Dear Colleagues,

We can still feel the aftermath of the AIDS Conference in this week’s newsletter selection. Our editorial today by Asmat Malik, a scholar and emerging voice from Pakistan, discusses the consequences of the CIA’s deceptive military move on polio eradication efforts in his country. Most remaining articles will give you some food for thought on health aid and its effectiveness.

Enjoy your reading,

Kristof Decoster, David Hercot, Ildikó Bokros, Basile Keugoung & Wim Van Damme




Is all fair in love and war?


By Asmat Malik, EV 2010 from Pakistan, Technological Advisor at the Intergrated Health Services in Islamabad

It is yet to be seen whether the Global War on Terrorism achieves its political and military objectives but its interventions have seriously undermined the efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan. You must know that recently, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in a covert military operation, recruited a senior local doctor in Pakistan to launch a fake vaccination drive that helped in tracking down Osama bin Laden by gathering DNA from members of bin Laden’s family.

Read the rest of the editorial here


Global Health Policy and Financing


1. GRAPA TMIH viewpoint Martini et al.

In this viewpoint the Belgian think thank on health aid effectiveness “GRAPA Sante” shares its views on the outcomes of the Busan discussions on aid effectiveness or even better, “development effectiveness,” as they put it.


2. TMIH – Global health policy coordination to address neglected tropical diseases

Tim K. Mackey, Bryan A. Liang;  (free access)

Mackey and Liang suggest that tax and tariff incentives applied locally and globally could boost research for the development of drugs for neglected tropical diseases.


3. Funding for malaria control 2006-2010: A comprehensive global assessment

Pigott DM, Atun R, Moyes CL, et al;

Pigott and colleagues reviewed the flows of aid for malaria over the period 2006-2010. They found some gross misalignment between set global objectives and the observed flows of money.


4. Equinetafrica –  Progress in fair financing for health in East and Southern Africa

A review of progress of East and Southern African countries toward the Abuja target, with and without external funding.

You might also want to read the latest East and Southern African Equinet newsletter.


5. Lancet – Technologies for Global Health

Howit P, Darzi A, Yang G et al.;

The Lancet commission on Technologies for Global Health just published this article highlighting what the needs and opportunities are of technologies to improve health in developing but also developed countries.


AIDS Conference and HIV/AIDS


6. Guardian – Rajiv Shah of USAID sees the way ahead on Aids and global health – but where is Europe?

Sarah Boseley;

Sarah Boseley interviewed Rajiv Shah last week in Washington. He seems to be concerned that Europe is slowing down on global health.


7. GFO – Don’t Compromise Your Principles in the New Funding Model, Global Fund Told

David Garmaise reports from the session on the Global Fund held during the AIDS conference last month. The first article reflects on the interruption of the session by AIDS activists. The newsletter includes more articles describing the sessions and provides links to the video, transcripts and ppts of the session.


8. CGD – Expenditure Analysis: Unlocking PEPFAR’s Value for Money Potential?

Victoria Fan;

Fan believes that the decision of PEPFAR to do Expenditure Analysis is a step in the good direction to improve the value for money. She notes however that the current version of the analysis is too patchy and mainly illustrative.She doesn’t specify if the analysis uses data with or without overheads.

In a related news, PEPFAR announced a 60 m USD effort to research implementation issues during the coming 3 years.


9. Mail & Guardian – We’ve been fighting Aids – now we must end it

Dr Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Urvarshi Rajcoomer;

Authors from Oxfam South Africa present their views on bottlenecks and upcoming priorities for advancing the fight against AIDS in developing countries. Thanks to KFF for posting this article.
And to close our coverage of AIDS 2012 here is an article pondering what the 2014 conference will look like.


10. HPP – Informing policy and programme decisions for scaling up the PMTCT and paediatric HIV response through joint technical missions

Mariam Jashi, Rekha Viswanathan, Rene Ekpini, Upjeet Chandan, Priscilla Idele, Chewe Luo, Ken Legins, Anirban Chatterjee;

Between 2005 and 2010 a number of missions have been performed by a group of experts from different international AIDS organisations to advise countries on the scaling up of PMTCT. UNICEF staff publish their review of the effectiveness of these missions.


Development and Aid


11. Development progress – Why I’m not happy with a happiness index

Emma Samman;

Samman reflects on the quest for happiness to replace GDP as measure of society’s growth. She argues that subjective indicators as “are you happy” are not robust enough to tell us anything. She suggests some groups of indicators instead and in a comment clarifies that subjective indicators are too young and still need to be assessed before we can give them a value.


12. Better aid modalities: are we risking real results?

Helen Tilley and Heidi Tavakoli;

A review of the literature to asses if the topics for research selected at the ODI workshop on aid effectiveness are new or continued research topics.


13. DEVEX – On donor aid suspensions, Rwanda bites back

Jenny Lei Ravelo;

For its alleged arms support of rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda is under threat of losing millions in budgetary support. The US, UK, the Netherlands and Germany are suspending money, sending a strong signal to Rwanda to stop backing the wars in Eastern Congo. How this will affect the country’s economic development is still a question of the future.

14. Chinese engagement with Africa: The case of Mozambique

David Alexander Robinson: Portuguese Journal Of International Affairs, 1-15, Spring/Summer 2012,

This article examines China’s growing relations with Mozambique, to derive insights for wider arguments regarding China’s aims and impacts in Africa, and the trajectory of its growing global influence. The Mozambican case shows a clear tendency towards extractive industries being the primary driver of engagement – but the author argues that the diversified strategy of the Chinese government to build infrastructure, improve agriculture, and win the political approval of both elites and the populace seems to point to a long-term approach to promoting Mozambican economic growth.


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