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Organizational and institutional issues in climate change adaptation and risk management

August 28, 2013 Comments off

Organizational and institutional issues in climate change adaptation and risk management
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

This report provides some reflections and insights on the level of awareness, practices, and organizational and institutional issues being faced by countries as they adapt to climate change, based on interviews with 87 practitioners working in government agencies, local organizations, international organizations, and think thanks reporting involvement in climate change adaptation. Data were collected in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Mali using both an e-survey platform and face-to-face interviews.

Responses reveal active work within these organizations on climate change adaptation and emphasize their important role in the countries’ efforts to address and adapt to climate change. Responses also reveal strong awareness among these organizations of different aspects of climate change adaptation along the different stages in a climate change adaptation project cycle, which may be a reflection of the active discussions and awareness campaigns during NAPA development in these countries. However, despite the awareness and presence of national strategies and action plans, there seem to be no explicit and clearly defined policy and strategy within these organizations outlining their role in and contribution to the national and collective efforts and, more importantly, no explicit and measurable targets and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to track progress and outcomes over time. Reported capacity gaps can be grouped into two categories: training needs and institutional challenges.

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Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter

July 17, 2013 Comments off

Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter
Source: Technology and Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School

Libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés play a critical role in extending the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times. The Global Impact Study was designed to address this debate by generating evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access ICTs in eight countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa. This report summarizes the study’s key findings, situating public access in the context of national development, discussing some disputed issues, and providing recommendations for policymakers, public access practitioners and researchers. The results show that a central impact of public access is the promotion of digital inclusion through technology access, information access, and development of ICT skills. Both users and non-users report positive impacts in various social and economic areas of their lives.

Current Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Women of Reproductive Age — 14 Countries, 2008–2010

November 2, 2012 Comments off

Current Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Women of Reproductive Age — 14 Countries, 2008–2010

Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Tobacco use and secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in reproductive-aged women can cause adverse reproductive health outcomes, such as pregnancy complications, fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, stillbirths, and infant death (1–3). Data on tobacco use and SHS exposure among reproductive-aged women in low- and middle-income countries are scarce. To examine current tobacco use and SHS exposure in women aged 15–49 years, data were analyzed from the 2008–2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) from 14 low- and middle-income countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam. The results of this analysis indicated that, among reproductive-aged women, current tobacco smoking ranged from 0.4% in Egypt to 30.8% in Russia, current smokeless tobacco use was <1% in most countries, but common in Bangladesh (20.1%) and India (14.9%), and SHS exposure at home was common in all countries, ranging from 17.8% in Mexico to 72.3% in Vietnam. High tobacco smoking prevalence in some countries suggests that strategies promoting cessation should be a priority, whereas low prevalence in other countries suggests that strategies should focus on preventing smoking initiation. Promoting cessation and preventing initiation among both men and women would help to reduce the exposure of reproductive-aged women to SHS.

Adult Awareness of Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship — 14 Countries

May 28, 2012 Comments off

Adult Awareness of Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship — 14 Countries
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

According to the 2012 Report of the U.S. Surgeon General, exposure to tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) is associated with the initiation and continuation of smoking among young persons. The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) requires countries to prohibit all forms of TAPS (2); the United States signed the agreement in 2004, but the action has not yet been ratified. Many countries have adopted partial bans covering direct advertising in traditional media channels; however, few countries have adopted comprehensive bans on all types of direct and indirect marketing. To assess progress toward elimination of TAPS and the level of awareness of TAPS among persons aged ≥15 years, CDC used data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) collected in 14 countries during 2008–2010. Awareness of any TAPS ranged from 12.4% in Turkey to 70.4% in the Philippines. In the four countries where awareness of TAPs was ≤15%, three of the countries had comprehensive bans covering all nine channels assessed by GATS, and the fourth country banned seven of the nine channels. In 12 countries, more persons were aware of advertising in stores than advertising via any other channel. Reducing exposure to TAPS is important to prevent initiation of tobacco use by youths and young adults and to help smokers quit.

Country Specific Information: Bangladesh

August 14, 2011 Comments off

Country Specific Information: Bangladesh
Source: U.S. Department of State

August 08, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Bangladesh is a democratic republic with a parliamentary form of government. Bangladesh remains a developing country with poor infrastructure. Tourist facilities outside major cities and tourist areas are minimal. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Bangladesh for additional information.

High Rates of Contraceptive Discontinuation Highlight Need for Stronger Family Planning Services in Developing World

June 29, 2011 Comments off

High Rates of Contraceptive Discontinuation Highlight Need for Stronger Family Planning Services in Developing World
Source: Guttmacher Institute

In six diverse developing countries, more than four in 10 women discontinue use of their method within one year, according to a study by Sian Curtis of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, et al., published in the June issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Data from 1999–2003 Demographic and Health Surveys from Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, the Philippines and Zimbabwe indicate that contraceptive discontinuation rates ranged from 20% in Zimbabwe to 48% in Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic. In every country, with the exception of Kazakhstan, the top three reasons for discontinuation were the desire to get pregnant, contraceptive failure and side effects.

To explore how fertility desires contribute to stopping contraceptive use, the researchers examined women’s attitudes toward pregnancies following discontinuation for reasons other than a desire to have a child. The proportion of births reported as intended following contraceptive failure ranged from 16% in Bangladesh to 54% in Kazakhstan, while the proportion of such births following discontinuation because of side effects ranged from 37% in Kenya to 51% in Kazakhstan.

Because relatively high proportions of births were reported as intended following contraceptive failure or discontinuation for reasons other than wanting to get pregnant (for example, side effects), Curtis et al. suggest that ambivalent fertility desires are an important factor in contraceptive discontinuation. In addition, older age, having fewer than five living children, and longer durations between contraceptive discontinuation and pregnancy were associated with reporting births as intended.

In all countries except Kazakhstan, 71–84% of women who became pregnant while using a contraceptive method and 56–63% of women who gave birth after discontinuing use because of side effects reported the birth as unintended. According to the researchers, increasing the proportion of couples adopting a contraceptive method who continue to use it successfully or switch to another method is a critical element in preventing unwanted births and reducing the need for induced abortions. Curtis et al. conclude that reducing unintended pregnancy will require identifying women who strongly want to avoid a pregnancy and finding ways to help them maintain contraceptive use.

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