Fortnightly links: maternal health, corporate abuses, Angola, happiness, and more…

This Financial Times special report on maternal health and child mortality poignantly illustrates the challenges faced by many women and adolescent girls in India, Mexico and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Also in the ‘persistent global health problems’ category, Jo Chandler recently returned from Papua New Guinea’s Daru Hospital, where she reports that MDR TB — dubbed ‘Ebola with wings’ — appears largely unabated. Listen to the podcast here.

The international architecture and tactics that have developed to protect against corporate abuses in developing countries — such as boycotts, pressure from shareholders, and lawsuits — are becoming increasingly irrelevant in today’s global economy, argues Michael Hobbes in Foreign Policy.

Writing for The Conversation, Alex de Waal delves into the disjunct between scholarship and policy making, suggesting “Analysis is shaped to suit the audience, and scholars end up speaking their language. Rather than evidence-based policy, there is policy-based evidence-making.” Though his focus is on Africa, the arguments have wider implications.

If you’re struggling to find things to worry about in the middle of the night, this Vox primer on Angola’s Yellow Fever outbreak and why it is concerning not just for Angolans may well do the trick.

On the subject of Angola, Jeremy Harding has a brilliant review in the London Review of Books describing how one of the Cold War’s final spasms played out so tragically in southwest Africa.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has released some interesting looking research on women and power in developing countries.

And to end on a positive note, Gallup recently released their latest World Happiness Report, based on their World Poll data. Which country scores most highly? It depends on what you consider happiness to be. For a short, clear introduction into two different concepts of happiness, and information on which countries score highest on each, start here.

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Camilla Burkot

Camilla Burkot was a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre, and Editor of the Devpolicy Blog, from 2015 to 2017. She has a background in social anthropology and holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and has field experience in Eastern and Southern Africa, and PNG. She now works for the Burnet Institute.

Terence Wood

Terence Wood is a Research Fellow at the Development Policy Centre. His research focuses on political governance in Western Melanesia, and Australian and New Zealand aid.

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