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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

This is a love story: thinking globally during COVID19

April 1, 2020
Today’s post is a must-read on internationalist communications strategies during the Coronavirus crisis. Kirsty McNeill is Chair of the Campaign to Defend Aid and Development and Richard Darlington is Campaign Director. It was originally published on Global Dashboard. Over the last few years, bringing international NGOs together to make the case for aid and development, we’ve been digging deeply into how people think

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

When is eradicating a major disease a disaster for healthcare?

January 30, 2018
Guest post from Laura Kerr, Senior Policy Advocacy Officer (Child Health), RESULTS UK The world is on the brink of a historic breakthrough – the eradication of polio. Cause for celebration, right? Well yes, in terms of getting rid of a killer disease, but because of the way the aid business has distorted health systems around the developing world, the

How introducing electronic votes in Brazil saved lives and increased health spending by a third

February 24, 2017
Just came across a paper which overcame even my scepticism about what often seems excessive hype around technology’s impact on poverty and human rights. Check out ‘Voting Technology, Political Responsiveness and Infant Health: Evidence from Brazil’ by Princeton’s Thomas Fujiwara. He has stumbled across one of those wonderful natural experiments that allow you to try and pin down the causal

Is Brazil’s social/economic miracle running out of steam just as the World Cup arrives?

June 4, 2014
Is Brazil’s shambolic preparation for the World Cup a symptom of a deeper malaise? Oxfam researcher Katherine Trebeck (@ktrebeck) reflects on a recent visit I bandy about the term ‘economic model’ quite a lot, usually prefaced by the word ‘broken’ in reference to the UK’s purported economic recovery. But the UK is not alone in meriting a derogatory descriptor.  In a

Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers – empowerment + healthcare

August 1, 2013
Just finished the paper for the UN on where/how governments have managed to empower poor and excluded groups and individuals. Thanks to everyone who suggested links when I blogged the outline back in June. I’ll do a summary when it’s out, but thought I’d share a few of the dozens of case studies dug up by my brilliant research assistant

Is India getting serious on health? And if so, why?

May 17, 2011

Really CGD? Really? The perils of attack blogs.

March 25, 2011

Using mobile phones to combat medicine shortages in Africa

January 4, 2010
Most of the coverage (and hype) around mobile phones and development is based on their potential to improve access to markets for small farmers, especially those in remote areas and to provide easy ways to transfer small amounts of money in the absence of functioning bank networks. But mobiles, which are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in most poor countries (like a

Can the law advance education and healthcare in poor countries?

November 3, 2009
I recently spent two weeks doing jury service in an inner London court – a grim experience of leaking municipal toilets, undrinkable coffee, frequently incompetent barristers and Dickensian judges, overseeing a squalid litany of petty crime. In between the alleged threats and beatings, I read Courting Social Justice, a new book on the use of the courts to enforce social

Medical myth-busting: Why public beats private on health care provision

February 12, 2009
Today Oxfam publishes Blind Optimism: Challenging the myths about private health care in poor countries, written by my colleague Anna Marriott. She summed up the arguments in this op-ed on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website, and was in Washington this week driving the message home to the World Bank, whose default position of ‘private good, public bad’ has so far proved remarkably