Over the last four years I have visited communities in rural Guatemala with Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance, a civil society organization providing health Read More
Categories: U.S. Policy and Funding, UncategorizedMarking two years since launching the longest emergency response in its history, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an account today of its work since 2014 to control Ebola in West Africa, as well as at home. In a more than 100-page supplement to its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the agency […](Read more…)
I was recently at the Novafrica conference in Lisbon, where one of the keynote talks was given by Stefan Dercon. He based it around a newly released short book he has written with Daniel Clarke, called Dull Disasters. The title is meant to indicate both the aim to make dealing with disasters a dull event rather than media circus, as well as to discuss ways to ‘dull’ or reduce the impact of disasters. Stefan started his talk by noting that disaster relief may well be the part of the whole international development and humanitarian system that is the least efficient and has had the least research on it. The book starts by noting the predictability of responses “every time a natural disaster hits any part of the world, the newspaper headlines ten days later can be written in advance: ‘why isn’t the response more coordinated?’.
Post and Courier: Zika aid first, politics later Editorial Board “Predictably but sadly, Congress left Washington last week without approving funding to fight the deadly Zika virus. Members are pointing to those on the other side of the aisle as the culprits. But voters should see it as a colossal failure of both sides. ……More
The Pap smear, colposcopy, biopsy. These are proven lifesavers that screen women for cervical cancer, but only for the women who can access them. For hundreds of millions of women in low and middle income countries, these technologies and treatment innovations (such as CryoPen and thermal coagulation) are expensive, hard to deliver, and often out […] ; ; ; ;Related StoriesMy 30 years of hope, empowerment, and politics in reproductive healthMy family legacy: delivering health and equity across generationsSmall insects offer big nutrition and opportunity ;
A “meta” problem facing not only impact evaluation work but all development policy dialogue is perverse behavior in the public sector to not pursue evidence-based, technically sound policies. Politics and governance come between statistically significant research results and real impact in the world. We confront these problems in a policy research report that has been described as having transformational implications for the business of international development assistance. And we derive implications for a research agenda that involves atypical impact evaluations that would complement work on how to fix the pipes with work on how to fix the institutions that would fix the pipes.
With the recent publication of its e-RNR (renewable natural resources) masterplan, the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan has joined an exclusive club of only a handful of countries globally, including Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire, to have a concerted national strategy for how to use ICT in agriculture. While many countries have some mention of ICT for agriculture or e-agriculture in national level strategies, such as India, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean Community, they tend to be either a brief reference to agriculture in national ICT plans or a brief reference to ICT in national agriculture plans. Considering the diversity and complexity of the agriculture sector, as well as its sheer size (a third of the world’s workforce are in agriculture), you wouldn’t be wrong in wondering how a few paragraphs in a national ICT or agriculture plan would be sufficient. Given this, it shouldn’t be surprising that ICT for agriculture, despite some successes, generally has not had the same level of impact yet as ICT in other sectors, such as health or education, which have often—but certainly not always—been a bit more organized. There are a number of reasons for this, which I won’t get into here, but one reason may just be the lack of coherent national visions and inclusive action plans aimed specifically at ICT and agriculture that help to align all actors (from regulators to large agribusinesses and technology firms all the way down to smallholder farmers) on a common path
The Guardian: Escalation of Ebola crisis could have been avoided, says World Bank president “The catastrophic Ebola outbreak in West Africa could have been snuffed out as early as the summer of 2014 had sufficient money been available, according to Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president. … In an interview with the Guardian, Kim…More
The Atlantic: Congress Falls Short on Zika “…Lawmakers adjourned [last] week for a seven-week summer recess without passing additional money to fight the Zika virus. Now, federal public health officials are weighing how to stop the spread of infections with no new money coming down the pipeline — and with further budget battles near-guaranteed in…More
Los Angeles Times: Before the spread of the Zika virus, the Vatican allowed contraceptive use in limited situations “On his flight from Mexico back to the Vatican in February, Pope Francis made an unexpected comment about the Zika virus, saying that the outbreak — blamed for serious birth defects around the world — may justify…More
Devex: U.S. government looks to private sector for Zika tools “The U.S. State Department is reaching out to private sector partners to help the Obama administration devise new tools to control and treat the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas. On Wednesday, the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships held roundtable discussions with business…More
Devex: What DfID appointment and new PM’s voting record tell us about ‘May-era aid’ “…With the exception of the Girl Summit, [British Prime Minister Theresa] May has rarely taken a stand on aid-related issues, and little is known about how May’s aid agenda compares to former Prime Minister David Cameron’s relatively aid-positive platform. Her voting…More
Categories: Budget, U.S. Policy and FundingTags: CDC, State Department, USAID, zikaIn February, when the Obama Administration proposed a $1.9 billion package to respond to the Zika outbreak, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden heard it might take three months for Congress to approve it, and he was shocked. Five months later, with the Zika supplemental bill still mired in bipartisan gridlock while […](Read more…)