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  1. 1

    Immunizations: three centuries of success and ongoing challenges [editorial]

    Feijo RB; Safadi MA

    Jornal de Pediatria. 2006; 82 Suppl(3):S1-S3.

    In the last few decades, immunization -- one of the greatest breakthroughs in health sciences -- has increasingly gained significant ground all over the world. Advances in general sciences, microbiology, pharmacology and immunology have, together with results of epidemiology and sociology studies, demonstrated the remarkable impact of vaccines on society and the importance of vaccination in health promotion and disease prevention. In the beginning of the 17th century, smallpox was one of the most devastating communicable diseases in the world; it affected most individuals before they reached adulthood, and had high mortality rates. Lady Mary Montagu, wife of the British ambassador in Istanbul at the time, observed that the disease could be avoided by using a technique adopted by Muslims, who inoculated dried pus from smallpox pustules obtained from an infected patient into the skin of healthy individuals. This procedure, known as "variolation," probably originated in China; later, it was taken to Western Europe. Although it led to several cases of death due to smallpox, it was used in England and in the United States until the beginning of investigations by British physician Edward Jenner, whose research results were published in the study Variolae Vaccinae in 1798. Dr. Jenner studied peasants who developed a benign condition known as "vaccinia" due to their contact with cowpox, and his investigation resulted in the development of the first immunization techniques. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    World population 1950-2000: perception and response.

    Demeny P; McNicoll G

    Population and Development Review. 2006; 32 Suppl:1-51.

    By the end of the twentieth century, although expansion of population numbers in the developing world still had far to run, the pace had greatly slowed: widespread declines in birth rates had taken place and looked set to continue. To what degree population policies played a significant role in this epochal transformation of demographic regimes remains a matter of conjecture and controversy. It seems likely that future observers will be impressed by the essential similarities in the path to demographic modernity that successive countries have taken in the last few centuries, rather than discerning a demographic exceptionalism in the most recent period--with achievement of the latter credited to deliberate policy design. But that eventual judgment, whatever it may be, needs to be based on an understanding of how demographic change over the last half-century has been perceived and the responses it has elicited--an exercise in political demography. Such an exercise, inevitably tentative given the recency of the events, is essayed in this chapter. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    Fatal misconception: the struggle to control world population.

    Connelly M

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, Belknap Press, 2008. xiv, 521 p.

    Rather than a conspiracy theory, this book presents a cautionary tale. It is a story about the future, and not just the past. It therefore takes the form of a narrative unfolding over time, including very recent times. It describes the rise of a movement that sought to remake humanity, the reaction of those who fought to preserve patriarchy, and the victory won for the reproductive rights of both women and men -- a victory, alas, Pyrrhic and incomplete, after so many compromises, and too many sacrifices. (Excerpt)
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    The World Health Organization and its work. 1993.

    Bynum WF; Porter R

    American Journal of Public Health. 2008 Sep; 98(9):1594-7.

    In 1948, after its first World Health Assembly, the WHO took action to form a Secretariat in Geneva. It was given space for its initial years in the Palais des Nations, which had been the last home of the League of Nations. As stated in Chapter I of its Constitution, WHO was "to act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work." This was a much broader scope than any other international agency in the orbit of the UN. (excerpt)
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  5. 5

    Reclaiming the ABCs: the creation and evolution of the ABC approach.

    Hardee K; Gribble J; Weber S; Manchester T; Wood M

    Washington, D.C., Population Action International, 2008. [16] p.

    This report was developed through review of the early literature on HIV/AIDS policies and programs in non-industrialized countries and of media material promoting prevention of heterosexual transmission of HIV in those countries. Material from the early days of the epidemic was difficult to obtain. Most materials were long ago archived or are in personal files in "basements". While the report focuses on the experiences of three countries, it also examines the early responses of international organizations to HIV in many other developing countries. Additional data were obtained using a snowball sampling technique through which the authors contacted people who had worked in HIV/AIDS prevention strategies. The pool of respondents is not intended to be exhaustive, but the respondents provide important voices of those working in the developing world at the beginning of the epidemic.
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  6. 6

    Women's organizations in El Salvador: history, accomplishments, and international support. [Organizaciones femeninas en El Salvador: historia, logros y apoyo internacional]

    Ready K; Stephen L; Cosgrove S

    In: Women and civil war. Impact, organizations, and action, edited by Krishna Kumar. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001. 183-203.

    Women's organizations in El Salvador have undergone a unique evolution, first in relation to the conditions of war that permeated El Salvador from 1980 to 1992 and then in response to economic restructuring and the challenges of democratization following the war. The conditions of El Salvador's civil war, along with the fact that many women's organizations became stronger during the war, have resulted in a unique set of organizations that are marked by their autonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Early-conflict women's organizations (1980 to 1985) were characterized by their attachment to a wide range of popular grass-roots organizations and attempts to incorporate women into these groups. Many of these organizations mobilized women around economic issues, survival in the war, and human rights. A few formed in this period began to work with battered women and to question women's legal, political, and domestic subordination. Few, however, were willing to embrace the concept of feminism. Late-conflict and post-conflict women's organizations (1986 to 2001) are characterized by women challenging gender hierarchies within mixed grass-roots organizations and putting forth a gendered discourse on specific women's rights, ranging from violence against women to inequities in the labor force. Feminism also became more prevalent during this time. In this chapter we look at the particular changes found in women's organizations and link them to specific historical, social, and economic circumstances. We then evaluate what the impact of women's organizations has been in terms of empowering Salvadoran women and make recommendations for international donor organizations so that they can better serve Salvadoran women's organizations. (excerpt)
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  7. 7

    Planned Parenthood Federation of Thailand addresses domestic violence.

    International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]

    [London, England], IPPF, 2002 Oct 18. 2 p.

    This news article traces the progress of the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand's efforts in addressing the issue of domestic violence against women and children since its pilot study in 1997. Its focus on reproductive health (RH) services has expanded to include training, counseling and services on sexual and RH, family planning, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, women's empowerment, promotion of male responsibility and services for adolescents.
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  8. 8
    Peer Reviewed

    The conceptual framework for estimating food energy requirement.

    Ferro-Luzzi A

    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)
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  9. 9

    Globalisation and Pakistan's dilemma of development.

    Gardezi HN

    Pakistan Development Review. 2004 Winter; 43(4 Pt 1):423-440.

    Pakistan's development project that was initiated in the 1950s with a focus on creating a prosperous and equitable society, making the benefits of scientific advancement and progress available to all the people, got lost somewhere in the labyrinth of development fashions and econometric modelling learned in American universities and World Bank/IMF seminars. The latest of these fashions being eagerly followed by the economic managers of the state is the implementation of structural adjustments, termed "Washington Consensus" by some, flowing from the operative rules and ideological framework of neo-liberal globalisation. In practice these adjustments, euphemistically called reforms, have foreclosed the possibility of improving the condition of working masses, not only in Pakistan but globally, including the developed West. If Pakistan is to reclaim its original people-centred development project, it will have to set its own priorities of development in the context of indigenous realities shared in common with its South Asian neighbours. Following the globalisation agenda at the behest of the Washington-based IFIs will sink the country into ever greater debt and mass poverty. (author's)
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  10. 10
    Peer Reviewed

    Skirting the issue: women and international health in historical perspective.

    Birn AE

    American Journal of Public Health. 1999 Mar; 89(3):399-407.

    Despite conceptual advances that incorporate broad structural approaches, international agencies embrace a persistent reliance on "reductionist reproductive terms" to define women's health. This article locates the origins of this phenomenon in the policies and activities of the Rockefeller Foundation's (RF) public health program in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. After an introduction, the article describes the Mexican work of the RF and how it "stumbled upon" gender health differentials during a hookworm eradication campaign and then furthered gender stereotypes in its health education materials. The article continues with a consideration of the RF's eventual dual targeting of women as patients and as public health workers (nurses) during the effort to create permanent health units and institute a system of nurses who visited homes as proponents of the supremacy of modern medicine. Next, the article describes how the RF further entered women's domain by identifying, monitoring, and training traditional midwives. This targeting of midwives coupled with a total disregard for every aspect of traditional midwifery reflected the RF's policy of blaming midwives for infant mortality while ignoring socioeconomic determinants. The policy also exacerbated the differentials of social class by elevated working- and middle-class nurses and denigrating peasant midwives. The article concludes that the RF's faulty and often ineffectual policies in Mexico created the women's health paradigm based on reproduction that was later intensified by population control efforts and that fails to advance health for all as a matter of equity.
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  11. 11

    The first 40 years.

    FORUM. 1994 Jun; 10(1):36-41.

    1994 marks the 40th anniversary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Western Hemisphere Region (WHR). At its inception, the WHR had only 4 family planning (FP) associations (FPAs) outside of the US (in Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico). The WHR was unique among the 6 regions of the IPPF in that it was registered as a non-profit agency in New York and was organized with an independent Board of Directors. Early advocates of FP had to operate in a legal climate which held that promoting contraception would promote immorality. As social legitimization forced a change in the laws, scientific advancements made ever more reliable contraception methods available. The goal of the WHR from the start was to bring FP to Latin America. In 1960, a breakthrough made by the University of Chile in the collection of statistics about the incidence of illegal abortion confirmed the worst suspicions of the medical establishment. Further research in Uruguay revealed that the women of Montevideo had 3 abortions for every live birth. While the medical establishment wondered how to provide contraceptive services on a large enough scale to combat this problem in Catholic countries, Ofelia Mendoza, a staff member of the WHR, visited Dr. Hermogenes Alvarez in Uruguay to offer him the financial and moral support of the IPPF. Dr. Alvarez then opened the first IPPF affiliate in all of South America in 1961, even though he had to resign his position as Dean of the Medical School to do so. Ms. Mendoza also took the IPPF message to Chile where Dr. Benjamin Viel established the Chilean Association for Family Protection in 1962. In Chile, the government agreed to provide contraceptive services if the FPA provided information and education to support the program. Soon FPAs were established throughout Latin America. As governments changed, FPAs were closed in Argentina and Peru and later reopened. In Peru, Dr. Miguel Ramos was jailed briefly for defying a government order to cease offering services. Since all of the countries, except Chile, had laws which would obviate the FPAs, they kept a low profile and depended on word-of-mouth promotion of their activities. However, by 1970, PROFAMILIA, in Colombia, began to adopt aggressive promotion tactics. PROFAMILIA began a national radio advertising campaign which made the clinic in Bogota the busiest in the world. In order to reach distant populations, PROFAMILIA recruited and trained community-based distributors (CBDs) to sell contraceptives and make medical referrals. Then they applied the tactic to the urban slums. By 1972, BEMFAM in Brazil was enlisting the cooperation of states and municipalities in its programs. It set up the largest CBD system in the world. This tradition of innovation spread throughout the region. Today, the second regional director, Dr. Hernan Sanhueza, oversees a region which provides half of the FP services delivered worldwide by a third of the number of FPAs in the world. The challenge faced by the WHR today is to expand its donor base. Those who wish to see an excellent model of North-South integration can find it in the WHR of the IPPF.
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  12. 12

    A regional call to arms -- 1946-1958.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]


    In February 1946, a United Nations Technical Preparatory Committee for the International Health Conference met to create an international health organization, the World Health Organization. The International Health Conference convened on June 19, 1946. On July 22, 1946, 61 states signed the Constitution of the World Health Organization. The XII Pan American Sanitary Conference, held in Caracas, Venezuela, in January 1947 decided to consolidate the Pan American Sanitary Bureau's separate identity, reorganizing it as the Pan American Sanitary Organization (PASO). PASO was to cooperate with WHO without becoming absorbed by it. The Bureau of PASO focused on addressing such epidemic diseases as typhoid, smallpox, plague, malaria, and dysentery; excessive child mortality; inadequate nutrition; lack of modern hospitals; and low average life expectancy. The Bureau had special programs for the eradication of Aedes aegypti and malaria. It organized seminars, special training courses, and workshops, awarded fellowships, and helped schools expand their courses. Special projects on health administration, mental health, and alcoholism were developed. The Bureau set up immunization campaigns against diphtheria and whooping cough in unison with UNICEF. In 1949, the eradication of yaws was proposed, and the Bureau and UNICEF launched a successful program based on universal application of a single penicillin shot. In 1950, the eradication of smallpox was initiated, and subsequently PAHO promoted studies to perfect the dried smallpox vaccine for tropical climates. In 1950 the XIV Pan American Sanitary Conference declared the eradication of malaria a priority goal. The Bureau and the countries no longer focused on preventing the passing of diseases from one country to another but on eradicating diseases at their very source.
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  13. 13

    The burgeoning Bureau -- 1920-1946.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]


    The 6th International Sanitary Conference of the American Republics met in Montevideo, Uruguay, December 12-20, 1920, and elected the US Surgeon General, Dr. Hugh S. Cumming, to head the Pan American Sanitary Bureau. When the 7th Pan American Sanitary Conference met in Havana, Cuba, in 1924, it drafted a Pan American Sanitary Code, which was eventually ratified as an international treaty by all 21 republics. The Bureau assumed in 1926 responsibility for the Pan American Conferences of National Directors of Health of the American Republics. Taking place between Pan American Sanitary Conferences, 6 Conferences of National Directors were held between 1926 and 1948. In the annual report of the Director for 1922, the Bureau's areas of activity had been limited to sanitary engineering, medical instruction conferences, smallpox vaccination, health education materials, ship fumigation, and solid waste incineration. The Director's report for 1927 noted widening continental concerns: drug addiction, venereal disease, sanitary administration, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, leprosy, trachoma, malaria, puericulture, climate and disease, and immigration. Health conditions according to the report of the director for 1930-1931 included plague in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Chile; yellow fever, mostly in Brazil; typhus in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and the United States; undulant fever in the United States; onchocerciasis in Guatemala and Mexico; malaria in many of the countries; tuberculosis and small pox in practically all of them; measles and whooping cough in all the countries; and an increasing cancer death rate throughout the region. In April 1936 the directors approved a 7-point program on yellow fever control; discussed bubonic plague, brucellosis, malaria, trachoma, and onchocerciasis; industrial hygiene, maternal and child health, control of venereal disease and malaria, smallpox, typhoid and diphtheria vaccines, and continuation of experimental work in the use of bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine.
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  14. 14

    The right to health -- 1958-1975.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]


    In signing the Act of Bogota in 1960, the member countries of the Organization of American States agreed to cooperate in promoting accelerated economic and social development. The Charter of Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 1961, had the objectives of increasing life expectancy by a minimum of 5 years and improving health. Death rates for infectious diseases were 41% lower in 1963 compared to 1956; those for diseases of the digestive system decreased 35%; and those resulting from ill-defined causes dropped 35%. Malaria deaths dropped from an annual average of 43,368 during 1950-1952 to 2285 in 1964. The Ten-Year Health Plan for the Americas, 1971-1980, gave first priority to the rights of the 120 million people without access to even minimal care. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) continued its efforts to eradicate Aedes aegypti, vector of both yellow fever and dengue. To combat poliomyelitis, PAHO collaborated on trials of live attenuated poliovirus vaccine. It also prepared a continental plan to combat tuberculosis and intensify leprosy case detection. Other targets were measles, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid fever, plague, and such parasitic afflictions as Chagas' disease and schistosomiasis. Both the Charter of Punta del Este and the Ten-Year Health Program singled out sanitation, water supplies, and sewerage services, and during the 1960s and 1970s PAHO gave priority to environmental health. During this period its rural health strategy targeted some 40% of the population; and between 1970 and 1973, 35-40% of the total PAHO budget was dedicated to educational activities. Immunization programs were stepped up, breast-feeding stressed, education of mothers promoted, and prenatal and perinatal health services emphasized. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, PAHO developed research projects in acute infections, nutritional states, the role of Simuliidae as vectors of onchocerciasis, live attenuated virus vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease, and zoonoses and their prevention.
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  15. 15

    Health and the environment.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]


    In 1902 the First General International Sanitary Convention specified that countries should dispose of garbage to prevent the spread of diseases and to disinfect the discharges of all typhoid and cholera patients. The Pan American Sanitary Bureau was to elicit information regarding the sanitary conditions in their ports and territories and to encourage seaport sanitation, sewage disposal, soil drainage, street paving, and elimination of the sources of infection from buildings. The 2nd and 3rd Pan American Conferences of National Directors of Health, in 1931 and 1936, focused on topics of urban and rural sanitation, safe water and milk supplies, and industrial hygiene. In 1948 the Inter American Association of Sanitary Engineering (AIDIS) was created for the exchange of new ideas, experiences, and technologies. From 1942 to 1948, these special public health services benefited an estimated 23 million people by extending potable water supply and sanitation in the region and training hundreds of Latin American sanitary engineers. The 1961 American Governments' Charter of Punta del Este envisioned extending, over a 10-year period, water supply and excreta disposal services to 70% of the urban and 50% of the rural populations. In 1968, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) established the Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences (CEPIS), with headquarters in Lima. Over the years, CEPIS projects have encompassed air pollution, wastewater treatment and stabilization ponds, water treatment systems, solid waste collection and treatment, development of water and sewerage systems, and industrial hygiene. The 10-Year Health Plan for the Americas (1971-1980) stipulated that cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants establish programs to control pollution. 10 years later, actual coverage was: urban water supply, 82%; urban sewerage, 78%; rural water supply, 47%; and rural excreta disposal, 22%. PAHO's recent policy, Strategic Orientations and Program Priorities for 1991-1994, formulates workers' health programs with the aim of increasing service coverage to curtail risks to occupational health.
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  16. 16

    Health: a condition for development.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]


    The decisions of the first Pan American Sanitary Conferences, which focused on improving sanitary conditions and decreasing pestilent diseases in ports and territories, undoubtedly were aimed at facilitating international trade. The creation of the International Sanitary Bureau and the adoption of the Pan American Sanitary Code were pivotal steps in establishing a firm basis for hemisphere-wide cooperation. The VIII Pan American Sanitary Conference, held in 1927, recommended that member countries establish special agencies within their health administrations in order to ensure the best possible living and working conditions for workers. The creation of the World Health Organization in 1948 represented an enormous humanitarian step, in that it legitimized the desire of the majority of the countries in the world to consider health as a fundamental human right. An agreement signed in 1950 with the Organization of American States set forth PAHO's functions as a specialized inter-American agency, defining the way in which the 2 organizations would coordinate their efforts and reinforcing the concept of health as a basic component of development. Particular emphasis was placed on programs aimed at controlling various diseases as, for example, the malaria campaign; projects to supply water; and general sanitation, as a means of preventing basic health problems. The 10-Year Health Plan for the Americas covered the 1970s. The target of health for all by the year 2000 was adopted in 1977 by the 30th World Health Assembly. By 1980, all the countries had formulated national health strategies and many had developed health sector plans. The campaign launched in 1985 to eradicate poliomyelitis was successful. Some countries had succeeded in boosting life expectancy, reducing infant mortality, and increasing immunization against the common childhood diseases. Yet after 2 decades of economic growth, the number of poor people had increased by 50%, inequalities had been exacerbated, and numerous health needs were not being met.
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  17. 17

    Improving people's health through planning.

    Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]


    From 1961 onwards, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been instrumental in the setting of regional health plans, each of which has served as a blueprint for hemispheric and national action. In 1961, when the Charter of Punta del Este proclaimed the 10-year public health program of the Alliance for Progress, health became a concern of chiefs of state. The 10-year public health program set forth the goals to increase life expectancy by a minimum of 5 years and to improve individual and public health. In 1963 the Task Force on Health at the ministerial level met. PAHO convened over a 15-year period a series of 4 special meetings of Ministers of Health. PAHO and the Center for Development and Social Studies (CENDES) in Venezuela worked together to devise the CENDES/PAHO method of normative planning. The presidents of most of the American states, meeting in Punta del Este in 1967, committed themselves to the expansion of programs for the improvement of health. At the 1972 meeting the ministers devised a new 10-Year Health Plan for the Americas declaring health a universal right. At the 1977 meeting the ministers endorsed the goal of health for all; they adopted a regional policy that defined primary health care. In 1980 the regional strategies spelled out the targets essential to achieving the goal of health for all by the year 2000: immunization services will be provided by 1990 to 100% of children under 1 year of age; and access to safe drinking water and sewage disposal will be extended to 100% of the population. During 1987-1990 PAHO was to channel its efforts toward development of health services infrastructures with emphasis on primary health care. The XXIII Pan American Sanitary Conference, meeting in 1990, established guidelines for 1991-1994 in the area of health programs, the environment, food and nutrition, eradication of preventable diseases, maternal and child health, workers' health, drug addiction, and AIDS.
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  18. 18

    The early years of the Population Commission.

    Hauser PM


    Attention is focused on the work of the Population Commisision in the 1st decade after its establishment, in 1946. The 1st Commission, composed of 12 respected professionals in demography and related fields, drew up a set of recommendations which largely formed the agenda of the Commission at its next 5 sessions. In the 1st decade of the Commission a significant number of countries had not taken a census and lacked accurate vital statistics. Nevertheless, the Commission members were well aware of demographic levels and trends in both the developed and the developing countries. Therefore, the Commission emphasized assistance to governments in developing their own demographic data. But it was also concerned with exploring interrelationships between population and various aspects of economic and social development. Despite basic differences among the delegates, relating to both population theory and policy, a concensus was achieved on many important matters, especially those relating to the improvement of demographic data, technical assistance, and the training of demographers. The legacy of publications from the 1st decade, such as "The Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends" (1953), attests to the productivity of the population division and the quality of the direction provided by the Population Commission. However, the Secretariat also responded to requests from other bodies and exercised its own initiative in addressing problems deemed of general interest. (author's modified)
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  19. 19

    Demographic estimates and projections.

    El-Badry MA; Kono S


    The periodic assessment of global population growth from the past to the future has been one of the UN's most important contributions to member states and many other users. Available data and applicable analysis and projection methods were very limited in 1947, when the 1st global population estimates and projections were attempted. The 1st contributions of the Commission were manuals for these functions. Throughout the 1950s, 4 regional reports on Central and South America; Southeast Asia; and Asia and the far East were published. UN studies during this period tended to group regions by their position on a continuum of the demographic transition. Rough but alarming projections of population growth appeared. Projection technics were refined and standardized in the 1960s, and the demand grew for more specialized technics, e.g. dealing with urban/rural populations; the labor force; and other elements. The availability of computer technology at the end of the decade multiplied the projection capabilities, and the total population projections for the future were larger than ever. The 1970s projections, based on the more accurate and widely covered baseline data which had become available in developing countries, were also aided by more powerful and innovative indirect estimation technics; better software, and computers with larger capacities. By 1982, only a few countries were left with a total lack of data. A revision of estimates and projections is now undertaken biennially, incorporating the latest available data, utilizing advanced analytical methods and computer technology. Methodological manuals have been produced as the by-product of the revisions. UN demographic estimates and projections could be further improved by injection of a probabilistic element and the inclusion of economic factors. Roles for the future include maintenance of regional and interregional comparability of assumptions.
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  20. 20

    Fertility and family planning.

    Johnson-Acsadi G


    40 years ago, one of the 1st tasks of the United Nations (UN) Population Division was a series of pilot studies demonstrating how governments could improve knowledge of demographic levels and trends using inadequate statistics: India, the Sudan, the Philippines, and Brazil demonstrated the application of survey research to fertility analysis. Similar studies illustrated the policy-making value of census data. William Brass suggested that maternity histories be used to assess fertility change. The Division participated in the 1st national family planning (FP) programs in India, and then helped develop a standard questionnaire to serve as the basis for internationally comparable knowledge, attitude, and practice surveys and sought to promote cross-national comparative research on fertility and FP. It also developed technics for estimating fertility in the absence of adequate birth statistics, including the reverse-survival method and ways of using stable population models. Model-based estimates of fertility have been made from World Fertility Survey data. The Division has provided data and studies to measure FP program success and to serve in improving service and acceptance rates, participating in evaluations of the administration of its national FP programs in India and Pakistan, and in research on cost/benefit and cost-effectiveness calculations for fertility reduction programs. A basic component was the measurement of the impact of FP programs on fertility: the Division carried out studies to evaluate alternative measurement methods, and prepared a manual. As fertility data quality improved, the Division prepared a review of knowledge on determinants of fertility, and hypothesized that a threshold must be crossed before development leads to fertility decline. The Division now produces periodic overviews of fertility conditions and trends, and studies on world levels and condtions of fertility, and has made findings on breast feeding effects, "unmet" FP needs, and the role of type of parental union, marital disruption, and education and occupation.
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  21. 21

    Population policy.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division


    2 activities undertaken by the UN on population policy are reviewed: research and analysis of population policies adopted by Governments; and the provision of a neutral forum where scholars, not necessarily associated with the UN system, present their views and the findings of their individual research. 2 other activities: the provision of technical assistance in the area of population to Governments that seek it, and the provision of substantive secretariat services to intergovernmental bodies (e.g. the 1974 Bucharest World Population Conference; the 1984 Mexico city International Conference on Population) are dealt with in other papers in this Bulletin. Population policy work has mainly been concentrated in the past 2 decades. Earlier, before the legislative debate on the proper role of the UN with respect to population policy had reached a consensus, little research was done. Policy research began to gain significantly during the preparations for the 1974 World Population Conference. It has since continued, developing its own primary data sources, particularly through the institutionalization of regular population inquiries addressed to all Governments; through the regular reporting of the findings of its analyses, using a variety of formats including the biennial monitoring of population policies; and in the preparation of reports on topics of special concern to the international community. Policy research carried out by the UN Secretariat is characterized generally by an avoidance of advocacy for any specific policy position, a global perspective, and full attention to the policy issues associated with each of the major population variables. Population policy has been a matter of substantive concern for the UN throughout the 4 decades since the Population Commission was established, in 1946. However, in marked contrast to the attention given kto the traditional analysis of demographic variables, this concern has not been explicit and direct throughout the 40 years. During much of the 1st 2 decades, it was expressed unevenly and at times obliquely.
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  22. 22

    The Population Commission and CICRED.

    Bourgeois-Pichat J


    The Committee for International Co-operation in National Research in Demography (CICRED) was formed in 1972 as a result of an initiative taken by the Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat, and currently holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council Among its accomplishments are the organization of seminars on demographic research in relation to population growth targets and on infant mortality in relation to the level of fertility, and demographic research in relation to internal migration. CICRED was also instrumental in gaining the co-operation of national research institutions in a project resulting in the publication of 56 national monographs. In cooperation with the population Division, CICRED prepared and published 2 editions of a population multilingual thesaurus. This collaboration also led to the creation of the Population Information Network (POPIN). In 1977 CICRED launched the Inter-center Co-operative research Program. The various elements of the program are in different stages of completion. In particular, they involve cooperation with the Population Division in the areas of intergration of demographic variables into planning, aging and differential mortality. (author's modified)
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  23. 23

    Population assistance to governments.

    Gille H


    The Population Commission was originally charged with providing information and advice to the Economic and Social Council on population trends and issues, not direct technical assistance to governments: the needed factual basis was lacking and technical assistance was not yet a major activity of the United Nation (UN). By the 1950s, a technical assistance program focusing on data collection and analytical studies had been adopted. The 1st assistance request in population policy and action programs came from the Indian Government in 1952, followed by requests from Indonesia, Thailand, and Brazil. In 1952 the 1st 2 UN-supported regional demographic centers were founded. After the 1960 censuses, the emphasis of UN technical assistance in the population field shifted from statistical activities and training to developing methods for dealing with population problems. The early 1960s saw confrontation on whether technical cooperation should be provided by the UN for population action programs. In 1965 a high-level UN expert group was sent to India to make recommendations for the national FP program, and an ad hoc expert group recommended to the Commission that the UN respond to requests for assistance on all aspects of population, including FP. In 1966 the General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the UN and its agencies to provide population technical assistance, and in 1967 the commission voted to give high priority to research and technical assistance in the fertility area. To finance this expanded role, the Secretary-General established, in 1967, a special UN Trust Fund for Population Activities, to be managed by the UN Secretariat. A Population Program and Projects Office was established in the Population Division and by 1969 Population Program Officers were stationed in developing countries to assess needs and assist in formulating population assistance requests. The assistance demang grew rapidly and the Fund reference terms were expanded, responsibililty for its administration being transferred to the UN Devleopment Program.
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  24. 24

    The regional population programmes of the United Nations.

    Menon PS


    The Population Commission guided the development of specific population programs at the regional level in the mid-1950s, introduced progressively in the developing regions: Asia and the Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; Africa; and Western Asia. Their approaches were 1) The staffing of the regional commission secretariats with demographers to carry out demographic research relevant to the respective region; and 2) the development of regional training centers to build up technical personnel to assist Governments and institutions in analyzing demographic aspects of development problems in each region. The regional secretariats have helped incorporate population requests into studies and research carried out on regional and country-level development issues, through its own regional studies; the organization of seminars; and emphasis of the population element in policy formulation and development. Each secretariat has concentrated, under regional commission guidance, on crucial regional population problems. While the Economic Commission for Africa emphasizes data collection and analysis, the Asia and the Pacific Region concerns have been largely in population policy formulation. The Latin America and the Caribbean regional program stresses technical assistance in demographic training, research and dissemination of information, whereas the Western Asia program stresses demographic data collection and analysis. The depth and scope of these regional programs has depended on the changing state of demographic development. UN regional training centers: the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) at Bombay, India (1951); the Latin American Demographic Center (CELADE) at Santiago, Chile (1958); the Cairo Demographic Centre (1962); the Regional Institute for Population Studies at Accra, Ghana; and the Institut de Recherche Demographique (IFORD) at Yaounde, Cameroon (1971); have provided population training programs, and trained nearly 2,000 specialists. Training and research has moved in the population and development direction.
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  25. 25

    Forty years of population statistics at the United Nations.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Statistical Office


    The Statistical and Population Commissions perform the work of the United Nations (UN) Secretariat in population statistics. Their Demographic Yearbook has come to serve an ever wider variety of users. Most data comes from an annual questionnaire sent to national statistical services in >200 contries or areas worldwide. Data quality and reliability improved significantly with each decennial round of population censuses. Standardized definitions and classification methods; detailed footnoting; and the complementation of missing or incomplete data from official national sources promote their usefulness and international comparability. From 1955-74, demographic and related economic and social statistics were integrated by attempts, through technical cooperation, to improve national statistical services, and by methodological work, including the publication of handbooks, manuals, and technical reports. The Statistical Office, under Statistical Commission guidance, promoted sampling technics for obtaining demographic and related information and for evaluating census and civil registration systems. The UN also promoted efforts to improve civil registration and vital events data accuracy. Those efforts included revising recommendations and handbooks and preparing the World Program for the Improvement of Vital Statistics. Every decade, the UN has issued principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses and contributed to the improvement of national efforts, including the recent development of regional variants of the World Population and Housing Censuses recommendations; emphasizing developing country needs; and promoting electronic data processing worldwide. 193 countries representing 95% of the world's population conducted a census between 1975-84. The UN launched the National Household Survey Capability Program in the late 1970s, to provide data on population and related demographic characteristics linked with other social and economic variables.
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