Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 13 February 2019
:: The 2019 Annual Letter by Bill & Melinda Gates makes a case for investment in global health. Progress by Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a good reminder of how investment in global health funds benefits people around the world. Read the letter here.
:: In Indonesia, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) outbreak is confirmed.
Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Pakistan – once case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and four wild polioviruses type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples;
:: Nigeria – two circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) positive environmental samples;
:: Indonesia– one case of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1).


Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.
WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 16 Feb 2019]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo   14 February 2019
… Main challenges this past week primarily pertain to community mistrust, particularly in Katwa, and the difficulty in encouraging community members to be more proactive in reporting suspected cases, presenting early to ETCs for treatment, and participating in community-based prevention and response efforts. However, in the face of these protracted challenges, response strategies have demonstrated to be effective in curtailing the spread of EVD. Fostering greater community trust by strengthening engagement with its members remains a top priority for response teams.
On 13 February, the Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the Strategic Response Plan 3 (SRP 3). The plan lays out the response strategy, objectives and budget requirements for the MoH, WHO, and all implementing partners for the next six months (February through July 2019). SRP 3 takes into account recommendations from operational reviews, and builds on a series of new strategic directions that capitalize on lessons learned under the scope of SRP 2. Activities laid out aim to stop the transmission of EVD in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, and prevent its spread to other provinces and neighbouring countries.
WHO remains confident that this outbreak can be successfully brought to an end through strategies outlined in SRP 3. To achieve the goals set out by the plan, MoH, WHO, and partners are appealing for US$ 148 million. WHO and partners count on the continued support of the international community to provide the required funding in order to stop this outbreak…
:: WHO supports five countries to fight lassa fever outbreaks   8 February 2019
Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new digest announcements identified  
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified  
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified  
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified  
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 16 Feb 2019]
:: US$ 43.5 million needed to provide life-saving health aid in Libya in 2019
Cairo, 11 February 2019 – The World Health Organization and health partners are appealing for US$ 43.5 million to provide life-saving interventions for 388 000 people inside Libya affected by ongoing conflict…
:: WHO intercountry cooperation yields rich health dividends
13 February 2019 – Intercountry collaboration between Iraq and Jordan allowed WHO and health authorities in Iraq to rapidly and successfully respond to an increase in cases of acute respiratory infections…
:: MERS therapeutics and vaccines workshop 30 November 2018
13 Feb 2019
Meeting report pdf, 606kb
Final Agendapdf, 290kb
List of participantspdf, 348kb
Brazil (in Portugese) – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon  – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic  – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory  – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified
WHO Grade 1 Emergencies  [to 16 Feb 2019]
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Namibia – viral hepatitis
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut
WHO AFRO Outbreaks – Week 06: 04 – 10 February 2019
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 60 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Lassa fever in Nigeria
:: Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Measles in Madagascar
:: Humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic   – No new digest announcements identified
UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
Ethiopia  – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia  – No new digest announcements identified


The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 9 February 2019

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 9 Feb 2019

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

Democracy in Retreat: “Freedom in the World 2019” — Freedom House

Human Rights

Democracy in Retreat: “Freedom in the World 2019”
Challenges to American democracy are testing the stability of its constitutional system and threatening to undermine political rights and civil liberties worldwide.
Freedom House – February 2019
Full Report: http://www.freedomintheworld.org/
Summary PDF: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2019/democracy-in-retreat

In 2018, Freedom in the World recorded the 13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia. The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late 20th century, but the pattern is consistent and ominous. Democracy is in retreat.

In states that were already authoritarian, earning Not Free designations from Freedom House, governments have increasingly shed the thin façade of democratic practice that they established in previous decades, when international incentives and pressure for reform were stronger. More authoritarian powers are now banning opposition groups or jailing their leaders, dispensing with term limits, and tightening the screws on any independent media that remain. Meanwhile, many countries that democratized after the end of the Cold War have regressed in the face of rampant corruption, antiliberal populist movements, and breakdowns in the rule of law. Most troublingly, even long-standing democracies have been shaken by populist political forces that reject basic principles like the separation of powers and target minorities for discriminatory treatment.

Some light shined through these gathering clouds in 2018. Surprising improvements in individual countries—including Malaysia, Armenia, Ethiopia, Angola, and Ecuador—show that democracy has enduring appeal as a means of holding leaders accountable and creating the conditions for a better life. Even in the countries of Europe and North America where democratic institutions are under pressure, dynamic civic movements for justice and inclusion continue to build on the achievements of their predecessors, expanding the scope of what citizens can and should expect from democracy. The promise of democracy remains real and powerful. Not only defending it but broadening its reach is one of the great causes of our time…

…As part of this year’s report, Freedom House offered a special assessment of the state of democracy in the United States midway through the term of President Donald Trump. While democracy in America remains robust by global standards, it has weakened significantly over the past eight years, and the current president’s ongoing attacks on the rule of law, fact-based journalism, and other principles and norms of democracy threaten further decline.

Having observed similar patterns in other nations where democracy was ultimately overtaken by authoritarianism, Freedom House warns that the resilience of US democratic institutions in the face of such an assault cannot be taken for granted.

“The greatest danger comes from the fact that American democracy is not infinitely durable, especially if a president shows little respect for its tenets,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “We have seen democratic institutions gradually succumb to sustained pressure elsewhere in the world, in places like Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela. Antidemocratic rhetoric and the rejection of democratic constraints on power can be first steps toward real restrictions on freedom.”

“Challenges to democracy in the United States have outsized effects beyond American borders,” Abramowitz added. “Other nations watch what is happening in the United States and take cues from its leaders’ behavior. The ongoing deterioration of American democracy will accelerate the decline of democracy around the world.”…

Of the 195 countries assessed, 86 (44 percent) were rated Free, 59 (30 percent) Partly Free, and 50 (26 percent) Not Free.
The United States currently receives a score of 86 out of 100 points. While this places it below other major democracies such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, it is still firmly in the Free category….

Worst of the Worst
Of the 50 countries designated as Not Free, the following 13 have the worst aggregate scores for political rights and civil liberties (beginning with the least free): Syria, South Sudan, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Central African Republic, and Libya…

Towards universal social protection for children: Achieving SDG 1.3 — ILO-UNICEF

Child Protection

Towards universal social protection for children: Achieving SDG 1.3
ILO-UNICEF Joint Report on Social Protection for Children
06 February 2019 :: 52 pages
PDF: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_protect/—soc_sec/documents/publication/wcms_669336.pdf
Key Messages
:: Social protection systems, and in particular social protection floors, play a crucial role in addressing child poverty and socio-economic vulnerabilities. Evidence clearly shows impacts of social protection, and cash transfers in particular, on poverty, food security, health and access to education – thus helping to ensure that children can realize their full potential, breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and vulnerability, and realizing their rights to social security.

:: The impacts of poverty on children are devastating, and yet they are twice as likely to live in poverty as adults. One in five children – 385 million – are living in extreme poverty on less than PPP USD 1.90 a day, and almost one in two – 689 million – are living in multidimensionally poor households. Across both measures children are twice as likely to live in poverty as adults. Child poverty is also an urgent concern globally, with a staggering 45 per cent of children living on less than PPP USD 3.10 a day. Moreover, 27 out of 29 OECD countries with data have child poverty rates using relative poverty lines that are above 10 per cent.

:: The vast majority of children still have no effective social protection coverage. Effective coverage figures for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 1.3.1 show that 35 per cent of children globally receive social protection benefits, with significant regional disparities: while 87 per cent of children in Europe and Central Asia and 66 per cent in the Americas receive benefits, this is the case for only 28 per cent of children in Asia and the Pacific and 16 per cent in Africa.

:: A positive trend is the expansion of cash transfers for children. Countries which have made great strides towards universal social protection coverage include Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mongolia. Yet, in many countries, social protection programmes for children struggle with limited coverage, inadequate benefit levels, fragmentation and weak institutionalization. Recent years have witnessed a groundswell of interest in universal child grants (UCGs), with a number of countries outside the OECD expressing an interest in adopting UCGs or quasi-UCGs.

:: There is significant expenditure and investment in social protection for children, but more is needed. Data on social protection expenditure for children aged 0–14 in 139 countries show that, on average, 1.1 per cent of GDP is spent on child benefits; again there are large regional disparities, from 0.1 per cent in North Africa and the Arab States to 2.5 per cent in Europe. To extend social protection for children, more fiscal resources are needed. This is affordable even in the poorest countries.

:: Despite this important progress, some countries are cutting allowances. A number of countries undergoing fiscal consolidation policies are reducing family and child benefits and allowances, often narrow-targeting child benefits to the most poor and thus excluding vulnerable children from their legitimate right to social protection. Efforts need to be made to ensure that short-term fiscal
adjustment does not undermine progress.

:: Recommendations: Towards the aim of achieving SDG 1.3 for children, this report makes the following recommendations.
:: Rapid expansion of child and family benefits for children, including the progressive realization of
universal child grants as a practical means to rapidly increase coverage.
:: Ensure that universal approaches to child and family benefits are part of a social protection system that connects to other crucial services beyond cash, and addresses life-cycle risks.
:: Institutionalize monitoring and reporting on social protection for children, including establishing a
periodic interagency report.

The Rockefeller Foundation Establishes Atlas AI – New Startup to Generate Actionable Intelligence on Global Development Challenges

Development – AI

The Rockefeller Foundation Establishes Atlas AI – New Startup to Generate Actionable Intelligence on Global Development Challenges
Atlas AI appoints Victoria Coleman as CEO, most recently CTO of Wikimedia Foundation

NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2019 – The Rockefeller Foundation today marked the public launch of Atlas AI, a social enterprise established by the Foundation and a team of Stanford University professors to develop data products to support global development. Atlas AI works at the intersection of development economics, crop science, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence to generate detailed insights on poverty, crop yield and economic trends across Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier this week, Atlas AI named Victoria Coleman, previously Chief Technology Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer.

A B-Corporation founded in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation in 2018, Atlas AI uses machine learning algorithms and a rich array of ground truth data to estimate economic activity and crop yield from satellite imagery. Atlas AI validates its models against gold standard datasets collected by multilateral partners in the field, and their methods are backed by rigorously peer reviewed scientific research.

“Atlas AI is an innovative model for translating the best research thinking into products and services that accelerate sustainable development. Part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s vision is to unlock AI’s tremendous potential to improve people’s well-being while mitigating downside risks,” said Zia Khan, Vice President of Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We’re tremendously excited to welcome Victoria as Atlas AI’s new CEO. We conducted an extensive search and she brings a unique combination of skills and experiences to complement a world-class team.”

The reality is that it’s difficult to reach people living at or near the poverty line with critical information and services, especially if they are not online. Fielding a census or survey is time consuming and remarkably expensive—particularly for low-income, fragile, and conflict-affected countries. Atlas AI was founded to solve these challenges, delivering information more quickly and cost-effectively, and with greater accuracy and detail.

Based on years of cutting-edge research, Atlas AI was launched by professors David Lobell, Stefano Ermon, and Marshall Burke of Stanford University to give decision-makers in developing countries access to low-cost, cutting-edge data. Experts in artificial intelligence, data science, and development economics, Lobell, Ermon and Burke had already shown that satellite imagery can be used to map poverty and crop yields in Africa with a combination of economic data, space technology, and machine learning algorithms. Over the last seven months they began building Atlas AI with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, working with partner organizations in Africa to test and operationalize new products, including high-resolution datasets on wealth, consumption, and agricultural yields.

Atlas AI has assembled a team of the best scientists and engineers in the world with the passion and creativity to make a positive difference. Today, Atlas AI announced Victoria Coleman as the organization’s first CEO. As CTO at the Wikimedia Foundation – the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia, one of the world’s largest and most popular web properties – Ms. Coleman set the vision and strategy for technology and operations for Wikimedia projects in collaboration with the Wiki community. Previously, as Vice President Engineering at Yahoo! Inc., she led the company’s web services at scale. Before joining Yahoo!, Ms. Coleman served as Vice President, Emerging Technologies at Nokia. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to open data, a crucial part of Atlas AI’s mission. As a public benefit corporation, the company will support an open analytics platform allowing the public to browse economic datasets for the developing world, at sub-national resolution.

While private-sector businesses have been building and deploying artificial intelligence for years, most organizations in the non-profit, civic, and public sectors have yet to robustly apply these techniques towards the complex challenges they address. They have a strong appetite to use applied data to make their work go farther, faster, and ultimately help more people – but they may lack access to the skill sets and resources to do so in their context.

In an expanding effort to build the field of data science for social impact, in January 2019 The Rockefeller Foundation announced the creation of the Data Science for Social Impact collaborative in partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. The first activity by the collaborative was $20-million in funding to DataKind, a global non-profit that connects data science talent with social organizations – harnessing the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity.

As a science-driven philanthropy focused on partnering for the greatest impact, The Rockefeller Foundation supports the growth and success of Atlas AI so that its cutting-edge data products and services get to those who need them most. The Foundation maintains a seat on Atlas AI’s Board of Directors and will continue to be an active partner focused on long-term stewardship of results-oriented, global human development outcomes.
To learn more about Atlas AI, visit their website

Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become a New Nonprofit Entity Named Candid

Governance – Knowledge Management :: Not-for-Profit Organizations

Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become a New Nonprofit Entity Named Candid
Candid to Offer Most Comprehensive, Global Source of Knowledge About Nonprofit Work

February 5, 2019 (New York, N.Y.)—Foundation Center, the leading source for insight on philanthropy worldwide, and GuideStar, the leading source of information on nonprofit organizations, today announced they have joined forces to become a new nonprofit entity named Candid.

Candid brings together the deep expertise of the two organizations in data, technology, research, and training to serve the entire social sector—nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, and individual donors—and promote more and smarter giving. Building on more than 85 years of combined experience, Candid will enable new kinds of transparency about who is working where in the world and on what issues. Candid will also promote data standards and tools that can accelerate knowledge sharing and enhance collaboration. Powered with new insights, richer data, and increased access, Candid’s more than 16 million users will be better equipped to make more strategic decisions and better advance their missions.

Bradford Smith, previously president of Foundation Center, will be the president of Candid; Jacob Harold, previously president and CEO of GuideStar, will be Candid’s executive vice president.

“We are combining operations to fulfill a shared vision: connecting people who want to change the world with the resources they need to succeed,” said Bradford Smith, president of Candid. “And our name, Candid, speaks to our deep historical legacy of telling the story of foundations and nonprofits in a fair and objective manner as well as our renewed commitment to provide trusted data and knowledge for the sector.”

“Candid is a new organization but it is rooted in eight decades of experience in and connection to the nonprofit community,” said Jacob Harold, executive vice president of Candid. “With billions of pieces of data and millions of users, Candid will have the scale to weave together the stories of changemakers around the world. Our combined data and networks will allow us to understand the current state of the field in new ways. But, more importantly, Candid will be positioned to help the field imagine better ways of working for a better future.”..

Informed by the needs of users, the Candid team will explore a far-reaching range of new services. Currently in the planning phase, these initiatives will be developed over a period of years and include:
:: weaving together databases to enable much more inclusive search results;
:: enabling results-driven analysis based upon improved program data;
:: expanding and accelerating the adoption of data standards across the field;
:: driving a common profile—and, eventually, a common grant application and reporting framework—by providing a consistent data framework, a next-generation distribution system, and place-based campaigns;
:: providing people working in the social sector with opportunities to develop skills to help them succeed;
:: creating social functionality, including “give lists” and deeper integration into social media platforms;
:: developing a technology and knowledge-driven marketplace for RFPs;
:: creating a fundraising planning tool for nonprofits; and
:: directly integrating data and analysis into the tools that nonprofits, foundations, and their partners use every day.

Candid will be governed by a board composed of the current trustees of Foundation Center and GuideStar. Leading the board will be co-chairs Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, who has served as the chair of Foundation Center and serves as president & CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and Mari Kuraishi, who served as chair of GuideStar and is the new president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Prior to joining the Fund, Kuraishi was the co-founder and president of GlobalGiving…

Harnessing indigenous peoples’ knowledge for a food-secure future in the face of climate change

Development :: Heritage Stewardship

Harnessing indigenous peoples’ knowledge for a food-secure future in the face of climate change
04 Feb 19 – IFAD
What: The fourth global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) promotes indigenous peoples’ knowledge and innovations for climate resilience and sustainable development.
When: 9:00 Tuesday 12th to 17:00 Wednesday 13th February, 2019.
Where: IFAD Headquarters, Via Paolo di Dono 44, 00142 Rome, Italian Conference Room.

The Story: The Indigenous Peoples’ Forum was established in 2011 as a permanent process between representatives from indigenous peoples’ organizations, IFAD and governments. This year the Forum is focusing on the promotion of indigenous peoples’ knowledge and innovations for climate resilience and sustainable development to further strengthen rural transformation.

Over two days participants will focus on:
:: Reinforcing indigenous peoples role as custodians of a large part of the world’s biodiversity. Due to their close relationship with the environment, indigenous peoples are uniquely positioned to address and adapt to climate change.
:: Increasing investments to support indigenous organizations, institutions and communities, with a focus on youth and women, that build on their knowledge and innovations to address climate change and/or strengthen climate resilience.
:: Supporting indigenous peoples in securing their lands, territories and resources, including through mapping and advocacy.

:: Indigenous peoples’ water-harvesting/irrigation systems increase water supply in water stressed environments. In Tunisia, the Amazigh people use the “jessour system,” which consists of dams and terraces for collecting run-off water, enabling cultivation of olives, fruit trees and grains.
:: Indigenous knowledge is used to rehabilitate the soil, and adapt and react to floods and droughts. In Bangladesh, flood-affected indigenous communities cultivate saline-tolerant varieties of reeds, and saline-tolerant and drought-resistant fruit and timber trees, reducing vulnerability to floods and sea-level rise and ensure longer-term income generation.
:: Indigenous peoples’ community-based forest management sets aside conservation areas, woodcutting and watershed management zones, which have an important role to play in reversing the process of deforestation. The Miskito people of Nicaragua maintain three land-use types (cultivated fields, pastures and forest areas), while in Indonesian Borneo, the Dayak Jalai utilize a shifting mosaic land-use pattern that includes patches of natural and managed forest.

Webcast: https://bit.ly/2S9wJWR