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USAID Enables Results-Based Programming by Reforming (Ho Hum) Procurement Processes

The eyes of even the most passionate foreign aid advocate are likely to glaze if you raise the subject of “procurement reform.” But in the just-released transcript of remarks made November 12 to an audience of USAID contractors, Maura O'Neill, Chief Innovation Officer to USAID Administrator Shah, and Ari Alexander, a member of USAID’s procurement reform team, admit that USAID procurement practices have been so dysfunctional as to have caused “great difficulty” for in-country local partners.  According to Mr. Alexander:

What Bush Got Wrong on AIDS

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, President Bush’s has written an op-ed in today’s Washington Post vaunting his President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), telling Congress that AIDS patients supported by PEPFAR “cannot be abandoned” and pleading for continued expansion of treatment access.  Astonishingly, except for a reference to hypothetical future vaccines, the Op-Ed has not one word about HIV prevention.

How Plausible Are the Predictions of AIDS Models?

UNAIDS, WHO, PEPFAR and the Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM) all depend on long-run projections in order to make the case for increased attention and financing for AIDS.  This dependency is a response to the reality that HIV is a slow epidemic with extraordinary “momentum”.  Even small changes in the course of new infections require years to implement and have health and fiscal consequences for decades thereafter.  According to the UNAIDS web site, “[s]ince 2001, the UNAIDS Secretariat have le

Report on the Long-Term Burden of HIV/AIDS in Africa to be Launched Monday, November 29

About a year ago the Institute of Medicine assembled a committee of 12 to advise the US on the implications for its policy towards Africa of the long-term burden of AIDS there.  The two co-chairs of the committee, Tom Quinn and David Serwadda, will release the report findings to the press on Monday, November 27 here in DC, and I will help them respond to questions from the press and public.  A formal description of the committee’s mandate and a complete list of the committee members can be found here.  If you would

Are Those Hoping for a Better Microbicide Option Only “Waiting for Godot”?

In a recent blog, I bemoaned the fact that donors were unable to secure the estimated $100 million needed to test and confirm the HIV prevention success of the CAPRISA microbicide.  The comments on that blog by scientific writers Jon Cohen and Roger Tatoud point out that other trials of microbicide gels are in the works and that one in particular, the so-called VOICE trial,  is both close to comple

Why Won't AIDS Donors Confirm Their Best New Hope for Avoiding Future Treatment Costs

Celia Dugger must have known she would get a reaction.  She called from South Africa last week with the surprising news that a donor meeting in South Africa had failed to come up with the $100 million necessary to complete the preparatory research on microbicides as an HIV prevention tool for women.  Luckily for me, she considered my spontaneous reaction to be unprintable and persisted until she got a more coherent quote from me, a quote that appears in her succinct and informative New York Times article

A Refreshingly Open Debate on the Value of Universal Access to AIDS Treatment for U.S. Foreign Policy

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a debate last Friday with the provocative title “Resolved: That the US commitment to universal HIV/AIDS treatment is unsustainable and decreases US leverage in the nations’ foreign policy.”  (Note: This resolution which you will hear debated is edgier and has more foreign policy content than the one you will see when you click on the above link.)  Moderated by

Turning the Tide through Better Prevention: Mead Over on the AIDS Transition

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We've selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on May 25, 2010.

Even as the cost of treating HIV/AIDS has fallen dramatically, the number of people newly infected has remained high. What can be done to reverse this trend and finally defeat this disease? This week on the Wonkcast, I’m joined by Mead Over, a senior fellow here at the Center for Global Development and perhaps the world’s leading expert on the economics of HIV/AIDS. He has recently published two major essays, which introduce the concept of the “AIDS transition”—the point in time where the number of people living with the disease begins to fall. He argues persuasively that to reach this point, international donors must greatly strengthen incentives for effective prevention.

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