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Electronic voting technology is often proposed as translating voter intent to vote totals better than alternative systems such as paper ballots. We suggest that electronic voting machines (EVMs) can also alter vote choice, and, in particular, the way in which voters register anti-system sentiment. This paper examines the effects of the introduction of EVMs in India, the world's largest democracy, using a difference-in-differences methodology that takes advantage of the technology's gradual introduction. We find that EVMs are associated with dramatic declines in the incidence of invalid votes, and corresponding increases in vote for minor candidates. There is ambiguous evidence for EVMs decreasing turnout, no evidence for increases in rough proxies of voter error or fraud, and no evidence that machines with an auditable paper trail perform differently from other EVMs. The results highlight the interaction between voter technology and voter protest, and the substitutability of different types of protest voting.
Significant variation in the institutions and efficiency of public bureaucracies across countries and regions are observed. These differences could be partially responsible for divergence in the effectiveness of policy implementation, corruption levels, and economic development. Do imperial legacies contribute to the observed variation in the organization of public administrations? Historical foreign rule and colonization have been shown to have lasting effects on legal systems, political institutions, and trade in former controlled territories. Imperial legacies could also explain variations in the performance of public administrations. The author uses the case of Poland to investigate the long-term effects of foreign rule on bureaucratic systems. Historically, Poland was split between three imperial powers with very different public administrations: Prussia, Austria, and Russia. Statistical analyses of original data collected through a survey of more than 650 Polish public administrations suggest that some present-day differences in the organization and efficiency of bureaucracies are due to imperial legacies.
To assess sociodemographic, nutritional and health conditions associated with vitamin D sufficiency among young Brazilian children living at different latitudes.
Cross-sectional analysis with a four-level model of inflammation to correct micronutrient concentrations. Prevalence ratios (PR; 95 % CI) were estimated for factors associated with vitamin D sufficiency (≥50 nmol/l), adjusting for child’s sex, age, skin colour, stunting and vitamin A+D supplementation.
Primary health-care units in four Brazilian cities located at lower (7°59′26·9016″S and 9°58′31·3864″S) and higher latitudes (16°41′12·7752″S and 30°2′4·7292″S).
In total 468 children aged 11–15 months were included in the analysis.
Only 31·8 % of children were vitamin D sufficient (concentration <30 nmol/l and <50 nmol/l among 32·9 and 68·2 %, respectively). Living at higher latitudes was associated with reduced prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency compared with lower latitudes (PR = 0·65; 95 % CI 0·49, 0·85). Maternal education ≥9 years positively influenced a sufficient vitamin D status in children. After correction for inflammatory status, each increase of 1 µmol/l in vitamin A concentration was associated with a 1·38-fold higher prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency (95 % CI 1·18, 1·61). Progressive decline in the prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency was associated with marginal and deficient status of vitamin A (Ptrend = 0·001).
Lower latitude, higher maternal education and vitamin A concentration were positively associated with vitamin D sufficiency in young Brazilian children. These findings are relevant for planning public health strategies for improving vitamin D status starting in early infancy.
The literature on socio-economic variations in the association between retirement timing and health is inconclusive and largely limited to the moderating role of occupation. By selecting the sample case of Mexico where a sizeable number of older adults have no or very little formal education, this study allows the moderating role of education to be tested properly. Drawing on panel data for 2,430 individuals age 50 and over from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) and combining propensity score matching models with fixed-effects regressions, this article investigates differences in the health effects of retirement timing between older adults with varying years of education. Subjective health is measured using a self-reported assessment of respondents’ overall health and physical health as a reverse count of doctor-diagnosed chronic diseases. The results indicate that early transitions into retirement are associated with worse health outcomes, but education fully compensates for the detrimental association with subjective and physical health, while adjusting for baseline health, demographics and socio-economic characteristics. In conclusion, formal education during childhood and adolescence is associated with a long-term protective effect on health. It attenuates negative health consequences of early retirement transitions. Policies and programmes promoting healthy and active ageing would benefit from considering the influence of formal education in shaping older adults’ health after the transition into retirement.
Endoscopic ear surgery is a technique that is growing in popularity. It has potential advantages in the low-resource setting for teaching and training, for the relative ease of transporting and storing the surgical equipment and for telemedicine roles. There may also be advantages to the patient, with reduced post-operative pain, facilitating the ability to complete procedures as out-patients.
Our Ear Trainer has previously been validated for headlight and microscope otology skills, including foreign body removal and ventilation tube insertion, in both the high- and low-resource setting. This study aimed to assess the Ear Trainer for similar training and assessment of endoscopic ear surgery skills in the low-resource setting. The study was conducted in Uganda on ENT trainees.
Despite a lack of prior experience with endoscopes, with limited practice time most participants showed improvements in: efficiency of instrument movement, steadiness of the camera view obtained, overall global rating of the task and performance time (faster task performance).
These results indicate that the Ear Trainer is a useful tool in the training and assessment of endoscopic ear surgery skills.
This article contributes to our understanding of how and why developing countries would comply with international banking regulatory standards, Basel standards. The article demonstrates the interplay between opportunity structures constituted by transnationalization of public policymaking and domestic institutional setting, and how forces of compliance resonate in the domestic politics of compliance. The empirical findings are based on Turkey's compliance with Basel standards. It relies on fieldwork that involves semi-structured qualitative interviews with senior regulators and bankers, which are complemented with analysis of secondary data. The article shows that a capable and willing regulator could capitalize on the top-down policymaking style which restricts the regulatee's access to international negotiations, and sets the terms at the domestic level. Direct access to international negotiations, resource asymmetry in favor of the regulator, and superior “negotiation knowledge” helped the regulator pacify a critical, skeptical regulatee, and drive the compliance process. The article also shows that the compliance process takes place at three stages: policy formulation at the international level, an “interpretation stage” in between the international and the domestic levels, and finally the domestic policy process.
This article investigates whether residents of Mexico City value air quality. Our results suggest that air quality improvement in PM10 is equivalent to a marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) of US$440.31 per property for the period 2006–2013. The corresponding MWTP for PM2.5 is US$880.63, for O3 is US$623.78, and for SO2 is as much as US$2091.50. These estimates are considerably larger in magnitude compared to the few other studies in similar settings. As a percentage of annual household income, these represent 2.44 per cent for PM10, 4.88 per cent for PM2.5, 3.46 per cent for O3 and 11.59 per cent for SO2. Our estimates of land value–pollution elasticities for PM10 (−0.26 and − 0.58) are within range of hedonic estimates for total suspended particulate matter in US cities around the 1970s. The corresponding elasticities range from − 0.55 to − 0.84 for PM2.5, from − 0.06 to − 0.49 for O3 and from − 0.11 to − 0.34 for SO2.
Important ear problems can affect the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Globally, the greatest burden of disease is due to ear conditions that are associated with otorrhoea and hearing loss.
This study reviewed the literature on the prevention and treatment of common ear conditions that are most relevant to settings with high rates of ear disease and limited resources. The grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation (‘GRADE’) approach was utilised to assess interventions.
Accurate diagnosis of ear disease is challenging. Much of the preventable burden of ear disease is associated with otitis media. Nine otitis media interventions for which there is moderate to high certainty of effect were identified. While most interventions only provide modest benefit, the impact of treatment is more substantial in children with acute otitis media with perforation and chronic suppurative otitis media.
Disease prevention through good hygiene practices, breastfeeding, reducing smoke exposure, immunisation and limiting noise exposure is recommended. Children with acute otitis media with perforation, chronic suppurative otitis media, complications of otitis media, and significant hearing loss should be prioritised for medical treatment.
OAD, the Office of Astronomy for Development, one of the most significant innovations within the IAU, was created at the XXVII General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in 2009 and opened in 2011. The new office brought together and strengthened several activities of the IAU aimed at helping astronomers in developing or isolated countries to keep in touch with their colleagues elsewhere and up-to-date with the developments in our science. Those activities were mediated through the old commission structure by Commission 38 (Exchange of Astronomers) and Commission 46 (Astronomy Education and Development) which oversaw the International Schools of Young Astronomers (ISYA), the Visiting Lecturer Programme (VLP) and Teaching for Astronomy Development (TAD). In addition, Jorge Sahade, during his term as IAU President (1985–1988), formed the Working Group for the Promotion and Development of Astronomy, as a sub-committee of the Executive Committee, and asked the present writer, then a Vice-President, to act as chair. That Working Group (later renamed the Working Group for the Worldwide Development of Astronomy, WGWWDA) operated within the context of the already existing services of the IAU and in cooperation with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). In this paper, the writer gives an account of the activities of the WGWWDA both during and between General Assemblies, until the year 2000, shortly after which he relinquished responsibility for them.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been shown to contribute to mental and cognitive health in older adults from Western industrialized countries. However, it is unclear whether this effect replicates in older adults from non-Western developing countries. Thus, the present study examined the contribution of fruit and vegetable consumption to mental and cognitive health in older persons from China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Ghana.
Representative cross-sectional and cross-national study.
We used data from the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), sampled in 2007 to 2010. Our final sample size included 28 078 participants.
Fruit and vegetable consumption predicted an increased cognitive performance in older adults including improved verbal recall, improved delayed verbal recall, improved digit span test performance and improved verbal fluency; the effect of fruit consumption was much stronger than the effect of vegetable consumption. Regarding mental health, fruit consumption was significantly associated with better subjective quality of life and less depressive symptoms; vegetable consumption, however, did not significantly relate to mental health.
Consumption of fruits is associated with both improved cognitive and mental health in older adults from non-Western developing countries, and consumption of vegetables is associated with improved cognitive health only. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption might be one easy and cost-effective way to improve the overall health and quality of life of older adults in non-Western developing countries.
This article attempts to highlight the challenges and possibilities for hearing healthcare through technology and aural rehabilitation in a resource-constrained setting, using South Africa as an example.
Results and conclusion
The authors argue that it is possible to enhance service delivery by using free resources and maximising the limited existing resources. In order to provide a sustainable hearing healthcare service in developing countries, it is pertinent to understand the context where the services are needed, and not just adopt an approach developed for a different context. Audiologists in such settings need to employ strategies to develop context-specific tools, and adapt existing tools to serve the needs of the local population. Some examples, although not exhaustive, are provided in the article.
Taxation is considered an important reason for the persistent inequality in developing countries. Developing countries tend to rely heavily on revenue from regressive taxation on consumption, such as the value-added tax, and fail to use progressive income taxes for revenue. Thailand is a typical case of those developing countries. Scholars argue that the median voter model does not apply to the developing countries because their ineffective income taxation results from the weak representation of the poor. A close examination of tax politics in Thailand, however, demonstrates that the low revenue from income taxation in Thailand is attributed to the strong representation of the poor rather than the weak one. This study details the process of Thai tax reform based on interviews with policymakers in Bangkok. It traces changes in the country's tax regulations and uses tax data collected at both the local and national level. Tax reforms, particularly those on income taxes after the 1997 financial crisis, have resulted in a decreased tax burden on the poor as well as the rich.
This study assessed smallholder finances and their attitudes towards the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccination programme, when 1 620 000 vaccine doses were provided for strategic administration in large ruminants in FMD ‘high-risk’ areas in Laos between 2012 and 2016. Farmers (n = 168) in the provinces of Xayyabouli (XYL), Xiengkhoung (XK) and Huaphan (HP), were interviewed. Over 91% of the farmers responded that their livestock were vaccinated for FMD, with over 86% ranking FMD vaccination as a good or very good intervention. No FMD cases were reported from the vaccinated provinces after May 2013. Examination of the total income per household in XYL, XK and HP indicated earnings of US$5060(±650), US$4260(±294) and US$1691(±676), respectively (P = 0.001), with 23%, 28% and 68% of the total incomes from annual sales of large ruminant, respectively. Of the farmers in XYL, XK and HP, 83%, 93% and 70% (P = 0.009) said their annual income increased compared with 2012, and 47%, 64% and 41%, respectively (P = 0.005), indicated this increase was from additional large ruminant sales. The study indicated that this large FMD vaccination programme was well regarded by participating farmers and may have provided satisfactory suppression of the disease in Laos, despite not achieving the preferred vaccination coverage. Continuation of the vaccination programme in FMD high-risk areas is suggested as desirable.
This special issue contributes to the natural resource economics literature by shining a light on the specific challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries that have recently become dependent on natural resources or are particularly exposed to climate change. It is composed of five studies on countries from all regions of the developing world, involving a variety of natural resources and policy issues. Four of the five studies illustrate how computable general equilibrium models are particularly well-suited, despite their relatively limited past use, to the analysis of natural resources. All five studies are led by researchers based in these countries, providing unique insights into the specific local context. The studies underscore the extreme vulnerability that the introduction of significant natural resource revenues and climate change can create in developing countries. They also show how the choice of appropriate policies to avoid the resource curse varies according to country-specific economic conditions.
At the heart of surgical care needs to be the education and training of staff, particularly in the low-income and/or resource-poor setting. This is the primary means by which self-sufficiency and sustainability will ultimately be achieved. As such, training and education should be integrated into any surgical programme that is undertaken. Numerous resources are available to help provide such a goal, and an open approach to novel, inexpensive training methods is likely to be helpful in this type of setting.
The need for appropriately trained audiologists in low-income countries is well recognised and clearly goes beyond providing support for ear surgery. However, where ear surgery is being undertaken, it is vital to have audiology services established in order to correctly assess patients requiring surgery, and to be able to assess and manage outcomes of surgery. The training requirements of the two specialties are therefore intimately linked.
This article highlights various methods, resources and considerations, for both otolaryngology and audiology training, which should prove a useful resource to those undertaking and organising such education, and to those staff members receiving it.
Hailed as the single most important paper published on crop protection in the 20th century, Stern et al. in 1959 formed the conceptual basis for modern integrated pest management (IPM) worldwide. The ecological foundation for IPM envisioned by its authors is as valid today as in 1959. However, adoption by developing country farmers has been low and its advances short-lived. The present paper examines the concept of integration in IPM and criteria for determining whether its control tactics have been integrated harmoniously. The effects of local and regional landscape patterns on pests and on the design of IPM are reviewed, arguing that the agroecosystem must be understood and managed as a living system with the goal of enhancing and conserving agrobiodiversity and keeping ecosystem services intact. Key to IPM adoption is convincing farmers to integrate non-chemical alternatives (e.g. biological control, plant diversification) as primary management components and to apply pesticides judiciously and only after non-chemical components fail to manage pests effectively. Research, extension and policy changes are identified to increase the efficiency, adoption and sustainability of IPM on resource-limited farms. The over-arching challenge is devising communication and support systems that allow resource-limited farmers to try, adopt and sustain IPM that enhances yields and profits in light of the many uncertainties and challenges. Use of information technology, media development, crowdsourcing and rural sociology is advocated to connect farmers to the technical sources required to enhance yields and profits and reduce risks to them, the farming community and the environment.
The aim of this study was to design and develop a set of, short message service (SMS) to promote specialized mental health care seeking within the framework of the Allillanchu Project.
The design phase consisted of 39 interviews with potential recipients of the SMS, about use of cellphones, and perceptions and motivations towards seeking mental health care. After the data collection, the research team developed a set of seven SMS for validation. The content validation phase consisted of 24 interviews. The participants answered questions regarding their understanding of the SMS contents and rated its appeal.
The seven SMS subjected to content validation were tailored to the recipient using their name. The reminder message included the working hours of the psychology service at the patient's health center. The motivational messages addressed perceived barriers and benefits when seeking mental health services. The average appeal score of the seven SMS was 9.0 (SD±0.4) of 10 points. Participants did not make significant suggestions to change the wording of the messages.
Five SMS were chosen to be used. This approach is likely to be applicable to other similar low-resource settings, and the methodology used can be adapted to develop SMS for other chronic conditions.
Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 under the Convention on Biological Diversity sets out to conserve at least 17% of terrestrial area by 2020. However, few countries are on track to meet this target and it is uncertain whether developing countries have allocated sufficient resources to expand their protected areas. Biodiversity offsets could resolve this conservation shortfall if developers who affect biodiversity negatively at one locality are made responsible for its protection elsewhere. Here we simulate the use of biodiversity offsetting to expand protected area coverage in South Africa's grassland biome. South Africa's biodiversity offsets policy has been designed specifically to compensate for the residual loss of biodiversity caused by development, by establishing and managing protected areas within the same ecosystem type. We show that it is possible to meet protected area targets using only offsets, while facilitating economic development. However, doing so could slash the current extent of intact habitat by half. These losses could be reduced considerably should the gains in protected areas through offsetting supplement rather than supplant existing government commitments to protected area expansion. Moreover, supplementing existing government commitments would result in comparatively small reductions in potential economic gains, because the marginal economic benefit of transforming habitat decreases as more intact habitat is lost. Therefore, the intended role of biodiversity offsetting in achieving a country's protected area target should be made explicit to fully understand the associated trade-offs between conservation and economic development.
Our spatial analysis indicates that in 2000 over one third of the rural population in developing countries was located on less favored agricultural land and areas, which are constrained by biophysical conditions or poor market access. We examine whether these spatial distributions of rural population in 2000 influence subsequent changes in the rate of poverty from 2000 to 2012 in 83 developing countries. We find no evidence of a direct impact on changes in poverty, but there is a significant indirect impact via the elasticity of poverty reduction with respect to growth. If climate change leads to more people concentrated in these areas, or an increase in unfavorable agricultural regions, then the poverty-reducing impact of overall per capita income growth could be further weakened. Reducing poverty will require targeting rural populations in less favored lands and remote areas and encouraging out-migration.