World's Greatest Deliberative Body From Becoming a Graveyard: Reform the Filibuster
March 31, 2022
Written by Odette Overton

Save democracy, or save the filibuster.

Burnt by Phoenix: Canada's Costly Lesson in Public Financial Management
March 3, 2022
Written by Jack Diao

How can Canada's Phoenix pay system fiasco shed light on ways to avoid program mismanagement and foster sound economic and financial stewardship?

Strengthening New Jersey’s Workforce and Making Higher Education More Affordable
Feb. 3, 2022
Written by TJ Sell

A Conversation with Dr. Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education for New Jersey

Peru's Blueprint for Equity in Higher Education
Nov. 18, 2021
Written by María Luisa Zeta

Can a more flexible admissions process decrease inequality in access to higher education in Peru?

How Mexico Can Help Solve the U.S. Gun Control Problem
Nov. 4, 2021
Written by Francisco Javier García Bellego
Mexico's lawsuit against U.S. gunmakers gives the Biden administration an opportunity to strengthen its gun control plan.
Closing the AI Skills Gap Requires a Whole-of-Society Approach
Aug. 26, 2021
Written by Lynne Guey

We need to think beyond STEM education.

Strategic Influence Operations: A Call to Action
Aug. 26, 2021
Written by Merlin Boone

The U.S. government must reorganize its influence operations apparatus and reshape the strategic nature of American influence abroad.

Education in Emergencies and the Fallout From the COVID-19 Pandemic
Aug. 26, 2021
Written by Samantha Libraty

A Conversation with Yayoi Segi-Vltchek, UNESCO Chief of Section for Migration, Displacement, Emergencies and Education.

Biden’s Plan for Central America Fails Rural Populations Hurt by Trade Deals
June 23, 2021
Written by Galen Hunt
U.S. development aid to Central America in many ways seeks to undo damage done by other wings of the U.S. government. Ultimately, any development strategy for Central America must place the experiences of Central American farmers at its center to be successful.
How New Jersey Political Parties Rig the Ballot
June 23, 2021
Written by Suzi Ragheb

If your political power relies on your ability to confuse voters, then you're running on borrowed time.

Do What I Say, Not What I Do: Decolonizing Language in International Development
June 23, 2021
Written by Matt Kertman
As the International Development community lurches toward decolonization, organizations should begin by modernizing their written communication.