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Listeners’ Choice: Top Ten Wonkcasts of 2012

Lawrence MacDonaldHere’s a list of the ten most popular Wonkcasts of this year, and the number of times each audio file has been downloaded. Of course, downloads aren’t listens. Some files may have been downloaded once and listened to more than once. I suspect that more commonly they are downloaded but not played.

Poe Transparency & Accountability Bill: Will it Pass?

The House was expected to vote on the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 3159) this week but didn't quite get to it before concluding business. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), requires standard monitoring and evaluation across all US foreign aid agencies and would make the Foreign Assistance Dashboard a lasting—and required—tool to track US aid spending.

MCC Picks Record Number of FY13 Countries

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Niger are the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)'s newest eligible partners. The MCC board selected these three new countries--plus two new countries eligible for second compacts and four countries already developing compact proposals--as eligible for FY13 assistance. We predicted 8 of the 9 picks. The outlier? Morocco. The big takeaway: MCC is putting competition back into the compact proposal process.

Here are the decisions:

Hunger in Haiti in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Two months ago, Hurricane Sandy swept through Haiti, bringing winds and heavy rain that wiped away buildings, roads, crops, livestock, and fishing boats. By the time the extent of the damage and the humanitarian needs were understood, Americans had their attention fixed almost entirely on New York and New Jersey, not the Caribbean.

Global Health in 2012: A Year in Links

The global health legacy of 2012 will be twofold, a year of both increased commitments to health and flat lining budgets. Just look at this past summer: world leaders made a call to end preventable child deaths, the London Summit on Family Planning has resulted in $2.6 billion of commitments, and the International AIDS Conference saw a commitment to the “beginning of the end of AIDS.” While these are all great news, it is still uncertain as to who will pay for these ambitious goals: biggest donors are already scaling down their health aid budgets, and there remains a tremendous resource gap to reach the end of AIDS.

Taliban’s New Weapon: Childhood Vaccination

This week, eight polio vaccination workers in Sindh and Peshawar have been killed in Pakistan during a three day anti-polio drive (see here). Last week in Afghanistan, two polio vaccinators were also killed. Suspicions of CIA involvement in the campaign have been identified as causes of the attacks. “Our teams are getting attacked, and we are having a hard time hiring health workers because they are worried about being called a spy,” said the Head of Medicine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province earlier this summer.

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