IHP news 473: Miscellaneous

By on June 8, 2018

Guardian – Who should feed the world: real people or faceless multinationals?


The merger of corporate giants Monsanto and Bayer begs a vital question – what kind of agriculture do we really want?”

ODI (Insight) Can blended finance work for the poorest countries?

S Attridge; https://www.odi.org/comment/10650-can-blended-finance-work-poorest-countries

“… Blended finance is ramping up but not mobilising much. Estimates range from $15.2 billion between 2014 and 2016 to $81.1 billion between 2012 and 2015; crudely, between $5 billion and $20 billion per annum. These are tiny amounts when compared with an estimated annual Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) investment gap of $2.5 trillion per annum. It is heavily concentrated in Middle Income Countries (MICs). ODI’s forthcoming research shows that only $2.9billion (3.6%) of the private finance mobilised using blended finance flowed to Low Income Countries (LICs) between 2012 and 2015; crudely $728 million per annum. Furthermore, it is predominately going to banking and financial services, the energy sector and industry, with very little invested in social sectors. Given the increasing calls for aid to be invested in blended finance and for Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to significantly scale up their mobilisation of private finance, undertaking a reality check of the potential of blended finance to fund SDG investment in the poorest countries should be a priority….”

Amref – Health Accelerator programme for African start-ups now open for applications


Applications are now being accepted for Amref Health Africa’s Innovate for Life Fund, a five-month accelerator program specifically designed for African health entrepreneurs. Now in its second year, the Innovate for Life Fund aims to support African entrepreneurs to accelerate home-grown health solutions for the African market….”


Devex – UK aid ‘brand’ at risk from cross-government funds, says IDC report


Official development assistance spent outside the Department for International Development — which is set to rise to 30 percent within the next two years — is less transparent, less coherent, and less poverty-focused than aid spent by DFID, a new report from the parliamentary International Development Committee has found. The U.K.’s controversial cross-government aid strategy has seen a rising proportion of aid spent through departments other than DFID. But the report from IDC, the group of legislators who monitor the country’s aid spending, concluded that not only is cross-government aid falling short of international standards for transparency, but also that poor coordination, competing department priorities, and a lack of focus on poverty reduction could damage the U.K. aid brand….”

Guardian – Trump’s ‘cruel’ measures pushing US inequality to dangerous level, UN warns


Donald Trump is deliberately forcing millions of Americans into financial ruin, cruelly depriving them of food and other basic protections while lavishing vast riches on the super-wealthy, the United Nations monitor on poverty has warned. Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur who acts as a watchdog on extreme poverty around the world, has issued a withering critique of the state of America today. Trump is steering the country towards a “dramatic change of direction” that is rewarding the rich and punishing the poor by blocking access even to the most meager necessities….”

Devex – Gates Foundation launches a new global education strategy


Last week on Friday, “the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched its global education strategy, to provide education systems in India and sub-Saharan Africa with better resources to improve teaching and learning. Building on its investments in global health and international development, and expanding its work on education beyond the United States, the new global effort has a $68 million budget for the next four years….”

The American Interest – Two Belts, Two Roads

B Maçaes; https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/02/13/two-belts-two-roads/

Interesting read. “The emergence of the Indo-Pacific concept shows how our mental maps are being redrawn in Asia—with geopolitical implications that are only beginning to come into view.”


“… What first and foremost gives force to the concept of Indo-Pacific is the expanding role of China and India on the global stage. Seen from the traditional centers of political power in Europe and North America, it is still tempting to think of China as an East Asian nation, and of India as a South Asian nation, but in reality, this is an increasingly meaningless distinction. … … That, in the final analysis, explains why China sees a strategic threat in the very concept of the Indo-Pacific. Understood as a geographic concept it merely repeats ideas conceptualized by Beijing in the context of the Belt and Road, but the same underlying reality carries different—opposed—political meanings. The term “Indo-Pacific” is less the acknowledgment of an ineluctable political geography than an initial, inchoate move to create a political initiative, one intended to rival China’s Belt and Road.”

Nature (News) – Europe’s top science funder shows high-risk research pays off


“The European Research Council publishes its third annual impact assessment of the projects it funds.”

Guardian – Is rising inequality responsible for greater stress, anxiety and mental illness?


That’s the claim made by the authors of “The Inner Level”, which furthers arguments first laid out in their 2009 work, The Spirit Level. They reveal the bleak truth about uneven societies.”  Review of Wilkinson & Pickett’s new book.

Emerging Voices

Understanding the complex relationships among actors involved in the implementation of public-private mix (PPM) for TB control in India, using social theory

Solomon Salve (EV 2014) et al;  https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-018-0785-1

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) are increasingly utilized as a public health strategy for strengthening health systems and have become a core component for the delivery of TB control services in India, as promoted through national policy. However, partnerships are complex systems that rely on relationships between a myriad of different actors with divergent agendas and backgrounds. Relationship is a crucial element of governance, and relationship building an important aspect of partnerships. To understand PPPs a multi-disciplinary perspective that draws on insights from social theory is needed. This paper demonstrates how social theory can aid the understanding of the complex relationships of actors involved in implementation of Public-Private Mix (PPM)-TB policy in India….”

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