Latest News from Harvard FXB Center

Poster by Andrew Au from a painting by Zoran Taloviċ
Roma Beyond Borders

Join us as we celebrate and assess the contributions of the Roma community to global culture, arts, and material production in honor of International Roma Day.   Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution begins on the evening of April 9 at 6:30pm with a one-woman play, "I Declare at My Own Risk," Alina Șerban's illuminating and highly acclaimed
examination of conflicting identities, social discrimination, and the redemptive force of self-expression. The exploration continues the next day, starting at 9am, with presentations and panels on "Word, Image, Thought: Creating the Romani Other," "The Romani Contribution to World Ideas, Arts, and Culture," "Roma Identity in Scholarship," "The Production of Roma Culture in Musical and Visual Arts," and "Self and Other: Literary Representations (and Misrepresentations) of Roma." The performance and conference are free and open to the public. We thank our many partners. Informal registration is via Facebook.  
Also at the conference, FXB   will launch the new Penn Press volume, Realizing Roma Rights, edited by FXB's Jacqueline Bhaba and Margareta Matache, along with Andrzej Mirga (also presenting at the conference) from the Roma Education Fund. Erika Schlager, Counsel for the US Helsinski Commission and contributor to the volume, will join Bhabha and Mirga for remarks during the lunch break. The book examines the enduring discrimination against Roma in Europe, contextualizing it in current issues such as intersectionality and the rise of right-wing nationalist movements. If you buy the book directly from the Penn Press site, enter PH70 for a 20 percent discount!

Further illustrating the Roma contribution to arts and culture, FXB's Margareta Matache recently participated in a panel at the US Helsinki Commission, after at a screening of the internationally
Matache in conversation with Derek Hogan of the US State Dept., photo courtesy of the US Helsinki Commission 
acclaimed Romanian film Aferim! (Bravo!) which tells the tale of a Romani runaway slave and his pursuer in nineteenth-century Romania. As Matache pointed out, the film serves an important educational role in bringing light to the little-recognized history of the enslavement of the Roma.

See the Commision's profile of Matache,
the summary of the panel discussion, or
the video of the discussion on Facebook.
Syria and the Weaponization of Healthcare

On March 14, the   Lancet/American University of Beirut (AUB) Commission on Syria, which FXB director Dr. Jennifer Leaning co-chairs, published its first health policy paper, "Health workers and the weaponisation of health care in Syria: a preliminary inquiry." In the paper, Fouad M. Fouad, Annie Sparrow, and other authors describe a "strategy of using people's need for health care as a weapon against them by violently depriving them of it," resulting in the death of over 800 health workers and the injury or imprisonment of many more.

Read FXB's summary of the article and the press response.
Go to the Commission's webpage for direct access.

On March 20 at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard FXB and the Syrian American Medical Society sponsored a panel of testimonies from four doctors who survived the siege of Aleppo. They told of the targeting of the hospitals in which they worked with bombs and chemical weapons and of the injuries and deaths they had seen among children, other civilians, and their coworkers. Their stories made vivid the numbers and trends described in the Lancet paper. One doctor spoke on how she keeps going amid such destruction: "The Koran says, 'who saves one life saves all mankind.' I focus on the life."

Read an article about the panel.

In late February, Dr. Jennifer Leaning and FXB research associate Jennifer Leigh contributed to the first meeting of the Commission's Research and Documentation Team , which will support the work of the Commission through data visualization, modeling, primary data collection, and evaluation and analysis of secondary data. FXB research fellow Satchit Balsari and FXB fellow Clay Heaton will also represent FXB on the Research and Documentation Team. Other team staff are from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at the Université Catholique de Louvain and the American University of Beirut.
Courtesy of the Albright Institute 
As part of FXB's outreach on Syria, Dr. Leaning presented at the Albright Institute of Wellesley College. In her talk "The World Is In Syria and Syrians Are Everywhere," she pointed out "the calamitous disregard on the part of the international community...that is supposed to be taking care of those in distress." She predicted the twenty-first century would be the century of migration, particularly distress migration.
Advancing Healthcare Equity in India
Network map of health data flow from paper records to databases (Exchanging Health Information)

through Technology and Task Shifting

FXB research fellow Dr. Satchit Balsari recently published two co-authored reports, Exchanging Health Information and Task Shifting in Healthcare: Reframing the Ayush Debate. Both published by Harvard's South Asia Institute (SAI) and focused on India, they offer approaches to advancing healthcare equity worth considering for other health systems and for global health in general.

2016 Radcliffe Conference (Balsari on far left,Joaquin Blaya, Ram Sahasranam, Dr. Barbara Bierer)

Exchanging Health Information

grew out of a September 2016 interdisciplinary two-day conference organized by Dr. Balsari and others, with the support of SAI and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, in which India served as a case study for exploring requirements for electronic exchange of health information. India offers an extraordinary opportunity for considering these issues, as currently most health records are paper (which means India lacks the contention among different systems that besets the US) and the government is currently creating a regulatory authority and writing health information laws. As well, the government has recently rolled out a unique biometric digital identification system, Aadhaar. 

As part of a Tata-Trust-funded project "Livelihood Creation in India through Social Entrepreneurship and Skill Development," Dr. Balsari and his team reviewed task shifting in Indian healthcare, considering the potential of practitioners in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (Ayush) to alleviate chronic workforce gaps in rural areas. Task Shifting in Healthcare: Reframing the Ayush Debate offers a new angle on the tension between allopathic and non-allopathic medicine. It describes task shifting and training as paths towards healthcare equity in India, forming part of the 3T approach of task shifting, training, and technology.

Read an interview with Dr. Balsari on the health information report.
Read Exchanging Health Information.
Read Task Shifting in Healthcare: Reframing the Ayush Debate.
News from the Health and Human Rights Journal

from Pictures of Money, Creatve Commons licencei 
From Pictures of Money by CC 2.0 
Regular Health and Human Rights Journal blog contributor and health rights professor Fran Quigley offers advice to President Trump on how to reduce the exorbitant cost of medicines: "March-in rights." "
Whenever the federally-funded discovery is not available on "reasonable terms" from the patent holder, or if a health or safety need arises, the government has the right to "march-in."

Read the blogs:
Will Trump March-In and Bring Down Drug Prices?
Drug Policy and Human Rights: new papers in press leading up to the June 2017 issue of the Journal include the editorial of a forthcoming section on Drug Policy and Human Rights. Drug control and enforcement activities are prime areas for human rights abuses. See for example the recent blog, "Disease and epidemics the only winners in Duterte's 'war on drugs.'"    
UN apology to Haiti must lead to remedies: In a recent HHR perspective essay, Adam Houston described the six-year battle that advocates fought to receive a UN apology for the introduction of cholera in Haiti. He stresses that it is vital to ensure that the apology is only the first step, and not the last, in responding to the victims.
Read the essay. 
The Right to Health, Migrant Children, and
Gender Justice

As well as appearing at a conference in Johannesburg (with FXB visiting scholar Deborah Rose) and at Harvard on a panel about the artist Doris Salcedo, FXB research director Professor Jacqueline Bhabha has been publishing widely:
Watch the video of Professor Bhabha chairing "Fragments of War/Fragments of History," the panel on Doris Salcedo.
Hamill, Collins, Digidiki, Liwanga
Harvard FXB Far and Near

Harvard FXB fellows and faculty have been presenting far and wide, and nearby in our own backyard. Here are a few examples:

In February, FXB fellows Vasileia Digidiki, Kathleen Hamill, and Roger-Claude Liwanga (with HMUN's Ashley Collins in photo) participated in a panel discussion, "The Challenges of Protecting Children's Rights" during the 63rd session of the Harvard National Model United Nations 2017 (HMUN). The three fellows reflected on child protection challenges in Europe, the Middle East and Africa while engaging with faculty advisors and professors who convened for the HMUN with their students from 275 universities around the country and the world.
In Istanbul in February, FXB fellow
Vasileia Digidiki participated in the Forum on Modern Slavery: Sins Before our Eyes, co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church and the Church of England. The Forum gathered distinguished academics, practitioners, and policymakers from around the world to bring about practical solutions to the pressing problem of modern slavery. Digidiki spoke on the link between the recent migration crisis and the rise in the commercial sexual exploitation of vulnerable migrant children in Greece, reflecting on key theories of victim blaming to highlight society's role in combating the phenomenon.
Meanwhile in Tel Aviv at the Center for Applied Negotiations at INSS, FXB senior fellow Pamela Steiner talked about the collective trauma experienced in intractable conflicts and the need to go through a deep process of dealing with the past in order to be able to move past conflict.  She discussed how these theories might be helpful in the Israeli-Palestine situation.
And just across the river from our offices, FXB director Dr. Jennifer
Leaning and Professor Tarun Khanna have been convening a seminar on the partition of British India, hosted by the South Asia Institute. Dr. Leaning recently spoke on the historical and humanitarian consequences of the migration crisis of that time, which she has been researching for several years. A podcast of her talk is available.
Listen to the podcast.  
Upcoming Events

March 28 - Nutrition Governance: A Unified Framework for Undernutrition and Obesity, Jesse Boardman Bump, PhD, Lecturer, Global Health Policy,
Executive Director, Takemi Program in International Health,  Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health 
March 30 -   Protection for Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies, and Global Responsibility Sharing, Susan Akram, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University School of Law, along with BU Law Students (Building Bridges)
April 6 Trauma and Torture among Syrian Refugees, Hussam Jefee-Bahloul, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School   (Building Bridges) 
April 9 I Declare at My Own Risk, a one-woman show by Alina Serban (part of Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution)

April 10 - Conference: Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution

April 11 - Assessing the Protection Status of Urban Adolescent Refugees, Elizabeth Donger, MPP, FXB Research Associate

April 18 - Vocational Training for Youth as Strategy for Early Childhood Education Services: Lessons Learned from Pakistan, Aisha Yousafzai, PhD, Associate Professor of Global Health, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

April 20 - U.S. Refugee Resettlement and Asylum Processing: Challenges and Barriers, Sabrineh Ardalan, Assistant Director,  Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Harvard Law School, (Building Bridges)
April 25 - The Elusive Single Digit NMR: Studying Barriers to Neonatal Care in Tribal Maharashtra, Satchit Balsari, MD, MPH, FXB Research Fellow