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The World Health Organization’s emergency committee on Covid-19 says that “analysis of the present situation and forecasting models indicate that the pandemic is far from finished.”  To curtail it, a “coordinated international response” is needed, reports Co-host Claudia Romo Edelman.

“Where have I heard that before?” replied co-host Edie Lush. A coordinated response is exactly what the world has not had. Edie and Claudia explore the chaotic response with Dr. David Nabarro and other health experts at his regular briefing.

Rebecca Kanter, a nutrition expert based in Chile, described how travel had become a crazy patch work of rules that could only be met by taking extra doses of vaccine.

“I have a PhD and I can’t even figure out now what the new travel restrictions are,” she said.

“I have friends who say, ‘I don’t want to get 5 vaccines.’ But if the only way they can move around is to get five vaccines they’re in a weird ethical dilemma.”

John Atkinson, an expert on how systems work, and why sometimes they don’t, said: “systems like this are almost inevitably not designed to be that way. They’re the unintended consequences of really caring often and smart people trying to do the right thing. Each time layer upon layer upon layer. And the whole thing ends up in a complete mess. We have to surface these contradictions and make them visible. So people just see how crazy it is.”

David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid-19, said the tangled rules disadvantaged the poor and helped those who knew how to play the system. He also described how vaccination distribution remained wildly inequitable. Rich countries should pay for vaccine supply to go directly from manufacturers to COVAX, the global system for distributing vaccine, rather than donating surplus supplies they have been holding. These surpluses are often near their expiry date, he said, and giving them away was like donating stale bread to the hungry.

Featured guests

Irina Sinha

With 22 years of progressive experience in the development sector within the state of Bihar, Ms. Irina Sinha currently holds the position of Director – Strategic Insight & Systems in Project Concern International, India.

Her substantive experience includes providing supervision and oversight to large scale government and donor supported programmes mainly related to Women’s Empowerment. This includes programme conceptualization, implementation and monitoring, and also effective programme team management and external donor relations. Her specific expertise lies in community mobilization, capacity building, livelihoods promotion and micro finance, besides management of programmes being implemented for social empowerment of women, primarily with a focus on running crisis intervention
centres and other interventions aimed to extend institutional support to women in distress.

She has been instrumental in the preparation of the Women Empowerment Policy for the state of Bihar. She has spent a large part of her career as the Project Director of Women Development Corporations, Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of Bihar, which is the nodal agency for implementing women
related programmes. She has also worked closely with the Urban Development and Housing Department on urban reforms programme. She has also spearheaded the JEEViKA programme supported by the World Bank (now the Bihar State Rural Livelihoods Mission) in its initial formative years.

Irina has considerable experience in policy advocacy and a nuanced understanding of working with the State Government of Bihar.

Mahua Roy Choudhury

Program Co-ordinator- Governance and Knowledge Management JEEViKA, Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society, Government of Bihar, India.

A Development Professional with specialization in Knowledge Management, Program Management, Public Policy Management, Institution Building and Rural Livelihood Promotion, she focuses upon enhancing organization capacity in strategic planning to push projects forward. She has a work experience of over 20 years in the sector and has worked from various platforms of governmental and non-governmental agencies, such as Social Welfare Department, Government of Bihar, CAPART, UNDP, PRADAN and BASIX.

She has been a core team member in conceptualizing World Bank supported projects – Bihar Integrated Social Protection Strengthening Project (BISPS), Bihar Transformative Development Project(BTDP), and DFID supported Sector Wide Approach for Strengthening Health (SWASTH).

She has been instrumental in instilling professional youths in the development sector by strengthening the Young Professionals Program. She is a Chevening Clore Leadership Fellow and also a NUFFiC fellow.

Jane Carter

Jane Carter’s successful career in the music industry spans over 25 years, during which time she has held senior positions in Publishing, Recording and Broadcast companies, built an extensive and impressive track record, and supported the careers of both established and up and coming composers around the world.
During her illustrious career, Jane has held the role of General Manager for BBC Worldwide Music Publishing; Creative Director, BBC Music; and Head of Marketing for Warner Classics UK. She launched the BBC Late Junction record label, and set up her own live events production company. She is currently Managing Director UK for Universal Production Music & VP of Global Repertoire.
Jane was responsible for George Fenton’s partnership with BBC Worldwide, and was the brainchild behind the trilogy concert BBC’s ‘Earth in Concert’. The series premiered with ‘The Blue Planet in Concert’ at London’s Royal Festival Hall in October 2001, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Fenton and narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The series also includes ‘Planet Earth in Concert’ and ‘Frozen Planet in Concert’, which toured worldwide with critically acclaimed international orchestras for 20 years. She has worked with film composers Michael Nyman, Craig Armstrong, Max Richter and Steven Price and was the creative powerhouse for two ground breaking BBC Proms; The War Horse Prom with the National Theatre, commemorating World War I and the first animated BBC Prom with Aardman Animations featuring Wallace and Gromit.