Successful conclusion of the 2005

PRB International Programs Highlights – March/April 2006
Successful conclusion of the 2005-06 PRB Fellows Program in Population
Policy Communication
The 2005-06 Policy Fellows Program concluded with a one-day workshop preceding the
Population Association of America’s annual meeting in Los Angeles. During the
workshop, the Fellows gave presentations based on the policy papers they had prepared,
and received substantive feedback from discussants and their fellow program
participants. The 14 Fellows, currently Ph.D. students at U.S. universities, represented
different developing countries and areas of population- and health-related research. As
part of the nine-month program, the Fellows participated in a two-week seminar on
policy communication during July 2005 at PRB, where they received training on
preparing policy papers, presentations, and memos based on their research.
In a post-workshop evaluation of the Fellows Program, one participant stated: “The
program progressed wonderfully and it helped me to become more confident about
presenting my research to Policy Fellows and to a general audience. It is completely
relevant to my professional development. It opened a new avenue and encouraged me to
think about my work in a different perspective.”
Policy communications and information use in Kenya: Expanding the network
of skilled professionals
PRB, in collaboration with the National Coordinating Agency for Population and
Development (NCAPD) and the Population Studies and Research Institute of the
University of Nairobi, conducted a two-week policy communications course in Nairobi.
The workshop helped participants identify the policy implications of survey data and
research findings, understand how research can influence the policy process, and gain
skills for data dissemination and use. This training program is based on a successful
regional workshop, conducted annually by the Institute of Public Health of Makerere
University and PRB in Kampala. Strengthening south-to-south training approaches, two
Kenyan alumni from the Makerere workshops facilitated sessions.
Eighteen participants, representing NGOs, ministries, and academic organizations, as
well as local district population officers, attended the workshop. Highlights included a
lively interactive session with leading broadcast producers and print editors, and a
simulated case study exercise in which participants defended their policy
recommendations on contraceptive security to a finance minister, deftly played by a real
policymaker, Dr. Richard Muga, Director of NCAPD. At the initiative of one participant,
plans are under way to organize a conference next year, “Linking Population and
Health Research to Policy and Programming in the 21st Century,” at the University of
Population, health, and environment (PHE) media seminar in the Philippines
In March, PRB provided support and technical assistance to PATH Foundation
Philippines (PFPI) to conduct PHE media training for journalists and information
officers. The training aimed to increase media practitioners’ awareness of PHE issues in
the context of reproductive health and to develop a corps of committed media advocates
reporting on these issues. Twenty participants from the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros
Oriental and Siquijor took part in the training. The agenda included PHE testimonials
from local government units and NGOs, a community visit, and a “writeshop” on how to
develop PHE stories. As of late March, five articles and two editorial cartoons stemming
from the workshop had been published. PRB and PFPI will work together to include
these journalists in other PRB media activities and trainings.
Policymakers in the Philippines support scaling up of PHE approaches
PRB provided support and technical assistance to PATH Foundation Philippines (PFPI)
to conduct a PHE symposium for 60 policymakers, local government officials, and key
stakeholders from the province of Siquijor. To organize the event, PFPI collaborated with
local NGO partners, Ting Matiao Foundation and Coastal Conservation and Education
Foundation, and leveraged support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The
symposium explored the possibilities for scaling up PHE activities to the provincial level.
Overall, participants became more aware of the benefits of linked coastal resource
management-reproductive health approaches and the ways in which these linkages were
reflected in a series of PFPI Behavior Monitoring Surveys.
During the symposium, six municipal mayors presented memorandums of agreement
between the municipal governments and their respective partner NGOs to the provincial
governor. The governor expressed his full support for scaling up of PHE approaches to
the provincial level. The project partners will work with the mayors and the governor to
facilitate the incorporation of integrated PHE approaches in the Provincial Development
Plan and the development of PHE policy briefs for distribution to national and subnational policymakers.
Technical assistance provided to PHE cooperating agencies in the Philippines
Just prior to the 2nd National Conference on Population, Health, and Environment in
Cebu City, Philippines, PRB worked together with USAID to conduct a workshop on
monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and communication strategies for USAID grantees.
The workshop helped develop an M&E framework for USAID-funded PHE programs
and supported the development of communication tools for program managers.
For more information on the BRIDGE Project, contact Rachel Nugent
Advancing Global Health Policies Through Information (Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation project)
Global picture of HIV and AIDS is focus of new report
The latest Population Bulletin, “The Global Challenge of HIV and AIDS,” provides an
up-to-date overview of the pandemic—covering groups at risk; the demographic, health,
social, and economic effects of AIDS; the latest in prevention, care, and treatment; and
challenges in HIV control. This Population Bulletin has already been distributed to more
than 11,000 recipients worldwide using PRB’s international mailing list. PRB prepared
the report in collaboration with Family Health International. French and Spanish
translations are forthcoming. To request copies, contact Donna Clifton,
New features add value to Population and Health InfoShare
In response to feedback received from users and InfoShare partners, a new set of features
now appear on the Population and Health InfoShare website (, an
electronic library of materials submitted by partner organizations and administered by
The new features include an events section where partners can announce their upcoming
events on the website and through the monthly e-mail subscriber newsletter; feedback
forms that allow users to provide comments directly to partners regarding their
documents; and a broken links alert to notify partners who provide web links to
publications that a problem exists. Initial response from partners is positive, and users
have already started completing the feedback forms to comment on documents and
request additional information.
For more information on Advancing Global Health Policies Through Information, contact
Fariyal Fikree (
Communicating Health Priorities (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Three flagship publications released in Beijing
PRB, as a member of the Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP), organized a major
publications launch April 3-6, in Beijing. It was held in conjunction with the 2nd Global
Meeting of the InterAcademy Medical Panel, and co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of
Engineering and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Over 320 policymakers, international
health experts, journalists, and scientists from 49 countries attended this landmark event.
DCPP is a partnership of the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes
of Health, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and PRB, supported by a
grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The conference highlighted the importance of setting well-defined health priorities and
implementing cost-effective, evidence-based interventions. Three flagship publications
were launched:
Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, second edition (DCP2) featuring
a cost-effectiveness analysis of health interventions, health-systems, and prevention
and treatment programs for a comprehensive range of diseases and conditions;
Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors (GBD), a compendium of deaths
worldwide by sex and cause, burden of disease, and risk factor data; and
Priorities in Health, a distillation of DCP2 written for policymakers, available in
seven languages.
DCPP also unveiled a new Web site ( to support wide dissemination of
the DCPP material, all of which is available free of charge on the web. Web site visitors
can download specific chapters through a “create your own book” function; access
burden of disease data in Excel format; ask questions of global health experts; and search
content by region, country, disease, or condition.
PRB staff conducted a pre-conference survey of selected attendees to assess their
expectations for the launch and how they might use DCPP information in future.
Seventy-eight attendees responded, of whom 25 were selected for follow-up interviews.
Respondents reported a variety of dissemination plans and intentions, including:
Organizing or chairing DCPP-centered sessions at meetings of professional
Using DCPP materials in classroom settings in schools of medicine and public health;
Participating in regional DCPP dissemination events;
Translating DCPP materials into languages other than English for dissemination in
their home countries;
Organizing national or regional DCPP-centered workshops;
Producing reports on the launch or on DCPP for professional journals; and
Collaborating with national and regional academies of science and/or medicine to
further disseminate DCPP information.
PRB, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will continue to support
these and other policy communications efforts through July 2007.
Global media coverage for DCPP
PRB developed an extensive media strategy to accompany the launch of the DCPP
publications. A “rolling launch” approach (commonly used by The World Bank for their
World Development Reports) was implemented with the help of the DCPP Media SubCommittee, which included representatives from the World Bank, World Health
Organization, U.S. National Institutes of Health (both the Fogarty International Center
and the National Library of Medicine), PRB, the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP),
and the Corkery Group (on behalf of the Gates Foundation).
Media/policy events were conducted in: Washington DC (3/23); Brazil (Brasilia – 3/22,
Rio de Janeiro – 3/24); Senegal (3/28); Chile (3/29); Mexico (3/29); India (3/30); China
(4/3); South Africa (4/10); and Kenya (4/13). The most intensive efforts were those in
China. Two press conferences, one for the launch of DCPP publications and one to
highlight IAMP’s commitment to DCPP priorities, each attracted more than 40
journalists. A full-page Washington Post story and five Associated Press articles have
been picked up all over the world. Additionally, several journalists were invited to
participate in the whole four-day conference; they wrote a steady stream of stories on the
full range of conference topics. So far over 300 stories have been published in 20
countries, including in 34 U.S. states, and several regional networks (i.e. Voice of
America and Aljazeera) have reached African, Middle Eastern, and global audiences.
For more information on the Communicating Health Priorities project, contact Nancy
Yinger (
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
New program to help researchers inform policy decisions
PRB staff participated in a panel presentation at the recent Population Association of
America meeting in Los Angeles, unveiling two new grant opportunities for researchers
on population, reproductive health, and economic development. The panel was sponsored
by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which is also funding the grant
programs. PRB is overseeing the grant programs, which will provide funds for U.S. and
international researchers at the dissertation level and at Centers of Excellence. Research
will focus on links between population and economic outcomes to produce evidence that
will inform policy at the country level and globally.
The first class of Dissertation Fellows was selected in April. They are Ernesto Amaral,
studying at University of Texas at Austin; Ali Protik, studying at Brown University; Tony
Ao, pursuing his Ph.D. at Harvard; and Marjorie Opuni-Akuamoa at the Johns Hopkins
University. For more information, contact Rachel Nugent (
Save the Children
Latest Saving Newborn Lives Initiative policy brief
A new policy brief, The Maternal-Newborn-Child Health Continuum of Care: Collective
Voices, Collective Effort to Save Lives, outlines how a continuum of care across women,
newborns, and children could improve the health and survival of all three groups.
Coauthored by PRB and Saving Newborn Lives Initiative staff, this brief argues that
maternal, newborn, and child health are inextricably linked and require an integrated
The brief highlights the newly established Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal, and Child
Health, which uses a continuum of care as its operating framework; it also features how
India and Ethiopia have mounted efforts to improve maternal, newborn, and child health
through coordinated approaches. To request copies, contact Donna Clifton, For more information, contact Erin Sines (
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Philippines conference advances agenda for population, health and the
More than 350 international representatives from government, civil society, and the
private sector gathered March 14-17 in Cebu City, Philippines for the 2nd National
Conference on Population, Health, and Environment (PHE), convened by PRB with
funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The conference hosted plenary
discussions, workshops, and site visits. A new datasheet, Making the Link in the
Philippines: Population, Health, and the Environment (the first PHE country-specific
datasheet), was officially released and widely disseminated during the conference.
Several policymakers from the National Economic and Development Authority and the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources are using the datasheet to help create
a “PHE cluster” within the President’s cabinet in the coming months.
Over 100 participants attended eight PRB workshops highlighting new case studies on
PHE program implementation, advocacy, and research. These case studies will be refined
and disseminated later this year.
As a result of the conference, more than 80 print, television, and radio reports on PHE
issues have been tracked. These included coverage of PRB’s datasheet, the conference
itself, site visits and a media training that was jointly conducted by PRB and a local
partner, PATH Foundation Inc.
Donors and activists share a commitment to PHE issues in the Philippines
During the 2nd National Conference on PHE, PRB convened a forum with some 14 local,
regional, and international donors to discuss possibilities for linking PHE programming
to other areas of interest including governance, poverty alleviation, disaster mitigation,
and economic development. These donors have agreed to work together in finding ways
to continue support for PHE funding.
PRB also supported 14 U.S. activists from the Izaak Walton League, Sierra Club,
National Wildlife Federation, Audubon, and one member of the Asia Pacific Alliance for
Reproductive Health to visit PHE projects in the Philippines. These activists will work
with PRB to share their experiences, write media articles about PHE issues in the
Philippines, and integrate lessons learned into their home programs.
For more information on these activities, contact Roger-Mark De Souza