• 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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  • The evolution of the U.S. role in crisis response

    The United States has been a leader in humanitarian response since the end of World War II, but how is this role changing and what are the implications?

    In this episode of A Deeper Look, I speak about the evolving U.S. role in humanitarian response with Andrew Natsios, currently executive professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University. As the former head of both the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the U.S. Agency for International Development, Professor Natsios has a keen understanding of the complexity of international development and its place in U.S. foreign policy.

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  • Women as leaders in conflict response

    The international community is not giving enough attention to the impact that humanitarian crises have on women and girls or to the role they play in emergency response. We need to. It’s time to examine how women are disproportionately affected by conflict and emergencies and how they fill the roles of first responders, caregivers and peacebuilders.

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  • To achieve equity in education, we need the right data

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

    As we work to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to education, it is the responsibility of every funding, implementing and research organization internationally to be asking questions about our own contributions to building equity in education. While a great amount of data gets produced in the course of education projects, only a fraction provides the detail that is needed to assess intervention impact on different equity dimensions. At the technical and implementation level, organizations need to capture and use the necessary evidence to understand and respond to inequity in education provision and outcomes.

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  • Building the case for contraceptive technology innovation

    Why do women who do not want to get pregnant choose not to use modern family planning methods? While this question is not bounded by geographies, the most recent Guttmacher Institute report, which focused on the low- and middle-income countries, is most illuminating. The two most common answers given by married women were health reasons/side effects or fear of side effects (26 percent) and claims of infrequent sex or not being sexually active (24 percent). Among unmarried women, infrequent sex (49 percent) was the top reason.

    Equally informative are recent FHI 360 findings from a user preference study in Uganda and Burkina Faso showing that 75 percent of women currently using a method would be open to trying new technologies. It quickly becomes clear that existing methods do not satisfactorily address the changing needs of women throughout their 30- to 40-year reproductive journey.

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  • Reducing conflict through equitable education

    A version of this post originally appeared on the blog of USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN). Reprinted with permission.

    The relationship between education inequality and violent conflict is clear: Inequitable access to quality education makes the world less safe. Recent research for UNICEF by FHI 360 found that the likelihood of experiencing violent conflict doubles in countries with high education inequality between ethnic and religious groups, and the reverse is also true; violent conflict increases educational inequalities between groups. Ethnic, religious, and socio-economic divides are clearly problematic, but gender inequality also plays a role: greater equality between males and females decreases the likelihood of conflict by as much as 37%. If the findings are clear, so must be the solutions: It is imperative that the global community find effective ways to address education inequities and tackle the systemic barriers that prevent millions of children around the globe from accessing equitable educational opportunities.

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  • The famine and food security crisis

    Food insecurity is on the rise again. Driven by conflict, the consequences of famine and food insecurity are a central feature of today’s humanitarian crises and complex emergencies.

    In this episode, I talk with Matt Nims, the acting director of Food for Peace at the U.S. Agency for International Development. We discuss the impact of food insecurity on affected populations, the challenges in responding and the promising approaches that can mitigate the severity of a food security crisis.  

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  • Revolutionizing payday: Mobile money’s transformative impact on Liberia’s public workers

    Imagine the following scenario: It’s payday and you want to pick up your salary. But first, you have to navigate a series of deteriorating, hazardous dirt roads to get to the bank. It takes you a few days just to talk to a teller. When you finally do, the teller informs you that the bank is currently out of cash – you’ll have to wait some more. By the time you actually get paid, you’ve had to miss several days of work – and to top it all off, between bank fees (including bribes or unofficial fees to bankers and security guards), the cost of lodging, travel and food, you’ve spent 15 percent of your salary just to pick it up.

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