IHP news 513: Global governance of health

By on March 15, 2019

Devex – Gender data gaps: New report highlights challenges in sub-Saharan Africa

Devex ;

The quality of gender data in Sub-Saharan Africa has been assessed for the first time, and the results are alarming. A new report from Open Data Watch and Data2x has found that almost half of the indicators essential for identifying and addressing barriers faced by women and girls are lacking sex-disaggregation or are entirely missing. Without data broken down by gender, understanding the barriers to equality, and identifying solutions becomes more challenging. The report, titled “Bridging the Gap: Mapping Gender Data Availability in Africa,” was released [last] week, with the indicators identified by the United Nations Statistics Division, UN Women and Open Data Watch….”

Book – Health Equity in a Globalizing Era – Past Challenges, Future Prospects

Ronald Labonté & Arne Ruckert ; https://global.oup.com/academic/product/health-equity-in-a-globalizing-era-9780198835356?cc=us&lang=en&#

Why do some countries and populations suffer from poverty and ill health, whilst others are more prosperous and healthy? What are the inherently global (trans-border) issues that affect inequities in disease burden and health opportunities for individuals and nations? Traditionally, the focus of global health has been ‘international health’: the concern for high burdens of disease in generally low-income countries. To answer these questions however, we need to modernise our understanding of globalization as a phenomenon.  Health Equity in a Globalizing Era: Past Challenges, Future Prospects examines how globalization processes since the on-set of neoliberalism affect equity in global health outcomes, and emphasises access to important social determinants of health. With a basis in political economy, the book covers key globalization concepts and theory, and presents a thorough background to the field….”

The book can already be pre-ordered.

Global Health Now – The Word Everyone in Global Health Is Afraid to Say: Corruption

B W Simpson; Global Health Now;

One of the GHN reports from the 10th annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference in Chicago. The conference is focused on translation & implementation science.

“… In a passionate keynote address at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health on Friday, Garcia (former health minister of Peru) confronted the world’s troubled history of corruption and made the case for reducing its massive impact on global public health. … … Garcia argued that the global health community must do more research and interventions to reduce corruption. “We cannot ignore that we have to fight against corruption,” she said. …”

Stat News – Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, to be named acting FDA commissioner

Stat News;

Gottlieb already got a replacement. “The Trump administration on Tuesday announced it would name Ned Sharpless, the director of the National Cancer Institute, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration next month….”  Let’s see whether he will also lead the agency over the longer term. In any case, he seems to support Gottlieb’s policies on tobacco & e-cigarettes.

European Journal of Risk Regulation – Big Data, Algorithmic Governmentality and the Regulation of Pandemic Risk

S Roberts; EJRR;

This article investigates the rise of algorithmic disease surveillance systems as novel technologies of risk analysis utilised to regulate pandemic outbreaks in an era of big data. Critically, the article demonstrates how intensified efforts towards harnessing big data and the application of algorithmic processing techniques to enhance the real-time surveillance and regulation infectious disease outbreaks significantly transform practices of global infectious disease surveillance; observed through the advent of novel risk rationalities which underpin the deployment of intensifying algorithmic practices to increasingly colonise and patrol emergent topographies of data in order to identify and govern the emergence of exceptional pathogenic risks. Conceptually, this article asserts further how the rise of these novel risk regulating technologies within a context of big data transforms the government and forecasting of epidemics and pandemics: illustrated by the rise of emergent algorithmic governmentalties of risk within contemporary contexts of big data, disease surveillance and the regulation of pandemic.”

Devex – On Message: UNHCR’s Melissa Fleming on changing the refugee narrative


Interview with Melissa Fleming, the head of communications and chief spokesperson of the U.N. Refugee Agency, … … to get her take on how to shift the current refugee narrative.

We are just about to launch our new global communication strategy. Our vision in the strategy is that we want to help refugees thrive, not just survive. Our communication will focus not just on emergencies, people crossing borders, the desperation, and the journeys — but it will also focus on the hope and on the contributions refugees can make. That’s the centerpiece of our strategy….” “We want to position UNHCR as leading the narrative on refugee issues. We want also to build empathy for refugees and we want to drive action.”

In general, about 15 percent of the population are core supporters. On the other side of the spectrum, 15 percent are really “anti,” so hatefully “anti” that we don’t even bother with them. And then there is this huge group in the middle who represent the majority — who we call “the conflicted middle.” These are people who, if you would ask them: “Do you think your country should take in people fleeing war and prosecution?” … would say “yes.” But they would also say, “But, I am afraid of … terrorism, I’m afraid of cultural changes, I’m afraid of losing my job.”…”

Project Syndicate – How Gender Parity Improves Global Health

Dr. Tedros et al; https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/gender-parity-improves-global-health-by-tedros-adhanom-ghebreyesus-and-senait-fisseha-2019-03

Published last week on International Women’s Day, with Tedros showcasing WHO’s lead in this respect. “Women comprise 70% of health workers around the world. And yet a new report shows that 70% of health organizations are currently headed by men, and that the women working in these organizations earn 15% less, on average, than their male counterparts.”

“…From the WHO’s experience, we know that gender parity does not emerge organically. Achieving it requires deliberate and directed organizational change. Hence, the WHO’s new corporate strategy, which is geared toward the Sustainable Development Agenda’s mission of “leaving no one behind,” features a strong emphasis on measuring gender distributions, equity, and rights across all of the institutions’ programs. That means each department will be accountable for upholding gender parity.”

Devex – New OECD DAC chair vows to promote gender equality


“The new chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, Susanna Moorehead, has vowed to make gender equality a major focus under her watch and revealed plans for a new recommendation around ending sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment in the aid sector.”

UN Foundation – Aligning for Impact: the Transformation of the WHO

John Lange ; https://unfoundation.org/blog/post/aligning-for-impact-the-transformation-of-the-world-health-organization/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_content=Health

Analysis by John Lange of WHO’s reform from last week.  Well worth a read (and good summary of the reforms).

Global Policy – The Political Economy of ‘Tax Spillover’: A New Multilateral Framework

A Baker et al; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12655

Tax spillovers are the effects one country’s tax rules and practices have on other countries. They have been assessed in aggregate terms by the IMF using econometric models, and were found to have a ‘significant and sizable’ impact in reducing corporate tax bases and rates in ‘developing countries. However, a widely accepted form of country level spillover analysis remains elusive, despite demands from non‐governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations (IOs). We present the first framework for conducting comprehensive national level spillover analyses using a qualitative evaluation framework in three steps….”

Social Science Research – How structural adjustment programs affect inequality: A disaggregated analysis of IMF conditionality, 1980–2014

T Forster, T Stubbs et al ; http://www.tstubbs.net/uploads/4/0/5/3/40534697/forstertetal2019.pdf

This article highlights an important yet insufficiently understood international-level determinant of inequality in the developing world: structural adjustment programs by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Studying a panel of 135 countries for the period 1980 to 2014, we examine income inequality using multivariate regression analysis corrected for non-random selection into both IMF programs and associated policy reforms (known as ‘conditionality’). We find that, overall, policy reforms mandated by the IMF increase income inequality in borrowing countries. We also test specific pathways linking IMF programs to inequality by disaggregating conditionality by issue area. Our analyses indicate adverse distributional consequences for four policy areas: fiscal policy reforms that restrain government expenditure, external sector reforms stipulating trade and capital account liberalization, financial sector reforms entailing inflation control measures, and reforms that restrict external debt. These effects occur one year after the incidence of an IMF program, and persist in the medium term. Taken together, our findings suggest that the IMF’s recent attention to inequality neglects the multiple ways through which the organization’s own policy advice has contributed to inequality in the developing world.

Global Financing Facility (GFF) – Where do we work?


The GFF currently supports 27 low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America with the highest maternal, newborn and child mortality burdens and large gaps in financing to address these challenges. Since its creation in 2015, the GFF has expanded from four “frontrunner” countries to 27 countries today. Following its replenishment in November 2018, the GFF is now aiming to expand its support to the 50 countries with the greatest health and nutrition needs.”

“…A total of 67 countries are currently eligible to receive #GFF support. But how does the GFF’s Investors Group assess and determine what countries are selected to receive support? Take a look at the criteria and selection process…

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