Displaying 41-60 of 270 key documents
Source: Center for Global Development
This paper, published by the Center for Global Development, describes the institutional hurdles to increasing funding for nutrition policies and programmes.
Drawing on a series of interviews with key stakeholders in the field of global nutrition, the authors identify the major institutional strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in global nutrition. They point to donors' growing awareness of nutrition and an increase in national planning and engagement in some countries including Uganda, as well as the birth of partnerships such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
But, say the authors, there is no obvious leader with adequate resources and a clear mandate to improve nutrition in the international community. International players are also disconnected from country policymaking and implementation.
The authors suggest that donors create a shared set of principles for coordinating nutrition funding. They also call on leaders within UN agencies to increase the agenda of nutrition security within the UN itself.
Source: Overseas Development Institute (ODI) | December 2009
This article, published by the Overseas Development Institute, summarises the findings of a study on the challenges of incorporating science, technology and innovation into policy in developing countries and highlights the role of science in promoting effective climate change adaptation measures.
The study, commissioned by SciDev.Net and the UK Department for International Development, included investigations of how to improve structures and institutions for delivering climate change adaptation and how to integrate adaptation measures into developing country policies as a critical priority.
The article suggests finding innovative ways to embed scientific knowledge into national policy through, for example, placing researchers in government bodies or creating citizen juries to judge adaptation measures.
Source: GIS Development
Written by former director of India's National Remote Sensing Agency, D. P. Rao, this article reviews the role of space technology in disaster mitigation.
Rao offers examples of how remote sensing can feed into prevention, preparedness and relief strategies for a number of disasters. He identifies the areas where these applications are operational, and those that need more research and development.
For drought, cyclones, floods, fires, earthquakes and other disasters in India, Rao outlines the status of relevant remote sensing projects. He outlines the extent of the problem posed by each disaster, and how Indian government and nongovernment organisations use remote sensing to improve risk assessment and early warning.
Source: South Centre | February 2009
This book, published by the intergovernmental organisation South Centre, presents a collection of articles on intellectual property (IP) restrictions and access to knowledge for developing countries.
An outcome of the South Centre Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme, the book responds to pressure from IP owners to increase control over knowledge in different forms including digital platforms.
The first part describes how IP restrictions challenge access to knowledge by setting out the norms, common goods and public authorities' responsibilities.
The second section describes recent developments in policy discussions including proposed World Intellectual Property Organization treaties and multilateral efforts to extend copyright limitations and exceptions.
The final part makes practical suggestions for moving forward, such as using open access or tapping into Internet technology.
Source: CIFOR | June 2009
This factsheet from The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) aims to answer common questions about the role of reducing forest emissions in tackling climate change.
This includes explaining why reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is important and identifying the four key challenges facing REDD projects — measuring carbon, making payments, accountability and funding. The authors summarise ongoing global initiatives to implement REDD, including the UN REDD Programme Fund and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.
A glossary of terms used in the debate is included as well as a list of facts and figures on key variables such as forest cover and forest loss. Contact details for some of the key people involved in CIFOR research are provided.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change | 2003
The third IPCC assessment report, Climate Change 2001, includes this section on the links between climate change and health. It offers a detailed look at how variations in climate, such as temperature or rainfall, could affect vector-borne disease. In particular, it evaluates computer models that predict climate impact on dengue fever and malaria. The assessment also looks at specific diseases such as leishmaniasis or schistosomiasis, explaining how the disease is spread and how changes in the environment might alter that spread.
The authors take a holistic look at the various factors involved. For example, in assessing schistosomiasis, they also consider the irrigation systems that will likely be needed to cope with expected water shortages resulting from climate change. The schistosomiasis parasite uses water snails as an intermediate host, so irrigation systems will need to be designed in such a way that they do not cause snail populations to multiply.
An update to the research on climate and vector-borne disease is also included in the fourth IPCC assessment report[796kB] although not in as much detail.
This Nature paper reviews evidence that a changing climate poses significant health risks and that global warming over the past few years has already increased illness and death worldwide.
Infectious diseases are strongly affected by climatic variations because the vectors that carry the bacteria or viruses do not have thermoregulatory mechanisms, say the authors. One of the most important existing sources of climatic variability is El Niño. This weather system has been shown to influence malaria in South America, rift valley fever in east Africa, cholera in Bangladesh and dengue fever in Thailand. If, as some scientists have suggested, climate change alters El Niño, the consequences will be significant.
The authors say there are some promising early warning systems for infectious disease. In Botswana, for example, two-thirds of the inter-annual variability of malaria can be predicted from sea surface temperatures and monthly rainfall.
Source: Bulletin of the WHO | 2000
As global temperatures rise, vector-borne disease is set to increase in the developing world but patterns will vary across countries. This review looks at how the prevalence of vector-borne disease will change in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.
As the authors explain, urbanisation levels will determine which diseases are likely to hit hardest. For example, dengue fever is a largely urban disease and will affect South America, where over 70 per cent of the population live in cities, far more than it will Sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 30 per cent of people live in urban areas. Malaria, by contrast, will have a bigger impact in Africa.
As ecosystems change, so will the distribution of vector species. Some will find their habitats expanded. A positive note is that most vectors cannot survive above about 40 degrees Celsius, so regions in which warming tips the temperature over this level could well see a drop in vector-borne disease — this is starting to be seen in Senegal, for example.
But the precise extent to which climate variability affects vector-borne disease is yet unknown, say the authors, which hampers evidence-based policy change.
Source: The Lancet | May 2009
This report provides a policy framework for assessing the impacts of climate change on health, including vector-borne disease, by considering five challenges: informational, poverty and equity-related, technological, sociopolitical and institutional.
It begins with a detailed outline of climate science so far and the financial cost of adaptation. The informational challenges relate to better monitoring and surveillance to gather urgently needed data on disease and mortality in different regions, and early warning systems to predict extreme weather events and associated disease outbreaks. Technological challenges include the development of vaccines for diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
How do policymakers tackle such challenges? A key move will be for government and non-government agencies, academia and civil society to collaborate internationally. Surveillance and primary health information systems in developing countries must be improved and local communities need to share adaptation strategies.
Adapting to climate change also means investing in food security, clean water supplies and reforestation. Policymakers also need to stimulate industry to develop low-cost methods for recycling wastewater and desalinating sea water. Mitigating and adapting to climate change, say the authors, has become inextricable from policies to eradicate poverty or closing the gap on social inequalities and health.
Source: Environmental Science and Technology | January 2009
This feature article, published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, uses the Cordillera Azul national park in Peru as an example to introduce mechanisms for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) that are under global discussion.
The author discusses both the potential importance of and challenges associated with REDD projects. For example, although Cordillera Azul has been established as a national park by the Peruvian Government, funds for conserving it are still needed.
The article outlines some important milestones in progressing to an international framework for REDD, but notes that important details are yet to be resolved, such as how to ensure that beneficiaries of REDD funds deploy them effectively to protect forests.
The article suggests that active forest management is important and concludes with a brief introduction to the principle of proactive investment in natural capital (PINC) — the idea, promoted by the Global Canopy Programme, that forests should be regarded not only as a source of emissions, but rather as a public utility providing global ecosystem services that should be paid for.
Source: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) | November 2008
This book, written by researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), poses several critical questions that must be addressed in designing a global framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) to be implemented after 2012, when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol runs out.
The authors frame their discussion within the 3E criteria, first proposed in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, of carbon effectiveness, cost efficiency and equity/co-benefits. Questions posed include how to set scales and baselines, deal with leakage, ensure permanence, and achieve co-benefits.
They examine various technical solutions for monitoring, reporting and verifying REDD projects, including remote sensing techniques and forest inventories. The political implications of implementing different technical options to distribute REDD income across different countries are also addressed.
The book highlights the need for flexibility in REDD strategies due to differences between countries and the need to allow for room to adapt to changes to the mechanisms as lessons are learned from initial implementation.
Source: Global Canopy Programme | June 2009
This guide to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), published by the Global Canopy Programme, reviews many of the REDD proposals under discussion in global climate change negotiations.
The authors highlight why strategies for REDD are needed, then outline and compare the 32 government and nongovernmental proposals being considered by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They frame their analysis by examining the proposals in terms of scope, reference level, distribution mechanisms and financing options.
Visual comparisons are included to show where proposals agree and differ, and highlight areas with emerging consensus. For example, the proposals generally agree that reference levels should be set at a national level, and that a phased approach using a combination of different financing approaches could be most appropriate. Some challenges for reaching agreement on REDD measures and areas of current research are also highlighted.
The book includes a chapter summarising key research on REDD, including the Meridian Institute's Options Assessment Report, written for the Norwegian government, and several papers published by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Source: WHO | May 2009
This article, published by the WHO, answers frequently asked questions about the A(H1N1) influenza virus, or 'swine flu'. It provides information on the availability, production and effectiveness of A(H1N1) vaccines.
The WHO says that no effective A(H1N1) vaccines are currently available (May 2009) but adds that work is underway to develop one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, for example, has identified and prepared candidate vaccine strains and is distributing them to all interested parties on request.
A vaccine could be available in five to six months after a pandemic strain has been identified but the WHO notes that more than 90 per cent of the global capacity for vaccine production lies in Europe or the United States — which may have implications for vaccinating people in developing countries. While these countries are well-versed in distributing vaccines through mass campaigns, they may face difficulties in ensuring timely access to enough supplies of vaccine.
Source: WHO | May 2009
This article, published by the WHO, assesses the potential for a global pandemic of A(H1N1) influenza, or 'swine flu'. The authors outline the properties of influenza viruses that are needed to create a pandemic and discuss population vulnerability and pandemic severity. They highlight the populations at most risk, for example people with underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, and the role that nutritional status and the quality of health services can play in influencing a pandemic's severity.
In assessing the 2009 swine flu outbreak, they draw attention to the fact that mutations often occur in influenza viruses, which means that while the emerging virus may be mild, it could return in several months in a much more lethal form.
The authors say that A(H1N1) is a new influenza virus not previously seen in humans or animals. They suggest that it is more contagious than seasonal flu, but note that outside Mexico where the outbreak began, the virus is causing very mild illness in otherwise healthy people. They emphasise the risk to people suffering from other chronic diseases and note that the WHO estimates that 85 per cent of these people are in developing countries.
Source: Nature | April 2009
This timeline, published by Nature, lists key dates and events in the 2009 outbreak of A(H1N1) influenza, or 'swine flu'. Drawing on information from the WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others, it details confirmed and reported cases of A(H1N1), highlights the geographical spread of the virus and links to official documentation and key research findings as they are released.
Source: Meridian Institute | 2006
This report, written for the Meridian Institute by a team of scientists from South Africa and Sri Lanka, describes the general issues facing projects aimed at improving access to clean water in the developing world, as well as the specific challenges facing nano-based projects.
The authors describe a number of water treatment devices that incorporate nanotechnology, including nanofiltration membranes, attapulgite clays and zeolites, nanocatalysts, magnetic nanoparticles and nanosensors. More importantly, they outline potential opportunities associated with these technologies, and possible risks.
The paper includes two case studies of projects designed to improve access to clean water — one in Bangladesh based on a conventional approach using sari cloth to remove cholera from water, and one in South Africa that incorporates a nanofiltration membrane.
This feature article from Nanowerk, written in collaboration with scientists, provides a short introduction to the role nanotechnology could play in resolving water shortage and quality issues.
The authors describe how nanotechnologies are being used in water filtration, especially nanotechnology membranes incorporating carbon nanotubes and dendrimers. They also examine how nanotechnologies and materials such as zeolites, carbon nanotubes and biopolymers can be used to remove, reduce or neutralise heavy metals and other contaminants that pose a threat to human health. And they briefly discuss the issue of using nanotechnology to develop water disinfectants.
This fact sheet from the WHO outlines the basics about swine influenza, or "swine flu", including what it is, what its implications are for human health and how people become infected.
Swine flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs. It can sometimes cause disease in humans — either from infected pigs or, occasionally, through human-to-human transmission. It cannot be caught by eating properly handled and prepared pork.
No vaccine can stop swine flu causing illness in humans, but two classes of drugs are available. Most previously reported cases recovered fully without medical attention or antivirals.
There is a risk that swine flu could lead to a pandemic because most people are not immune to the virus. But the impact of such a pandemic is difficult to predict.
Typical symptoms resemble seasonal flu — a high fever, cough and/or sore throat. If you feel unwell, the WHO advises staying at home, resting, contacting your doctor before going to see them, and covering your nose and mouth when out of the house.
To protect yourself from swine flu, the WHO recommends avoiding contact with sick pigs or people, washing your hands regularly, practicing good health habits and following advice from local health authorities.
Source: ACU | June 2005
This paper from the Association of Commonwealth Universities outlines the commitments and activities made by major international partners — specifically the G8 countries — to developing African higher education between 2000 and 2004.
Projects are analysed by topic — from human resources development to HIV/AIDS to science and technology — and region. The authors highlight trends in donors' strategies for supporting African higher education, presenting development portfolios and case studies from France, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others. They suggest improvements in aid delivery, including collaboration between donors and increased communication about individual donor strategies. They also call for more networking and collaboration across higher education institutions within Africa, while noting that these face financial constraints.
The authors conclude that there is a particular need for donors to provide more support to science and technology projects — as a crucial driver of socioeconomic development.
Source: Center for Global Development | February 2008
This paper, written by researchers at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Columbia in the United States, examines various aspects of higher education in developing countries including its impact on economic development.
The authors discuss the growing demand for higher education in developing countries, analysing the contributing factors and presenting examples of different country responses. In particular, they examine the trends in China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Some broader challenges facing developing countries, including governance, brain drain, equity and access, and regulation and accreditation are outlined. They also examine the role the international community — including major donors such as the World Bank — has played in supporting higher education in the developing world.
The authors highlight the general lack of data on higher education and call for more research on how, and even whether, higher education works in developing countries.