Health and Education

Which Citizens? Which Services? Unpacking Demand for Improved Health, Education, Roads, Water etc

Duncan Green - March 16, 2018

Next up in the Twaweza series is this post from Ruth Carlitz of the University of Gothenburg. Please read and comment on the draft paper she summarizes here. Clean water. Paved roads. Quality education. Election campaigns in poor countries typically promise such things, yet the reality on the ground often falls short. So, what do people do? Wait for five years and “throw the bums …

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How can researchers and activists influence African governments? Advice from an insider

Duncan Green - March 15, 2018

One of the highlights of the Twaweza meeting was hearing from Togolani Mavura (left), the Private Secretary to former President Kikwete (in Tanzania, ex-presidents get a staff for life, not like in the UK where they have to hawk themselves round the after dinner speaking circuit). Togolani has worked across the  various policy levels  of the Tanzanian goverment, and his talk reminded me a similarly witty …

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Can Evidence-based Activism still bring about change? The view from East Africa

Duncan Green - March 14, 2018

Spent last week defrosting in Tanzania, at a fascinating conference that produced so many ideas for blogs that, even if all the promised pieces don’t materialize, we’re going to have to have a ‘Twaweza week’ on FP2P. Here’s the first instalment. I’m buzzing and sleep deprived after getting back from an intense two days in Dar es Salaam, reviewing the strategy of one of my …

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A Caring Economy: What role for government?

Duncan Green - March 12, 2018

Anam Parvez (left), Oxfam’s Gender Justice Researcher and Lucia Rost, research consultant, introduce their new paper on gender equitable fiscal policies. In economics we are taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Even if something appears to be free, there are always costs – to you and/or society. What is striking is that mainstream economists fail to recognize that this applies just …

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Book Review: Aids Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations, by Ethan B Kapstein and Joshua W Busby

Duncan Green - February 23, 2018

Thanks to Chris Roche for sending me back to re-read this wonderful case study of how activists can change markets (here’s a free pdf of the first chapter). Kapstein and Busby painstakingly researched the rise, tactics and successes/failures of the global advocacy campaign around access to medicines for HIV/AIDS. Their (hugely ambitious) aim is not just to understand a movement that has saved thousands of …

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Ebola Secrets: what happened when an epidemic hit a village in Sierra Leone? 

Duncan Green - February 22, 2018

Melissa Parker, Professor of Medical Anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Tim Allen, Professor of Development Anthropology at LSE and Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa find long-standing customary forms of governance played a critical role in ending the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This blog first appeared on the LSE’s Africa blog. ‘I acted to save the lives of my people, but what …

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New Report from UN Women argues that Universal Childcare can unlock progress across multiple SDGs (and costs it)

Duncan Green - February 15, 2018

Silke Staab (left) and Ginette Azcona introduce their new report on gender and the SDGs, published yesterday UN Women has just launched its first monitoring report on gender equality and the SDGs “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda”. The report offers the most comprehensive review to date on how gender equality features in the 2030 agenda, the massive challenges in making …

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When is eradicating a major disease a disaster for healthcare?

Duncan Green - January 30, 2018

Guest post from Laura Kerr, Senior Policy Advocacy Officer (Child Health), RESULTS UK The world is on the brink of a historic breakthrough – the eradication of polio. Cause for celebration, right? Well yes, in terms of getting rid of a killer disease, but because of the way the aid business has distorted health systems around the developing world, the end of polio could tip …

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Coalitions and Compliance: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Patents in Latin America. Book Review.

Duncan Green - January 18, 2018

Back in the early noughties, I was an NGO trade wonk, prowling the corridors of the WTO and having a fun time at a series of highly theatrical biannual ‘ministerials’ (Seattle 1999 (collapse), Doha 2001 (trade talks launched), Cancún 2003 (another collapse)). Over the course of those campaigns, we grew increasingly vociferous about the need for developing countries to retain ‘policy space’ – the ability …

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What’s your link to bereaved Kenyan mother, Judith Amoit?

Duncan Green - January 17, 2018

Guest post from Matthew Spencer, Oxfam’s Director of Campaigns, Policy and Influencing (@spencerthink)  Judith Amoit, a 27 year-old policewoman hit the Kenyan news last year when she lost her twins shortly after giving birth prematurely in the Nairobi West hospital. She was prevented from leaving the hospital to bury her children because she couldn’t pay the £20,000 bill.  Judith was forced to appeal via the …

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