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  1. 1

    Harbin municipal government experiment on family planning management information system.

    Gao ST

    In: Monitoring and evaluating family planning programmes in the 1990s, [compiled by] United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]. Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP, 1990. 155-67. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 104; ST/ESCAP/945; UNFPA Project No. RAS/86/P09)

    The Harbin Municipal Government administers 7 districts and 2 counties with a total population of 4,020,000 including 1,050,000 women in reproductive age in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, China. In 1987 an experiment with a family planning (FP) management information system (MIS) was launched in collaboration with the Population Division of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) at the Harbin Population Information Research Institute. The purpose was to upgrade manual information collection to a cohesive information and continuous monitoring system; to improve data collection capacity and utilization for statistical analysis; and to enhance FP services for couples. Specific goals included the establishment of regional (district/county) data bases; to develop MIS components for medicines, population forecasting, and surveys; to expand the data bases for women in reproductive age; and to replace floppy disk exchange with networking. The FP MIS contains the municipal MIS (statistical evaluations for districts to help decision making) and the district MIS (marriage, contraceptive use, parity, and socioeconomic information on women of reproductive age). The implementation started in early 1988; survey forms were designed and revised. In 1989 field implementation entailed marriage, birth and contraceptive histories of 16,000 couples each in an urban and rural unit. Training courses were organized on filling out FP forms. The input of data from 37,000 women took 45 days. The MIS experiment reduced staff workload and increased data utilization, speed, and quality; improved information feedback, the statistical system, and managerial competence. Further refinements of the computer system, technical staff, and family planning training are needed.
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  2. 2

    Networking of networks: a 1990s approach to information for development.

    ASIA-PACIFIC POPIN BULLETIN. 1992 Jun; 4(2):13-7.

    The ability to access and use information is increasingly becoming a crucial determinant of a country's ability to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development. Countries which are able to manage and utilize data and information have a competitive advantage over other nations. Countries which fail to tap into the growing global knowledge base, develop a complementary local knowledge base, promote the dissemination and use of knowledge, and invest in institutional and technical human capital will, however, simply remain or fall behind the competition. Many developing countries lack appropriate strategy, financial support for information centers and networks, timely adoption and use of new technology, adequate telecommunications infrastructure, and coordination at national and regional levels. Further, telecommunications services are costly, research on user group behavior is inadequate, few technically skilled people are available, and governments fail to recognize the importance of joining international information networks. Policy development, maternal-child health and family planning, and information, education, and communication are 3 of the most significant population issues worldwide. To best address these issues, international development agencies are urged to veer from providing capital and to directly support greater access to information and enhanced knowledge leading to sustainable national development. Thus far the UN has helped create global information systems in certain areas, and regional cooperative information systems are being developed. ESCAP has taken the lead in Asia and the Pacific. Gradually, population libraries and information centers are becoming computerized. Greater effort is recommended to recover costs for services and products. Further, donors and country organizations should stress that information is only useful as far as it is used.
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  3. 3

    Training faculty in Bangladesh to use a microcomputer for public health: followup report.

    Gould JB; Frerichs RR

    PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTS. 1986 Nov-Dec; 101(6):616-23.

    In 1984 the Western Consortium for the Health Professions, Inc., under contract to the UNFPA, began a project to assist Bangladesh's National Institute for Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) in establishing a microcomputing capability. The project's goal was to enable NIPSOM to become self-sufficient in the analysis by microcomputer of health, population, and family planning data; program evaluation; and policy activities. Lack of a local microcomputer infrastructure demanded that a local team of experts be developed to run the system described in a previous report. 5 NIPSOM faculty members--3 of whom had taken the workshop held when the system was 1st installed-- were assigned to a computer committee, which was responsible for the computer's well-being. 6 months after the microcomputer system was installed, a 2nd 2-week workshop was given. The consortium's consultant facilitated the development of a basic microcomputer course, which was taught by 4 members of the computer committee to an additional 8 NIPSOM faculty members. Emphasis was placed on developing local self-reliance and the need to overcome obstacles imposed by the lack of local hardware and software support systems. A strategy is proposed for the successful introduction of microcomputers in developing countries.
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  4. 4

    Report on developments and activities related to population information during the decade since the convening of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974.

    Hankinson R

    New York, United Nations, 1984 Jun. vi, 52 p. (POPIN Bulletin No. 5 ISEA/POPIN/5)

    A summary of developments in the population information field during the decade 1974-84 is presented. Progress has been made in improving population services that are available to world users. "Population Index" and direct access to computerized on-line services and POPLINE printouts are available in the US and 13 other countries through a cooperating network of institutions. POPLINE services are also available free of charge to requestors from developing countries. Regional Bibliographic efforts are DOCPAL for Latin America. PIDSA for Africa, ADOPT and EBIS/PROFILE. Much of the funding and support for population information activities comes from 4 major sources: 1) UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA): 2) US Agency for International Development (USAID); 3) International Development Research Centre (IRDC): and 4) the Government of Australia. There are important philosophical distinctions in the support provided by these sources. Duplication of effort is to be avoided. Many agencies need to develop an institutional memory. They are creating computerized data bases on funded projects. The creation of these data bases is a major priority for regional population information services that serve developing countries. Costs of developing these information services are prohibitive; however, it is important to see them in their proper perspective. Many governments are reluctant to commit funds for these activites. Common standards should be adopted for population information. Knowledge and use of available services should be increased. The importance os back-up services is apparent. Hard-copy reproductions of items in data bases should be included. This report is primarily descriptive rather than evaluative. However, given the increase in population distribution and changes in government attitudes over the importance of population matters, the main tasks for the next decade should be to build on these foundations; to insure effective and efficient use of services; to share experience and knowledge through POPIN and other networks; and to demonstrate to governments the valuable role of information programs in developing national population programs.
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  5. 5

    ESCAP/POPIN Expert Working Group on Development of Population Information Centres and Networks, 20-23 June 1984, Bangkok, Thailand.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]. Population Division

    Population Headliners. 1984 Jul; (112 Suppl):1-6.

    An overview of current population information programs at the regional, national, and global level was presented at a meeting of the Expert Working Group on Development of Population Information Centres and Networks. On the global level, the decentralized Population Information Network (POPIN) was established, consisting of population libraries, clearinghouses, information systems, and documentation centers. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Regional Population Information Centre (PIC) has actively promoted the standardization of methodologies for the collection and processing of data, the use of compatible terminology, adoption of classification systems, computer-assisted data and information handling, and improved programs of publication and infomration dissemination, within and among national centers. Among the national PICs, 83% are attached to the primary national family planning/fertility control unit and 17% are attached to demographic data, research, and analysis units. Lack of access to specialized information handling equipment such as microcomputers, word processors, and computer terminals remains a problem for PICs. Recommendations were made by the Expert Working Group to improve the functions of PICs: 1) the mandate and resoponsibilities of the PIC should be explicilty stated; 2) PICs should collect, process, and disseminate population information in the most effective format to workers in the population feild; 3) PICs should be given flexibility in the performance of activitites by their governing bodies; 4) short-term training should be provided in computerization and dissemination of information; 5) research and evaluation mechanisms for PIC activities should be developed; 6) PIC staff should prepare policy briefs for decision makers; 7) access to parent organizations should be given to nongovernment PICs; 8) study tours to foreign PICs should be organized for PIC staff; and 9) on-the-job training in indexing and abstracting should be provided. Networking among PICs can be further facilitated by written acquisition policies, automation of bibliographic information, common classification systems, and exchange of ideas and experience between various systems.
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  6. 6

    In-service training on population/family planning information system, 19 May-9 July 1981, Bangkok.

    Thailand. Ministry of Public Health. National Family Planning Program. Thai Population Clearing-House / Documentation Centre

    Bangkok, Thailand, Ministry of Public Health. National Family Planning Programme, Thai Population Clearing House/Documentation Centre, [1981]. 321 p. (ASEAN Australian Project No. 3 Developing/Strengthening National Population Information Systems and Networks in ASEAN Countries: Thailand)

    This report provides several modules for developing information management skills in population information. After describing the main functions of the ESCAP Population Division Clearing House and Information Section, and the Population Education Clearing House of Unesco, the report breaks down the training program into the following sections: technical processes (acquisitions, cataloging and classification, and preservation); literature searching; abstracting; collection development; collection maintenance; networking; library automation; and information storage and retrieval. Each module is accompanied by training exercises; the section on technical processes contains a glossary.
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  7. 7


    Asian and Pacific Population Programme News. 1981; Spec No:24-5.

    China's 3rd national census will belong to the era of modern census taking. Over 6 million enumerators will be involved along with 29 computers for data processing. The 3-year budget exceeds the equivalent of $135 million. A pilot census was taken in the city and country of Wuxi in Jiangsu province south of Shanghai during June 1980. Additional pilot censuses are to be conducted in the provinces beginning early in 1981. The full count is scheduled to be 1 year later on July 1, 1982. Results will be processed and made available by 1984 so that planners can utilize them in drafting the 5-year development plan for 1985-1990. The censuses of 1953 and 1964 yeilded little data by modern standards. The longterm objective of the Population Census Office is to build up a modern census taking capability. This will provide data for the formulation of population and development policies, programs to implement those policies, and family planning activities. Another longterm objective is to extend the new data processing system to 399 prefectures and 2168 counties in China. The equipment will be subsequently used in related research activities. For the current census, a complete organization of census offices, census working teams, and census working groups will be established at successive administrative levels down to neighborhood (urban) and brigade (rural) levels, beginning early in 1981. The full census will cover 29 provinces of China. Approximately 6 million enumerators will each cover about 30-40 households. 2 models of computer and corresponding data entry systems are being used: 8 Wang VS 2200 systems and 21 IBM 4300 series systems from the U.S. The United Nations Fund for Population Activities is supplying equipment and technical assistance for the entire census amounting to more than $15 million. The Population Census Office will analyze and publish the census data.
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