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Quote of the Week

Antonio Lambino's picture

"There are three complementary models of behavior change implicit in many public health communication campaigns.  The individual effects model focuses on individuals as they improve their knowledge and attitudes and assumes that individual exposure to messages affects individual behavior.  The social diffusion model focuses on the process of change among social groups.  The institutional diffusion model focuses on the change in elite opinion, which is translated into institutional behavior, including policy changes, which in turn affect individual behavior. The models contrast the direct effects of seeing mass media materials... with the indirect effects of the social diffusion model, (wherein) discussion within a social network is stimulated by PSAs (public service announcements) or media coverage of an issue; that discussion may produce changed social norms about appropriate behavior, and affect the likelihood that each member of the social network will adopt the new behavior.  In the institutional diffusion model, media coverage of an issue may operate through either one or both of two mechanisms.  Media coverage may affect public norms that affect institutional behavior or policymaker actions, or media coverage may lead policymakers to think an issue an issue is important and requires action, regardless of whether public norms have actually changed."

- Prof. Robert C. Hornik (2002, pp.14-15)
Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change

Words That Echoed Across DM2009 Competition

Tom Grubisich's picture

“I came here thinking of my people.  I leave here thinking of our planet.”

That's how finalist winner Carlos Daniel Vecco Giove of Peru summed up what DM2009 meant for him.  (Vecco was honored for his proposal to aid the Amazonian indigenous populations in his country in adapting to rapid climate change.)

Vecco's stirring words echoed around the floor of the competition, on up to the podium during the Friday, Nov. 13, awards ceremony, where a rapt audience heard Warren Evans, Environment Director of the World Bank, say: "Let me share with you what I heard that one of our finalists who traveled here from far away said this week."

One way or another, the other finalists expressed the same thought -- if not in so many words, then in the potential for their projects to bring innovative but practical climate adaptation not only to their target community but to people and places across regions and countries...to the whole planet.

Did You Kill Somebody Tonight?

Eliana Cardoso's picture

“Did you kill somebody tonight?” Durga Pokkherel asks the police officer while in police custody in Nepal, after hearing terrified screams. As told in her memoir, Shadow over Shangri-la, the police officer replies: “You always imagine something big. He is not killed. As a routine treatment he was enclosed in a sack and beaten. But he would not speak a word, so some other police friends put a couple pins in his fingers. That is all.”

The dialogue took place in late 1990s, when both Maoists and the state committed human rights abuses in Nepal, a country on the top of the world, where caste, ethnicity, gender status and regional disparities have largely determined inequality. Social exclusion fostered state fragility, a Maoist rebellion, and a civil war that lasted for ten years (1996-2006).

After an unpopular royal coup in February 2005, the international community put pressure on the government to accept international monitoring under the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The monitoring created the space for peaceful political protest and, in April 2006, the King restored Parliament. Civil war came to an end with elections and the declaration of the Federal Republic of Nepal in May 2008.

High and Low, Climate Change Imperils Latin America and Caribbean

Tom Grubisich's picture

From mangrove forests to the Amazon Basin to the High Andes, Latin America and the Caribbean are threatened by climate change.  And so are Indigenous Peoples who live in these sensitive environments.

So it's not that surprising, perhaps, that of the 100 finalists in DM2009, 39 come from Latin American and Caribbean countries -- 12 from Peru alone.

One of the Peru projects seeks to "blend Western science and indigenous knowledge systems [and] know-how" to help bring buen vivir (good living) to the indigenous community of Potato Park in the High Andes through the development of new tuber varieties resistant to extreme climate conditions.

"Extreme conditions are showing up more often with more force throughout the region," said Alejandro Argumedo, director of the Association ANDES project (in photo at left with researcher Katrina Quisumbing Katrina Quisumbing King and Alejandro ArgumedoKing).  "With global warming we are seeing the emergence of a new climate, and it's coming very fast."

In Belize, "the impact of climate change is exacerbated by a combination of deforestation and tourism that is shrinking the mangrove forests that act as a sponge against storm-caused flooding," said Gregory Ch'oc, executive director of Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (in photo at right with technical coordinator Lynette Gomez).  The indigenous communities of this ecoystem are heavily impacted by the natural and manmade forces of destruction. Ch'oc's group seeks to help one hard hit indigenous district with community-based solutions for forest management that would begin with an inventory of the flora at risk.

An Inclusive Approach to Safeguarding the Basic Needs of the Poor

Mark Ellery's picture

If it were possible to separate public services into a public good aspect and a private good aspect, then government could probably ensure better outcomes for the poor by focusing primarily on the public good aspect.

A public good is both non-rival (the consumption of a unit does not reduce the units available for others) and non-excludable (it is not possible to include some while excluding others from this good). For example an illiteracy free community is a pure public good that demonstrates both non excludable and non rival qualities. It is non-excludable as it is not possible to exclude someone from the benefits of an illiteracy free jurisdiction while including others; and non-rival as one person consuming an illiteracy free jurisdiction does not reduce the stores for others. The private good have both rival and excludable characteristics (the consumption of a unit reduces the availability for others and it is possible to include some while excluding others during consumption). Alternatively a school is a private good - it is rival (there are only a certain number of children you can fit in a classroom) and excludable (you can be excluded if you do not meet certain socio-economic standards).

Assuming that all public services have rival and non-rival, excludable and non-excludable characteristics, it should be conceptually possible to separate the public good aspect and the private good aspect.

First Month on the Job in Bhutan: Trial by Earthquake

Mark LaPrairie's picture

As the newly appointed (and first) World Bank Representative to Bhutan, my first month on the job has been challenging. A magnitude 6.3 earthquake with an epicenter in eastern Bhutan struck on September 21. There were 12 fatalities, including a mother breast-feeding her infant daughter by the hearth in their stone-walled kitchen. While there was fortunately relatively little loss of life, there was considerable damage to houses, schools, health clinics, temples, religious monuments and roads. In Bhutan's mountainous terrain, many affected villages are several hours walk away, so the provision of relief supplies and carrying out reconstruction is difficult.

In collaboration with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bhutan, Claire Van der Vaeren, who took up her assignment in Bhutan in June, the World Bank fielded a team of disaster experts. Claire and I accompanied the team of six (four from the UN, two from the Bank) to the eastern districts ("dzongkhags") of Mongar and Tashigang. The drive from Thimphu -- Bhutan's capital city of 100,000 people -- to the affected villages in Mongar takes two days.

First Month on the Job in Bhutan: Trial by Fire

Mark LaPrairie's picture

After our rest at the Home Minister, Lyonpo Minjur’s rural ancestral home, the team embarked on the long journey back to Thimphu the next day -- only a couple hundred miles as the crow flies (if even that), yet a two day adventure across high mountain passes and along narrow endlessly winding roads with precipitous drops below. We reached the Swiss Guest House in Bumthang around 7pm, looking forward to hot showers and a meal.

Upon pulling up to the lodge, I received a call on my mobile from my friend Tashi, who was recently appointed by His Majesty to serve on the National Council (senate). Tashi was in eastern Bhutan to support earthquake relief efforts on the part of the National Council. Tashi called to inform me that, Wamrong, the town I lived in 21 years ago when I first came to Bhutan as a volunteer teacher, had mostly burned to the ground that afternoon.

IFAD: 'DM Is Excellent Platform for New Ideas'

Tom Grubisich's picture

The following post was submitted by Tom Pesek, Liaison Officer of the International Fund for Agricultural Development:

Speaking to participants at the 2009 Development Marketplace, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future.  There are 100 finalists from nearly 50 countries here at the World Bank in Washington.  They are all participating in this year’s global grant competition, which is focused on climate adaptation.

These social entrepreneurs were selected from over 1,700 applicants.  Taken together, their projects represent “100 ideas to save the planet and its people from the effects of a changing climate.”  This may seem like quite a tall order, but among these innovators, no challenge seems too great.  In fact, one wonders how the DM jurors will manage to select which up to 25 project proposals most deserve to be funded.
  
Agriculture is where climate change, food security, and poverty reduction intersect.  In addressing the challenge of food security and climate change, we face the inter-related challenges of doubling food production by 2050, adapting agricultural productivity to shifting weather patterns, and minimizing agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, while maximizing its potential to mitigate climate change.  We will need substantial new resources, new ideas, and new ways of doing business to address these challenges.  

The International Fund for Agricultural Development believes that the Development Marketplace is an excellent platform for scouting and collecting new ideas from diverse sources, fostering innovative solutions, and developing partnerships in support of climate change adaptation.  (Photo of IFAD exhibit above.)  That’s why we were so pleased to be one of this year’s sponsor.  In addition to contributing to the grants, we will be offering our experience and technical advice to the winners over the next two years.

No Empty Chairs, Please...

Tom Grubisich's picture

It's very important for all finalists to be at their booths by 10 o'clock Wednesday morning.  That's when the jurors will begin making their rounds and continue until 3 in the afternoon.

The jurors will go round in pairs.  Each finalist will be interviewed twice.

So, set your alarm, grab that coffee, or tea, or whatever, and get yourself to your booth on time.

And knock out those jurors.  They'll want to know all the technical stuff behind your project, but they'll be looking for your passion, too.  Show it!

 

Latin Indigenous Peoples Hard Hit by Climate Change

Tom Grubisich's picture

Some 28 million members of Indigenous Peoples live in Latin America, many of them in poverty and prone to flooding and other weather extremes caused or exacerbated by climate change.  A number of finalist projects aim to give Indigenous Peoples in Latin America a cushion against weather extremes.

Here's a sampling of the projects:

In Mexico, ITESM at Tecnologico de Monterrey seeks "to help people from Tutuaca, Otachique, and Conoachi communities in Chihuahua through a biocultural rescuing program to maintain native maize genetic diversity facing climate change needs, including validation and verification mechanisms to preserve their diverse maize races."

In Peru, an organization of women from four communities in the High Andean region proposes "to recover ancestral knowledge and techniques to mitigate the effects of cold spells, reducing the vulnerability of 2,758 comuneros belonging to 551 families in the district of Palca."

In El Savador, Instituto para en Rescate Ancestral Indigena Salvadoreno  (RAIS) seeks to "recover, divulge, and make people aware of the knowledge of 100 wise indigenous women regarding the properties and interpretation of the language of both climate and earth as a support tool to prevent climate-change risks."


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