US Presidents make their mark on health, for better or worse. Donald Trump campaigned on a populist platform to “make America great again”. While the actual policies his administration will pursue—and the priority he will place on each of them—remain in many ways uncertain, both his statements and his nominations for key government posts suggest that his presidency could have profound implications for health. His proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a “better reform”, his stance on reproductive rights, and his approaches to other areas, such as science policy and climate change, coupled with his stated intention to put “America first” are creating anxiety and uncertainty about America's domestic health policies and its global leadership role in areas such as security and development.
In developing countries, bank branches and fixed-line telecommunications are scarce, whereas mobile phones are plentiful. These factors have led to the use of mobile money, whereby money can be used to purchase minutes, which can then be converted back into money. Suri and Jack show that increased access to mobile money has increased long-term consumption in Kenya and reduced the number of households in extreme poverty.
Nighttime lighting is a rough proxy for economic wealth, and nighttime maps of the world show that many developing countries are sparsely illuminated. Jean et al. combined nighttime maps with high-resolution daytime satellite images (see the Perspective by Blumenstock). With a bit of machine-learning wizardry, the combined images can be converted into accurate estimates of household consumption and assets, both of which are hard to measure in poorer countries. Furthermore, the night- and day-time data are publicly available and nonproprietary.
Science , this issue p. ; see also p. 
In 98% of cities with populations greater than 100 000 in low- and middle-income countries, people are breathing air with pollution levels that exceed World Health Organization (WHO) safety limits, according to the latest WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database (http://bit.ly/1XrMGm1).The WHO recently reported that cities in low- and middle-income countries carry the highest global burden of air pollution (Cairo pictured above).
The Access to Seeds Index measures and compares the efforts of the world’s leading seed companies to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers. By matching the expectations of stakeholders in and around the seed industry with company performance, it helps to clarify the role that the seed industry can play and brings transparency to the…
"Poor nutrition can cause young children to become stunted, that is, to be too short for their age. In fact, an estimated 159 million children under five worldwide are stunted due to chronic malnutrition. Linear growth retardation, resulting in stunting, begins in utero and continues into infancy and early childhood" IFPRI blog http://bit.ly/1UPQwBO
The surge in food prices in the last years, following a century of decline, has been the most marked of the past century in its magnitude, duration and the number of commodity groups whose prices have increased. The ensuing crisis has resulted in a 50-200% increase in selected commodity prices, driven 110 million people into poverty and added 44 million more to the undernourished. Elevated food prices have had dramatic impacts on the lives and livelihoods, including increased infant and child mortality, of those already undernourished or living in poverty and spending 70-80% of their daily income on food. Key causes of the current food crisis are the combined effects of speculation in food stocks, extreme weather events, low cereal stocks, growth in biofuels competing for cropland and high oil prices.
This report reviews a range of strategies and policies for action covering sectors such as urban planning, transport, household energy and building design, food production and consumption, power generation, industry, and waste management. Reducing SLCP emissions can yield near-term benefits to health making measures particularly attractive to policy-makers, as well as slowing the pace of climate change over the next few decades.
Good health is incompatible with war and conflict. Apart from their direct physical and psychological effects, wars and conflict damage health-care, food, water, and sanitation systems; pollute and degrade the environment; and undermine development.The effect of violence on the global economy in 2014 cost about US$14·3 trillion, equivalent to a hundred times the total official development assistance from rich to poor countries.
The recent Lancet-Rockefeller report on planetary health1 draws our attention to the enormous debt that humanity has contracted with the environment. In the case of the economy, most human activities are currently based on loans from Nature, the extent of which has not yet been quantified. The overall monetary debt in the world has been estimated to be 200K billion dollars, corresponding to 286% of the overall Gross Product. But the debt towards Nature (due to the loans in kind) is likely to be much larger. The use of land and the related erosion and impoverishment, the misuse of water, fisheries or the atmosphere, just to give some examples, are creating a debt with Nature that cannot be returned, not even within decades.
Research suggests living in close proximity to chickens may make children more prone to health problems. But water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) recommendations focus almost exclusively on human feces.
A new report by the Institute of Development Studies and Oxfam finds that the global food crisis of 2007-11 brought about lasting changes to the relationship between the work people do and the food they eat – the costs of which have gone uncounted by global policymakers.
The Nile River Basin supports the livelihoods of millions of people in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, principally as water for agriculture and hydropower. The resource is the focus of much contested development, not only between upstream and downstream neighbours, but also from countries outside the region. This book investigates the water, land and energy nexus in the Nile Basin.
The report creates a measure of the SDG starting point for 2015 at the country level. It will help every country identify priorities for early action, understand the key implementation challenges and identify the gaps that must be closed in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030. In addition to the full report, the datasets for the SDG Index and Dashboards can also be downloaded below.
But while it is fine for the well-fed to be prissy about not eating food containing genetically modified ingredients, their fears have cast a shadow over the development of transgenic crops that might help those whose bellies are not so full. That is unconscionable. With luck, the new generation of genome-edited plants, and maybe even animals, will not provoke such a reaction.
World Humanitarian Data and Trends presents global- and country-level data-and-trend analysis about humanitarian crises and assistance. Its purpose is to consolidate this information and present it in an accessible way, providing policymakers, researchers and humanitarian practitioners with an evidence base to support humanitarian policy decisions and provide context for operational decisions.
Visualised in graphs I am presenting the long-term data on how we are changing our world. This is the Empirical View on How We Are Making Our World a Better Place. Topic by topic I cover the decline of violence and the increase of tolerance and political rights. Improving living standards, health and well-being; population changes and associated success in preserving our environment. Increasing knowledge about our word and spreading education.
Luz Marina Alvare's insight:
A web publication authored by Max Roser, from University of Oxford. always being updated with new data and content.
Since the extraordinary events of early 2011, most Arab countries have slipped into a state of war, and living conditions for the majority of the working population have not improved. The revolution did not restructure society in favour of working people. The reason is that the prevailing ideology remains set in the neoliberal discourse. The policies behind the resource allocation mechanisms, the conveyor belts of income and wealth distribution, have not changed.
The Women’s Empowerment Index (WEI) is a composite index designed to measure progress in the multi-dimensional aspects of women’s empowerment. It considers empowerment to be a factor of both women’s achievements as well as of gender parity with men. WEI measures progress on women’s empowerment by aggregating results across five key areas (or “domains”). Each domain is comprised of a series of metrics (or “indicators”) which quantifies performance in this domain.
Luz Marina Alvare's insight:
Uses the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI)
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