Charmaine Caparas

Is Migration the New Facebook?


Photo by: Albert González Farran / UNAMID / CC BY-NC-ND

By Charmaine Caparas

One out of seven people in the world uses Facebook and one out of seven people alive today is a migrant. So what, if any, is the connection? Plenty if we are to believe Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who declared this week that he wants to achieve humanitarian goals with his (vast) private sector profits.

Twitter Speeds Up Real-Time Disaster Response


By Charmaine Caparas

If you still don't believe in Twitter, then this new finding could change your mind: Twitter can save lives! According to a recent report conducted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, social network Twitter has played a key role in some of the most destructive natural disasters in the world including the Japan earthquake in 2011 and the monsoon rains in the Philippines in 2012.

Community Mapping 101

By Charmaine Caparas

The map you are looking at tells a story of a potential threat to the coral triangle region of the Pacific, one of the most spectacular dive spots in the world. But what’s different about this approach is that it’s the result of a participatory mapping process, in which a vulnerable community helped identify threats to its socio-economic well-being.  

While it has some of the highest diversity of marine life compared to other countries, as a developing country, the Philippines faces challenges which threaten the environment, not least the pristine undersea world that divers from everywhere flock to. Rampant uncontrolled development too often brings trouble in its wake.

It's Not (only) About Money


By Charmaine Caparas

More than 215 million people across the globe live outside of the countries they call home, most of them originating in the developing world. This is what the diaspora looks like. It explains, in part, why IOM was able to galvanize so much international attention for its ministerial-level Diaspora Conference.  

Tell Me What You Really Think


By Charmaine Caparas

Social media now has tremendous influence over the way people around the world — of all ages — get and share information. In today’s interconnected world, everyone is looking for accountability and value for their money. With more than 1.11 billion Facebook users, 500 million Twitter users and 3 million bloggers, social media is not just as a means to broadcast institutional messages but a way to engage in a two-way conversation with stakeholders. It's the key to finding what people are really talking about and what their needs are.

Whew! 36˚ Summers: So this is What Climate Change Feels Like


By Charmaine Caparas

I've lived in a tropical country all my life yet I still find it impossible to deal with the debilitating heat of summer. A few weeks back, Manila recorded a temperature of 36 degrees Celsius, driving many folks to seek respite inside the city’s many gargantuan shopping malls or just about any enclosed space with air conditioning they could find.