More From the Blog

  • In just four months, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a dramatic toll on economies and institutions around the world, and the number of new cases, economic dislocation and deaths continues to mount. Decades of progress raising living standards and reducing extreme poverty could be replaced by increasing food insecurity, conflict and forced migration.

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  • The future of global development: Civil society and collaboration

    I recorded this episode of A Deeper Look podcast with Sam Worthington, Chief Executive Officer of InterAction, before the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. But, the crisis amplifies the relevance and urgency of the themes we discussed in this episode.

    Sam highlights trends that will shape this decade, including the emergence of fragile states as the epicenter of extreme poverty in the world, the impact of climate change and its effects on the most vulnerable and the concerning rise of nationalism and isolationism. We discuss the role of women in bringing about positive change, the evolution and impact of civil society and the concept of localization.

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  • COVID-19: We are all in this together

    As the COVID-19 pandemic expands at an exponential pace among the world’s population, it is increasingly clear that we are all in this together and need to work hard to cultivate a sense of global community. Our connected world has achieved decades of unprecedented prosperity and health gains. Through connectedness at many levels, including trade, industry, education, research, services and travel/hospitality, humanity has, indeed, become a global village. It is this same connectedness, augmented by a dramatic increase in international travel over the past decade, that facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19 to all corners of the world. Now, we must use this same connectivity to mount a sustainable, comprehensive, global response to the pandemic.

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  • Engaging the private sector on sustainable solutions to infectious diseases

    The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating a humanitarian and economic crisis. Amid the chaos, though, lies a simple preventive practice: handwashing with soap. During times of crisis, we must remember that handwashing with soap is a powerful tool to combat infectious diseases like COVID-19, and it is crucial for us to sustain handwashing practices and innovations once the pandemic has ended. Private-sector engagement, especially through public-private partnerships like the Global Handwashing Partnership, can play a significant role in developing immediate and long-term infectious disease solutions.

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  • How to prevent illness and death caused by tuberculosis among people living with HIV

    The global health community is concerned that tuberculosis (TB) continues to disproportionately kill people living with HIV, despite the availability of TB preventive therapy. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2019, deaths attributed to TB among people living with HIV account for 17 percent of all TB deaths, even though people living with HIV account for only 8.6 percent of overall TB cases.

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  • The future of global development: The shape of U.S. education in the 2020s

    What are the systems, trends and ideas that are shaping education in the United States? What needs to be done to promote transformative education reform?

    In this episode of A Deeper Look podcast, I speak with education reformer Dr. Warren Simmons, currently Senior Policy Advisor at the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. We draw parallels between the challenges in education reform in the United States and in low-income countries, including how inadequate funding models can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and how successful programs can be difficult to scale and replicate. We also discuss the power of local voices and community organizing and the importance of making our education systems more culturally responsive. Dr. Simmons highlights the need for cross-sector partnerships in order to achieve lasting reform and discusses how schools and communities must work together to adapt to the future.

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  • How do evolving security challenges shape the way that the military and the global development community work in the same spaces to address human needs?

    In this episode of A Deeper Look podcast, I speak with retired Lieutenant General David Barno about military involvement in development. We discuss lessons learned from General Barno’s experience in Afghanistan, address the threat of non-state actors and describe the different doctrines that influence the military’s tactics. We discovered that seeing the communities where we serve as the center of gravity of our operations creates many similarities in how we think about achieving positive, sustainable change, such as the importance of listening to people, the requirement for country ownership and the centrality of good governance to resolving the conflicts of the 21st century.

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  • Bringing neglected tropical diseases onto the world stage

    Can you imagine trying to provide for your family while sick with a disease that makes your eyelashes turn inward and painfully scratch your corneas with each blink? Or attending school when your skin itches nonstop because you are infected with worms? These are some of the challenges that people with neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) face every day.

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  • The future of global development: Trends shaping the decade ahead

    It’s a new year and a new decade. A century ago, the 1920s — also known as the Roaring ’20s — brought momentous changes. What will the 21st century’s next decade bring?

    To kick off this season of A Deeper Look podcast, I talk with Carolyn Miles, outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children US, and Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development. We discuss the progress and achievements that have been made in human development and the pressing challenges that lie ahead. We consider major trends, ideas and forces that will shape development in the 2020s, including climate change and conflict and migration, and we explore how the development community can respond.

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  • Total Quality Leadership and Accountability: Reaching the last mile in HIV epidemic control

    At recent global health meetings that assessed progress made against the HIV epidemic, presentation after presentation confirmed that the world is inching closer to epidemic control. The excitement at these gatherings was palpable. It would be the first time in human history that such a public health milestone would be achieved without either a cure or a vaccine.

    As technical experts attending these meetings, we were struck by the critical importance of logistical and operational interventions, alongside biomedical ones, to reach the last mile. Yet, unlike the private sector, public health systems in low- and middle-income countries often remain underfunded and understaffed. This environment can make project management very challenging.

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