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Adaptation of anthropological methodologies to rapid assessment of nutrition and primary health care.
In: RAP: Rapid Assessment Procedures. Qualitative methodologies for planning and evaluation of health related programmes, edited by Nevin S. Scrimshaw and Gary R. Gleason. Boston, Massachusetts, International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries, 1992. 25-38.The history and current status of rapid assessment procedures (RAP) are reviewed from the perspective of one of the most well-known leaders of the methodological approach. Both the accomplishments of RAP to date and its limitations are described. The first methodology for rapid assessment came from rural sociology, called rapid rural appraisal, primarily applied to agriculture and rural development. Anthropologists working in public health also began to systematize their own practical approach to program planning, which led to the UN University 16 Country Study and to the development of the RAP field manuals. The objective of the 16 country health studies was to assess nutrition and primary health care programs from the household perspective and as rapidly as possible. The application of anthropology to program planning assumes that there are other tools than the large survey and field trips. These include observation, participant observation, formal and informal interviews, conversation, and group discussion (focus groups) to evaluate health programs. The traditional approach of one person or a team at a site for 1 year had to be altered for the evaluation of nutrition and primary health care programs. The UN study plan was contingent on 1) researchers already familiar with the language and the culture and 2) working with a limited list of objectives or data collection guidelines. The RAP guidelines were designed to allow anthropologists to spend 6 weeks in a community where primary health care was in place and to obtain household views on the health service. The beliefs and behaviors across 514 households in 42 communities in 16 countries were described, indicating that all used indigenous practitioners and various indigenous and Western biomedical health resources. The mother was the primary diagnostician of health-seeking behavior; and all used herbs for prevention and treatment. RAP does not replace traditional anthropology, it is an additional method.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. 52 p. (ST/ESA/SER.E/39)This monograph presents an overview of the content and direction of courses designed to prepare planning coordinators of developing nations to approach population and development policy making in a richly informed interdisciplinary manner. The conceptual framework for such a curriculum is presented 1st in a theoretical section on the links between the key concepts of population and development. Next, recommendations on curriculum design emphasize 2 main lines of focus: 1) understanding the cultural context in which developmental planning takes place; 2) exploring the available means of action in terms of strategies corresponding to explicit transitional goals in relation to the identified context. The emphasis, rather than on specific technical expertise, should be on providing information on the range of tools available for use in the field at a later stage. The 3rd section involves course orientation; the aim is to turn out planning coordinators capable of formulating integrated population policies. The curriculum should be geared to occupational groups, including senior management, middle-level staff, educators and researchers, and executing agents. Section 4 covers course admission requirements, criteria for teachers and locations. Section 5 presents recommendations for subject matter, presenting a 2 year curriculum, each year divided into 4 modules: 1) knowledge of the context; 2) the population component; 3) the instruments of change, involving developmental economics and planning; and 4) techniques of analysis, systems analysis, econometrics, forecasting and more. An outline of the curriculum detailing topics, course length, and general and specific goals for each course follows. A bibliography covering general works, works on economics, sociology, anthropology and systems concludes the document.
Evaluation report to UNFPA on UNFPA-supported United Nations Demographic Training and Research Centre.
New York, New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities, Oct. 1977. 159 p.UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Activities) gives support to 6 UN Domographic Training and Research Centres (IIPS, CELADE, CDC, RIPS, IFORD, AND CEDOR). An evaluation of these centers addressed these points: 1) description and analysis of the objectives for each center as well as of the strategy for the total program and of the interrelationship between these objectives and the overall strategy; 2) description and problem oriented analysis of the center's programs including legal arrangements, institutional framework, planned and actual activities, resources, and funding; 3) description and analysis of the achievements by each center of its objectives; 4) description and analysis of the present and future role of each center for the achievement of the overall strategy. The International Institute for Population Studies (IIPS) gives adequate training to its personnel, but it needs to require minimum standards of knowledge of mathematics and statistics; a standard English test should be applied before admission. There is also a lack of opportunity for field work. At Centro Latinoamericano de Demografia (CELADE), training should provide more opportunities in studying interrelationships between population and socioeconomic variables, and put less emphasis on technical subjects, such as mathematics and statistics. The Cairo Demographic Centre (CDC) should continue to recruit the majority of its students from the Arab countries. The Centre should be more demanding in this recruitment and admission policies and procedures should be standardized. CDC should develop a specific policy on grades and on the conditions under which a candidate may not receive a diploma or degeee. The Mission recommends that the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) strengthen its field work program, coordinate its curriculum to avoid overlap of coursework, and that the UN contribute funds for all activities forming part of the agreement. At both Institut de Formation et de Recherche Demographiques (IFORD) and Centre D'Etudes Demographiques ONU-Roumanie (CEDOR), the mission concludes that both centers are too small to be viable, and feels that under ideal conditions it would have been preferable to have both population development and technical demography taught in one and the same institution. Closer collaboration between the 2 centers is recommended. There is a dire need for training and research in French speaking developing countries.
In: Key Issues in Population Policy: Problems, Options, and Recommendations for Action. E. Glassheim, C. Cargille and C. Hoffman, eds. Wash., D.C., University Press of America, 1978, pp. 39-47This speech was a response to Dr. Charles Cargille of the Population/Food Fund who argues that the World Population Plan which emerged from the Bucharest Conference, lacks specific objectives and, therefore, is not a plan and is deceiving the international community into thinking that a world population strategy does exist. The speaker agreed that the Plan is general, being the outcome of compromise in a sensitive political area. Furthermore, the diversity of population problems and of cultural values make policy-formulation on an international scale extremely difficult. The very fact that the Plan was developed is a departure from the past, when the United Nations concentrated assiduously on collecting demographic data rather than on taking a stand on population policy issues. The Plan has established that population problems do exist and that planning should take into account demographic trends. The Plan attributes population problems chiefly to underdevelopment and blurs population issues with general social and economic problems, but it recommends both development and family planning as solutions. Thus, the Plan reduces the emphasis on demography but it also goes far in emphasizing fertility control. While the Plan lacks quantitative targets except for mortality reduction, it makes several specific recommendations and contains provisions for its own self-renovation through continuous monitoring of population trends and a review every 5 years of progress made toward the goals of the Plan. In the ensuing discussion, Dr. Cargille and others replied.