Dear Readers,

We ended last year with a specal issue of the IHP newsletter featuring  Emerging Voices’ & ITM staff perspectives on post-MDGs and health, looking beyond 2015. To kick-start 2013, the IHP editorial team instead joins the many among you who, once a year, tend to look back and reflect on the previous year. Which blog posts and guest editorials pushed our readers’ buttons in 2012? Let’s see. Hopefully this exercise will give us some inspiration for New Year’s resolutions, working towards an even better next year. Or maybe you have some suggestions!

So here are the ten most read posts, in reversed order for a bigger suspense 🙂

No 10: Global health is no longer bipartisan in the US, whether we like it or not. It’s time we wake up to that reality. (K. Decoster)

In this heated post that appeared 3 months before the US elections, one of the core members of the editorial team, Kristof Decoster  argued that a Romney/Ryan victory would mean “game over for the planet.” As a very vocal climate change lobbyist, Kristof argues: “Small government, ultra-light regulation and trickle-down policies will not just cause economic and social hardship for numerous people, as these approaches haven’t worked in the past and won’t do so in the future; they are also the last thing this planet needs at this point in time.” Luckily, a Romney administration didn’t materialize. It remains to be seen though whether a second Obama term will make such a difference…

Worried about climate change and what it could imply for our health? This post is for you.

No 9: Natalie Eggermont – Health Systems Global Board Candidate (N. Eggermont)

Natalie Eggermont may still be a medical student and may be very young, but make no mistake, she is already in a very influential position. Announced at the HSR Symposium in Beijing, Natalie has been elected as a board member of the new Health Systems Global society. In this post Natalie introduced herself to the public, and apparently all who read it voted for her!

No 8: RIO+20 + 33 social movements ÷ 80,000 voices = ? (David Reggio) 

David Reggio’s post not only gained a lot of readers, but it also triggered quite some comments. He wrote about an event that was organized immediately after the Rio+20 conference, called Cúpula dos Povos (People’s Summit),which was composed of 33 national networks. David wrote: “Health in Brazil is a social affair, necessitating the participation of social groups in policy building processes and research into innovative mechanisms that ensure the direct and indirect participation of citizens.”

Worth to check it out.

No 7: The future I want (D. Hercot) 

2012 also marked the leave of one of the founding fathers of the IHP newsletter. After a decade or so in global health, David fancied a career change. He will continue his important work at the Brussels Health and Social Observatory, on local ground. In this post he reflected on the future of a European Global Health researcher.

We were sad to see him go but understand his decision and wish him the best of luck in 2013!

No 6: HIV Medicines Alliance: Lip Service Move To Get Rid Of The Medicines Patent Pool? (D. Dionisio) 

Read Daniele Dionisio’s summary of his post as a teaser: “The newly launched HIV Medicines Alliance (HMA) initiative commendably seeks enlarged brand, generic industry collaboration to optimize, enhance access to HIV treatments by developing world populations. But it raises concerns about implications for the freedom of India’s pharma companies, good faith in helping the greatest number of patients, and impact on the Medicines Patent Pool. These compound criticism that, as a lip service move to get rid of the Pool, HMA could fall short of a staunch commitment to affordable prices and availability.”

 No 5: Nursing the wombs of poor women – a neglected priority (Shishir Dahal) 

Emerging Voice 2010 Shishir was also a participant of our very successful 2012 edition of the EV venture which took its participants to the buzzing town of Beijing. In his post, Shishir expresses a  fear that utero-vaginal prolapse (which has a very high prevalence rate in Nepal) will never be an MDG+ aim. The reason: “It won’t be addressed by global initiatives because priorities are set in Geneva, New York and Brussels.”

It looks like his words also resonated with our readers.

No 4: Universal health coverage in India: muddling through the quagmire (P. NS, W. Soors, U. Bhojani)

One of the BRICS countries, India is a frequent subject on the IHP blog. So is Universal Health Coverage. This explosive “cocktail” apparently made this post by Prashanth NS, Werner Soors and Upenda Bhojani  one of the most popular ones of 2012. As we learn from their well-argued post, “At present, the universal health coverage debate in India is happening largely at the federal level, locally called the centre. The challenge of how the states will take up recommendations of the centre is yet to be seen.”

We certainly hope to feature more on this exciting journey towards UHC, in India and elsewhere.

No 3: The Global Fund at a crossroads, again… this time the stakes are even higher (G. Ooms)

Human rights lawyer Gorik Ooms is one of our most popular contributors on the IHP blog. The post appeared in April, long before Mark Dybul was appointed the new Executive Director of the Fund. As Gorik asks in his post, the main question is whether “we are going to continue with development assistance as we know it or whether we are aiming for global social policy and global redistribution of income, with the Global Fund cast as a somewhat reluctant pioneer.” Yes, that sounds like Gorik.

No 2: Some reflections on the Beijing symposium and Richard Horton’s manifesto (K. Decoster) 

Kristof struck a chord with this blog post. Whether readers were genuinely curious about Richard Horton’s “manifesto” or whether they just had fond memories of their time in Beijing, we will never know. In any case, the piece gives a very personal  account of a major health conference that was a very important event for most of our readers and the staff here at ITM. In case you didn’t make it to the Chinese capital, we highly recommend this post for you.

No 1: A Critical Perspective on the Policy Process in a Developing Country (Azmal Hossain)

Our most popular post in 2012 was a quite incisive IHP newsletter guest editorial by MPH student Azmal Hossain, in which he looks critically at Bangladesh’s messy policy process. In case you have not read it yet, here is your chance. To get a taste of our winner’s rhetorical style, find here an excerpt: “Research is inevitable. But in order to have it reflected in the policy and/or strategy,  evidence should be gathered in the real world, not in an arranged setting. Research should be driven by proper planning. I am saying this because there are far too many NGOs piloting their pet project and doing their action and operation researches in a somewhat artificial setting.”

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