Guest post by Scott Moreland, PhD, MEASURE Evaluation Team Lead for Futures Group
In March, I presented oral evidence from a MEASURE Evaluation study in London at a UK Parliamentary hearing on population dynamics. The hearings were part of the UK government’s preparations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.
The study presented at the UK Parliamentary hearing focused on the impact of climate change, food security challenges, and population growth in Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world. Most Ethiopians depend on subsistence agriculture and are vulnerable to food insecurity. The study suggests policymakers should consider meeting Ethiopian women’s existing needs for family planning in strategies for adapting to the impacts of climate change on agriculture. The study combined three models to demonstrate that lower fertility rates resulting from greater use of family planning can help promote food security. Slowing population growth eases the demand to feed citizens, and lower fertility rates alter the composition of the population in ways that can improve nutritional status and health among children under five—a group that is highly vulnerable to food insecurity.
I previously submitted a policy brief to the committee on modeling, written with Futures Group’s Ellen Smith on population, climate change, and food security in Ethiopia. The research was funded by the MEASURE Evaluation Project and the Packard Foundation. My remarks to the committee summarized the framework and evidence linking population growth to the environment in general. I also discussed the results of our modeling linking population growth, food security, and climate change.
The two-hour meeting at the Palace of Westminster – the meeting place for the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and previously the primary residence of generations of kings of England – was also attended by representatives from Marie Stopes International and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The committee consisted of three members of Parliament: Sir Richard Ottaway, MP, the Right Honourable Baroness Uddin, and the Rt. Hon. Viscount Craigavon. Each of us gave a short (10–15) minute synopsis of our evidence, followed by a roundtable question and answer session and general discussion.
During the general discussion, I was glad to hear committee members express interest in the strength of the evidence linking climate change to population as well as the demographic dividend. They were also interested in how policy support could be strengthened for family planning. A major concern of the committee was that of population stabilization, which they saw as a long-term development goal to improve the well-being of the world’s most vulnerable people.
El Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, a través del Centro de Investigación en Evaluación y Encuestas (CIEE) te invita a participar en su:
- Modalidad: Presencial, tiempo completo
- Duración: Del 31 de agosto al 11 de septiembre, 2015, 80 horas
- Sede: INSP Cuernavaca, México
- Inscripciones abiertas: Registro del 1 al 30 de junio de 2015
Más información en: email@example.com
Guest post by Peter Lance, MEASURE Evaluation Research Associate
On May 21 at 10am (EDT), MEASURE Evaluation will host a webinar discussion motivated by the recent MEASURE Evaluation manual on geographic information systems (GIS) and survey sampling. I and fellow authors John Spencer and Aiko Hattori will discuss the possibilities for GIS to make sampling far more precise and efficient.
There is rapidly increasing demand for survey-derived information (values for critical indicators, program impact estimates, etc.) for particular, policy-sensitive subpopulations. Straightforward sampling from conventional national (e.g. census-derived) sampling frames often results in insufficiently small samples from such subpopulations even in the face of huge and costly overall samples.
However, sometimes these subpopulations of interest exhibit predictable patterns of spatial distribution. In these cases, a well-crafted GIS can, often at modest expense, tremendously increase the yield from the subpopulation of interest for a given overall sample size. In other words, such a GIS can greatly reduce the cost per individual successfully sampled from the subpopulation. Moreover, with the explosion in the range and richness of available geo-referenced information, the possibilities for modelling the spatial distributions of subpopulations of interests are expanding at a breathtaking pace.
Research and Fieldwork in Development
Hammett, Daniel, Chasca Twyman, and Mark Graham. New York: Routledge, 2015.
In this text, the authors present the theoretical bases, practice, and analysis techniques for both traditional and cutting edge research methods including interviews, ethnography, spatial and visual data, and big data and social media. Each chapter is supported by case studies linking theory to practice and locates development research within the field of international development.
Just as HIV prevention programs need to be tailored to the local epidemic, so should evaluations be country-owned and country-led to ensure use of those results in decision making and policy. The objective of this paper is to describe the process undertaken in Ghana to develop a national evaluation plan for the Ghana national strategy for key populations.
This was a participatory process that involved meetings between the Ghana AIDS Commission, other partners in Ghana working to prevent HIV among key populations, and MEASURE Evaluation. The process included three two-day, highly structured yet participatory meetings over the course of 12 months during which participants shared information about on-going and planned data and identified research questions and methods.
An evaluation plan was prepared to inform stakeholders about which data collection activities need to be prioritized for funding, who would implement the study, the timing of data collection, the research question the data will help answer, and the analysis methods. The plan discusses various methods that can be used including the recommendation for the study design using multiple data sources. It has an evaluation conceptual model, proposed analyses, proposed definition of independent variables, estimated costs for filling data gaps, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders to carry out the plan, and considerations for ethics, data sharing and authorship.
The experience demonstrates that it is possible to design an evaluation responsive to national strategies and priorities with country leadership, regardless of stakeholders’ experiences with evaluations. This process may be replicable elsewhere, where stakeholders want to plan and implement an evaluation of a large-scale program at the national or subnational level that is responsive to national priorities and part of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system.
MEASURE Evaluation welcomes proposals for inclusion in a Compendium of Best Practices for Adolescent/Youth-friendly HIV Services. The goal of this activity is to answer critical questions that move forward USAID’s mission of supporting (a) the adoption of evidence-based practices in adolescent/youth-friendly HIV care and services to help at-risk adolescents (age 10-19 years) and youth (age 15-24 years) stay HIV-free, and (b) the provision of comprehensive packages of HIV prevention, care, treatment, and retention services to adolescents/youth living with HIV in order to promote their successful transition to adulthood. Add your voice, knowledge and expertise in answering these questions:
- What are the most practical and innovative approaches to providing adolescent/youth-friendly HIV prevention, care, treatment and retention services and supports?
- What creative, promising and proven strategies and approaches can we rely on to ensure that services and supports are clinically effective, culturally appropriate, and achieve desired outcomes among adolescents/youth?
- What are the best practices for engaging adolescents/youth in planning, implementing and evaluating HIV-prevention, care, treatment, and retention services?
- What practical strategies can be utilized to support and sustain adolescent/youth-led organizations to ensure authentic adolescent/youth voices in HIV prevention, care, treatment, and retention services?
This environmental scan of adolescent/youth-friendly HIV services focuses on persons aged 10-24 years in 22 countries receiving support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These countries include Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
See the full Call for Best Practices for Youth-friendly HIV Services.