Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Implications for Aid Practice - From the Citizen Perspective and The Global Perspective

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I have been having an ongoing discussion on leveraging social media on behalf of the Millennium Development Goals in one of the End POVERTY / Fim POBREZA forums. I am not claiming to be an expert in this area, just an interested participant. This blog is basically my ongoing personal attempt to marry Web 2.0 to global activism. Below are other online resources found in my web-trekking. They are very extensive and expansive resources so rather then trying to post fully about them here I am including then under Learning More About the Issues and Supporting Millenium Development Goals "In the Trenches".

Development Gateway Foundation and dgCommunities are sites created with professionals in mind, but they are also great educational resources, including the article Millennium Development Goals at Midpoint: Where do we Stand and Where do we Need to go?
The Development Gateway Foundation is an international nonprofit organization that provides Web-based platforms to make aid and development efforts more effective around the world.

It envisions a world in which the digital revolution serves people everywhere – creating greater opportunity through increased access to critical information; greater reliance on local capabilities; and more effective, better coordinated international aid.

dgCommunities is both a place to find knowledge resources focused on development issues and an interactive space where you can share your own work, participate in discussions, find people with similar interests and more. We have more than 36,000 members worldwide - and over half are in developing countries.

Web-Based Platforms for Effective Aid and Development

The foundation provides Web-based platforms for more effective aid and development efforts around the world focusing on three areas where even small investments in information and communications technology can make a major difference:
  • Effective government – enabling better aid management and coordination, and more efficient and transparent government procurement.
  • Knowledge sharing and collaboration – leveraging the Internet for online communications among development practitioners worldwide.
  • Local partner programs in nearly 50 countries – connecting developing country organizations into a global network to empower them to use information and communications technologies to bolster local development efforts.

Areas of interest are the focus on Aid Effectiveness and Best Practices, which included the article that first brought me to this online resource, Implications for Aid Practice: Taking a citizen’s perspective (pdf).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Memo to Obama Transition Team and World Re: Environmental To-do List

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I am a a member of the group Eco20/20 at The most prolific member of that group is Energy Net. Below are just some of the links he has made available recently. These are the ones I thought had a particular tie in with the Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability.

Monday, December 1, 2008

World Wide AIDS the Tragedy

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Today is is World AIDS Day and Bloggers Unite once again across the globe to focus attention on this issue. This is truly a millennium challenge for the planet, 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Fellow Blogger Unite of the blog Leftorium, il blog Riformista provided the synopsis below which clearly demonstrates the global impact of this disease.

Today there are about 33 million people living with AIDS worldwide. This virus affects both the more developed countries and those in developing countries. This virus affects both the more developed countries and those in developing countries. In the latter, however, are not available in any way, the expensive treatments and therapies used in richer countries. In the latter, however, are not available in any way, the expensive treatments and therapies used in richer countries. This is why the mortality rate is not only very high but, in fact, increases every year that passes. This is why the mortality rate is not only very high but, in fact, increases every year that passes. AIDS is now considered a real pandemic in Africa, India and South-East Asia. AIDS is now considered a real pandemic in Africa, India and South-East Asia.[translated from Italian by Google Translator]

All posts on this blog are explorations in learning, there isn't any claim to expertise or knowledge. These posts will explore current trends in this area using the resources made available by this blogsite. TED is one resource for inspiration, sometimes through poetry, sometimes through shock, sometimes both. Leftorium correctly describes the problem in one sense, but Kristen Asburn in the TED video does so in a far more poignant sense giving us a sense of what we trying to overcome.

In this moving talk from TED, documentary photographer Kristen Ashburn shares unforgettable images of the human impact of AIDS in Africa. (Recorded February 2003 in Monterey, California. Duration: 4:36.)

It is important to remember that for much of the developing world, AIDS is only one threat and often, such as AIDS and tuberculosis, they can strike together. So what is being done about on a global basis? Not enough according to on 11/14/08, which reported on the story EU urged to fund research on 'terrible triangle' of disease. According to the story, the European Commission is failing to pay its "fair share" in funding research into the main poverty-related killers HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to health NGOs.

Speaking at a conference on poverty-related diseases on 13 November, EU Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik acknowledged that "sitting in our comfortable European homes, with well-developed healthcare systems, it is all too easy to forget about the pernicious impact that infectious disease has across the world".

This is one area where one needs to credit the United States and George Bush for actually having made some improvement, while still remembering that America has not met its Millennium Devleopment Goal promises yet.

The problem doesn't stop with governments not doing enough. Pharmaceutical companies are also not stepping up in many cases as this Oxfam report and video below demonstrate.

Oxfam, an international NGO, deplored that "after years of scientific progress, still less than 10% of all medical research is being dedicated to diseases afflicting more than 90% of the world's population". "R&D that focuses on the developing world's urgent needs is still highly dependent and driven by intellectual property, even though this system is demonstrably failing the poor," noted Oxfam's policy advisor Rohit Malpani.

Another reality of undeveloped and developing countries not found to anywhere near the same extent in developed countries is that AIDS substantially impacts children.

Children and HIV and AIDS

Over twenty-five years into the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, the children in its path remain at grave risk. In 2007, it was estimated that 2.1 million children under 15 years old were living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and 290,000 children died of AIDS and 420,000 children were newly infected. Over 15 million children under 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and millions more have been made vulnerable. Children affected by HIV and AIDS may experience poverty, homelessness, school drop-out, discrimination, loss of life opportunity, and early death.

This is only one pathway one could take to learn of the suffering caused by AIDS and the problems of facing the challenge. Hundreds of others will be taken by others on Bloggers Unite.

Related posts
World Wide AIDS Day Business Struggles Business Answers

World Wide HIV/AIDS Looking For Solutions

World Wide AIDS Day Business Struggles Business Answers

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This blog holds the belief that it will be impossible for governments or with entities substantially dependent upon governments to succeed alone in meeting any of the Millennium Development Goals. It also holds the belief that implementing global health care systems to address challenges such as HIV/AIDS will require sound business practices. Those business practices in turn require global reach into some of the poorest countries and that can be provided through United Nation resources, many of which are highlight within these posts. It is going to require a partnership, it is going to required thousands of partnerships.

One of the resources of this website is the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, found under Global News Sources, which reports on both the good and bad acts of businesses around the world. The articles below are a sampling taken from their site.

They reported on 11/28/08 that Levi Strauss & Co. Commemorates World AIDS Day 2008 by making a grant to the HIV Collaborative Fund to support people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe in their fight for treatment, care and support.

The role of businesses in addressing AIDS is not limited to large American companies. While we may think of AIDS in Africa being an affliction of the absolutely destitute, business enterprises in Ethiopia are also exploring means of addressing the challenge by translating intent into action in Ethiopia 11/27/08.

The Ethiopian Business Coalition against HIV/AIDS(EBCA) [a subsidiary of , GTZ Engineering Capacity Building Program, the World Bank Institute and the Rapid Results Institute implemented a pilot programme to achieve rapid HIV results within businesses in Ethiopia in 100 days Tadesse Tekallign of Crown Cork and Can Share Company [said],The pilot project is creating new best practices on HIV in Ethiopia's private sector. The companies are finding their own solutions and tackling challenges quickly.

This article is from Tanzania. 18 media houses launch HIV/Aids policies [Tanzania] 16 Nov 2008.

A landmark step in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania's media industry is to be marked today when 18 media houses launch their workplace policies on HIV/AIDS…The policies…[will address] prevention, treatment, care, support and reduction of stigma and discrimination within the media houses.
This report from two days earlier on 11/26/08 is on the views of a United Nations Development Programme expert on HIV/Aids in the Arab region who urged a private sector role in Aids awareness [Qatar]. UNDP Regional HIV/Aids and UNAIDS Joint United Nations Program on AIDS are two of many programs of the United Nations addressing global health and HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at a Qatar Petroleum HIV/Aids workshop, HARPAS UNDP Regional HIV/Aids [of the UNAIDS Joint United Nations Program on AIDS] programme co-ordinator for Arab states Dr Khadija Moalla said it is high time for the private sector to get 'smart' and make interventions on HIV in order to halt the spread of the disease among young adults social and health planning adviser at Dr Laila Ishrair the General Secretariat for Development Planning hinted that a draft law on human rights of people living with HIV will be sent[to] the Minister of Health, the law include[s] rights to work, to housing, to treatment as well as protection against discrimination.
Again, these are only some of the examples that can be found on the web. Other avenues of inquiry could include what is the economic impact of fighting against AIDS in a developing country. Jeffrey Sachs chaired a World Health Organization commission looking at the links between epidemic disease and economic stagnation, and to play a part in the setting up of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Here are other HIV/AIDS articles from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

Related posts
World Wide AIDS the Tragedy
World Wide HIV/AIDS Looking For Solutions

World Wide HIV/AIDS Looking For Solutions

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This final post in the series looks at global resources available to help overcome this challenge. The resources cited below were found at SciDev.Net of Science and Development Network, which "is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world."

AIDS Education Global Information System

AEGiS, a non-profit organization that is a web-based reference for HIV/AIDS information. AEGiS is a virtual HIV/AIDS library containing reference materials and late-breaking information from HIV/AIDS-specific publications and news sources from around the world. [I must admit to having seen an article on SciDev which raised some ethical concerns, but I can't find it now]
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

IAVI’s mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. IAVI is a global not-for-profit, public-private partnership working to accelerate the development of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. Founded in 1996, IAVI researches and develops vaccine candidates, conducts policy analyses, and serves as an advocate for the field with offices in Africa, India, and Europe.

The World Health Organization's approach to HIV/AIDs is to recommend that Universal voluntary testing, immediate treatment can reduce HIV cases

26 November 2008 | GENEVA -- Universal and annual voluntary testing followed by immediate antiretroviral therapy treatment (irrespective of clinical stage or CD4 count) can reduce new HIV cases by 95% within 10 years, according to new findings based on a mathematical model developed by a group of HIV specialists in WHO. The findings were published in The Lancet1 today to stimulate discussion, debate and further research.

Finally, what of the future? One perspective comes from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Health equity, the financial crisis and Obama: Where next?

Amartya Sen put it succinctly when he commented on the report; ‘this WHO Commission has concentrated on the badly neglected causal linkages that have to be adequately understood and remedied’.

Global health debates too often focus on biomedical aspects of health and those working in this area rarely have space, place, opportunity or desire to link up with those working on the social science aspects.

During his campaign, for example, Obama pledged to increase spending on child and maternal health, and not at the expense of related important areas like HIV and AIDS. These policies are reinforced by a focus on health infrastructure (see the policy for Global Health Infrastructure by
2020), which will be vital to ensure equitable and context-specific service delivery. Another area in which the Obama administration is singing in tune with the Commission’s report is the focus on improving health-care systems to prevent the ‘brain drain’ of health human resources i.e. health professionals leaving the South for better pay in richer countries.

Finally, a story on a private/public partnership with community-based focus as a model for the future to address global health care. DHL partners with UNICEF to empower communities to improve child survival in Maharashtra via India Press Release by R & PM Edelman on 11/18/08. DHL's grant will fund a three-year UNICEF project to empower communities to improve child survival rates in 1,000 villages in Maharashtra.

"The partnership with DHL is a good example of the private sector taking the initiative to champion developmental concerns in rural India complementing the Government's commitment to 'inclusive growth'," said Mr.Vijay Satbir Singh, Secretary of Women & Child Development in Maharashtra, at the partnership ceremony launch.

"Community involvement is the key to sustainable development. If we are serious about improving child survival and reducing maternal mortality, we must give youth and their families the tools that will enable them to survive and lead healthy lives," said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Representative in India.

Related posts
World Wide AIDS the Tragedy
World Wide AIDS Day Business Struggles Business Answers

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms