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More Health Workers, Yes. But Only Within Better Systems

*This post is co-authored by Ruth Levine
In the Washington Post today, three doctors with sterling reputations in the AIDS world (Lola Daré, executive secretary of the African Council for Sustainable Health Development International and a member of CGD's working group on IMF programs and health spending; Paul Farmer, pioneer of new AIDS treatment programs in Haiti and Rwanda; and chief of Harvard Medical School's Department of Social Medicine Jim Kim, a member of CGD's working group on the Global Fund), call on the Bush Administration to spend $8 billion on training of community workers, nurses and doctors in Africa to deal with AIDS treatment.
Their proposition that many more community-level health workers be deployed to provide essential services, breaking the implicit and costly monopoly of health "professionals" on health delivery, makes eminent sense. But more money for training, without complementary institutional changes that fundamentally alter the incentives for workers at all levels, won't get the outcomes sought by those who are working on AIDS, or any other health challenges.

Equatorial Guinea's Corruption Scandal: African Poverty, Mansions, and the California Sun?

What kind of home can you get as an African agriculture minister with a 60k salary? If you're the son of an African leader running an oil-rich country, apparently you can afford a Malibu mansion. The UK-based anti-graft watchdog, Global Witness, recently outed the son of President Obiang of Equitorial Guinea, who purchased a $35 million California home this spring, complete with 16 acres, a golf course, tennis court and a swimming pool.

Midterm Election Impact: What the Thumpin' Means for Global Development

Elections 2006President Bush called last week’s midterm election results “a thumpin’” as the Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate. Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been promising to work in a “bipartisan way for all Americans.” But what does it mean for global development that the Republicans hold the presidency while the Democrats control the House and Senate?

Aid Industry Calls for Focus on Basics: How Will it be Different This Time Than in the 1970s?

Some of the "new ideas" in the development business these days make me wonder whether we should all be wearing polyester leisure suits and platform shoes. It's very 1970s. Take, for example, two new high-level statements about the importance of donors focusing like a laser on health, education, and water and sanitation, and putting global warming, poverty reduction, governance issues and other long-term challenges on the proverbial back burner.

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