Monday, December 24, 2007

Monitoring and Program evaluation

Hey y'all thanks for a great semester here is a link to the website that has all of the most recent monitoring and evaluation guidelines. I am going to try to post our powerpoint to courseworks however, I left my flash-drive at school so that might not be doable.

The publications we used as sources were
Theresa Finn. (2007) A Guide for Monitoring and Evaluating Population-Health-Environment Programs

Gage et al. A Guide for Monitoring and Evaluating Child Health Programs

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bangladesh from our View: When Nari Jibon acts as an alternative skill provider

Bangladesh from our View: When Nari Jibon acts as an alternative skill provider:
"Population is increasing rapidly in Bangladesh day by day and the same time the percentage of educated persons is also increasing. Almost at the same time women’s education is also increasing from previous levels. But Bangladesh government and economy are failing to create sufficient work for these educated populations. These educated and unemployed populations are facing heavy competition to get a job and are struggling with many difficulties [...]"

Congressional Conferees Raise the Bar

The House and Senate foreign operations conferees report that was presented today, Dec. 17, supports the Global Health Council's advocacy agenda to increase U.S. global health investments in several core programs. The additional funding for maternal and child health programs, nearly $100 million over the FY2007 level, is particularly gratifying given the Council's work on this issue over the year.

"We know that we can save millions of children's and mothers' lives if we invest in the proven interventions already available to us," said Dr. Nils Daulaire, president of the Global Health Council. "In this very difficult budget environment, it is gratifying to see that the grassroots work of our members and regular advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill have been well received by members of Congress from both houses and both sides of the aisle who are committed to supporting these critical issues. We are particularly grateful for the leadership of global health champions like Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Rep. Nita Lowey of New York."

The House and Senate foreign operations conferees report puts funding levels for global health priorities - including HIV/AIDS programs, tuberculosis, maternal health child survival - at an increase of about $1.8 billion over this year for fiscal year 2008 (FY08).

The global health appropriations presented by House and Senate foreign operations conferees include:
  • Maternal and child health programs, including delivery of interventions to save newborn lives, will receive an increase of more than $90 million, bringing the total U.S. investment in its USAID-funded programs to $450 million;
  • Family planning programs, both USAID bilateral spending and contributions to multilateral agencies, will receive an increase of approximately $24 million in FY08, bringing spending up to $425 million;
  • USAID's programs to combat tuberculosis (TB) will receive an increase of approximately $74 million, bringing total TB spending up to $153 million;
  • Malaria programs, including the President's Malaria Initiative, will see an increase of $100 million, bringing the total to $350 million;
  • The Global HIV/AIDS Initiative spending for both the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and multilateral spending through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, will see an increase of approximately $1.5 billion, bringing total spending up to $4.7 billion. USAID's global AIDS programs saw a decrease in appropriations from $594 million in 2007 to $350 million for FY08;
  • Spending on avian influenza will increase to a total of $115 million;
  • U.S. investment in neglected tropical diseases remains steady at $15 million for FY08.
The proposed spending on foreign operations measures is part of an 11 bill omnibus congressional lawmakers released over the weekend. The measure, which includes budgets for each Cabinet department except the Pentagon, is expected to be voted on by the House this afternoon and the Senate later this week.

Proposed increases for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, and language that would have rescinded the restrictions on aid to overseas family planning groups that provide abortions (the Global Gag Rule/Mexico City Policy) were withdrawn.

--This article is from Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Frustration With Charities and U.N. in Congo

Frustration With Charities and U.N. in Congo - New York Times:
"Frustration at the United Nations peacekeeping force and the dozens of aid organizations working in North Kivu Province, in eastern Congo, is rising as violence increases, the number of displaced people here creeps toward one million, and the pace of assistance lags, especially to those fleeing the fighting in the past few weeks [...]"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nigerian ex-oil governor arrested

By Alex Last
BBC News, Lagos

James Ibori, former Delta State governor
Mr Ibori's assets are said to include a jet and London property
Nigeria's anti-corruption agency has arrested former Delta State Governor James Ibori, over allegations of corruption and money-laundering.

The head of the agency, Nuhu Ribadu, said Mr Ibori would be charged in the federal high court on Thursday.

Mr Ibori is also under investigation by the Metropolitan police in the UK.

The failure to prosecute Mr Ibori in Nigeria had raised doubts over the government's commitment to its anti-corruption campaign.

Mr Ibori is the most high-profile former governor to be arrested under the new administration.

Agents from Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Mr Ibori at a private residence in the capital, Abuja.

Bold statement

Mr Ibori is the former governor of Delta State, one of the largest oil-producing states in Nigeria and, therefore, one of the richest.

Nigeria's President-elect Umaru Yar'Adua
Umaru Yar'Adua has promised to continue the fight against corruption
He was seen as a key financier of President Umaru Yar'Adua's campaign for April's elections and is politically very powerful and well connected.

But he has been under investigation in the UK over allegations he laundered millions of dollars of looted state funds - charges he denies.

A UK court has frozen assets in the UK, allegedly belonging to Mr Ibori worth $35m.

His official salary while in office was less than $25,000 a year.

Mr Ibori, like other state governors, lost his immunity from prosecution when he had to leave office earlier this year.

But the key political issue has been whether anti-corruption agencies would be allowed to go after him in the way they have gone after other former governors.

The actions of Nigeria's new attorney general have been under particular scrutiny in this case.

Law enforcement agents in the UK and Nigeria have complained that he has been using his position to stall the prosecution of Mr Ibori - a charge he denies.

Still, it raised questions as to the scope of the new president's anti-graft policy.

This arrest is a bold statement from the anti-corruption agency at least that no-one is safe from prosecution.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Relevant Links for Tomorrow's Presentation on Corruption, Equity and Ethnicity

Those interested in reading up for tomorrow's presentation, should take a look at Transparency International's website. The site has great information on

1. defining corruption:


2. corruption and health:

Also, the Global Health Watch provides terrific information on the role global institutions, transnational corporations and rich countries have played in propagating corruption in the global South. Check out Part E of the report contents at:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bangladesh completes polio vaccination drive

News | Africa -
"Millions of children across Bangladesh were given their second vaccination against polio on Saturday, completing a drive to wipe out the disease, which re-emerged early last year, health ministry officials said [...]"

Women, Infants, and Children: But What About the Men?

Challenging Dogma - Fall 2007: Women, Infants, and Children: But What About the Men? –Read Holman:
"Despite its successes, the program has not gone without its critics. Many have criticized that the foods available to enrollees are not all appropriate(4), that it pushes infant formula feeding (5), that the program is inadequately funded (6,7), and for other reasons (8,9). However no records have been found that critique WIC in its effects on certain male populations from a social and behavioral science viewpoint."

Friday, December 7, 2007

U.S. Agency’s Slow Pace Endangers Foreign Aid

U.S. Agency’s Slow Pace Endangers Foreign Aid - New York Times:
"The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a federal agency set up almost four years ago to reinvent foreign aid, has taken far longer to help poor, well-governed countries than its supporters expected or its critics say is reasonable.

The agency, a rare Bush administration proposal to be enacted with bipartisan support, has spent only $155 million of the $4.8 billion it has approved for ambitious projects in 15 countries in Africa, Central America and other regions [...]"

My Heart's In Accra

This blog covers development well. Here are some links on it today:

Dissident Voice : Ten Reasons Why “Save Darfur” is a PR Scam: Provocative article argues that US interest in Darfur is a smokescreen for interest in oil, and that if we genuinely cared about genocide, we’d be discussing intervention in Eastern Congo (tags: africa sudan oil uspolitics congo)

Can Greed Save Africa? Investors outside the African continent are building biodiesel facilities, manufacturing fertilizer from formerly flared natural gas, and generally building the commercial and financial infrastructure the continent needs.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ending Famine, Simply by Ignoring the Experts - New York Times

Look for the article in next month's Science, by Columbia's Pedro Sanchez and Jeff Sachs, on the advances in fighting draught-based malnutrition in Malawi:

Ending Famine, Simply by Ignoring the Experts - New York Times: "...In Malawi itself, the prevalence of acute child hunger has fallen sharply. In October, the United Nations Children’s Fund sent three tons of powdered milk, stockpiled here to treat severely malnourished children, to Uganda instead. “We will not be able to use it!” Juan Ortiz-Iruri, Unicef’s deputy representative in Malawi, said jubilantly. Farmers explain Malawi’s extraordinary turnaround — one with broad implications for hunger-fighting methods across Africa — with one word: fertilizer [...]"

War and Refugees links

World Refugee Survey 2007
(Great basic statistics on refugees!)

The ICRC Code of Conduct
(If time permits, we would like to talk about humanitarian ethics and accountability in class, but the ICRC Code of Conduct should be read by everyone working in the humanitarian field)

UNHCR: Basic Facts
(UNHCR is the UN agency mandated to provide protection and assistance to refugees. This page gives a good basic introduction to the agency.

Human Rights Watch: Child Soldiers
(Good starting point to get an introduction to the problem of child soldiers; the site also has a compilation of reports on child soldiers.)

Invisible Children
(We'll be playing parts of this documentary on child soldiers in Uganda in class, but here's the entire version.)

Yi-Ling & Neda

LA Times article on breastfeeding studies

Breast or bottle? No final answer yet - Los Angeles Times

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feedback for Training and Supervision

• Only 5 students including the two presenters; this is a shame! Please call one of the instructors if you cannot attend a class. Attendance is part of class participation and will be graded accordingly
• Good training exercise – It’s too bad that half of the class missed an excellent session. Very good class discussion and participation.
• Delivery was good. Would have been good to see case-studies, what has worked and does not work with training.
• Nice job – both speakers. I loved the initial group exercise – the training activity was very thorough – coverage of the topic.
• Very well structured and well organized presentation with systematic presentation of the topics.
• Suturing exercise was a great learning tool
• Relaxed, friendly delivery. I missed the larger class, but the small group led to less competition to get a chance to comment or ask a question

Bangladesh newspaper article on Breastfeeding

The entire article is a thorough overview of the benefits of breastfeeding, but this line especially caught my eye:

The New Nation - Internet Edition - Breastfeeding: Component of Good Health for Children: "Allah has ordained us to continue breastfeeding for at least two years after the birth of a baby in Sura Bakara [...] "

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Different Countries, Different Needs: The Role of Private Health Insurance in Developing Countries -- Drechsler and Jutting 32 (3): 497 -- Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

Preference for boy child increased in turmoil years - Preference for boy child increased in turmoil years:
"...Syeda Afshana said that the preference for the boy child has grown over the last two decades in the turmoil-hit Valley. She said this was because the parents were feeling insecure for a girl child as girls were being used as “war weapons”. During the last 18 years, women in Kashmir have been tortured, killed, raped and subjected to extremes of human sufferings by the warring factions of Kashmir. Experts say that the events like Kunanposhpora, exploitation of girls in sex-scandal and their life as painful victims like thousands of half-widows, makes people think hundred times before praying for a child [...]"

The Challenge of Global Health

Foreign Affairs - The Challenge of Global Health - Laurie Garrett: "Thanks to a recent extraordinary rise in public and private giving, today more money is being directed toward the world's poor and sick than ever before. But unless these efforts start tackling public health in general instead of narrow, disease-specific problems -- and unless the brain drain from the developing world can be stopped -- poor countries could be pushed even further into trouble, in yet another tale of well-intended foreign meddling gone awry."

more on training in MCH: Games For Health

If you missed class yesterday (and, considering attendance, chances are you did!), you really missed out on a great discussion of training and supervision. For the class exercise, students learned to suture oranges via written, second hand verbal, and expert verbal instructions. The surprising results showed that a person taught by second hand knowledge (the community health worker previously trained by an expert) did as well as the person taught by the expert herself. The person taught by written instruction only, well, floundered.

One of the more interesting topics was the new frontier of training opportunities via the internet. With OLPC, the opportunities are exploding for connectivity in previously unreachable settings from dense slums to rural desert villages. We aren't the only ones who think this can be huge--the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation launched an $8.25m campaign to research just this type of thing! The announcement comes via the Serious Games Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. What a dream job:

Games For Health:
"The Serious Games Initiative founded Games for Health to develop a community and best practices platform for the numerous games being built for health care applications. To date the project has brought together researchers, medical professionals, and game developers to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health care and policy."