Friday, May 7, 2010

[socialactionfoundationforequity:2568 Telemedicine for HIV/AIDS Patients

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Telemedicine for HIV/AIDS Patients

PIB, Friday, May 07, 2010
16:20 IST

The telemedicine facility for HIV infected patients is being set up on a pilot basis in the Center of Excellence, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. The project, called Project DISHA is a joint collaboration between University of New Mexico, USA & National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), Govt. of India.

The telemedicine facility will link Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centres in remote areas with the Centers of Excellence (COE).  The interaction between medical officers at ART centres with specialists at Centers of Excellence will promote access to better knowledge and practices that will translate into better care for the HIV patients at these ART centers.

             Assistance of World Health Organization (WHO) was sought and obtained in strategic planning of prevention, treatment and control measures for HIV/AIDS since the time the first case of HIV was reported in the country.

Specific technical assistance is being received for:
            1. Surveillance for identifying and tracking the epidemic
            2. Screening of blood for blood borne pathogens to ensure safe blood transfusion
            3. Technical Assistance in expanding the counseling and testing facilities in the country
            4. Technical Assistance in scaling up of Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for adult and paediatric HIV infected patients  
            5. Monitoring and determining, emergence and levels of HIV Drug Resistance
            6. Technical Assistance in scaling up of prevention of mother to child transmission facilities
            7. Establishing measures to manage HIV/TB co-infections.
Periodic training workshops on rabies are being conducted at National Centre for Disease Control as a part of WHO Biennium activity.

This information was given by Minister of State  for Health & Family Welfare, Shri Dinesh Trivedi  in written reply to a question raised in Lok Sabha today.

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2568 Kerala's HIV positive Bency, 15, dies in hospital

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Kerala's HIV positive Bency, 15, dies in hospital

Indo Asian News Service, Friday May 7, 2010, Kollam (Kerala)
Fifteen-year-old Bency, one of the two HIV positive children who fought a gritty battle against schools in Kerala for ostracising them, is dead. Her funeral is likely to be held on Saturday, her grandmother said on Friday.

Bency was admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital last week after her condition deteriorated and her weight had dropped to as low as 16 kg. The teenager died on Thursday.

"Bency's funeral will take place when her uncle and family come from Mumbai. The uncle is arriving today (Friday) and his wife will come in all likelihood it would take place tomorrow (Saturday) at the Kaithakuzhi Mar Thoma Church," her grandmother Sallamma told IANS.

Bency and her younger brother Benson, were infected by their parents, who died a few years ago. They were looked after by their 56-year-old grandmother, who gets a widow's pension of Rs.3,000 a month.

The HIV positive siblings got a lot of media attention when, led by their grandfather, they barged into the state secretariat seeking then chief minister AK Antony's intervention to stop schools from turning them away.

In 2004, after two years of struggle, they were re-admitted to the government-run school near their home at Chathanur in Kollam district, about 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

Their grandfather died in 2005.

Sallamma says it is 13-year-old Benson who comforts her.

"When I cry, he tells me not to cry because he can feel Munna (Bency) is lying in the bed next to his. He comforts me by saying that if I cry, then how can he bear the loss of his Munna," Sallamma said with tears in her eyes.

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj, while she was Health Minister, had hugged and kissed them in public, sending a strong message to society that children like them should be loved and not shunned.

Soon after, HLL Lifecare Ltd provided them monthly financial assistance for food and travelling to school. While Benson has just passed his Class 7 exam, Sallamma is happy that Bency could clear Class 9 before her death.

The grandmother now wants that Bency's body be kept for some time at the Kollam District Hospital for people to pay their last respects.

"Then the body should be kept at our village council and then brought home before being taken to church for the last rites," Sallamma said.

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2568 50 years of a sometimes bitter pill

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50 years of a sometimes bitter pill

By Clare Murphy
Health reporter, BBC News, Friday, 7 May 2010

The pill: a medication or a lifestyle choice?

It is 50 years since the pill was first approved as a contraceptive,
finally divorcing sex from pregnancy. But half a century on, our
relationship with the tablet credited with revolutionising women's
lives is not always an easy one.

On 9 May, 1960, the American authorities announced they would allow a
hormonal pill previously used for gynaecological complaints to be
prescribed as contraception. Over the next decade, a string of other
Western countries from Australia to the UK would follow suit.

Science, changing social attitudes and even fears about overpopulation
in communist states all conspired to make the pill possible.
Scientists had known for years that high doses of certain hormones
stopped ovulation, but despite extensive research using German
policemen's urine and thousands of sheep ovaries, it seemed almost
impossible to extract the quantities needed for production on any
meaningful scale.

It was not until the discovery that progesterone could be synthesised
from the Mexican yam met the money and enthusiasm of two women
committed to the cause of birth control, that the project took on a
life of its own.

The irony is that these women are provided a medication that enables
freedom from reproductive worries, but these same women are not
provided information that there are significant adverse sexual effects
that may ensue
Dr Irwin Goldstein

Journal of Sexual Medicine

The pill also appeared just before the scandal broke over Thalidomide,
the wonder-drug often prescribed for morning sickness which led to
serious deformities in babies. This resulted in an overhaul of
regulatory procedures.

"But it's very unfair to suggest those involved weren't bothered about
safety - when you look at the records kept there was definite caution.
The problem is we judge them according to post-Thalidomide standards,"
says Dr Lara Marks, author of Sexual Chemistry: a history of the
contraceptive pill.

"It's true you would have a much harder time getting this off the
ground today. The regulatory climate is completely different - but
women themselves are much more critical and questioning about what
they are being offered.

"We probably wouldn't put up with the serious side-effects of the
first pill as so many women did back then, but then we don't
understand what it was like to live in a world before legal abortion."

Scary stats
Now the pill is one of the most studied medications in history, the
subject of many ongoing epidemiological investigations. More than 200
million women worldwide have used it since it was first approved.

Its popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years amid various health
scares - from thrombosis to cancer, and it has demanded an
understanding of relative risk like no other drug. Risk, when it comes
to offering healthy people a long-term drug, is perceived quite
differently from weighing up the pros and cons for someone who is

The last major health scare occurred in the mid-1990s, when it was
found that the "third generation" of pills put women at a higher risk
of venous thromboembolism, which can be fatal in some cases.

All the research shows that when women feel they are the ones in
charge of their contraception, making decisions about it, they are
more likely to use it

Lynn Hearton Family Planning Association

While the research was solid, there was criticism of the way it was
presented - giving women little understanding of their overall risk -
not least in comparison with the risks of being pregnant.

It was later concluded that the scare probably did save a handful of
women from clots, but the thousands of extra unwanted pregnancies put
many more at risk. The abortion rate in the UK rose by 8% in the
following year, equivalent to 13,000 terminations.
The research suggests a possible, marginal increase in breast and
cervical cancers among those taking the pill, but lifelong protection
against ovarian cancers. Indeed, a study published earlier this year
of 46,000 women - some followed for almost 40 years - found those on
the pill less likely to die of any cause than those not.

For healthy, non-smokers there appears to be no reason why the pill
cannot be taken until the age of 50, but doctors agree those with a
history of blood clots, breast cancer, stroke or heart disease should
steer clear - as should anyone who is very overweight, has high blood
pressure or continues to smoke beyond the age of 35.

No free lunch
But even if the serious health problems appear to be now in context,
the pill is still regularly under fire. Just this week German
researchers suggested it may reduce libido.

The exact link is unclear but, in an editorial accompanying the study,
Dr Irwin Goldstein of the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggested there
may be consequences of meddling with one's hormones.

"The irony is that these women are provided a medication that enables
freedom from reproductive worries, but these same women are not
provided information that there are significant adverse sexual effects
that may ensue," he said.

What the next 50 years will bring is unclear. The pill is still much
preferred over long-acting reversible contraceptives such as implants
or intrauterine devices, despite the fact these methods - unlike the
pill - need very little thought or action.

There is regular talk of a male contraceptive, but above and beyond
the debate as to whether women would trust men with their birth
control, practically it is simply much harder to shut down constant
sperm production than stop an egg being released every month.

In the UK, making the pill available without prescription, free from
the medical authorities, remains controversial - for both moral and
medical reasons.

"But this is what should be happening, going forward. All the research
shows that when women feel they are the ones in charge of their
contraception, making decisions about it, they are more likely to use
it," says Lynn Hearton of the Family Planning Association.

"It won't be for everyone, and some women will want to see their
doctor. We'd need to ensure that all the information was out there.
But 50 years on it really is time to stop being so paternalistic. The
pill is a medicine, but it's also a lifestyle choice, and it's one we
should trust women to make."

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2567 GPF Newsletter May 03-07

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--- On Sat, 8/5/10, Global Policy Forum <> wrote:

From: Global Policy Forum <>
Subject: GPF Newsletter May 03-07
Date: Saturday, 8 May, 2010, 3:08

Global Policy Forum
May 3 - May 7, 2010
Security Council   Social and Economic Policy   International Justice   NGOs    Empire?  


Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and read our blog

Also, GPF has begun a news update video series, check out "The GPForum Channel"

Security Council

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My Mandate on Gaza was Even-Handed, My Loyalty is to Justice (May 5, 2010)
Richard Goldstone, author of the UN report on Operation Cast Lead, argues that the report was not biased and that it promoted international justice. He notes how Israeli involvement and cooperation with the Goldstone Report was encouraged from the beginning, and that the Israeli government denied the requests. Also, Goldstone asserts that if Israel had presented a credible counter-report, the considerations would have been taken into account - unfortunately, such a report was not forth-coming. (Guardian)

Can Brazil Save the World from War with Iran? (May 4, 2010)
American, British, and French efforts to obtain the support of China and Russia indicate that the UN Security Council is moving closer to voting on new sanctions against Iran. This opens a window of opportunity for the elected members of the Council who could potentially defeat "Permanent-Five unanimity" by blocking a resolution. Brazil has challenged the march toward harsher sanctions and perhaps armed conflict, drawing parallels between the current situation and the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Brazil has revived proposals to help Iran develop a peaceful nuclear program, providing a much-needed alternative to the bellicosity emanating from Washington. (Truthout)

After Renewing Sanctions, EU Seeks Face-Time with Burma Junta (May 3, 2010)
The European Union has extended its sanctions against Myanmar until April 2011. The European Council stated that unfair election rules and the continued imprisonment of dissident politicians were reasons for the extension. NGOs argue that EU sanctions are insufficient because they fail to target the business cronies of the ruling junta. Further, the French refusal to support calls for Total to cease its oil and gas operations in Burma has undermined the sanctions. (World Press)

Polisario Blasts UN over W.Sahara Human Rights (May 3, 2010)
Mohamed Abdelaziz, head of the Polisario Front, has called the recent Security Council Resolution on Western Sahara "a scandal for the credibility of the United Nations and the Security Council." Council members had debated amending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force (MINURSO) to allow it to monitor human rights violations in Western Sahara. Under the leadership of France, however, the Council had excluded any mention of "human rights" in the unanimously-approved final resolution. Abedlaziz claims that Moroccan human rights abuses in Western Sahara could lead to a renewal of armed conflict. (AFP)

The Role of Natural Resources in Civil Wars (May 3, 2010)
The plundering of natural resources by foreign governments and companies has contributed to nearly every conflict of the last thirty-years. Oil, gold, cobalt, water, timber and many more resources are used to prop up corrupt governments and support violent militias. The Security Council must develop the political will to draw links between natural resources and conflict, if peacekeeping and peace-building forces are to be successful. (Towards Freedom)

UN Presence in DR Congo Crucial Despite Call for Early Withdrawal, Says Relief Chief (May 3, 2010)
After a tour of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UN Humanitarian Coordinator John Holmes declared that the UN's peacekeeping presence in the DRC is vital, despite pressure from Kinshasa to withdraw the peacekeeping force, MONUC. Holmes claimed that MONUC plays an important role in deterring attacks on civilians and humanitarian agencies, while delivering assistance to the needy. Although he repeated the UN's requests for nearly $1 billion in further donor support for humanitarian missions like MONUC, Holmes said nothing about recent allegations that MONUC troops have engaged in serious human rights abuses. (UN News Center)

War is Boring: China Dam Project Stokes Regional Tensions (April 28, 2010)
China has confirmed that it is constructing five dams on rivers it shares with downstream India. The confirmation is perceived by many Indians as tantamount to a declaration of war. Beijing, however, does not seem fazed as it continues to hoard as much water as it can to provide energy for its booming economy. In contrast to other Chinese natural resource grabs - copper in Afghanistan, oil in Sudan etc - stealing India's water could have drastic political and military repercussions. (World Politics Review)

A Decade On, No Seats for Women at the Peace Table (April 27, 2010)
Ten years ago, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325; a measure designed to give equal access and full participation rights to women in all layers at the UN. However, one decade on, a pitiful 19 out of 192 member states have developed national action plans to implement 1325. Consequently, the number of women in decision-making positions is actually declining, women focused human rights issues are often neglected, and sexual violence against women in peacekeeping is seriously under-investigated. (IPS)

Experts Call for Hike in Global Water Price (April 27, 2010)
Major world economies are pressing for water prices to increase substantially, whilst the number of people without access to clean water continues to rise. The major economies argue that increasing the price of water will make people "value" it more; however, critics rightly argue, it is the water subsidies given to agriculture and industry that have to stop if we are to halt real water wastage. Furthermore, if prices increase, the funds to carry out much-needed water infrastructure development will decrease - further wasting water. Finally, the price hike will simply deprive the world's poor of this human necessity. (Guardian)

Thirst for African Oil (April 2010)
Africa currently supplies about twelve-percent of the world's oil, boasts significant untapped reserves and has surpassed the Middle East as the largest regional supplier of crude oil to the US. Chinese interest in African oil is rapidly increasing because, after the UNOCAL debacle of 2005, it realized the open-market is too risky a place to secure national resources. However, foreign oil interests in Africa often serve controversial governments and labor practices. India and South Korea are also joining the African oil grab. (London School of Economics)

UN Security Council Reform: a Gordian Knot?(April 2010)
Efforts to reform the UN Security Council have been in the pipeline for decades. However, the efforts have been scuppered by disagreements, regional rivalries and institutional obstacles, which in turn have delegitimized the UNSC reform process. The SC reform debate must be reinvigorated and all sides need to demonstrate compromise, without watering down the reform goals. This article highlights reasons for SC reform, competing models for reform, controversial reform issues, structural obstacles to SC reform and Switzerland's role in SC reform. (CSS Analysis)

Social and Economic Policy

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Government Technology

Broadcasting Women's Voices in Haiti's Reconstruction (May 3,2010)
This article highlights the importance of radio in promoting women's participation in the social, political, and economic dialogues of Haiti. The Women's Community Radio Network (REFRAKA) trains women as journalists, hosts programs about local issues and supports activism. REFRAKA's program director remarks how popular communication plays a big part in the women's movement, which plays a vital role in planning "a national development plan for another Haiti. (Truthout)

ZIMBABWE: Bad Roads Lead to Malaria Outbreak (May 3,2010)
Road infrastructure is being blamed for a malaria outbreak in the Binga district in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North province as anti-malaria spraying teams were unable to reach the area. Spraying and the distribution of mosquito nets have drastically reduced the cases of malaria in the country, but Zimbabwe's exposure to the flight of speculative capital and its vulnerability to international commodity markets has crippled its ability to maintain infrastructure. (IPS)

UN Sets Out Roadmap for Universal Electricity Access (April 28, 2010)
The UN Advisory Group to the Secretary General on Energy and Climate Change has released a report calling on the international community to increase people's access to electricity. Nearly half the world's population still relies on burning biomass for cooking and heating. The smoke from biomass not only has a profound impact on the global climate, but can also cause serious health problems. This article speaks to the report's acknowledgment that access to reliable electricity is a key variable in the reduction of poverty world-wide. (IPS)

Policy Space in Trade and Investment Agreements (April 2010)
Since the global financial crisis, even the IMF has acknowledged that capital controls are a legitimate part of a country's toolkit to ensure economic stability. The United States and other major economies around the world have also realized that the financial stability of their trading partners is in their own interest. Despite this, capital controls stand in violation of the bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements the US and the WTO have forged in the last two decades. This paper analyzes the flawed economic theory and history of these trade regimes, and offers a range of policy options more consistent with the realities of the 21st century. (Tufts University)

International Justice

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Justice 4 Consumers

US Takes Cautious Steps Towards ICC (May 6, 2010)
The United States has signalled a willingness to engage with the International Criminal Court (ICC) since President Obama took office. Domestic political pressure, however, is forcing the Obama administration to limit its engagement with the ICC. One of the main obstacles to closer US-ICC cooperation with the ICC is the controversy around the definition of the crimes of aggression and the question whether the Court should prosecute such offences. This issue will be discussed at the ICC Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, this month. The US is expected to argue against the proposal, as it fears that a broader jurisdiction of the Court will increase the possibility of charges against US military and government officials. (IWPR)

Brazilian Supreme Court Upholds Amnesty Law (April 30, 2010)
The Brazilian Supreme Court has rejected a motion to exclude civilians and military personnel accused of torture under Brazil's military dictatorship (1964-1985) from the 1979 Amnesty Law. The Brazilian process is comparable to efforts taken in Spain to reconsider the 1977 Amnesty Law. The governments of both countries fear that criminal trials might reopen old wounds and create political instabilities. According to Andreea Nicutar, both countries should use the ongoing criminal trials in Argentina as an example in dealing with the legacies of past military regimes. (Civitas Politics Blog)

Kenyan Cooperation Crucial to ICC Probe (April 23, 2010)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently authorized the opening of formal criminal investigations by the ICC prosecutor into Kenya's post-election violence in 2007. The alleged instigators of the crimes are widely believed to include a number of high-ranking government officials. In this article, Geoffrey Nyamboga asserts that a successful investigation is of crucial importance for the legitimacy of the Court and the future of Kenya. Much will depend on Nairobi's promise to cooperate with the Court, irrespective of the direction of the ICC investigations. (IWPR)


Picture Credit:
Vancouver Sun

Italian NGO Saga Continues to Make Waves (May 4, 2010)
Nine employees of Emergency - an Afghanistan based Italian aid NGO - were charged for hospital killings and plotting to assassinate an Afghan governor. All accusations have since been dropped, yet controversies continue to surround the humanitarian NGO. Emergency recently admitted to having acted on the Italian Foreign Ministry's instructions when it brokered an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban in 2007 to "swap" five Taliban prisoners for the release of kidnapped Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo. Should humanitarian NGOs negotiate and mediate on behalf of belligerent parties, especially when it claims to act in "good faith," and where human life is at risk? (IRIN)

Afghanistan Aid Groups Say NATO Threatens Their Neutrality (April 21, 2010)
The increasing involvement of military forces on humanitarian aid and development not only blurs the lines between military and humanitarian aid, it also places the safety of NGO aid workers in jeopardy. NATO has actively participated in Afghan development and humanitarian aid through its "civilian-military provincial reconstruction teams" which consist of military staff, reconstruction experts and diplomats. Such efforts could be seen as a bid to foster friendly relations with the local community, and to benefit NATO's military strategy. This raises serious concerns among NGOs, such as French aid group Solidarités, who argue that humanitarian aid should be "independent, neutral and impartial." (PANOS London)


Picture Credit:
World Maps Online

Judges Ban Secret Evidence in Guantanamo Compensation Case (May 5, 2010)
Six former Guantanamo Bay prisoners are claiming civil damages against the UK Government alleging that the MI5 and MI6 "aided and abetted their unlawful imprisonment" at numerous locations around the world, including Guantanamo Bay, where they were tortured. Controversially, the UK Government asked for the trial to be heard under the "closed material procedure" meaning that the claimants would not see large parts of the evidence being used by the Government to defend the allegations. The High Court denied the Government's request, with Lord Neuberger stating that "it would undermine one of the most fundamental principles of the common law," the right of a party to know the case again him. (The Times)

Pentagon Report: Still Not Enough Troops for Afghanistan Operations (April 29, 2010)
The Pentagon's Annual Report to Congress on the "Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan" and the "United States Plan for Sustaining the Afghanistan National Security Forces" has revealed that violence in Afghanistan has increased 87 percent between February 2009 and March 2010 despite the Obama Administration increasing troops by 50,000 in the past year. The 150 page Progress Report notes that one of the key challenges facing US forces is recruiting a sufficient amount of experienced Afghan troops and police. (Uruknet)

Military Tribunal Opens Hearings on Guantanamo Detainee Omar Khadr (April 29, 2010)
A United States military tribunal has opened a case against Canadian citizen, Omar Khadr. Khadr is accused of killing a US Special Forces medic in Afghanistan and conspiracy with al-Qaeda. He is the first person to be tried in a US war crimes tribunal for acts allegedly committed as a minor. His attorneys claim that his self-incriminating statements were the result of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by US interrogators. UN officials and human rights activists have expressed astonishment over the Obama administration's decision to revive the case and the Canadian government's refusal to demand Khadr's extradition. (Washington Post)

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Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2565 Invitation: Art for Life (A4L)

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--- On Sat, 8/5/10, Ash Pachauri <> wrote:

From: Ash Pachauri <>
Subject: Invitation: Art for Life (A4L)
Date: Saturday, 8 May, 2010, 8:49

Dear Friends,


The Center for Human Progress (CHP) and several eminent partners, including the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), UNAIDS and UNDP will host the first-of-its-kind Art for Life (A4L) initiative, which will be launched at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi on 15 May, 2010

Art for Life (A4L) aims to use art as a medium of communication for HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and generate public awareness through its contribution of art to the largest canvas dedicated to these issues.


The A4L launch event is scheduled to be held at India Habitat Centre (IHC), Lodi Road on 15 May, 2010. Thereafter, we intend to move the canvas to various locations – e.g., important venues, schools and public places -- of NCR and some major cities around the country, inviting public contribution of messages related to HIV-SRHR using art.


Once complete, the canvas will be exhibited during the upcoming Common Wealth Games in Delhi, on World AIDS Day, and finally, it will find a permanent and prominent place within the city-scape of Delhi.  It is expected that A4L will mark history as a largest piece of art on HIV-SRHR generated through public participation.  We have approached the Limca book of World Records to explore an entry.

We will shortly be sending you a formal invitation to join the launch event on 15 May, 2010.  The programme opens with exhibition of the canvas for public contribution, an art exhibition at the Experimental Art Gallery, IHC and live music (all day) focused on youth and HIV-SRHR at 11AM.  The evening will witness live performances (music, dance, drama) and lots of fun!


Do join us and bring your family and friends!  Please circulate this email widely!


Warm regards,


Dr. Ash Pachauri

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2565 How Kasab, Sajjan Kumar & Jagdish Tytler are different?

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--- On Sat, 8/5/10, Youth Khalsa Federation <> wrote:

From: Youth Khalsa Federation <>
Subject: How Kasab, Sajjan Kumar & Jagdish Tytler are different?
Date: Saturday, 8 May, 2010, 8:59

Press Note:                                                    Date: 04-05-2010
Dear Pressreporters, media and Indian Union Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram,
Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh||
These days one news hits the T.V. Screens on all news channels and in almost all the News Papers that Kasab found guilty and people from all over India demands a severe Punishment for Kasab. Every one in India wants that Kasab should be Hanged for the Killing of so many people. Even the Union Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram told reporters after the court convicted Kasab for the Mumbai carnage that, "The Conviction of Kasab and the acquittal of the two accused shows that India is ruled by law. That shows the independence, fearlessness and integrity of the court". I want to ask Mr. Chidambaram that what happens to your so called independent, fearless courts whenever any case related to Sikhs come in these so called courts. Khalsa always wants peace in the world and also justifies that killers of so many innocent people should be punished severely. But why there is different law for the Sikhs when they are also the citizens of the same country? Whatever people of India wants for (Kasab) the killer of about 71 people, Sikhs also want the same for the killers of thousands of innocent Sikhs on the roads of Delhi & all over India in 1984. Home Minister told that this conviction should be message for Terrorists, but I want to ask him through the media about the terrorists who were roaming around the streets of Delhi leading the mob  of Hired Goons in November 1984 and killed thousands of innocent Sikhs, what your courts have done to them? Those terrorists are still enjoying the facilities in your own Government. If you have any answer please tell me. 
Even the Public Prosecutor Mr. Ujjwal Nikam told about Kasab that he is a killing mchine, a Satan, a Ravan and also terming him a Snake. So what about those Snakes, Ravans & Killing Machines who are sitting in your own lap Mr. Chindbaram what you will do with them? Mr. Home Ministers you people are feeding those Snakes with milk who are the Killers of Thousands of Sikhs. 
You people always terming Sikhs as Radicals and Extreamists. Now people of India are demanding a severe Punishment for Kasab. If all the Indians now are radicals or extreamists? What you will say about them? Same is case with Sikhs, if Sikhs demand the severe Punishment for their guilties then how can you people term them radicals and extreamists? Just think over it and answer it.
Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh||
Servant of Guru Panth:
Sukhdeep Singh
(Youth Khalsa Federation)

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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[socialactionfoundationforequity:2564 Myths to be shattered on Thalassemia Day !

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Dear All,

Let us shatter some extant myths which determine the mindset hindering the optimum blood collection anywhere.Endeavours for ensuring safe and accessible blood free from the TTIs (beyond just HIV/the five tested ones only) are affected by them.

A very prevalent myth is that there is a need of blood ONLY at the time of natural calamities, terrorist attacks and what have you.

When the GSCBT contacted its counterpart in Maharashtra at the time of bomb blasts in Mumbai, to generate support to them   from the districts of Navsari and Valsad, we were told that the blood banks there were full of blood as many good Samaritans had  volunteered to donate.

The situation was no different in  our own Gujarat after the 26-01-01 earthquake.

Many people think that regular blood donation implies donating at the time of such a 'crisis'. 

Reality is otherwise.

There is a regular requirement of blood 24X7 on all 365 days of the year.

Prevention of deaths due to postpartum haemorrhage (happening at a high rate every single day in villages/ towns/ cities), acute requirements of blood for cancer patients, surgical procedures, road traffic accidents are all ADDITIONAL to the regular need of blood for myriad chronic conditions like thalassemia. They all necessitate regular blood donation from a pool of 'safe' donors-comprising repeat ,regular, non-remunerated(altruistic) blood donors with  realization of the importance of donating every 3 months or other frequent periodic schedule.

These children with thalassemia are ,as a matter of fact ,alive because of the donated blood (and other support from organizations like IRCS) and a SIGNIFICANT proportion of collected blood in the state just meets these regular requirements.

Another myth is that 1% population donating blood (Gujarat is the only Indian state doing that) is sufficient to meet all the requirements of blood.

That is just the minimum. Garvi Gujarat should and would donate 1.5 to 2 % of its population, i.e. 8.5 to 11 lakh units from the existing collection of 7 lakh units.

Functioning of all blood storage centres for timely access to blood for the fulfilment of the dream of total blood security necessitates an effort like 44,444 units collected in 555 camps in 365 days of the year made successfully in Gujarat by banking on the bankers(State Bank of India)-one of the stakeholders in the sustained endeavours.

Regards and best wishes,

Dr.Rajesh Gopal.



Justice for the Poor Newsletter April 2010

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April/May 2010   


Justice for the Poor is a World Bank research and development program aimed at informing, designing and supporting pro-poor approaches to justice reform. It is an approach to justice reform which sees justice from the perspective of the poor and marginalized, is grounded in social and cultural contexts, recognizes the importance of demand in building equitable justice systems, and understands justice as a cross-sectoral issue. Read more about Justice for the Poor Program.


Women, State Law and Land in Peri-Urban Settlements on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Rebecca Monson, J4P Briefing Note, Volume 4, Issue 3, April 2010

This paper provides a brief overview of the intersection of state and customary laws governing land in peri-urban settlements around Honiara, focusing on their impact upon landowners, particularly women landowners.3 It suggests that the intersection of customary and state legal systems allows a small number of individuals, predominantly men, to solidify their control over customary land. This has occurred to the detriment of many landowners, who have often found themselves excluded from both decision-making processes and the distribution of financial benefits from the use of land. This contributes to social conflict and undermines the legitimacy of land dealings, and as the Tensions demonstrate, can ultimately lead to violent conflict.

Expanding State, Expectant Citizens: Local Perspectives on Government Responsibility in Timor-Leste, David Butterworth, J4P Briefing Note, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2010

Timor-Leste is carrying out an ambitious reform agenda, promoting decentralization in order to increase local participation in state decision making, especially among rural populations. This briefing note draws on analysis of relevant literature and Justice for the Poor field research on the implementation of two service delivery programs (Local Development Programme and TIM Works), to highlight how customary values of reciprocity are shaping definitions of state responsibility in independent Timor-Leste.


Land Related Work under the Justice for the Poor Program, BBL, April 22, 2010, Washington, DC

During this brown bag lunch hosted by the World Bank's Land Policy and Administration Thematic Group Daniel Adler and Rod Nixon of J4P's land thematic program presented the program's work related to land and natural resources. Legal pluralism, or the existence of contradictory and competing sets of rules and norms, is a common feature of the way land is understood in the countries where J4P works. This is particularly apparent in the context of weak states where formal land law exists in competition, alongside and enmeshed with multiple customary systems. Read more about J4P's land-related activities on the
Land and Natural Resources webpage.

Conversations on Legal Empowerment

Rachael Knight, April 28, 2010, Washington, DC

Rachael Knight presented on the intersection of access to justice and land tenure security, focusing particularly on how increasing access to justice for the poor can impact their capacity to claim, protect and enforce their land rights. She briefly described the International Development Law Organization's (IDLO) Community Land Titling Initiative. She subsequently discussed some of the initial findings from the project's 2230-respondent baseline survey, and the implications for the design of future land and access to justice policy and practice.

Stephen Golub, March 30, 2010, Washington, DC

Stephen Golub is seen by many as the person who introduced the phrase 'legal empowerment' to law and development literature. Stephen is editor of the book Legal Empowerment: Practitioners' Perspectives, (published this month by IDLO). The presentation focused on practical implications of legal empowerment for the World Bank. Other speakers included Justice for the Poor's Caroline Sage and Vivek Maru, both of whom contributed a chapter to the book (Caroline in co-authorship with Nicholas Menzies and Michael Woolcock).


Legal Pluralism and Development Policy Project

The purpose of this J4P-sponsored project is to enhance the analytical rigor and policy effectiveness of the development community's engagement with legal pluralism, via the production of an edited volume on legal pluralism and development policy. Read more about this project.

Community-Based Paralegals Research

ParalegalSierraLeone.jpgJ4P is conducting research in Sierra Leone, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, and Indonesia to document paralegal practice and to study the impact of paralegal programs. This cross-country initiative, supported by the Bank Netherlands Partnership Program trust fund, will also explore policy questions raised by paralegalism, including the role of paralegals in the context of World Bank operations. J4P is partnering with Open Society Institute to build a network that connects paralegal programs and provides a platform for sharing resources, such as monitoring and evaluation tools, paralegal instruction materials, case management systems, advocacy strategies and so on. Read more about this project.



Justice for the Poor works through a number of country programs across South-East Asia and the Pacific, as well as in Sierra Leone, and until recently, in Kenya. The following updates focus on program highlights in each of the countries.


IndonesiaParliamentForging the Middle Ground: J4P's Presentation to Parliament

On February 1 2010 the J4P team was invited to give a presentation to the House of Regional Representatives (DPD) Indonesian Parliament. The presentation was part of a one-day workshop on "Developing Legal Institutions to Better Accommodate the Needs of Marginalized Communities" which aimed to gather information to inform the proposed review of the Criminal Code.

In front of approximately 200 members of the House of Regional Representatives of Parliament, the Lower House of Parliament, and members from provincial parliaments and civil society, J4P explained some of the findings from Forging the Middle Ground: Engaging Non-State Justice in Indonesia. This J4P research report identifies village-level dispute resolution mechanisms and evaluates their effectiveness from the viewpoint of the poor and marginalized, especially women, ethnic minorities and youth. The presenters also outlined dispute resolution experiences in other countries, including the Philippine's Barangay Justice System and Sri Lanka's Mediation Boards. Other presenters included the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Head of Commission III on Legal Affairs, National Parliament, Deputy Chief of Police and the Deputy Chief of the Justice of the Supreme Court.

Papua New Guinea

Resource Distribution and Benefit Sharing

PNG.jpgIn partnership with Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs, as well as Poverty Reduction and Social Development teams within the World Bank, J4P is conducting intensive research in nine districts in Papua New Guinea to explore issues of resource allocation, benefit sharing and conflict management. The work has a particular focus on mining-affected communities and the research team is working closely with the Sustainable Mining Division of the Papua New Guinea Mineral Resources Authority. In the last week of March, researcher training took place in Port Moresby and a pilot was conducted in Rigo District, Central Province. The teams have now fanned out across the country to carry out the research, which includes interviews with key district and local level government officials, ward-level focus groups and a survey of citizens. It is hoped that preliminary findings will be available by the middle of the year.

Solomon Islands

Business and Customary Authorities in Guadalcanal

Marau.jpgIn partnership with the Island Knowledge Institute, a local research organization, the Solomon Islands J4P team has been carrying out case study work exploring the interactions between business and what can loosely be termed "customary authorities". To date, field research has included tourism operators in East Guadalcanal and a large palm oil operation on the northern plains of Guadalcanal.

One set of preliminary findings show that the nature of relations between business and the wider community depend much more on the legitimacy and conduct of an enterprise as opposed to land tenure arrangements per se. Despite this, disparate causes of discontent with a particular enterprise are often registered through the medium of land. This may manifest in the form of demands for compensation, restricting access to resource/places and an increased focus on the terms of the original assignment.

Initial findings will inform analytical work being undertaken by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation on short to medium term sources of economic growth in Solomon Islands.


Customary Systems of Land Management and Rural Development

Fatubesi.jpgTogether with the NGO Haburas, J4P in Timor-Leste is doing a case-based research study into how communities engage with rural development agencies and private investors. Research has started in the districts of Ermera and Baucau, focusing on aspects of use of community land, negotiations between parties, benefit distribution, and livelihood improvements. Initial research findings from these cases will be presented to relevant civil society organizations in the land sector by mid-April. Based on this research, policy recommendations will be developed relating to the regulations on community land under Chapter V of the Land Law.

J4P also assisted the Ministry of Justice in presenting the draft Land Law to the Council of Ministers. This was subsequently approved on March 10.


VanuatuImprovingLevelInfra.jpgImproving Community Level Infrastructure Service Provision

J4P in Vanuatu - Jastis Blong Evriwan (JBE) - has partnered with the World Bank East Asia and the Pacific Rural Development team to conduct field research into cases where community level infrastructure has been successfully delivered in Vanuatu. During February-March, the team visited thirteen projects in five provinces, examining participation in decision-making and distribution of development benefits in a range of sectors (health, education, telecommunications, energy, water, transport and roads). The findings of the case studies will provide government and its development partners with evidence based guidance on the most effective ways to provide infrastructure to people living in remote rural areas.

Supporting Informed Decision-Making of Customary Landholders

Vanuatu.jpgJBE supported a six-day land use planning workshop in the World Heritage site, Chief Roi Mata's Domain, which was aimed at providing a framework for the community to collectively decide on the future use of their land as well as enhancing understanding of customary landholders' rights with regard to land leasing. The workshop brought together representatives from the Department of Lands, University of the South Pacific, Vanuatu Cultural Center, NGOs and foreign investors in the area to meet with the community.

The community are now working together to develop a list of recommendations to government on matters of land leasing, as well as looking internally to strengthen approval processes through Chiefly Councils in an attempt to make land dealings more equitable and transparent within the region. The two communities are also developing awareness material to disseminate through community groups in an effort to make sure that women and youth are included as much as possible in the decision making process.

Sierra Leone

Community Education on the New Diamond Areas Community Development Fund policy

SL_CommunityMeeting.jpgThe Diamond Area Community Development Fund provides incentives for diamond miners to distribute a percentage of mining revenue back to the producing chiefdoms. The J4P Sierra Leone team has developed materials to simplify and explain the government's new disbursement policy for the fund. These have been endorsed by the Ministry of Mines. J4P is partnering with two NGOs, Network Movement for Justice Development and Search for Common Ground, in Kono and Kenema Districts, to educate communities on the contents of the new policy and to train local leaders in accessing funds. The team is using community meetings, day-long training sessions, and community radio to do this. Read more on
Simplified Handbook on the Government of Sierra Leone's New Operational Procedures and Guidelines for the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF), January 2009.


EduNews - World Bank Bulletin on Education

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   Issue No. 14
   May 2010

- Global Monitoring Report 2010: The Millennium Development Goals after the Crisis
- Making Higher Education Work for Africa’s Competitiveness
- Education Financing Hits Record High with the New 10-Year Strategy Underway
- Knowledge Economy of the Future: Transforming Technical Education in India
- Results Profile: Jordan Education

Recent Publications & Research
- Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) Trust Fund: Annual Report 2009
- Developing Post-Primary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
- The Impact of the 1999 Education Reform in Poland
- Within-school Tracking in South Korea
- Indonesia: Practical Guidance for Preparing a Public Expenditure Review at the District Level
- Cash or Condition? Evidence From a Randomized Cash Transfer Program

- The High Cost of Low Educational Performance
- Leveraging the Private Sector for Results in Education: Increased Financing and Innovative...
- Are Most Investments in Technology for Schools Wasted?
- The Race Between Education & Technology: Growth with Equity as an Outcome?
- EduRadicals: The Cognitive Process that Underlies Learning

cent Projects
- Tajikistan: Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund Grant III
- Mexico: Compensatory Education Project
- India: Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project
- India – Second Elementary Education Project [Additional Financing]
- Argentina: San Juan Social Inclusion and Development Sector-Wide Approach Project

Education - Did you know?
- World Bank Frees Up Development Data

Global Monitoring Report 2010: The Millennium Development Goals after the Crisis
The global financial crisis hit the world’s poorest hard. The new report from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund says that the crisis slowed poverty reduction in developing countries, and will continue to have an impact in the next decade and beyond. Related press release.

Making Higher Education Work for Africa’s Competitiveness
African policy makers and experts from the public and private sectors gathered during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings and confirmed that higher education should play a critical catalytic role in Africa’s economic growth.

Education Financing Hits Record High with the New 10-Year Strategy Underway
As the World Bank marks the largest investment in education since 1962, the Education Sector embarks to shape the Bank’s new Education Sector Strategy 2020. (March 11, 2010)

Knowledge Economy of the Future: Transforming Technical Education in India
The World Bank approved two education projects (Second Elementary Education Project [Additional Financing] & Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project) worth US$1.05 billion to India, designed to boost the number of children enrolling in and completing elementary school as well as improving quality of engineering education across the country.

Results Profile: Jordan Prepares for a Global Knowledge Economy
Jordan has initiated comprehensive education reforms to capitalize on its strong record of education completion and adult literacy. Reforms have strengthened education policy objectives and strategies, transformed education programs and practices, improved school buildings and learning environments, and enhanced equity in the poorer areas of the country.

Read more Feature Stories
Recent Publications & Research
Russia Education Aid for Development (READ) Trust Fund: Annual Report 2009
By Human Development Network, Education Sector

The Russia education aid for development (READ) Trust Fund was established in 2008 as a partnership between the Government of Russia and the World Bank to improve education quality and learning outcomes in low-income countries. This report provides an overview the activities of the READ program's first year.

Developing Post-Primary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Assessing the Financial Sustainability of Alternative Pathways
By Alain Mingat, Blandine Ledoux and Ramahatra Rakotomalala

This book provides analytical tools including simulation scenarios, for policy makers in Sub-Saharan African countries under pressure to expand secondary and tertiary education.

The Impact of the 1999 Education Reform in Poland
By Maciej Jakubowski, Harry Anthony Patrinos, Emilio Ernesto Porta, and Jerzy Wiśniewski

This paper analyzes Poland's significant improvement in international achievement test scores and the restructuring of the education system that expanded general schooling to test the hypothesis that delayed vocational streaming improves outcomes. It shows that delayed vocationalization had a positive and significant impact on student performance.

Within-school Tracking in South Korea: An Analysis Using Pisa 2003
By Kevin Macdonald and Harry Anthony Patrinos

This paper analyzes the relationship between learning achievement and school tracking using the results the 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Korea's sample is used to examine the association between within-school ability tracking and mathematics achievement.

Indonesia: Practical Guidance for Preparing a Public Expenditure Review for Education at the District Level
By Human Development Sector Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region

This manual is intended as a guide for Indonesian stakeholders at the district level to conduct their own assessments of public expenditure on education in order to achieve a proper assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of district government spending.

Cash or Condition? Evidence From a Randomized Cash Transfer Program
By Sarah Baird, Craig McIntosh, and Berk Özler

Are the large enrollment effects of conditional cash transfer programs a result of the conditions or simply the cash? This paper presents the first experimental evidence on the effectiveness of conditionality in cash transfer programs for schooling.

Read more Publications & Reports
The High Cost of Low Educational Performance [Education & Growth Series]
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
April 28, 2010

Andreas Schleicher, head of the Indicators and Analysis Division at the OECD’s Directorate for Education, presented a method for quantifying the relationship between improvements in education quality and increases in economic growth rates, as well as evidence on the relationship between increased aggregate cognitive skills and improved economic performance.

Are Most Investments in Technology for Schools Wasted?
New Delhi, India
April 21, 2010

This event launched the first draft of the Survey of Information and Communication Technology for Education in India & South Asia and provided a live debate on the consensus among education practitioners that ICTs such as radio, TV, computers, the Internet, and mobile phones can be leveraged to increase the educational experience of learners.

Leveraging the Private Sector for Results in Education: Increased Financing and Innovative Service Delivery
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
March 30-31, 2010

The increase in the amount of corporate, philanthropic and non-government activity in education taking place around the world justifies the need to undertake a comprehensive analysis on the relevance and impact of private donations to education in developing countries and their significance to World Bank operations. In the context of an economic and financial crisis, the role of the private sector may be even more important given the fiscal constrains faced by the public sector. The World Bank Human Development Network Education Group will contribute to the discussion by gathering representatives from the public, private, and multilateral sectors and by summarizing the role of private actors in education through the presentation of a conceptual framework which helps analyze the work in the field. Related IFC conference: Strategic Resilience in Times of Recession.

EduRadicals: The Cognitive Process that Underlies Learning [Series 1]
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
March 25, 2010

Roger Schank, CEO of Socratic Arts and one of the world's leading visionaries in artificial intelligence, learning theory, cognitive science, and the building of virtual learning environments, presented on the cognitive process that underlies learning.

Find more Recent Events
Tajikistan: Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund Grant III
Approval Date: April 16, 2010
FTI Catalytic Fund Grant: US$13.5 million

The Grant aims to increase access to improved learning environments and enable more efficient delivery of quality education services in Tajikistan.

Mexico: Compensatory Education Project
Approval Date: March 25, 2010
IBRD Loan: US$166.7 million

This project aims to ensure that more young children in vulnerable communities receive primary education.  Related press release.

India: Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project
Approval Date: March 18, 2010
IDA Credit: US$300 million

This project aims to strengthen selected institutions to produce more employable and higher quality engineers and prepare more post-graduate students to reduce faculty shortage.

India – Second Elementary Education Project [Additional Financing]
Approval Date: March 18, 2010
IDA Credit: US$750 million equivalent

This project aims to support the nationwide effort to provide quality elementary education to all children. The Bank has supported the government with two IDA credits totaling US1.1 billion since 2003. The additional financing will enable expansion of activities for increasing access at upper primary level (grades 5-8), increasing elementary level completion rates, and improving learning outcomes for the full elementary cycle (grades 1-8).

Argentina: San Juan Social Inclusion and Development Sector-Wide Approach Project
Approval Date: March 16, 2010
IBRD Loan: US$
50 million

This project aims to improve the equity, quality and efficiency in the provision of health services and education services in the first years of schooling, and strengthen the government's public sector management.

Find more Projects

Education - Did you know?
World Bank Frees Up Development Data
The World Bank Group now offers free access to more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics that had mostly been available only to paying subscribers. This effort will allow access to data and information from the World Bank's databases.  For more information, visit the website:


Education Advisory Service
Human Development Network / The World Bank


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