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 »

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 »

Gratitude in a Time of Climate Change

Climate change is going to affect life on earth in ways we can’t even begin to understand yet, but the first impact is the one we’re seeing: extreme weather events. Hurricane Sandy last year, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda this year, the ice storm that just hit the east coast of the US, famine in Somalia – that’s… 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 »

Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit – An interview with the author

I have come to terms with the fact that I write terrible book reviews. Instead of a review, I present an interview with J, author of Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit. In case you haven’t heard of it, Missionary, Mercenary, Mystic, Misfit is a novel about aid. Written by the most famous anonymous aid worker – J – about… Read More »

Dementia and other disasters

A couple of people have pointed out that my approach to Alzheimer’s, as I outlined in my TED talk, looks an awful lot like disaster preparedness. That’s not by accident. My job shapes my personal life all the time, and since Alzheimer’s is a disaster waiting to happen to me, I took a disaster preparedness… Read More »

Book Review: Damned Nations, by Samantha Nutt

I didn’t mean to read this book. I am in the middle of another book I’m reading for review – Ed Carr’s Delivering Development (which I am really enjoying, but it’s new enough to me that I am also carefully taking my time). But I picked Damned Nations off my to-read pile the other day… Read More »