More From the Blog

  • COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: The problem ahead

    Vaccines are here! The end of the pandemic is in sight! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Wait a minute. Is that really a light or the next more challenging phase of the pandemic speeding toward us? After more than a year of lockdown and restrictions, all of us have grown weary of the struggle and should be racing to get vaccinated. But we are not.

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  • The clock is ticking: Tuberculosis and diabetes in the COVID-19 era

    The COVID-19 pandemic has created a seismic upheaval in global health care and individual health testing and treatment. Previous gains in reducing life-threatening chronic diseases are being eroded by the need to turn attention and resources to the pandemic. It feels like a “Snakes and Ladders” board game: The counter has landed on the head of a snake and programs for other diseases have slid to the bottom of the board, landing many years behind.

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  • Confronting dilemmas in humanitarian response

    Wealthy nations are now fragile states. Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. And, the damage done by a global pandemic is not yet fully known but has already erased a decade of progress in the fight against extreme poverty. We are living in a world where crises are proliferating and take much longer to resolve. Some never end.

    My guest for this episode of A Deeper Look, Heba Aly, is drawing attention to the many forces disrupting the world and the implications for us all. Heba is the Director of the New Humanitarian, host of the podcast Rethinking Humanitarianism, and a career journalist. Heba is questioning everything from the power dynamics in aid to the increasingly intertwined nature of humanitarian response and development.

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  • Quality, not quantity, should define development

    2020 will go down in history as a year of global health, economic and social crises occurring against the backdrop of increasingly catastrophic climate events. It is a year that defines disruption. However, as we jump into 2021, I’m taking a cue from last season’s development optimists to look for how to convert crisis into opportunity. This year, I will explore with my guests how they see us leveraging disruption for good in a post-COVID world.

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  • Eleven trends that will shape the future of development

    We started the 2020 season of A Deeper Look by discussing trends that are shaping the future of human development. Little did we know the extent to which a global pandemic would shake and shape our world and set the course for human development work for years to come. While many major trends have been emerging for years, COVID-19 has shifted their trajectories and amplified challenges in ways that are expected to slow — and in some cases reverse — development progress.

    Nevertheless, when I asked each of my guests this season whether they were pessimistic or optimistic about the future, I heard almost unanimous optimism and faith in human resilience, ingenuity and adaptability.

    This year’s conversations with leaders, innovators and humanitarians yielded valuable insights and observations. Here are some of the key takeaways from this season of looking at the shape of things to come:

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  • Pandemic preparedness: Four strategies to keep HIV programs on track during COVID-19

    A little more than a month after World AIDS Day 2019, COVID-19 started to impact our HIV programs in Asia as countries like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam began quarantine. Community testing ground to a halt. People living with HIV worried about access to their medications. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) enrollment slowed. COVID-19 testing diverted laboratories from HIV services. By March 2020, the rest of the world was equally impacted. FHI 360’s HIV programs were determined to continue serving people, but there were deep concerns. We were not alone, of course; the global HIV community was facing COVID-19 together. But with so much uncertainty, we wondered: Would COVID-19 substantially set back hard-won gains toward epidemic control? Did we have the tools in hand, or could we develop the tools, to weather this crisis?

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  • It’s time to refocus on the global response to pediatric HIV

    We have come a long way from the haunting, early days of the HIV pandemic when hopelessness characterized the situation for children living with HIV. Without treatment available, approximately half of those children were destined to die before their second birthday. The global public health community did not know if it could halt transmission of HIV from mother to child. There were no effective, child-friendly formulations of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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  • The future of global development: The power of girls

    COVID-19 has highlighted inequalities worldwide and is showing us that our systems — and the progress we have celebrated — may not be as resilient as we thought. This month’s guest on A Deeper Look podcast, Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), incisively shines a light on the strengths and weaknesses in development work revealed by the pandemic.

    Dr. Kanem is one of the great leaders on the international stage who speaks with moral clarity and forcefulness on sensitive issues of sexual and reproductive health and women’s rights. She discusses the many ways she and UNFPA are meeting this year’s extraordinary challenges and shares her views on the importance of continued progress on gender equality in the face of the issues presented by the global pandemic. Dr. Kanem sees this moment in history as an unexpected opportunity to engage a new generation in finding ways to address systemic barriers to gender equality and social equity.

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  • Eight actions to reduce gender-based violence during COVID-19

    Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have reported alarming rates of violence, exploitation and other abuse, especially intimate partner violence among women and other marginalized groups. UN Women has warned that, as countries continue lockdowns and sheltering-at-home measures, a shadow pandemic of violence is growing. More than ever, the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an important opportunity for international development organizations to commit to identifying ways to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and other abuse in the communities where humanitarian and development projects are being implemented.

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  • Ask girls what skills they want!

    As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, the global community must take action and be bold in realizing our collective vision of a gender-equal world by intentionally investing in and advancing a girl-centered approach to development. We believe that girls should be front and center at driving solutions to the problems they face, thereby increasing the pipeline of women leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers for tomorrow.

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