More From the Blog

  • It is time for a bold approach to end the HIV epidemic

    Big breakthroughs in HIV science, such as antiretroviral therapy and the “universal test and treat” policy, create hope and galvanize efforts to bring the epidemic to an end. Yet, no matter how promising the strategy, we know from experience that it is not easy to incorporate the latest approaches into poorly resourced, over-stretched health systems. Nor is it reasonable to expect that health systems can absorb the increased volume of patients that seems to go hand in hand with innovations.

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  • My tribute to Peter Lamptey’s lifelong contributions to global health

    A version of this post originally appeared on FHI 360’s R&E Search for Evidence blog.

    Known around the world, Prof. Peter Lamptey is a global health champion in any light. Many of you may know him from his early involvement in the global HIV response or from his fight to raise public awareness of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). I first heard Prof. Lamptey speak about the role of laboratory science in the NCD response at a conference plenary hosted by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine, my former employer. A compelling talk for sure, but notably his plenary was also my first significant introduction to FHI 360’s research.

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  • Why are women less likely to own a phone?

    Much has been written about the gender gap in mobile phone usage, specifically on why women are less likely to have access to this technology than men; why women are less likely to be technically literate than men; and why women are less likely to be aware of the many potential benefits of a mobile phone. We recognize that there is a gender gap, as high as 38 percent in South Asia. Within the development community, there is no disagreement that this digital gender divide needs to be addressed in order to drive women’s economic empowerment and ensure a more equitable future. However, there are varying points of view on how to close this gap.

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  • A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals

    This year, I’ve taken A Deeper Look at the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, in conversations with 10 international development leaders. What better way to conclude this series than by talking with Tony Pipa, who was the U.S. government’s lead representative, or “Sherpa,” in the negotiations of the goals at the United Nations. In this final episode of 2017, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the formation of the goals, progress to date toward meeting them and what the future trajectory looks like as we enter year three of the 15-year race to a more prosperous and equitable world. Are we on track? How universal are these goals in reality? Is ending poverty by 2030 possible?

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  • Philanthropy and the SDGs

    Philanthropy in the United States has traditionally played a vital role as a catalyst of innovation, research and social change in American society. Yet, as the world unites around the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, what role is philanthropy playing to advance the agenda for achieving these global goals by 2030?

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  • Research improves handwashing programs by uncovering drivers of behavior change

    A version of this post originally appeared on FHI 360’s R&E Search for Evidence blog.

    Evidence on the health and social benefits of handwashing is strong. We know that handwashing can prevent up to 40% of diarrheal diseases, and can lead to fewer school absences and increased economic productivity. However, many people don’t wash their hands at critical times, even when handwashing facilities are available. While research on behavior change has shown examples of approaches that lead to increased rates in handwashing, we’re still seeking to understand why people wash their hands, and how motivation for handwashing can be translated into programs that result in effective behavior change.

    In advance of Global Handwashing Day on October 15, USAID and the Global Handwashing Partnership – an international coalition with a Secretariat hosted by FHI 360 – organized a webinar on drivers for handwashing behavior change. The Partnership’s work focuses on promoting handwashing with soap as key to health and development, with an emphasis on connecting practitioners with research findings to inform their work. Our webinar speakers provided two examples of how research is exploring behavior change from cognitive (how we think about and understand handwashing) and automatic (how we can be unconsciously prompted to wash our hands) standpoints. In this blog post, I’ll summarize how the two examples show different ways of understanding human behavior and discuss how the findings help us understand what drives behavior change for handwashing.

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  • Youth engagement — and empowerment — holds promise for strengthening community resilience to violent extremism

    Stop for a minute to think back to when you were a “youth” — say, when you were 19 years old — transitioning from adolescence into adulthood.

    • Did you have ideals and ideas that motivated you and peers and adult mentors who positively influenced you?
    • Did you have family who supported you and a community that you felt part of and in which you had a voice?
    • Did you have a sense of who you were and access to physical and psychological safe spaces where you could express your identity?

    If you answered yes, then you probably have a positive recollection of this period in your life. You were likely content with your trajectory into adulthood.

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  • Eight takeaways about the SDGs

    Since January, through my monthly podcast, A Deeper Look, I have engaged in candid, in-depth conversations with leaders on the frontlines of social change to explore what it will take to ensure that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) become a reality. We have examined specific sectors, such as health, education and gender, and have also tackled megatrends in development, such as technology and innovation.

    Each one of the development leaders I’ve talked with so far has provided me with distinct views and fresh ideas on how to understand some of the most complex human development challenges facing the world today. Delving into the SDGs has been stimulating and fun and has produced a boatload of valuable insights. I’ve summarized 8 key takeaways below. You can join in by listening to the entire series on SoundCloud or iTunes and leaving a comment or sharing your thoughts through social media.

    And there’s more to come! We’ll continue to take A Deeper Look at the SDGs through the end of this year.

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  • Tracking media and measuring accountability for the SDGs

    The Sustainable Development Goals will remain only aspirational if there is no accountability for their implementation. In this episode, I speak with Roland Schatz, a leader in the field of media impact and an expert on the SDGs, on how to create accountability, particularly in the private sector.

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  • Preparing the future workforce requires transformations in what we know, how we learn and how we work

    Artificial intelligence, smart systems, decentralized manufacturing and other technologies are driving major uncertainties around the future of work. Experts from MIT and the World Economic Forum suggest that we are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, characterized by new technologies that will affect all industries. As the very nature of work changes rapidly, old jobs are disappearing and new jobs are emerging in every sector of the economy. This has produced a major shift in the demand for skills that is happening worldwide, and we can expect further shifts going forward.

    Reducing the lag time between the development of new jobs and the preparation of the workforce to meet new skills needs is a core concern for workers, new graduates, employers and governments. And while the pace of transformation in jobs and skills differ by country and region, evolution along the technological spectrum is taking place everywhere.

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