These are the conclusions of Dr Philip Setel, MEASURE Evaluation, Carolina Population Centre, University of North Carolina, NC, USA, and colleagues, authors of this first paper in the Who Counts? Series in The Lancet.
Including debt relief, official development assistance globally reached $US 80 billion in 2004 – yet the authors say that absence of vital statistics means that there is “little authoritative evidence that these funds have their desired effects on either mortality or poverty reduction.”
Civil registration, including the medical certification of deaths and causes of death, together with the statistics they generate can benefit both individuals and societies. Legal documents that prove identity and citizenship not only provide access to state benefits or entitlements and provide the necessary documentary basis for establishing property ownership and inheritance, but also protect against exploitation or protracted hardship in times of emergency. The authors say: “The persistent failure to establish, support, and sustain civil registration systems over the past 30 years, and to ensure that causes of death are accurately known in the world’s poorest countries is a scandal of invisibility, for which affordable remedies exist and need to be implemented.”
The paper cites numerous cases that show how such data are central to policy formation. For developed countries as a whole, information on increasing rates of road traffic fatalities up to the 1970s led to speed limits, seatbelt laws, and laws on alcohol use and driving. The remarkable reduction in traffic mortality trends closely followed the introduction of these measures and has been seen in many studies. In India, birth monitoring data has allowed population progress to be monitored – and has also shed light on some objectionable ramifications of new medical technologies – such as revealing the extent to which female foetuses have been selectively aborted. Case studies of Chile (maternal and newborn health) and Tanzania (cause of death) are also analysed.
Risks of data registration are also explored. The authors say: “Unless identities are protected, this powerful instrument can be – and has been – used to do great harm to individuals and vulnerable minorities.” Examples are the used of Dutch population registers by the Nazi regime to locate and exterminate Jewish families, and the role of identity cards in the Rwanda Genocide.
The authors say that whereas the increasing awareness of the AIDS pandemic worldwide shows that visibility demands accountability, there exists no global imperative to make unregistered people more visible, and “far from advancing into this century, the inadequate state of civil registration in developing countries remains mainly as it was three decades ago.”
They conclude: “Overcoming decades of stagnation will need countries to make a principled long-term commitment to comprehensive civil registration, and to make pragmatic use of complementary or alternative registration systems and sources of data for vital events and cause of death in the short term and medium term.
“The continued cost of ignorance borne by countries without civil registration far outweighs the affordable necessity of action.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University
Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering