From the CEO

  • Disrupters: Strengthening health systems through authentic partnerships

    Strengthening health systems comes down to staff, stuff, space, systems and support. Whether providing primary care or responding to deadly outbreaks of infectious diseases, a holistic approach that places the patient and their community at the center of care and treatment is essential. In this episode, Dr. Paul Farmer and I discuss how human connection and authentic partnership should remain at the center of public health and human development work.

    Dr. Paul Farmer is the Co-Founder, Chief Strategist and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Partners in Health, and a medical anthropologist, physician and author. His most recent book is Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History. His positive approach to disrupting under-resourced and poorly performing health systems is simple yet holistic: Address unmet needs for staff, stuff, space, systems and support.

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  • Disrupters: Building bridges, confronting historic oppression in the United States

    The decolonization movement offers new ways to understand our work in human development at home and abroad. In this episode, I speak with Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, Founder of the Decolonizing Wealth Project, and Senior Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation. 

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  • It’s been twenty-six years since the International Conference on Population and Development affirmed women’s reproductive health as an essential human right. In this episode of A Deeper Look, I sit down with Ann Starrs, Director of Family Planning at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to hear how new products, policies and practices are disrupting the family planning landscape and offering greater access and better outcomes for users.

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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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  • 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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  • The future of global development: The critical role of financial systems

    The sheer volume of financial resources flowing into and out of developing countries has exploded over the last two decades. To keep pace, international banking and financial standards have matured, requiring more sophistication in institutions that oversee economic systems. This month, I sat down with Andrew Spindler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Services Volunteer Corps, to talk about the evolution of frontier markets in recent years. From combating corruption and money laundering to mobilizing domestic resources, Andrew shares insights about the major factors and trends that are shaping development finance in increasingly interdependent global markets.

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  • The global pandemic and ensuing social and economic disruptions have led to significant uncertainty about the future and the need for global actors to adapt. While we may not have a crystal ball to show us what is to come, this month’s guest on A Deeper Look podcast, Lars Gustavsson, may be the next best thing. Lars studies global issues and phenomena to predict megatrends and their accelerants, so that we can effectively plan for and respond to them.

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  • Even before the onset of a global pandemic, societies were grappling with rapid, disorienting change. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its public health emergency and economic and social crises, has reshaped how development priorities and operations work. These extraordinary times have brought into focus that human development challenges are not unique to poor countries, and that the current conditions are going to amplify and accelerate the need for transformational relationships to address the global challenges confronting the international community.

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