The Population Reference Bureau provides periodic highlights of recent activities among its portfolio of projects. We greatly value all of our sponsors and strive to highlight the newest and most recent project activities. However, we will not likely report on all projects in every edition.
IDEA Project (USAID)
Family Planning Infographic
On June 23, PRB launched a new web-based interactive infographic, The Family Planning Ripple Effect for Child Survival. Summarizing key data through an interactive timeline, the infographic illustrates the different ways that family planning can improve child survival around the world. The infographic was launched to coincide with the high-level event, “Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Maternal and Child Deaths,” held on June 25 in Washington, D.C., by several donor agencies and international governments. The infographic was shared widely over social media that week, reaching around the world and tweeted to over 70,000 followers on June 25 alone. It has also been highlighted by a number of development partners, including as a feature on the FP2020 homepage.
View the infographic: www.prb.org/Multimedia/ Infographics/2014/infographic-child-survival.aspx
Continued Dissemination of ‘Kenya Leading The Way’
Building on the momentum of last year, the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) continued showing the ENGAGE multimedia presentation “Kenya Leading the Way” as they disseminated information about the Population Policy for National Development. Through a series of meetings, high-level policymakers and other leaders engaged in conversations related to family planning and reproductive health as they exist in each county. More than 200 people who attended the four dissemination meetings included leaders and representatives from national and county governments, and civil society organizations.
This year, between February and April, NCPD reached out to stakeholders in four counties that had not yet been visited, Lamu, Samburu, Isiolo, and West Pokot. At the meetings, county stakeholders made commitments and agreements on the way forward, including engaging youth in family planning issues through sporting activities, and strengthening school health programs in reproductive health issues through the ministries of education and health.
Since 2010, “Kenya Leading the Way” has been shown throughout the country 84 times in 38 counties (see map: http://goo.gl/maps/Gk9x9).
Ethiopia Policy Communication Workshop
In June 2014, PRB facilitated a five-day policy communication workshop in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, on the theme of communicating population, health, and environment (PHE) research. The 17 participants represented researchers from an interagency consortium, NGOs, and government agencies in the country.
Participants explained that they came to the work- shop expecting to be able to better communicate with decisionmakers about the value of their work in PHE. In a post-workshop survey, participants reported that some of the most valuable aspects of the workshop included the process and value of developing a communication strategy, strategies in creating and delivering effective PowerPoint presentations, and the art of the interview. Many participants also stated that their expectations were met or surpassed, and that they have greater confidence in presenting information through multiple channels.
‘Meeting of the Minds’ Convenes Implementers and Donors
From May 5-9, 2014, implementers and donors of the Health of People & Environment in Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) project came together in Kisumu, Kenya, to review progress from the last three years during the “Meeting of the Minds,” hosted and funded by PRB. HoPE-LVB is an integrated population, health, and environment (PHE) project led by Pathfinder International in a consortium with local communities and partners, and with technical assistance from PRB.
Representatives of USAID, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation had the opportunity to visit project sites in Kenya and Uganda. They then met with representatives of PRB, Pathfinder International, Ecological Christian Organization, OSIENALA, ExpandNet, and others for two days to discuss project milestones, successes, and challenges, including scale-up. A brief video by Ecological Christian Organization, for which PRB provided input on content, was also screened to offer donors additional perspectives on how the project has affected local communities.
The meeting proved to be very helpful for implementers in learning more about the donors’ priorities, and fruitful for donors who were able to learn more about the multifaceted PHE approach and its value.
HoPE-LVB Policy Communication Activities
PRB continues to support HoPE-LVB’s in-country and regional-level policy communication activities, raising awareness among decisionmakers about HoPE-LVB successes and the PHE approach. On June 13, 2014, HoPE-LVB held a breakfast meeting attended by 70 decisionmakers including 43 Ugandan MPs selected from health, population, and natural resources committees. Thirteen journalists attended from several media houses, representing radio, TV, and print. That evening, several media houses aired HoPE during their news, and the Daily Monitor newspaper ran an article on HoPE the following week.
On June 18, several Ugandan MPs and some media representatives were taken to the HoPE-LVB Bussi Island project site to visit and interact with model households, young mothers, Beach Management Units, and village health teams. The MPs were engaged and positive about HoPE-LVB accomplishments. Following a discussion with the village health teams about absent health workers at facilities, the MPs have committed to bringing the issue to their health committee.
New Publications on Population Basics
A Practical Guide to Population and Development explains the factors and impacts of population growth, and identifies some important investments policymakers and leaders can prioritize to foster development for their nations. The guide is structured as a series of critical questions about the links between population, fertility, development, economics, health, and the environment. Short illustrative examples of country experiences highlight the connections between population and development and the benefits of slower population growth for development. View online: www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2014/ population-development-guide.aspx
In addition, a new brief, Understanding Population Projections: Assumptions Behind the Numbers, aims to improve understanding of population projections by highlighting key assumptions. The brief examines and discusses the population projections produced by the United Nations
Population Division. View the brief and related infographic: www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2014/united-nations-population-projections.aspx
Women’s Edition in Jamaica
In June, PRB’s media team organized a seminar for 11 Women’s Edition journalists in Jamaica. This was the fourth and final seminar for this group, representing Benin, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Jamaica was selected because it is at an intermediate stage of its demographic transition, but still faces reproductive health challenges similar to those in Africa and South Asia. The seminar highlighted Jamaica’s development progress and the ways in which it is dealing with its high rates of teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence.
Several site visits focused on programs and services for young people. To learn about Jamaica’s requirement that all schools teach Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) as a core subject, half of the journalists visited a primary and junior high school, and the other half visited a high school. Each group sat in on an HFLE class and compared notes on their impressions. Students in each of the classes engaged in lively, age-appropriate discussions around sexuality.
Reflecting on their two-year participation in Women’s Edition, many of the journalists said they had become their media house’s expert on issues concerning women, reproductive health, family planning, maternal health, and children and families. Five of the journalists reported that they had recently received promotions within their media houses for which they credited their work with Women’s Edition.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Hewlett Population and Climate Change Compatible Development Expert Working Group
PRB hosted one in-person and two virtual meetings of the Hewlett Population and Climate Change Compatible Development Expert Working Group, bringing together 13 experts from the fields of family planning, population, environment, and development. Participants aimed to identify a range of policy opportunities for increasing investment in family planning in the context of climate-compatible development—development that minimizes the harm caused by climate change while maximizing the human development opportunities presented by lower emissions and greater social resilience. At the in-person meeting in May 2014, participants gave input on a graphic linking family planning and climate change, reviewed policy opportunities for action, and discussed dissemination opportunities. A draft policy paper is currently being developed and will be reviewed and approved by working group members.
PopPov Research Dissemination
PRB staff presented a poster at the European Population Conference (EPC) in June. The poster, “Communicating Research to Policymakers: The Experience of Four PopPov Research Teams,” was based on a forthcoming policy brief, which highlights both progress made and challenges experienced among PopPov researchers in bringing their research evidence to policymakers. Presenting this poster at the EPC provided a forum for increasing both interest and visibility, particularly among the European research and funding communities.
Interviews with researchers from the PopPov Network have been posted on the PopPov website. PRB staff interviewed David Lam, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, about the effects of youth population growth on sub-Saharan African economics. Ernesto Amaral, a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, discussed the influence of demographic transition on economic development in Brazil. Jean-François Kobiané and Moussa Bougma discussed their analyses of the links between family structure, poverty, and child labor in Africa. Kobiané is the director of the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Bougma is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Montreal. His research interests include fertility and its links to educational attainment.
Read more about the researchers and watch their interviews at: www.poppov.org/Research/Interviews.aspx
New HIV and AIDS Report
A new report, HIV and AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa, released ahead of the 20th International AIDS Conference, shows that around 270,000 people were living with HIV in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as of the end of 2012, according to UNAIDS. The report points out that rates of HIV infection in MENA are among the lowest in the world, yet MENA is one of only two world regions where HIV is still on the rise. Between 2001 and 2012, the number of new infections in MENA grew by 52 percent—the most rapid increase in HIV among world regions. The report also notes that MENA countries cannot count solely on their cultural and religious values to safeguard their populations against the HIV infection. While infections are spreading in every country, the principal routes of transmission vary. In addition, the report offers suggestions for the way forward in stopping the spread of HIV in the MENA region.
Read the report at: www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2014/middle-east-hiv-aids.aspx