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Public Health Nutrition. 2005 Oct; 8(7A):940-952.In anticipation of the revision of the 1985 Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization/United Nations University (FAO/ WHO/UNU) Expert Consultation Report on 'Energy and Protein Requirements', recent scientific knowledge on the principles underlying the estimation of energy requirement is reviewed. This paper carries out a historical review of the scientific rationale adopted by previous FAO/WHO technical reports on energy requirement, discusses the concepts used in assessing basal metabolic rate (BMR), energy expenditure, physical activity level (PAL), and examines current controversial areas. Recommendations and areas of future research are presented. The database of the BMR predictive equations developed by the 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation Report on Energy and Protein Requirements needs updating and expansion, applying strict and transparent selection criteria. The existence of an ethnic/tropical factor capable of affecting BMR is not supported by the available evidence. The factorial approach for the calculation of energy requirement, as set out in the 1985 report, should be retained. The estimate should have a normative rather than a prescriptive nature, except for the allowance provided for extra physical activity for sedentary populations, and for the prevention of non-communicable chronic diseases. The estimate of energy requirement of children below the age of 10 years should be made on the basis of energy expenditure rather than energy intake. The evidence of the existence of an ethnic/tropical factor is conflicting and no plausible mechanism has as yet been put forward. (author's)
WORLD HEALTH. 1988 Jan-Feb; 10-11.In 1979 WHO invited its member states to participate in a global strategy for health and to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness using a minimum of 12 indicators. Members' 1982 implementation reports and 1985 evaluation reports form the basis for evaluating each measure. Indicators 1-6 have strong political and economic components in both developed and developing countries and are not complete. Indicator 7, for which rates of reply are satisfactory, asks whether at least 5 elements of primary health care are available to the whole population. The 8th gauge seeks information on the nutritional status of children, considering birth weight (a possible indicator of risk) and weight for age (a monitor of growth). Infant mortality rate and life expectancy at birth, indicators 9 and 10, are difficult to estimate in developing countries, and health services are not always kept informed of current estimates. Indicator 11 asks whether the literacy rate exceeds 70%; it can provide information on level of development and should emphasize literacy for women, for whom health information is critical. The last global measure yields information about the gross national product, which is not always the most recent, despite the trend of countries to publish their gross domestic product. Failure to make use of the best national sources, such as this, is one of several problems encountered by WHO's member states in collecting accurate data. Other problems include lack of universally acceptable definitions, different national accounting systems, disinterest of health authorities in economic matters, lack of staff, lack of financial resources in developing countries, and inadequately structured health system management. Each country must choose the most appropriate methods for collection of data. If an indicator cannot be calculated, the country is encouraged to seek and devise a substitute. WHO must produce more precise and reliable indicators. It must respond to requests for ways of improving or strengthening national systems.
International Review of Natural Family Planning. 1981 Spring; 5(1):83-90.The second International Congress of the International Federation of Family Life Promotion (IFFLP) held in Ireland in September 24 to October 1, 1980 was conducted to provide a forum for issues relating to natural family planning (NFP). The Congress was divided into 3 components: 1) scientific status, program development, and NFP programs in their cultural contexts; 2) the IFFLP general assembly; and 3) trainer's workshop. 2 NFP effectiveness studies (Los Angeles study and Colombia study) both comparing the ovulation method and the sympto-thermal method were discussed in terms of recruitment, training, dropouts, and conclusions. Recruitment in both studies was very low (2-3% of population in the Los Angeles study, and less for the Colombia study), raising questions relating to the measure of acceptability of natural methods in the population concerned and the nature of the constraints of the study. Dropout rate reached an alarming 70% at the end of a year in both studies, raising the questions of the validity of the life-table analysis presented. The Pearl Index values for both studies were very high: for the LA study, 18.5/100 woman-years for the sympto-thermal method and 32/100 woman-years for the ovulation method; for the Colombia study, 33/100 for the sympto-thermal method and 35/100 for the ovulation method. The following were deemed as important scientific advances in NFP: 1) clarification of the concept of "basic infertile" pattern of preovulatory mucus (unchanged pattern day after day means continuing infertility); 2) use of cervical mucus as one of the most important indices in infertile/subfertile patients and also during lactation and premenopause; and 3) development of methods for measuring levels of estrone-3-glucuronide and pregnanediol-3-alpha-glucuronide to predict start and end of fertile phase. A paper presented on the use of the Billings Ovulation Method by 82 postpartum women followed up for an average of 16 months showed that only 4 unplanned pregnancies occurred (2 method and 2 user failures), and 97.8% of the women learned to recognize their postpartum mucus pattern. The Pearl Index was 7.3/100 woman-years and overall method failure rate was 3.6. Other topics discussed were NFP program services and developments in NFP by zonal groups.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center, MEASURE Evaluation, 2017 Jan. 18 p. (Working Paper WP-17-171; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-L-14-00004)In 2011, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) published its Evaluation Policy. The policy emphasizes the need to conduct more evaluations of its programs to ensure greater accountability and learning, and it outlines best practices and requirements for conducting evaluations. Since releasing the policy, USAID has commissioned an increasing number of evaluations of its programs. The importance of evaluations for international public health programs has been long recognized, with demand for such evaluations coming from both internal and external sources. Donors or those external to program implementation seek evidence of accomplishments and accountability for resources spent, whereas those involved in program implementation seek evidence to inform and improve program design. Within USAID, the need for more evaluations was driven by the understanding that evaluations provide information and analysis that prevent mistakes from being repeated and increase the likelihood of greater yield from future investments. Finally, there is overall recognition that evaluations should be of high quality and driven by demand, and that results should be communicated to relevant stakeholders. Despite the increased demand for evaluations, there is limited evaluation capacity in many countries where international development programs are implemented. Before strategies to strengthen evaluation capacity can be implemented, it is important first to assess existing evaluation capacity and develop action plans accordingly. We conducted a review of existing assessment tools and guidance documents related to assessing organizations’ capacity to carry out evaluations of international public health programs in order to determine the adequacy of those materials. Here, we summarize the key findings of our review of the literature and provide recommendations for the development of future tools and guidance documents.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2006 May 6; 332(7549):1052.New growth charts for infants and young children can be applied globally, says the World Health Organization. The charts will enable doctors and others to detect and tackle growth related conditions, such as undernutrition, overweight, and obesity, at an early stage. The new child growth standards confirm that children given healthy growth conditions born anywhere in the world--be it India, Brazil, or Norway--have the potential to develop to within the same range of height and weight. They prove that differences in children's growth to the age of 5 are influenced more by nutrition, feeding practices, environment, and health care than by genetics and ethnic group. "The WHO child growth standards provide new means to support every child to get the best chance to develop in the most important formative years," said Dr Lee Jong-wook, WHO's director general. "In this regard, this tool will serve to reduce death and disease in infants and young children." (excerpt)
Integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective: violence against women. The Due Diligence standard as a tool for the elimination of violence against women. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Erturk.
[Geneva, Switzerland], United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2006 Jan 20. 27 p. (E/CN.4/2006/61)This is my third report to the Commission in my capacity as the Special Rapporteur on the violence against women, its causes and consequences, submitted pursuant to Commission resolution 2005/41. Chapter I of the report summarizes my activities in 2005 and chapter II examines the due diligence standard as a tool for the effective implementation of women's human rights, including the right to live a life free from violence. The failure of international human rights law to adequately reflect and respond to the experiences and needs of women has stimulated much debate on the mainstream application of human rights standards. This has resulted in the transformation of the conventional understanding of human rights and the doctrine of State responsibility. The 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women as well as other international instruments adopted the concept of due diligence, in relation to violence against women, as a yardstick to assess whether the State has met its obligation. Under the due diligence obligation, States have a duty to take positive action to prevent and protect women from violence, punish perpetuators of violent acts and compensate victims of violence. However, the application of due diligence standard, to date, has tended to be State-centric and limited to responding to violence when it occurs, largely neglecting the obligation to prevent and compensate and the responsibility of non-State actors. (excerpt)
Revista de Saude Publica / Journal of Public Health. 2006 Apr; 40 Suppl:94-100.The objective of this study was to analyze, on the national level, the process of monitoring the proposed UNGASS indicators through the use of the Brazilian National Program for STD/AIDS's indicators. Two groups of proposed indicators were analyzed in 2002 and 2005 respectively, as part of the monitoring of the progress of the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment. The availability of information and limitations in calculating the proposed indicators in Brazil were analyzed and the appropriateness of the indicators for monitoring the epidemic in Brazil was discussed. Of the 13 quantitative indicators originally proposed by UNGASS, five were not included in the National Program. One was not included due to its qualitative nature. Two of the indicators were considered to be of little use and two were not included due to the lack of available data needed for their calculation. As the epidemic in Brazil is characterized as being concentrated, within the second group of proposed UNGASS indicators those that refer to the accompaniment of epidemic among high-risk population groups were prioritized. The study highlights that the National Program concentrates its efforts in the development, adaptation, and sharing of sampling methodologies for hard to reach populations. Such activities are geared towards estimating the size of vulnerable population groups, as well as obtaining more information regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and practices. The study concludes that by creating the possibility of international comparisons between advances achieved, the proposal of supranational indicators stimulates countries to discuss and make their construction viable. In a complementary way, the national monitoring systems should focus on program improvement by covering areas that permit the evaluation of specific control and intervention actions. (author's)
Revista de Saude Publica / Journal of Public Health. 2006 Apr; 40 Suppl:80-87.The paper critically analyzes, from the gender standpoint, official results presented in the Brazilian government report to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/ AIDS (UNAIDS). Specifically, the fulfillment of 2003 targets set forth in the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, under the category of Human Rights and Reduction of the Economic and Social Impact of AIDS, are evaluated. Key concepts are highlighted, including indicators and strategies that may help civilian society better monitor these targets until 2010. (author's)
Monitoring and evaluating actions implemented to confront AIDS in Brazil: civil society's participation.
Revista de Saude Publica / Journal of Public Health. 2006 Apr; 40 Suppl:88-93.The United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS recommends that governments conduct periodic analysis of actions undertaken in confronting the HIV/ AIDS epidemic that involve civil society's participation. Specific instruments and mechanisms should be created towards this end. This paper examines some of the responses of the Brazilian government to this recommendation. Analysis contemplates the Declaration's proposals as to civil society's participation in monitoring and evaluating such actions and their adequacy with respect to Brazilian reality. The limitations and potentials of MONITORAIDS, the matrix of indicators created by Brazil's Programa Nacional de DST/AIDS [National Program for STD/AIDS] to monitor the epidemic are discussed. Results indicate that MONITORAIDS's complexity hampers its use by the conjunction of actors involved in the struggle against AIDS. The establishment of mechanisms that facilitate the appropriation of this system by all those committed to confronting the epidemic in Brazil is suggested. (author's)
African Population Studies/Etude de la Population Africaine. 2006; 21(1):19-36.Relatively scant knowledge is available on the situations of older persons in sub-Saharan Africa. Reliable and accessible demographic and health statistics are needed to inform policy making for the older population. The process and outcome of a project to create a minimum data set (MDS) on ageing and older persons to provide an evidence base to inform policy are described. The project was initiated by the World Health Organization and conducted in Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. A set of indicators was established to constitute a sub-regional MDS, populated from data sources in the four countries; a national MDS was produced for each country. Major gaps and deficiencies were identified in the available data and difficulties were experienced in accessing data. Specific gaps, and constraints against the production and access of quality data in the subregion are examined. The project and outcome are evaluated and lessons are drawn. Tasks for future phases of the project to complete and maintain the MDS are outlined. (author's)
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)
Monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV / AIDS. Guidelines on construction of core indicators. Revised.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2002 Dec. 72 p. (UNAIDS/02.51E)The purpose of the current guidelines is to provide countries with technical guidance on the detailed specification of the indicators, on the information required and the basis of their construction, and on their interpretation. These guidelines aim to maximize the validity, internal consistency and comparability across countries and over time of the indicator estimates obtained, and to ensure consistency in the types of data and methods of calculation employed. (excerpt)
Towards universal access to prevention, treatment and care: experiences and challenges from the Mbeya region in Tanzania -- a case study.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2007 Mar. 49 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS/07.11E; JC1291E)This study takes stock of the situation in Mbeya in 2005, documenting the region's continuing efforts to build on the Regional Programme's strong comprehensive prevention approaches to further increase their coverage while strengthening the new district focus, expanding multisectoral work and making available antiretroviral treatment. In doing so, this study describes Mbeya's progress towards universal access and identifies ongoing challenges. Through its comprehensive, decentralized and multisectoral approaches and the continuing efforts of a variety of actors, the region appears to be in a better position to reach universal access than other parts of Tanzania and Africa in general. The experiences of the Mbeya region to date can serve as lessons learnt to other parts of the country and, more broadly, the continent. This publication is neither a scientific study nor an evaluation of the Regional Programme. It is an analytical description of HIV control activities in the region to date and their status to date. Its focus is mainly on access. The programmes presented here follow national and international recommendations. The quality of the individual programmes, however, has not been assessed for the purpose of this publication. (excerpt)
Monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV / AIDS. Guidelines on construction of core indicators. 2008 reporting.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2007 Apr. 139 p. (UNAIDS/07.12E; JC1318E)The primary purpose of this document is to provide key constituents who are actively involved in a country's response to AIDS with essential information on core indicators that measure the effectiveness of the national response. These guidelines will also help ensure the consistency and transparency of the process used by national governments. In addition, this information can be used by UNAIDS to prepare regional and global progress reports on implementation of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. Countries are strongly encouraged to integrate the core indicators into their ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities. These indicators are designed to help countries assess the current state of their national response while simultaneously contributing to a better understanding of the global response to the AIDS pandemic, including progress towards meeting the targets in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/ AIDS. Given the dual purposes of the indicators, the guidelines in this document are designed to improve the quality and consistency of data collected at the country level, which will enhance the accuracy of conclusions drawn from the data at both national and global levels. This document also includes an overview of global indicators that will be used by UNAIDS and its partners to assess key components of the response that are best measured on a worldwide basis. (excerpt)
Putting young people into national poverty reduction strategies: a guide to statistics on young people in poverty.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], . 35 p.Many national poverty reduction strategies overlook the needs of young people. Even where national strategies do have a youth focus, the analysis of their situation is limited because little or no reference is made to readily available data. For those advocating on behalf of young people in poverty, considerable scope exists to make use of simple but reputable statistics to mount a strong case for Governments and civil society to allocate more resources in addressing poverty among this major population group. The purpose of this guide is to show how relevant statistics on young people in poverty can be easily sourced for use in developing national poverty reduction strategies. The guide shows how to use accessible databases on the Internet to provide individual countries with sophisticated statistical profile of young people in poverty. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development, 2008. 20 p.The first few days and weeks of life are among the most critical for child survival. Every year, an estimated 4 million children die during the first month of life. Almost all of these deaths (98%) occur in developing countries. Most neonatal deaths are due to ore-term birth, asphyxia and infections such as sepsis, tetanus and pneumonia. In 2006-2007, to support efforts by countries and regions to reduce newborn deaths, we worked to build capacity for the planning and delivery of improved newborn care services in health facilities and communities, to provide tools and guidance for extending population coverage, and to evaluate the impact of all those actions. (excerpt)
International Family Planning Perspectives. 2008 Jun; 34(2):101-102.At the midpoint of the 15-year timetable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the majority of countries with high levels of maternal and child mortality are not on track to meet the targets for reductions in these outcomes by 2015, according to a recent analysis.1 Among the 68 countries that account for the vast majority of maternal and child deaths, only 16 are on track to reduce mortality among children younger than five to one-third of its 1990 level (Goal 4). Progress toward reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters (Goal 5) has been slow as well: In all 41 Sub-Saharan African countries included in the analysis, at least 300 maternal deaths occur per 100,000 live births. The research was conducted by Countdown to 2015, a collaboration of researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders that has been tracking progress toward the Millennium Development Goals in the 68 countries in which 97% of deaths among women of childbearing age and children younger than five occur. Researchers focused on determining coverage rates (the proportion of individuals in each country who need a service and are able to obtain it) for interventions that have been proven to avert maternal, newborn and child deaths, that can be widely implemented in resource-poor countries, and whose levels can be reliably estimated across countries and over time; these interventions include provision of contraceptive and STI services, skilled care during childbirth, and pre- and postnatal care. Most of the data were obtained through nationally representative household surveys. (excerpt)
Comparison of the new World Health Organization growth standards and the National Center for Health Statistics growth reference regarding mortality of malnourished children treated in a 2006 nutrition program in Niger.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2009 Feb; 163(2):126-30.OBJECTIVE: To compare the National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) international growth reference with the new World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards for identification of the malnourished (wasted) children most at risk of death. DESIGN: Retrospective data analysis. SETTING: A Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) nutrition program in Maradi, Niger, in 2006 that treated moderately and severely malnourished children. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 53 661 wasted children aged 6 months to 5 years (272 of whom died) in the program were included. INTERVENTIONS: EpiNut (Epi Info 6.0; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia) software was used to calculate the percentage of the median for the NCHS reference group, and the WHO (igrowup macro; Geneva, Switzerland) software was used to calculate z scores for the WHO standards group of the 53 661 wasted children. OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures are the difference in classification of children as either moderate or severely malnourished according to the NCHS growth reference and the new WHO growth standards, specifically focusing on children who died during the program. RESULTS: Of the children classified as moderately wasted using the NCHS reference, 37% would have been classified as severely wasted according to the new WHO growth standards. These children were almost 3 times more likely to die than those classified as moderately wasted by both references, and deaths in this group constituted 47% of all deaths in the program. CONCLUSIONS: The new WHO growth standards identifies more children as severely wasted compared with the NCHS growth reference, including children at high mortality risk who would potentially otherwise be excluded from some therapeutic feeding programs.
Measuring the level of effort in the national and international response to HIV / AIDS: The AIDS Program Effort Index (API).
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2001 Feb. 31 p.UNAIDS, USAID and the POLICY Project have developed the AIDS Program Effort Index (API) to measure program effort in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The index is designed to provide a profile that describes national effort and the international contribution to that effort. The API was applied to 40 countries in 2000. The results show that program effort is relatively high in the areas of legal and regulatory environment, policy formulation and organizational structure. Political support was somewhat lower but increased the most from 1998. Monitoring and evaluation and prevention programs scored in the middle range, about 50 out of 100 possible points. The lowest rated components were resources and care. The API also measured the availability of key prevention and care services. Overall, essential services are available to about half of the people living in urban areas but to only about one-quarter of the entire population. International efforts to assist country programs received relatively high rating in all categories except care. The results presented here will be supplemented later this year with a new component on human rights and a score that compares countries on program effort. (excerpt)
Measuring the level of effort in the national and international response to HIV / AIDS: The AIDS Programme Effort Index (API). Summary report.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, . 24 p.UNAIDS, USAID and the POLICY Project have developed the AIDS Programme Effort Index (API) to measure programme effort in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The index is designed to provide a profile that describes national effort and the international contribution to that effort. The API was applied to 40 countries in 2000. The results show that programme effort is relatively high in the areas of legal and regulatory environment, policy formulation and organizational structure. Political support was somewhat lower but increased the most from 1998. Monitoring and evaluation and prevention programmes scored in the middle range, about 50 out of 100 possible points. The lowest rated components were resources and care. The API also measured the availability of key prevention and care services. Overall, essential services are available to about half of the people living in urban areas but to only about one-quarter of the entire population. International efforts to assist country programmes received relatively high rating in all categories except care. The results presented here will be supplemented later in 2001 with a new component on human rights. (excerpt)
Indicators for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: definitions, rationale, concepts and sources.
New York, New York, United Nations, 2003 Oct.  p.This handbook contains basic metadata on the agreed list of quantitative indicators for monitoring progress towards the 8 goals and 18 targets derived from the Millennium Declaration. The list of indicators, developed using several criteria, is not intended to be prescriptive but to take into account the country setting and the views of various stakeholders in preparing country-level reports. Five main criteria guided the selection of indicators. They should: Provide relevant and robust measures of progress towards the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Be clear and straightforward to interpret and provide a basis for international comparison. Be broadly consistent with other global lists and avoid imposing an unnecessary burden on country teams, governments and other partners. Be based to the greatest extent possible on international standards, recommendations and best practices. Be constructed from well-established data sources, be quantifiable and be consistent to enable measurement over time. The handbook is designed to provide the United Nations country teams and national and international stakeholders with guidance on the definitions, rationale, concepts and sources of the data for the indicators that are being used to monitor the Millennium Development Goals. Just as the indicator list is dynamic and will necessarily evolve in response to changing national situations, so will the metadata change over time as concepts, definitions and methodologies change. (excerpt)
The level of effort in the national response to HIV / AIDS: the AIDS Program Effort Index (API), 2003 round.
Washington, D.C., USAID, 2003 Dec.  p.The success of HIV/AIDS programs can be affected by many factors, including political commitment, program effort, socio-cultural context, political systems, economic development, extent and duration of the epidemic , and resources available. Many programs track low-level inputs (e.g., training workshops conducted, condoms distributed) or outcomes (e.g., percentage of acts protected by condom use). Measures of program effort are generally confined to the existence or lack of major program elements (e.g., condom social marketing, counseling and testing). To assist countries in such evaluation efforts, several guides have been developed by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other organizations (see, for example, “Meeting the Behavioural Data Collection Needs of National HIV/AIDS and STD Programmes” and “National AIDS Programs: A Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Programs”). However, information about the policy environment, level of political support, and other contextual issues affecting the success and failure of national AIDS programs has not been addressed previously. (excerpt)
Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], .  pThe purpose of this paper was originally to assist the deliberation of the High-Level Intergovernmental Meeting, Beijing +10, (Bangkok 7-10 September, 2004) by presenting a summary of the current situation of women in relation to men in a number of key areas in the Asia-Pacific region. This revised version forms the first volume in a series of two papers, all aimed at addressing major developments in the situation of women in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia- Pacific region as defined by ESCAP’s membership includes some 50 countries in the region and some 9 territories covering East and North-East Asia, North and Central Asia, South and South-West Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. It has repeatedly been demonstrated that data are key to catalyzing and monitoring progress, as well as supporting country-level planning and local accountability. Gender statistics has therefore been a priority area in ESCAP’s statistical capacity building work for many years. As a result, considerable statistical progress has been achieved in the region since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995 adopted the strategic objective “to generate and disseminate sex-disaggregated data and information for planning and evaluation”. (excerpt)
Studies in Family Planning. 2005 Dec; 36(4):311-315.Women in many countries are often denied vital family planning services if they are not menstruating when they present at clinics, for fear that they might be pregnant. A simple checklist based on criteria approved by the World Health Organization has been developed to help providers rule out pregnancy among such clients, but its use is not yet widespread. Researchers in Guatemala, Mali, and Senegal conducted operations research to determine whether a simple, replicable introduction of this checklist improved access to contraceptive services by reducing the proportion of clients denied services. From 2001 to 2003, sociodemographic and service data were collected from 4,823 women from 16 clinics in three countries. In each clinic, data were collected prior to introduction of the checklist and again three to six weeks after the intervention. Among new family planning clients, denial of the desired method due to menstrual status decreased significantly from 16 percent to 2 percent in Guatemala and from 11 percent to 6 percent in Senegal. Multivariate analyses and bivariate analyses of changes within subgroups of nonmenstruating clients confirmed and reinforced these statistically significant findings. In Mali, denial rates were essentially unchanged, but they were low from the start. Where denial of services to nonmenstruating family planning clients was a problem, introduction of the pregnancy checklist significantly reduced denial rates. This simple, inexpensive job aid improves women's access to essential family planning services. (author's)
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2004; 25 Suppl 1:S5-S14.The rationale for developing a new international growth reference derived principally from a Working Group on infant growth established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990. It recommended an approach that described how children should grow rather than describing how children grow; that an international sampling frame be used to highlight the similarity in early childhood growth among diverse ethnic groups; that modern analytical methods be exploited; and that links among anthropometric assessments and functional outcomes be included to the fullest possible extent. Upgrading international growth references to resemble standards more closely will assist in monitoring and attaining a wide variety of international goals related to health and other aspects of social equity. In addition to providing scientifically robust tools, a new reference based on a global sample of children whose health needs are met will provide a useful advocacy tool to health-care providers and others with interests in promoting child health. (author's)