Obituary: Farewell to Dieter Neuvians, a Digital Pioneer of German Development Cooperation

Dear colleagues,

on Friday evening, Dieter Neuvians, a highly respected colleague and reliable friend for many of us, passed away – just over a year after his much-loved wife Aenne.

Dieter and Aenne met during his placement as young paediatrician at Marburg hospital. They fell in love, got married and were inseparable for the rest of their lives: ‚We were never apart for more than a few days since we first met‘ he told me last year. Both loved Africa, both loved travelling and, for many years after Dieter retired, continued to spend at least half a year in Cape Town, which had become a second home for them.

Dieter’s postings as public health expert took him and his family first to Yemen (at a visit late last year he showed us pictures of him, Aenne and his then small children camping with friends somewhere near Aden – all of them looking Hippie-style and extremely happy); then for many years to Tanzania – according to Aenne and him the best time of their lives. Next they were sent to Zimbabwe, another place at which they made many friends and even bought a house, before they finally moved to Cape Town until Dieter retired. Since then, they spent half a year in Neustadt near Marburg, where Aenne had grown up, and half a year in South Africa – a practice they only gave up when they needed medical treatment for which they had to be in Germany.

At a time in which digitalisation is so high on GIZ’s and BMZ’s agenda, it is worth remembering that Dieter was THE digital pioneer in German Development Cooperation. Amongst other things he conceived, set up and, for many years, managed this GIZ- (then GTZ) health-Mailing list – at a time when GTZ head office still used fax machines for written communication with colleagues in partner countries. In the late nineties, Dieter started his famous newsletter – the HESP News & Notes – in which he collected and shared the latest publications and resources that could be of interest to his public health colleagues across the world. This fortnightly newsletter, with its long list of interesting publications, its ’tipps and tricks’ section and always a funny cartoon, soon became an institution, within German Development Cooperation and far beyond.

When, many years ago, I asked Dieter if he could support me – with his digital expertise – to start a collaborative knowledge management initiative that would bring together GIZ (then GTZ) colleagues and partners around the world together in debate over ‘good practice‘ in health (and soon also social protection), he was immediately on board. In 2004, we launched the so-called ‚Peer review group‘, (to my knowledge) the first kind of a digital community of practice amongst GTZ, KfW and UN colleagues (a ‚google group‘), soon followed by a GHPC website, at a time when having a website was still something out of the ordinary – at least in our field. Until last year, we worked as a team on this initiative, driven by the conviction that knowledge needed to be continuously ‚harvested‘, shared and discussed, in a transparent and interactive manner (and both being internet-junkies, online except for when asleep).

Several times in recent years, when we had quick work-related email exchanges, Dieter would mention in passing that he was actually being treated at the Intensive Care Unit. But that I shouldn’t worry, that he would bring X,Y, Z online shortly – which he then did. – He sent out his last newsletter just over a week ago, stating that it would be the last one…

When I think of Dieter, I hear his sonorous laughter, I see his smile, I think of his kindness, his modesty and his always even-tempered manner.

Dieter, you will be missed!

Kind regards

Anna

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Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Social and Solidarity Economy: Incremental versus Transformative Change

by Peter Utting
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development, April 2018

56 pp. 3.1 MB
http://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/(httpAuxPages)/DCE7DAC6D248B0C1C12
58279004DE587/$file/UNTFSSE—WP-KH-SSE-SDGs-Utting-April2018.pdf

In a context where an increasing number of governments are promoting policies that aim to support organizations and enterprises that make up the social and solidarity economy (SSE), this paper assesses the effectiveness of such support. It does so from the perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by considering whether the uptake of the SSE agenda by governments can scale up and enable SSE in ways conducive to realizing the ‘transformational vision’ of the SDGs.

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AIDSFree Annual Report Project Year 3

Arlington, VA: AIDSFree Project, 2018

42 pp. 3.2
https://aidsfree.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/2018.4.28_py3-aidsfree-annual-report.pdf

This annual report presents AIDSFree’s programmatic achievements at both central and country levels for October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. The Strengthening High Impact Interventions for an AIDS-free Generation (AIDSFree) Project in 2016–17 worked to set the stage for the next step in the control of the HIV epidemic. In this, its third project year, AIDSFree fulfilled its mission to expand HIV education, prevention, and treatment in 14 countries and the Middle East/North Africa region, while simultaneously working to support the infrastructure that will lead to long-term sustainable containment of the epidemic.

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Integration of administrative records for social protection policies: contributions from the Brazilian experience

by Letícia Bartholo, Joana Mostafa, Rafael Guerreiro Osorio
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth Working Paper Number 169, May, 2018

36 pp. 544Kb

http://www.ipc-
undp.org/pub/eng/WP169_Integration_of_administrative_records_for_social_protection_policies
.pdf

The paper delves into the Brazilian Single Registry (Cadastro Único), the backbone of some 20 social protection programmes, which is frequently cited as a successful example of data integration. The authors present some of the essential aspects for assembling the instruments needed for the integration of social protection policies and highlight existing challenges to the integration of services and social protection benefits.

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Association between timing and number of antenatal care visits on uptake of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy among Malawian women

by Owen Nkoka, Ting-Wu Chuang and Yi-Hua Chen
Malaria Journal,2018 17:211 – Published: 25 May 2018

11 pp. 1.1 MB
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12936-018-2360-z

Malaria in pregnancy is a critical public health challenge, and intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy (IPTp) has proven to be an effective intervention. However, access to and use of malaria interventions, including IPTp, remains a considerable problem among African women. This cross-sectional study investigated factors, including antenatal care (ANC) attendance (both numbers of visits and timing of the first visit) and socio-demographics, associated with the uptake of the recommended IPTp dose among Malawian women.

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Effect of hygiene interventions on acute respiratory infections in childcare, school and domestic settings in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

bySarah L. McGuinness, S. Fiona Barker, Joanne O’Toole et al.
Tropical Medicine & International Health – online: 25 May 2018

23 pp. 1.1 MB
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/tmi.13080

Evidence suggests that hand hygiene interventions delivered in childcare, school and domestic settings can reduce acute respiratory infections (ARI) morbidity, but effectiveness varies according to setting, intervention target, and intervention compliance. Further studies are needed to develop, deliver and evaluate targeted and sustainable hygiene interventions in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs).

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Task shifting between physicians and nurses in acute care hospitals: cross-sectional study in nine countries

by Claudia B. Maier, Julia Köppen and Reinhard Busse
Human Resources for Health 2018, 16:24 – Published on: 25 May 2018

12 pp.402 kB
https://human-resources-health.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12960-018-
0285-9

Countries vary in the extent to which reforms have been implemented expanding nurses’ Scopes-of- Practice (SoP). There is limited cross-country research if and how reforms affect clinical practice, particularly in hospitals. This study analyses health professionals’ perceptions of role change and of task shifting between the medical and nursing professions in nine European countries. The authors conclude that higher levels of changes to staff roles and task shifting were reported in the Netherlands, England and Scotland, suggesting that professional boundaries have shifted, for instance on chemotherapy or prescribing medicines. For most tasks, however, a partial instead of full task shifting is practice.

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Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison

by Larissa Shamseer, David Moher, Onyi Maduekwe et al.
BMC Medicine, March 2017, 15:28

14 pp. 764 kB
https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9

The Internet has transformed scholarly publishing, most notably, by the introduction of open access publishing. Recently, there has been a rise of online journals characterized as ‘predatory’, which actively solicit manuscripts and charge publications fees without providing robust peer review and editorial services. The authors carried out a cross-sectional comparison of characteristics of potential predatory, legitimate open access, and legitimate subscription-based biomedical journals.

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Care of girls and women living with female genital mutilation

A clinical handbook

by Christina Pallitto, Karin Stein, Lale Say et al.
World Health Organization, 2018

458 pp. 6.2 MB
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272429/9789241513913-eng.pdf?ua=1

This handbook is for health care providers involved in the care of girls and women who have been subjected to any form of female genital mutilation (FGM). This includes obstetricians and gynaecologists, surgeons, general medical practitioners, midwives, nurses and other country-specific health professionals. Health-care professionals providing mental health care, and educational and psychosocial support – such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and health educators – will also find this handbook helpful.

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Violence on the Front Line: Attacks on Health Care in 2017

by Carol Bales and Leonard Rubenstein
Safeguarding Health In Conflict Coalition Members, 2018

51 pp. 9.7 MB
https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/SHCC2018final.pdf

In 2017, there were at least 701 attacks on hospitals, health workers, patients, and ambulances in 23 countries in conflict around the world. More than 101 health workers and 293 patients and others are reported to have died as a result of these attacks. The violence against health in 2017 once again represents violations of longstanding norms meant to protect the safe delivery of care to people everywhere without discrimination or interference. States have made little progress to protect and respect the provision of and access to impartial health care and to ensure proper investigation into and accountability for violations.

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