Making systematic reviews work for international development research

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Investigation into where systematic reviews add value to development research and where they become problematic. In the context of donors’ interest in systematic reviews and their effectiveness as a tool for evidence-informed policy making, this briefing demonstrates that:

Limits to evidence-based health policymaking: Policy hurdles to structural HIV prevention in Tanzania

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Study exploring the political obstacles that affect the uptake of policy evidence on the structural drivers of HIV. Based on in-depth interviews with AIDS policymakers and observations of national-level policy meetings, the paper argues that HIV prevention policies are informed by a range of competing political negotiations and motivations.

An integrated structural intervention to reduce vulnerability to HIV and sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers in Karnataka state, south India

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A review of structural interventions integrated into an HIV prevention programme for over 60,000 female sex workers (FSWs) in south India. The structural interventions involved policy makers, secondary stakeholders (police, government officials, lawyers, media) and primary stakeholders (FSWs).

The research found that:

Roadmap to AIDS 2012: Presentations on Structural Factors

To help you get the most out of the International AIDS Conference, Washington DC, 22 to 27 July 2012, STRIVE has identified sessions related to the social barriers to HIV prevention and the structural interventions designed to overcome them.


Key event: STRIVE Launch 24 July

Sunday 22

Monday 23

Tuesday 24

Wednesday 25

Social Policy: Going Upstream

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An analysis of the costs and benefits of interventions that seek to address some of underlying social drivers of HIV vulnerability. The paper was written by STRIVE researchers at LSHTM including the consortium’s Research Director Charlotte Watts. It focuses on four social drivers of HIV vulnerability:

STRIVE launch at International AIDS Conference

‘Luxury or necessity? Structural factors in a biomedical era’

An international panel from the AIDS community will discuss this provocative question at a reception to launch the STRIVE consortium in Washington, DC on Tuesday 24 July 2012.

Maintaining the commitment to gender equality in an age of austerity

A donor brief by the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) underlines the need to maintain funding for programmes that tackle structural drivers such as gender as part of an effective HIV response.

The donor brief focuses on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, giving a review of its response to the vulnerabilities of women and girls to HIV.

Leveraging donors' commitment to gender equality in a time of change and austerity

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A brief on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, giving a review of the donor's response to the vulnerabilities of women and girls to HIV.

Paying girls to stay in school: a good return on HIV investment?

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STRIVE’s letter to The Lancet addresses several questions regarding the cost and co-financing of structural interventions.

The letter takes up the case of cash transfers to keep girls in schools. Despite proven success, measures that address the social and economic drivers of HIV are in danger of being overlooked as AIDS funding shrinks. 

In an important argument, the authors offer an example from Malawi to illustrate how a co-financing approach with the education sector could offer better value for money from an HIV perspective.

Alcohol harm-prevention and policies - Dag Endal

A general introduction to the field of alcohol policy, addressing core questions: What structural measures work to reduce problematic alcohol use? Who are the key players and forces defining national alcohol policies and global campaigns?

Presented by Dag Endal, Project Coordinator of the Alcohol, Drugs and Development programme at Norwegian international NGO, FORUT. For eight years from 2003, Dag was the president of Actis, the Norwegian Policy Network on Alcohol and Drugs. He has been on the board of Eurocare since 2009 and is now a member of STRIVE's advisory group.