Displaying 1-20 of 284 key documents
Source: Maria Socorro I. Diokno
This chapter of the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) Development Toolkit — a document that aims to help address the role of human rights in development — looks at the full spectrum of the rights invoked by HRBA in relation to development, and fleshes out their concrete implications on the work that development planners undertake.
It also examines how human rights-based approaches to development planning operate in regional and national settings, and maps the multiple factors that affect the implementation of HRBA in development.
It includes diagrams that illustrate the pathway of each particular human right within the developmental infrastructure, with a view to revealing the deep social impacts found at each step of the pathway. The chapter illustrates how rights are not simply abstract principles, but normative mechanisms with profound effects on the way that development is practised on the ground.
Source: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) | 2010
This document examines ethical and human rights-based approaches to climate change and climate-related vulnerability. It was published by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an independent expert advisory committee tasked with guiding the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in its implementation of ethical frameworks in science, technology and development.
In particular, the report focuses on ethical issues brought about by climate change, and discusses both general and specific principles that could be adopted to respond to these issues.
These include protecting human rights; providing equitable access to medical, scientific and technological developments, including the rapid sharing of knowledge about such developments and the sharing of benefits, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries; holding polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution; and ensuring that development is sustainable.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) | June 2012
This report gives an overview of the last 40 years of work carried out by HRP, the Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, which was established in 1972, following a World Health Assembly resolution.
HRP aims to advance sexual and reproductive health. The organisation is the central mechanism within the United Nations system for research into human reproduction — bringing together policymakers, scientists, healthcare providers and community representatives to identify and address priorities for the sexual and reproductive health agenda.
The report highlights key achievements, including helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; promoting human rights and gender equality in sexual and reproductive health; and widening access to family planning.
Source: UN University | April 2012
This online book aims to offer insight into development issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples that can be useful in policymaking. It provides an overview of more than 400 relevant projects, case studies and research activities.
Different sections cover climate and environmental changes, including local observations, and the impact of these changes on indigenous communities. The book also outlines mitigation and adaptation strategies — based on traditional knowledge and survival skills — that are being implemented by them.
The authors highlight that climate change effects reported by indigenous people include loss of livelihoods; land degradation; impacts on food security; health issues; and water shortages that can affect agriculture, infrastructure, forestry and energy amongst others areas.
Source: The Department For International Development (DFID) | February 2012
This report looks at the contribution of models to identify the characteristics of livestock systems which are likely to lead to the emergence of zoonoses hotspots, with emphasis on developing countries.
It focuses on mathematical and economic models, and includes a short review of the current usage of models — and particularly network and agent-based methods — in studying zoonotic disease outbreaks.
The report concludes that most models capture outbreaks over a relatively short time and largely ignore socioeconomic and climate change drivers. It suggests that a new modelling framework is needed, along with improved data collection and uncertainty analysis and communication.
Source: Malaria Journal | April 2012
This review paper explores documented episodes of malaria resurgence worldwide, and assesses their association with malaria control programmes, a higher risk of disease transmission and drug resistance. It identifies 75 instances of resurgence in 61 countries over a period of 70 years, with the vast majority related to weakening control programmes, usually due to limited resources. This suggests that gains in malaria control can be lost rapidly if support is not sustained. The authors argue that finding ways to sustain funding for control programmes is crucial, and that there is an urgent need to develop practical solutions to operational and technical threats to their success.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
This report is intended to explore how policies and programmes can be strengthened to support links between agriculture, nutrition and health. It aims to inspire dialogue within and between these sectors and targets various audiences, from researchers and policymakers to practitioners.
The report explores links between the sectors as well as related issues including the role of agricultural growth, scientific innovations, food supply chains, agriculture-associated diseases, and the role of women. It outlines challenges and solutions for improving the productivity and sustainability of agriculture to improve nutrition and health for the world's most vulnerable people. It identifies knowledge gaps and aims to encourage new thinking, and concrete action to leverage agriculture for better health.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | March 2012
This report provides a visual overview of the trends and factors shaping global food and agricultural systems, including their interactions with broader environmental and socioeconomic concerns. It presents a selection of indicators on food and agriculture by country, aiming to be a reference point for policymakers, donor agencies, researchers, analysts and the public. These indicators are based on the FAOSTAT statistical database, which includes survey data submitted by countries, supplemented by national data.
Four sections cover provide an exhaustive overview of key themes: the state of agricultural resources, including pressures from demographic and macroeconomic change; food insecurity and malnutrition; the role of trade in meeting demands for food and feed; and the sustainability of agriculture in the context climate change and the need to provide ecosystem services.
Source: Global Environment Facility (GEF) | March 2012
This report gives an overview of how water resources can be protected and used efficiently based on the work of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It provides examples of how the work has encouraged cooperation across sectors and national borders. Case studies cover topics including pollution control, sustainable use of water for food security, and energy security through water management.
The authors conclude with a description of initiatives that aim to improve public health through wastewater management and ecological sanitation. They suggest that cooperation towards a shared goal is needed to sustain the benefits of water systems. The report is available in English, French and Spanish.
Source: Ramsar Convention and the WHO | March 2012
The report looks at the linkages between wetlands, human health and well-being, and examines the potential of to improving health while conserving wetland ecosystems. It aims to provide advice to wetland managers and decision makers, and to facilitate dialogue between wetlands and human health experts.
The report gives an overview of how wetland ecosystems influence health — benefits such as the provision of water, as well as hazards such as exposure to infectious disease. It outlines three approaches to harnessing the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health. These include recognising the human needs satisfied by access to wetlands, such as water, food and social cohesion; medicinal plants and other health products; and the economic value of wetlands to improving socioeconomic conditions.
The authors call for a change in wetland management perspective, better policy development, and new instruments and approaches. They recommend stronger partnerships between sectors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.
Source: Working Group on Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways | November 2011
This report provides policy recommendations to help deliver safer and cheaper medical products to people suffering from neglected diseases in developing countries, where they are needed the most.
Although more drugs and vaccines are reaching late-stage clinical development, says the report, they are held back by a lack of funding to support clinical trials, as well as clinical research and regulatory capacity in settings where neglected diseases are endemic. This undermines safety and the validity of clinical data.
The report recommends a two-pronged approach to improving the quality and regulation of clinical trials in the developing world: establishing regional regulatory pathways for the oversight of clinical trials, and building quality and cost-efficiency into trial design and implementation. It also recommends practical steps that can be taken by donors, drug and vaccine developers, and regulatory authorities to begin implementing the changes.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine
In this review article, published after the Fukushima accident, medical scientists examine published information on the short- and long-term health risks of exposure to ionising radiation. The article describes two previous nuclear accidents — at Three Mile Island in the USA, and Chernobyl in Ukraine — and explains the types and doses of radiation that can damage biological systems. It discusses the mechanisms behind exposure, and radiation-induced illness and injury, including long-term cancer risks. The authors also review measures that can be taken to reduce the effects of radiation exposure, including potassium iodide tablets used in the aftermath of Chernobyl. The article stresses that clear communication on radiation exposure levels and health risks is a key component of the response to a nuclear incident.
Source: Health Research Policy and Systems
This paper discusses how researchers promote the use of research in policy by examining the practices of 'boundary organisations' that cross the boundary between science and politics to facilitate evidence-based policies and programmes. It identifies key lessons for organisations looking to engage policymakers and decision-makers.
The study focuses on the Regional Network on AIDS, Livelihoods and Food Security (RENEWAL), a regional 'network of networks' active in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia which engages government officials on programmes that could inform policies on food, nutrition and HIV/AIDS. It describes the challenges and successes of efforts to promote research in these areas; challenges include adherence to scientific principles while maintaining close relationships with political authority, and ensuring accountability to the communities within which the research is conducted.
The paper offers recommendations to strengthen efforts to get research into policy, and concludes that the concept of a boundary organisation can help researchers engage people and processes that have decision-making power.
Source: UK Department for International Development (DFID) | December 2010
This peer-reviewed report, from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), summarises current evidence on malaria, covering topics that range from epidemiology to public health interventions, disease management and elimination. It focuses on areas where policy or practical decisions have to be made, mainly by DFID and its development partners.
The paper is divided into sections that provide an overview of issues such as determinants of infection, high-risk groups, artemisinin and insecticide resistance, and interventions such as vector control. These correspond to areas relevant to decision making, with the report being a 'portal' to more detailed information rather than a definitive document. Because many of the issues addressed are context-specific, the paper should be read in conjunction with country profiles published by DFID as well as country-specific data available in the World Malaria Report.
Source: The Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B | 12 October 2011
This special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Science explores how vaccines can fulfil their full potential for addressing global health challenges. It charts the progress to date, reviewing successes as well as challenges in the development and distribution of both human and veterinary vaccines.
The articles describe how vaccines can help mitigate and treat the world's major infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as chronic diseases, such as cancer. They explore vaccine policy and financing, ways to accelerate the development of new vaccines, issues surrounding public acceptance, and the logistics of getting vaccines to where they are needed. Also discussed is the use of vaccines to treat diseases in livestock — making an important link between health interventions, agricultural output and economic consequences.
The papers in this issue were presented at the meeting, 'New vaccines for global health', held at the Royal Society in London, United Kingdom, in November 2010.
Source: Médecins Sans Frontières | May 2011
This report, from medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières, explores the impact of and lessons learned from the use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS since 2000, when it began providing this to people in need of urgent treatment. It presents results of a survey conducted in 16 countries with different prevalence levels of the disease, which together account for 52.5 per cent of the global HIV/AIDS burden, and outlines the progress, strengths and weaknesses of the international response to the disease.
The report provides an overview of key treatment strategies to improve care and reduce its cost for patients and health systems; discusses the impact of decreased donor funding; and suggests policies that can help lower drug costs, for example, or foster innovations for more effective and affordable treatment. Most HIV-prevalent countries still lack the capacity to treat more than 50 per cent of their population in need of ART, or to provide ART in more than 50 per cent of existing facilities — underlining the need for more domestic and external resources.
Source: WHO | April 2011
This report examines the threat posed by non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, which carry nearly 80 per cent of the world's burden of cardiovascular disease; diabetes; cancer; obesity; and chronic respiratory disease. It includes tables and maps of global, regional and country-specific trends including estimated mortality rates. The data are also used to predict future trends and assess factors contributing to non-communicable disease.
Drawing on what developed countries have learned about these diseases, the report outlines options for tackling them, such as early detection and treatment. To encourage immediate action, it puts forward a series of highly cost-effective solutions that are affordable even where resources are limited. It also emphasises the need for strong health-care systems, improved surveillance and monitoring, and nongovernmental and civil society participation in efforts to reduce the burden of non-communicable disease.
Source: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences | March 2010
This paper, co-authored by Paul Newton of the Mahosot Hospital in Laos — who has collaborated closely with INTERPOL in its anti-counterfeiting operations — summarises evidence on the prevalence of counterfeit drugs, and details their medical and economic impact on poor countries. It outlines how the international community can tackle the problem, which the authors say needs to be taken more seriously. Although the trade in counterfeit drugs has obvious health impacts, its indirect effects are no less significant and include a loss of confidence in health systems and health workers.
Source: PLoS Medicine | June 2009
This study documents the chemical composition of drugs randomly sampled from pharmacies in Delhi and Chennai in India, and aims to offer the government guidance on improving drug regulation. India is a major producer and consumer of pharmaceuticals but, with quality control standards varying significantly between states, the country has high levels of counterfeit drugs. The study shows that 12 per cent of Delhi samples and 5 per cent of Chennai samples collected in 2008 and 2009 did not meet international quality standards. Although these numbers roughly match the government's estimates, there were differences between pharmacies in the types of drugs commonly counterfeited. And while some had no fake drugs, others had up to 30 per cent.
Source: Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) | December 2010
This document from the Medicines Transparency Alliance — founded by the World Bank, the WHO and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) — gives an account of a pilot programme that investigated the medicines supply chain to identify problems that prevent vulnerable people from accessing essential medicines. It presents findings from Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia. The programme relied on different stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector to collect, share and analyse data. The evidence gathered through the project was used to inform policy in these countries.