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Are cost effective interventions enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Money, infrastructure, and information are also vital [editorial]
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2005 Nov 12; 331(7525):1093-1094.At a high level forum in Paris this month policy makers are meeting to discuss the financial sustainability and coordination of activities essential for achieving the millennium development goals. Building on other targets set in the 1990s, such as those at the 1990 UN children’s summit, these ambitious goals agreed by 189 countries aim to markedly reduce poverty and hunger and improve education and health throughout the world by 2015. But many less developed countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, are falling short of the target to reduce child mortality by 4.4% a year, the rate required to cut deaths among children less than 5 years old by two thirds (from the 1990 level) by 2015. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Sep 22; 370(9592):1034.The association between domestic violence and the first five Millennium Development Goals is bidirectional. Violence has a negative effect on efforts to alleviate poverty (MDG 1), and poverty has been shown to increase the likelihood of violence. Similarly, education, women's empowerment, child mortality, and maternal health are all linked to domestic violence. Simwaka and colleagues discussed the association between women's empowerment and violence against women and poor access and control over resources, and recommended putting gender issues in the African agenda to achieve MDG 5. Hence, monitoring the progress in preventing violence should not be separated from monitoring the development process in developing countries. Other challenges such as discrimination, inequity, extremism, religious fanaticism, human rights violations, and the faded democracy process have hampered efforts to combat violence in these countries. Ammar stated that "Egypt would be able to combat public violence (eg, terrorism) better if it addresses co-occurrence of spousal and child abuse than by changing its school curriculum". Moreover, we will not be able to estimate properly the magnitude of domestic violence if its economic costs are not investigated. Therefore, the growing political will to take action against violence is not enough in itself, especially when women feel that spousal abuse is justified and when judges and lawyers are part of a culture that tolerates violence against women. (full text)
Improving effectiveness and outcomes for the poor in health, nutrition, and population: an evaluation of World Bank Group support since 1997.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, Independent Evaluation Group, 2009.  p.The World Bank Group’s support for health, nutrition, and population (HNP) has been sustained since 1997 -- totaling $17 billion in country-level support by the World Bank and $873 million in private health and pharmaceutical investments by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) through mid-2008. This report evaluates the efficacy of the Bank Group’s direct support for HNP to developing countries since 1997 and draws lessons to help improve the effectiveness of this support.