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  1. 1

    Tolstoy, community cybernetics, and the MDGs.

    Moor J

    Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):19.

    Leo Tolstoy famously wrote that all happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. If the same can be said about dysfunctional cities, we must be prepared to deal with the unique micro-realities of each ailing community. This can only be done practically by encouraging residents to engage in a form of therapy that begins with local self-discovery. This must be a central aim in monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In an economically pressurized world where more than 95 percent of all development decisions are made by members of civil society, each acting more or less in their own self-interest, central coordinative systems of governance are failing. Squatters and slumlords everywhere make their choices outside the world of plans and regulations, as do an increasing number of small-scale entrepreneurs. This self-interest promotes unsustainable urban development, inhibiting a cooperative vision for the future that the complex urban ecology demands. The collective future is no-one’s baby and in effect has become an orphan. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Civil society, community participation and empowerment in the era of globalization.

    Waring M

    Toronto, Canada, Association for Women's Rights in Development [AWID], 2004 May. [8] p. (Spotlight No. 1)

    In the early days of the second wave of the women’s movement, we had our own stories of community participatory development. In 1978 we knew of Lois Gibbs and the women of the Love Canal region of New York whose houses were built on twenty thousand tons of toxic waste; the entire neighbourhood was sick. Gibbs identified that men, women, and children in the area suffered from many conditions—cancer, miscarriages, stillbirths, birth defects, and urinary tract diseases. She collected the evidence. Through petitions, public meetings and use of the media, the Love Canal community took on the School Board, the State and Federal governments, and finally the President. They were rehoused and compensated, and left a legacy to the USA in the form of the Environmental Protection Agency. Similarly, the work of Maria Mies and her students in the early 1980s in Cologne introduced us to ‘action research’. Their research involved women across the city in the collection of evidence of domestic violence sufficient to convince the police and city councillors of the urgent need for the first shelters for battered women. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    Americas in harmony. Health and environment in sustainable human development. An opportunity for change and a call to action.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]; Organization of American States [OAS]; United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]; United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]; Inter-American Development Bank; World Bank

    Washington, D.C., PAHO, 1996. vii, 42 p.

    This report presents summaries of the presentations, views, recommendations, and criticisms of the 1995 Pan American Conference on Health and the Environment in Sustainable Human Development. This conference was convened in response to government and societal commitments, the current global crisis, and the effects of ongoing global changes. Inequities and social injustices have assumed large proportions. The economy is an end in itself, regardless of the needs of humankind. There is a lack of permanent, balanced, genuine, open, and effective dialogue, especially between economic parties that formulate national policies and development plans and parties in the social domain. The conference aimed to foster increased and shared understanding of the links between health, environment, and sustainable development. The aims also were to formulate effective ways for integrating social needs and health and environmental concerns within national policies, plans, and development programs; and to find means of support. It is expected that the conference will bring about appropriate national and hemispheric dialogue, stronger political leadership, and opportunities for coordinating technical and financial international assistance and cooperation in support of national processes. Seven panel discussions focused on a variety of country, regional, and Charter strategies. An open forum addressed community participation in practice. Seven addresses focused on sustainable development. The report focuses its chapters on the present and future context and 10 areas for action.
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  4. 4

    Reducing poverty: an institutional perspective.

    Salmen LF

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1992. [5], 26 p. (Poverty and Social Policy Series Paper No. 1)

    This discussion of ways to achieve sustainable development, which is synonymous with poverty reduction, has grown from the World Bank's effort to assess the institutional aspects of development. The operation of the World Bank has been based on the market principal of demand stimulating supply. When it comes to the poor, however, service organizations have tended to decide what services were needed and to supply those services, instead of being driven by demands generated by the poor themselves. Allowing poverty reduction programs to be energized by the demands of the poor and regarding the poor as customers rather than as beneficiaries would empower the poor to increase their opportunities for self-fulfillment. Demand, of course, can be nurtured when its impediments are understood; it can also be enhanced by improving the quality of services. Application of these practices in the fields of education, population, health, and nutrition are described, with an in-depth look at the Yemen Arab Republic's Second Education Project. The relationship of demand to water and sanitation services is also considered. An understanding of the needs of the poor is gained in 2 ways. First, the informal institutions through which poor people act must be examined by participating in a learning process using qualitative techniques such as focus group interviews, social marketing, and participant observations. Beneficiary assessment is an especially important strategy during project design and project evaluation. Second, direct staff exposure to the poor is essential, since some aspects of poverty defy objective analysis. If development efforts lead to a thickening social web of nongovernmental organizations, with an attendant use of local personnel, an understanding of the grassroots realities of poverty will be enhances. When the efforts of informal groups are combined with those of formal organizations, sustainable poverty reduction can be achieved. The organizational implications of this approach are considered, including intermediation, organizational pluralism and competition, demand as "voice," nongovernment organizations, catalysts, and training. In-depth examples of this principle at work are given for the Korean experience in financing universal primary education, the Malawi Rural Water Supply Project, and the Menaka integrated development project in Mali. Operational implications are also detailed with particular emphasis on adopting a learning stance and on staffing. This recommended inversion in the operating principles of the World Bank will help the public sector achieve a vision of development as a process that enables clients to release themselves from poverty.
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  5. 5

    Development goals and strategies for children in the 1990s.


    New York, New York, UNICEF, 1990 Aug. 61 p. (UNICEF Policy Review)

    The UNICEF approach in brief is the development of human capabilities and meeting basic needs with a country program approach. The UNICEF goals and strategies for children approved by the Executive Board in 1990 included in this document cover the following general areas: an earlier development review; unmet needs of children; unprecedented opportunities; goals for children for child survival, development, and protection in the year 2000; and sectoral goals for maternal health, child health, nutrition, safe water supply and environmental sanitation, basic education, literacy, early childhood development, and children in distress; strategic priorities such as: going to scale, reaching the unreached and (from small scale projects to a larger leading to universal coverage), hard to reach, disparity reduction, community participation, area-based program approaches, research and development, women's empowerment, advocacy and social mobilization, development addressing human concerns, environment soundness and sustainability, monitoring and evaluation, national capacity and building, building economic bases to meet human goals (alleviate critical poverty, debt relief, trade and commodity agreements, increased resource flows for development, and growth in industrialized countries); operational strategies for UNICEF, and UNICEF Board Decision. A table is provided as a review of selected goals and achievements of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd UN development decades and achievements in 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1988, as well as a figure for the annual number of under 5 years childhood mortality by 5 main causes and a figure for estimated deaths and lives saved under 5 years, 1980-2000.
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  6. 6

    New policies and approaches of health education in primary health care in attaining the objectives of health for all/2000.

    Islam MM

    IN TOUCH 1991 Mar; 10(98):34-6.

    This overview of what the WHO Alma Ata Declaration is and how the objectives translate to policy in the structure of health education involves manpower development, professional level training, community involvement, mass media, and related research. Alma Ata identified health education as the first of 8 essential activities in primary health care (PHC). Policy failures in health education included the inability to live up to expectations, the targeting of programs to specific diseases, and to the inappropriate conceptualization of community participation as a process which can be centrally controlled. Other factors were the gap in understanding the relationship between socioeconomic development and health, weak national structure which provided inadequate demonstration of health education project results, the inability of health education to solve individual problems such as working conditions or environmental pollution, and the lack of multisectoral cooperation. In order to achieve the Alma Ata objectives health education must be an agent of social change. Primary health care (PHC) - health education, development of a patient's educational skills, needs to be incorporated into the formal curricula of medical and nursing programs, as well as informal training, planning, and practice among rural and agricultural developers, public health engineers, and educators. Health workers need training in use of appropriate technology and in bridging the gap between the community and existing health care systems. The mass media needs to emphasize basic health necessities, and the importance of health, and solutions to problems. Broad public participation including voluntary organizations is necessary to the multisectoral approach. Research needs to be disseminated to administrators.
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  7. 7

    International Youth Year: participation, development, peace, report of the Secretary-General.

    United Nations. General Assembly

    [Unpublished] 1981 Jun 19. 46 p. (A/36/215)

    The Advisory Committee for the International Youth Year, established by the General Assembly of the UN in 1979, met in Vienna, Austria, from March 30-April 7, 1981 to develop a program of activities to be undertaken prior to and during the UN designated 1985 International Youth Year; this report contains the draft program of activities adopted by the committee at the 1981 meeting. The activities of the International Youth Year will be undertaken at the national, regional, and international level; however, the major focus of the program will be at the national level. Program themes are development, peace, and participation. The objectives of the program are to 1) increase awareness of the many problems relevant to today's youth, (e.g., the rapid increase in the proportion of young people in the population; high youth unemployment; inadequate education and training opportunities; limited educational and job opportunities for rural youth, poor youth, and female youth; and infringements on the rights of young people); 2) ensure that social and economic development programs address the needs of young people; 3) promote the ideals of peace and understanding among young people; and 4) encourage the participation of young people in the development and peace process. Program guidelines at the national level suggest that each country should identify the needs of their young people and then develop and implement programs to address these needs. A national coordinating committee to integrate all local programs should be established. Specifically each nation should 1) review and update legislation to conform with international standards on youth matters, 2) develop appropriate educational and training programs, 3) initiate action programs to expand nonexploitive employment opportunities for young people, 4) assess the health needs of youth and develop programs to address the special health needs of young people, 6) transfer money from defense programs to programs which address the needs of young people, 7) expanding social services for youths, and 8) help young people assume an active role in developing environmental and housing programs. Activities at the regional and international level should be supportive of those at the national level. At the regional level, efforts to deal with youth problems common to the whole region will be stressed. International efforts will focus on 1) conducting research to identify the needs of young people, 2) providing technical assistance to help governments develop and institute appropriate policies and programs, 3) monitoring the program at the international level, 4) promoting international youth cultural events, and 5) improving the dissemination of information on youth. Young people and youth organizations will be encouraged to participate in the development and implementation of the program at all levels. Nongovernment agencies should help educate young people about development and peace issues and promote the active participation of youth in development programs. The success of the program will depend in large measure on the effective world wide dissemination of information on program objectives and activities. A 2nd meeting of the advisory committee will convene in Vienna in 1982 to assess progress toward implementing the adopted program. A 3rd and final meeting in 1985 will evaluate the entire program. This report contains a list of all the countries and organizations which participated in the meeting as well as information on program funding.
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  8. 8
    Peer Reviewed

    Ideological dimensions of community participation in Latin American health programs.

    Ugalde A

    Social Science and Medicine. 1985; 21(1):41-53.

    This paper explores the emergence of an international fad aiding and monitoring community participation efforts and projects its future outcome based on lessons from previous experiences in other than the health sector. The analysis suggests that the promotion of community participation was based in all cases on 2 false assumptions. 1) The value system of the peasantry and of the poor urban dwellers had been misunderstood by academicians and experts, particularly by US social scientists, who believed that the traditional values of the poor were the main obstacle for social development and for health improvement. However, the precolumbian forms of organization that traditional societies had been able to maintain throughout the centuries were not only compatible with development but had many of the characteristics of modernity: the tequio guelagetza minga and even the cargo system stress collective work, cooperation, communal land ownership and egalitarianism. 2) Another misjudgement was the claim that the peasantry was disorganized and incapable of effective collective action. In Latin America historical facts do not support this contention. A few examples from more recent history show the responsiveness and organizational capabilities of rural populations. The Peasant Leagues in Northeastern Brazil under the leadership of Juliao is perhaps 1 of the best known example. The question is thus raised as to why international and foreign assistance continues to pressure and finance programs for community organization and/or participation. It is suggested that the experience in Latin America (except perhaps Cuba and Nicaragua) indicates that community participation has produced additional exploitation of the poor by extracting free labor, that it has contributed to the cultural deprivation of the poor, and has contributed to political violence by the ousting and suppression of leaders and the destruction of grassroots organizations. Information presented on community participation in health programs in Latin America illustrates that they have followed closely the ideology and steps of community participation in other sectors. A country by country examination indicates that health participation programs in Latin America in spite of promotional efforts by international agencies, have not succeeded. The real international motivation for participation programs was the need to legitimeize political systems compatible with US political values. Through symbolic participation, international agencies had in mind the legitimation of low quality care for the poor, also known as primary health care and the generation of much needed support from the masses for the liberal democracies and authoritatrian regimes of the region. Primary health care delivery can be successful without community participation, in contradiction to what international agencies and governments maintain.
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  9. 9

    Mexico City Declaration on Population and Development.

    International Conference on Population (1984: Mexico City)

    [New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities], 1984. 8 p. (UN/ICP/83/E/100,000; E/CONF.76/L.4)

    This pamphlet reproduces the Declaration on Population and Development prepared by representatives of 29 countries and adopted by the International Conference onn Population held in Mexico City August 6-14, 1984. The Conference noted the widening disparities between developed and developed countries, and reaffirmedd its commitment to improving the standard of living and equality of life of all peoples of this planet. Population issues are increasingly recognized as a fundamental element in development planning, and such plans must reflect the links among population, resources, environment, and development. Experience over the past decade suggests the need for full participation by the entire community and grassroots organizations in the design and implementation of policies and programs. Such an approach not only ensures that programs are relevant to local needs and consistent with personal and social values, but also promotes awareness of demographic problems. In addition, community support is essential to facilitate the integration of women into the process of social and economic development. Major efforts must be made to ensure that couples and individuals can decide freely, responsibly, and without coercion the number and spacing of their children and have the information, education, and means to make this decision. Increased funding is needed to develop new methods of contraception as well as to improve the safety, efficacy, and acceptability of existing methods. As part of the goal of health for all by the year 2000, special attention should be given to maternal and child health services within a primary health care system. Breastfeeding, adequate nutrition, clean water, immunization programs, oral rehydration therapy, and birth spacing offer the potential to improve child survival dramatically. Attention must also be given to the social and economic implications of recent changes in the age structure of the population, rapid urbanization, and international migratory movements. Governments as well as nongovernmental organizations continue to have a critical role in the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action, and should be supported by adequate international assistance.
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  10. 10

    The role of UNFPA and non-governmental organisations in the field of population.

    Singh JS

    In: D'Souza AA, de Souza A, ed. Population growth and human development. New Delhi, India, Indian Social Institute, 1974. 27-31.

    The actions undertaken by UNFPA on population matters have been guided by 3 basic principles. 1st is the emphasis on the right of the individual to have access to knowledge and facilities on the basis of which he/she could decide freely on the family size and child spacing. 2ndly, population has always been viewed by the UN in the larger context of development. 3rdly, the responsibility for action on population questions is considered to be within the sovereign domain of national governments. The increasing involvement of national governments in population activities and the increasing role of the UN system in providing assistance for such programs led to the designation of World Population Year in 1974. The Year provides an opportunity for increasing the awareness and understanding of population questions among people around the world. Community groups have an important role to play in promoting awareness and understanding of the population question among people everywhere. The community accepts ideas more easily if they can be shown to have already acquired a degree of social acceptability. The population question touches the standards of moral and ethical behavior in a personal way. If it can be shown that the new patterns of family life are related in a significant way to well established norms of ethical behavior, it will be so much easier for individuals to follow new patterns of behavior. The role of education in promoting and deepening awareness of population issues should be included in the development of population information.
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  11. 11

    Rural development: issues and approaches for technical co-operation.

    United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]

    New York, UNDP, June 1979. 243 p. (Rural Development Evaluation Study; No. 2)

    This paper is based on a study carried out by UNDP staff. It begins with an examination of a series of key facts about rural life and the rural context in developing countries. Rural development is seen to have emerged as a crucial issue because rural areas contain on average 75% of the national population of the developing countries and 80% of the "poverty group"--people earning 50 US dollars or less per year, or whose income is 1/3 the national average. Analyzing rural development as a process of socioeconomic change, the report assesses the implications for development strategies, for linkages between various economic and social sectors, for specific government policies and programs, and for action at the international level, including UNDP supported technical cooperation. It is concluded that 2 basic shifts are needed in rural development strategy: closer involvement of the local population in the full process of rural development planning and implementation, and stronger commitment by governments to redistribute to the rural poor resources and the means to permit capital accumulation. (author's modified)
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  12. 12

    Basic education and technical training.

    United States. Agency for International Development [USAID]

    Washington, D.C., USAID, Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, 1982 Dec. 13 p. (A.I.D. Policy Paper)

    Human resources development, necessary for the growth of overall productivity and efficient use of human capital, is a longterm process that is integral to all aspects of national development. Broad agreement exists among development agencies that assisting countries to establish more efficient systems of education, to control their recurrent cost and administrative burdens, and to relate them more effectively to employment opportunities and trained manpower needs are essential components of effective development strategies. The development strategies of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) stress efforts to raise levels of basic education and relate technical training to employment opportunities as adjuncts of programs to apply science and technology to development efforts, rely on market mechanisms and the private sector to stimulate economic development, strengthen institutions important in development processes, and reinforce efforts of local leaders to address their development problems and administer local resources. Schooling for children aged 6-14, vocational education and functional skills training for adolescents and self-employed adults, and technical skills training for wage employment are among USAID priorities. USAID policy is to focus 1st on problems of resource utilization and internal efficiency, in the expectation that such an approach will lead over time to improved access and more broadly based distribution of educational opportunities. Most nonenrolled children or those whose educational experience is cut short by grade repetition, examination failure, or dropout, are poor, rural, or female, and those who are all 3 usually have the least opportunity. Measures are thus needed to increase the proportions of children who successfully complete at least primary schooling. USAID will focus its assitance to educational and training systems on increasing the efficiency of educational resource utilization, increasing the quantitative and qualitative outputs of training and educational investments, and increasing the effectiveness of the educational and training systems to support economic and social development goals. USAID will seek to promote the participation of communities in the establishment and maintenance of schools and the involvement of employers in the implementation ot technical training programs.
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  13. 13

    Integrating population programmes, statement made at 10th Asian Parasite Control Organization Family Planning Conference, Tokyo, Japan, 5 September 1983.

    Salas RM

    New York, N.Y., UNFPA, [1983]. 6 p. (Speech Series No. 95)

    The relationship between the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP) and UNFPA has been a vital force in the integration of family planning programs with nutrition and health services. The success of the integrated programs is evidenced by its rapid expansion from a pilot project in 1975 to projects in many countries in Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. The programs are efficient and effective in delivery of family planning services, as well as in linking and integrating these family planning services with other social and development programs. The programs have been designed to meet the needs of the people at the village level, taking into account their cultural sensitivities. This approach has encouraged acceptance and cooperation by the local communities and has made the program credible to the villagers. In fact, this seems to be the key to effective implementation of any type of development project. The coming 1984 International Conference on Popultion is also discussed. It is hoped that the present meeting will produce policy and operational suggestions which can be discussed at the International Conference.
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