23 April 2015

Reading, learning, giving

1. A glossary of policy frameworks: the many forms of ‘universalism’ and policy ‘targeting’
The recognition that certain characteristics (such as poverty, disadvantage or membership of marginalised social or cultural groups) can make individuals more susceptible to illness has reignited interest in how to combine universal programmes and policies with ones targeted at specific groups. However, universalism and targeting are used in different ways for different purposes. In this glossary, we define different types and approaches to universalism and targeting. We anticipate that greater clarity in relation to what is meant by universalism and targeting will lead to a more nuanced debate and practice in this area. Visit: https://www.academia.edu/8675091/A_glossary_of_policy_frameworks_the_many_forms_of_universalism_and_policy_targeting_ Shared by Leah Galvin.

2. Creating change in government to address the social determinants of health: how can efforts be improved?
The evidence base for the impact of social determinants of health has been strengthened considerably in the last decade. Increasingly, the public health field is using this as a foundation for arguments and actions to change government policies. The Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach, alongside recommendations from the 2010 Marmot Review into health inequalities in the UK (which we refer to as the ‘Fairness Agenda’), go beyond advocating for the redesign of individual policies, to shaping the government structures and processes that facilitate the implementation of these policies. In doing so, public health is drawing on recent trends in public policy towards ‘joined up government’, where greater integration is sought between government departments, agencies and actors outside of government. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/1087
Shared by Leah Galvin.

3. In full: the four volumes of the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which the Government has been sitting on for five months:

4. HEALTH WEALTH & THE NEW ECONOMIC - An agenda for a healthier world – This Report is based on the papers and discussions on health and the New Economics, which formed part of the proceedings of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) 1985. The Report contains more than 40 specific suggestions for action as part of an Agenda for a Healthier World, in which health creation and wealth creation will be recognised as aspects of each other.
Has anything changed???

5. Law as a Tool for Addressing Social Determinants of Health
Despite the fact that equality and equal access to health care are core Canadian values, the reality is that Canadians' health is overwhelmingly dictated by the unequal living conditions they experience – the social determinants of health. This chapter examines law as a tool for translating our understanding of health inequities into government action to address social determinants of health. The chapter provides a brief review of the findings and recommendations of some of the major Canadian reports in this area, followed by a review of international and domestic human rights guarantees that can be invoked to challenge health inequity in Canada. The final section examines the obstacles facing determinant of health-related claims, in particular, the continued reliance by Canadian courts on the outmoded distinction between positive and negative rights. The author concludes by suggesting that, rather than focusing on biomedical and lifestyle initiatives, social injustices must be addressed, and that moving forward on determinants of health requires action by all branches of government, including the courts. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2319200

6. The International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies (IJCYFS) is a peer reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary, cross-national journal that is committed to scholarly excellence in the field of research about and services for children, youth, families and their communities. Vol 6, No 2 (2015): International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies. Special Issue on the Political Economy of Children’s Health. http://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/ijcyfs

7. Don't smoke, don't be poor, read before signing: linking health literacy and legal capability. For more information and a link to the paper, please visit our PLExchange blog.

8. One and a half billion people live on less than $1.25 per day: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/17/pove-a17.html?view=mobilearticle
By Zaida Green
17 April 2015

A new study by the UK’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI) reports that the number of people globally living on less than $1.25 per day is likely to be far higher than the already staggering 1.2 billion estimated by the World Bank.

“There could be as many as a quarter more people living on less than $1.25 a day than current estimates suggest, because they have been missed out of surveys,” the report notes, suggesting that the total number of people living in extreme poverty could be undercounted by as much as 350 million.
If, as the report claims, global poverty figures are “understated by as much as a quarter,” then more than 2.5 billion people, or over a third of the world’s population, survive on less than $2 per day.

The most deprived layers of society—people who are homeless, or are living in dangerous situations that researchers cannot access—are left uncounted by household surveys, which by design are incapable of covering them.

Elizabeth Stuart, lead author of the report, told the World Socialist Web Site that “the poor quality of the data on poverty, child and maternal mortality” are some of the report’s most significant findings.

If one were to define poverty as living on less than $5 per day, over four billion people, that is, two-thirds of the human population, qualify as impoverished, according to World Bank estimates.

Meanwhile the world’s multimillionaires and billionaires, their stock portfolios soaring, are splurging on supercars, yachts and luxury apartments in record numbers. While the monetary policies pursued by the world’s central banks inject unimaginable amounts of wealth into the coffers of a parasitic financial aristocracy, the bulk of humanity struggles to survive amid poverty, austerity and war.

In March, Forbes reported that the combined net worth of the world’s billionaires hit a new high in 2015 of $7.05 trillion. Since 2000, the total wealth of the world’s billionaires has increased eight-fold. The magazine reported, “Despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro, the ranks of the world’s wealthiest defied global economic turmoil and expanded once again.”

The amount of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent of the population will exceed that owned by the bottom 99 percent by next year, according to the Oxfam charity.
This week, the International Monetary Fund released its semiannual World Economic Outlook, where it warned that there would be no return to the rates of economic growth that prevailed before the 2008 financial crash for an indefinite period.

The IMF’s report further notes that despite record profits and huge amounts of cash being hoarded by major corporations internationally, private investment has plummeted in the six years since the official end of the post-financial-crisis recession. The report documents the single-minded focus of governments, central banks and policy makers in general on the further enrichment of the global financial elite at the expense of the world’s productive forces and the vast bulk of humanity.

The sheer levels of inequality across the globe, expressed in dilapidated infrastructure, the assault on the living standards of workers and youth, and the erosion of democratic rights, themselves inhibit serious studies of poverty, as demonstrated by the ODI’s report.

The ODI study notes that more than 100 countries do not have functioning systems to register births or deaths, making accurate counts of child mortality and maternal mortality impossible. Twenty-six countries have not collected data on child mortality since 2009. According to current estimates, anywhere from 220,000 to 400,000 women died during childbirth in 2014. Fewer than one in five births occur in countries with complete civil registration systems.
Many surveys are outdated, forcing researchers to either extrapolate from old data, or make assumptions about the relations between other data sets. The most up-to-date estimate of people living in extreme poverty was published almost four years ago. Only 28 of 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had a household income survey between 2006 and 2013. Botswana’s poverty estimates are based on a household survey from 1993.

Estimations of poverty are further complicated by disagreements over the poverty threshold. Some nongovernmental organizations have set their own national poverty lines. For instance, in Thailand, the official national poverty line is $1.75 per day and the poverty rate is 1.81 percent. However, urban community groups have assessed the poverty line to be $4.74 per day, bumping the country’s poverty rate to nearly half the population at 41.64 percent.
Wars and other violent conflicts have a devastating effect on research of any kind, halting studies, ruining infrastructure, and destroying records. The vast sums of money spent on war dwarf those needed to significantly reduce social misery. The United States alone spent $496 billion on defense last year, while, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization, “the world only needs 30 billion dollars a year to eradicate the scourge of hunger.”

These staggering levels of poverty, inequality and military violence stand as a damning indictment of the capitalist system, the sole aim of which is to enrich the financial oligarchy that dominates society at the expense of the great majority of humanity.

No comments:

Post a Comment