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Navigating speculation and contagion conspiracies in Africa

May 6, 2020
Adejoke Adeboyejo is a freelance writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. She writes about healthcare, women and other development issues. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, conspiracy theories have flourished and spread like the virus itself. Some believe the virus is bioengineered, while others say the pandemic is a conspiracy of big pharmaceutical companies or a plot hatched by Bill Gates. A

Book Review:  Getting to Zero – A Doctor and a Diplomat on the Ebola Frontline

March 12, 2019
Guest post by Melissa Parker and Johanna Hanefeld  This excellent book provides a fascinating account of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. It is co-authored by Sinead Walsh, who was Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone at the time of the outbreak and, Oliver Johnson, a medical doctor, who was based at Connaught Hospital in the capital city, Freetown, and head

Twenty five years more life: the real prize for tackling inequality

January 22, 2019
Following yesterday’s post introducing Oxfam’s new Davos Report, one of its authors, Max Lawson, reflects on the links between inequality and public services like health and education Imagine having 25 years more life.  Imagine what you could do.  Twenty-five years more to spend with your children, your grandchildren. In pursuing your hopes and dreams. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a person

Turning ‘Leave No One Behind’ from promise to reality: Kevin Watkins on the Power of Convergence

June 6, 2018
This post is by Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children UK How do you take your Sustainable Development Goals? With a generous sprinkle of motherhood, apple pie and good intentions? If so, the chances are you’re an enthusiast for the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ in the pursuit of the 2030 development targets. Me too. It’s tough

What kind of Evidence Influences local officials? A great example from Guatemala

May 29, 2018
I met Walter Flores at a Twaweza seminar in Tanzania a couple of months ago, but have only just got round to reading his fascinating paper reflecting on 10 years of trying to improve Public Health in Guatemala. It is short (12 pages), snappily written, with a very crisp, hard-hitting thesis, so no need to do more than provide some

The Economist comes out in support of Universal Health Care – here are the best bits

May 3, 2018
This week’s Economist magazine leads on the case for Universal Health Care, worldwide. That’s a big deal – the Economist is very influential, can’t possibly be accused of being a leftie spendthrift, and the case it makes is powerful. A couple of non Economist readers asked me for a crib sheet of the 10 page report, so here are some

Partnering Under the Influence: How to Fix the Global Fund’s Brewing Scandal with Heineken

April 5, 2018
This guest post is from Robert Marten (left, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Ben Hawkins (LSHTM and University of York) The new head of the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Peter Sands recently argued that “the global health community needs to engage with the private sector more rather than less.” Yet even most advocates of public-private partnership

Why is so little being done to stop traffic killing 1.25m people per year, and costing 3% of global GDP? Good new paper.

May 4, 2017
Part of my purpose in life is to puff good new papers from the ODI, and it’s been a while, so here goes. Work in the aid business and you regularly hear grisly tales of deaths, injuries and near misses of colleagues and partners on the roads of the developing world. In Peru, I once had the disorienting experience of

What have we learned on getting public services to poor people? What’s next?

March 24, 2014
Ten years after the World Development Report 2004, the ODI’s Marta Foresti reflects on the past decade and implications for the future Why do so many countries still fail to deliver adequate services to their citizens? And why does this problem persist even in countries with rapid economic growth and relatively robust institutions or policies? This was the problem addressed

What happens if you combine life expectancy and GDP into a single indicator? (You spend more on health)

January 28, 2014
Just been skimming the overview of last December’s report of the Lancet Global health 2035 Commission, chaired by Larry Summers. The report advocates increasing health spending to close the health gap between countries, but the thing that jumped out at me was the practical application of ‘beyond GDP’ thinking in what the report calls the ‘full income approach’: “But while

What’s the the best/worst country in which to feed your family? New Oxfam report.

January 16, 2014
Oxfam researcher and ace number cruncher Deborah Hardoon introduces its new Good Enough to Eat index. Many of us will have overindulged this festive season. According to the British Diatetics Association, the average Brit puts on half a stone at Christmas. And it is not just Christmas Day itself, ‘the whole festive season is riddled with fat traps’. After Christmas,

Day of the Girl (and a small revolution in the birthplace of humanity)

October 11, 2012