Wednesday, 29 January 2014



MARCH 28 @ 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

 | $49
Now in its sixth year, the Devex Career Forum will offer global development professionals the opportunity to network with recruiters from 60 of the world’s leading development agencies, as well as gain practical advice for their personal career development. This year we will have additional breakout sessions on everything from how to create a recruiter-ready CV to what trends are likely to impact development hiring in 2014.
You must apply to attend the Devex Career Forum. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and we strongly encourage you to apply for a spot early before we reach capacity. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Fellowships for researching in the UK

Call for applications to Newton International Fellowships

A new round of Newton International Fellowships - an initiative to fund research collaborations and improve links between UK and overseas researchers - has now opened. The Newton International Fellowships are funded by the British Academy and the Royal Society and aim to attract the most promising early-career post-doctoral researchers from overseas in the fields of the humanities, the natural, physical and social sciences.

The Fellowships enable researchers to work for two years at a UK research institution with the aim of fostering long-term international collaborations. Newton Fellows will receive an allowance of £24,000 to cover subsistence and up to £8,000 to cover research expenses in each year of the Fellowship. A one-off relocation allowance of up to £2,000 is also available. In addition, Newton Fellows may be eligible for follow-up funding of up to £6,000 per annum for up to 10 years following completion of the Fellowship to support activities which will help build long-term links with the UK. The scheme is open to post-doctoral (and equivalent) early-career researchers working outside the UK who do not hold UK citizenship.

Applications are to be made via the Royal Society’s online application system which is available at register through the online booking system by Friday 22 November.

The closing date for applications is Monday 10 March 2014. Further details are available from the Newton International Fellowships website:

high interest loans being counted as foreign aid by European countries

find the original article here


European donors 'profiting from aid budgets' with high-interest loans

European Network on Debt and Development blames problem on ambiguous international rules and calls for urgent reform
Claire Provost, Thursday 16 January 2014 18.17 GMT
European donors have been accused of profiting from their aid budgets, as an increasing amount of their money for the world's poorest countries is being given as loans – which have to be paid back with interest.
As budgets tighten, some EU states are using "ambiguous and outdated" international rules on what can count as official development assistance (ODA) to include high-interest loans to developing countries in their annual aid figures, said the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad).
Jeroen Kwakkenbos, policy and advocacy officer at Eurodad, said the rules needed urgent reform to prevent donors from counting loans with "usurious" conditions as aid. "Some European governments are interpreting vague aid rules as a licence to scale up profit-making loans under the guise of development co-operation," he said.
In a report published on Thursday, Eurodad said developing countries face interest payments of almost €600m (£499.8m) a year on these loans to Europe. Demanding developing countries spend large amounts of money repaying loans can reduce resources for health and education for desperately poor people, it warned.
The development assistance committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of rich countries defines what spending can count as ODA and publishes detailed statistics on its members aid. Loans are eligible to count as ODA if they are deemed "concessional in character" and include a grant element of at least 25%.
But Eurodad said the way concessionality was assessed allows donors to count high-interest loans as aid. The rules are "confusing and open to abuse", its report says, creating a situation where donors can borrow money on bond markets, lend it to developing countries at higher interest rates, and still count it as aid despite the fact that a profit is made.
Eurodad said the OECD must update its metrics to reflect today's context of low interest rates and use a more relevent reference rate, instead of the current 10%, to prevent donors from counting hard loans as aid.
With access to finance at low interest rates, donors can lend as ODA without any public subsidy, said Kwakkenbos. "This is seriously damaging the credibility of donor development co-operation," he argued.
Eurodad said "lax reporting" rules must also be overhauled to deduct interest payments from aid figures and only report the "grant element" of a loan as aid. The current reporting system creates a "distorted picture of donors' efforts", it said, by including interest payments as a footnoteand counting the entire value of a loan as aid regardless of whether its grant element is 26% or 99%.
The rules on ODA loans have come under heated criticism in recent years. Last year, former chairman of the DAC, Richard Manning, attacked the OECD's metrics for allowing loans with high-interest rates to count as aid. In a strongly worded letter to the Financial Times, he said the current rules are "encouraging finance ministries to get away with murder as they seek to massage reported aid upwards at minimum cost".
Kwakkenbos acknowledged that there are times when loans may be appropriate but the rules around ODA loans must be reformed. Lending should be allowed only when it can have a positive impact on development, he said. "We don't want a situation where donors are incentivised to give loans where grants are preferable."
Rich countries have doubled the amount of aid money they give as loans over the past decade reaching $16bn in 2011, while aid loans from multilateral development banks amounted to $42bn – twice as high as in 1995.
The UK deals in grants, although there have been discussions in recent months about whether to move into loans as well.
Eurodad warns the shift to loans could threaten the successes of debt relief initiatives over the past decade. "Lessons need to be drawn from the past on how careless lending and borrowing has caused numerous debt crises in developing countries since the 1980s," the report says.
In 2012 alone, developing countries paid €590m to Europe in interest on loans counted as aid, with three donors receiving 91% of this: France (€120m), Germany (€174m) and EU institutions (€248m).
Eurodad's report comes before a meeting in Paris later this month where donor governments will review the definition and reporting criteria of development aid. The DAC is considering ideas on whether to change the official ODA definition, with the aim of setting concrete proposals by late 2014.
In 2012, aid from the 27 EU countries dropped to 0.39% of EU gross national income (GNI) – its lowest level since 2007. It is expected to remain around 0.43% in 2013-14.
In response to a 2012 DAC survey, Germany said: "We consider loans to be concessional if they are offered to the borrower at a lower rate than the borrower would normally pay on the capital markets. It does not matter how the lower rate is attained ... and at what cost the lender himself has raised these funds from the market."
France also said it defined concessionality based to the borrower's access to the capital market, regardless of the cost to the lender.
An EU spokesman said: "Loans can under the right circumstances have a very positive impact and respond to a demand in partner countries." Lending at lower concessionality could help better-off countries raise resources for their increased investing needs, with concessional grant resources saved for least developed countries and social sectors, he added.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Real versus rubbish evidence based medicine. A meeting of EBM heroes.

Find the original blogpost here

by Jeremy Howick, Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

Rethinking Evidence-Based Medicine: from rubbish to real


Trish Greenhalgh, an EBM critic, recently challenged Carl Heneghan on Twitter to promote real EBM, as opposed to the rubbish version. In response Carl proposed a meeting, for which I had the great pleasure (and stress!) of facilitating. There were quite a few EBM bigwigs, and as @mgtmccartney noted, the room was full of heroes such as Druin Birch, Jon Brassey, Martin Burton, Hasok Chang, Iona Heath, Richard Lehman, Mike Kelly, Neal Maskrey, Margaret McCartney, Rory Milne, and Des Spence. Details have been storified on Twitter so I won’t repeat them here.
To me (and not necessarily others in the group) the meeting revealed serious problems:
  1. Too much evidence is flawed (out of datefinancially conflicted, and suffering from publication bias).
  2. This flawed evidence is used (often via guidelines) as a stick to beat clinicians. If your doctor doesn’t follow the guideline (even if you and your doctor don’t think it is best) the doctor risks being accused of malpractice and having their picture on the cover of the newspaper. For example the entire population is being ‘statinized’ in spite of little evidence for benefit (apart from those who have had heart attacks). Using guidelines as sticks for beating clinicians takes away patient choice, prevents critical thought, and hinders doctors’ ability to care for patients.
  3. Evidence (good and bad) is presented in a way that doctors and patients do not understand. Tiny effects aremisleadingly represented as (seemingly larger) relative effect sizes. This leads to vast overuse of drugs such as statins.
To add insult to injury, producing this flawed evidence costs billions of dollars and millions of hours to produce.
But all clouds – even the big ones revealed at this meeting – have silver linings. Besides the problems, the meeting and its reaction demonstrated that there are many energetic people committed to real EBM because they care deeply about patients.
If you would like to help promote real and not rubbish EBM watch this space, The meeting was only intended to be a small first step and more will follow. (And if you haven’t signed up to the alltrials campaign do it now.)

Monday, 20 January 2014

Human Development Capabilities Approach Annual Conference: Athens 2-5 September 2014

Call For Papers

HDCA 2014 Annual Conference
Human Development in Times of Crisis: Renegotiating social justice

Important deadlines:
  • Submission of proposals: March 15th 2014
  • Announcement of acceptance/rejection: May 15th 2014
  • Registration with early–bird-fee: July 10th 2014
  • Submission full papers/posters to be included on the conf. CD: July 31st 2014
  • Final deadline for conference registration (with regular rates): August 20th 2014
How to submit your proposal
Please submit your proposed poster, paper or panel using the appropriate form HERE !
Download the Call for Papers with full instructions here. 
Special Topics of Interest:
The HDCA conference aims to bring together people from all over the world from different disciplines and fields interested in the field of human development and the capabilities approach. Papers on the 2014 conference may explore amongst others, the following topics:
Topic  Description
Policy analysis
  •  Critical social policy, Social crisis, common good.
  • "Late" capitalism, social problems, participation.
  • Social inequality, poverty, social exclusion.
  • Welfare production, social organisations, social services.
  • Disadvantage, suffering, human security.
  • Social movements, social protest, dynamics of civic society.
  • Children – social beings and social becomings.
  • Programs of enhancing capabilities.
Theoretical developments of the capability approach
  •  Theoretical developments and research methodology.
  • Social justice, equality, social inclusion.
  • Human flourishing, well-being, components of a good life.
  • Gender equality, feminist perspectives.
  • Bildung, education, agency.
  • Environmental and ecological justice, sustainable human development.
European challenges
  • European development, social quality, social cohesion.
  • Migration, transnational mobility, refugees.
  • Unemployment, marginalisation.
  • Social prejudice, discrimination, conflict.
  • Heterogeneity, diversity, disability.
  • Fragmentation of Europe: democracy and austerity.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Oxford - Ethox Centre Visiting Fellowship 2014




The Caroline Miles Visiting Scholarship is funded by the Ethox Foundation and is awarded annually to a post-doctoral or early career researcher to visit the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford.

The value of the scholarship is up to £2000.

Visiting Scholars will spend up to a month working at the Ethox Centre in Oxford, pursuing a research project on a topic relating to one of the Ethox Centre’s four main research programmes: global health ethics; clinical ethics; public health ethics; research ethics. Scholars will be expected to make a presentation on their research toward the end of their stay.

Deadline: 14th April 2014

For more information on how to apply visit:

Dr Angeliki Kerasidou
Director of Caroline Miles Scholarship Scheme