Blogs

Polio Eradication Hopes and Fears: What Next?

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Authors: Heidi Larson, Ph.D. & Will Schulz, MSc, June 13 2017

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The Power of India's Village Women

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Author: Moin Qazi, February 16 2017 [first posted in The Pulse, linked below] India is far from perfect in ensuring women's rights, but quotas at the local government level are having a real impact.

Societies and cultures that invest in and empower women are on a virtuous cycle. They become richer, better governed, more stable, and less prone to violence. By contrast, countries that limit women's educational and employment opportunities and their political voice get stuck in a downward spiral: They are poorer, more fragile, and have higher levels of corruption.

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Tell me a story: narratives, behaviour change and neuroscience

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Author: National Creative Director, BBC Media Action India Radharani Mitra, orignially posted June 19 2017 - "Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." - Native American proverb

I recently spent the day in a San Diego hotel room with 49 people who are obsessed with telling stories. Focused on overcoming public health and social justice challenges, we were gathered to discuss how to design, develop, monitor and evaluate communication responses based around storytelling.

The day we spent together was a story in itself: interesting characters…full of discovery…with not a single dull moment! I hoped it would never end, so, to re-live the thrill of it all, I thought I would share some of my highlights from the fabulous talks I heard: 

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Are There Lasting Lessons from Polio Eradication for Global Health?

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Author: Sue Goldstein, June 7 2017 - is a member of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and is a past member of the Task Force on Immunisation (TFI) - World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) and the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy. She is Programme Director at Soul City: Institute for Social Justice, where she works on health communication and health promotion.

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Bonded for slavery despite flourishing Democracy - Feudal Democracy

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Author: Sahib Khan, June 14 2017 - Police freed 45 members of several peasant families, including women and children, from illegal captivity of landlords after raiding their farmlands in a number of villages in Kot Ghulam Mohammad Taluka in Mirpurkhas district, Pakistan, as reported by Dawn [Pakistan's largest English language news source] on May 23, 2017. Some weeks ago, another family was liberated by on the order of court. Acting on the directives of the district and sessions court Mirpurkhas, police of Kot Ghulam Mohammad and Degan Bhurgari police stations raided the farmlands in the villages of Rais Ahmed Khan Bhurgari, Aslam Dal and Deh 214 and got the bonded peasants released. This has become practice in different parts of the country where bonded peasants or workers or labourers are freed on the courts’ order. 

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How can communication help stop teenagers dying?

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Author: BBC Media Action Health Adviser Emebet Wuhib-Mutungi, originally post June 5 2017 - While the election of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the next director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been accompanied by some controversy, I’ve been heartened by one of his top five priorities for when he assumes his new post. Dr Tedros has pledged to put the wellbeing of adolescents, alongside women and children, at the very centre of global health and development.

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The case for adaptive programming

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Author: BBC Media Action India Country Director Priyanka Dutt, posted to the BBC Media Action website on June 8 2017 - I don’t like results frameworks. Most demand that you specify exactly what you will do, where, when, and how many times, in order to achieve specified objectives that contribute to overarching development goals.

Of course, that is a perfectly fair thing to ask of an implementing organisation. Development funds are scarce; every rupee spent needs to be accounted for and must contribute towards creating lasting and transformational change.

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What's it like to be a teenage mother in Sierra Leone?

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Author: BBC Media Action Producer Mariama Sesay, originally posted June 6 2017 - Driving home from work in Freetown one day a young woman caught my attention. She looked exhausted, trying to carry all her school books and her bag on the dusty street. It was unbearably hot and as I sat waiting in traffic I felt sorry for her, so I asked if she needed a lift. "Yes ma, thanks", she said with relief and got into the car.

I’ve three teenage children myself so I asked about her studies and where she lived. Her name was Fanta Sheriff and she chatted away about living with her mother, son and siblings, how she got pregnant at 16 - lighting up as she told me all about her three-year-old son Ibrahim.

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From Polio's Small Victories to Development's Global Wins

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Author: Claire Hajaj, June 7 2017 - is a journalist specialising in conflict, policy, and advocacy whose experience spans strategic communication, international policy, national development, and humanitarian operations. She has written on the impact of conflict on polio eradication in countries experiencing internal struggles linked to Islamic extremist armed groups and other strains of fundamentalist Islam. She has worked on polio eradication at UNICEF and is the inaugural Fellow at the UN Centre for Policy Research.

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FAO breaks new grounds in rural poverty reduction

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Author: FAO's James Ayodele, June 7 2017 - FAO is breaking new grounds in rural poverty reduction through an enhanced support to employment creation and social protection, and partnerships with counterparts outside its traditional domain, says the report of a recent evaluation by the Office of Evaluation. However, greater consideration of poverty analyses and pro-poor approaches in the design of country programmes and projects would pave the way for a more targeted response.

The evaluation, which was concluded in March 2017, assessed the strategic relevance and progress in implementing FAO’s new approach to rural poverty reduction under the Organization’s Strategic Programme 3 during the period 2014-2016.

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