EQUINET NEWSLETTER 234 : 01 December 2022

1. Editorial

As 2022 ends, thanks for joint actions and wishing you a heathy start to 2023
EQUINET Steering Committee

We appreciate the ideas, actions, initiatives on health equity we've shared in 2022. The context is challenging, but our conference in 2022, profiled in this issue, showed the rich perspectives, evidence, experiences and creativity people in the region bring to our struggles for social justice in health. We wish you wellbeing and progress in 2023! In 2022 our EQUINET Conference and various steering committee meetings identified key areas of work on health equity within our three strategic directions - Reclaiming the resources; Reclaiming the state; Reclaiming collective agency and solidarity. We are building on past work and alliances, renewing network leadership and developing a programe of research, work, dialogue, and engagement to put the resolutions of our Conference into action. To give time for this we will not have the quarterly newsletter in March 1 2023. Watch out for our next newsletter on June 1 2023- it will be a bumper issue!

Catalysing change for equity and social justice in health: Resolutions for action
EQUINET Conference 2022: Headline resolutions, November 2022

Delegates at the EQUINET Conference 2022 comprised representatives of civil society organisations, community members, parliament, central and local government leaders and officials, trade unions, media, academia, researchers, and personnel from regional and international organisations. We came together virtually under the umbrella of the Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET) to deliberate the actions needed to Catalyse change for health and social justice in this region.

Our deliberations took place at a time of deep-seated and multiple crises that have decimated the basic foundations for provision of public goods (the state, resources and collective agency) in our region, with the poor and marginalised communities left behind to shoulder the burden.
• Are alarmed by the: deepening resource extraction from our region that harms our environment and depletes resources for current and future generations; by inequalities in health, wellbeing and access to services, especially in urban areas and with particular consequences for young people, that are exacerbated by harmful commercial practices; underfunding, privatisation and commodification of public sector services; and by local to global political and economic systems that promote profit over people, disempower people and disrupt collective agency, dignity and social solidarity.
• Are greatly concerned with the limit and slow pace of action to address these challenges and make the change needed to promote equity in health and wellbeing at local, national and regional levels.
• Recognise that public sector-led health systems and comprehensive primary health care are central elements of the robust, redistributive and participatory states that are essential to meet our challenges, including from pandemic, conflict and climate injustice and address global drivers of injustice and inequity.
• Unequivocally identify the pivotal contribution that human rights, solidarity values, collective organisation and social power make in supporting self-determined action towards social, economic and ecological justice.

Committing to reclaim our resources, our states and our collective agency and solidarity for health and social justice, and as a catalyst for a political economy and systems that are rooted in values of equity, social justice, collective wellbeing and protection of nature, we propose a set of inter-linked areas of action to address our most critical challenges and tap our assets for health.

Building on our past 25 years, we understand that equity demands sustained, longer-term action. Over the next five years, we will:

1. Take action to:
a. Build and amplify a clear and affirmative pro-equity, pro-public discourse to affirm values, claim rights, resist inequity and demand action.
b. Track, generate evidence and knowledge on inequities and rights violations in health and wellbeing, and on the opportunities for and feasibility of social justice change that promotes both sustained human and ecosystem wellbeing.
c. Promote, demonstrate, advocate for and contribute to the implementation of specific equity-promoting laws, policies, practices and reforms for equity in health and wellbeing.
d. Build the capacities, leadership and activism needed to promote active participation and communities as agents of change; and to engage in participatory democracy around the policies, laws and systems that are critical in catalysing equity-oriented change.
e. Develop, sustain and work with pro-equity networks and alliances for action within and across countries in the east and southern Africa (ESA) region, in exchanges and engagement with other regions, with global actors and in global processes.

2. With a particular focus on the following issues:
• Development and implementation of constitutional and legal provisions that protect the right to health and enable action on equity in health and wellbeing.
• Healthy living, working and ecological conditions and food sovereignty, including specific concern on the extractive sectors, corporate practices, climate and eco-social justice, and for youth health and urban wellbeing.
• Adequate and progressive public sector resourcing (financial, health worker, commodities, infrastructures) and fair allocation for comprehensive primary health care oriented, universal, equitable, socially accountable public sector health, social and essential services, including in pandemics, and on disaggregated and publicly accessible information, monitoring and public health surveillance systems that integrate community evidence.
• Investment in local production of essential health products and tax justice, and the rule systems, measures and institutional reforms for this within the region and at global level.
• Regional counterproposals to paradigms, narratives, and local to global economic, political and procedural drivers of policies and practices that harm equity health and wellbeing and participatory democracy in health systems and services.

These headline resolutions were adopted by the conference on its final day. Further detail on the issues and areas of action is shown at https://www.equinetafrica.org/conference/resolutions.html.

2. Latest Equinet Updates

Desire Moyo, Moyoxide, Novembe, 2022

This video of a poem by Desire Moyo presented on the last day of the EQUINET conference captured some of the aspirations and ideas covered in the three days of the conference and in the resolutions for action. Halala!

EQUINET Conference 2022: Videos of Day 1-4 Conference sessions
EQUINET, November 2022

EQUINET conferences have provided an opportunity for different communities and areas of focus to interact, and have given guidance to our work, organisation and networking on health equity in East and Southern Africa. In 2022 EQUINET held a regional conference. Challenging a neoliberal mantra that there are no alternatives to policies that create social deficits and injustice, and sharing the ideas and creativity of our region, the 2022 conference shared and discussed experiences, evidence, analysis, successes and struggles from local to regional level and engagement globally to advance health and wellbeing in East and Southern Africa. Through the exchanges, delegates framed propositions to advance health equity and social justice in our region. The EQUINET Conference was held online in three and a half days, each day a month apart, with each of the three full days covering one of the EQUINET strategic directions - Reclaiming the resources for Health, Reclaiming the state, and Reclaiming collective agency and solidarity in health - with a final half-day - Organising regionally for health equity - on how EQUINET organises and what it does to take the strategic directions forward. You can now watch the videos of the presentations on each of the 4 conference days, from opening speeches from diverse leaders in and beyond the region, EQUINET, regional and international presenters, musicians and artists, reports of discussions and finally a closing speech from WHO AFRO.

EQUINET: the road travelled over 25 years
TARSC, EQUINET Steering committee

This video pechakucha of photographic images tells the story of EQUINET's journey from its formation in 1998 to the current date. It shows the many places, people, areas and forms of work EQUINET has been involved in.

Learning from initiatives on equitable urban health and wellbeing in east and southern Africa
Loewenson R; Mhlanga G; Gotto D; et al: EQUINET discussion paper 127, September 2022

Work was implemented in 2022 in EQUINET to gather evidence on promising practice aimed at addressing urban health equity and wellbeing in east and southern Africa (ESA to contribute to learning within the ESA region and to share and exchange with other regions. This report presents the work carried out in the ESA region through a desk review of online documents and case studies from selected cities, of areas of promising practice. It shares insights and learning from the findings on practices that promote urban wellbeing and health equity. Collectively, the initiatives have yielded a range of outcomes and changes. In terms of processes for equity-oriented change in urban wellbeing, the report outlines a mix of interventions and tools that promote both participatory and recognitional equity as pivotal to change. Many of the insights generated relate to the design of initiatives and the efforts made to stimulate cross sectoral, multi-stakeholder inputs as a response to the multi-dimensional nature of the drivers of inequality and deprivation. The report notes, however, that initiatives need to connect beyond the local level if they are to have more impact on the structural dimensions of equity, and points to national level inputs that appear to be important to sustain and support such local level practice.

3. Equity in Health

Emigration as a social and economic determinant of health in low-income urban Zimbabwe
Chigariro, TC and Mhloyi, MM:. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 41(49), 1-10, 2022

This study compared socio-economic characteristics, including health, of emigrants’ households with those of non-emigrants’ households in an urban setting in Harare, Zimbabwe. A cross-sectional survey and focus group discussions were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Concurrent and retrospective data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire with 268 de facto heads of the respective households, the. majority of whom were female. Emigrants’ households were more likely to access private compared to government health care facilities, than non-emigrants’ households. Emigrants' households were also more likely to report higher incomes than non-emigrants’ households and were having more meals per day and better access to education. Emigrants' households were also more likely to report positive lifestyles than non-emigrants’ households. Only 13.8% of emigrants' households reported a negative shift in lifestyle, compared to 25.2% non-emigrants' households. Emigration was found to have a positive relationship with health seeking, income, education, and number of meals a household had. The authors argue that it is clear from the findings that emigration during the hard economic times in Zimbabwe is beneficial; it cushions households from the ravages of poverty. Yet emigration robs the nation of its professional able-bodied people. They recommend that government optimise the reported positive effects, whilst improving the economy to reverse out-migration.

Multimorbidity and its socio-economic associations in community-dwelling older adults in rural Tanzania; a cross-sectional study
Lewis E G; Gray W L; Walker R; et al: BMC Public Health 22(1918), 1-12, 2022

The authors describe the prevalence and socio-economic conditions associated with multimorbidity in 235 community-dwelling older people ( ≥ 60 years) living in rural Tanzania, using a history and focused clinical examination. Multimorbidity was defined as having two or more conditions. The median age was 74 years and 136 were women. Adjusting for frailty-weighting, the prevalence of self-reported multimorbidity was 26%, and by clinical assessment/screening was 67%. Adjusting for age, sex, education and frailty status, multimorbidity by self-report increased the odds of being financially dependent on others threefold, and of a household member reducing their paid employment nearly fourfold. Multimorbidity is prevalent in this rural lower-income African setting and is associated with evidence of household financial strain. Multimorbidity prevalence is higher when not reliant on self-reported methods, revealing that many conditions are underdiagnosed and undertreated.

4. Values, Policies and Rights

Amendments to the IHR Come to the Fore. Will the Pandemic Accord Lose Traction?
Patnaik P: Geneva Health Files, Online, November 2022

In 2021, when the negotiations towards a Pandemic Accord was not yet a reality, a number of member states were advocating for restoring the centrality of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005), and for amending these rules that already exist. This article covers the dynamics between the two parallel, somewhat competing processes: on the one hand, efforts to amend the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), and on the other, the process to arrive at a new Pandemic Accord. The authors argue that the IHR are back to the fore. The update outlines the changing contours of how countries are lining up along these two processes. Much of what countries aspire for, is noted to already exist. But the “targeted” amendments is where the politics lie. Who articulates what needs to be amended and why? Over the next 17 months when both these processes are expected to conclude, calling for attention to the evolution of these historic negotiations.

5. Health equity in economic and trade policies

A Snapshot Of Wealth In Africa
Durden T: Zerohedge, Online, 2022

The continent of Africa contains more than 50 countries, but, as Visual Capitalist details, just five countries account for more than half of total wealth on the continent: South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya. Despite recent setbacks in Africa’s largest economies, wealth creation has been strong in a number of areas, and total private wealth is now estimated to be US$2.1 trillion. There are an estimated 21 billionaires in Africa today. Drawing from the latest Africa Wealth Report, this article looks at where all that wealth is concentrated around the continent.

Open Letter Sets Bill Gates Right About Global Food Insecurity
TWN: Info Service on Sustainable Agriculture, TWN, November 2022

An open letter to Bill Gates from the Community Alliance for Global Justice and co-signed by 50 other organisations warns that Gates fundamentally misdiagnoses the problem of food insecurity as relating to low productivity, leading him to recommend the replication of Green Revolution technologies, including more fertilizer. However, the letter points out that the world does not need to increase production as much as to assure more equitable access to food. Moreover, the authors assert that the Green Revolution did very little to reduce the number of hungry people in the world and caused long-term soil degradation, and increased inequality and indebtedness. The letter points to the many tangible, ongoing proposals and projects that work to boost productivity and food security such as agro-ecological programs, and invites Gates to step back and learn from those on the ground.

6. Poverty and health

Limited handwashing facility and associated factors in sub-Saharan Africa: pooled prevalence and multilevel analysis of 29 sub-Saharan Africa countries from demographic health survey data
Endalew M; Belay D G; Tsega N T; et al: BMC Public Health 22(1969), 1-12, 2022

This study determined the prevalence of limited handwashing facility and its associated factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Data was obtained from the Demographic and Health Surveys in 29 sub-Saharan African countries since January 1, 2010. The pooled prevalence of limited handwashing facilities was found to be 66%. Having a limited handwashing facility was associated with having a household head aged between 35 and 60, having a mobile type of hand washing facility, unimproved sanitation facility, water access requiring more than a 30 min round trip, living in an urban residential area, having low media exposure, low educational level, low income level and being in a lower middle-income level and having more than three children.

7. Equitable health services

South African Health Review 2021
Health Systems Trust, South Africa, 2022

When it comes to service delivery and access in both the public and private health sectors, COVID-19 has put everything to the test. It has demonstrated how central public health security is to health and livelihoods, and how pandemic health emergencies expose the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of health systems, costing lives and causing immeasurable damage to economies. This edition of the South African Health Review considers the government's and broader health sector's response to COVID-19, explores the current challenges facing the health system at this unprecedented time, and reflects on lessons learnt for future for public health emergencies. The chapters offer information on the challenges of balancing lives with livelihoods, and the impact of COVID-19 on different healthcare workers, especially Community Health Workers who found themselves at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. Other areas covered include the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations.

Trends in inequality in maternal and child health and health care in Uganda: Analysis of the Uganda demographic and health surveys
Kakama A K; Basaza R: BMC Health Services Research 22(1269), 1-12, 2022

This study analyses data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2006, 2011, and 2016 in Uganda, to assess trends in inequality for a variety of mother and child health and health care indicators. The indicators included infant and child mortality, underweight status, stunting, and prevalence of diarrhoea. Antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, delivery in health facilities, contraception prevalence, full immunization coverage, and medical treatment for child diarrhoea and Acute Respiratory tract infections were health care indicators. Two metrics of inequity were used: the quintile ratio, which evaluates discrepancies between the wealthiest and poorest quintiles, and the concentration index, which utilizes data from all five quintiles. The study found universal improvement in population averages in most of the indices, ranging from the poorest to the wealthiest groups, between rural and urban areas. However, significant socioeconomic and rural-urban disparities persist. Under-five mortality, malnutrition in children, the prevalence of anaemia, mothers with low Body Mass Index, and the prevalence of acute respiratory tract infections were found to have worsening inequities. Healthcare utilization measures such as skilled birth attendants, facility delivery, contraceptive prevalence rate, child immunization, and Insecticide Treated Mosquito Net usage were found to show significantly lower disparity levels. Three healthcare utilization indicators, namely medical treatment for diarrhoea, for acute respiratory tract infections, and for fever, demonstrated perfect equity. Increased use of health services among poor and rural populations was found to leads to improved health status and the elimination of income and residential disparities.

8. Human Resources

Health worker perceptions of stigma towards Zambian adolescent girls and young women: a qualitative study
Meek C; Mulenga D M; Edwards P; et al: BMC Health Services Research 22(1253), 1-11, 2022

This study explored health workers’ perceptions of clinic- and community-level stigma against adolescent girls and young women seeking HIV and sexual and reproductive health services in Lusaka, Zambia. The authors conducted 18 in-depth interviews in August 2020 with clinical and non-clinical health workers across six health facilities in urban and peri-urban Lusaka. Health workers reported observing stigma driven by attitudes, awareness, and institutional environment. Clinic-level stigma often mirrored community-level stigma. Health workers described the negative impacts of stigma for adolescent girls and young women and expressed a desire to avoid stigmatization. Despite this lack of intent to stigmatize, results suggest that community influence perpetuates stigma, although often unrecognized and unintended, in health workers and clinics. These findings demonstrate the overlap in health workers’ clinic and community roles and suggest the need for multi-level stigma-reduction approaches that address the influence of community norms on health facility stigma. The authors propose that stigma-reduction interventions should aim to move beyond fostering basic knowledge to encouraging critical thinking about internal beliefs and community influence and how these may manifest in service delivery to adolescent girls and young women.

Labour protests during the pandemic : The case of hospital and retail workers in 90 countries
International Labour Organisation: Working paper 83, ILO, November 2022

The report offers the first global dataset of labour protests of key workers during the pandemic. It focusses on two sectors, healthcare and retail. The results show that, overall, despite large volumes of protest over acute COVID-related problems such as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the main concern of protesting workers during the pandemic was their pay. Collective action accompanying demands for pay rises involved not only the withdrawal of labour, but also demonstrations and leverage tactics. Health and safety was the second most important concern, and protests linked to these demands did not cease when the pandemic became less deadly. Protest spiked during the initial March 2020 lockdowns, before continuing at a lower level throughout the pandemic. The report identifies important variation between countries and sectors, and highlights specific local contingencies, and strategic decisions taken by workers and their unions.

9. Public-Private Mix

The Africa Care Economy Index
Femnet: African Womens development and communication Network, 2022

In Africa, the Care Economy has long been unrecognised. At least since the last pandemic — HIV-AIDS — caring work has been severely undervalued in the continent, and the redistribution of caring work, from females in the home and communities, next to non-existent. The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed attention to the care economy globally. The Africa Care Economy Index offers a concrete evaluation of African state performance in the recognition, support and redistribution of caring work. Based on a definition of care economy and related concepts relevant in Africa, the Index uses ten metrics to evaluate the 54 states of the continent. Demonstrating longstanding neglect of the care economy by all states in Africa, recommendations are made around broad policy and in depth research required to begin supporting and redistributing caring work. Social recognition and state support for caring work are shown to be central to building holistic development that benefits the majority in Africa.

10. Resource allocation and health financing

'Historic Win': UN Members to Start Talks on 'Inclusive and Effective' Global Tax Standards
Corbett J: Common dreams, online, November 24, 2022

Tax justice advocates around the world on Wednesday celebrated the unanimous adoption of a resolution to begin intergovernmental discussions in New York at United Nations Headquarters on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation. "African countries stood together and made historic strides, breaking through the long-standing blockade by the OECD countries," said Global Alliance for Tax Justice executive coordinator Dereje Alemayehu. The U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the "promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations" was spearheaded by the African Group—which is composed of the continent's 54 member states—and comes after about a decade of delays on the topic at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). "We note that the OECD has played a role in these areas," a representative of the Nigerian delegation to the U.N. reportedly said Wednesday. "It is clear after 10 years of attempting to reform international tax rules that there is no substitute for the global, inclusive, transparent forum provided by the United Nations."

UN vote on new tax leadership role
Tax Justice Network: Live Blog, online, 24 November 2022

The UN General Assembly adopted on Wednesday 23 November 2022 by unanimous consensus a resolution that mandates the UN to set course for a global tax leadership role. The historic decision is likely to mark the beginning of the end of the OECD’s sixty-year reign as the world’s leading rule maker on global tax, and will now kick off a power struggle between the two institutions with implications for global and local economies, businesses and people everywhere for decades to come. The adopted resolution will now open the way for intergovernmental discussions on the negotiation of a UN tax convention and a global tax body. This blog captures information on the resolution, on policy analysis commentary on its passing, and on evidence supporting moving tax rule-making to a globally inclusive and transparent forum at the United Nations.

11. Equity and HIV/AIDS

Living with COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics: revisiting lessons from the HIV pandemic
Auerbach J; Forsyth A; Davey C; et al:The Lancet HIV, 1-7, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(22)00301-0, 2022

In April, 2020, just months into the COVID-19 pandemic, an international group of public health researchers published three lessons learned from the HIV pandemic for the response to COVID-19, which were to: anticipate health inequalities, create an enabling environment to support behavioural change, and engage a multidisciplinary effort. The authors revisit these lessons in light of more than 2 years' experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. With specific examples, the article details how inequalities have played out within and between countries, highlight factors that support or impede the creation of enabling environments, and note ongoing issues with the scarcity of integrated science and health system approaches. The authors argue that to better apply lessons learned as the COVID-19 pandemic matures and other infectious disease outbreaks emerge, it will be imperative to create dialogue among polarised perspectives, identify shared priorities, and draw on multidisciplinary evidence.

Opportunities and considerations for the design of decentralized delivery of antiretroviral therapy for female sex workers living with HIV in South Africa
Comins C A; Guddera V; Parmley L E; et al: BMC Health Services Research 22(1166), 1-10, 2022

In South Africa, 60% of female sex workers (FSWs) are living with HIV, many of whom experience structural and individual barriers to antiretroviral therapy initiation and adherence. Community-based decentralized treatment provision (DTP) may mitigate these barriers. To characterize optimal implementation strategies, the authors explored preferences for DTP among FSWs living with HIV in Durban, South Africa, using 39 semi-structured in-depth interviews. Respondents suggested that decentralized treatment provision should be venue-based, scheduled during less busy times and days, and integrate comprehensive health services including psychological, reproductive, and non-communicable disease services. Antiretroviral therapy packaging and storage were important for community-based delivery, and participants suggested decentralized treatment provision should be implemented by sex work sensitized staff with discrete uniform and vehicle branding. The authors suggest the potential utility of decentralized treatment provision for female sex workers as a strategy to address those most marginalized from current antiretroviral therapy programs in South Africa.

12. Governance and participation in health

Multi-level change strategies for health: learning from people-centered advocacy in Uganda
Bailey A; Mujune V: International Journal for Equity in Health 21(143), 1-15, 2022

This paper is based on a comparative, inductive, practitioner-led analysis of program monitoring data from 18 multi-level health advocacy campaigns. The findings emerge from analysis of a “Heat Map,” capturing grounded accounts of government responses to community-led advocacy. Officials in eight out of 18 districts were noted to have fulfilled or surpassed commitments made to community advocates. Government responses included: increased monitoring, more downward accountability, countering backlash against advocates, applying sanctions for absent health workers, and increased budget allocations. Advocates’ bottom-up advocacy worked in part through triggering top-down responses and activating governmental checks and balances. Methodologically, this article demonstrates the value of analyzing process monitoring and program data to understand outcomes from direct engagement between citizens and the state to improve health services. Survey-based research methods and quantitative analysis may fail to capture signs of government responsiveness and relational outcomes many hope to see from citizen-led accountability efforts. Practitioners’ perspectives on how accountability for health emerges in practice are argued to be important correctives to much positivist research on accountability, which has a tendency to ignore the complex dynamics and processes of building citizen power.

What happened to HIV activist Zackie Achmat?
Christie S: Bhekisisa, South Africa, November 2022

Zackie Achmat was one of the most vociferous voices against former president Thabo Mbeki’s HIV denialism in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 1998, Zackie and a handful of others had launched what would rapidly become one of the most prominent HIV-advocacy movements in the world, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). This article follows what the authors call "arguably his generation’s most prominent social justice advocate" to his current work on other areas of engaging the state, and report Achmat's analysis of local movements. It also covers his understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic as a harbinger of a new normal — “a condition where emergencies such as pandemics and climate change disasters are not exotic happenings but things occurring at home on an ongoing basis, requiring a complete reorientation of emergency healthcare, and a corresponding reorientation of activism.”

13. Monitoring equity and research policy

Mapping urban physical distancing constraints, sub-Saharan Africa: a case study from Kenya
Chamberlain HR, Macharia PM, Tatem AJ: Bull World Health Organ 2022;100(9):562–569

With the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, public health measures such as physical distancing were recommended to reduce transmission of the virus causing the disease. However, the same approach in all areas, regardless of context, may lead to measures being of limited effectiveness and having unforeseen negative consequences, such as loss of livelihoods and food insecurity. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, the authors outline and discuss challenges that are faced by residents of urban informal settlements in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The authors describe how new geospatial data sets can be integrated to provide more detailed information about local constraints on physical distancing and can inform planning of alternative ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19 between people. A case study of Nairobi County, Kenya, is included with mapped outputs which illustrate the intra-urban variation in the feasibility of physical distancing and the expected difficulty for residents of many informal settlement areas. These examples demonstrate the potential of new geospatial data sets to provide insights and support to policy-making for public health measures, including COVID-19.

Saying ‘no’ in science isn’t enough
Babcock L; Peyser B; Vesterlund L; et al: Nature, November 2022

In August 2022, a group of female scholars wrote ‘Why four scientists spent a year saying no’: an article about what they had gained by saying no to 100 work-related requests over the course of year. That led the authors, four female professors, to form the No Club. Over the past decade, the authors have researched work that doesn’t help to advance careers — an attempt to understand why they, along with many others, were doing so much of it. They gave this work a name: non-promotable tasks (NPTs). Studies show that women, regardless of occupation, take on the bulk of NPTs. So, what can organizations do? The authors argue that women are more likely than men to volunteer for an NPT, so asking for volunteers exacerbates the inequity in allocation. Everyone in organizations should be enabled to understand which tasks will move their careers forward (the promotable work) and which ones won’t, and tasks defined as promotable or non-promotable. Knowing where to focus time is argued to help both employees and the organization. If tasks are assigned strategically to take advantage of specialized skill sets, given that an NPT for one position might be promotable for someone at a lower level, the authors propose that tasks be allocated to create equitable portfolios of work and rewards provided for some NPTs.

14. Useful Resources

Human Climate Horizons
Climate Impact Lab, United Nations Development Programme, 2022

Built upon frontier scientific work, this platform visualises hyperlocal human impacts of climate change and its effects on human security for more than 24,000 regions across the world. It shows the effects we face today, on our health, our livelihoods, and the infrastructure we need. It shows how they are projected to evolve over the next century, bringing into focus which regions and locations are most at risk.

Reading Marx’s Grundrisse
David Harvey: Online Political Economy Course, 2022

A new course featuring David Harvey teaching Karl Marx’s Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy. Recorded live in 2020 first at The People’s Forum and then in quarantine, these 12 accessible lectures guide the reader through the major themes of Marx’s seminal text on political economy, and feature commentary relating the text to the pandemic and economic crisis.

15. Jobs and Announcements

Call for Applications: Preparing Outstanding Social Science Investigators to Benefit Lives and Environments in Africa Programme
Deadline for submissions: 11 December 2022

The POSSIBLE- Africa Fellowship Programme is a 24-month early postdoctoral (graduated within the last 5-10 years) fellowship opportunity for outstanding African scholars in the Social Sciences & Humanities, who propose research that aims to create evidence to inform sustainable development within the African continent. The fellowship aims to build a critical mass of independent African research leaders in the SS&H to lead science programmes at local and international levels. These leaders will have the capacity to engage successfully with funders, policy makers, communities, and other stakeholders, and to serve as mentors and supervisors for the next generation of researchers in Africa.

Call for Papers: From COVID-19 to stronger people-centred and equitable health systems
Health policy and systems research from low- and middle-income countries, no deadline

Health Policy and Planning has launched a call for papers to take stock of what happened during the COVID years in terms of health system governance, transformation and innovation. Submissions are invited by researchers, policymakers, providers, health system managers and programme managers. Papers can focus on regional, national, sub-national and ‘district’-level impact and responses. Of particularly interest are papers that critically review the response to the pandemic at country-level in low- and middle-income countries.

Call for proposals: Health policy analysis for health taxes: Lessons from countries
AHPSR: Deadline for applications: 23 December 2022

This research programme aims to generate knowledge and advocate for greater attention for health policy analysis on health taxes. It aims to develop cross-national learning based on this knowledge to inform civil society advocacy and government and funder policy-making. Country teams are expected to use a mixed-method approach, combining semi-structured interviews, literature reviews and situational analysis to analyze how a health tax is being advanced and implemented. These studies will consider how political economy factors influenced the design, adoption and implementation of health taxes, and how analysis can be used to further health taxes in country contexts. There is a requirement for research teams to engage and work closely with policy-makers (including WHO and other international partners working in the country), and civil society groups (this will be coordinated with WHO and external partners). A common conceptual framework will be developed to ensure that findings are comparable across countries.

East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community 13th Best Practices Forum (BPF) and 28th Directors Joint Consultative Conference (DJCC) Meeting
5-7 February 2023, Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho

The 13th BPF and 29th DJCC will now be held in Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho, from 5-7 Feb 2023, immediately be followed by the 71st Health Ministers' Conference starting from 8-9 Feb 2023. ECSA-HC in collaboration with Member States and Partners hosts a regional platform to identify and build consensus on regional health priorities known as the “Best Practices Forum (BPF)”. Promising practices and key policy issues and approaches emanating from the BPF are then motioned on to be recommendations to the Health Ministers during their annual conference.

Health taxes: a call for papers
BMJ Global Health: Deadline for submissions: 17 February 2023

The editors invite papers that focus on political economy and policy analysis as well as consider how framing can be used to advance health taxes; and in health taxes on products including, but not limited to, tobacco, alcohol, sugar, fossil fuels, meat and salt. The special issue welcomes a variety of different types of articles, including those focused on exploring new theoretical and methodological terrain, in addition to papers that present empirical research findings considering how countries can accelerate, develop, deepen, expand and sustain health taxes, with a special interest on low-income and middle-income countries. This is a call for submissions across article types, including original research, analysis and practice articles.

Open call for short films: 4th edition Health for All Film Festival
Deadline for submissions: 31 January 2023

The Health for All Film Festival aims to recruit a new generation of film and video innovators to champion global health issues, launching its 4th edition, the festival is opening an invitation to independent film-makers, production companies, NGOs, communities, students, and film schools from around the world to submit their original short films about health.


Contact EQUINET at admin@equinetafrica.org and visit our website at www.equinetafrica.org
Website: http://www.equinetafrica.org/newsletter

SUBMITTING NEWS: Please send materials for inclusion in the EQUINET NEWS to admin@equinetafrica.org Please forward this to others.

SUBSCRIBE: The Newsletter comes out quarterly and is delivered to subscribers by e-mail. Subscription is free. To subscribe, visit http://www.equinetafrica.org/content/subscribe
The information on subscribers is used only to email the newsletter to subscribers.

This newsletter is produced under the principles of 'fair use'. We strive to attribute sources by providing direct links to authors and websites. When full text is submitted to us and no website is provided, we make the text available as provided. The views expressed in this newsletter, including the signed editorials, do not necessarily represent those of EQUINET or the institutions in its steering committee. While we make every effort to ensure that all facts and figures quoted by authors are accurate, EQUINET and its steering committee institutions cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies contained in any articles. Please contact admin@equinetafrica.org immediately regarding any issues arising.