With eyes already on Nigeria, world leaders gather in country to discuss future of Africa

The World Economic Forum on Africa opened today in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. With young and rapidly growing populations, many countries in Africa face important challenges and opportunities in the years ahead. World population exceeded 7 billion in 2011, is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and much of that growth is expected to occur on the African Continent. In response, the World Economic Forum created the Global Agenda Council on Population Growth. PSI President and CEO Karl Hofmann is a member of the Council, which recently released two case studies, on Nigeria and Rwanda, with recommendations to respond to population growth trends in the coming years.

 

 

Innovation is challenging the status quo, creating solutions from the ground-up

TopBarriertoInnovation

 

Q&A with Duncan Blair, Director of Public Health Initiatives, Alere, Inc.

Impact: How do you define innovation? What do you think are some of the most important factors driving innovation in global health?

DB: Innovation is not only about delivering something new but also about delivering something which provides positive outcomes. What you need for innovation really is creative and engaged people — it’s all about people being willing to challenge the status quo. If everybody always thinks the same things, talks the same language and simply tows the party line then that’s not an environment very conducive to innovation. So what you need is people and an environment that fosters and encourages group members to take risks, whether this is an R&D team, a marketing team, a program implementation team, or a policy development team. Without people who are willing to state their opinion and argue their position then you have no innovation.

Insider look: GiveWell

The latest edition of Impact magazine seeks to uncover global health’s best investments, identify global health trends, and discuss barriers and solutions to scaling up promising interventions. Read the interview below from the issue,  find the rest of the articles from the magazine here, and continue the conversation on Twitter using#BestBuys4GH.

Impact: GiveWell is known for using the very clear and direct framework of ‘proven/cost-effective/scalable’ when evaluating charities for public health. With your initiative, GiveWell Labs, you’re moving into new territory with the evaluation of areas outside public health and less straightforward frameworks. What was the impetus for this change and what challenges are you experiencing?

GiveWell: When GiveWell started, its co-founders had no experience in the non-profit sector, so they decided to focus on programs whose impact is easiest to measure: interventions with strong formal evidence of effectiveness from high-quality studies, such as randomized controlled trials. Now that we’ve been using this approach for a long time, we’re eager to learn about opportunities that might have great impact even if they are harder to measure, which is what GiveWell Labs is designed to do.

A public-private partnership for 70,000 healthier smiles in Myanmar

On Feb. 27, 2014 in North Okkalapa Township, outside of Yangon, where USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah attended a demonstration of how P&G's water purifying packet can make undrinkable water clean and clear in just 20 minutes.

Through providing increased access to safe water treatment products and promoting hand-washing with soap at critical times, the partnership between Procter & Gamble, USAID, and PSI seeks to prevent diarrhea among approximately 70,000 children under five in Myanmar, thereby reducing the number of preventable deaths. Diarrhea is the second major cause of death among children under five, following pneumonia, which can also be reduced significantly by improving hand-washing practices.

Twitter can locate HIV outbreaks

A team of researchers mapped over 9,800 tweets with sexual and drug-related themes and found that their locations were a good predictor for established statistics on HIV-prevalence. “Because of the growing amount of social media data, researchers and public health departments will soon be able to build upon these methods to more accurately monitor and detect health behaviors and disease outbreaks.”

USAID and P&G kick-off Global Development Alliance to improve health in Myanmar

Parents and children of North Okkalapa Township, outside Burma's capital Rangoon on Feb. 27, 2014, listen intently to a demonstration on proper safe water and hygiene practices. In Burma USAID and Procter and Gamble partner to provide clean drinking water and promote sanitation practices for some of the country's most vulnerable. (Image credit: Kelly Ramundo/USAID)

Administrator Raj Shah this week helped deliver the first liter of clean drinking water under a Global Development Alliance (GDA) between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to improve health in Myanmar.

Over the next two years, USAID and P&G will make joint investments of at least $2 million on health projects aimed at providing clean drinking water through provision of P&G Purifier of Water packets, promoting better hygiene behaviors;,and building capability to deliver improved health services to mothers and children. These projects will be implemented on the ground by PSI.