Muhammad Ashiq, Creative Commons

Broken Lives: A Health Crisis in Palestine

The Arabic word samoud means steadfast perseverance. However, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip Read More

The burden of the gift of aid

The splendor of Lake Atitlán is unreal. No water should be so blue, no sky so clear, no hills so lush. The lake is a Read More

How to take morphine in rural Guatemala

Rosa is a 59-year-old woman dying1 of a broken heart: in her heart is a hole that surgeons cannot fix, and the irregular flow of Read More


All roads lead to Geneva

This week, health ministers from across the world are making the yearly pilgrimage to Geneva for the 70th World Health Assembly. For spectators, the importance of this week extends far beyond the official proceedings shared via livestream. It is about the closed door breakfasts, the high-level side meetings, the sponsored receptions and events, and the general atmosphere in expensive, elite Geneva as it transforms into the centre of the global health world. The stakes are even higher this year with the election of a new Director-General of the WHO at a time when new leadership and vision are sorely needed. Much has been written by Laurie Garrett, Larry Gostin, and others on reforming the WHO.

Public engagement and the role of the media in post-marketing drug safety


WHO Should Not Allow Politics Between Taiwan, China To Hamper Public Health

Nature: Clock is ticking for WHO decision over Taiwan Editorial Board “…For almost a decade, Taiwan — despite not being a member of the United Nations — has been permitted to attend WHO events as an observer. But, so far, its invitation for this year’s event in Geneva has not arrived. That’s because of the…More

U.S. Congress Should Fully Fund International Affairs Programs, Ensure U.S. Foreign Assistance…

Oxfam America’s “Politics of Poverty”: Ebola: It’s not just a health problem Aria Grabowski, policy adviser for accountable development finance at Oxfam America, discusses how the “recent Ebola outbreak in [the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)] serves as a reminder for the need to have integrated development, so every nation can prevent, detect, and respond…More

News Outlets Examine Histories Of Smallpox, Polio Eradication Efforts, Human Testing Of…

New York Times: Retro Report: Politics and Plagues “In bold documentary style, Retro Report looks back at the major stories that shaped the world using fresh interviews, analysis, and compelling archival footage.” This short documentary examines the eradication of smallpox and efforts to eliminate polio worldwide, with a focus on the interplay between global politics…More

Abortion Politics Affect U.S. Foreign Aid; Some NGOs Worry Expanded Mexico City Policy Will…

VOA News: Ideological Divide Over Abortion Again Affects U.S. Foreign Aid “…The deep ideological divide over abortion affects many aspects of American politics, and certainly permeates considerations about U.S. foreign aid. … Restoring the ‘Mexico City policy’ was expected when a Republican administration took over this year, following eight years of Democratic control of the…More

Development Experts React To, Praise Trump’s Nomination Of Mark Green To Head USAID

NPR: Trump’s Proposed USAID Head Knows Aid — And Politics “…The former Republican congressman from Wisconsin [Mark Andrew Green] has been tapped to run USAID — the U.S. Agency for International Development. If confirmed, the 56-year-old Green will take over USAID at a time when global humanitarian crises are mounting. And he’ll have to answer…More

Former U.S. President Obama Speaks At Global Food Conference In Milan

New York Times: Obama Speaks in Milan, With Food as Text and Politics as Subtext “Barack Obama took his first step back onto the world stage on Tuesday, shedding his tie to give wide-ranging, if studiously nonpartisan, remarks during a food and technology conference in Milan. First in a keynote address, during which he often…More

“Real” fast food?

“We’re doing this for modern moms…discerning dads…and all those parents who have a fresh perspective on parenting…. We haven’t forgotten our loyal fans who like to keep things fresh.” It might come as a shock to some to learn that this text is from a McDonald’s ad. For others who have watched the food industry slowly pivot towards the alternative food movement, and acquisition by acquisition, appropriate and capitalize on the most marketable aspects of the movement—this campaign is almost expected. For decades, food researchers such as Belasco, Nestle, and Simon have documented how the largest food and beverage companies have been working to appeal to foodies, nutritionists, and other critics of the industrial food system. Here, I will briefly consider three recent corporate strategies to illustrate some of the challenges and opportunities the food industry faces and the inherent contradictions in these strategies

Blog Post Examines Results Of New Opinion Poll On Australian Politics, Aid

Devpolicy Blog: New opinion data on aid spending, and 2017-18 Federal Budget preview Camilla Burkot, research officer at the Development Policy Centre, discusses the results of a new opinion poll on Australian politics and national opinion trends, writing, “50 percent of respondents to the poll indicated they would like to see ‘assistance to the needy in the…More

Italy’s Measles Outbreak Could Be Result Of Vaccine Skepticism

New York Times: Populism, Politics and Measles Editorial Board “…A serious outbreak of measles in Italy and in some other European countries could well be the result of a drop-off in vaccinations caused by utterly misguided and discredited claims about their dangers. … In Italy, the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) led by the comedian…More

We’re reading about India’s new HIV law as a measure of progress and missed opportunity

Categories: What we’re readingWith funding for HIV responses under threat at home and abroad, a look at the rights that are both protected and unaddressed under India’s new HIV law offers a chance to size up some of the greatest challenges to ending the public health threat of the virus more than three and a half decades into […](Read more…)

Weekly links April 21: hostile attitudes to random assignment, scaling up, we make it easier to…

Congrats to Dave Donaldson for winning the Clark medal this year for his work at the intersection of international trade and development economics (although the economic historians are also claiming him) – here is the NYTimes summary – and here is a recent IGC piece by Dave and co-authors on the barriers to trade in Africa. Dave Evans discusses three further examples of studies that relate to the issue of scaling up RCTs on his personal blog – with a lively discussion on twitter under this thread and this one about what exactly you want to hold constant when thinking about whether the government can scale up a program run by NGOs. Keeping busy, he also blogs about his newly accepted paper on cash transfers and health outcomes in Tanzania, along with links to the data.

U.S. Should Continue To Invest In Preventing Female Genital Mutilation At Home, Abroad

The Hill: Michigan case shows more needs to be done to confront female genital mutilation Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Democratic Caucus “…[D]espite politics, the U.S. should not weaken its investments in critical funding sources like USAID and the U.N. Population Fund that support the culturally appropriate work being done on the…More

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