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Can Development Interventions Help Post-conflict Communities Build Social Cohesion? The Case of the Liberia Millennium Villages

"This paper evaluates the efforts of one international development intervention — the Kokoyah Millennium Villages Project (KMVP) — to improve welfare and build social cohesion in post-conflict Liberia. This study is based on a preliminary analysis o…

Getting Treatment and Care to the Last Mile:Analyzing the Health Surveillance Assistance Cadre in Malawi

"As low- and middle-income countries face continued shortages of human resources for health and the double burden of infectious and chronic diseases, there is renewed international interest in the potential for community health workers (CHWs) to ta…

The Local Livelihood Implications of Biofuel Development and Land Acquisitions in Zimbabwe

"In recent years, proponents of “green and clean” fuel have argued that the socio-economic and environmental costs of over reliance on traditional fuel (oil) could be reduced by a global transition to biofuel. Such discourses propound that a transit…

Humanitarian Assistance and the Politics of Self-Reliance Uganda's Nakivale Refugee Settlement

"Increasingly, refugees residing in refugee camps are living in protracted situations for which there are no quick remedies. Existing attempts to address protracted situations for refugees engage with the concept and practices of the Self-reliance…

Conflict in Africa: Diagnosis and Response

"Responding to violent conflict begins with a diagnosis of what the conflict is about — what are the causes and triggers that transform a disagreement into an armed struggle. Behind the immediate reasons, however, there are often assumptions about t…

Integrating Food Security with Land Reform: A More Effective Policy for South Africa

"Food security is broadly defined as households’ access at all times to adequate, safe and nutritious food for a healthy and productive life. This policy brief draws on a case study of the South African government’s attempt to revitalize the rural …

Swaziland, HIV/AIDS and the Global Fund

"The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has provided $76.2 million in much-needed financial assistance across close to 10 years to the Kingdom of Swaziland for the execution of their HIV/AIDS programs, achieving admirable results. …

The Importance of Rapid HIV testing in Africa's Resource-Constrained Settings

"This backgrounder explores the current state of research on rapid HIV testing from an African perspective. The pros and cons of different tests are presented and the discrepancy between lab results and applications in the field are shown. It offers…

Preventing Preventable Cervical Cancer in Kenya

"Cervical cancer is a prevalent yet preventable cause of death among Kenyan women. Lack of viable vaccination, screening and treatment options, combined with a high incidence of risk are the main causal factors. Subsidized vaccination programs and …

Improving the Mental Health Treatment Gap in Ghana

"Mental health in Ghana, like most other developing countries, is severely under-funded by the national government and international donors. The mental disorder treatment gap (percentage of people with untreated illness) is estimated at 98 percent.…

Reducing HIV Infection Rates among Young Kenyan Women

"In Kenya, HIV rates are much higher for women than for men. This gender differential is particularly pronounced for young women aged 15 to 24 years, who are four times more likely to contract HIV than young men in the same age group. Kenya’s polic…

Ghana's Offshore Oil: Resource Curse or Blessing?

"This backgrounder explores the contentious debate surrounding Ghana’s oil discovery. It considers the ways in which Ghana’s oil could be either a ‘curse’ or a ‘blessing’ for the country. It briefly considers challenges surrounding resource extracti…

Indigenous Peoples and the Right to Food in Kenya

"The right to food as a concept recognizes the links between food security, culture and resource rights, and as a legal principle, it requires a state to ensure that people are free from hunger. As a framework to guide policy, research and advocacy,…

Political and Social Challenges facing the Reduction of Uganda's Maternal Mortality Rates

"While there has been a recent worldwide decline in maternal mortality rates, mothers in developing countries, like Uganda, continue to face challenges in receiving effective reproductive health care. Uganda’s maternal mortality and morbidity rates …

Strategies to Support Youth-headed Households in Kenya and Rwanda

"There is a growing number of youth-headed households in Sub-Saharan Africa that have specific vulnerabilities not often addressed by current policies and programs in their home countries. Where countries have developed strategies to support orphans…

Toward a Regional Solution for Rwanda's Returning Refugees

"Going back as far as the 1950s, conflicts between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda have resulted in large flows of forced migration throughout East Africa. Understanding differences among Rwandan refugees groups is essential for developing effective mana…

Destructive Storms, Dormant Policies:The Impact of Cyclones on Food Security in Madagascar

"The island nation of Madagascar is hit by an average of 3 to 4 cyclones per year — among the highest rates in Africa. These violent storms compromise the country’s already-tenuous levels of food security and economic growth. The country’s 2009 pol…

Identity, Democracy and Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya

"Contrary to the popular belief that participatory democracy should promote greater inclusion, Kenya’s increasingly open and competitive political system has also been a source of exclusion for groups perceived not to ‘belong’ to certain areas. Tho…

Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Adaptation Policy in Northern Ghana

"The onset of climate change poses a direct challenge to small-scale agricultural production and food security in Ghana. Though this type of farming can be responsive to climatic variations, adaptation policies that promote high-resource solutions a…

The Impact of Deforestation of Forest Livelihoods in Ghana

"Forest resources play a large role in income generation and household food security in Ghana, with forestry products providing sustenance and revenue for about 2.5 million people in the country. Between 1990 and 2005, Ghana lost over a quarter of i…

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