Realistic portrayal of the scientific community needed to combat science denial

With the recent release of the movie “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” I’m seeing a few blog posts and articles pop up about the hegemonic Read More


“Access to information literally saves lives:” free access to UpToDate in LMICs

This week, Yannis Valtis joined us for a short conversation about a new paper he and colleagues recently published in BMJ Global Health. Their study Read More


The ethics of “innovation” in global health

Sara Gorman discusses “innovation” in health and development, highlighting the importance of ethical guidelines when implementing new ideas. The post The ethics of “innovation” in global health appeared first on WhyDev.


Randomized Control Trials Feed Our Fetish for Single-Focus Interventions

I am Ed Gaible of Natoma Group and I am here to report that RCT fetishism is alive and well in development. Sometime in the early part of this millennium, Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) as support for decision making began their migration from health-care, among other fields, to the field of development. Early and influential proponents, such as Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Dean Karlan, associated with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), advocated widespread-but-appropriate use of RCTs to guide decisions about issues that included incentives for teachers, provision of mosquito nets, appropriate cropping methods and so on. RCTs, in their view and in mine, can help development practitioners span the yawning gap between intention—the outcomes that we intend to achieve—and impact—what our actions in support of those intentions make happen. That gap was, and perhaps still is, yawning

U.S. Government To Help Fund Technologies Aimed At Detecting, Eliminating Zika, Other Diseases…

Reuters: U.S. to help fund technology to eliminate Zika in blood supply “The U.S. government said on Monday it has agreed to help fund two pathogen reduction technologies to help reduce the risk of Zika virus and other infections from being transmitted through the blood supply. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said…More

Virtual reality: Aid groups play with idea that it could prompt more to care – and give

Virtual reality videos that allow viewers to take an immersive tour of Syrian refugee camps or interact with Burundian refugees in Tanzania is the latest medium in a long list of videos and interactive documentaries that aim to evoke empathy for people suffering amid humanitarian causes. With the world facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, the

Breakfast with explorers

I’m sitting on the top deck of a 747 after British Airways kindly decided to upgrade me to First Class. After a week in Washington DC it feels like a fitting – if not fortunate – end to a crazy and hugely productive, thought-provoking few days. The main purpose of my trip was to attend the National Geographic Explorers Symposium, but that ended up being sandwiched between various meetings for the Global eHealth Foundation, a CARE International workshop, and coffee with a number of old friends and colleagues. There’s nothing like a bit of diversity in your working week.

We Need to Close the ICTforAg Partnership Gap

There was one panel discussion that really stuck in my mind from last week’s ICT4Ag conference, and in particular one speaker: Chris Burns from USAID during the plenary on How Can ICT Increase Food Security? This is not some fawning post to please the donor, but a true appreciation for the content of what Chris said and his eloquence in getting at what I see as really the heart of the matter in any ICT4D work: smart partnerships that leverage comparative advantages. It Takes a Village High-quality ICT work is never the result of one single organization’s efforts; by its very nature it involves multiple parties, from the content creators and the technologists to the channel providers and end users. Despite this inherent need for strong partnerships, we still struggle as a sector to execute on this knowledge—papers have been written about this topic, conference sessions convened, donor dollars put forth to address it. Too often we see development organizations trying, and failing, to do it all—either on their own or through ad-hoc initiatives by allocating a significant budget for a mobile messaging campaign without any funds to develop quality content, or launching a huge mobile data collection effort using a poorly designed tool that has a bad user experience and thus low usability

Realistic portrayal of the scientific community needed to combat science denial


With the recent release of the movie “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” I’m seeing a few blog posts and articles pop up about the hegemonic Read More

The Dangers of Legal Ignorance in Digital Development

Some time ago I was working in a country that had enacted data localization laws requiring that all personal data that originates in that country must also be hosted on servers located within its jurisdiction. Although as of September 2015, only six countries have enacted such strict data localization laws, their combined population covers more than 2 billion people—or about a quarter of the world’s population. Save the date! On October 6-7th, MERL Tech will return to Washington, DC with a focus on the legalities of digital data collection, storage, and analysis. During my time in said country, I met a couple of local NGOs that had been introduced to platforms for mobile data collection by staff from an international NGO.

Gene-Altered Mosquitoes Likely To Be Used As Disease Prevention Method, Bill Gates Says

Bloomberg News: Gates Says Altered Mosquito Is Next Weapon to Fight Malaria “Bring on the genetically modified mosquitoes, Bill Gates says. In recent years, biologists armed with a new gene-editing technology have proposed altering mosquitoes so they’re more resistant to diseases like malaria and dengue. Using a mechanism known as a ‘gene drive,’ the researchers…More

Obama Administration Should Raise Travel Alert To Prevent Spread Of Zika Virus To U.S.

Washington Times: Stopping the spread of Zika Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology “…[N]either the CDC nor the WHO go far enough to protect the health of travelers throughout the world. While CDC alerts include special precautions for pregnant women, the warnings for men and women hardly…More

ICT4Peace at Lions Club Zurich Metropole on Cybersecurity as an international challenge for…

ICT4Peace’s Daniel Stauffacher was invited by the Lions Club Zurich Metropole to give a presentation on 7 June 2016 on the mission of the ICT4Peace Foundation as a policy and action-oriented think tank, to promote cybersecurity and a peaceful cyberspace through international negotiations with governments, companies and non-state actors, and to champion the use of ICTs and media for Crisis management, humanitarian aid and peace building. In particular he mentioned its work since 2004 on improving crisis information management systems of the United Nations at Headquarters and in the field by using modern ICTs and new media. The Cyber-war-threat as an international challenge for states and companies was the main point of his presentation

U.S. House Committee Hears Testimony Regarding Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

CQ Magazine: A British Firm’s Zika Solution Catches Congress’ Eye “Hadyn Parry, chief executive of the British biotech company Oxitec, made a case to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee last month that his firm can help halt the spread of the Zika virus, if only the Food and Drug Administration would let it.…More

Laboratory Tests in the Fight to Save Sight

Laboratory technicians at the Hospital San Antonio in Mitu, Colombia, prepare samples to be run on the trachoma ELISA in June 2016. They will test 3,000 samples collected as part of a survey to determine the impact of mass treatment in the Amazonian district of Vaupes. Trachoma, a disease of the eye caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis, is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. Repeated infections cause the eyelid to turn inward, at which point the eyelashes scrape and permanently scar the cornea.

Public Health or Politics: The Recent History of America’s Gun Epidemic and What Public…

James Michiel is an American public health technologist and writer. He holds an MPH in Epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health, is currently a Senior mHealth Analyst at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and also serves as a Senior Technical Consultant for NCDFREE. In this brief essay, he responds to the Orlando tragedy with an examination of the impact of America’s epidemic of gun violence and how we might use Public Health and Policy to change it. On November 14, 2013, the eminently qualified Harvard physician, Dr. Vivek Murthy, was nominated by President Barack Obama to become the 19th United States Surgeon General.

The Low-Tech Way to Reach Everyone on Earth

We often focus on new technologies – developing the newest app or handing every teacher a tablet – as if they are magic bullets to solving the world’s development problems. While it would be great if this were true, if “innovation” was indeed the answer, we know that the reality is not so simple. A recent article in The Guardian cautions practitioners to “avoid the lure of the shiny gadget”, arguing that the best tech doesn’t need to be the newest tech, a lesson that rings true for us at Equal Access. Our experience is in accordance with other practitioners in ICT4D who argue that older technologies cannot be dismissed, and that technology convergence, rather than the latest new ICT, holds greater transformative potential. The Low-Tech Answer: FM Radio and IVR FM radio is still the most pervasive medium of information in the developing world, with usage and access close to 100% in almost every country

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