By Chloe Hickey-Jones, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.

  • Last week the Development Policy Centre launched the Australian Aid Tracker, a primer website with all kinds of useful information, visualisations, trends, maps and graphs on Australia's aid program.
  • Analysis of the Aid Tracker data is also already underway, with the first piece of commentary from Ashlee Betteridge showing that our humanitarian efforts are coming up short. Currently, Australia is ranked 12th largest OECD provider of humanitarian assistance, although our rank is expected to drop after the 3% humanitarian aid funding cut in the last budget.
  • Start your Monday off with some development trivia and take the Guardian's Global Inequality Quiz. You can also take a quiz over at Devpolicy on your knowledge of Australian aid.
  • Today, the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will convene to discuss the Zika Virus. Research for the development of a vaccine, and new tools to control mosquito populations, are being prioritised. Slate takes it a step further, arguing that we should be aiming to eradicate all of the world's mosquitoes.
  • Edge's Question of the Year 2016 was 'What do you consider the most interesting recent scientific news?' Steven Pinker's answer: that human progress is now quantifiable. He analyses the profound effect this 'feedback signal' has had on development over time. (h/t Max Roser).
  • On 26 January 2016, Campaign for Australian Aid linked up with comedian Tom Ballard to host the #Proudest100, pairing every song in the Hottest 100 to Australian aid efforts. Read WhyDev's analysis of this attempt to mobilise support and positively communicate foreign aid to a wider audience.
  • El Nino in 2016 is set to be the worst on record, with millions of people in Ethiopia, Haiti and Papua New Guinea already feeling the effects of ongoing drought and crop failure. Prices of staple food items (sugar, rice, cocoa, etc.) have increased by 5-10%.
  • Should our race for fast-paced connectivity and the 'fourth industrial revolution' be a priority for all when food and water sanitation are still not a guarantee? Ian Wishart considers that technology is an enabler but that should not necessarily mean it trumps basic needs in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
  • Malala Yousafai and Muzoon Almellehan share their thoughts on the $1.4 billion required to educate Syrian refugee children, saying that while this upfront cost is large, the cost of a lost generation would be higher.
  • This video of Syrian refugee children experiencing snow for the first time thanks to their Canadian sponsors is sure to put a smile on your face and cure Monday-itis: