New airport nears completion

first_imgAn aerial view of King Shaka International Airport, taken in May 2009. (Image: Acsa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Colin NaidooCommunications Manager, Acsa+27 31 451 6666 USEFUL LINKS • Airports Company of South Africa • Dube Tradeport • Air FranceRELATED ARTICLES• OR Tambo spreads its wings • Lanseria International Airport • Infrastructure development in South AfricaJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s newest airport, King Shaka International situated north of Durban at La Mercy, will be ready in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, according to a recent announcement from the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa).Acsa communications manager Colin Naidoo said that construction is progressing well, and he is confident the airport will open in time for the expected influx of football-mad fans in June 2010.Currently 72% complete, the airport’s opening passenger capacity will be 8-million per year, compared to the 4.7-million presently handled by Durban International Airport. In terms of size, it is three times bigger than Durban International.The R7.4-billion King Shaka International is the first brand new project undertaken by Acsa and the first greenfield airport in South Africa.Completion of construction is expected by the end of 2009, after which Acsa will spend around four months testing the airport before its 2010 opening.The project has provided jobs for around 12 000 people and once finished, 8 000 people will take up permanent employment at the airport. This is 3 000 more than the current staff complement of Durban International.Future capacity is not a problem either. Durban International is expected to reach its limit by 2015, whereas King Shaka has been designed to expand in stages, up to a projected maximum of 45-million passengers by 2060.Acsa, with the help of local and international experts, has reportedly already developed a special transfer programme for the relocation of Durban International operations to King Shaka.Economic growthThe airport is part of the massive Dube Tradeport development under construction on 2 060ha about 35km north of Durban, close to the N2 freeway. This is a cutting-edge complex which includes King Shaka International, a trade zone and an IT platform.The tradeport will inject new economic growth into the region and offer up to 270 000 new jobs directly and indirectly.Advanced facilitiesKing Shaka’s runway is 3.7km in length, long enough to accommodate the world’s biggest passenger craft, the Airbus A380 and its closest rival, the Boeing B747. Expansion to 4km if necessary is possible. The 400 000m2 of runways alone are the equivalent of 100 football fields.Plans for a second expansion phase, to be undertaken around 2035, include a parallel runway running along the opposite side of the terminal buildings. The third phase will see the airport reach its maximum capacity in 2060.With parking for 6 500 cars, 4 300 more than Durban International, the new addition to the group of South African airports will signal a long-overdue revival of the region.Regional growthDurban is Africa’s busiest port and KwaZulu-Natal is the second fastest growing province in industrial and commercial terms, contributing about 17% to GDP. The province has not kept pace with the country’s commercial hub Gauteng, and this lack of progress is partly due to the inferior airport facilities.Almost 50 000 tons of manufactured goods have to be trucked up to Johannesburg every year to be exported by air. As a result, many companies have relocated to Gauteng to cut down on transport costs. It is hoped that they will return once the airport and trade zone are complete.Besides the arrivals and departure terminals, with 16 passenger boarding bridges, and cutting-edge cargo terminal, the Dube Tradeport will also feature hotels, a conference centre, entertainment area and retail space.An agricultural zone will allow for the cultivation of produce for export, and its proximity to the airport will ensure that time-sensitive crops are shipped out while still as fresh as possible. Potential tenants include local farmers, cooperatives and international horticultural companies.Super-jumbo craftIn a related story, Air France announced in August 2009 that it plans to bring its Airbus A380 to South Africa. The Roissy-en-France-based airline currently has one A380 in its stable, with another 12 on order. The lone A380 is due to start on the Paris–New York route later in the year.Air France’s plans will make it the first airline to allocate one of its giant craft to a South African route. Although no actual date has been announced, it is understood that the craft will come into service at the beginning of 2010.According to Air France’s Ralf Karsenbarg, the main reason for this decision is the optimism that Air France feels about future developments in South Africa. The upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup was an important factor, said Karsenbarg, and also the fact that South Africa is actively promoted as a desirable destination both at home and abroad.The first transatlantic Air France A380 flight takes place on 20 November. To celebrate the occasion the airline is to conduct an online auction of 380 seats on each of its two inaugural flights – outbound and inbound. All proceeds will go to three Air France Foundation projects for children in distress. The auction will take place in October 2009.The beneficiaries are the Marseille-based Association Arts et Développement which presents street art workshops to city children; the Association Plan France in New Delhi, which improves living conditions for child workers; and the Gauteng-based François-Xavier Bagnoud Association, an afterschool programme for Aids orphans.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

Crop rotation and second year soybean yields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As spring approaches and plans for the 2017 crop are finalized, growers will determine what crops to plant and plant crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practices. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.In this recently published article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3 bu/ac across that 7 year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bu/ac. In another article from No-Till Farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a 4 to 6 bu/ac yield penalty for second year soybeans.Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests. Diseases that can over-winter on crop residue can be more severe for second year soybeans, especially in no-till production systems. Soybean cyst nematode presence can also increase with continuous soybean production. Additionally, weeds that are difficult to control in soybeans (marestail, etc.) can spread and rob yield as well.last_img read more

Installing Fiberglass Right

first_imgOf all of the commonly used types of insulation — including cellulose, rigid foam, and spray polyurethane foam — fiberglass batts perform the worst. As typically installed, fiberglass batts do little to reduce airflow through a wall or ceiling assembly; rarely fill the entire cavity in which they are installed; and sometimes permit the development of convective loops that degrade insulation performance.Knowing this, why would any builder choose to install fiberglass batts? The answer is simple: because fiberglass batts cost less than any other type of insulation.Before we totally dismiss all fiberglass batt installations, however, it’s important to note that there is a big difference between the typical fiberglass batt installation and a best-practice installation. If a conscientious builder installs fiberglass batts carefully, it’s possible — although not easy — to get the best of both worlds: adequate thermal performance at a relatively low price.Study after study has shown that most fiberglass batt jobs are sloppy. In 2002, the California Energy Commission contracted with researchers Marc Hoeschele, Rick Chitwood, and Bill Pennington to conduct a study of new California homes. In its March 2003 issue, Energy Design Update reported, “The performance problems uncovered by the study were particularly disappointing in light of the fact that all 30 houses [studied by the researchers] were enrolled in programs promoting building-envelope improvements and duct tightness.”The article went on to note that “the California Energy Commission’s ‘envelope protocols,’ which include standards for air sealing and insulation installation, were widely ignored. … Not a single builder managed to implement any of the following standards:Even builders enrolled in the EPA’s Energy Star Homes program have struggled to achieve good thermal performance in fiberglass-insulated homes. An article in the April 2005 issue of Energy Design Update, “Fiberglass-Insulated Homes Are the Leakiest,” discussed the findings of Bruce Harley,… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

Anthony Davis remains in trade limbo; Harrison Barnes to Sacramento

first_imgHarris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott went to the 76ers, while Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Landry Shamet went to the Clippers. Philadelphia — with an eye on moving way up from the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference — also gave up a protected 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-rounder that was once owned by Miami, and second-rounders in 2021 and 2023 through Detroit.“We are in the unique position to contend now and we think this trade positions us well for the postseason,” 76ers general manager Elton Brand said.Porter will be headed to Chicago, with the Wizards taking back Parker and Portis. Parker has been bracing for a trade, and moving Porter is a financial win if nothing else for Washington. So is the move that sends Morris to the Pelicans, one that should get the Wizards out of having to pay anything in luxury tax this season.Another deal with tax ramifications was worked out between Miami and Phoenix. The Heat sent Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Suns for Ryan Anderson, helping alleviate the logjam of guards that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has been dealing with all season — plus considerably lowering the Heat’s expected luxury tax bill. It’s likely that Ellington will be a buyout candidate, and therefore would be able to pick his own spot to finish the season.“This business is tough but this kid is tougher,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade wrote on Twitter, talking about Johnson. And later, he told Ellington he has “a brother for life.”Meanwhile, Davis remained in place and out of uniform.The Pelicans haven’t played him since he and agent Rich Paul went public last week with their trade request, and decided not to play the six-time All-Star in Chicago on Wednesday either. The reasons for that were obvious; in case a deal can be made, it’s not worth it for the Pelicans to risk an injury.“It’s going to eventually get resolved,” Gentry said.There will be resolution — maybe just partial resolution, but resolution nonetheless — when the deadline arrives Thursday afternoon. Davis is still under contract for next season, so the Pelicans are in a slippery spot where they don’t need to deal their best player now for fear of losing him in July for nothing but also know that he doesn’t want to remain in New Orleans.If the Pelicans don’t trade Davis by Thursday, they’ll almost certainly be back in the depths of trade talks in June and July — draft time and free agency. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes “I mean, obviously, it’s on everyone’s mind,” Gentry said. “But we just try to put it on the back burner and focus on the task at hand and that’s playing the Chicago Bulls. Not anything we can do about it. … I think everything kind of clears up after (Thursday), at least for a while. And you can go back to I guess normal, or whatever our new normal is going to be.”In other trades Wednesday:— A person familiar with the terms said NBA-leading Milwaukee was sending center Thon Maker to the Detroit Pistons for forward Stanley Johnson. Both were lottery picks, Johnson in 2015 and Maker a year later. That trade was also pending the NBA reviewing the financial terms and approving, which is required for any deal to become final.— The Los Angeles Lakers — one of the teams known to want Davis — made another deal, getting Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons for rookie guard Svi Mykhailiuk. Bullock is a shooter, and Lakers star LeBron James loves surrounding himself with those. Bullock is making nearly 39 percent of his 3-point tries this season. Mykhailiuk has averaged 3.3 points in 39 appearances.— Philadelphia swung a deal with Toronto, getting Malachi Richardson and some draft considerations for cash. Richardson appeared in 23 games during two seasons with the Raptors.— Two people with knowledge of the deal say Houston, Sacramento and Cleveland are finishing a trade that will most notably send Iman Shumpert from the Kings to the Rockets. Houston is sending Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss to the Cavaliers. Alec Burks — now traded for the second time this season, after starting the year in Utah — will go from the Cavaliers to the Kings, when the league signs off on the necessary matters.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants MOST READ FIFA president Gianni Infantino is only candidate for election PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES “Part of the business,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said.And business, on Wednesday, was busy — as expected.The Dallas-Sacramento deal will be significant for both sides.The Kings are trying to get into the Western Conference playoffs, and now can add Barnes to their promising young core. Barnes has a $25.1 million player option for next season. Meanwhile, Dallas — which got Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. from New York last week in a massive deal — will have tons of salary-cap space to spend in the coming months as it looks to add more pieces around Luka Doncic.“Things are going to look different on the court,” said Carlisle, who wished Barnes well and told him after Dallas’ game that he believes the Sacramento deal is a good situation for him.ADVERTISEMENT Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis laughs as he walks on the court before an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)MIAMI— Anthony Davis is still a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.By 3 p.m. Thursday, that may change.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Davis remained in place Wednesday, though the run-up to the NBA’s annual trade deadline picked up steam in plenty of other locales around the league — including Dallas, where the Mavericks took Harrison Barnes out of their win over Charlotte in the third quarter because he’s about to get moved to Sacramento, according to two people familiar with the negotiations there.“I got word of it during the game,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesTobias Harris going to Philadelphia from the Los Angeles Clippers as the centerpiece of a six-person, four-draft-pick swap was the first notable deal of Trade Deadline Eve. Later, Chicago agreed to acquire Otto Porter Jr. from Washington for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. The Mavs and Kings agreed to swap Barnes for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson, and as the day was winding down the Wizards struck again — this time sending Markieff Morris to New Orleans for Wesley Johnson.The Mavs-Kings and Wizards-Pelicans deals were confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity by people directly involved in the negotiations, all speaking on condition of anonymity pending the mandatory NBA trade calls to make the deals official. View commentslast_img read more

3 Metrics Your Nonprofit Should Measure Using Google Analytics

first_imgAccessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your nonprofit website is a valuable tool for interacting with your target audience and allowing visitors to learn about your nonprofit. Having the insights to efficiently manage your website are important to optimize the experience for your supporters and ensure the success of your nonprofit. Fortunately, Google Analytics provides organizations with a cost effective way to monitor the metrics that matter and help your team make informed decisions.Here are three metrics that your nonprofit should be measuring: This organization located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is generating a significant amount of its traffic from outside its city limits. Based on this insight, the organization could consider expanding their target audience into new geographic territories or hosting a fundraising event in a new location. Mobile Traffic Behavior As the number of mobile site searches increases, optimizing your nonprofit mobile site for smartphone and tablet users is becoming even more critical to interacting and engaging with your supporters. Mobile traffic behavior metrics let you monitor your site’s mobile traffic growth over time. When analyzing this metric, it’s important to remember that an increase in mobile traffic growth alone doesn’t indicate that your site is mobile friendly. As mobile visitors typically spend less time on a site that isn’t adequately optimized for their devices, time on site, and average visit duration metrics should also be evaluated. Page Bounce RatesA “bounce” occurs when a visitor navigates to a page and then immediately leaves. Depending on the intent of any given webpage, a high bounce rate could indicate a low level of audience interaction and engagement. For example, if your volunteer application page has a high bounce rate, then you need to reevaluate the page’s content as visitors are not spending enough time on the page to fill out any information.Although these three metrics only begin to cover the extent of the metrics offered by Google Analytics, they provide a foundation from which you can start to measure the performance of your  nonprofit website and your reputation. Knowing how to use the information displayed by these metrics will undoubtedly aid your nonprofit staff in optimizing your organization’s website content and improving overall audience engagement. For more information about the metrics that your organization should be utilizing download the free e-book, Top 10 Things Your Association Should Measure in Google Analytics.DJ Muller is president and founder of WebLink International, the creators of WebLink Connect™ the innovative, insightful and intuitive association management software with superior customer support. WebLink empowers hundreds of trade and professional associations and more than 500,000 small and medium businesses to help them acquire and retain more customers.center_img Audience LocationThe audience location metrics enable you to specifically determine the geographic areas that your site content is reaching. By monitoring this metric, your nonprofit will have the tools it needs to determine if it’s effectively reaching its intended target audience. Additionally, this metric can be used as a means to reveal emerging or previously unidentified audiences as well as the effectiveness of your promotional efforts.last_img read more

New Study: Are You Leaving Money in the Middle?

first_imgMind the gap.That’s the advice in a new report on mid-level donor programs. The folks at Sea Change Strategies caution that nonprofits are missing out on a ton of money simply because they’re overlooking a committed and productive audience: middle donors —the donors who give more than low-dollar direct marketing donations, but less than major gift targets. THE MISSING MIDDLE: Neglecting Middle Donors Is Costing You Millions, by Sea Change Strategies’ Alia McKee and Mark Rovner, does double duty as a wake-up call and roadmap for creating effective mid-level donor programs. The study is based on interviews and data from 27 organizations and experts, including heavy hitters like Roger Craver and nonprofits such as The Nature Conservancy and the Human Rights Campaign. The free whitepaper includes:8 habits of highly-effective mid-level donor programsA sample framework for a 30-day action planIn-depth profiles of two highly effective mid-level programsFresh from the AFP conference in San Antonio, Alia McKee shares some more insight about The Missing Middle:How do you distinguish mid-level giving from a major donor program? Is it simply the dollar amount or are there other things going on here?Alia: It’s really about the dollar amount. Of course the definition of middle donor varies from organization to organization, but it tends to hover anywhere between $250-$9,000 cumulative in a year.In the report, you touch on possible challenges on getting executive buy-in. Can you give us some ideas on how to make the case for investing in a mid-level donor program?Alia:1. Among the groups participating in the Wired Wealthy Study, donors at the $1,000 to $10,000 levels (annual giving via all channels) represented roughly one percent of the donor population, but were giving more than a third of the dollars. That’s a HUGE amount of revenue.2. Middle donors are actually an organization’s most committed donors. They will be retained and upgraded far more than smaller donors and far more than major donors. They represent a very significant block of money, commitment and loyalty.3. A functional and philosophical gap exists between direct marketing programs and major gifts programs. Hence, middle donors often receive lackluster treatment that is driven by attribution wars and resentment across the organizational divide. But their capacity to give is huge—so minor tweaks to their treatment can yield big results in revenue. What was the biggest surprise for you in this research?Alia: Despite the fact that every fundraiser and expert we talked to universally agreed that mid-level donors are exceptionally valuable, they also agreed that most organizations haven’t made the kinds of investments necessary to make the most of this immense opportunity.Can small shops pursue a mid-level donor program?Alia: Absolutely. Small changes in stewardship of middle donors can yield results regardless of an organization’s size. Of course, capacity is an issue. But many nonprofits we spoke to approached this creatively including:Staff pizza parties to stuff personalized mailers to middle donorsVolunteer phone calls to middle donors thanking them for their supportMore substantive content to middle donors culled from other organizational communicationsCan your online efforts help your mid-level strategy?Alia: Digital outreach is not the silver bullet when it comes to middle donors. You must communicate with those donors across channels (e.g. be channel agnostic) and give them substantive communications in person, via phone, by notecard or by email. Ideally, you’d reach them through their self-selected preferred channels. Just for fun: Monie in the Middle or Malcolm in the Middle?Alia: Malcolm in the Middle, but only because of Bryan Cranston!Get in touch with your Missing Middle. Join our free webinar with Sea Change Strategies’ Alia McKee and Mark Rovner on Tuesday, May 6 at 1pm EDT. Register now for your chance to hear from these two fundraising gurus and get your mid-level donor questions answered. (Can’t attend the live session? Register anyway to get a copy of the recording sent directly to you via email.)last_img read more

How to Optimize Your #GivingTuesday Experience

first_imgOf course, all fundraisers think their fundraising campaigns are special, but some campaigns are more special than others.A campaign for a giving day like #GivingTuesday is no exception.This is because your campaign and all of the outreach associated with it should have a specific focus, incentive, or goal that makes it different from your annual fund drive or an evergreen donation appeal. Just as your nonprofit’s message and branding should be unique to your organization, the same holds true for these types of special campaigns. When your fundraising campaign has a special focus, your donation page should follow suit.For best results, you should customize your nonprofit’s donation page for your #GivingTuesday campaign. You can opt to update your existing donation page or add an extra page dedicated to your special campaign. Another great reason for having multiple donation pages on hand? Better donor targeting and options for testing. Smarter fundraising for the win! (Need a smarter donation page that gives you the flexibility to customize for special campaigns? We can help.)When a donor lands on a page that has options and prompts that match your campaign criteria, they won’t wonder if they landed in the wrong spot.Optimize Your Donation Page for #GivingTuesdayAs you create or update your donation page for #GivingTuesday, keep in mind your goal is to achieve maximum message match. That is, your images, language, and giving options should be consistent with your appeals and campaign type. If your #GivingTuesday appeal focuses on supporting one particular program in your organization, don’t make donors hunt to find how to designate their gift.Copy:If your campaign is all about the #GivingTuesday Mega Match, when you send supporters to your donation page to join the #GivingTuesday Mega Match, your page better has a big headline that says something like “Double Your Gift with the #GivingTuesday Mega Match today to save.” Imagine the disappointment of a donor ready to give to the #GivingTuesday Mega Match and there’s no mention of the #GivingTuesday Mega Match to be found. In addition to your headline, it’s a good idea to include a few short (and I mean short) lines to describe and reiterate the goal of your #GivingTuesday campaign and what will happen as a result of the gift.Images:Does your #GivingTuesday campaign have a special logo or signature image? Then it needs to be on your donation page to let donors know that they’ve arrived at the correct destination. Remember: Your donation page should visually match not only your nonprofit’s brand but the campaign materials that likely brought them to the page in the first place.Donation Options:I think you can guess what I’m going to say here. If your #GivingTuesday appeal is all about recurring gifts or specific giving levels, don’t offer a bunch of unrelated options. The idea is that you shouldn’t have to do much explaining to allow your donor to successfully complete their donation. Create a clear and easy path and let them do their thing. Tip: To ensure maximum message match, use our Donation Page Checklist to keep you on track.Remember:  your goal here is to remove any friction that might slow donors down or make it difficult for them to make a donation on #GivingTuesday. When a donor has to stop and reconcile discrepancies or sift through unrelated options to give, they’re more likely to be eyeing the door instead of your donation page.To-do: Write down three things that make your #GivingTuesday campaign unique. Now, make sure these three items are prominently featured on your donation page.last_img read more

As UN General Assembly Reviews MDGs, How Can the Next Global Development Framework Accelerate Progress on Maternal Health?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 23, 2013February 2, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)When the United Nations General Assembly meets this week, world leaders will review progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and debate the next global development agenda. There is little question that the next framework will have a critical bearing on whether, and by how much, maternal mortality will be reduced in the coming years. The priority that maternal health and related issues, such as HIV and AIDS and family planning, receive in the global framework will influence health policy and programming around the world.As a group of maternal health experts representing WHO and USAID pointed out in a commentary published in August in The Lancet Global Health: “Between 1990 and 2010, maternal mortality decreased globally by nearly 50%, from 543 000 maternal deaths per year to 287 000, with the greatest reductions in  the second half of this period. A major catalyst for this progress was the target set by Millennium Development Goal 5: reduction of the maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015. Later, a second target on reproductive health was added, which has undoubtedly contributed to accelerated progress.”Going in to the debate, there is good reason to believe that maternal health will remain on the agenda. In May, the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLP), commissioned by UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon recommended that the UN adopt a set of 12 interrelated goals, each supported by a set of ambitious targets for achieving a vision of sustainable development, that ensures that  the world of 2030 is “more equal, more prosperous, more peaceful, and more just.” Among the goals and targets, the HLP recommended that maternal mortality ratio be reduced to “no more than X deaths per 100,000 births” by 2030 as part of goal 4, which seeks to “Ensure Healthy Lives.” Unlike the MDG target, which proposed a 75 percent reduction in the maternal mortality ratio for all countries, regardless of what their MMR was at the baseline, this proposed measure would define progress against an absolute figure. Depending on how “X” is defined, then, many countries would start off having “achieved” the target, while others might be challenged to reduce their MMR by an even greater degree than the 75 percent set by the MDGs.In the months since the HLP offered its recommendations, policy makers, researchers and others have begun to consider  the proposed goal, as well as the implications that the shift from a relative to an absolute measure would have for priorities in global and national efforts to improve maternal health.  For instance, the recent Lancet commentary proposed one response, suggesting that the UN adopt the overall target for countries to achieve an MMR of no more than 50 deaths/100,000 births by 2035, along with more specific targets and national strategies for countries that currently have maternal mortality ratios of over 400 deaths/100,000 births, as well as for addressing inequities within countries where overall maternal mortality is relatively close to the target (under 100/100,000) by focusing on improving maternal health among subpopulations with higher than average maternal mortality rates. At the same time, the authors called for new strategies and approaches to measure and reduce maternal mortality.The General Assembly debate provides an important opportunity to reflect on the progress, challenges and lessons learned under the MDGs, and to consider the best ways of  accelerating global and national progress toward reducing maternal mortality after 2015.We want to hear from you. What role do you think MDG5 has played in accelerating progress toward reducing maternal mortality? Has the time come to shift to an absolute target, or is a relative measure more useful? What challenges and opportunities do you see in the proposed overall framework which groups maternal health with other health issues? Is reducing the maternal mortality ratio the best way to measure progress toward ending preventable maternal deaths, or would a different measure be more useful?Share this:last_img read more

New Commitments Announced at ICFP 2013 Will Bolster Contraceptive Access and Choice in Countries With High Unmet Need

first_imgPosted on November 14, 2013November 17, 2016By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week, as donors, health program leaders, researchers, policy makers and advocates from around the world are meeting at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa to discuss evidence, programming and policy priorities for achieving the goal of “full access, full choice” for family planning.  Some of the biggest news from the conference has been in the area of commitments to the FP2020 agenda, which was launched at last year’s London Summit on Family Planning. FP2020 released the first progress report on the initiative, highlighting developments such as commitments, accountability, innovation, collaboration and the agenda for evaluating progress that have emerged since the initiative.  What is more, the report release coincided with new commitments from five countries with some of the world’s highest levels of unmet need for family planning . From FP2020: “Over a year ago in London, the global community declared women’s health and well-being an urgent priority. Today, we are seeing words translate into action,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group. “What’s most encouraging is that the countries taking the greatest steps toward improving access to modern contraceptives, including through increased domestic resources for family planning, are the countries where family planning choices have been the most limited.” National Plans, Donor Resources, Civil Society Partnerships Underpin Progress The new national family planning pledges announced at ICFP 2013 focus on policy, financial and service delivery commitments that are critical to increasing access for more women and girls. These include: • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the government will use domestic resources for the first time to purchase contraceptives. •In Guinea, funds will be used to recruit thousands of health workers who can deliver family planning in rural areas, as has proven successful in other countries like Ethiopia. •Myanmar will implement a monitoring system to strengthen quality of care and ensure women have a full range of contraceptive options. •Beginning in 2014, the government of Mauritania will commit to allocating health commodity security funds for family planning and, along with its partners, commit to mobilizing additional resources for the implementation of its national family planning action plan. •By 2015, Benin will ensure that modern methods of contraceptives are available without cost and that reproductive health training is provided for adolescents and youth. Countries currently make up one-third of the more than 70 commitment-makers to FP2020. Progress is being led by national governments, in collaboration with civil society organizations, service providers, advocates, industry leaders and experts. One-quarter of FP2020 commitment-making countries have launched detailed, costed national family planning plans. One-third of commitment-making countries have increased their national budget allocations for family planning services or supplies.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more