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Concept: Non-governmental organization


Evidence shows that the government of Papua New Guinea is failing to provide basic services in health to the majority of its people. Local non-government organisations (NGOs), partnered with international NGOs, are attempting to fill this gap. With limited resources, these small Indigenous organisations must focus much of their effort on training that supports self-reliance as the main strategy for communities to improve their quality of life. This project explored the training content and methodology of Touching The Untouchables (TTU), a small Indigenous NGO based in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, that has trained a network of village volunteers in health promotion and safe motherhood.
Village life imposes multiple demands, from self-sufficiency in food to maintaining law and order. There are established attitudes about power and dependence, referred to as ‘cargo thinking’. Cargo thinking stands as a barrier to the necessity of self-reliance, and requires training strategies that seek to empower participants to create change from their own initiative. Empowerment is understood as oriented towards individual people taking collective action to improve their circumstances by rectifying disparities in social power and control. To achieve self-reliance, empowerment is necessarily operational on the levels of person, community and society.
In addition to being operational on all three levels of empowerment, the training content and methodology adopted and developed by TTU demonstrate that empowering practice in training employs approaches to knowledge that are evidence-based, reflexive, contextual and skill-based. Creating knowledge that is reflexive and exploring knowledge about the broader context uses special kinds of communicative tools that facilitate discussion on history, society and political economy. Furthermore, training methodologies that are oriented to empowerment create settings that require the use of all three types of communication required for cooperative action: dramaturgical, normative and teleological communication.
The success of TTU’s training content and methodology demonstrates that creating the conditions for achieving collective self-reliance through empowerment is a necessary part of primary health promotion in Papua New Guinea, and that underlying the success of empowerment oriented training are definable types of knowledge and communication.

Concepts: German New Guinea, Papuan languages, Torres Strait, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Non-governmental organization


In this research we explore the current state of chronic diseases in the United States, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and applying visualization and descriptive analytics techniques. Five main categories of variables are studied, namely chronic disease conditions, behavioral health, mental health, demographics, and overarching conditions. These are analyzed in the context of regions and states within the U.S. to discover possible correlations between variables in several categories. There are widespread variations in the prevalence of diverse chronic diseases, the number of hospitalizations for specific diseases, and the diagnosis and mortality rates for different states. Identifying such correlations is fundamental to developing insights that will help in the creation of targeted management, mitigation, and preventive policies, ultimately minimizing the risks and costs of chronic diseases. As the population ages and individuals suffer from multiple conditions, or comorbidity, it is imperative that the various stakeholders, including the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), policy makers, health providers, and society as a whole, address these adverse effects in a timely and efficient manner.

Concepts: Policy, Non-governmental organization, Chronic, Epidemiology, Demography, Medical terms, United States, Medicine


The decisions made by food companies are a potent factor shaping the nutritional quality of the food supply. A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) advocate for corporate action to reduce salt levels in foods, but few data define the effectiveness of advocacy. This present report describes the process evaluation of an advocacy intervention delivered by one Australian NGO directly to food companies to reduce the salt content of processed foods. Food companies were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 22) or control (n = 23) groups. Intervention group companies were exposed to pre-planned and opportunistic communications, and control companies to background activities. Seven pre-defined interim outcome measures provided an indication of the effect of the intervention and were assessed using intention-to-treat analysis. These were supplemented by qualitative data from nine semi-structured interviews. The mean number of public communications supporting healthy food made by intervention companies was 1.5 versus 1.8 for control companies (p = 0.63). Other outcomes, including the mean number of news articles, comments and reports (1.2 vs. 1.4; p = 0.72), a published nutrition policy (23% vs. 44%; p = 0.21), public commitment to the Australian government’s Food and Health Dialogue (FHD) (41% vs. 61%; p = 0.24), evidence of a salt reduction plan (23% vs. 30%; p = 0.56), and mean number of communications with the NGO (15 vs. 11; p = 0.28) were also not significantly different. Qualitative data indicated the advocacy trial had little effect. The absence of detectable effects of the advocacy intervention on the interim markers indicates there may be no impact of the NGO advocacy trial on the primary outcome of salt reduction in processed foods.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Government of Australia, Arithmetic mean, Oxfam, Food processing, Nutrition, Food, Non-governmental organization


While program evaluations are increasingly valued by international organizations to inform practices and public policies, actual evaluation use (EU) in such contexts is inconsistent. Moreover, empirical literature on EU in the context of humanitarian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) is very limited. The current article focuses on the evaluability assessment (EA) of a West-Africa based humanitarian NGO’s progressive evaluation strategy. Since 2007, the NGO has established an evaluation strategy to inform its maternal and child health care user-fee exemption intervention. Using Wholey’s (2004) framework, the current EA enabled us to clarify with the NGO’s evaluation partners the intent of their evaluation strategy and to design its program logic model. The EA ascertained the plausibility of the evaluation strategy’s objectives, the accessibility of relevant data, and the utility for intended users of evaluating both the evaluation strategy and the conditions that foster EU. Hence, key evaluability conditions for an EU study were assured. This article provides an example of EA procedures when such guidance is scant in the literature. It also offers an opportunity to analyze critically the use of EAs in the context of a humanitarian NGO’s collaboration with evaluators and political actors.

Concepts: Non-governmental organizations, Oxfam, Non-profit organization, Non-governmental organization


This commentary discusses how ethicists view the responsibilities of corporations, of their philanthropic spin-offs, and of not-for-profit organizations with regard to use of monies from corporate philanthropies for public health.Journal of Public Health Policy advance online publication, 22 November 2012; doi:10.1057/jphp.2012.63.

Concepts: Universal health care, Medicine, Non-profit organization, Types of organization, Non-governmental organization, Health economics, Charitable organization, Philanthropy


Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) play a critical humanitarian role in the developing world. Over 100 NGOs currently operate in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa that ranks 183 out of 187 in the United Nation’s Human Development Index. Following a brutal 11-year war that ended in January 2002, the country has been unsuccessful at building a sufficiently resourced, robust, and anticipatory public health and medical care infrastructure. Consequently, Sierra Leone suffers from high levels of poverty, infant mortality, and limited access to safe drinking water, as well as morbidity from malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, hepatitis A, cholera, and typhoid fever. Large international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders have attempted to fill the void left by fragile and fragmented government health services but have been overwhelmed and saturated by the continual spread of Ebola virus disease and growing numbers of cases and deaths. Smaller NGOs endeavored to assist during this crisis as well. One of them, Caritas, has actively sought public health knowledge and has applied public health principles to reduce and contain Ebola virus disease transmission. The Ebola outbreak illuminates the importance of building basic public health capabilities within the core competences of NGOs.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;0:1-4).

Concepts: Ebola, Health care, Infant mortality, Sierra Leone, Médecins Sans Frontières, United Nations, Epidemiology, Non-governmental organization


The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) is the leading specialty-specific nongovernmental organization providing orthopaedic funding in the United States. As extramural research funding has become increasingly difficult to acquire, one mission of the OREF is to support investigators to generate data needed to secure larger extramural funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The objectives of this study were to evaluate the rate of translating OREF faculty-level grants into subsequent NIH funding and to determine if there are identifiable factors that increase the rate of converting an OREF grant into NIH funding.

Concepts: Poverty in the United States, Grant, Non-governmental organization, U.S. state, Fundraising, Non-profit organization, United States, Philanthropy


Scientists are increasingly using Twitter as a tool for communicating science. Twitter can promote scholarly discussion, disseminate research rapidly, and extend and diversify the scope of audiences reached. However, scientists also caution that if Twitter does not accurately convey science due to the inherent brevity of this media, misinformation could cascade quickly through social media. Data on whether Twitter effectively communicates conservation science and the types of user groups receiving these tweets are lacking. To address these knowledge gaps, we examined live-tweeting as a means of communicating conservation science at the 2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB). We quantified and compared the user groups sending and reading live-tweets. We also surveyed presenters to determine whether tweets about their presentations reached their intended audience groups, and we asked how effectively Twitter conveyed their research findings. We found that Twitter reached a more diverse audience relative to those attending and live-tweeting at ICCB. However, the groups reached through live-tweeting were mismatched with the presenters' intended audiences; policy-makers, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were rarely reached, despite the intent of the presenters. Plenary talks were tweeted about far more than other oral or poster presentations. Finally, over half of the presenters believed that the tweet about their talk was effective, and less effective tweets were perceived as vague or missing the presenters' main message. We recommend that presenters who want their science to be communicated accurately and broadly through Twitter should provide Twitter-friendly summaries that incorporate relevant hashtags and usernames. We also encourage speakers to capitalize on Twitter as an emerging tool for communicating conservation science - one that can be used to explicitly articulate the relevance of their findings to diverse target audiences beyond conference walls. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Target audience, Oxfam, Media studies, All rights reserved, Copyright, Non-governmental organization, Twitter, Communication


Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play a key role in biodiversity conservation. The majority of these organisations rely on public donations to fund their activities, and therefore fundraising success is a determinant of conservation outcomes. In spite of this integral relationship, the key principals for fundraising success in conservation are still guided by expert opinion and anecdotal evidence, with very few quantitative studies in the literature. Here we assessed the behaviour of monetary donors across twenty-five different species-focused conservation campaigns organised by an NGO conservation and environmental society. The Australian Geographic Society (AGS) carried out fundraising campaigns over a five and half year period using an identical methodology in thirty-four of its country-wide network of outlet shops. AGS owns and operates these shops that sell toys and games related to science and nature. We tested how the following factors influenced monetary donations from members of the public:1) campaign duration, 2) appeal and familiarity of species, 3) species geographic distribution relative to the fundraising location, 4) level of income and education of potential donors, 5) age and gender profile of potential donors. Contrary to past research, we found most of these factors did not significantly influence the amount of donations made to each campaign by members of the public. Larger animals did elicit a significantly higher amount donated per transaction than smaller animals, as did shops located in poorer neighbourhoods. Our study findings contrast with past research that has focused largely on hypothetical donations data collected via surveys, and demonstrates the complexity and case-specific nature of relationships between donor characteristics and spending patterns. The study highlights the value of assessing real-world fundraising campaigns, and illustrates how collaboration between academia and NGOs could be used to better tailor fundraising campaigns to maximise donations from individual citizens.

Concepts: Non-profit organization, Political campaign, Oxfam, Charities, Donation, Philanthropy, Accountable Fundraising, Non-governmental organization


Global health donors increasingly embrace international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) as partners, often relying on them to conduct political advocacy in recipient countries, especially in controversial policy domains like reproductive health. Although INGOs are the primary recipients of donor funding, they are expected to work through national affiliates or counterparts to enable ‘locally-led’ change. Using prospective policy analysis and ethnographic evidence, this paper examines how donor-funded INGOs have influenced the restrictive policy environments for safe abortion and family planning in South Sudan and Malawi. While external actors themselves emphasise the technical nature of their involvement, the paper analyses them as instrumental political actors who strategically broker alliances and resources to shape policy, often working ‘behind the scenes’ to manage the challenging circumstances they operate under. Consequently, their agency and power are hidden through various practices of effacement or concealment. These practices may be necessary to rationalise the tensions inherent in delivering a global programme with the goal of inducing locally-led change in a highly controversial policy domain, but they also risk inciting suspicion and foreign-national tensions.

Concepts: English-language films, Types of organization, Reproductive health, United Nations, Abortion, Oxfam, Family planning, Non-governmental organization