Displaying 1-20 of 25 key documents
Source: UNESCO Division of Human Rights, Philosophy and Democracy | 2011
This report offers the most up-to-date and rigorous compendium of every existing human rights-based international and regional instrument and framework.
Published annually, the report also provides key statistics and comparative international analysis of evolving human rights standards and implementation of key rights-based mechanisms. It offers data on how rights-based instruments have impacted particular social and cultural groups (including women, refugees, and children with disabilities). It also provides scope for reflection on how the vast array of rights-based instruments implicitly and explicitly engage with science, technology, and development issues.
The report is divided into three sections. The first looks at universal instruments, the second regional, and the third consists of a copy of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
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: International Council on Human Rights Policy | 2011
This report, published by the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) outlines how technology transfer, climate change, and human rights-based approaches explicitly come together. It focuses on how human rights-based approaches to technology transfer bear on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Twenty years' after the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, technology transfer is still a contentious term and an unclear goal for policy. The report aims to address this by examining the human rights issues that emerge — at both the theoretical and political level — in relation to technology transfer. It also examines how technology transfer can be used to secure basic human rights and set rights-based standards that can improve the living conditions of those most vulnerable to climate change.
The report suggests that human rights can provide a platform for agreement that can inform technology policy and help move it forward by prioritising needs and objectives. It concludes with relevant recommendations for governments, civil society organisations and UN bodies.
Source: IISD | June 2012
This paper gives an overview of the financing needs of smallholder farmers, their current sources of financing, and ways to deliver these funds to help them achieve the triple dividends of enhanced food security, increased resilience to climate change, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. It offers recommendations for mobilising investment to enable further progress towards this goal.
The authors argue that there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution, and suggest that adaptation funds and the private sector could be a source of additional support, in the absence of public sector financing for agriculture or a carbon market for smallholders. They conclude with recommendations for policymakers, such as building on prior experience and knowledge, and creating an enabling environment for climate-smart agricultural investment.
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: OECD-FAO | June 2012
This is the eighteenth edition of the Agricultural Outlook, which outlines projected market trends (from 2012 to 2021) for major agricultural commodities and biofuels, and presents recent developments and uncertainties associated with those markets. It focuses on the challenges of meeting the rising demand for food alongside input costs, resource constraints, environmental pressures and the impacts of climate change.
The report finds that world prices for many agricultural crops are expected to remain high over the long-term, in spite of a short-term decline. It highlights progress in improving the sustainability of agricultural practices, and calls for the private sector to take a leading role in creating the right environment.
The report concludes by arguing for better agronomic practices and commercial, technical and regulatory environments, and strengthening agricultural innovation systems, as essential policy challenges. It calls for developing countries to invest in agricultural infrastructure in rural areas and in human capital, and to put in place policies for reducing food loss and waste.
Source: Millennium Project | January, 2005
This report outlines the role that science, technology and innovation can play in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It draws from lessons learned over the past five decades, and describes actions needed to help achieve the MDGs through technological innovation, including building scientific infrastructure, investing in education and promoting business activities in science and technology.
The report acknowledges three main actors in technological innovation: governments, academic institutions and private enterprise. It argues that they must work together to improve the policy environment, technological infrastructure and capacity-building in developing nations. It suggests that global partnerships, advising policymakers and good governance should be encouraged, and points out that the diversity of political environments and resources means that countries should not have a one-size-fits-all approach to policy development.
This paper gives an overview of the history of science technology and innovation (STI) institutions and policies in the Latin American region, and the challenge of using STI to meet development needs.
The paper gives examples of public, private and civil society initiatives illustrating regional efforts to develop a 3D innovation agenda — one that concentrates on direction, distribution and diversity of innovations. It outlines areas for action to advance STI in Latin America, which include agenda setting, funding, capacity building, organising and monitoring, evaluation and accountability. Limitations and failings of STI are considered, and recommendations of further research are offered; they include persistent social and economic inequalities, institutional and political resistance to change, and the role of power relations in determining directions of STI policy in the future.
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) | January, 2009
This report — summarising a UNESCO innovation for development workshop — examines the role of innovation in development, and the contribution of knowledge, research and development to innovation. It focuses on knowledge in science, engineering and technology.
The report outlines analytical and theoretical frameworks as well as current innovation efforts and innovation policy. Major issues discussed at the workshop are highlighted in an action agenda, which suggests the need for more research and statistical indicators, dissemination of projects, human and institutional capacity building, better policy design and the need to increase awareness of innovation.
A separate report, which is included in the document, consolidates several themes that emerged from the talks, including the need to improve policy coherence, the difficulties of comparing innovation across countries or different points in time, the importance of capacity building, and the role of technology transfer in generating new knowledge. It also identifies challenges facing policymakers, the research community and international donors in achieving these goals. The report includes keynote speeches and links to Powerpoint presentations given at the conference.
Source: The Royal Society
This report, published by the UK's Royal Society, reviews evidence about solar radiation management (SRM), a 'geoengineering' technique that involves deliberate intervention in the climate to counteract global warming, which was gathered during a year-long project — Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative. It also summarises issues raised during the project by 27 experts from 17 countries and other stakeholders.
The report explores the scientific, ethical, political, social and technological challenges raised by proposals for research into SRM, as well as perspectives on how to address these challenges. It offers no recommendations, but states that the uncertainty about the risks and benefits of SRM can be resolved with the successful governance of research, and concludes with a number of 'messages' that provide a foundation for greater dialogue.
Source: IFPRI | February 2011
This report explores the role of agricultural growth in reducing and preventing undernutrition — deficiencies in energy, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
It describes how agricultural growth increases the capacity of households to produce more nutritious food and to buy more nutritious food by boosting income levels. Agricultural growth also improves nutrition through a broader effect on the economy, such as increasing government revenues to fund education, health, infrastructure, and nutrition intervention programmes.
The report gives an overview of the relationship between nutrition and growth, examines different growth patterns and their nutritional outcomes, and identifies factors that influence this dynamic — such as a country's stage of economic development.
A new paradigm for agricultural development is needed, says the report, where agricultural growth leads not only to increased production and reduced poverty, but also to improved nutrition. It concludes with recommendations for future research, and aims to provide policymakers with knowledge about development and investment strategies that can improve nutritional outcomes.
Source: FAO | January 2011
This report provides an overview of fisheries and aquaculture, future challenges and the technological tools available to help manage them. It reveals the key role of this sector in meeting global fish demand, as well as its importance as a source of cash and high-quality protein — particularly in poorer countries.
A section devoted to case-studies reviews current scientific knowledge of the impacts of a changing climate. It also highlights a range of issues including standards and certification, development of aquaculture in South-East Asia and the use of geographical information systems to manage aquaculture.
Elsewhere, the document outlines efforts to control illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by establishing trade measures and improving the collection of global records about fishing vessels.
The report also pinpoints challenges ahead, including biodiversity protection and a greater demand to address concerns about public health and environmental protection.
Source: WHO Mental Health and Poverty Project | December 2010
This report presents evidence that people with mental health conditions meet major criteria for vulnerability and should be targeted for protection by development programmes. Mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder are common but largely neglected.
The WHO makes the case that because of their vulnerability, people with mental health problems need to be given opportunities for education and work, and to be included in decisions that affect them.
It argues that mental health should be built into sectoral and broader plans for development, with government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders playing a key role in ensuring this. To make implementation a reality, interventions and mainstreaming efforts should be funded adequately, and recipients of development aid should be encouraged to address the needs of people with mental health conditions. The report recommends actions as a starting point towards these aims.
Source: Meridian Institute | January 2005
This report, published by the Meridian Institute describes the growing interest of developing countries including Brazil, China, India and South Africa, in nanotechnology. The ways nanotechnology applications could solve health, sanitation, and pollution problems and provide faster, cheaper information and communication technology are outlined. The challenges of using and developing nanotechnology for and in developing nations including the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders are also discussed.
The Meridian Institute says nanotechnology can play a role in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. As a result, rich nations should dedicate a reasonable portion of their overseas development assistance to nanotechnology.
(To access the report, users must create a free login name and password.)
Source: Swiss Academy of Sciences
This report, published by the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), describes twelve projects to illustrate successful scientific partnerships between developed and developing countries.
The projects cover research into water-borne disease, natural disasters, brain drain and forest management, and include partnerships with researchers in Chad, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The report reveals how high-quality local and global scientific knowledge can lead to local development benefits. For example, collaboration between developed-country researchers and their counterparts in locations where infections are likely to arise can halt epidemics at the local level, benefiting the global sphere.
The authors suggest that future research budgets must take into account the global and cross-diciplinary nature of research and encourage scientific cooperation.
They say that approximately 85 per cent of global research and development resources are invested in countries within the Organisation for Co-operation Development (OECD), compared with just five per cent given to developing countries.
Source: UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre | 2008
This report, published by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, highlights areas where high carbon content and high biodiversity overlap. The authors argue that by identifying target areas, such spatial analyses can help tropical countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change while maximizing biodiversity benefits.
Regional maps of tropical Africa, tropical Asia and the Neotropics give overviews of carbon stocks and biodiversity values. National-scale maps covering Panama, Vietnam and Zambia show more detailed data on carbon storage and on the species richness of mammals, birds and amphibians.
The maps highlight protected areas of tropical Asia, which suffer the highest percentage of forest loss. The authors suggest that although mapping can help in conservation planning, it must be accompanied by effective management on the ground and monitoring of land-use change to effectively reduce emissions. It is also important to account for national priorities and country-specific pressures.
Source: World Health Organization | May 2008
This report is the WHO's official record of data produced by its technical programmes and regional offices in close consultation with countries and in collaboration with researchers and development agencies. The WHO produces the statistics to provide an evidence base for strategies to improve global public health.
The report clearly shows that the global burden of disease is shifting from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases, with chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke now being the chief causes of death globally. The shifting trends indicate that leading infectious diseases — diarrhoea, HIV, tuberculosis, neonatal infections and malaria — will become less important causes of death globally over the next 20 years.
The report documents in detail "the levels of mortality in children and adults, patterns of morbidity and burden of disease, prevalence of risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption, use of health care, availability of health care workers, and health care financing."
Source: WHO/Global Forum for Health Research | 2007
This joint publication between the World Health Organization and the Global Forum for Health Research reveals mental health research capacity in 114 low-income and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The extensive review identified over 10,000 articles, 4,633 mental health researchers and 3,829 other stakeholders. The authors argue that this is "the first systematic attempt to confirm the pressing needs of improving research capacity in mental health".
The publication provides useful details in table and charts, analysed by group of stakeholders and by region, on topics such as: researchers' profiles; priority-setting process; amount and type of research production; services and technical support available to them; courses and trainings offered; funding patterns; and dissemination of research findings. The appendix provides two extensive lists — by country — of policy and practice that resulted from research evidence, as well as research evidence that was never translated into policy and practice.
Nine recommendations indicate how the management of mental health research can be strengthened so that it meets the national needs of the countries as well as contributes to the global fund of knowledge. The authors say their report thus enables evidence-based decision-making in funding and priority setting in the area of mental health research in low-income and middle-income countries.
Source: World Health Organization | 2003 & 2005
These consist of two reports: SuRF1(Surveillance of risk factors related to non-communicable diseases: current status of global data) and SuRF2 (Surveillance of chronic disease risk factors: country-level data and comparable estimates).
These reports are the result of a large WHO project to set up for the first time a global database of the prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases collected from WHO member states. The first report is largely a collection of the country profiles; the second analyses the data to produce comparable estimates for risk factor prevalence in the countries. The WHO designed this as an advocacy tool to highlight where primary prevention and health promotion need to be directed.
The eight risk factors were chosen because they are easily measurable and theoretically can be changed through prevention efforts. They are: tobacco and alcohol use, patterns of physical inactivity, low fruit/vegetable intake, obesity (as measured by BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes (measured by blood glucose).
The second report presents country-level estimates for overweight/obesity and systolic blood pressure. It also shows the attributable mortality and disease burden from all causes of death due to these overweight and high blood pressure for the 11 most populated countries.
(See WHO Global InfoBase Online for electronically searchable data contained in the reports http://www.who.int/infobase/surf2/online.html.)
Source: The Oxford Health Alliance
Chronic diseases — heart and lung disease, cancer and diabetes — are having a negative economic impact on both the developed and developing world, says this report, which is why they should be properly addressed by domestic and international policy makers. Compared to the epidemiological evidence on the rise of non-communicable diseases in developing nations, there is little information on how this increase will affect their economies.
This report investigates the demographics of the problem and finds that contrary to popular belief, the disproportionate burden of disease on the elderly does have economic implications. The reason is that though the elderly may not be part of the workforce, they are still consumers and therefore a part of the economic equation.
Whether approaches to tackling chronic diseases are cost-effective or not is a vital issue for countries whose health budgets are already overstretched — the report outlines some of the interventions that offer most bang for buck. The authors point out that strategies that work well in developed countries are not so effective in developing countries, and call for more research to assess what will be appropriate.