Shocking images of starving children are one of the staple images of extreme poverty. But childhood malnutrition is not limited to such extreme hunger: in fact, millions of children appear normal but are chronically malnourished. The problem of hidden hunger extends widely and has got serious consequences.
Relatively wealthier countries certainly spend a lot of money on developing world  aid. But how much money is being moved? And by whom? If we’re interested in understanding and influencing aid spending, it’s important to know how it’s distributed and where it comes from.
This article is a summarised form of an upcoming report by Josh Goldenberg on the topic of blindness. Keep an eye out for when the report is published for further details of this area.
Blindness and visual impairment are significant issues worldwide, causing loss of employment, self-esteem and productivity. The most recent estimates from PwC state that 32.4 million people worldwide are blind, and 190.6 million suffer from low vision. Out of these, 1.4 million children are blind, and 19 million visually impaired. This is down from the 37-38 million people living with blindness in 1990, suggesting progress, and a rapid decline in blindness rates.
How valuable is medical research? Finding the solution to a problem in medical research is not only difficult, but it’s difficult to know just how difficult. Given that, how could we know the return we can expect on investing in medical research? Owen Cotton-Barratt is trying to find a framework for tackling precisely these kinds of questions. This post gives a sketch of his current model, and what it might be able to teach us about the value of medical research.
Evidence Action, one of Giving What We Can’s recommended charities, is an organization which scales proven development interventions, and now leads both the Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water (DSW). We will be keeping abreast of Evidence Action’s on-going endeavours through a series of monthly updates, of which this is the first. This month, the focus is on the progress made so far with their DSW program, the research behind it, and the sustainable financing methods employed to maintain it.
This is the first in a series of posts about the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), one of our highly-recommended charities. Based in Imperial College, London, they work with a number of African countries to control and eliminate schistosomiasis in regional and national-scale programmes. Clearing an entire country of a disease is no small feat, and a lot of time and effort is spent researching the distribution of the disease and promoting the programme to the population before any drugs are distributed.
If you’re anything like me, when reading the paper or the news online you may be drawn to sensationalist headlines concerned with aid expenditure, international aid being delivered at the expense of local needs and the plight of the taxpayer. These headlines can provoke public outrage at the perceived cost of foreign aid to the taxpayer, often resulting in the formation of a generally negative (though often ill-informed) consensus about the value and repute of aid and international development initiatives.