Policy & Systems


2014 Social Determinants of Health events

2014: Year of the Social Determinants of Health?

As I reflect on the major events of 2014, I’m surprised by the underlying themes of social inequality and a global desire to do things better. Read More


Universal Health Coverage Day

A new global coalition is urging governments to accelerate reforms that ensure everyone, everywhere, can access quality health services without being forced into poverty. The Read More


Congress adds $300 million to PEPFAR for FY15

The world’s largest humanitarian and health program dedicated to defeating a single disease will have more to work with in the coming year, with a Congressional spending bill released Tuesday that increases, or maintains from last year’s allocations almost all areas of global health spending for fiscal year 2015. The bill includes a $300 million […](Read more…)


Effects of a performance and quality improvement intervention on the work environment in…

Background: Human resource shortages and reforms in HIV-related care make it challenging for frontline health care providers in southern Africa to deliver high-quality services.

U.N. Emergency Response Fund Receives Nearly $420M In Pledges, Falls Short Of $450M Request

U.N. News Centre: Donors pledge over $400 million for 2015 U.N. rapid humanitarian response fund “International donors have pledged $418.6 million for a United Nations fund aimed at enabling the speedy delivery of humanitarian aid into the epicenters of crisis zones around the world, falling short of a broader appeal made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon…More

amfAR Grants Will Support Research On HIV Service Delivery Among Key Populations In LMICs

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research: amfAR Announces New Grants to Support Implementation Science Research Among Key Affected Populations “In an effort to address the unrelenting disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender individuals — collectively known as ‘GMT’ — amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS…More

License to Serve: US Trainees and the Ebola Epidemic


Before medical school, Sara L., now a fourth-year resident, worked for 6 years as a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Read More

2014: Year of the Social Determinants of Health?

2014 Social Determinants of Health events

As I reflect on the major events of 2014, I’m surprised by the underlying themes of social inequality and a global desire to do things better. Read More

Tipping the Scale: Lessons from the mHealth Forum about Investments in Collaboration

Much was said at the inaugural Global mHealth Forum in Washington, DC, December 10-11, about bringing mHealth innovations and programs “to scale.”From harnessing interoperability to building local capacity, the buzzword I heard during the plenary, concurrent sessions, fireside chats, and even side events, was scale.In order to really scale up successful pilots and support efficient and effective implementation of mHealth programs—whether they be data collection and mapping new Ebola cases using basic mobile phones or sophisticated diagnostic testing to diagnose pneumonia via smart phones and tablets—we must work in an environment of collaboration.We all say we want to achieve scale, and what we really need is deep collaboration. To truly scale up, partners and stakeholders need to communicate with each other about governance processes, technology structures, results, and best practices.But haven’t you heard this before? Of course; yet, we are failing to achieve scale in many instances. One of the most inspiring conversations I attended was the afternoon session on December 11, “Scale up Starts with Design.”We may traditionally think of design as the technological development of an mHealth application or the creation of a catchy logo, but these conversations focused on designing a program from the standpoint of application stakeholder engagement for implementation. Several presenters talked openly and honestly about investing in collaboration to truly understand people and their agendas.Lesley-Anne Long, Global Director of mPowering Frontline Health Workers, passionately said, “We all say we want to achieve scale, and what we really need is deep collaboration. We need to do it enough to make a difference.”She acknowledged that collaboration is too often crushed by competition: “We cannot lack the courage to meaningfully collaborate with conviction.”Trip Allport from Accenture Development Partnerships echoed these sentiments.“We need to leverage the technology that is out there,” he said.

Innovations in Big Data and Analytics for Development

Image big-data-in-africa.jpg

My colleagues and I have been thinking and talking about the relevance of big data analytics from the international development point of view for some time now. We have been inspired by the work of the United Nations Global Pulse initiative and wondered whether and how the World Bank Group should engage.

Simple But Impactful: Transforming Nigeria’s Vaccine Supply Chain

Image vaccine4.jpg

Vaccine supplies and logistics are a fundamental component of any immunization system. In Nigeria, any hope of achieving the goal of 87 percent vaccine coverage Read More

USAID ‘Grand Challenges’ To Find Innovative Solutions To Global Crises

USAID logo

Devex: USAID’s grand challenges — a model for speeding up the pipeline in global crises “…The U.S. aid agency’s grand challenges approach represent[s] organizationwide and lately even governmentwide efforts to institutionalize innovation, part of what USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah called in a statement on Friday a ‘new model of development — bringing together the world’s…More

Uganda’s History Of Effective Ebola Responses Informing Efforts In West Africa

uganda flag

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Uganda Brings Ebola Expertise to the West African Response Vincent Oketcho, IntraHealth’s Uganda country director, and Richard Seifman, a consultant at IntraHealth, discuss Uganda’s experiences managing past Ebola and hemorrhagic fever outbreaks and how “[i]nternational health officials have acknowledged and tapped into” this expertise (12/15).


I mean, you have to wonder what UNICEF was thinking. For those so far out in the field that they have poor internet, and/or are otherwise simply too busy to click the link, here’s summary, courtesy of Al Jazeera: In an attempt to raise awareness of the conflict in South Sudan, UNICEF traveled to a […]

Uganda Brings Ebola Expertise to the West African Response

More than 30 Ugandans—among them doctors, nurses, health educators, and social workers—have gone to West Africa since August to join the effort to control the ongoing Ebola epidemic.These Ugandan health workers have direct experience with such outbreaks. Over the last 15 years, Uganda has had four Ebola outbreaks (2000, 2007, 2011, and 2012). In each instance, the country’s health system was able to contain the outbreak to the initial site.Uganda was one of the first countries to adopt an integrated disease surveillance and response strategy, put in place laboratory networks, and develop local capacity for social mobilization during epidemics.Now Ugandan health workers are working in shifts alongside their West African counterparts to provide around-the-clock care and maintain strict infection control measures.At its core, this multipronged, long-term approach depends on health workers. International health officials have acknowledged and tapped into Uganda’s experience in dealing with Ebola and other hemorrhagic diseases, yet the Western media has been slow to report on these contributions. Critical to Uganda’s past successes was a cadre of trained health workers who have expertise in managing infectious diseases. This workforce—developed over time—has been regularly reinforced with training that prepares them to identify infectious diseases, manage and control cases, and mobilize communities.Other pillars of Uganda’s effective epidemic response include:   Effective coordination by the National Epidemic Task Force   High-level political support at both national and district levels An effective disease surveillance system An efficient laboratory system for diagnosis An effective case-management system Good psychosocial support for both communities and health workers Strict observance of procedures for infection prevention and control Trained burial teams A public-private partnership to mobilize and deploy resources Success requires local leaders who know what needs to be done.

Kaiser Family Foundation Report: NGO Engagement in U.S. Global Health Efforts

kaiser foundation wiki

Executive Summary:  Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are key partners in U.S. global health efforts. Indeed, a significant share of U.S. government funding for global health is Read More

Achieving UHC Goal Will Help End Extreme Poverty

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Ending Extreme Poverty in Asia through Universal Health Coverage Kristina Yarrow, a senior health technical specialist in the Asia Bureau, and Caroline Ly, a health economist in the Bureau for Global Health’s Office of Health Systems, write, “By financing policies that focus on increasing equity and access to quality essential health services —…More

Older Posts »