Donald Borenstein


Astoria, NY

Donald Borenstein

Multimedia journalist with experience in covering environmental policy, public & maternal health, critical review, and on-site reporting. With experience as a videographer, along with my audio and video production skills, I can be the one-person multimedia team your publication needs.


Nancy Schwartzman on Fighting Rape Culture Worldwide With Emerging Social Technology

Sexual assault remains distressingly common throughout the world, and too often it’s the victim who gets the blame, says Nancy Schwartzman, filmmaker and executive director of Tech 4 Good , in this week’s podcast. “A lot of services for young women tell them how to dress and to watch their drink,” she says.
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Gorillas and Family Planning: At the Crossroads of Community Development and Conservation in Uganda

“The potential benefits of an integrated approach are not inevitable,” Petruney said. “Effective implementation of such a multi-sectoral program requires some really important adjustments to the single-sector models of the past.” “The staff has to become familiar with a whole new universe of policies, regulations, and guidelines…and evidence, and indicators, and tools,” Petruney noted. “No matter how strong the rationale might be for PHE, or even the commitment of a passionate program to it, I don’t think that these are minor details.” It’s one thing to know about PHE and understand its potential benefits; it’s another to deliver “evidence-based programming” in the real world. The best way to overcome these knowledge barriers is to follow the model of CTPH and FHI 360 and partner with other organizations, she said.
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BALANCED Project Final Survey Results in Tanzania and Philippines

"The BALANCED initiative in Tanzania’s Saadani National Park, “the only terrestrial park in the country with a contiguous marine area,” released the results of a 2012 progress survey on its efforts to create community champions for sustainable natural resource management and family planning awareness. Compared to the last survey in 2009, they found increased family planning awareness, higher contraceptive distribution and usage, and improved discussion and acceptance of contraceptive use from male partners. BALANCED-trained community-based distributors provided contraception to “31 percent of all pill users and 21 percent of all condom users.” Survey results also show a greater community awareness of the impact of individual and collective actions on the surrounding biosphere. The report calls for the continued training of community-based distributors and PHE “champions,” along with outreach to the private sector in order to ensure training and distribution can continue without the permanent presence of the BALANCED Project."
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Friday Podcast: Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka on Gorilla Conservation and Community Health in Uganda and DRC

CTPH’s initial goal was preventing cross-species cases of scabies and tuberculosis, which at the time were affecting both human and mountain gorilla populations. Gorillas, whose historical ranges stretch beyond the confines of the parks, were entering the land of farmers living on the edges and eating their crops, resulting in cross-infection from shared contact and sometimes-violent responses from villagers. CTPH formed “village health and conservation teams” (VHCT) to promote improved sanitation and treat disease in the human communities to help prevent these cross-species vectors. They also created response teams trained to peacefully deal with gorilla incursions. But the community health teams in particular opened up a new world for CTPH. Kalema-Zikusoka notes that a USAID officer at the time said, “We have money for family planning, but we don’t have money for zoonosis.” She says her initial thought was, “No, family planning that’s not what we’re doing, how could we be distributing condoms to people around the national park?” But after taking note of how many impoverished families in the region were stretched thin by having more children than they could handle, Kalema-Zikusoka says they saw how meeting existing demand for family planning could advance their conservation goals by creating healthier families.
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How Effective Are International Efforts to Empower Women? Alaka Basu on Challenging the Patriarchy

Rather than addressing societal structures and attitudes that entrench gender inequality, Basu, who is contributing to a new white paper from the UN Foundation on women’s economic empowerment and reproductive health, sees many efforts to empower the most marginalized women around the world as too focused on the idea of creating marketplace options. “I’m trying to think beyond that way of looking at empowerment and ask, ‘What is meaningful empowerment?’” While NGOs and governments have begun to incorporate women’s empowerment in many development programs, including the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda, popular metrics have struggled to adequately convey whether or not progress is really being made.
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Roger-Mark De Souza on Illuminating the Connections Between Population Dynamics, Resilience, Conflict

FRIDAY PODCASTS: Roger-Mark De Souza on Illuminating the Connections Between Population Dynamics, Resilience, Conflict By Donald Borenstein // Friday, November 22, 2013 “When you look at the resiliency literature, there’s very often discussion around population and population dynamics, but no one ever knows what to do with it,” says ECSP Director Roger-Mark De Souza in this week’s podcast. Speaking to a graduate class at George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, De Souza discusses the role the Wilson Center plays in talking about population and its connections to health, development, the environment, and security. “We work a lot on reproductive health, maternal health, and urbanization, because we see these as critical interventions that lead to global transformations and provide a really good investment opportunity,” says De Souza. “There are some specific interactions we look at – food, energy, and water – when those issues come together what does that mean? How does that lead to conflict? …How does that build resilience?” For example, De Souza notes that in research conducted during his time at Population Action International they found 80 percent of all new civil conflicts from 1970 to 2007 occurred in countries with youthful age structures (60 percent of the population under the age of 30). “It’s not necessarily causality, but there’s some relationship here,” he says. Meeting unmet demand for family planning in these countries could therefore help indirectly reduce the potential for conflict.
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Africa’s Demography, Environment, Security Challenges Entwined, Says Roger-Mark De Souza at Africa Center for Strategic Studies

"Rising sea levels threaten coastal cities and island nations with natural disasters, rising temperatures spread tropical disease to new regions, and increased migration of populations away from coastal and drought-prone regions results in economic and agricultural displacement – a major issue on a continent struggling with refugees, environmental- and otherwise. High vulnerability regions for these varied threats are often mutually inclusive (see above). The PAI study identified 15 “hotspot” countries that have “high projected population growth, high projected declines in agricultural production, and low resilience to climate change.” These nations also face widespread conditions of water stress or water scarcity (defined, respectively, as below 1,700 cubic meters and 1,000 cubic meters of water per person annually). De Souza singled out Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Malawi, and Somalia as particularly vulnerable."
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Donald Borenstein

My work has appeared in publications such as the Associated Press newswire, New Security Beat, Planet Experts, SEJournal, RatingsIntel, HardcoreDroid, and Inflatable Ferret. I am an experienced freelancer in subjects ranging from on-site coverage, environmental journalism, policy review, research and analysis, critical review (television/video games/film/music), and more! I'm also experienced working in Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Audacity, and Photoshop for multi-media coverage.

Please feel free to contact me at at any time.

Profile Photo Credit: Hans Spiegel



  • Audio Editing
  • Critical Review
  • Interviewing
  • Research
  • AP Stylebook
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Photography
  • WordPress Platform
  • HTML
  • Videography
  • policy analysis
  • environmental policy
  • environmental journalism