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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
    Peer Reviewed

    Is trade liberalization of services the best strategy to achieve health-related Millennium Development Goals in Latin America? A call for caution.

    San Sebastian M; Hurtig AK; Rasanathan K

    Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública / Pan American Journal of Public Health. 2006 Nov; 20(5):341-346.

    In September 2000, at the United Nations (UN) Millennium Summit, 147 heads of state adopted the Millennium Declaration, with the aim of reflecting their commitment to global development and poverty alleviation. This commitment was summarized in 8 goals, 14 targets, and 48 measurable indicators, which together comprise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be attained by 2015. All of the MDGs contribute to public health, and three are directly health-related: MDGs 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health), and 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases). Progress towards these goals has proved difficult. In an attempt to identify practical steps to achieve the MDGs, the UN Development Programme initiated the UN Millennium Project in 2002. This three-year "independent" advisory effort established 13 task forces to identify strategies and means of implementation to achieve each MDG target, and each task force produced a detailed report. A Task Force on Trade was created for MDG 8 to develop a global partnership for development. The mandate of the Task Force on Trade was to explore how the global trading system could be improved to support developing countries, with special attention to the needs of the poorest nations. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    Poverty-conscious restructuring of public expenditure.

    Ferroni M; Kanbur R

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1990. 21 p. (Social Dimensions of Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa Working Paper No. 9)

    This paper starts with a look at the pattern of public expenditure in Africa during the adjustment decade, paying particular attention to the social sectors. It concludes that the poverty focus and the poverty reduction impact of public spending in Africa is very low. The reasons for this include a lack of funds for nonwage recurrent expenditures in core economic and social services, inadequate intrasectoral resource allocation from a poverty reduction point of view, and public expenditure management inefficiencies. Absolute levels of expenditure on essential services are low in Sub-Saharan Africa compared with richer countries. It is therefore concluded that increases in financial resources to support anti-poverty programs are needed in Africa. But raising the poverty focus of governmental expenditures also requires changes in the within sector and the functional composition of public spending, as well as improvements in the factors which hamper the effectiveness of program delivery. (author's)
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  4. 4

    Square pegs, round holes, and why you can't fight HIV / AIDS with monetarism.

    Rowden R

    Washington, D.C., ActionAid International USA, 2005 Mar. [4] p.

    How to get a square peg through a round hole? How can poor countries invest in the doctors, nurses, and teachers needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when current International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan conditions limit the spending of recipient country governments? There is a fundamental contradiction between the need to greatly scale-up social spending to fight HIV/AIDS and what can actually be spent under the IMF’s current low-inflation monetary policy. How can significantly more money be spent in these economies without producing higher levels of inflation than the IMF’s low-inflation policy permits? In order for many poor countries to receive foreign aid from the World Bank or any of the rich countries, borrowing countries must first be given the “green light” by the IMF, an action that signals to other lenders that their national macroeconomic policies are sound. Because it opens the door to all the other major foreign aid donors and creditors, this “signaling effect” gives the IMF tremendous leverage over many aid-dependent countries in terms of the economic policy reforms it attaches as loan conditions. Unless a borrowing country is satisfactorily implementing the IMF’s preferred economic reform policies, it risks getting the “red light” – and being cut off from access to the major sources of foreign aid, credit, or debt relief programs. Of particular concern among the IMF’s binding loan conditions are economic policy reforms related to monetary policies (policies in which a central bank attempts to regulate the money supply and interest rates in order to control inflation and stabilize the currency). (excerpt)
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  5. 5

    Forging a fairer future. [Forjar un futuro más justo]

    Martinez E

    Perspectives in Health. 2004; 9(2):2-7.

    The Millennium Development Goals stand out as a historic achievement amid a steady stream of resolutions and declarations emanating from the United Nations General Assembly and U.N. agencies in recent years. The millennium goals have a greater chance for realization than many previous high-minded declarations and resolutions, mainly because of the high-level political commitment to them expressed by both developed and developing countries. Moreover, the millennium goals feature clear, time-bound, and measurable targets for reducing poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. They also set forth a pragmatic formula for cooperation between rich and poor countries that implies a global quid pro quo: financial and other support from rich countries in return for genuine efforts at sound economic and social reform by poor countries. The millennium goals are ambitious in both their scope and their call for achieving greater equity in the distribution of wealth and social well-being. This is especially relevant for poor countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, where wide disparities in economic and social indicators persist. (excerpt)
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  6. 6

    Promoting the Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific. Meeting the challenges of poverty reduction.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]; United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]

    New York, New York, United Nations, 2003. [115] p. (ST/ESCAP/2253)

    In September 2000 at the Millennium Summit the Member States of the United Nations issued the Millennium Declaration, committing themselves to a series of targets, most of which are to be achieved by 2015. Known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they represent a framework for achieving human development and broadening its benefits. This overview provides a summary of the ESCAP-UNDP report, Promoting the Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific: Meeting the Challenges of Poverty Reduction. It analyses the prospects, challenges and opportunities for attaining the MDGs in the countries of Asia and the Pacific. Individual countries are preparing their own national MDG reports. A report such as this can also offer a valuable regional perspective and a basis for further action. It can, for example, help the countries in the region increasingly to cooperate and to learn from each other. And it should also be of value to people outside the region who want to learn more about Asia and the Pacific and how the region has succeeded in swiftly reducing mass poverty and sustaining rapid economic growth and social change. The report emphasizes that the prime responsibility for achieving the MDGs lies with individual countries. Countries in the region should, however, also be able to count on regional and international partnerships, and they would certainly benefit from changes in the global system and the global economy. Nevertheless, their success will depend ultimately on national commitment and on the quality and thoughtfulness of national decisions. (excerpt)
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  7. 7

    Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference. The Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development.

    Asian and Pacific Population Conference (4th: 1992: Denpasar)


    The Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference was held at Denpasar, Indonesia, August 19-27, 1992. The theme of the Conference was Population and Sustainable Development: Goals and Strategies into the Twenty-first Century. Prior to the Conference three preparatory seminars were held: on population, environment and sustainable development (Thailand, 1991); on migration and urbanization (Seoul, 1992); and on planning and implementation of family planning/family health and welfare programs (Beijing, 1992). The Conference, jointly sponsored by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), adopted the Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development, which spells out regional goals and recommendations for population and sustainable development into the 21st century. The preamble recognizes that population plays a decisive role in all human endeavors, especially in safeguarding the environment and the pursuit of sustainable development. Population problems must be addressed on local, national, regional, and global levels. It is urged that all members make a commitment to incorporate population and environmental concerns into efforts to achieve sustainable development. The population goals should include attainment of replacement level fertility of about 2.2 children per woman by the year 2010. In the Asian countries the present average is 3.1 children per woman. The rate of infant mortality should also be reduced to 40 per 1000 live births during this period. A number of recommendations are also made concerning population, environment, and development; urbanization, internal and international migration; family planning and maternal and child health; population and human resources development; women and population; population and poverty alleviation; mortality and morbidity; aging; population data, research and information dissemination; and resource mobilization.
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