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Guest Editor

Tanya Rumble

Health Promoter


Tanya Rumble is a public policy professional committed to creating social change, with demonstrated project management and knowledge brokering experience in the government relations; public health; non-profit; public administration; and research sectors. She incorporates her diverse upbringing in the United Arab Emirates, and travels to over 60 countries in her work. Tanya posses technical expertise in the areas of Health Promotion, Public Health, and Integrated Marketing Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI). She spent the month of July 2009 as a participant in the Integrated Marketing Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI) in Health & Social Development certificate program at New York University in collaboration with the World Health Organization, and was a member of the Winning COMBI Plan Team. Her current professional positions include Project Manager-Healthy Weights Halton Takes Action at Halton Region Health Department; Executive Member at Health Promotion Ontario; Reviewer-Halton Peel Grant Review Team at Ontario Trillium Foundation; Consultant-Food For The Poor at Endeavour Volunteer Consulting For Non-Profits.

Recent Posts
Recent comments

How to spend Bill and Melinda's money: we asked and you answered

Thank-you Neil for bringing forward this post, and providing a space for the Conservationists on this Blog to devise innovative ways for Bill & Melinda Gate to spend the funds in their recently announced $1.5 billion fund for maternal and child health in developing countries. I always enjoy the task of spending someone else’s money, especially when the investment is sure to have lasting impact worldwide for the benefit of women and children around the world.

In thinking about why they have chosen to focus their funds towards women and children, I looked to the Global Fund for Women (GFW). When asked why they are focused on women, GFW responds with: Investing in women is the single most effective antidote to the world's pressing problems: war, poverty, disease. Women play a special role in society by contributing not only to family wellbeing, but to community wellbeing as a whole.
• A World Bank study in Bangladesh showed that when women started small businesses to increase their income, they spent the money on improving the welfare of the family, including education for both girls and boys.
• A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows that increases in women's education make the greatest contribution to reducing the rate of child malnutrition.
• The UNFPA has also found that women's empowerment and girls' education are the single most effective strategies for reducing population growth.
• According to the United Nations, economies in the developing world grow by three percent for every 10 percent increase in the number of women who receive secondary schooling.

So, how would I spend the money?

I would invest in education, health promotion, healthcare, and businesses developed by and for women. Provided the funds addressed the projects identified in the press release impact would be significant. I would also provide some of the funds as non-repayable grants, and a good portion as investments that will be returned and the funds recycled so that the $1.5 billion can continue to grow the projects, and be repurposed by ingenious female entrepreneurs for sustainable income generation for the investees.

As an example, I would support the work of Tostan in Africa:

Culture and female genital mutilation: Is there a connection?

I am optimistic that change is possible, as cultural shifts have taken place in the last century around many relevant social issues. A very sensitive topic, and one where a frank dialogue is required to inspire change in this devastating practice.

Rape as a weapon of war: What do you think?

Great post Radha, thank-you for calling attention to this issue through this forum. There was an excellent piece in the Washington Times in September that addressed rape as a weapon of war in the Congo.

Haunting, devastating, and a topic that needs to be addressed. In my next post I begin to look at the gender identifies of nations and would like to now link this to the topic you have addressed.

Looking forward to continued conversation.

Tanya Rumble

When governments meet in Copenhagen, where will the grown-ups be?

Great post Alex, I whole heartedly agree that individuals, and small groups can indeed make a great impact. As Margaret Mead said: A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Similarly are treatment of women in different parts of the world is symptomatic of how we treat our environment. I have spent quite a lot of time reflecting in the past few months on how to inspire individuals and communities of all sizes to act in the interest of the populous rather than individual needs and wants. I am curious to know if anyone has examples of communities where they are truly aligned in the interest of the common future, how/why it has been so successful?

Tanya Rumble

Laboring in poverty: A global problem caught on film

Very powerful, and eye-opening film. Thank-you for profiling.


Fight for your right to maternal health

Another great post Janna.

Have downloaded the toolkit - an outstanding resource, I have subsequently shared it with colleagues who work with women and in the area of gender equality.

Thank-you for highlighting an important issue, and for providing tangible solutions and approaches to achieving the 5th MDG.

Tanya Rumble

In labor and in chains: Pregnancy and prisons

Hello Juliana:

This was a well written post, and thank-you for citing the many organizations that have researched and advocated for human rights for incarcerated individuals worldwide.

You raise some excellent questions that get me thinking. Specifically your question: Should women in prisons be a priority when there are other women outside of correctional facilities without medical assistance? Why must it be an either or proposition. I think that the treatment of individuals in prisons is only an amplification about how different groups of individuals are treated in mainstream society. Gender inequality has been well articulated in your piece, and is symptom of larger issue in the way women are treated and viewed in the world, so I suppose advocating for gender equality and maternal rights for all women regardless of whether they are prisoners or not is imperative.

Tanya Rumble

More Cash ≠ More Babies?

I wonder what the reasons for this decline in Singapore's population growth? I can't imagine it is simply finances that are deterring families from having more than one or two children. If this is an issue that is of importance to the Government I wonder what other market research they could have completed to understand the root causes in population decline and truly address these causes. Perhaps money is a cause of cause, but it really isn't looking at the cultural norms, immigration policies, infant mortality rates and other factors that can impact a population's growth or decline.

Are pregnant women expendable?

Loved the post.

We seemed to have a lot of solutions and answers to many global problems...there is a huge disconnect between knowing and doing as we are all aware.

I wonder if the reaction to some of the statistics mentioned in the post about maternal rights in South Asia would have the same response if it was the situation in Canada for example?

We have the data, knowledge, and tools....are we lacking support and finances perhaps? And who do we go to for resources, perhaps we need to review our models for resource mobilization and think outside of the box?


What I learned from teenage mothers in Brazil

Amy, what a thoroughly enjoyed your prose and your honesty. I suspect many of us who work in the field of development hold similar ideals when we are new to the work, and are pleasantly humbled by experience. It seems also a right of passage for anyone professional working in international development, and you have articulated it beautifully.

The photographs from your Photovoice initiative in Brazil were stunning, and added a human quality to your unedited quotes from the women you worked with.


Using theater and film to talk about sex

Thank-you for profiling the use of visual arts in the work of public health and sexual health. Photovoice, and social documentary are becoming quite popular as a truely inclusive way of collecting qualitative information about various populations, and also engaging those we seek to influence with our campaigns in dialogue about attidues and behaviours related to a specific topic. I recently came across this particular competition hosted by that is celebrating photo essays that provide insight into how ordinary citizens around the world are coping during these new “hard times” and how individuals, companies, industries, family businesses, communities, and governments are responding to the crisis.

Who should win the Guardian Achievements in International Development Award?

So wonderful to see Key Opinion Leaders in the area of International Development being honoured for their achievements in this area. Difficult to compare the five short-listed candidates in that all of their respective accomplishments have been outstanding, and magnanimous. Surely we can celebrate the work they have all championed, as ultimately their efforts will be impact the Millennium Development Goals.

Not sure who I will vote for, though must admit Janna's post was quite captivating and persuasive.

Happy to have been exposed to some of these 'unsung heroes' of International Development.

Real friends don't give friends abortions

Pardon the reference, my eyes have been opened up as a result of your post. Thank-you for providing unedited and unscripted comments from the forum you attended in the Caribbean. What a positive, and up stream perspective you have shared re: loving yourself, self-esteem building, education, and economic independence and so on. If we all thought of the individuals we served as a daughters and sons I wonder if our approach would be more impassioned?

Young African love poets "out to punish their parents"

So refreshing to hear from Njeri on the discourse that occurs online, and elsewhere amongst young Africans regarding love and relationships. A perspective not often included in our dialogue, and there is much insights we gain from these blogs and forums, a great wealth of information for us to benefit from in health and social development.

When it comes to Tuberculosis, testing isn’t exactly free

Great posts, and thank-you for engaging in the conversation. I hope to continue this dialogue about health disparities in different posts and from different perspectives. While my work in Public Health is focused on chronic disease prevention- non-communicable chronic diseases, the TB example is just that, an example of the barriers that exist in as fundamental design flaws in our health and social development interventions. A truly person-centered approach is absolutely more expensive, and time intensive, the outcomes are however qualitative and quantitative. I certainly agree training would better prepare the health workforce to ensure they are inclusive in their approach. Additionally a socio-ecological approach would include policies to support inclusive and equitable program design, through to organizational culture that supports the time required to go through the 'DILO', and to the individual professional making a commitment to remove all barriers for all clients. Also appreciate the comments from Jennifer and Leila in that this analogy could be equally applied within the context of the Global North or 'developed world' and that care must be taken to remove barriers in all programs to serve the most at risk.

Is sex education a public concern?

An excellent and analogous commentary on the importance of source, and channel in educating youth about sexuality and sexual health, though the title could even be broader: Youth across the globe hear different messages about sex. While there is no universal road that leads to the ideal method for teaching young people about sex, your analogy would suggest there is universal information we want to communicate, and outcomes we wish to achieve. This fits well with the Social Determinants of Health, and viewing health and health promotion from a health equity lens. Population-level impacts can indeed be achieved, when we are responsive to the specific social needs of our communities- providing comprehensive sexual health education that is relevant in the context of the community we are hoping to impact. Many successful health promotion programs are designed with excellent pre and post evaluations, and a thorough review of the market research (intrinsic, and explicit market research) so that the interventions are addressing the barriers to behaviour change within the target population. In addressing sexual health as an international community it is imperative that we design common messages about sex, and a vision or outcome from the sexual education programs offered in diverse communities across the globe. Thank-you very much for your insightful post and engaging us in a dialogue about this topic.

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