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Kamijo T.,Japan International Cooperation Agency | Huang G.,Sophia University
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal | Year: 2016

This study examined the key factors for improving the quality of environmental impact assessment reports through statistical tests and path analysis. The Lee-Colley review package was used to review the quality of the samples of 120 reports prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency dating from 2001 to 2012. The result of the study showed that alternatives analysis and public involvement could be key factors for improving the quality of reports. When the number of public involvement stages went up, the number of evaluation criteria for alternatives analysis showed an increasing trend and the quality of the reports improved. Finally, the study pointed out the effectiveness of alternatives analysis with a wide range of evaluation criteria and public involvement for improving the quality of reports. Further research is needed to explore alternatives analysis and public involvement in more depth as well as to improve the effectiveness of their linkage via more case studies. © 2016 IAIA


Islam M.T.,Japan International Cooperation Agency | Yoshimura Y.,Japan International Cooperation Agency
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics | Year: 2015

Objective To assess the rate of cesarean delivery and its indications at public emergency obstetric care (EmOC) hospitals in a district in Bangladesh.Methods In a retrospective, cross-sectional study, data were extracted from the Safe Motherhood Promotion Project database and operation theater registers for cesarean deliveries at three district and three subdistrict EmOC hospitals in Narsingdi between January 1 and December 31, 2008. Information on cesarean deliveries and their indications, and maternal and neonatal outcomes were analyzed descriptively.Results Among 3329 deliveries, 1075 (32.3%) occurred by cesarean. The frequency of cesarean delivery ranged from 17.8% (147 of 824 deliveries) to 56.3% (174 of 309) among the six hospitals. Information on indications was available for 1043 cesarean deliveries. The main indications were previous cesarean delivery (251 deliveries, 24.1%), fetal distress (228, 21.9%), and prolonged or obstructed labor (214, 20.5%). There were no maternal deaths, but 10 (1.0%) cesarean deliveries resulted in stillbirth.Conclusion The overall rate of cesarean delivery was high at EmOC hospitals. Interventions to improve decision making and limit possible unnecessary cesarean operations are needed. © 2014 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.


Islam N.,University of British Columbia | Islam M.T.,Japan International Cooperation Agency | Yoshimura Y.,Japan International Cooperation Agency
Reproductive Health | Year: 2014

Introduction: Utilization of Skilled Birth Attendants (SBAs) at birth is low (20%) in Bangladesh. Birth attendance by SBAs is considered as the "single most important factor in preventing maternal deaths". This paper examined the practices and determinants of delivery by SBAs in rural Bangladesh. Methods: The data come from the post-intervention survey of a cluster-randomized community controlled trial conducted to evaluate the impact of limited post-natal care (PNC) services on healthcare seeking behavior of women with a recent live birth in rural Bangladesh (n = 702). Multivariable logistic regression model was used to identify the potential determinants of delivery by SBAs. Results: The respondents were aged between 16 and 45, with the mean age of 24.41 (± 5.03) years. Approximately one-third (30.06%) of the women had their last delivery by SBAs. Maternal occupation, parity, complications during pregnancy and antenatal checkup (ANC) by SBAs were the significant determinants of delivery by SBAs. Women who took antenatal care by SBAs were 2.62 times as likely (95% CI: 1.66, 4.14; p < 0.001) to have their delivery conducted by SBAs compared to those who did not, after adjusting for other covariates. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that ANC by SBAs and complications during pregnancies are significant determinants of delivery by SBAs. Measure should be in place to promote antenatal checkup by SBAs to increase utilization of SBAs at birth in line with achieving the Millennium Development Goal-5. Future research should focus in exploring the unmet need for, and potential barriers in, the utilization of delivery by SBAs. © 2014 Islam et al.


Frank R.G.,Harvard University | Nakatani Y.,World Health Organization | Fukuda Y.,Japan International Cooperation Agency
Psychiatric Services | Year: 2013

In April 2013 Japan designated mental disorders as the fifth "priority disease" for national medical services, after cancer, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and diabetes. All prefectures will be required to assess local mental health needs and develop necessary service components. This column provides an overview of the Regional Health Care Strategic Plan in the context of mental health and welfare reforms. The goals of the plan are to alter the balance between institutional and community-based care for patients with severe and persistent mental disorders, integrate general medical and mental health care, and support greater independence for people with mental disorders. It is a political challenge for Japan to reallocate resources to rebalance care services while maintaining free access to care.


Yoshioka K.,Japan International Cooperation Agency
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2013

Chagas disease control requires an innovative approach to strengthen community participation in vector surveillance. This paper presents a case study of a community-based bug-hunting campaign in Guatemala. The campaign was implemented in 2007 in the following three stages: (i) a four week preparation stage to promote bug-hunting, (ii) a one week bug-hunting stage to capture and collect bugs and (iii) a 10 week follow-up stage to analyse the bugs and spray insecticide. A total of 2,845 bugs were reported, of which 7% were Triatominae vectors, such as Rhodnius prolixus and Triatoma dimidiata. The bug-hunting campaign detected a five-six-fold higher amount of vectors in one week than traditional community-based surveillance detects in one year. The bug-hunting campaign effectively detected vectors during a short period, provided information to update the vector infestation map and increased community and political awareness regarding Chagas disease. This approach could be recommended as an effective and feasible strategy to strengthen vector surveillance on a larger scale.


Hashimoto K.,Harvard University | Hashimoto K.,Former Regional Adviser for Chagas Disease Control in Central America | Yoshioka K.,Japan International Cooperation Agency
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2014

As an evaluation scheme, we propose certifying for “control”, as alternative to “interruption”, of Chagas disease transmission by native vectors, to project a more achievable and measurable goal and sharing good practices through an “open online platform” rather than “formal certification” to make the key knowledge more accumulable and accessible. © 2014 Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz. All rights reserved.


News Article | April 25, 2016
Site: www.scientificcomputing.com

FUJITA Ichiro, a Professor at the Graduate School of Engineering in Kobe University, has developed a piece of software that can measure the flow rate of rivers using image analysis. The software is called KU-STIV (Kobe University Space-Time Image Velocimetry). This technology makes it easier to obtain accurate data about river flow rates that can be used in strategies for flood risk management. Japan is hit by flood-related disasters almost every year – one of the most recent examples occurred in September 2015 when the Kinugawa River collapsed its banks, sending a wall of water into the nearby town of Joso. Accurate data for rainfall and river flow rate are vital elements in creating flood risk management strategies. Thanks to developments in radar technology, rainfall measurements have become highly precise. However, measuring the flow rate of rivers is still carried out using the old-fashioned method of dropping a stick-shaped float in the river and estimating the flow rate from the float’s speed through a section of the river. When extreme flooding occurs this method becomes difficult to conduct due to the dangers involved, and there are a growing number of cases in which flow rates cannot be measured at the peak of a flood. The KU-STIV system developed by Professor Fujita uses video footage taken from cameras and drones to measure the river flow rate. The system superimposes “searching lines” (each between 10 and 20 meters long) on footage of the river as measurement standards. It calculates the flow speed from the time it takes water surface features and floating matter on the surface of the river to cross these lines, then analyses distribution to indirectly calculate the river flow rate. Surface flow measurements taken using this system were very similar to those taken using acoustic current meters (ADCPs) and it can be used to measure river flow rates faster and more safely than the established method. KU-STIV has already been adopted by many river consultants and River Offices in Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and organizations in Hyogo Prefecture have begun adapting the system for river observation cameras. An English-language version of the system is also available, and recently Ghana researchers invited by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are being trained to use the technology. “We are aiming to adapt this system for real-time calculations, and at the same time we want to establish this as the standard method for measuring river flow rate both within Japan and overseas” commented Professor Fujita.


News Article | March 16, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

A tractor drives past at a rice drying yard at an export rice plant in the central Chainat province in Thailand, December 16, 2015. Last year at this time he was farming rice on his two-hectare farm 40 kilometers northeast of Bali’s airport. But a long spell of dry weather, which has lasted since last July, dried up irrigation channels in his village of Tegal Mengkeb. To survive, the 33-year-old walked away from his farm last December and began driving a taxi in Nusa Dua, a tourist hub with dozens of luxury resorts. He dreams of returning home. "We need regular good showers, but there is mostly drizzle. Unless the subaks (water channels) are full again, I can’t plant any crop,” he said. Aslam may have found a way to stay on the farm next year, however. He recently signed up for new government-backed crop insurance, one of 100 farmers to do so in Bali, where rice is grown on about 80,000 hectares of land. The Bali insurance program, launched last October, promises to pay farmers up to six million rupiah ($480) for a crop failure caused by disasters such as drought, flooding or pest attacks. The premium is 180,000 rupiah ($13) per hectare, but the state has agreed to pay 80 percent of the cost. That means a farmer like Aslam only has to come up with 36,000 rupiah, or about $2, per hectare. The program is part of a larger Indonesian crop insurance scheme introduced in 2012-2013 with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In the first season of the program, 470 hectares of rice fields were insured in East Java and Sumatra. This year, the government has moved to include Bali and a few other provinces, though delays in the expansion have limited the number of farmers signed up. "Our previous target this year was 11,000 hectares of rice fields (insured), but only 4,000 hectares can be insured due to limited time," said Ida Bagus Wisnuardhana, head of the Bali provincial Agriculture and Foodstuffs Affairs office. Currently, the scheme targets only small-scale farmers growing rice, but the federal government hopes to bring in all 27 million farmers in Indonesia’s 33 provinces by 2019, according to a paper published by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. In Indonesia, the dry season runs from May to August. But Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BKMG) - the local official weather mapping organization – says the island of Bali has seen “extreme” weather since the end of August. The agency attributes the unusually hot weather to the El Nino phenomenon. In November, the temperature in the area around Denpasar, Bali’s provincial capital, rose as high as 37 degrees Celsius above the average daily temperature of 31.4 degrees Celsius, said Nyoman Gede Wiryajaya of BKMG. Bali's provincial agricultural department says nearly a thousand hectares of farmland are suffering some degree of drought, which threatens the coming harvest. With crops drying, local media have already reported food shortages in several villages. Buleleng, a north Bali district which has recorded crop failure on 160 hectares, has been declared under "severe drought". With no rice available, "we have been living off dried cassava for several weeks," said Palembang Kaka, a small-scale farmer from Buleleng who now works as a porter in Pasar Badung, Denpasar’s largest community market. Although globally El Nino is expected to start weakening soon, meteorological service officials in Bali are advising farmers to brace for more dry weather. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, of the National Disaster Management Agency, predicted that "rainfall will be extremely low until the end of this year". For Aslam, the prediction could mean another missed crop and another season at the wheel – unless his new insurance policy works. "We will see how the insurance (money) is paid. I hope it is enough to recover my losses,” he said.


News Article | April 23, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Highly ambitious annual solar power capacity addition targets have been announced by the Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. With a target to have an operational solar power capacity of 100 GW by March 2022, the Indian government has announced annual capacity addition targets for the next few years. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) plans to add 15 GW and 16 GW solar power capacity in the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. In the current financial year, the government targets an addition of 12 GW solar power capacity. If this target is achieved, India’s installed solar power capacity will cross 17 GW by the end of March 2017. By early March this year more than 5.7 GW of solar power capacity was operational in India. The ministry has planned an addition of 17 GW in the financial year 2019-20, and 17.5 GW each in 2020-21 and 2021-22. A massive amount of funding will be required to achieve these targets. Thankfully, several Indian as well as international banks have already sanctioned large sums of funding for solar power projects. The ministry recently announced that Indian banks and non-banking financial institutions sanctioned Rs 71,200 crore (over $10 billion) as debt finance to renewable energy projects since February 2015. Most of this finance has been approved for solar power projects. Of the total amount sanctioned, Rs 29,500 crore have already been disbursed. Banks and financial institutions had committed to provide finance for 76,352 MW of renewable energy capacity. The total amount committed by the 40 participants entities was Rs 382,255 crore. India is also in talks with development banks like the Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, KfW, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the New Development Bank to access cheap debt finance for setting up solar power projects.   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article | January 28, 2016
Site: www.renewableenergyworld.com

Kenya Electricity Generating Co., the country’s biggest power producer, said it will receive a $387.2 million loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency to fund the construction of a geothermal power plant.

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