News Article | July 19, 2017
The new report and case studies complement existing findings The GovLab has published on its open data website, ODimpact.org, a multi-faceted platform of information about how open data can improve peoples' lives. The "Open Data in Developing Economies" report is also the result of a months-long collaboration between The GovLab and several partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, FHI 360, and the World Wide Web Foundation. "We're very excited to share key lessons and takeaways from this project," said Stefaan G. Verhulst, co-founder and chief research and development officer at The GovLab. "Together with our partners, we set out to learn if and how a broader use of open data could improve lives and spur opportunity in developing economies. Our findings show that open data provides unique opportunities for developing economies to become more data-driven; and the framework and insights provided in the report allow the development community to become more evidence-based in how to leverage open data for good." HOW TO CAPTURE EVIDENCE? While the use of open data is on the rise in developing economies, a common (and comprehensive) framework for evaluating what works and how was missing. The "Open Data in Developing Economies" report sought to fill this gap and provide a way to analyze and assess existing open data initiatives. In developing this part of the framework, The GovLab focused on all the elements that comprise the open data value chain: supply, demand, action, output, use, indicators, impact, and stakeholder feedback. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE FIELD? Capturing the stories behind the data is another critical factor in leveraging open data in developing economies. The repository of case studies that was launched simultaneously with the report features 12 case studies from 12 countries: Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nepal, Paraguay, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. From its analysis of these case studies — which represented a variety of sectors such as health, poverty alleviation, and energy — The GovLab identified four ways people's lives can be improved in developing countries: For example, in Colombia, The GovLab case study showed how the Colombian government is using open data to better understand and address the way climate is affecting the country's potential to grow its own food — a particularly serious challenge for small farmers, who represent the majority of crop growers in the country. WHAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE? The GovLab subsequently organized the variables that determine impact into a new Periodic Table of Open Data, containing 27 elements that can play an important role in determining whether an open data project succeeds or fails, within five overarching categories: (1) Problem and Demand Definition, (2) Capacity and Culture, (3) Governance, (4) Partnerships, and (5) Risks. The Periodic Table of Open Data also provides a unique checklist for open data providers and users. Providing a set of actionable recommendations for practitioners as well as decision-makers was another important element of the report. Recommendations for practitioners included articulating the issue to be addressed with as much granularity as possible, and clearly defining why the use of data for addressing a given problem matters. For decision-makers, recommendations included developing and integrating regular exercises that identify how open data can help to address problems. "Our work at The GovLab is ultimately meant to help us get smarter about what works in practice," said Andrew Young, knowledge director at The GovLab. "We believe 'Open Data in Developing Economies' provides tools that practitioners, governments, donors, and several others in the development community can use to unlock the power of open data to benefit people in developing economies around the world." The full report, "Open Data in Developing Economies: Toward Building an Evidence Base on What Works and How," along with the 12 new case studies, is available at ODimpact.org, and thegovlab.org. About The Governance Lab The Governance Lab's mission is to improve people's lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography, and level of government. For more information, visit thegovlab.org. About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, the country's largest private research university, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.
News Article | July 20, 2017
Murphy brings over 25 years of experience within the public and private sectors, including international development firms, nongovernmental organizations and nonprofit organizations within the U.S. government contracting, international and commercial arenas. "These are uncertain times in global health and development," Murphy says. "IntraHealth is preparing by becoming even more nimble in today's evolving marketplace and forging powerful new partnerships. This will not only further IntraHealth's mission, but also make us a stronger organization in the long run." Murphy's broad and diverse experience includes managing financial systems, corporate structures/strategy, human resources, program oversight, contracts/legal, facilities, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology within foreign assistance environments. Before joining IntraHealth, Murphy served as chief financial officer/chief compliance officer at FHI 360. He also served in senior roles, including as chief financial officer, at Deloitte Emerging Markets Group, the United Nations Office for Project Services in Denmark, Counterpart International, Development Alternatives, Inc. and the Academy for Educational Development.
Ioannidis J.P.A.,Stanford University |
Greenland S.,University of California at Los Angeles |
Hlatky M.A.,Stanford University |
Khoury M.J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |
And 6 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014
Correctable weaknesses in the design, conduct, and analysis of biomedical and public health research studies can produce misleading results and waste valuable resources. Small eff ects can be diffi cult to distinguish from bias introduced by study design and analyses. An absence of detailed written protocols and poor documentation of research is common. Information obtained might not be useful or important, and statistical precision or power is often too low or used in a misleading way. Insuffi cient consideration might be given to both previous and continuing studies. Arbitrary choice of analyses and an overemphasis on random extremes might aff ect the reported fi ndings. Several problems relate to the research workforce, including failure to involve experienced statisticians and methodologists, failure to train clinical researchers and laboratory scientists in research methods and design, and the involvement of stakeholders with confl icts of interest. Inadequate emphasis is placed on recording of research decisions and on reproducibility of research. Finally, reward systems incentivise quantity more than quality, and novelty more than reliability. We propose potential solutions for these problems, including improvements in protocols and documentation, consideration of evidence from studies in progress, standardisation of research eff orts, optimisation and training of an experienced and non-confl icted scientifi c workforce, and reconsideration of scientific reward systems.
Aral S.O.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |
Cates Jr. W.,FHI 360
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2013
Development of efficacious interventions is only the first step in achieving population level impact. Efficacious interventions impact infection levels in the population only if they are implemented at the right scale. Coverage must be prioritised across subpopulations based on the diversity and clustering of infections and risk in society, and expanded rapidly without delay. It is important to prioritise those who are most likely to transmit infection first.
Van Der Straten A.,University of California at San Francisco |
Van Damme L.,FHI 360 |
Haberer J.E.,Massachusetts General Hospital |
Bangsberg D.R.,Harvard University
AIDS | Year: 2012
Although the balance of recent evidence supports the efficacy of antiretroviral (ARV)-based pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV-1 infection, recent negative trial results are perplexing. Of seven trials with available HIV endpoints, three different products have been tested: tenofovir 1% vaginal gel, oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) tablets, and TDF/emtricitabine tablets. Six of these trials were conducted exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa; all found the products to be well tolerated, and four demonstrated effectiveness. Furthermore, the HIV Prevention Trial Network (HPTN) 052 trial recently confirmed that antiretroviral treatment leads to 96% reduction in transmission to HIV-negative partners in HIV-serodiscordant couples. These results, along with human and animal data, provide substantial evidence for the efficacy of antiretroviral-based HIV prevention. Yet assessment of oral TDF/emtricitabine in the FEM-PrEP study and of oral and vaginal tenofovir in the Microbicide Trial Network (MTN)-003 trial (VOICE) was stopped for futility. How do we make sense of these discrepant results? We believe that adherence is a key factor, although it cannot be the only factor. Expanding upon a recent editorial in the Lancet, we discuss the impact of suboptimal product adherence on PrEP efficacy in the context of variable drug concentration at the exposure site, integrity of the vaginal epithelium, and the role of acute infection. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Grimes D.A.,CB No 7570 |
Schulz K.F.,FHI 360
Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2012
Most reported associations in observational clinical research are false, and the minority of associations that are true are often exaggerated. This credibility problem has many causes, including the failure of authors, reviewers, and editors to recognize the inherent limitations of these studies. This issue is especially problematic for weak associations, variably defined as relative risks (RRs) or odds ratios (ORs) less than 4. Such associations, commonly reported in the medical literature, are more likely to be attributable to bias than to causal association. All observational research has bias (which can include selection, information, and confounding bias). Hence, detection of small associations falls below the discriminatory ability of observational studies. In general, unless RRs in cohort studies exceed 2 to 3 or ORs in case-control studies exceed 3 or 4, associations in observational research findings should not be considered credible. However, these guidelines are not foolproof: strong (yet spurious) associations can result when large amounts of bias are present. Only in a properly performed randomized controlled trial, free of bias, should small associations merit attention. Better training and more circumspection on the part of investigators, tougher editorial standards on the part of journals, and hefty skepticism on the part of referees and readers are necessary to avoid the dangers of false alarms, pseudo-epidemics, and their unfortunate consequences. © 2012 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Bratt J.H.,FHI 360 |
Zyambo Z.,FHI 360 Zambia
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes | Year: 2013
Background: Rapid scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is needed to realize potential reductions in HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa. New disposable VMMC devices such as the Shang Ring may offer several advantages over standard surgery, including lower costs. Methods: We compared direct costs of the Shang Ring and dorsal slit techniques for delivery of VMMC in the context of a randomizedcontrolled trial carried out in Zambia in 2011. Information on direct costs of clinician time, disposable supplies, and reusable medical instruments were collected by study staff. Results: During the trial, the direct cost of 1 VMMC procedure using the Shang Ring device was US $18.21, whereas the direct cost of using dorsal slit was US $17.67. Higher costs of clinician time related to dorsal slit VMMC were offset by higher costs of disposable supplies with the Shang Ring approach. Discussion: Although direct costs were roughly equivalent during this small-scale trial, with the increased demand from scaling up VMMC, a Shang Ring team could provide services at a substantially lower average total cost due to the potential for more intensive use of staff and other fixed resources. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Sanghvi T.,FHI 360
Food and nutrition bulletin | Year: 2013
Alive & Thrive aims to increase exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. To develop and execute comprehensive communication strategies adapted to each context. We documented how three countries followed an established iterative planning process, with research steps followed by key decisions, to develop a communication strategy in each country. Secondary analysis and formative research identified the priority practices to focus on, and locally specific constraints to proper infant and young child feeding (IYCF). Communication strategies were then developed based on the social, cultural, economic, epidemiological, media use, and programmatic contexts of each country. There were widespread gaps between recommended and actual feeding practices, and these varied by country. Gaps were identified in household, community, and institutional levels of awareness and skills. Strategies were designed that would enable mothers in each specific setting to adopt practices. To improve priority behaviors, messaging and media strategies addressed the most salient behavioral determinants through face-to-face communication, social mobilization, and mass media. Trials of improved practices (TIPs), concept testing, and pretesting of materials proved useful to verify the relevance and likely effectiveness of communication messages and materials tailored for different audiences in each setting. Coordination and collaboration with multiple stakeholders from the start was important to harmonize messages and approaches, expand geographic coverage to national scale, and sustain the interventions. Our experience with designing large-scale communication strategies for behavior change confirms that systematic analysis and local planning cannot be omitted from the critical process of strategic design tailored to each context. Multiple communication channels matched to media habits in each setting can reach a substantial proportion of mothers and others who influence their IYCF practices. Preliminary data suggest that exposure to mass media plays a critical role in rapidly reaching mothers, household members, community influentials, and health workers on a large scale. Combining face-to-face interventions for mothers with social mobilization and mass media was effective in improving IYCF practices.
Van Damme L.,FHI 360 |
Szpir M.,FHI 360
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2012
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent studies suggest that the vaginal delivery of antiretroviral (ARV) agents - such as tenofovir, dapivirine and UC781 - may be a promising way to reduce the high rates of HIV infection among women in developing countries. This review examines these developments. RECENT FINDINGS: The Microbicide Trials Network 003 study, a large phase IIb trial, was unable to show that daily dosing with 1% tenofovir vaginal gel was effective for HIV prevention. Nevertheless, preclinical and early-phase clinical trials suggest that ARV drugs - formulated in vaginal gels, rings, films, tablets and diaphragms - could be effective for HIV chemoprophylaxis. SUMMARY: Investigations of topical chemoprophylaxis methods have seen mixed results in the past 12-18 months. Product adherence may prove to be one of the fields greatest challenges. Phase II and III trials continue to explore different dosing strategies for topical products that contain one or more ARV agents. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Jariseta Z.R.,FHI 360
Food and nutrition bulletin | Year: 2012
Individual dietary intake data are important for informing national nutrition policy but are rarely available. National Household Consumption and Expenditures Surveys (HCES) may be an alternative method, but there is no evidence to assess their relative performance. To compare HCES-based estimates of the nutrient density of foods consumed by Ugandan women (15 to 49 years of age) and children (24 to 59 months of age) with estimates based on 24-hour recall. The 52 food items of the Uganda 2006 HCES were matched with nutrient content of foods in a 2008 24-hour recall survey, which were used to refine the HCES-based estimates of nutrient intakes. Two methods were used to match the surveys'food items. Model 1 identified the four or five most commonly consumed foods from the 24-hour recall survey and calculated their unweighted average nutrient contents. Model 2 used the nutrient contents of the single most consumed food from the 24-hour recall. For each model, 14 estimates of nutrient densities of the diet were made and 84 differences were compared. Models 1 and 2 were not significantly different. Of the model 2 HCES-24-hour recall comparisons, 67 (80%) did not find a significant difference. No significant differences were found for protein, fat, fiber, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 intakes. HCES overestimated intakes of vitamins C and B12 and underestimated intakes of vitamin A,folate, niacin, calcium, and zinc in at least one of the groups. The HCES-based estimates are a relatively good proxy for 24-hour recall measures of nutrient density of the diet. Further work is needed to ascertain nutrient adequacy using this method in several countries.