Dear Colleagues,

 After an editorial on Sarkozy’s intention to implement a Financial Transaction Tax we selected a lot of scientific publications this week: on Health Systems Research methods, Health Swaps, Health systems and AIDS and more. We also invite you to pay attention to two upcoming conferences.

 Enjoy your reading.

 David Hercot, Kristof Decoster, Josefien Van Olmen, Basile Keugoung & Wim Van Damme


1.    Everything old is new again in terms of taxation of financial transactions

Fahdi Dkhimi and Catherine Korachais

The recent publication of the report “International action in Health and Social Protection: propositions for a French Influence”  illustrates how the influence concern is a preeminent trait of the French diplomacy, in all the fields of the French international cooperation. Whatever the issue, “taking the lead” has become a diplomatic obsession, one of the strategies to offset the “decline” of the French influence on the international scene. It is hence not surprising to hear an official statement ending with the words “France is ready to lead the way”, as occurred again last week, in a public statement from Henri Guaino, Nicolas Sarkozy’s special counselor. Read the rest of this editorial here


2.    WHO – Alliance HPSR :  “Health Policy and Systems Research: A Methodology Reader”

Exceptionally we start our newsletter with the research section. We think this reader, prepared by Lucy Gilson and numerous colleagues, is really a landmark in health systems research. (Full version of reader – PDF – 7,4 Mb)

Read the rest of this comment here

Global Health Policy and Financing

3.    Rethinking Health Sector Wide Approaches (SWAp’s) through the lens of aid effectiveness

Andrew McNee;

McNee summarizes a report on a study that has assessed the effectiveness of Health sector SWAp’s. A very important reading for those interested in improving health aid. Report in PDF

4.    Globalization and Health – Positioning women’s and children’s health in African Union policy-making: A policy analysis

Kadidiatou Toure, Rotimi Sankore, Shyama Kuruvilla, et al. ;

Toure and colleague reviewed the African Union decisions related to health since 1963. There is clearly an upward trend they find. (open source PDF)

5.    Third People’s health Movement Assembly

The third People’s health assembly will take place in July in Cape Town. They are calling for submission for self-organized workshops. Main themes of the assembly include, but not only, global health and Universal Coverage.

6.    Sexually Transmitted Infections – Health systems for HIV treatment and care

Alan Whiteside;

STI has a special issue on health systems and HIV. Alan Whiteside’s editorial is freely available and depicts the articles in the issue. Karen Grepin has an article on AIDS and donor fatigue that some of you might be interested to read.

7.    IRINPLUS – SOUTH AFRICA: Global Fund monies finally released

We don’t know if the GFO observer finally made the last push to reach the tipping point but the Global Fund finally released a long awaited $US 7 million grant to SA.

8. – Will Performance-Based Financing survive Universal Health Coverage?

Jurrien Toonen;

Reflecting on the Universal Health Coverage wave, Jurrien Toonen wonders if PBF will be supported or drown.

9.    Karengrepin – Stop saying the solutions are so simple

Karen Grepin ;

Karen Grepin is reflecting on a new report by Save the Children. Taking the example of self-experienced breastfeeding, she argues that even so said “simple” interventions aren’t so simple to implement. Of course breastfeeding  is the ultimate example of simple things that aren’t simple as mothers (and their partners) who have experienced breastfeeding will tell you. Getting “simple” technological interventions like ORS to all children who need it is theoretically simple -as Regina Keith argues in a comment-even easy at project level. Reality is that in many places it remains a challenge. DH

10. WHO upholds guidance on hormonal contraceptive use and HIV

WHO has reviewed its recommendations with regard to contraceptives and HIV following a recent publication pointing to a link between contraceptive use and increased HIV transmission. In the end, the recommendations do not really change.

National Health Financing

11. Global Health Check – Abolishing user fees for c-sections in Mali: A success story?

by Yussif Nagumse and Anna Marriott ;

An interesting blog post looking into successes and challenges of the six year old Mali free caesarean policy.

Development and Aid

12. Just policy – Is the world ready for sustainable development goals?

Laura Taylor;

Taylor discuss the current political economy of the sustainable development goals debate. She notably mentions Charles Kenny from CGD discussing post MDGs in a wonkcast.

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