The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Conditions such as stay-at-home orders, wearing masks in public and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression affect all of us in different ways.
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A full version of this article originally appeared in WorldView, a quarterly magazine published by the nonprofit National Peace Corps Association for the greater Peace Corps community. Reposted with permission. Read the entire article here.
Economic and social progress rarely comes fast, making it easy to question whether foreign assistance is effective. Many critiques of foreign aid expose poorly conceived and implemented programs and document bad governance, corruption, and persistent poverty. Some even argue that far from helping, foreign assistance is part of the problem. I suspect there are few self-conscious development workers who don’t ask themselves whether the treasure, sweat and tears really make a difference, especially those of us who have spent years struggling with the day-to-day management problems and frustrations that come with implementing programs in countries where progress has been slow and uneven.
Recently, I visited the rural community in Swaziland where I worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer 30 years ago. Seeing the changes on the homestead where I lived from 1980 to 1983 helped me put into perspective our often-unsatisfactory efforts to describe and measure the value of development work and to answer the question about whether foreign aid makes a difference.
Read the entire article here.
The focus of the global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, now 37 years on, is epidemic control, which the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) defines as limiting the annual number of new HIV infections in a country to less than the number of deaths among people living with HIV.
Sub-Saharan Africa, home to 26 million (70 percent) of the global total of 36.9 million people living with HIV, is where the battle must be won. To succeed and sustain the gains achieved in the past 15 years, countries in Africa will need to assume greater responsibility for managing their epidemics.
Saria was a young teenager when conflict broke out in Syria. His school was closed and converted into a military base, forcing him to abandon his education. He was captured by three different groups, the Syrian Intelligence, the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat al-Nusra, before fleeing to Jordan.
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.
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.
R&E Search for Evidence: Quarterly recap of FHI 360’s blog on research and evaluation, January–March 2018Written by
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.
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.