The Art of Letting Go and the Mandate of Going Further

This piece was previously published in the National Medical Journal of India, Volume 29, Number 1, 2016, pages 30-31, and reprinted with permission.   In Read More


New app lets public help map disasters, conflicts and outbreaks

By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Swiping right or tapping on a mobile phone are not typical ways of helping poor communities, but a new app launched by a medical charity on Friday aims to use technology to help aid workers map areas at risk of conflict, disasters and disease. Using the latest


Thoughts After 22 Years of Consumption and Organizing a Food System Symposium

Sarah Dwyer is passionate about developing a multidisciplinary understanding of the ways that food affects health through her work with a community-led nutrition education program Read More


Aid and the intensity of violence: Can good intentions backfire?

Editor’s Note: The following post is the first in The First Tranche’s “Aid and Conflict” focus series, and was compiled by First Tranche contributor Carolyn Iwicki. It is adapted from a recent AidData working paper — Foreign Aid and the Intensity of Violent Armed Conflict by authors Daniel Strandow, Michael Findley,

More Research Examining Gender Inequality In Public Health Emergencies Needed To Prevent…

The Conversation: Zika and Ebola had a much worse effect on women: we need more research to address this in future Sara Davies, fellow at Griffith University, and Belinda Bennett, professor of health law in the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology “Outbreaks of the Ebola virus … and, more…More

Untangling the complex relationship between aid and conflict with subnational data

Outside actors frequently try to address the causes and consequences of civil conflict by offering aid to “one side” or to innocents caught in the middle. But the international community is still searching for answers to several fundamental questions: When does aid inflame conflict? When does it dampen conflict? Can aid tilt the scales in one direction or another?

Farming or scratching? An innovation dilemma.

A basketball referee almost gets lynched at a match in Brazil when his pea whistle breaks at a crucial point in a game. A real estate agent drops hot coffee over himself after the serviette wrapped around the cup by the barista slips off while he’s driving. And a young man going bald who decides he might as well shave his head completely gets frustrated after finding that traditional razors just can’t do the job. Meet Ron Foxcroft, inventor of the Fox 40 Whistle; Jay Sorensen, inventor of the Java Jacket; and Todd Greene, inventor of the Headblade. I came across the inspiring stories of these three inventors during my flight to Boston earlier today


This started out as a longer essay. Maybe a short book. Now it’s just some random notes. Maybe I’ll finish this book and publish it. Until then, this post

The changing tactics of aid when partisanship runs high

Editor’s Note: A recent addition to the AidData Working Paper Series—Do Domestic Politics Shape U.S. Influence in the World Bank?—investigates how domestic U.S. politics affect the American exertion of influence in international financial institutions, specifically the World Bank. The following post, compiled by First Tranche contributor Carolyn Iwicki,

Suits on the ground: Does "ground game" buy influence?

Does “ground game”— the strength of a development partner’s local presence and direct engagement with recipient government officials — affect how in-country decision makers assess the performance of development partners? AidData’s Listening to Leaders report provides a snapshot of the “ground game” of development partners,

Ten Quick Ways to generate a Blog Post

I’m running a ‘blogging for beginners’ session at LSE today, so thought I’d post this to coincide. Whenever I try and get evangelical about blogging, the anguished cry goes up ‘where do I find the time?!’ I admit I’m spoilt – blogging takes up 30-40% of my 4 days a week at Oxfam. But at five posts a week, that still only works out at …

Beer and Tacos with Samir Doshi from USAID

; Had a fun dinner in Brixton market last week with Samir Doshi, a Senior Scientist at USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab, which describes itself as “an innovation hub that takes smart risks to test new ideas and partner within the Agency and with other actors to harness the power of innovative tools and approaches that accelerate development impact.” This appears to be a novel …

Using Technology to Make Everyone Count

Event Replay Many people don’t think twice when they’re asked to show their ID while opening a bank account or even while waiting in long lines to get a driver’s license. Yet for the 1.5 billion people around the world who don’t have a form of identification, this is the first barrier they face completing these basic – but important – tasks. Harnessing the potential of technology to overcome the challenges of providing unique identification to people across the developing world was the topic of an Annual Meetings seminar on ‘Identification for Development.’ The panel was moderated by the new World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer, and featured Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia; Ajay Pandey, CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India; Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF; Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President of Public-Private Partnerships at MasterCard; and John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at the GSMA, an association of 800 mobile operators.

News in the Humanosphere: Global life expectancy rose by 10 years since 1980

Life expectancy has increased by 10 years across the globe in the past 35 years, thanks in part to efforts to treat infectious diseases such as Aids and malaria, but diet, obesity and drug use are now major causes of death and disability while too many women still die in childbirth, data reveals. The Global

Child dehydration test outperforms WHO standard

The ‘DHAKA score’ assesses dehydration in diarrhoea-affected children best, says new study.

Using community-generated data to deliver and track the Sustainable Development Goals at the…

In partnership with the Open Institute, Development Initiatives has undertaken a pilot study into community-generated data in Lanet Umoja, Kenya. The study’s aims were simple: explore whether communities can assess and identify their own local development priorities using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and help them to generate timely and accurate data that feeds into local and national development intervention plans. This would help ensure the SDGs are met for their community, and that the data is available and accessible in an open format through Lanet Open County portal. The study is due for completion in October 2016 but already it makes a strong case for the benefits of community-generated data. Two rounds of data collection covering 9,136 households have shown that this local approach is more cost-effective in collecting census data.

A Practical Guide for Engaging with Mobile Network Operators to Improve mHealth Outcomes

The field of mobile health (mHealth) is experiencing a real need for guidance on public–private partnerships among players as diverse as the mobile industry, technology vendors, government stakeholders and mHealth service providers. This practical guide for engaging with mobile network operators in mHealth for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health provides a practical resource for mHealth service providers (e.g. developers and implementers) to partner more strategically with one of these critical players – the mobile network operators (MNOs). Despite the growing literature on how to develop partnerships, there is a lack of clear, practical strategies for the health community to engage with MNOs to better scale up mHealth services.

Older Posts »