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Canadians rank highly when it comes to public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement, finds Expert Panel

September 2, 2014 Comments off

Canadians rank highly when it comes to public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement, finds Expert Panel
Source: Council of Canadian Academies

A new expert panel report, Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, helps to paint the clearest picture of Canada’s science culture and science culture support system in 25 years. The expert panel who conducted the assessment found Canadians excel in public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement; however they also determined there is room for improvement in some areas, including skills development.

The Expert Panel based their findings from a review of relevant literature, a new public survey of 2,000 Canadians. The report does not provide policy recommendations but rather provides evidence and insights for policy-makers and others looking to strengthen science culture, and for Canadians to better understand what science culture is, and what it means for our country.

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Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2014

September 2, 2014 Comments off

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2014
Source: Asian Development Bank

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2014, the 45th edition of this series, includes the latest available economic, financial, social, and environmental indicators for the 48 regional members of the Asian Development Bank. It presents the latest key statistics on development issues concerning the economies of Asia and the Pacific to a wide audience, including policy makers, development practitioners, government officials, researchers, students, and the general public. Part I of this issue is a special chapter—Poverty in Asia: A Deeper Look. Parts II and III are composed of brief, nontechnical analyses and statistical tables on the Millennium Development Goals and eight other themes.

How Far Away Is a Single European Labor Market?

September 2, 2014 Comments off

How Far Away Is a Single European Labor Market? (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

A Single European Labor Market, particularly involving the free movement of workers within Europe, has been a goal of the European community since the 1950s. Whereas it may entail opportunities and drawbacks alike, the benefits – such as greater economic welfare for most citizens – are supposed to outweigh the losses. However, over fifty years after the aim was first established, a Single European Labor Market has not yet been achieved. This paper gives an overview of current European macroeconomic trends, with a particular focus on the Great Recession, and also explores the drivers of and obstacles to labor mobility. Complementarily, it analyzes the results of a unique opinion survey among labor market experts, as well as formulates policy recommendations to enhance mobility. The development of a Single European Labor Market is also discussed in relation to the German model.

Heart Failure Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Heart Failure Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Source: PLoS Medicine

Background
Heart failure places a significant burden on patients and health systems in high-income countries. However, information about its burden in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is scant. We thus set out to review both published and unpublished information on the presentation, causes, management, and outcomes of heart failure in LMICs.

Methods and Findings
Medline, Embase, Global Health Database, and World Health Organization regional databases were searched for studies from LMICs published between 1 January 1995 and 30 March 2014. Additional unpublished data were requested from investigators and international heart failure experts. We identified 42 studies that provided relevant information on acute hospital care (25 LMICs; 232,550 patients) and 11 studies on the management of chronic heart failure in primary care or outpatient settings (14 LMICs; 5,358 patients). The mean age of patients studied ranged from 42 y in Cameroon and Ghana to 75 y in Argentina, and mean age in studies largely correlated with the human development index of the country in which they were conducted (r = 0.71, p<0.001). Overall, ischaemic heart disease was the main reported cause of heart failure in all regions except Africa and the Americas, where hypertension was predominant. Taking both those managed acutely in hospital and those in non-acute outpatient or community settings together, 57% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 49%–64%) of patients were treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, 34% (95% CI: 28%–41%) with beta-blockers, and 32% (95% CI: 25%–39%) with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. Mean inpatient stay was 10 d, ranging from 3 d in India to 23 d in China. Acute heart failure accounted for 2.2% (range: 0.3%–7.7%) of total hospital admissions, and mean in-hospital mortality was 8% (95% CI: 6%–10%). There was substantial variation between studies (p<0.001 across all variables), and most data were from urban tertiary referral centres. Only one population-based study assessing incidence and/or prevalence of heart failure was identified.

Conclusions
The presentation, underlying causes, management, and outcomes of heart failure vary substantially across LMICs. On average, the use of evidence-based medications tends to be suboptimal. Better strategies for heart failure surveillance and management in LMICs are needed.

See: Heart failure is a substantial health burden in low- and middle-income countries (EurekAlert!)

Informal Sector and Conditions of Employment in India

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Informal Sector and Conditions of Employment in India (PDF)
Source: Government of India, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation

This report presents the estimates of usual status workforce engaged in various enterprises in the non-agricultural sector and AGEGC sector (i.e., part of the agricultural sector excluding growing of crops, plant propagation, combined production of crops and animals) with special reference to those engaged in the information sector (proprietary and partnership enterprises). The report also provides the estimates of usual status employees in the AGEGC and non-agricultural sectors, with various conditions of their employment.

Hat tip: IWS Documented News Service

Same-sex intimate partner homicide in Australia

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Same-sex intimate partner homicide in Australia
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

While there is a sizable body of research on intimate partner homicide in general, there has been limited focus on intimate partner homicide involving people in same-sex relationships.

The present study, one of the first of its kind, uses data from the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) within a context of national and international research to describe what is known about the trends and key characteristics of same-sex intimate partner homicide in Australia.

An analysis is provided of the similarities and differences between same-sex and opposite-sex intimate partner homicide incidents, including identification of some of the factors associated with these incidents.

Consideration is also given to the role of sexual discrimination and marginalisation in same-sex intimate partner homicide.

Social Mobility and the Importance of Networks: Evidence for Britain

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Social Mobility and the Importance of Networks: Evidence for Britain (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Greater levels of social mobility are widely seen as desirable on grounds of both equity and efficiency. Debate on social mobility in Britain and elsewhere has recently focused on specific factors that might hinder social mobility, including the role of internships and similar employment opportunities that parents can sometimes secure for their children. We address the help that parents give their children in the job market using data from the new age 42 wave of the 1970 British Cohort Study. We consider help given to people from all family backgrounds and not just to graduates and those in higher level occupations who have tended to be the focus in the debate in Britain. Specifically, our data measure whether respondents had ever had help to get a job from (i) parents and (ii) other relatives and friends and the form of that help. We first assess the extent and type of help. We then determine whether people from higher socio-economic status families are more or less likely to have such help and whether the help is associated with higher wages and higher occupations. Our paper provides insight into whether the strong link between parental socio-economic background and the individual’s own economic success can be explained in part by the parents assisting their children to get jobs. We find parental help to have a strong social gradient. But we are unable to identify a clear link between any particular type of help – advice, help through contacts etc. – and individuals’ wages or occupations.

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