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  1. 1

    Poverty and development [editorial]

    Fosu AK

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 Oct; 85(10):734.

    posited that the process of development entails changes in incomes over time. Larger income levels achieved via positive economic growth, appropriately discounted for population growth, would constitute higher levels of development. As many have noted, however, the income measure fails to adequately reflect development in that per-capita income, in terms of its levels or changes to it, does not sufficiently correlate with measures of (human) development, such as life expectancy, child/infant mortality and literacy. The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) human development index (HDI) constitutes an improved measure for development. HDI has been modified to be gender-sensitive with variants that reflect gender inequality. Various measures reflecting Sen's "capability" concept, such as civil and political rights, have also been incorporated. Countries where the level of poverty is relatively large tend also to exhibit low values of human development, thus lowering the mean values of the development measures. Where inequalities of development indicators are very large, however, the average values may not sufficiently reflect the conditions of the poor, requiring the need to concentrate on poverty per se. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Africa 2000: looking at development afresh.

    Sai F

    PEOPLE. 1992; 19(1):32-4.

    The IPPF President asks his fellow Africans to look inward to find sources and solutions to the continent's problems. They can no longer blame colonialism and the international community for its problems, but should realize the governments of African countries which had little regard for their own people have misused government resources and not invested in people. Further the 1 party state is no longer effective at solving Africa's problems and people in many countries are beginning to prefer a multiparty democracy. In addition, 11% of the world's population inhabit Africa but Africa takes part in only 2% of the international trade. Africa's population growth rate is >3%/year and in 1992 it had almost 500 million people, yet the gross national product of the continent equals that of Belgium, a country of 10 million people. Development will need to come from Africans so governments must 1st develop its human resources base such as implementing policies that releases the entrepreneurial spirit, providing universal education, and training high levels professionals including planners, engineers, and entrepreneurs. In fact, military expenditures should be curtailed to make room for the much need development efforts. Further African governments must give priority to developing effective population and family planning programs. African population and family planning experts should convince government officials of the need to appropriate funds to these programs. Governments must also confront the problem of AIDS, but not at the expense of investment and general health programs. The 1990s are the last opportunity for Africa to mobilize its people, especially women and children, to pull itself out of poverty and despair.
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  3. 3

    The position of women and changing multilateral policies.

    Joekes S

    Development. 1989; (4):77-82.

    Contemporary multilateral loan agreements to developing nations, unlike previous project and program aid, have often been contingent upon the effective implementation of structural adjustment programs of market liberalization and macroeconomic policy redirection. These programs herald such reform as necessary steps on the road to economic growth and development. Price decontrol and policy change may also, however, generate the more immediate and undesirable effects of exacerbated urban sector bias and plummeting income and quality of life in the general population. This paper considers the resultant changes expected in the political arena, product and input pricing, small business promotion and formation, export crop production, interest rate policy reform and financial market deregulation, exchange rate and public sector expenditure, and the labor market, and their effect upon women's economic position. The author notes, however, that women are not affected uniformly by these changes and sectoral disruptions, but that some women will suffer more than others. To develop policy to effectively meet the needs of these target groups, more subpopulation specificity is required. Approaches useful in identifying vulnerable women in particular societies are explored. Once identified, these women, especially those who head poor households, should be afforded protection against the turbulence and short- to medium-term economic decline associated with adjustment.
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  4. 4
    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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