Dear Colleagues,

This week the Family Planning summit in London got most of the attention of the global health community and the mainstream press, far more than the third People’s Health Assembly that took place in Cape Town. In this newsletter, we will try to pay attention to both events. We invited Walter Flores, an Emerging (or rather an Emerged) Voice from Guatemala, to give his impressions on PHA3.

Enjoy your reading.

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




Amandla! Amandla! to  the third People’s Health Assembly


By Walter Flores, Emerging Voice from Guatemala

More than one thousand activists, academics and students from over 60 different countries  gathered at the historic  University of Western Cape for the third global assembly (PHA3).  The historic call of “amandla” , used during the struggle against the apartheid,   accompanied many of the plenary presentations.

Read the rest of the editorial here


Third People’s Health Assembly in Cape Town


1.    Various blog posts on PHA3


A ‘call to action’ draft was discussed at the Assembly – the version presented to participants on the final day (11 July) will be finetuned in the weeks to come by a team of four people (including Dave McCoy), and should be released 4 weeks from now. We’re looking forward to it.

Various participants blogged on PHA3 – among others, Rob Yates (on the UHC forward blog – two blog posts,  here and  here) and Fran Baum (BMJ blog – also two posts so far). Yates focuses on health financing and UHC, Fran gives an overview of some of the key presentations and messages on days 1, 2 and 3.

Other blog posts were written by INCO/GHI researcher Annie Parsons (about the first day, in a BMJ blog as well as on Global Health Observer) and Kristof Decoster (in a series of blog posts with some reflections on the four days (1, 2, 3, 4), based on the plenaries and other sessions I attended; and a shorter one on the need to reconcile Latin-American holistic ideas and the green economy).

Anso Thom wrote a detailed account  of the (plenary) presentation by Mark Heywood (Section 27).


Family planning summit


2.    Lancet – Family Planning Series

This Lancet Family Planning Series reviews the evidence for the effects of population and family planning on people’s well-being and the environment. The Series appeared ahead of the London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the UK Government, on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Apart from the research article that’s been in the news on the impact of contraceptive use on maternal mortality, we want to draw your attention to the Comment by Richard Horton (‘The rebirth of family planning’) and the

Viewpoint by Jeremy Shiffman & Kathryn Quissell (‘Family planning: a political issue).


3.    CGD blog posts on the FP summit


CGD fellows posted a number of nice articles on their website, among others Owen Barder  (on this second ‘golden moment’ for global health (and UK politicians), after the GAVI replenishment conference last year), Amanda Glassman and Rachel Silverman (together with Amanda Glassman), arguing that contraceptive access is necessary for women’s rights, health and empowerment, but not sufficient to achieve any of these goals.

Tom Paulson also wrote a blog post  on the summit (on the Humanosphere website), pointing out, among other things, that Melinda’s influence in the Gates Foundation is increasing. Which is probably a good thing.


4.    Guardian – Rich countries pledge $2.6bn for family planning in global south

Mark Tran;

Rich countries have pledged $2.6bn over the next eight years at the summit. The money, coupled with commitments from developing countries, is expected to provide access to family planning for 120 million women in the global south.

The debate about family planning has overlooked the dangers of adolescent pregnancy for too long, says a major new report  by ODI/Save the Children. It exposes the challenges inherent in changing cultural norms, helping girls to take control of their own futures. There is also an ODI  blog post on the new report.


Upcoming Aids conference & HIV/AIDS


5.    Health Affairs – Issue on PEPFAR: Assessing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief

This July Health Affairs issue has plenty of interesting stuff on PEPFAR,  check it out for yourself.


6.    NEJM (Editorial) – Preexposure Prophylaxis for HIV — Where Do We Go from Here?

Myron S. Cohen et al. ;

In the run-up to the Aids summit, the New England Journal of Medicine pays attention to pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV in a number of articles. The prevention of HIV infection is a critical global public health priority. Pre-exposure prophylaxis is emerging as part of an integrated HIV prevention strategy.


7.    Global commission on HIV and the law

Punitive laws and human rights abuses are costing lives, wasting money and stifling the global AIDS response, according to a report by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, an independent body of global leaders and experts.

In other HIV news, Serra Sippel argues  (in the Huffington Post) that HIV is now a women’s plague. If we are to create an Aids-free generation, the Aids conference and  the HIV policies and interventions have to respond accordingly.

We also want to draw your attention to ‘The Market Share’, a  new UNITAID publication. The Market Share is a summary of news on treatment, diagnostic, and preventive commodities for HIV, TB, and malaria excerpted from journals, newspapers, blogs and other global health publications. You can access the latest issue of The Market Share at


Global Fund


8.    New York Times – Fund-Raising: A New Approach to Solicitations for a Troubled AIDS Charity

Donald G. McNeil Jr.;

The new general manager of the Global Fund, Mr. Jaramillo, took a new approach to appealing for donations last week at a meeting in Tunis, arguing to finance ministers from participating nations that the fund is a great investment.

Check out also the new GFO issue. According to the Global Fund, 3.0% of the funding that has been audited or investigated by the Office of the Inspector General was “misspent, fraudulently misappropriated or inadequately accounted for.”


9.    Health Policy & Planning – Has Global Fund support for civil society advocacy in the Former Soviet Union established meaningful engagement or ‘a lot of jabber about nothing’?

Andrew Harmer et al.;

In this article, the authors examine civil society advocacy efforts to reform HIV/AIDS and drugs-related policies and their implementation in three former Soviet Union countries.


Health Policy & Financing


10. Global public health – several new articles

Global Public health published a number of relevant articles this week (online). There are articles on the shared responsibility of disease surveillance (by Sara Davies); on innovation and technology for global public health (by Peter Piot); on knowledge networks for global public health (by Maria Dulce F.); and an article mapping the key issues shaping the landscape of global public health (by Alestair Ager et al.).


11. Nature (Comment) – Developing world: Bring order to unregulated health markets

David H. Peters & Gerald Bloom;

Uncontrolled medical treatment in Asia and Africa costs lives and money. David Peters and Gerald Bloom call for governments, firms and citizen groups to get involved.


12. Global health Governance (blog post)  – Peter Piot’s Memoir on Infectious Disease

Joshua Bushby;

Bushby comments on Piot’s memoir ‘no time to lose’. “When we think of transnational advocacy movements, our paradigmatic actors are activists, the charismatic leaders of groups leading protests and petitions like Greenpeace, Oxfam, ACT UP, and Doctors Without Borders. However, if you go back to Keck and Sikkink’s foundational book Activists Beyond Borders, you will find that the advocacy networks in their view may also include state actors and representatives of intergovernmental organizations. … …  when you read Piot’s account of his efforts to help cobble together a broad coalition to fight AIDS, you realize that Piot was an advocate and that those change agents inside governments and international organizations deserve more attention as central figures in transnational campaigns.”


13. AfGH – After Rio: Let’s start moving towards the Future We Want

Liliana Marcos ;

This article offers AfGH’s public health perspective on the RIO+20 summit; the author is not as disappointed as many other commentators. In line with a recent claim by Margaret Chan, UHC is considered the single best objective Public Health people can offer in order to see health included in the post MDG framework.


14. Coalition of NGOs want Ghana to reject World Bank’s report on health

Lawrence Quartey;

A coalition of local and international non-governmental organisations in health in Ghana, is asking the government to reject the World Bank’s proposal to adopt cost-sharing to sustain its National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which has been operational since 2003.


15. Laurie Garrett – The U.S. Global Health Initiative is Dead: Long Live the U.S. Global Health Initiative!

Laurie Garrett gives her take on the news of the ‘abolishment’ of the GHI. On the CGD website, Amanda Glassman did the same, while Serra Sippel comments in the Huffington Post.


16. Tunis HHA meeting – High-level Ministerial conference on the theme of Value for Money, Sustainability and Accountability in the Health Sector

We already referred to this recent meeting in Tunis in the news on the new approach taken by Jaramillo. On July 4-5, 2012, HHA organised a high-level Ministerial conference on the theme of Value for Money, Sustainability and Accountability in the Health Sector at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Tunisia. The conference gathered Ministers of Finance and Health and/or their representatives from 54 African countries, African parliamentarians as well as over 400 participants from the public and private sectors, academia, civil society and media globally. They came up with the following declaration.


17. Ventures – Tunis Report: African Governments Must Invest In Health

At the meeting in Tunis, African governments have been urged to improve their investment on health.


Development & Aid


18. ODI – Horizon 2025: creative destruction in the aid industry

Homi Kharas et al.

This paper aims to stimulate debate on the future of the international development architecture and explores how far some of today’s major development agencies are likely to be exposed to the resulting pressures to change course, emulate the disruptors or face irrelevance. A blog post summarizes the paper.


19. Europe Development Digest

Check out this CGD digest on Europe development news.

A few other D&A articles:

  • An article on the Trade Union (ITUC) perspective on post-2015
  • An IDS policy briefing on Private Foundations, Business and developing a Post-2015 Framework
  • A great CGD blog post by William Savedoff on the future of international cooperation

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