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Getting Serious on Global Health Security

Zika’s rapid spread has focused media attention on how poorly prepared both rich and less rich countries are for infectious disease outbreaks. And while it seems that we are still flailing, in fact, the international community has been trying to do better for a while. Perhaps the most significant response came in 2014 when the G7 (including the US Government) endorsed the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a partnership of governments and international organizations aiming to accelerate achievement of the core outbreak preparedness and response capacities required by the International Health Regulations.

Transparency Is an Agency-Level Game and DOD Is Coming Up Last

ForeignAssistance.gov is a great idea in theory—a one-stop shop for information about all US foreign assistance spending. In practice, the site has struggled to become a useful and reliable tool due to missing data and poor quality information. But if you look closely, the Department of Defense (DOD), which by some measures is one of the biggest players in US foreign assistance, truly stands out for its reporting gap. 

Four Comments and a Suggestion for the World Bank Board

Last week the World Bank Board closed the three-week window, announced in late August, for member countries to nominate candidates for the presidency of the World Bank. Jim Kim, the US nominee and incumbent since his election in 2012, was formally nominated by the United States at 12:01 a.m. at the opening bell, so to speak. He is the sole candidate in what appears to have been a kind of insider coup by the United States (called a “charade” in a World Bank Staff Association letter to its members) of the procedures agreed by World Bank members in 2011.

Turns Out, Development Does Bring Development

The Social Progress Index is an effort of the Social Progress Imperative to create a new and better way to compare the human and social development performance of countries. High on their agenda is to not use GDP per capita or other measures of national development, but rather focus on direct measures of human well-being. Turns out, this new Social Progress Index (SPI) is almost perfectly correlated with national development.

Ignorance Attack! New Education Commission Report Sounds Alarm on Global Learning Crisis

If we don’t take action now, millions of children who should be learning to read and write will be illiterate; projections show that only 1 in 10 children in low-income countries will be on track to gain basic secondary-level skills by 2030. This alarm is a central feature of The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World, a report released Sunday by the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. The report’s 12 recommendations should make us all sit up, take note, and take action.

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