Monday miscellany

  • Edward Carr writes on "monitoring, evaluation, and conflicts of interest," examining the tension between the advantages of having evaluations done by the implementing organization, vs. the disadvantages of some perverse incentives along the way. Highly recommended, as is the follow-up post on making sure we can learn from M&E.
  • Tara Smith of the blog Aetiology reviews Spillover, a new book on zoonotic diseases, that just moved to the top tier of my reading list; I've long been fascinated by zoonotic diseases and even wrote my senior biology thesis on the (much-debated) origins of Ebola outbreaks.
  • Oops -- we don't really know whether sunscreen (or at least the types most people have been using) protect against skin cancer.
  • Aaron Carroll on the real (though often denied) American physician shortage.
  • 3iE, i.e., the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, which advocates for and funds randomized trials and other rigorous study designs, just published the results of a randomized trial on the effectiveness of policy briefs.
  • A Q&A on trying to raise bonobos in a human language environment for multiple generations.
  • Writing at The Economist, Matt Steinglass argues that the U.S. is unlikely to implement policies that would have any great impact on obesity.
  • Finally, here's a report of a new, AIDS-like disease (though not thought to be contagious) in Thailand and Taiwan. via @EpiDoctor