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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief presents some of the key effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s public school education, focussing specifically on children. It begins with a discussion of the pre-pandemic status of school education and key policy shifts over the past few years, and provides an overview of the principal issues arising from the pandemic and the resulting school closures. It then offers potential policy suggestions to address these challenges, and thereby ensuring quality education to all children.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Children, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Magdalena Stawkowski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people live in and around former nuclear test sites. Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site in Kazakhstan provides both a home and a livelihood for an estimated 50,000 people, but security measures are not yet sufficient to protect them from radioactive waste from the past. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Establish local education programs to prevent unintentional exposure to residual radioactivity ■ Encourage local authorities to promote radiation-safety programs ■ Cordon off and secure unmarked radioactive areas on nuclear test sites ■ Carry out regular radiation monitoring in villages close to nuclear test sites, as well as of livestock
  • Topic: Health, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Leah Zamore, Tayseer Alkarim
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The humanitarian crisis in northern Syria is on the verge of becoming a COVID-19 catastrophe. A decade of conflict has left the healthcare system in ruins—and millions of displaced people in Idlib province were already suffering due to a lack of shelter and sanitation. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic posed to spread to an area with just 600 doctors and fewer than 50 adult ventilators for four million people, the situation is dire. Why is Idlib the last refuge for internally displaced Syrians, and what can donors, international humanitarian actors, and local organizations do to ensure that they are not left behind as the world grapples with COVID-19? This policy briefing by Tayseer Alkarim, Hanny Megally, and Leah Zamore delves into roots of the humanitarian crisis in Idlib, details the current capacity of the exhausted healthcare system amid the ongoing conflict, and examines what these constraints mean for mounting a response to the spread of the coronavirus. The briefing explains how donors and international humanitarian organizations can take action now to support local institutions, increase testing and treatment capacity, improve availability of PPE and public information, and press for an immediate ceasefire. The plight of Idlib is one of the most complex humanitarian dilemmas of our time, influenced by prolonged conflict, a looming COVID-19 outbreak, and the ongoing failure of the international community to take effective action. A further failure to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Idlib will cost lives—and risk global health security further by allowing the virus to spread in one of the places that is least-equipped to contain it.
  • Topic: Health, Conflict, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even as their lack of transparency worsens the public health crisis, the Supreme Leader and other officials have systematically gutted any civil society elements capable of organizing substantial opposition to such policies. Iran’s ongoing coronavirus epidemic has left the people with less reason than ever to trust the information and directives issued by their leaders. Part 1 of this PolicyWatch discussed the clergy’s role in aggravating this problem, but the state’s mistakes and deceptions have been legion as well. They include scandalous discrepancies between official reports after a period of denial that the virus had entered the country; a health system that was unprepared to deal with such a disease promptly and properly; and official resistance to implementing internationally recommended precautionary measures, such as canceling flights from China and quarantining the center of the outbreak. These decisions have sown widespread confusion about facts and fictions related to the virus, the most effective medically proven ways to control it, and the degree to which it is spreading throughout the country. As a result, an already restive population has become increasingly panicked about the future and angry at the state. Yet can the coronavirus actually bring down the regime? The harsh reality is that the state has left little space for opposition to organize around health issues, or any issues for that matter. Instead, it has sought to confuse the people and redirect their anger toward external enemies, even as its own policies contribute to the crisis.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Health, Public Health, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The clergy’s ambitions for global Shia revolution made the city of Qom uniquely vulnerable to the disease, and their resistance to modern medical science weakened the state’s ability to combat its spread. On February 19, two days before the Iranian government officially announced the arrival of coronavirus, an infected businessman who had recently returned from China to Qom passed away. The location and timing of his death illustrate how the Shia holy city and the religious leaders and institutions who call it home have played an outsize role in the disease’s disproportionately rapid spread inside Iran compared to other countries. How did this situation come to pass, and what does it say about the current state of the clerical establishment, its relationship with the regime, and its alienation from large swaths of Iranian society? (Part 2 of this PolicyWatch discusses the regime's role in the outbreak and its resiliency to such crises.)
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Health, Religion, Shia, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas S. Wilkins
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The spread of the novel Corona Virus COVID-19 from the Chinese province of Hebei across the world has resulted in a global pandemic of catastrophic proportions. Certain countries have been affected more severely than others, and there have been glaring disparities in how national governments have responded to the outbreak. In addition to the global death toll of 400,000 (and counting), the industrial and financial disruption has been severe, with the Asian Development Bank estimating the loss to the global economy at between USD$ 5.8-8.8 trillion.1 To overcome the current crisis, and work toward a vaccine, global solidarity, including cooperation through multilateral organizations like the World Heath Organization (WHO), is desperately needed.
  • Topic: Health, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics, Economy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Gregory Claeys, Guntram B. Wolff
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The euro never challenged the US dollar, and its international status declined with the euro crisis. Faced with a US administration willing to use its hegemonic currency to extend its domestic policies beyond its borders, Europe is reflecting on how to promote it currency on the global stage to ensure its autonomy. But promoting a more prominent role for the euro is difficult and involves far-reaching changes to the fabric of the monetary union.
  • Topic: Health, European Union, Currency, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Reinhilde Veugelers, Georg Zachmann
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This Policy Contribution proposes a staged support scheme to tackle the COVID-19 vaccine challenge and a moon shot programme to meet the challenge of future pandemics.
  • Topic: Health, Science and Technology, Innovation, Vaccine, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jens Bastian
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Coordinated Covid-19 crisis management among EU member states took weeks to develop. The initial response was slow, at times contradictory, frequently displaying nation-state unilateralism and obviously divisive. An unprecedented architecture of fiscal and monetary partnership is now building in Europe. The ECB is taking the lead in this construction process, with national governments asserting their political prerogatives while the Commission in Brussels is careful not to overstep the national sovereignty of its member states. As the crisis response to Covid-19 has highlighted manifest fault lines among EU member states, these divisions could morph into bigger controversies during uncoordinated exit strategies. Once the cessation of economic activity can start to unwind, the debate across Europe will accelerate over budget rules, further relief programmes and the demand for debt forbearance.
  • Topic: Health, European Union, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Basheer M. Nafi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that it is a terrible pandemic, but it seems that modern humans have yet to gain the level of wisdom necessary to see through to the catastrophic consequences of their way of life, organizations, and relationships.
  • Topic: Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Simona Guagliardo
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: As the Juncker Presidency hands over its mandate baton to Ursula von der Leyen, all eyes are on the energised new President and her ambitions bestowed upon her cabinet. Despite some progress, more efforts to improve Europe’s health policy is still needed if it is to tackle unprecedented challenges like demographic changes, environmental degradation and the rapidly changing world of work. Newly-appointed Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has been entrusted with a considerable portfolio, indicating an arduous yet promising five years ahead of her. In this Policy Brief, policy analyst Simona Guagliardo argues that von der Leyen’s agenda for a “Union that strives for more” offers a unique opportunity to build a strong case for placing health and well-being at the centre of her policy triad: economic growth fuelled by technological innovation and environmental protection. The EU and its member states must recognise the centrality of people’s health and well-being vis-à-vis economic growth; ensure that health is a constant factor in all policymaking; and deliver on their promises of social fairness, equality and inclusion.
  • Topic: Environment, Health, Science and Technology, European Union, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Claire Dhéret, Simona Guagliardo
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: he COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness of European health systems to absorb a health crisis of this magnitude. In order to fix these existing structural weaknesses and effectively deal with the health challenges brought on by the current pandemic, we need to build a ‘Europe of Health’; an EU public health policy that works across borders and lives up to its citizens’ expectations. Following on from the Franco-German initiative for European recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Claire Dhéret and Simona Guagliardo outline a twofold strategy to foster ‘EU health sovereignty’ and reinforce the EU’s international leadership in health at a time when multilateralism is seriously jeopardised: Foster EU health crisis management capabilities by empowering existing structures, prepare a European stockpile of strategic medical products and equipment, and make better use of the Single Market in the area of health. Strengthen the resilience of national health systems by promoting modern, innovative and patient-centred care, and encourage the creation and use of a common, EU-wide evaluation framework for health care.
  • Topic: Health, European Union, Crisis Management, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Özge Karadağ Çaman, Selma Karabey
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The relationship of human health with social and the environmental factors has long been among the issues that have been dwelled on especially since the beginning of the 19th century. The field of medicine springing from these studies is known as “Social Medicine”. Although developments in pathology and microbiology caused the importance of social factors in the etiology of diseases to be set aside at the end of the 19th century, social medicine has acquired its currency again in later years. Indeed today, we need to read and understand the principles of social medicine more than ever.
  • Topic: Health, Inequality, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Snehal Shah, Avani Kapur, Abhishek Andasu
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: he National Health Mission (NHM) is Government of India’s (GoI’s) largest public health programme. It consists of two sub-missions: National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). Using government data, this brief reports on: GoI allocations and releases; Incentives and penalties to states under conditionality framework; NHM approvals and expenditures as per programmatic components; and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Health Care Policy, Budget, Social Policy, Public Policy, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Sanjana Malhotra
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Swachh Bharat Mission- Gramin or SBM-G is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship rural sanitation programme run by the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MJS). Using government data, this brief reports on trends for SBM-G along the following parameters: Allocations and expenditures; Physical progress of toilets built; Expenditures incurred under Information, Education, and Communication (IEC); Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities; and Coverage and Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Infrastructure, Budget, Social Policy, Rural, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Tenzin Yangki
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief reports on two schemes: a) The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Government of India’s (GoI’s) maternity benefit scheme aimed at providing partial compensation for wage loss and improving health seeking behaviour of pregnant women and lactating mothers, and b) the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) aimed at incentivising institutional and safe delivery to reduce infant and maternal mortality. Using government data, this brief reports on: Trends in allocations, releases, and utilisation; Coverage and payments; and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Health, Health Care Policy, Budget, Women, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Ritwik Shukla, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Ayushman Bharat, under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) was launched by Government of India (GoI) on 23 September 2018. The programme consists of two initiatives: (1) The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY); and 2) The establishment of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). Using government data, this brief reports on the following indicators: GoI allocations and releases; Eligibility and claims under PMJAY; and Number of operational HWCs and diseases screened.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Health Care Policy, Budget
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures, Component-wise trends, Human and physical resources, Coverage, and Malnutrition status.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Budget, Children, Food Security, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Economics & Peace
  • Abstract: The journey out of this global recession will be long and arduous. However two factors may assist countries along this path. The first is high levels of Positive Peace, guaranteeing effective institutions, social cohesion and transparent, representative governments. The second is favourable economic conditions before the onset of the pandemic.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Health, Global Recession, Violence, Economic Policy, Institutions, Peace, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic knows no borders. It further knows no gender, class, or race. This virus does not discriminate, but our societies do. Around the world we have historically built systems and structures that privilege the few and disadvantage the many. When a crisis as unprecedented as the current pandemic hits, inequalities are exacerbated. This holds particularly true for gender equality which, despite encouraging steps forward, no country is on track to achieve by 2030. This not only fails politically marginalised groups, in particular women, girls, and gender nonconforming people, but also greatly hinders the international community’s commitment to foster peace and security. Research shows that the most significant factor in determining a country’s peacefulness (within its borders and towards other countries) is its level of gender equality. Already in early April, the UN warned in its policy brief, “The Impact of COPVID-19 on Women”, that the limited “gains made in the past decades [towards gender equality] are at risk of being rolled back.” Governments and foreign ministries must apply a feminist perspective to their COVID-19 response in order to to prevent a set-back, safeguard existing progress, and advance more quickly toward their goals: A ‘gender-blind’ approach would counteract all previous efforts not only in the area of gender equality, but also in conflict prevention and the pursuit of international peace.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Health, Feminism, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Laurie Zephyrin, Molly FitzGerald, Munira Z. Gunja, Roosa Tikkanen
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are overrepresented in its maternity care workforce relative to midwives, and there is an overall shortage of maternity care providers (both ob-gyns and midwives) relative to births. In most other countries, midwives outnumber ob-gyns by severalfold, and primary care plays a central role in the health system. Although a large share of its maternal deaths occur postbirth, the U.S. is the only country not to guarantee access to provider home visits or paid parental leave in the postpartum period.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Women, Reproductive Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Myanmar simultaneously faces multiple armed conflicts and crises, each with its own challenges. In Rakhine state, the government’s persecution of the Rohingya people has led to massive displacement, as have decades of armed conflict in Kachin and northern Shan states. Combined with chronic underdevelopment, these humanitarian crises have left people without access to adequate healthcare, leading international humanitarian actors to step in. The public health system in Myanmar is generally poor, and government funding for health services is among the lowest in the world. There are wide discrepancies in health services between rural and urban populations and between central and peripheral states. In Rakhine, there are only nine public health workers per 10,000 people, and access to secondary and tertiary healthcare is limited. Community-based or ethnic health organizations provide primary healthcare in many areas without government facilities. In crisis-affected areas, UN agencies and international and local NGOs play an important part in providing healthcare services. However, international action can be unbalanced both regionally and medically. In many areas, health actors have focused on responding to diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, leaving a critical gap in mental health services and clinical health responses to sexual and gender-based violence. Likewise, funding has been imbalanced, with Rakhine state receiving more funding than Kachin or northern Shan. This paper looks at the state of healthcare in Rakhine, Kachin, and northern Shan states, the role of humanitarian actors in the provision of health services, and the trends and challenges affecting the humanitarian health response. It provides several recommendations for improving the humanitarian health response in Myanmar, including: 1. Adjust the scope of the humanitarian response; 2. Advocate for better humanitarian access; 3. Strengthen local capacities, and; 4. Address the dilemmas inherent in providing aid amid a development and human rights crisis.
  • Topic: Health, Crisis Management, Public Health, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Following decades of war, economic decline, and underinvestment, Sudan’s healthcare system entered a new phase of crisis in 2019 as peaceful protests led to the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir. Among those leading these protests were doctors and other medical personnel fed up with poor working conditions and medicine shortages. This speaks to the degraded state of healthcare in the country, particularly in the conflict-affected regions of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. This paper looks at the humanitarian response to health-related needs in these conflict-affected parts of Sudan. After providing an overview of the state of Sudan’s healthcare system, it explores the main trends and challenges in the humanitarian health response, including the difficult partnerships between international and Sudanese health actors, restricted humanitarian access, and the effort to shift toward more sustainable approaches. It concludes that the humanitarian health response in Sudan is stuck: most agree on the need to move beyond short-term approaches, but the national capacity and development funding needed to make this transition are missing. At the same time, with newly accessible areas exposing unmet needs and conflict and displacement ongoing, a robust humanitarian response is still desperately needed. This situation calls for the UN, donors, and health NGOs to continue their efforts to respond to needs while strengthening the healthcare system, to coordinate humanitarian and development funding, and to advocate for maintaining and extending humanitarian access.
  • Topic: Health, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Due to ongoing conflict and insecurity in northern Mali, 1.8 million people require humanitarian health assistance, and 2.5 million are considered food insecure. Given the level of need, Mali’s healthcare system is ill-equipped to respond, and humanitarian health actors play an important role filling the gaps. This issue brief maps the challenges these health actors face and assesses their response. It accompanies a policy paper published in 2018 entitled “Hard to Reach: Providing Healthcare in Armed Conflict,” as well as another case study on provision of healthcare in Nigeria. These papers aim to assist UN agencies, NGOs, member states, and donor agencies in providing and supporting the provision of adequate health services to conflict-affected populations. This issue brief concludes with recommendations for how health actors can improve delivery of health services in Mali: UN agencies, international NGOs, and donors should continue to focus on strengthening and supporting Mali’s community healthcare structures. Military, political, and humanitarian actors need to preserve the humanitarian space in Mali. Relevant UN agencies, local and international health NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should place greater emphasis on noncommunicable diseases, particularly mental health. Humanitarian health actors and donors, as well as development actors and global health actors, should improve coordination with each other on the health response. Humanitarian health actors should better ensure that they are accountable for the health services they provide, in particular to affected populations.
  • Topic: Health, United Nations, Peace, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The humanitarian situation in Nigeria’s northeast is deteriorating, with more than 5 million people in need of healthcare and over 800,000 out of the reach of humanitarian actors. Given this level of need and the poor state of the healthcare system in northeastern Nigeria, humanitarian and other nongovernmental health actors play an important role. This issue brief maps the challenges these health actors face and assesses their response. It accompanies a policy paper published in 2018 entitled “Hard to Reach: Providing Healthcare in Armed Conflict,” as well as another case study on provision of healthcare in Mali. These papers aim to assist UN agencies, NGOs, member states, and donor agencies in providing and supporting the provision of adequate health services to conflict-affected populations. This issue brief concludes with recommendations for how health actors can improve delivery of health services in northeastern Nigeria: Humanitarian health actors should improve coordination both with each other and with global health actors working in northeastern Nigeria. Relevant UN agencies, local and international health NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should scale up the response to under-prioritized health services. Humanitarian and development NGOs, donors, and the Ministry of Health should focus efforts to implement the humanitarian-development nexus for health services on areas where it is relevant and feasible. Humanitarian health actors should improve their accountability for the health services they provide. Humanitarian donors need to ensure that counterterrorism clauses in their funding contracts are not overbroad and do not impede neutral, independent, and impartial aid.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Identifying effective ways to prevent forms of gender-based violence (GBV) among adolescents and youths is vital to reduce rates of GBV. Adolescents are uniquely impacted by GBV: their young age and inexperience with relationships can heighten their risk for physical and sexual intimate partner violence. Being a victim of GBV during adolescence can lead to long-lasting negative mental and physical health outcomes, and can set young women on a trajectory for subsequent abuse.
  • Topic: Health, Gender Based Violence , Youth, Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence
  • Political Geography: Moldova, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, Swaziland
  • Author: Ritwik Shukla, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief reports on two maternity benefits schemes, offering conditional cash transfers to pregnant women and mothers: a) The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Government of India’s (GoI’s) scheme aimed at providing partial compensation for wage loss and improving health seeking behaviour of pregnant women and lactating mothers, and b) the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) aimed at incentivising institutional and safe delivery for reducing infant and maternal mortality. Using government data, this brief reports on: Trends in allocations, releases, and utilisation, Coverage and payments, and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Health, Budget, Women, Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures; Component-wise trends; Human and physical resources; Coverage, and Outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Health, Budget, Children
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Janvier Mwisha-Kasiwa
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Health is both a direct component of human well-being and a form of human capital that increases an individual’s capabilities and opportunities to generate income and reduces vulnerability. It is argued that these two views are complementary, and both can be used to justify increased investment in health in developing countries. Therefore, investment in child health constitutes a potential mechanism to end the intergenerational transmission of poverty. This paper examines the empirical impact of household economic well-being on child health, and the gender differences in effects using the Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2014. A series of econometric tools are used; the control function approach appears to be the most appropriate strategy as it simultaneously removes structural parameters from endogeneity, the sample selection and heterogeneity of the unobservable variables. Results suggest a significant positive effect of household economic well-being on child health. However, the magnitude of the effect varies by gender of household head; children from households headed by males appear healthier compared to those from female-headed households. In the context of DR Congo, female-headed households often have a single parent, therefore, the economic well-being effect on child health in the male sub-sample can be considered to include the unobserved contribution of women. These results have implications for public interventions that enable women to participate in paid labour market activities as a means of improving household economic well-being, which in turn could improve child health.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Health, Health Care Policy, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Sandra E. Black, Jesse Rothstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP)
  • Abstract: While private provision of goods often yields the efficient outcome, there are a number of goods that are not efficiently provided in the private market. Here, we outline two such situations: investments in child care and education, and insurance against risks created by business cycles, poor health, and old age. Because private markets work poorly for these goods, and the costs of market failure are large, standard economic reasoning implies a significant role for government provision. The reduction in economic insecurity that this would bring could help to improve political stability as well, by reducing the stakes that people perceive in discussions of trade, immigration, technological change, and countercyclical policy (Inglehart and Norris, 2016). Many observers (e.g, Hacker, 2018) have pointed to economic anxiety as a potential contributor to populist reactions in the U.S. and many European countries; a public sector that acts to reduce the risk that households face could ameliorate this, generating political spillovers and improving the state of the country more broadly.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Health, Health Care Policy, Children, Economic Policy, Economic Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Ilyana Kuziemko
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP)
  • Abstract: My read of the evidence (and my own social welfare weights, which place great weight on the un- and under-insured as well as middle-class workers who are implicitly taxed via expensive health plans) lead me to conclude that Medicare for All would increase welfare in the US. However, I also want to highlight what I consider the biggest risks of such a policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Georgia Spiliopoulos, Stephen Timmons
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Research Institute, University of Nottingham
  • Abstract: Non-British nurses working for the National Health Service (NHS) face a number of challenges, which must be addressed in the context of ongoing Brexit negotiations. Since the 2016 Referendum result to leave the European Union (EU), the number of EU nurses registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) plummeted in 2017 by 96% – from 1,304 EU nurses registering with the NMC in July 2016 to just 46 in April 2017 (Siddique, 2017). This drop in numbers is also linked with the number of EU nurses leaving the UK (Matthews-King, 2017). A recent NMC report (2019) published a 1% increase, for the first time in three years, in the number of new nurse registrants, for the period between April 2018 and March 2019. This increase translates into 6,000 nurses from the UK, EU and overseas. These numbers, while encouraging, reflect the changes in international recruitment from EU and non-EU countries, and importantly the impact of Brexit on the retention of both EU and non-EU nurses. This paper recommends measures to support the retention of these nurses.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Brexit, Public Health
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Asia
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In the past decade, counterterrorism measures have had an increasingly adverse impact on the provision of medical care and the conduct of principled humanitarian action in armed conflict settings. Whether inadvertently or not, they have impeded, and at times prevented, the provision of essential and lifesaving aid, often in violation of international humanitarian law (IHL). This paper aims to assist the Security Council, relevant UN organs, UN member states, and other stakeholders in upholding their obligations under IHL. It maps the UN counterterrorism framework and looks into the extent to which it guides states in complying with these obligations. In doing so, it offers several recommendations for the way forward: All UN resolutions and other UN and national policies that pertain to counterterrorism should contain an exemption for humanitarian activities. Every relevant UN counterterrorism measure should continue to reiterate that counterterrorism efforts need to comply with international law. Humanitarian actors should engage with UN counterterrorism structures more actively, strategically, and systematically. UN bodies that engage in counterterrorism should systematically include humanitarian actors in relevant conversations. The UN Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate and Office of Counter-Terrorism should better integrate IHL considerations into their work. Member states, UN entities, humanitarian actors, counterterrorism and sanctions experts, and other stakeholders should step up efforts to start a wide political discussion on tensions between counterterrorism and humanitarian action.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alice Debarre
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Armed conflict is a global health issue. Long-lasting and protracted conflicts in particular have consequences not only for the war-wounded but also for the health of entire communities. Over the years, global health actors and humanitarian health actors have developed health policies, guidelines, frameworks, and structures to improve delivery of health services in emergencies or humanitarian crises. Despite these advancements, however, the international health response in conflict-affected settings still faces gaps and challenges. Some policies and frameworks need to be rethought or redesigned, while others need to be better implemented. This paper explores challenges to healthcare provision in conflict-affected settings. These challenges are broadly broken down into three categories: constraints related to the health system and damaged health infrastructure, difficulty for health workers to access populations in need, and restrictions to healthcare provision intentionally or accidentally placed by donors or states engaged on humanitarian and health issues (e.g., through the securitization of healthcare). Tackling these challenges will have a direct impact on the lives of people in conflict-affected settings. However, doing so requires a radical shift in mindsets and the incentives that guide the actions of international health actors. Even so, more incremental changes can also be beneficial. To that end, this report puts forth the following recommendations: Improve coordination between and among humanitarian, development, and global health actors; Respond to context-specific needs; Hold health actors accountable to affected populations for their performance, and; Make responses sustainable. This work is based on a combination of desk research, interviews with more than seventy key informants, and an expert meeting bringing together key stakeholders and experts on global and humanitarian health.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On the 11th and 12th of February 2018, the “2nd Turkey–Africa Ministerial Review Conference” transpired in Istanbul. The Conference was held under the tutelage of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. In participation was the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, H. E. Thomas Qwesi Quartey together with several foreign affairs ministers of African countries as well as AU representatives. Considering that a Turkey–Africa Summit is scheduled to be held in 2019 in Turkey, this TurkeyAfrica Ministerial Review Conference was held to evaluate the progress of Turkey’s Africa partnership so far in conjunction with steps that could be taken to even solidify this special relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, Health, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Conference
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Koltun, Brittany Mcnena, Nawroos Shibli
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The 2013 West African Ebola crisis exposed two weaknesses: the inability of the international community to rapidly mobilize an effective response and a lack of adequate domestic health care systems for epidemic preparedness response. While a number of proposals have addressed gaps in the international response, none have yet addressed the remaining issue of building adequate domestic health systems. Although the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 2005 International Health Regulations require that all member countries develop and implement a core set of health system capacities, funding constraints have prevented many low-income countries from meeting these requirements. This brief proposes that the World Bank, in collaboration with the WHO, should develop a Pandemic Prevention Program to assist low-income countries in building strong and robust health systems. This program would assist low-income countries in meeting their international obligations, while ensuring sustainable national ownership in order to prevent the next infectious disease epidemic.
  • Topic: Health, Infectious Diseases, World Bank
  • Political Geography: West Africa
  • Author: Tanisha M. Fazal
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief is based on "Dead Wrong? Battle Deaths, Military Medicine, and Exaggerated Reports of War's Demise," which appears in the summer 2014 issue of International Security.
  • Topic: Health, War, Military Strategy, Budget
  • Author: Stewart M. Patrick, Jeffrey Wright
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Globalization has transformed the marketplace for medicines in recent decades, giving rise to new threats including the poor traceability of global supply chains, counterfeit and substandard medicines, and antibacterial resistance. Aware that public drug authorities must cooperate to meet the emerging challenges of modern medicines regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been discussing with counterpart agencies abroad creating a"global coalition of regulators." Yet a coalition alone is not enough; the devil, as always, will be in the details. In pursuit of this goal, the FDA and partner medicines regulatory agencies should design a coalition with five distinct features: narrow scope, to promote realistic goals; flexibility, to adapt to future circumstances; selective membership, to maximize like mindedness, particularly in the early stages; nongovernmental (NGO) participation, to leverage the capacities of both NGOs and for-profit corporations; and institutional partnerships, to orchestrate the activities of other regulatory organizations.
  • Topic: Globalization, Health, International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Author: Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: From the pulse-racing fi ght for hockey gold between Team Canada and Team USA, to Darya Domracheva's three straight biathlon wins, to Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst becoming the most decorated athlete at the Games, the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February reminded us that women have come a long way in the world of sports. First allowed to join men in 1900, female Olympians were initially limited to lawn tennis, croquet, and golf. By 2014 ski jumping has followed boxing as the newest sport open to women, and women and men now compete in nearly all the Olympic sporting events.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Health, Culture, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Antto Vihma, Harro van Asselt
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Notwithstanding the incremental steps taken in October 2013, meaningful action on regulating international aviation emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) remains a distant prospect. The European Union (EU) must decide on its aviation Directive without the guarantee of a global market-based mechanism being agreed in 2016. The strong and uncompromising positions of countries opposed to the inclusion of foreign airlines in the EU's emissions trading system (ETS) are more related to a realist game of politics rather than to the design details of the policy instrument. The political and legal arguments against the European Commission's proposal to amend the EU ETS vis à vis aviation emissions are unconvincing. Europe should also insist on its own sovereign rights-such as the right to regulate international aviation in its own airspace-and consider ways of manifesting more assertiveness in the future in order not to create a precedent with the retreat in the Aviation Directive case. Otherwise, the EU ma y become vulnerable to pressure in other areas of regulation with extraterritorial implications, and the EU's credibility when faced with strong and coordinated external influences might be undermined.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Health, Treaties and Agreements, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health has prioritized reproductive, maternal and child health by increasing access to a range of family planning methods, introducing education on reproductive health issues in schools, and working with the religious community to counter stigma on family planning.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Gender Issues, Health, Human Welfare, Social Movement, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In November 2013 Peru's Ministry of Health, in collaboration with other ministries, civil society partners, and youth organizations, launched the Multi-sectoral Plan to Prevent Adolescent Pregnancy. The plan prioritizes the reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls in a national development and public health framework.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Anna Marriott, Jessica Hamer
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has publicly stated that achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and equity in health are central to reaching the two new overarching World Bank Group goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity. Jim Kim has also rightly emphasized the need to close the gap in access to quality health services for the poorest 40 percent of the population and to eliminate point-of-service payments that impoverish people in every country.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Foreign Direct Investment, World Bank, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sophie Bloemen, Tessel Mellema, Leïla Bodeux
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The failure of the current pharmaceutical research and development (R) system is revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) alert about the lack of effective medicines to address antimicrobial resistance, and the absence of a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging communities in West Africa at the time of writing.
  • Topic: Health, International Trade and Finance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is totally unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are providing a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy, Ebola
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Alberto Vargas
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Muchas de las comunidades de El Salvador tienen una baja resiliencia (su capacidad de enfrentar y recuperarse de los efectos de los desastres es muy limitada). Existen comunidades que a causa del cambio climático están enfrentando diversos eventos cada uno o dos años.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Health, Human Welfare, Food
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Samantha Bradshaw, Alan Whiteside
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, tremendous progress has been made in the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria globally. The international community has played a key role in this progress and remains committed to the fight, but as implementing countries' economies grow, they are progressively graduating from international support. This could leave national governments, especially health ministers, uncertain about the future of financing available for their national health programs. Without sufficient resources from both domestic and international resources, there is a risk of resurgence of these diseases. If these trends continue, there may not be a "grand convergence" in health by 2035, resulting in enormous economic and social costs.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Katie Saulnier
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University
  • Abstract: Aboriginal groups present with sub-par outcomes in key indicators of well-being across the board. Increased capacity for self-governance presents one possibility for improving these outcomes, but its implementation is complicated by historically acrimonious relationships with federal governments and the larger context of attempting to rectify the complex harms done by colonialism. The solution involves finding the right balance between creating spaces for self-governance and providing the necessary federal assistance where appropriate. This paper discusses the structure of and approaches to Aboriginal self-determination and selfgovernance in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, with a view toward assessing which approaches could prove effective in Canada. It does so through a variety of lens and by examining impact assessments in a number of key areas.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Health, Infrastructure, Self Determination, Economy, History , Colonialism, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Australia, New Zealand, United States of America
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Claudia Luepschen, Ruediger Kuehr, Federico Magalini
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: ZeroWIN (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks) is a five-year project (2009-2014) under the European Commission's Seventh Research Framework Programme. The ZeroWIN project has developed effective strategies for waste prevention through industrial networks. Ten industrial case studies in the automotive, construction, electronics and photovoltaic industries form the core of the project and exchange energy, water and materials in such a way that waste from one industry becomes raw material for another. This brief suggests what can be done to advance the implementation of industrial networks in practice, based on first outcomes of the ZeroWIN project. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 226752
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Health, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sefano Burchi, Pasquale Steduto, Eelco van Beek, Patrick MacQuarrie, Anton Earle, Anders Jägerskog, David Coates et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This Brief offers a working definition of water security developed from contributions made by the broad range of organizations, agencies, programmes and institutions that form UN-Water. Through this Brief, UN-Water aims to capture the constantly evolving dimensions of water-related issues, offering a holistic outlook on challenges under the umbrella of water security. It highlights the main challenges to be addressed, the role water security plays in policy agendas, and possible options for addressing water security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: David Nusbaum
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Nuclear research reactors are used in many countries for many different purposes. Most of the reactors are used for research (mainly in physics), training for nuclear operators and engineers, materials testing in radiation conditions, or the production of radioiso¬topes for medicine and industry. Some countries, like Iran, are building new reactors ostensibly to fill these needs. Many of these reactors operate with highly enriched uranium (HEU) nuclear fuel — in most cases, enriched to around 90 percent, the same as fuel for nuclear weapons. The production and fabrication of HEU fuel, and the handling, transport, and storage of both fresh and spent fuel containing HEU entails considerable proliferation, security, and safety risks as well as very high costs. The global stockpile of highly enriched uranium was about 1500 tons in 2012, which was enough for more than 60,000 simple, first gen¬eration implosion weapons. About 98 percent of this material is held by the nuclear weapon states, with the largest HEU stockpiles in Russia and the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Education, Energy Policy, Health, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran
  • Author: Owen Barder, Petra Krylová
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world's richest countries on policies that affect the more than five billion people living in poorer nations. The CDI goes beyond measures of foreign aid to quantify performance in seven areas: Quantity and quality of foreign aid Openness to trade policies that encourage investment and financial transparency Openness to migration Environmental policies Promotion of international security Support for technology creation and transfer Why does the CDI matter? Because in an integrated world, the behavior of rich countries and powerful institutions can profoundly affect the lives of people in poor countries and because poverty and weak institutions in developing countries can breed public health crises, security threats, and economic crises that know no borders. Committing to policies that promote development and well-being is a global imperative: no human being should be denied the chance to live free of poverty and oppression and to enjoy a basic standard of education and health. The CDI countries all promote respect for human life and dignity; the Index looks at whether the policies of rich countries match these aspirations.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Education, Health, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State
  • Author: Caroline Green
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In every humanitarian crisis, humanitarian agencies, donors , and governments should seek to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG ) and gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies, by: Reducing the risk s of GBV/ VAW G for beneficiaries of humanitarian programmes; Supporting long-term efforts to tackle the causes of GBV/VAWG in recovery and transition strategies; Supporting survivors' access to safe, confidential services ; and Placing all of the above in the context of efforts to tackle the broader gendered impacts of crises , in order to meet the needs of women, men, girls and boys , and to find opportunities to promote women's rights and gender equality in the long term . As well as encouraging other actors to undertake these actions, Oxfam is committed to promoting gender equality and preventing GBV/VAWG, through the implementation of its Minimum Standards for G ender in Emergencies. In addition, and particularly in conflict and transition contexts , donors, governments, UN agencies, civil society, armed forces , and peacekeepers, should advance women's rights, and undertake special measures to ensure their protection from GBV/VAWG.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Government, Health, War
  • Author: Cecile Untemaehrer
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The right of citizens to hold public officials to account is at the heart of democratic governance. When citizen oversight is absent and the power to allocate public resources lies in the hands of a few decision makers, it is all too easy for resources to be diverted from their intended use and abused for private gain. Such corruption denies people the health care, education, and other public services to which they are entitled, and which would otherwise give them the means to work their way out of poverty.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Education, Health, Poverty, Governance
  • Author: Ceri Averill, Anna Marriott
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Described by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan, as 'the most powerful concept that public health has to offer', Universal health coverage (UHC) has risen to the top of the global health agenda. At its core, UHC is about the right to health. Everyone – whether rich or poor – should get the health care they need without suffering financial hardship. For Oxfam, UHC means that everyone has the same financial protection and access to the same range of high quality health services, regardless of their employment status or ability to pay.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Author: N Kilonzo, E Dartnall, M Obbayi
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: As many as seven in ten women in the world report experiencing physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime [1]. The impact of sexual violence on health, productivity, economy and a country's ability to achieve its development goals is well documented [2]. States have a responsibility to enact and enforce laws that protect their citizens from sexual violence. Where protection fails, there is a responsibility to provide survivors with the requisite services to address the physiological, psychological consequences and ensure they receive positive justice outcomes. However, few countries have the policy, legal environments and service infrastructure to respond or influence uptake of health, social and justice related services by survivors of sexual violence [3]. For example, 127 countries still do not have effective laws on marital rape even though it is a crime under international law [4]. Cultural beliefs and societal responses can be major barriers to victims seeking help post assault. A range of sectors are required to deliver services to survivors of sexual violence including health, criminal justice and social services [5, 6]. In many countries around the world, post rape care is often fragmented, of limited scope, coverage and quality, focusing mainly on immediate clinical care with poor medico-legal linkages [3], with limited attention given to mental health needs of survivors and service providers [7, 8]. Follow up and long-term management of sexual and reproductive health including HIV outcomes of survivors is severely lacking.
  • Topic: Crime, Development, Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Author: Robert A. Manning
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Six years ago, Bill Gates created a buzz in the high tech community when he published an article in Scientific American suggesting robotics was becoming the next "new thing." Entitled "A Robot in Every Home," the Microsoft cofounder's essay argued presciently that the state of robotics paralleled that of the computer industry in the 1970s when it approached a tipping point, launching the PC revolution.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Science and Technology, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Shelley Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University
  • Abstract: The premise of this policy brief is simple: The most effective way to dramatically reduce maternal and child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade is to invest in adolescent girls’ educational and economic opportunities today. The goals set forth by MDG 4 (decrease child mortality by two thirds) and MDG 5 (reduce maternal mortality ratio by 75%) are already unlikely to be reached by 2015. What is more, we will continue to fall short of these objectives over the next ten years if the developmental needs of adolescent girls continue to be neglected. Continued investment of resources to improve access to high quality health services, medical treatments, and technology development are necessary and important to reach these goals. But they are not sufficient as long as the root causes of poor maternal and child health outcomes remain unaddressed. Devoting resources to improving the social and economic opportunities of adolescent girls offers a proactive approach with multiple long-lasting effects on not only these girls directly, but also on their future families and communities. The profound effect of women’s education on child survival is well-established. Improvements in women’s education account for half of the decline in child mortality since 1970. Other equally impressive effects are less well-known. Girls who attend secondary school, for example, delay sexual debut, pregnancy, and marriage by several years, resulting in lower rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV, teen pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and single adolescent motherhood. Consequently, increasing girls’ schooling will make their pregnancy and motherhood experiences safer and reduce maternal mortality. Alleviating adolescents’ poverty and developing their income-generating skills will also offer girls alternatives to early motherhood and marriage and provide them and their families with the economic resources to improve their nutrition, sanitation, and utilization of health services.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Children, Women, Youth, Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Andy Sumner, Denizhan Duran
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: After a decade of rapid economic growth, many developing countries have attained middle-income status. But poverty reduction in these countries has not kept pace with economic growth. As a result, most of the world's poor—up to a billion people—now live in these new middle-income countries (MICs), making up a “new bottom billion.” As the new MICs are home to most of the world's poor, they also carry the majority of the global disease burden. This poses a challenge to global health agencies, in particular the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund, which are accustomed to disbursing funds on the assumption that the majority of poor people live in poor countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Poverty
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Paul Wilson
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people every year and is among the leading causes of death for children under five. While funding for malaria control increased dramatically in recent years, gains are fragile and budgets are now stagnating. In that fiscal reality, getting better value for money is more important than ever. In this brief, we present a framework for increasing the efficiency of malaria-control initiatives that addresses where to intervene, what interventions are best, and how to deliver them most effectively. Much of what is spent on malaria control is already spent well, but health policymakers and practitioners could get better value and save more lives by implementing the following recommendations: Improve procurement procedures for bednets. Reduce overlap of insecticide-spraying and bednet programs. Expand the use of rapid diagnostics. Scale up intermittent presumptive treatment for pregnant women and infants.
  • Topic: Health, Infectious Diseases
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Kalipso Chalkidou
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Health donors, policymakers, and practitioners continuously make life-and-death decisions about which type of patients receive what interventions, when, and at what cost. These decisions—as consequential as they are—often result from ad hoc, nontransparent processes driven more by inertia and interest groups than by science, ethics, and the public interest. The result is perverse priorities, wasted money, and needless death and illness. Examples abound: In India, only 44 percent of children 1 to 2 years old are fully vaccinated, yet open-heart surgery is subsidized in national public hospitals. In Colombia, 58 percent of children are fully vaccinated, but public monies subsidize treating breast cancer with Avastin, a brand-name medicine considered ineffective and unsafe for this purpose in the United States.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Colombia
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Denizhan Duran
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Health is one of the largest and most complex sectors of foreign aid: in recent years, about 15 cents of every aid dollar went to global health. While health is often cited as one of the few undisputed aid success stories, there is little quantitative analysis of the quality of health aid, and some studies suggest that health aid does not necessarily improve health outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Why does the CDI matter? Because in an increasingly integrated world, the behavior of rich countries can profoundly affect the lives of people in poor countries and because poverty and weak institutions in developing countries can breed public health crises, security threats, and economic crises that know no borders. Committing to policies that promote develop- ment and well-being is a global imperative—no human being should be denied the chance to live free of poverty and oppression and to enjoy a basic standard of education and health. The CDI countries, all democracies, preach concern for human life and dignity within their own borders; the Index looks at whether rich countries' actions match their words.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Health, Poverty
  • Author: Robert Maguire
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Women are Haiti's 'potomitan' (centerposts), playing pivotal roles in matters of family, education, health, commerce and the economy, and agriculture. Gender-based violence has been and continues to be a very real threat to the security and well-being of Haitian women and their families. Deficient access to education and healthcare, and misguided agricultural policies, have exacerbated women's burdens. Improved social, economic and political empowerment of women is vital to rebuilding Haiti.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Economics, Education, Gender Issues, Health
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Investments in family planning yield demonstrated social and economic returns in all sectors—food, water, health, economic development—yet are one of the least well-funded areas in global health. More than 215 million women want the ability to choose when and how many children to have yet do not have access to voluntary family planning services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Health, Food
  • Author: Marc Cohen
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January 2010 resulted in one of the largest and most complex humanitarian emergencies in history. In response, humanitarian agencies undertook one of the biggest and most challenging operations ever, mainly in a densely urbanized area.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Author: Roger Middleton
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2011 the world waited for the UN to declare famine before providing assistance on the level needed to save lives in Somalia – this delayed response wasted lives and money. We are now seeing warnings of Somalia slipping back into crisis and cannot afford to make the same mistake again – we should respond now, and in force, in ways that make people better able to withstand the next disaster to strike.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Islam, United Nations, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Recent progress in controlling malaria is a major development success. Thanks to external aid and domestic financing the proportion of children in sub - Saharan Africa sleeping under a bed net has increased from 2 per cent to 39 per cent in the last 10 years. This has brought down the number of malaria deaths dramatically in many countries, such as Namibia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Senegal and Zambia, where deaths have been cut by between 25 and 50 per cent.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infectious Diseases
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Senegal, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia
  • Author: David P. Aldrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Over the past fifty years, Japan has developed one of the most advanced commercial nuclear power programs in the world. This is largely due to the government's broad repertoire of policy instruments that have helped further its nuclear power goals. These top-down directives have resulted in the construction of 54 plants and at least the appearance of widespread support for nuclear power. By the 1990s, however, this carefully cultivated public support was beginning to break apart. And following the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 and resulting nuclear crisis in the Fukushima nuclear complex, the political and social landscape for energy in Japan has been dramatically altered. The crisis has raised and reinforced environmental concerns and health fears, as well as skepticism about information from government and corporate sources. A civil society that for decades has appeared weak and nonpartcipatory has awakened and citizens are carrying out bottom-up responses to the accident, effecting change with grassroots science and activism.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Health, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood, Erwin van Veen
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Contemporary organized violence has evolved beyond the now rare interstate conflicts that marked the first half of the twentieth century, and even beyond the intrastate conflicts of the 1990s that tended to feature a government and a rebel group. Organized violence is a broad notion that refers to the use or threatened use of force by groups to inflict injury, death, or psychosocialharm. In this brief we focus on forms of organized violence that have a significant international impact and are most likely to trigger an international response as a result.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Crime, Development, Health, Peace Studies, United Nations, War, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Author: Julia Langbein
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: In December 2011, the European Union (EU) and Ukraine completed their negotiations on an Association Agreement (AA), including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The DCFTA does not only foresee the reduction of custom tariffs but seeks to foster regulatory convergence through which Ukraine is expected to unilaterally converge its national regulatory practices and government arrangements to the EU model in a number of areas such as technical standards, food safety, state aid, and company law. Up to now, the EU did not sign the AA as a reaction to the deteriorating political rights and the rule of law, exemplified by the increasing politicization of Ukraine's judiciary system during the trail against ex-Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. It is in the hands of the Ukrainian government to change the domestic situation so that the AA and the DCFTA can be signed. However, once the DCFTA will be set in force, the EU is well advised not to leave Ukraine alone with the challenge to implement all its provisions. The EU needs to develop a new approach to ensure the successful implementation of the agreement and to maximize the effectiveness of the EU's impact on regulatory convergence in Ukraine. It is necessary for the EU to flank the incentive of market access with capacity-building measures that do not predominantly target state authorities but also increase regulatory capacities of private stakeholders such as firms and business associations.
  • Topic: Security, Health, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Food, Law
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: R Jewkes
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Rape can have an enduring impact on the lives, and health of victims, their families and communities. Both men and women perpetrate sexual violence (Sikweyiya and Jewkes 2009), however the majority of sexual offences are committed by men (Steffensmeier and Zhong et al 2006). Research on what drives perpetration of rape and other forms of sexual violence is needed to inform prevention programmes–for this it is necessary to study men. This briefing paper summarises the key issues drawn from a larger review on rape perpetration including research on risk factors for sexual violence perpetration, the methodologies used to identify these risk factors and discusses the implications of this research for rape prevention strategies. Most of the literature reviewed focused on perpetration of sexual violence by men against women and girls. For the purposes of this paper, risk factors are factors that increase the risk (likelihood) of a person perpetrating sexual violence.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Author: E Dartnall, R Jewkes, Y Sikweyiya
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Scientific research can and should play a critical role in raising the public profile and understanding of sexual violence at global, regional and national levels and help to define appropriate responses. Sexual violence perpetration is a relatively neglected area of research. As global and national agendas shift from responding to victims and incidents to primary prevention, there is increasing recognition of the importance of research with men and boys, including those who have perpetrated sexual violence. This area of research is highly sensitive, with distinct ethical challenges, and requires careful preparation, attention to legal issues and thoughtful dissemination of the research findings. Researchers who want to better understand sexual violence perpetration need a comprehensive understanding of the ethical issues involved. A paper published by the SVRI on ethics and research with men who commit sexual violence, highlights the lack of guidance for this work (Hearn, Andersson Cowburn 2007). It is against this background that these ethical and safety recommendations for doing research on perpetration of sexual violence have been developed.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Author: Mohamed Jalloh, Santigie Mohamed Kargbo
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: In most developing countries, maternal and child health issues have received considerable attention in public health policies and pose formidable challenges. Several studies provide evidence of a strong relationship between socioeconomic factors such as economic growth, poverty, water and sanitation, education and gender and health outcomes. A good number of researchers have shown that a mother’s use of child health care is influenced by the risk of child mortality. It is thus been emphasized in the literature that the decision to obtain health inputs is confronted with the potential issue of self-selection and hence endogeneity.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Children, Child Poverty, Domestic politics, Mortality
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Ghana is committed to achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, which aim to reduce child and maternal deaths by 2015. This commitment is manifested in the way prenatal and postnatal health care services are being made accessible to women of reproductive age. Prenatal care refers to the medical and nursing care recommended for women before and during pregnancy. Postnatal care is an essential part of safe motherhood. The access to and use of prenatal and postnatal health care services are crucial for improved maternal-child survival. Ill health of women and children can arise due to the under utilization of prenatal and postnatal health care services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Poverty, Health Care Policy, Children, Millennium Development Goals, Infants
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Nic Maclellan
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commits developed countries to provide assistance to 'developing country parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.' Despite recent commitments of 'fast-start' climate funding from donors, Pacific Island governments face significant obstacles in accessing sufficient resources to address the adverse effects of climate change on food security, water supply, coastal management and public health. Greater international coordination is required to increase access to climate finance for small island states. Without this coordination, efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 could be set back, due to the diversion of long - term development funding to disaster response and rebuilding.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Food
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Australia, Island
  • Author: Katie Stein
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: With a new executive director appointed in November 2010, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is in a position to re-assert its role and lead the world's effort toward landmark achievements in improving women's health and well-being. The Fund's performance will literally be a matter of life or death for millions of women and children. The numbers speak for themselves: an estimated 215 million women lack access to modern contraceptives, and there are approximately 350,000 maternal deaths each year. As the lead agency for the United Nations' work on population and reproductive health, UNFPA can reduce this terrible and unnecessary toll of lost lives.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Gender Issues, Health, United Nations
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The World Bank is a multilateral financial institution that provides financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Environment, Health, Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Indonesia, India
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Kate McQueston
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and mental illnesses are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Surprisingly, the burden is especially high in developing countries, which bear 80 percent of deaths due to NCDs. Four main factors are at fault: tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and alcohol use. The good news is that much of the NCD burden can be prevented through interventions that are affordable in most countries. The United States can help now by taking five low-cost or no-cost steps:End tariff-reducing trade practices for tobacco.Partner with public and private donors.Leverage U.S. influence in multilateral development institutions.Exploit synergies between disease control and other development projects.Encourage evidence-informed budget allocation.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Mead Over
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An unprecedented surge in donor support for HIV/AIDS treatment over the last decade has lengthened and improved the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS. But because the rate of new infections outpaces the rate of AIDS-related deaths, the number of people living with AIDS—and therefore the number of people needing treatment—is growing faster than the funding needed to treat them. In 2009, about 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses while about 2.6 million were newly infected with HIV, increasing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS by more than three-quarters of a million.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Thomas Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: More than a billion people suffer from neglected diseases, and millions die each year. Effective remedies have been few because of low investment, but with a surge in funding in the past decade, dozens of candidate drugs and vaccines are now in the pipeline. Before these products can reach the people who need them, they must be tested in large-scale clinical trials that are expensive, time-consuming, and risky. These trials must be conducted with highly vulnerable patients in resource-and infrastructure-poor countries where the neglected disease burden exists. There is not enough funding to support the costs and regulatory oversight of these clinical trials. A two-pronged approach to improve the quality and lower the cost of clinical trials in the developing world is needed.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Infrastructure
  • Author: Leonard S. Rubenstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: During the 1990s, economic mismanagement, political oppression, natural disaster, and loss of external subsidies after the end of communism led to a calamitous decrease in food production in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The public health infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, drug distribution and supply chains, and local clinics and hospitals, also deteriorated. At least half a million people died of starvation and millions more suffered acute or chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition increased vulnerability to disease at a time when the health system was incapable of effective response. Fifeen years later, neither health nor the food systems have recovered as the economy persistently stagnates. Health continues to be a low priority for the government. The availability of food is insufficient to meet population needs, hospitals and clinics are significantly ill-equipped, the medical workforce lacks appropriate training, and corruption in drug distribution is pervasive. Malnutrition and anemia, as well as diseases associated with poor sanitation, remain widespread. Over the last few years, DPRK has begun to accept international assistance to address health system needs, most notably to vaccinate children. Although these initiatives address some infrastructure needs, the continued centralized control of health and the lack of open discussion about key issues renders the possibility of reforms sufficient to meet the health needs of the people of North Korea dim. During the economic crisis, tens of thousands of North Koreans migrated to China despite harsh measures imposed by both governments to restrict border crossing and a refusal by China to give legal status to the migrants. To a limited extent, migration ameliorated the health impact of the crisis by stimulating illicit cross-border trade and informal markets that increased some North Koreans' access to food. Even after a disastrous effort by the DPRK government to shut the markets down in 2009, they are re-emerging. China's encouragement of these markets, along with regularizing the status of migrants in China, could advance its own economic interests as well as contributing to improving the health of North Koreans.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Health, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Brooke Stedman
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In the wake of Haiti's disastrous earthquake, international organizations have begun to recognize gender-based violence as a significant area of concern, particularly within Port-au-Prince's internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Other forms of gender-based violence include not only rape, but also sexual abuse. Sexual violence is often underreported or not reported at all. This lack of data can prevent accurate assessments of rates of violence or trends. Grassroots organizations are working to reduce and better document sexual violence and to establish local mechanisms for increasing security throughout Haiti's tent encampments.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Health, Natural Disasters
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The great challenge of the 21st century is to lift billions from poverty, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and coping with a changing climate. That challenge will be easier to meet with slower population growth. Moreover, the means to slow growth—including family planning and other reproductive health services—are important ends in themselves. Family planning empowers women, improves public health, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and builds resilience to a changing climate.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Gender Issues, Health
  • Author: Jennifer Brant
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Access to medicines at affordable prices is critical to the enjoyment of the human right to health. Lower prices require the implementation of pro-access policies that include the promotion of generic competition. However, medicines cannot be selected on the basis of price alone. To ensure that only safe, effective, and quality products are on the market, effective regulation is necessary.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Since 1996, conflict in the DRC has claimed, according to the International Rescue Committee, over five million lives, either as a direct result of hostilities or because of disease and malnutrition associated with the fighting. Considered the deadliest conflict since World War II, the targeting of civilians has been a hallmark of the violence. Millions have been killed and forcibly displaced. Women, men and children have been brutally raped, children have been abducted and forcibly conscripted, and towns have been pillaged. Committed with impunity and perpetrated by foreign and domestic armed groups, and by state and non - state actors including the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC), these crimes pose an ongoing threat to populations in the DRC, with those in the east facing the greatest threat.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Genocide, Health, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Wendy Knerr, Frances Gardner, Lucie Cluver
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Estimates suggest that up to 40 million children under age 14 experience abuse or neglect each year around the world. In a study of 12,000 mothers in five developing countries, asmany as half reported hitting a child with an object, spanking, slapping, pinching, shaking or otherwise harshly physically disciplining. In South Africa, there is evidence that “violence against children is ubiquitous. Beatings take place daily or every week. Sticks, belts, or other weapons are used and injury is common.” These figures are likely to be gross underestimates of the reality.
  • Topic: Health, Human Rights, Poverty, Developing World
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: George Avery
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Science is increasingly being manipulated by those who try to use it to justify political choices based on their ethical preferences and who are willing to suppress evidence of conflict between those preferences and the underlying reality. This problem is clearly seen in two policy domains, health care and climate policy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Health, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Katherine Lepani, Julienne McKay
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: There is significant potential for the PNG government to deliver better health services for all Papuan New Guineans. Major health problems are now preventable. Cost-effective options are available to Papua New Guineans to treat malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis and HIV as well as to reduce infant and maternal mortality. In this Policy Brief Julienne McKay and Dr Katherine Lepani explore how demand-responsive mechanisms (vouchers, micro-health insurance, social franchises and social businesses) can be a compelling addition to strengthening health systems in PNG. The research looks at the potential use of these instruments with a focus on HIV, maternal health, tuberculosis and malaria, and contains policy recommendations for government, the private sector and donors.
  • Topic: Health, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Guinea
  • Author: David Wendt, Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Billions of dollars have been allocated to fight HIV/AIDS in poor countries over the past decade, yet less than half of those requiring treatment receive it, and for every two people put on treatment, five more become infected. This situation, in combination with the global economic crisis and the growing pressure to respond to broader global health objectives, is forcing donors to consider how to do more with their available funds. One way to improve the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS programs is to tie funding decisions to performance. Performance-based funding rewards effective programs and gives incentives for poor performers to improve. Donors have experimented with this approach, but they should do much more to ensure that funding decisions reflect and respond to how well funding recipients meet the objectives of their programs.
  • Topic: Health, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: David Wendt, Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Billions of dollars have been allocated to fight HIV/AIDS in poor countries over the past decade, yet less than half of those requiring treatment receive it, and for every two people put on treatment, five more become infected. This situation, in combination with the global economic crisis and the growing pressure to respond to broader global health objectives, is forcing donors to consider how to do more with their available funds. One way to improve the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS programs is to tie funding decisions to performance. Performance-based funding rewards effective programs and gives incentives for poor performers to improve. Donors have experimented with this approach, but they should do much more to ensure that funding decisions reflect and respond to how well funding recipients meet the objectives of their programs.
  • Topic: Health
  • Author: Rachel Nugent
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We are rapidly losing our ability to cure an alarming number of the most serious and common diseases of the developing world because of an invisible adversary: drug resistance. Resistance is inevitable—but careless practices in drug supply and use are hastening it unnecessarily. Without an immediate global effort to safeguard lasting treatment effectiveness, drug resistance will quickly become a widespread threat—claiming lives, raising the cost of curing patients, and making future generations increasingly vulnerable to deadly diseases that were easily cured in the past.
  • Topic: Health, War on Drugs
  • Author: Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: For the past decade, global AIDS donors—including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), and the World Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa (the MAP)—have responded to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as an emergency. Financial and programmatic efforts have been quick, vertical, and HIV-specific. To achieve ambitious HIV/AIDS targets, AIDS donors mobilized health workers from weak and understaffed national health workforces. The shortages were the result of weak data for effective planning, inadequate capacity to train and pay health workers, and fragmentation and poor coordination across the health workforce life-cycle. Ten years and billions of dollars later, the problem still persists. The time has passed for short-term fixes to health workforce shortages. As the largest source of global health resources, AIDS donors must begin to address the long-term problems underlying the shortages and the effects of their efforts on the health workforce more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Miriam Temin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Improving adolescent girls' health and wellbeing is critical to achieving virtually all international development goals, from reducing infant and child deaths to stimulating economic growth and encouraging environmental sustainability. Governments and donors seem to recognize this, but they have yet to take the specific actions needed to genuinely invest in adolescent girls' health and, thereby, the health and wellbeing of generations to come.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Ole Therkildsen
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: At the September 2010 UN summit on the Millennium Development Goals the Secretary-General stressed that tremendous progress in school enrolment, disease control and access to clean water had been achieved. This policy brief addresses a question that he did not talk about. How shall the achievements in relation to the goals be sustained beyond January 1, 2016?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Health, Poverty, Water
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Leonard Rubenstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: An initiative by the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan to expand health services throughout the country, including rural communities, and supported by donors including USAID, has vastly expanded access to primary health care services, significantly reduced child mortality, and increased the capacity of the Afghan government to provide an essential service to its people. The program is based on principles of equity, national ownership, community engagement, and women's equality, and it warrants continued development. Many challenges remain, not least expanding services in insecure areas, and a more stable environment could better enable the Ministry of Public Health to achieve its goals. The U.S. military has supported health services development for the Afghan army and also offers significant emergency care services to civilians in insecure regions, training for health workers, construction of health facilities and other health-related programs. The military's civilian health initiatives, largely disconnected from the Ministry of Public Health, are short term, ad hoc, and unsustainable, and to date have lacked a consistent rationale or strategy, and have not been subject to evaluation. U.S. counterinsurgency strategy seeks to mesh development and security objectives through activities that enhance the legitimacy of the Afghan government in the eyes of its people. In the field of health, there are considerable tensions between counterinsurgency and development strategies, which must be addressed to increase the capacity of the government and meet health needs of the people.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Health, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Leonard Rubenstein, Anjalee Kohli, Kathleen Kuehnast
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Multisectoral approaches are essential to address sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in armed conflict. In countries where conflict-related SGBV is taking place, the health sector can contribute by providing essential medical interventions and support for survivors, documentation for legal cases, programs that assist in reducing social stigma, and data for effective programming.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, Health, Human Welfare, Armed Struggle
  • Author: Leonard Rubenstein, Anjalee Kohli
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: There is increasing recognition that the violence, displacement, disruption of communities and social networks, and deprivation stemming from war deeply impact the mental health of individuals and the social cohesion of communities. In response, donors and providers are creating programs for psychosocial or clinical services that seek to be culturally appropriate, attentive to the need to build local capacity, and sustainable. The quality and comprehensiveness of mental health programs offered in crises, however, generally remains mixed. Too often the programs do not sufficiently differentiate among widely varying individual needs or focus predominantly on either community-based interventions or the clinical needs of more severely affected people but not both. Services for people with more severe disabilities often replicate institutional models, and accompanying human rights violations, that existed in the pre-war period. The challenge of providing sound programs, moreover, is complicated by a relatively thin evidence base. In the face of these challenges, the “Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings” adopted in 2007 by the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) offer a promising approach. They stress understanding local context, programming that attends to psychosocial support needs of the entire community, meeting clinical needs of people with more severe conditions, and respecting human rights. Following the IASC and building the evidence base by assuring adequate evaluation of funded programs can help meet the tremendous mental health needs of suffering populations.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Health, Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Author: Sidney B. Westley, Robert D. Retherford, Minja Kim Choe
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Fifty years ago, women in Asia were having, on average, more than five children each, and there was widespread fear of a “population explosion” in the region. Then birth rates began to fall—in several countries more steeply than anyone had anticipated. This unexpected trend has now raised concerns about the social and economic impact of extremely low fertility. Today, four of Asia's most prosperous economies—Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—have among the lowest birth rates in the world. With women having, on average, only one child each, these societies have expanding elderly populations and a shrinking workforce to pay for social services and drive economic growth. And in Japan, overall population numbers are already going down. Why are women choosing to have so few children? How are policy- makers responding to these trends? Government leaders have initiated a variety of policies and programs designed to encourage marriage and childbearing, but to what effect? Given current social and economic trends, it is unlikely that Asia' s steep fertility decline will be reversed, at least not in the for eseeable future.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Population
  • Political Geography: Japan, Taiwan, Asia, South Korea, Singapore