Around the Institute

Bin Laden’s Death/Advocacy Side Effects/Mother’s Day

May 6, 2011

Storytelling Gone Wrong: Bin Laden’s Death
As this week progressed, my inbox (and possibly yours too) read something like this: Bin Laden Killed in Shootout…Wife Said To Have Been Human Shield.  And then…White House Corrects Narrative…New Account Says Bin Laden Was Unarmed…  Viral Facebook responses failed to check their facts as well.  The Washington Post, New York Times and others are trying to piece together how the fog of war and too-hasty briefings led rapidly to distortions.   As for governments, so for advocates: better to get it right the first time.  

Advocacy and Its Side Effects
What happens when proven interventions are sabotaged by unrelated governance problems?  In Kenya, kids get sick. “Iconic” research led to the rapid expansion of school-based deworming efforts in Kenya.  But country audits by donors of broader education funding unearthed corruption which in turn led to funding cuts.  Justin Sandefur offers a lesson in the gritty details of translating evidence into policy – and then protecting it against the policy-makers.

Mother’s Day is Advocacy Day!
Ma and her day are great advocacy hooks, and among lots of contenders we’ll cite The White Ribbon Alliance’s Action of the Month: Every Woman Every Child.  This year they’ve focused on UN’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.  They offer a fascinating snapshot of what different countries have done for this strategy.  And they’re encouraging folks to spread the word and seek out new advocates.