More From the Blog

  • Two perspectives on the life-changing DREAMS partnership

    The Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe women (DREAMS) partnership aspires to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. These countries alone accounted for more than half of the HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally in 2015.

    DREAMS reaches beyond the health sector to address the direct and indirect factors that increase girls’ HIV risk, such as poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence and inadequate education. Interventions can include paying school fees, providing bicycles to girls who would otherwise walk long distances to school, supplying sanitary napkins for menstrual hygiene management and offering mentoring to help girls avoid early pregnancy, gender-based violence and discrimination. DREAMS is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.

    Two young women who participate in DREAMS projects attended FHI 360’s 2018 Gender 360 Summit and discussed how DREAMS is making a difference in their lives. Here are their stories.

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    Pie in the sky: Does foreign assistance make a difference?

    A full version of this article originally appeared in WorldView, a quarterly magazine published by the nonprofit National Peace Corps Association for the greater Peace Corps community. Reposted with permission. Read the entire article here.

    Patrick Fine

    Economic and social progress rarely comes fast, making it easy to question whether foreign assistance is effective. Many critiques of foreign aid expose poorly conceived and implemented programs and document bad governance, corruption, and persistent poverty. Some even argue that far from helping, foreign assistance is part of the problem. I suspect there are few self-conscious development workers who don’t ask themselves whether the treasure, sweat and tears really make a difference, especially those of us who have spent years struggling with the day-to-day management problems and frustrations that come with implementing programs in countries where progress has been slow and uneven.

    Recently, I visited the rural community in Swaziland where I worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer 30 years ago. Seeing the changes on the homestead where I lived from 1980 to 1983 helped me put into perspective our often-unsatisfactory efforts to describe and measure the value of development work and to answer the question about whether foreign aid makes a difference.

    Read the entire article here.

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  • New journal supplement on key populations is here!

    A version of this post originally appeared on the LINKAGES blog. Reprinted with permission.

    JIAS July 2018 issue coverThe USAID– and PEPFAR-supported LINKAGES project is excited to announce the arrival of a new supplement in the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) titled Optimizing the Impact of Key Population Programming Across the HIV Cascade.

    A collaboration among LINKAGES, USAID, CDC, amfAR, and JIAS, this supplement contributes new evidence and data-driven strategies for improving programming with men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people and people who inject drugs. It contains 14 original articles that represent a range of multidisciplinary efforts from diverse geographies to advance key population science and practice across the HIV prevention, care and treatment cascade.

    As HIV services are scaled up in pursuit of 90-90-90 targets, investments to address the epidemic among key populations must be central to these efforts. Global data indicate that gains made among key populations lag substantially behind those made in the general population. This supplement aims to accelerate progress toward controlling the epidemic by bringing visibility to new evidence and approaches that can make key population programming smarter and more effective.

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  • A future without AIDS begins and ends with key populations

    A version of this post originally appeared on the LINKAGES blog. Reprinted with permission.

    “We will only achieve HIV/AIDS epidemic control if we reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for all ages, genders, and at-risk groups, including key populations.”

    – Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, MD, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, June 2018

    In 2013, UNAIDS set out to establish new global targets for HIV testing, care and treatment. Stakeholder consultations were conducted at country and regional levels around the world, ultimately resulting in the creation of the ambitious 90-90-90 targets to help bring an end to the AIDS epidemic:

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  • Achieving HIV epidemic control: Going the last mile and beyond

    The focus of the global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, now 37 years on, is epidemic control, which the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) defines as limiting the annual number of new HIV infections in a country to less than the number of deaths among people living with HIV.

    Sub-Saharan Africa, home to 26 million (70 percent) of the global total of 36.9 million people living with HIV, is where the battle must be won. To succeed and sustain the gains achieved in the past 15 years, countries in Africa will need to assume greater responsibility for managing their epidemics.

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  • Humanitarian response in Nigeria

    More than 1.7 people are internally displaced, 14 million people in acute need of humanitarian assistance and 26 million people are affected by conflict in Nigeria.

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  • A personal perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis

    Saria was a young teenager when conflict broke out in Syria. His school was closed and converted into a military base, forcing him to abandon his education. He was captured by three different groups, the Syrian Intelligence, the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat al-Nusra, before fleeing to Jordan.

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  • Reducing commodity costs when scaling up contraceptive implants … A classic chicken vs. egg dilemma

    A version of this post originally appeared on Exchanges, the Contraceptive Technology Innovation Exchange blog. Reprinted with permission.

    Listen to an interview with Markus Steiner and Kate Rademacher on the reductions in the prices of implant commodities.

    Contraceptive implants have been available for over 30 years and are one of the most effective methods available. Until recently, however, international donors did not procure significant quantities, and use of the method in developing countries was very low. This access barrier was largely due to the high cost of implant commodities. The situation mirrored the classic, paradoxical question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, without lower commodity prices, procurements of implants would not increase in many international settings. But without higher volumes, manufacturers couldn’t lower their prices and still achieve a sustainable business model.

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  • A case study on using data and technology in crisis response

    When there is an emergency, conflict or disaster, communities affected by the crisis are often the best source of information for what is happening on the ground. Early engagement with people from these affected communities is crucial.

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  • R&E Search for Evidence: Quarterly recap of FHI 360’s blog on research and evaluation, January–March 2018

    We are officially knee-deep into 2018, although many of us are still waiting for spring! The R&E Search for Evidence blog already has 13 new posts written by FHI 360 thought leaders and focused on innovative tools, research and evaluation methodologies, and new evidence related to some of our most pressing human development needs. Here are some of the highlights.

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