Dear Colleagues,

A while ago, an intern (Kim Seghers) assisted us in the evaluation of our weekly IHP newsletter. We really would like to thank the many among you who took the time to fill out a feedback form and/or responded positively to Kim’s request for an ‘evaluation’ phone call. She did an excellent job, and we’re happy to share with you some of the results now. You can find the key messages of the evaluation more in detail here.

Read the rest of this editorial

Enjoy your reading.

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

Global Health Policy

1.      Lancet – A strategic revolution in HIV and global health

A Lancet editorial assesses last week’s HIV/AIDS High Level event in New York. A landmark event, they reckon. The new way forward is called ‘integration’. And UNAIDS could assume a new leadership role in global health, more so than the Global Fund.

It seems that the new buzz word is now integration. As I have commented elsewhere, it is an ambiguous word that one should use with caution. Functioning health systems need a mix of strategies to be implemented simultaneously. Do any of you have examples of excessive use of ‘integration’ in facts or in discourse? Share them with us. DH

An interesting blog poston the website of Global Health Magazine could have been drafted in New York. The author explores ways to link global health & human rights better. Integrating individual rights with structural policy changes will expand human rights for all.

2.      BMJ (analysis) – Global health diplomacy: how foreign policy can influence health

Ilona Kickbusch;

Kickbusch argues that public health experts need to work with diplomats in order to achieve global health goals. (And then hopefully these diplomats (and their bosses) will listen.)

3.      Foreign Policy – Grave Inflation

David Rieff;

Rieff comments on a new report on the Haiti earthquake which seems to remind us again that, for aid groups, more casualties means more funding. The use of apocalyptic language, inflating casualty numbers, … could be a dangerous game to play, especially given the current mood in US Congress. Meanwhile, the well-informed “Tales From the Hood” blogger thinks the aid community should just leave Haiti. Full stop.

4.      Global Health Magazine (blog) – FOCUS ON NCDS NOW, OR PAY THE PRICE

Arogya World;

The Global Health Conference 2011, “Securing a Healthier Future for a Changing World,” is currently taking place in Washington D.C.   It focuses on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), serving an important role in the lead-up to the UN Summit on NCDs on September 19 and 20, 2011. The global economic burden of NCS is going to be huge, if we fail to take action.

An AFGH blog post also comments on the opening session and the first day of this conference.

5.      Lancet (online) – UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases: addressing four questions

In this Lancet report, the authors present the realities of the NCD situation by answering four questions: is there really a global crisis of NCDs; how is NCD a development issue; are affordable and cost-effective interventions available; and do we really need high-level leadership and accountability?

Some more global health policy news:

Check out also HLSP Institute’s global update of Health & Development (June issue). What are the main trends of the last six months in areas like aid effectiveness and public health?

Global Post provides an update, by Lois Quam, on the Global Health Initiative’s in-country implementation.

The Global Fund, which probably looked a bit envious at little sister (GAVI)’s  refinancing round earlier this week, also had some good news: an innovative debt swap agreement between Germany and Egypt, which will benefit Global Fund-backed malaria programs in Ethiopia.

Vaccine and GAVI

6.      Guardian – Vaccine funds – get the data

Claire Provost;

If you read this newsletter, chances are you already know, but for the ones that don’t: the GAVI pledge conference was a dazzling success, with the UK and the Gates foundation as the main benefactors. You find the data in this Guardian article.

KFF has a fact sheet (PDF 2P 429 Kb) on the US and the GAVI alliance.

7.      Humanosphere – Is the Gates Foundation’s plan for global vaccinations too friendly to the drug industry?

Tom Paulson;

On his blog Humanosphere, Tom Paulson comments on the GAVI pledge conference, and more in particular on three relevant questions that need to be addressed.

On the AFGH blog, Marta Monteso reflects on some of the issues raised by CSO organizations with respect to GAVI, like the governance issue, the price paid for expensive vaccines, the need to fund implementation beyond the purchasing of vaccines,…


The GAVI pledging conference received more coverage than the UN High Level meeting on HIV/AIDS. That worries us. Is there only place for one headline at a time in the media or does this reflect a shift in global health priorities?

8.      Guardian– All shall have vaccines – and now how about some more Aids drugs too?

Sarah Boseley;

Apparently we’re not the only ones worried. Sarah Boseley wrote this piece on the “vaccines versus the rest” funding debate.

9.      Science Speaks – UN AIDS Declaration sets some ambitious goals, fails to address others

Meredith Mazzotta

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS Friday at the conclusion of the three-day High-Level Meeting on AIDS in New York City. It’s an ambitious document, but nevertheless more so in some respects than in others.

The Global Fund hosted a meeting on the HIV financing challenge at the Ungass meeting in New York. Science Speaks reports.


10.   Health Research Policy & Systems Supplement

Stephen R Hanney; Miguel A Gonzalez;

This editorial introduces a new Supplement in Health Research Policy and Systems  (Strengthening the research to policy and practice interface: exploring strategies used by research organisations working on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS). It highlights the importance of assessing the impact of health research by examining whether we can move from ‘Know-Do’ to ‘Do-Knowing It’s Been Done’. Lovely title.

Development & aid

11.   European voice – On the trail of ‘disappearing’ aid

Toby Vogel;

Toby Vogel assesses the EC’s budget support policy in an era of austerity – and soon maybe financial meltdown (part 2).

12.   BMJ (news) – Support mounts for a social protection guarantee for the world’s most vulnerable people

Governments, employers, and labour unions are backing the ILO to develop a basic social protection guarantee that would provide essential healthcare and income for the world’s most vulnerable people. The decision to work towards a global policy on essential social services was taken by consensus during a session of an ILO committee on social protection and is expected to be formally approved on 17 June by ministers and senior officials from 183 countries attending the annual ministerial meeting.

And AFGH reports EU parliamentarians are being urged to show their support for a Financial Transaction Tax by signing a declaration drafted by a broad coalition of NGOs and trade unions ahead of the European Council later this month.

Some more development related pieces that caught our attention this week:

In the Guardian, Jonathan Glennie argues forcefully that there is one argument against aid that we need to tackle head on: the idea that we cannot afford aid, that we are being over-generous, especially in a time of cuts at home.

An ODI blog post examines Andrew Mitchell’s “one year on”-speech. Alison Evans supports Mitchell’s call for a new robust narrative on results, but reckons he should pay more attention to the global context in which he is seeking this paradigm shift.

The African Development Bank’s  report on aid effectiveness identifies regional integration and governance as key areas for improvement.

Finally, on the Guardian Poverty Matters blog, Leo Williams from Beyond 2015, looks ahead.

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  1. April Harding says:

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