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Where do poor countries get their policy ideas?

16 February 2005
Moving on from Davos, what real hope is there for Africa in 2005? The UK's Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have had some success already bringing the issue of debt and poverty to the table of G8 countries and the EU in spite of resistance from the US, and others. This week on openDemocracy, David Mepham from the ippr looks at the four types of damage rich countries must to stop inflicting on Africa, less their development money go to waste: conditional aid, unfair trade, arms sales, and corruption. Economist Nadeem Ul Haque in Pakistan says Mepham's argument is limited. Development policies need to come from within Africa if they are going to work - and western aid organisation and think-tanks need to recognise the part they play in inhibiting this local thinking from blossoming.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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