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McCubbin D.,Us Agency For International Development | Sovacool B.K.,Vermont Law School
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

How tangible are the costs of natural gas compared to the benefits of one of the fastest growing sources of electricity - wind energy - in the United States? To answer this question, this article calculates the benefits of wind energy derived from two locations: the 580. MW wind farm at Altamont Pass, CA, and the 22. MW wind farm in Sawtooth, ID. Both wind farms have environmental and economic benefits that should be considered when evaluating the comparative costs of natural gas and wind energy. Though there are uncertainties within the data collected, for the period 2012-2031, the turbines at Altamont Pass will likely avoid anywhere from $560 million to $4.38 billion in human health and climate related externalities, and the turbines at Sawtooth will likely avoid $18 million to $104 million of human health and climate-related externalities. Translating these negative externalities into a cost per kWh of electricity, we estimate that Altamont will avoid costs of 1.8-11.8 cents/kWh and Sawtooth will avoid costs of 1.5-8.2 cents/kWh. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Heiby J.,Us Agency For International Development
International Journal for Quality in Health Care | Year: 2014

There is a growing international consensus that African health systems need to improve, but no agreement on how to accomplish this. From the perspective of modern quality improvement (QI), a central issue for low performance in these health systems is the relative neglect of health-care processes. Both health system leaders and international donors have focused their efforts elsewhere, producing noteworthy health gains. But these gains are at risk if health systems do not develop the capacity to study and improve care processes. Substantial experience with QI in Africa shows impressive potential for broad-based process improvement. But this experience also highlights the need for modifying these growing programs to incorporate a more rigorous learning component to address challenges that have emerged recently. The addition of a region-wide knowledge management program could increase the efficiency of each country's QI program by learning from the experiences of other programs. With a coordinated donor initiative, it is reasonable to project that within 5 years, evidence-based improvement will become a norm in health services, and African health systems will approach the model of a learning organization. Source

Morse S.S.,Columbia University | Morse S.S.,University of California at Davis | Mazet J.A.K.,University of California at Davis | Woolhouse M.,University of Edinburgh | And 7 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Most pandemics-eg, HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, pandemic influenza-originate in animals, are caused by viruses, and are driven to emerge by ecological, behavioural, or socioeconomic changes. Despite their substantial effects on global public health and growing understanding of the process by which they emerge, no pandemic has been predicted before infecting human beings. We review what is known about the pathogens that emerge, the hosts that they originate in, and the factors that drive their emergence. We discuss challenges to their control and new efforts to predict pandemics, target surveillance to the most crucial interfaces, and identify prevention strategies. New mathematical modelling, diagnostic, communications, and informatics technologies can identify and report hitherto unknown microbes in other species, and thus new risk assessment approaches are needed to identify microbes most likely to cause human disease. We lay out a series of research and surveillance opportunities and goals that could help to overcome these challenges and move the global pandemic strategy from response to pre-emption. Source

Greenstein J.,Us Agency For International Development
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2011

The goal of donors in poor countries and in countries after conflicts and natural disasters has been to restore safe road accessibility, create employment, and build the local capacity of road infrastructure management. The paper presents the engineering considerations and the socioeconomic outcomes of low-cost road and bridge improvement and maintenance projects that have been planned and implemented at various locations around the world. The 2008 Haitian rainy season caused a complete collapse of the transport system, including the Ennery Bridge, as well as major crop destruction. The U.S. Agency for International Development supported the Haitian government to accelerate the restoration of safe accessibility over the Ennery River by building a 60-m two-lane ford in 2 months in 2009. In southern Sudan, demining work along priority roads had to be completed before the implementation of basic engineering activities needed to develop effective road improvement work. Low-volume road projects in Latin America demonstrated that hundreds of community-based microenterprises can produce effective road maintenance services on more than 15,000 km of unpaved roads at an average cost of $700/km/year. In the Central African Republic, the low cost of reconstruction of roads and timber-deck bridges was essential to the provision of affordable accessibility. Source

Balster R.L.,Virginia Commonwealth University | Levy S.,Us Agency For International Development | Stammer E.,Knowledge Management Services
Journal of Health Communication | Year: 2014

Recognizing the need for evidence to inform public health officials and health care workers in the U.S. government and low-and middle-income country governments on efficient, effective behavior change policies, strategies, and programs for child health and development, the U.S. government convened the Evidence Summit on Enhancing Child Survival and Development in Lower-and Middle-Income Countries by Achieving Population-Level Behavior Change. This article summarizes the background and methods for the acquisition and evaluation of the evidence used to the achieve the goals of the summit that is reviewed in other articles in this special issue of the Journal of Health Communication. The process began by identifying focal questions intended to inform the U.S. and low-and middle-income governments about behavior change interventions that accelerate reductions in under-5 mortality and optimize healthy and protective child development to 5 years of age. Experts were selected representing the research and program communities, academia, relevant nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies and assembled into evidence review teams. This was followed by the systematic gathering of relevant peer-reviewed literature that would inform the focal questions. Members of the evidence review teams were invited to add relevant articles not identified in the initial literature review to complete the bibliographies. Details of the search processes and methods used for screening and quality reviews are described. The evidence review teams were asked to comply with a specific evaluation framework for recommendations on practice and policy on the basis of both expert opinion and the quality of the data reviewed. Source

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