MD Speaks
Dear IPEans,

The Brazilians call it Beija-flor (the bird that kisses flowers). Others have called these tiny but splendid creatures 'living jewels' and even 'lovely fragments of the rainbow'.

And all these description fit the humble Humming Bird - so named because of the humming noise of its wings beating (an amazing 50-200 times per second!) during flight. Despite being one of the smallest birds (measuring only from 2-5 inches), these dainty little creatures display amazing features of speed (flying at more than 50 km/hr), skills (can hover, fly forward, fly backward and even upside down!) and of course grace.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner the Late Wangari Maathai started 'I am a Humming Bird' movement inspiring local people to take small actions for the environment. Read about her analogy of a humming bird carrying a drop of water in its beak to put out the forest fire while a herd of elephant watches here or see her video here.

In IPE, we relate a lot to the Humming Bird - swift, graceful, nimble and yet effective. Our rooting in values and flexibility in approach makes us the humming-bird in the forest fire of international development challenges.

Let us not be daunted by the challenges, let us not be worried about what others should be doing. Let us do our work with dedication, grace and beauty.

Best wishes
- Ashwajit Singh

Dear *|FNAME|*
One of the key aspects of women empowerment is providing mothers a safe and healthy supporting environment. Maternal deaths are still a serious area of concern for India. The news of the month focuses on the urgency to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rates. We as development practitioners are committed to improving the nation’s Maternal Mortality indicators.

Happy reading and be inspired!

- Rebika Laishram , Roshni Chaudhury

Report Rallies

World Health Organization highlights the need to further reduce gaps in access to drinking water and sanitation

Even though progress towards the MDG target represents important gains in access for billions of people around the world, it has been uneven. Sharp geographic, sociocultural and economic inequalities in access persist and sometimes have increased. A new report "Progress on drinking water and sanitation: update 2014" presents examples of unequal progress among marginalized and........ Click here


Social Safety Nets Expand but Can Do Better at Reaching the Poorest: World Bank

Social safety net programs have grown exponentially around the world in recent years, but more than two-thirds of the world’s 1.2 billion poorest people –those living on less than US$1.25 per day—are still not covered, says a new World Bank report........ Click here

News Of The Month
Maternal Mortality Rate a Serious Concern for India

A recent report by United Nations has brought to the fore the need for India to take stock of the measures which have been undertaken so far to address the issue of maternal mortality. The report, titled “Trends in Maternal Mortality, 1990 to 2013”, states that India accounts for the highest country-wise proportion (17%) of the estimated 289,000 maternal deaths of 2013, with the figure standing at an disturbing 50, 000 deaths.

Improving Maternal Health is one of the Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the targets for achieving this Goal is to reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR). As per the UN report, there are only 11 countries which are currently ‘on track’ to attain the said target. India is among the list of 63 countries which are categorized as ‘making progress’, with a 65 per cent decline in its maternal mortality ratio from 560 in 1990 to 190 in 2013.

Studies have shown that the major causes of the high maternal mortality in India is attributable to socio-economic factors such as early age of marriage & pregnancy, lack of community awareness & sensitization, lack of availability of healthcare facilities in remote areas, lack of connectivity/ transportation, delivery by unskilled birth attendants, etc. Medical causes include Haemorrhage, Hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, obstructed labour, unsafe abortion, Anaemia etc.

The Government of India has been making concerted efforts to address these challenges. Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) was launched in 2005, with the objective of reducing maternal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women through cash incentives. In 2011, The Government of India launched the Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), a national initiative to provide completely free and cashless services to pregnant women accessing public health institutions for treatment, so as to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.

These initiatives have been fairly successful, considering the backdrop of India’s large population and the complexities of its federal structure. However, much more still needs to be done to address this issue. It is important to understand that the problem of high maternal mortality in India is to a large extent, due to debilitating social factors. It is not only the institutions and delivery mechanisms which need to be strengthened but, more importantly, mass-level awareness and community sensitization programmes needs to be promoted, highlighting the importance of a scientific approach towards pregnancy care, especially among the deprived sections of the society.

Notably, the United Nations report on Maternal Mortality states that while assessing the extent of progress towards attainment of the MDGs, some common elements emerge for better performers. These facilitators are - Leadership and partnership, evidence and innovation, development and implementation of dual long-term and short-term strategies, adaptation to change and a committed approach towards human rights.

These elements, if followed with more fervour, can chart the way forward for India to address this issue at a social level. A sound leadership committed to the creation of an egalitarian society which has a greater degree of respect for human rights in general and women’s rights in particular, can greatly enhance India’s ability to address the challenge of maternal mortality. It is only when one half of our population is empowered in both letter and spirit and treated as truly equal, can India reach the next level in its Economic, Social and Human Development.

Development News Clocked This Month

WHO holds emergency meeting as polio strikes anew

Will polio again become a public health emergency? This is what the World Health Organization is currently trying to figure out as it met with the members of its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee. The meeting followed a series of unexpected wild poliovirus transmissions in the first quarter of 2014, and re-infections in countries and regions...... Click here

World Bank likely to fund higher education in Odisha

World Bank is likely to fund the development of higher education sector in Odisha. The state government has proposed to hold an international seminar on higher education policy in Bhubaneswar in July, where World Bank officials are expected to participate. The World Bank has already provided financial aid of one million dollars in India for the development of higher education sector in various states. ...... Click here

India far from achieving sanitation goal: WHO report

Although India is on track to meet its millennium development goal for safe drinking water with 93% of the population having access to an improved source of water, it is far from achieving its target for improved sanitation facilities with 792 million people still living without access to improved sanitation facilities in 2012, the World Health Organization.......Click here

AID Roundup

WB Supports Ghana on Secondary Education, Maternal and Child Health Services

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved two credits to Ghana, the first of which will bring senior secondary education to thousands of students in under-served areas while also improving the quality....... Click here

ADB provides Rs 3.09 billion tourism loan grant to Nepal

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide additional loan and grant assistance of USD 33 million (about Rs. 3.094 billion) to Nepal for the implementation of the South Asian Tourism Infrastructure Development Project (SATIDP)....... Click here

World Bank Supports Public Financial Management in Chad

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a grant totalling US$10.2 million to continue helping the Republic of Chad strengthen its public financial management (PFM) capacity. It will finance activities to scale up the following:.......Click here

Copyright © 2013 IPE Global (P) Ltd, All rights reserved. Visit IPE GLOBAL website | Forward to a friend | Write to INSPIRE
You are on INSPIRE's Mailing List. Our mailing address is:
IPE Global (P) Ltd
IPE Global House,
B-84, Defence Colony, New Delhi 110024, India
  Add us to your address book today | unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences | view email in browser