Pandemic plausibilities at landscape level: case of High Asia

An invitation to join a bunch of ecologists who’re working in High Asia led to this perspective piece that traces plausibility of spillovers turning into pandemics in what is considered relatively low-risk (a literal “coldspot”) for zoonotic disease oubreaks due to its relatively sparse populations and large and unihabitable landscapes. However, as we argue rapid land-use change, macroeconomic (even geopolitical!) pressures could create new niches and open up vulnerabilities for spillover events.

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Sciencing up participation, and participationing science

That health, education and various other public services are distributed unfairly is not new for human societies; the level of unfairness however appears to be on the increase. This is indeed counter-intuitive, given the last few decades’ strides in economic progress and even improved average lifespan and improving access to health globally. Despite widespread feeling that inequalities in health or healthcare distribution is explained by chance or by other proximate explanations such as distance or wealth, the “causes of the causes” are invariably lying within social factors (see my recent TedX talk on health as a matter of chance, or of choice). Continue reading

Studying organisational change in Indian district health systems: end of a PhD journey

On 21st April, 2015 I defended my public health PhD dissertation at Universite

Public defence at UCL. Clicking the photo takes you to the ITM public health department's blog on the defence

Public defence at UCL. Clicking the photo takes you to the ITM public health department’s blog on the defence

Catholique de Louvain in Brussels. I sought to understand  organisational change within district health systems in an Indian district. The research was carried out in Tumkur district in southern Karnataka (on which I have blogged a bit). I focused on understanding “change” within a public service bureaucracy like the one we have in Karnataka. Continue reading

Building health policy and systems research capacity in India: the KEYSTONE approach

The last few decades have seen a proliferation of research in the domain of health policy and systems research (HPSR). Major technological advances in medicine and various healthcare innovations have little chances of succeeding if robust country, provincial and local health systems are lacking. Continue reading

Open government (data)

Comment is free, but facts are sacred

Thanks to the exceedingly good central government run website to file applications under the Right to Information Act (see end of this post for details), I got the opportunity to look at some useful data on implementation of large nationwide schemes. I have been trying to obtain data on such schemes across subjects, disciplines and departments with the objective of understanding what ails the management and utilisation of data in government services in India. Continue reading