Dr. Muhammad Jawad Noon awarded with German Medical Award 2020

Noon We are proud to announce, that Dr. Muhammad Jawad Noon, a Research Fellow in Prof. Sebastian Vollmer’s research group, has been awarded the German Medical Award 2020 (Academic Category). The German Medical Award is the leading medical award in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and goes to clinics, doctors, practices, researchers and companies that have made a special contribution to medical innovation and better caring for patients.

Previously, Dr. Noon studied medicine in Pakistan, followed by a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford, UK. In Göttingen, his work is focused on health econometrics. Currently, he is exploring COVID-19 policy compliance and digital interventions for coronavirus prevention in vulnerable populations.

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In memory of Professor Stephan Klasen


Nachruf (in German)

We are extremely sad about the loss of our colleague, mentor and friend Stephan Klasen. Stephan has made development economics in Göttingen and Germany what it is today. He has trained more than 70 doctoral students over the years and leaves a wonderful legacy. We are grateful for the time we had together and we miss you dearly, Stephan. To honor his legacy, the University of Göttingen has established the Stephan Klasen Fellowship for postdoctoral scholars from the global south. We show two videos here to remember Stephan’s academic life:

1) Stephan’s farewell lecture which was read by his college friends Sean Gullette, Luke Barr and Albert Wenger and his sons Lukas and Nicolas. In his own words, the lecture is a reflection of Stephan’s academic life.

2) A speech that Amartya Sen gave in Göttingen on the occasion of a conference for Stephan’s 50th birthday. In the speech, Amartya Sen honors Stephan’s contributions to development economics and gender inequality in particular.

Dr. Cara Ebert awarded with Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Policy Relevant Research on Developing Countries 2020

Cara Ebert We are proud to announce, that Dr. Cara Ebert, former doctoral student of Prof. Vollmer, has been awarded the Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Policy Relevant Research on Developing Countries 2020 for her dissertation. The prize is awarded every year to three young researchers by the German Economic Association’s Research Group on Development Economics with support of the KfW Development Bank. Cara Ebert receives the prize for her dissertation "Child development and human capital formation - Evidence from randomized interventions and gender inequality".

She successfully completed her doctorate at the beginning of 2019 with distinction (summa cum laude). Her scientific work focuses on gender inequality as a socio-structural obstacle to early childhood development of girls as well as on measures to reduce anaemia and to promote early childhood development. She has conducted fieldwork jointly with Esther Heesemann in the Indian state of Bihar.

Today she works as a researcher in the competence area "Labour Markets, Education, Population" at the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.

Summer School on Global Health and Poverty

During a two-week program, exceptional students from all over the world came to Göttingen to work on Global Health and Poverty. Hosted by the CeMIS, the Chair for Development Economics, and Göttingen’s Shortterm Programs, this Summer School provided international Master’s and PhD students the opportunity to discuss and learn about important issues on the epidemiological transition, infectious diseases, and global health systems. Internationally renowned lecturers – such as Barry Bloom, former Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health – shared their knowledge on today’s most pressing challenges of the field. An excursion to Berlin led to further special insights into Germany’s role in global health, as participants met with representatives of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Member of Parliament Jürgen Tritin. The diversity of the participants both in terms of their field of study and their place of origin made for a fascinating and productive exchange of ideas and experiences. Therefore, the University of Göttingen was thrilled to host and teach these future Global Health practitioners and researchers.

Putting Noncommunicable Diseases on the Agenda - HPACC Workshop on Access to Care

Today, approximately 2 out of every 3 deaths globally are attributable to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), equivalent to 71% of all deaths. Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.0 million), respiratory diseases (3.9 million), and diabetes (1.6 million). Changing patterns of population age distributions and causes of death are at the forefront of discussions on global development and require the reordering of healthcare priorities. The Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic diseases (HPACC) is a multinational research effort between the University of Göttingen, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the University of Heidelberg. The goal of our collaboration is to decrease existing knowledge gaps on the impact of NCD prevalence on health systems in low-and-middle income countries. From June 4th to June 7th some of the HPACC team met for a joint workshop alongside regional partners from the Pacific and the Caribbean. The workshop provided an opportunity to discuss the most recent research findings such as insights on health system performance for Diabetes, Hypertension, and Hyperlipidemia, as well as sociodemographic predictors of NCD risk factors. The workshop provided a platform for developing HPACC’s next steps and to formulate intervention proposals based on the evidence that HPACC can provide.

Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann, Vera Sagalova and Prof. Sebastian Vollmer receive Science Award of the German Society of Health Economics

Christian Bommer
We congratulate Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann, Vera Sagalova and Prof. Sebastian Vollmer from the Development Economics group at CeMIS. They received the Science Award of the German Society of Health Economics at the annual meeting on March 5th. They received the prize for their article on "The Global Economic Burden of Diabetes: A Cost-of-Illness Study”, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in 2017. In the article, they estimate that diabetes treatment as well as diabetes related production losses account for $US1.3 trillion globally, equivalent to 1.8 percent of global GDP. Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann and Vera Sagalova have already been awarded with the University of Göttingen's Foundation Council Award for "Herausragende Nachwuchspublikation" ("Outstanding Publication by Junior Researchers") for the same article by the end of 2017. For further information and a link to the article, see the press release here.

Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic Diseases (HPACC)

Approximately two out of every three deaths globally are attributable to non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, about 80% in low- and middle-income countries. Catastrophic household expenditures on treatment and lost productivity from these diseases have brought them to the forefront of discussions on global development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet major research gaps remain. The GHP Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic Diseases (HPACC) is a collaboration of researchers from Harvard University, the University of Göttingen and the University of Heidelberg. The project was officially launched on December 12, 2017 at the Harvard University Loeb House in Cambridge. Students, researchers, health care professionals, and faculty from numerous institutions around Boston – Boston University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Partners in Health – and from Göttingen and Heidelberg attended. In the first phase of HPACC, we collated and analyzed existing data from large, nationally representative population-based surveys to address the following specific aims: (1) to quantify health system performance for diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and multimorbidity, and (2) to estimate the association of distal (socio-economic characteristics) and proximal factors (tobacco, alcohol, diet, exercise, and obesity) with these NCD risk factors. In the next phase, we will design and implement interventions and policies to address unmet need for care for these cardiometabolic diseases, and primary prevention by targeting unhealthy diets and obesity. Our studies conclude that noncommunicable diseases pose a large health burden in LMICs, as we find high prevalences and low health system performance for major risk factors of NCDs. Diabetes has already reached high levels of prevalence in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In the sample for this study the median prevalence of diabetes was 5% (range 2–14) and the median prevalence of overweight or obesity was 27% (range 16–68). In India Diabetes and hypertension prevalence varied widely among states (by more than a factor of 6 for diabetes and more than a factor of 2 for hypertension); while household wealth and urban location were positively associated with both conditions, the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension among those older than 40 years in the poorest household wealth quintile in rural areas was nonetheless high (5.9% and 30.0%, respectively). Cardiovascular risk in India varies significantly among states and sociodemographic groups. At the same time, health system are still unable to fully cope with the increased burden. In our studies we find large unmet need for diabetes and hypertension care. For instance, the total unmet need for diabetes care (defined as the sum of those not tested, tested but undiagnosed, diagnosed but untreated, and treated but with diabetes not controlled) was 77.0% (95% CI: 74.9%–78.9%). Throughout our studies, we find significant differences in prevalences and unmet need for care along socioeconomic characteristics, speaking to issues of efficient health system targeting and equity. As we further analyze the data, our results will provide us with a deeper understanding of who is affected by NCDs in LMICs and where policy can most effectively alleviate the current burden of disease.

PhD student Lisa Bogler wins prize as outstanding economics graduate

Lisa Bogler Lisa Bogler was awarded the "Florenz Satorius Preis" as an outstanding graduate student in Economics at the University of Göttingen on October 20. Ms Bogler completed her MA thesis, Evaluation of Gram Varta in Madhepura, India, regarding HNWASH knowledge and practices, earlier this year. The Development Economics/CeMIS PhD student is now working on health economics, with a focus on Indonesia. The prizes, which were donated by the Sartorius AG in Göttingen, were also awarded to outstanding graduates from Business Administration, Business Information Systems, and Business and Human Resource Education.

Development Economics Conference - Göttinger Schule

From June 23rd - 24th more than 150 development economists from all over the world gathered in Göttingen to celebrate the 50th birthday of Professor Dr. Stephan Klasen. The celebration was a two-day conference that covered a broad range of topics in development economics such as gender, education, and agriculture. All of Klasen's former and current PhD students, collaborators, and friends were invited to participate. Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen, was the keynote speaker at the birthday celebration and honoured Stephan Klasen's contributions to development economics, in particular his strides in gender inequality. Sen, Klasen's doctoral supervisor, referred to Klasen as the "leading expert on missing women" and a "brilliant mind." He also offered the opportunity for more than a hundred development economics students from the University of Göttingen to participate in a question and answer period. Find a long programme here and a short programme here.

Keynote Lecture of Amartya Sen [→]

Speech by Amartya Sen and subsequent discussion:

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer: 2015 KfW Development Bank Prize for Scientific Excellence

Vollmer Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer, Chair of Development Economics ('Juniorprofessur'), has received the 2015 KfW Development Bank Prize for Scientific Excellence. The prize was jointly awarded to Sebastian Vollmer and Dr. Kenneth Harttgen (ETH Zürich) for the paper: "Association between economic growth and early childhood undernutrition: evidence from 121 Demographic and Health Surveys from 36 low-income and middle-income countries," published in The Lancet Global Health. The authors investigate the relationship between economic growth and childhood undernutrition. While it is a common belief that undernutrition improves in economic growth, the authors find that economic growth does not automatically equate to reductions in childhood undernutrition.

The prize was awarded at the annual conference of the German Economic Association ("Verein für Socialpolitik," VfS). It took place from June 12-13th 2015 at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany. The KfW Development Bank supports the German Economic Association in awarding the Prize for Policy Relevant Development Research to young scientists for excellence in applied development research.