The UN’s Shame and Haiti’s Suffering

It’s well known at this point that the United Nations brought cholera to Haiti. The worst cholera outbreak in recent global health records, in a country that hadn’t seen cholera in its recorded history. 9700 people died. The UN then spent six years attempting to avoid admitting to its role in the transmission. Finally, molecular… Read More »

Things I’ve been thinking 6/17/2014

  “Don’t think about where the lines are drawn, think about who draws the lines.” I rarely agree with The Last Psychiatrist, but it’s my go-to source for question assumptions and making the world look different. I found this post especially thought-provoking.  This long blog post about disease diagnostics got me wondering if we’ve been… Read More »

Things I’ve been thinking about: May 1st, 2014

1. Can Elinor Ostrom’s work help us understand what to do about antibacterial resistance? I’ve been reading a lot of Ostrom in an attempt to develop an opinion, but it’s tough going for me.  Econ was never my strong suit. Anyone smarter than me want to chime in and explain it? 2. How do we… Read More »

Humanitarian Response, Complexity, and UHC: My High Hopes for 2014

  These aren’t predictions, exactly, or New Year’s wishes. More like positive signs I am hoping will occur. Clues that we’re getting our act together as an international system.[1] The good omens I would like to see. 1. Better response to complex humanitarian emergencies. Every single year, complex humanitarian emergencies get worse. Refugee and displaced persons… Read More »

MRSA, Typhoon, USAID

Typhoon Haiyan from space Books – I have a review copy of Ben Ramalingan’s new book, Aid on the Edge of Chaos. I am very, very excited to read it. Earlier this summer, I read Reinventing Philanthropy: A Framework for More Effective Giving and was really impressed. It’s a drab looking book, but it’s a highly… Read More »

Three Ways to Spot Bad Data

Warning Sign #1: When government officials use the data to set targets like an increase in vaccination or a decrease in cancer numbers, they always use percentages, not absolute numbers. That’s a sign that people know the numbers are wrong and don’t want to rely on them. (Of course, sometimes it just means that the percentage… Read More »

Advice needed – charitable giving on TB

Last year, my husband and I decided to organize our charitable giving. Instead of making haphazard choices all along, we now give a set percentage of our income at the end of every year. Any smaller donations through the year don’t count toward that amount. That means that I can give to my friends’ pet… Read More »