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SciDev.Net Podcast: Hold donors to account


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Three-quarters of international aid donors have failed to keep a promise to make their aid fully transparent by 2015. This is a finding of a recently launched report into donor transparency by campaign organisation Publish What You Fund. In this month’s podcast, Rupert Simons, the charity’s CEO, explains why it’s essential that people and governments can easily access open information on donor spending in the developing world.
We then travel to Nigeria, where the director of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion tells us about the country’s attempts to transform its research and development sector — and why rock-bottom oil prices might be the wake-up call the nation needs.
Every year, 60,000 people around the world die from the rabies. Yet death is totally preventable if those infected have been vaccinated against the disease or are treated after exposure. Sadly, treatment is out of reach for many poor communities around the world. People are nearly always infected by bites from rabid dogs. To remove this threat, the charity Mission Rabies vaccinates dogs in India and Malawi. Frederic Lohr, its global operations officer, explains why this is a much cheaper and more effective way of eradicating rabies than vaccinating humans.
Finally, SciDev.Net’s news editor, Inga Vesper, rounds up the latest stories on our website. This includes an impending locust plague in Yemen that scientists are struggling to prevent because any action could damage vital honeybees. She also alerts us to a drop in non-emergency US research funding on neglected tropical diseases, a trend that could hamper long-term efforts to find a vaccine for Ebola. 
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