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The African Development Bank, structural adjustment, and child mortality: a cross-national analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa.
International Journal of Health Services. 2013; 43(2):337-61.We conduct a cross-national analysis to test the hypothesis that African Development Bank (AfDB) structural adjustment adversely impacts child mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. We use generalized least square random effects regression models and two-step Heckman models that correct for selection bias using data on 35 nations with up to four time points (1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005). We find substantial support for our hypothesis, which indicates that Sub-Saharan African nations that receive an AfDB structural adjustment loan tend to have higher levels of child mortality than Sub-Saharan African nations that do not receive such a loan. This finding remains stable even when controlling for selection bias on whether or not a Sub-Saharan African nation receives an AfDB structural adjustment loan. We conclude by discussing the methodological implications of the article, policy suggestions, and possible directions for future research.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2006.  p.Today, women constitute almost half of all international migrants worldwide - 95 million. Yet, despite contributions to poverty reduction and struggling economies, it is only recently that the international community has begun to grasp the significance of what migrant women have to offer. And it is only recently that policymakers are acknowledging the particular challenges and risks women confront when venturing into new lands. Every year millions of women working millions of jobs overseas send hundreds of millions of dollars in remittance funds back to their homes and communities. These funds go to fill hungry bellies, clothe and educate children, provide health care and generally improve living standards for loved ones left behind. For host countries, the labour of migrant women is so embedded into the very fabric of society that it goes virtually unnoticed. Migrant women toil in the households of working families, soothe the sick and comfort the elderly. They contribute their technical and professional expertise, pay taxes and quietly support a quality of life that many take for granted. (excerpt)
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa: a macroeconomic monitoring framework.
World Economy. 2006; 29(11):1519-1547.3,000 Africans die every day of a mosquito bite. Can you think about that, malaria? That's not acceptable in the 21st century and we can stop it. And water-borne illnesses - dirty water takes another 3,000 lives - children, mothers, sisters . . . If we're to take this issue seriously, and we must, because in 50 years, you know, when they [G-8 Heads of State] look back at this moment . . . they'll talk about what we did or didn't do about this continent bursting into flames. It is the most extraordinary thing to watch people dying three in a bed, two on top and one underneath, as I have seen in Lilongwe, Malawi. I mean, it is an astonishing thing. And it's avoidable. It's an avoidable catastrophe. You saw what happened with the tsunami. You see the outpouring, you see the dramatic pictures. Well, there's a tsunami happening every month in Africa, but it's an avoidable catastrophe. It is not a natural calamity. (author's)
Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. 2004; 3(1-2):171-196.Global reproductive health policy is based on assumptions, couched in scientific language, that technological methods of birth control are superior to traditional methods, use of these methods is more modern and "rational" than alternatives, and abortion should not be considered a form of birth control. The authority these assumptions have achieved in global health circles prevents alternative options from being considered. Our research on women's birth control experiences in Mongolia suggests that reproductive health programs based on such global assumptions fail to consider the local cultural contexts of reproductive decision-making address women's needs, and are therefore seriously flawed. (author's)
London, England, Earthscan Publications, 2003. xxxiv, 310 p.The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003 is mainly concerned with the shelter conditions of the majority of the urban poor. It is about how the poor struggle to survive within urban areas, mainly through informal shelter and informal income-generation strategies, and about the inadequacy of both public and market responses to the plight of the urban poor. But the report is also about hope, about building on the foundations of the urban poor’s survival strategies and about what needs to be done by both the public and non-governmental sectors, as well as by the international community, if the goal of adequate shelter for all is to have any relevance for today’s urban youth. (except)
Lancet. 2004 Nov 27; 364:1919-1920.South Africa’s rise to pre-eminence on the African continent since holding its first multiracial elections in 1994 is underscored by its status as, among others, the continent’s largest economy, one of its leading investors, and chief sponsor of regional conflict resolution, and by its selection in 2004 as host of the inaugural African Parliament. The past decade has also seen South Africa become the largest contributor of personnel to peacekeeping operations in Africa and one of the continent’s chief sources of donor aid. Given South Africa’s primacy in these arenas, the latest report from the UNPF is cause for concern. The Fund projects a negative population growth for South Africa for the first time, mainly because of AIDS. The effect of AIDS has mostly been considered in country-specific contexts. If the UNPF’s projection proves true, the AIDS pandemic will likely not only threaten South Africa’s prosperity and population growth, but could also compound the threats posed by AIDS, poverty, and military conflicts in many other parts of the African continent. (excerpt)
Development in Practice. 2004 Jun; 14(4):569-573.Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are needed by all development interventions in order to document their output and outcomes. Once a set of goals has been established in response to a development ‘problem’, a corresponding set of indicators (i.e. variables or information) will also be identified in order to review progress towards those goals. In Africa, the so-called ‘expert’ evaluators—those who see M&E as their professional calling—have dominated the process of selecting social indicators. Unfortunately, this domination has given rise to sporadic and unreliable social data for M&E purposes facing every agency involved in development work in Africa. Zimbabwe is no exception. This Practical Note tells the story of UNICEF Zimbabwe’s search for relevant and reliable indicators based on solid data. The guiding philosophy in this effort is the belief that local communities themselves are among the many agencies involved in implementing development programmes—in the sense that they always seek ways of tackling whatever problems they face. These communities must therefore be active participants in the process of selecting indicators. The paper will first discuss the difficulty in establishing relevant data and indicators in the context of Zimbabwe, a task which is now an urgent priority given the dual problems of HIV/ AIDS and a declining economy. It is generally believed that these two problems have been responsible for the reversal of social gains made immediately after independence—hence the need to know exactly what is going on. The paper will then highlight recent attempts by UNICEF Zimbabwe—together with its partners—to establish good and reliable information sources so that not only can it monitor and evaluate the various impacts of its programmes but also the social environment of children. In part, the pressure for community-generated indicators has also been driven by the shift in UNICEF’s approach to its work—an approach underpinned by human rights principles. The final part of the paper discusses the challenges that UNICEF and its partners have faced and continue to struggle with. It draws some lessons learned and points to what more could be done to improve the qualities of social indicators. (excerpt)
Demography India. 1984 Jan-Dec; 13(1-2):153-67.The threshold hypothesis shares with transition theory the basic assumption that a decline in fertility is interrelated with a decline in mortality and change in the social, economic, and cultural conditions of the population. However, threshold theory fails to formulate a causal chain between fertility and the other variables and its application at the aggregate country level is limited by intracountry heterogeneity in cultural and social variables. Problematic is the fixing of the timing for a country of a decline in fertility to be inferred from the fact that some indicators of development have reached the threshold zone while others have not. This paper attempts to develope a combined index for socioeconomic development on the basis of data from 12 countries of the ESCAP region of South East Asia. Variables included were life expectancy at birth, infant mortality rate, adult female literacy, percentages of females economically active, GNP per capita, and percentage urban population. In 1970, 3 of the countries analyzed had a crude birth rate below 25, 6 countries had a rate between 25-40, and 3 had a rate above 40. The lowest value of the index recorded for countries of low fertility (crude birth rate below 25) and the highest value recorded for countries of high fertility (above 40) are taken as the threshold zones for the overall index. The number of countries in the threshold range increased from 5 in 1970 to 8 in 1975. With the increase in the index value, a reduction in the fertility level was noted. In contrast, where socioeconomic development was slow, fertility showed little change. Policy makers could use this system to assess which indicator could be pushed through to raise the overall index of development so as to effect a decline in fertility.
In: Aspects of population change and development in some African and Asian countries. Cairo, Egypt, Cairo Demographic Centre, 1984. 43-56. (CDC Research Monograph Series no. 9)This paper examines the relationship between economic development and demographic change in the 13 states of the Economic Commission for West Asia (ECWA) region. Demographic variables considered include per capita income, proportion urban, proportion in urban areas with over 100,000 inhabitants, literacy among those over 15 years, and literacy among women. Unweighted rankings on these variables were added to produce a development ranking or general development index. Then this index was used to investigate the relationship between development and individual scores and rankings for various demographic indices. The development index exhibited a rough fit with the mortality indices, especially life expectancy at birth. Mortality decline appears to be most closely related to rise in income. At the same income level, countries that have experienced substantial social change tend to exhibit the lowest mortality, presumably because of a loosening in family role patterns. In contrast, the relationship between development and fertility measures seemed to be almost random. A far closer correlation was noted between the former and the general development index. It is concluded that economic development alone will not reduce fertility. Needed are 2 changes: 1) profound social change in the family and in women's status, achievable through increases in female education, and 2) government family planning programs to ensure access to contraception.
[Statement by Dr. Pacoal Manuel Mocumbi, Ministry of Health, Chief of the Delegation of Mozambique, given at the International Conference on Population] Intervention du Dr. Pacoal Manuel Mocumbi, Ministre de la Sante, Chef de la Delegation de la republique Populaire du Mozambique a la Conferencie Internacionale de Population-Mexico, 6-13, aout.
[Unpublished] 1984. Presented at the International Conference on Population held in Mexico City, August 6-13, 1984. 10 p.In this speech the health miniter of Mozambique reviews his country's population situation during the decade since the 1st Population Conference at Bucharest. He emphasizes that in 1975, year of independence for Mozambique, the country had 10.5 million inhabitants, with a low average life expectancy (41.1 years), a high total fertility rate (6.6 children/woman) and a literacy level that was quite low with 93% of the population illiterate. In addition to poor socioeconomic conditions, the country has undergone political and natural disasters (e.g. war and drought) during the past 10 years. At the same time, the population's growth rate has continued to increase. Efforts to improve living standards include giving priority attention to education, health and housing. The adult illiteracy rate has fallen from 93% in 1975 to 72% in 1980. During the same period, a fourfold increase in the number of schools has been achieved. In the health field, primary health care and community participation efforts have succeeded at the implementation of immunization campaings and at the extension of health centers to rural areas. An important argument made here concerns peace as an essential requisite for development and the betterment of living standards. Recognized as serious factors facing developing countries in general, are imported inflation, paternalistic measures and policies, a deterioration of exchange relations, a worsening of taxes, and the balanne of trade deficits. It is in the context of these socioeconomic pressures that population issues become alarming. The government of Mozambique views population problems in the context of overall national development. A number of ongoing research projects for data collection and analysis are mentioned. Finally, the role of international agencies in promoting and financing development efforts is praised.