Unlocking Solutions - R4D's Blog

Toward universal health coverage

Two recent events underscore the disparity between the United States and the rest of the world on health coverage. Last week, American reactions to the Supreme Court hearings showed how deeply divided the nation is on the subject.

A quest for questions in education

I first realized the absolute value of education – and more critically, the learning that occurs inside the classroom – while I was working with SMEs and entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa.

March, madness, and models

It's March Madness season here in the U.S., that time of year when Men's College Basketball goes into a frenzy, with 68 teams entering a one-and-done season-ending tournament to ultimately crown a national champion. Global development can only dream to have such closure when it comes to success and failure.

Et cetera

A random collection of links that stuck with me this week.

What Sesame Street Can Teach the World Bank, on the World Bank’s EduTech Blog.

Taming Fragility, a guest post on the Aid on the Edge blog, about the need to understand more deeply the interconnected-ness of problems and the importance of supporting solution-seeking systems not just solutions themselves.

The agency imperative

For starters, my faith in humanity and the media has been partly restored today. The big story has shifted from viral video to the oversimplification of complicated issues, the accuracy of advocacy, and the white savior complex in aid. Really. Newspapers are taking a nuanced view of aid and advocacy. This is big.

Thinking out loud

It feels good to rant, to get something off your chest, to say what needs to be said, to speak from experience, frustration, emotion, or conviction in a forum of lower stakes than a conference presentation or project proposal review. 

Even if you learn later you were wrong, at least you can point to a major step in that learning process—that moment you decided to think out loud and expose your thoughts to the world.

Aid workers and bloggers: we want your rants.

Less Talk, More Do on Capacity Building for Development

Imagine that a country is in fact in the driver's seat of a car, driving up the development road.

Transparent pricing of vaccines would help poor as well as rich countries

The BMJ’s editor, Fiona Godlee, recently challenged the UK government to publish the price it pays for vaccines, including the new vaccine Cervarix, which helps prevent cervical cancer (BMJ 2011;343:d6239, doi:10.1136/bmj.d6239). Price transparency is not just a matter for the United Kingdom, however: it is a point of vigorous debate and growing urgency in countries around the world.

Do I hear wedding bells?

Those of you who manage clinical social franchises…imagine for a moment a world where: You don’t have to rely completely on donor funding. Decisions about your service offerings are made based on the needs of your communities rather than the special interests of donors. The poor coming to your franchisee clinics can just as easily afford services as their slightly better off neighbors. Your franchisees are completely focused on meeting the standards you set, for fear of losing a major revenue stream.

An attractive newcomer has recently entered the picture