WorldWideScience

Sample records for set conservation priorities

  1. Six Common Mistakes in Conservation Priority Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Game, Edward T; Kareiva, Peter; Possingham, Hugh P

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A vast number of prioritization schemes have been developed to help conservation navigate tough decisions about the allocation of finite resources. However, the application of quantitative approaches to setting priorities in conservation frequently includes mistakes that can undermine their authors’ intention to be more rigorous and scientific in the way priorities are established and resources allocated. Drawing on well-established principles of decision science, we highlight 6 mistakes commonly associated with setting priorities for conservation: not acknowledging conservation plans are prioritizations; trying to solve an ill-defined problem; not prioritizing actions; arbitrariness; hidden value judgments; and not acknowledging risk of failure. We explain these mistakes and offer a path to help conservation planners avoid making the same mistakes in future prioritizations. Seis Errores Comunes en la Definición de Prioridades de Conservación Resumen Se ha desarrollado un vasto número de esquemas de priorización para ayudar a que la conservación navegue entre decisiones difíciles en cuanto a la asignación de recursos finitos. Sin embargo, la aplicación de métodos cuantitativos para la definición de prioridades en la conservación frecuentemente incluye errores que pueden socavar la intención de sus autores de ser más rigurosos y científicos en la manera en que se establecen las prioridades y se asignan los recursos. Con base en los bien establecidos principios de la ciencia de la decisión, resaltamos seis errores comúnmente asociados con la definición de prioridades para la conservación: no reconocer que los planes de conservación son priorizaciones; tratar de resolver un problema mal definido; no priorizar acciones; arbitrariedad; juicios de valor ocultos y no reconocer el riesgo de fracasar. Explicamos estos errores y ofrecemos un camino para que planificadores de la conservación no cometan los mismos errores en priorizaciones

  2. Setting priorities for regional conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Levin, Noam; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Abdulla, Ameer; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Kark, Salit; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Mackelworth, Peter; Maiorano, Luigi; Possingham, Hugh P

    2013-01-01

    Spatial prioritization in conservation is required to direct limited resources to where actions are most urgently needed and most likely to produce effective conservation outcomes. In an effort to advance the protection of a highly threatened hotspot of marine biodiversity, the Mediterranean Sea, multiple spatial conservation plans have been developed in recent years. Here, we review and integrate these different plans with the goal of identifying priority conservation areas that represent the current consensus among the different initiatives. A review of six existing and twelve proposed conservation initiatives highlights gaps in conservation and management planning, particularly within the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean and for offshore and deep sea habitats. The eighteen initiatives vary substantially in their extent (covering 0.1-58.5% of the Mediterranean Sea) and in the location of additional proposed conservation and management areas. Differences in the criteria, approaches and data used explain such variation. Despite the diversity among proposals, our analyses identified ten areas, encompassing 10% of the Mediterranean Sea, that are consistently identified among the existing proposals, with an additional 10% selected by at least five proposals. These areas represent top priorities for immediate conservation action. Despite the plethora of initiatives, major challenges face Mediterranean biodiversity and conservation. These include the need for spatial prioritization within a comprehensive framework for regional conservation planning, the acquisition of additional information from data-poor areas, species or habitats, and addressing the challenges of establishing transboundary governance and collaboration in socially, culturally and politically complex conditions. Collective prioritised action, not new conservation plans, is needed for the north, western, and high seas of the Mediterranean, while developing initial information-based plans

  3. Setting Priorities for Regional Conservation Planning in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Levin, Noam; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Abdulla, Ameer; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Kark, Salit; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Mackelworth, Peter; Maiorano, Luigi; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial prioritization in conservation is required to direct limited resources to where actions are most urgently needed and most likely to produce effective conservation outcomes. In an effort to advance the protection of a highly threatened hotspot of marine biodiversity, the Mediterranean Sea, multiple spatial conservation plans have been developed in recent years. Here, we review and integrate these different plans with the goal of identifying priority conservation areas that represent the current consensus among the different initiatives. A review of six existing and twelve proposed conservation initiatives highlights gaps in conservation and management planning, particularly within the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean and for offshore and deep sea habitats. The eighteen initiatives vary substantially in their extent (covering 0.1–58.5% of the Mediterranean Sea) and in the location of additional proposed conservation and management areas. Differences in the criteria, approaches and data used explain such variation. Despite the diversity among proposals, our analyses identified ten areas, encompassing 10% of the Mediterranean Sea, that are consistently identified among the existing proposals, with an additional 10% selected by at least five proposals. These areas represent top priorities for immediate conservation action. Despite the plethora of initiatives, major challenges face Mediterranean biodiversity and conservation. These include the need for spatial prioritization within a comprehensive framework for regional conservation planning, the acquisition of additional information from data-poor areas, species or habitats, and addressing the challenges of establishing transboundary governance and collaboration in socially, culturally and politically complex conditions. Collective prioritised action, not new conservation plans, is needed for the north, western, and high seas of the Mediterranean, while developing initial information

  4. Setting conservation priorities for migratory networks under uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L; Klaassen, Marcel; Nicol, Sam; Possingham, Hugh P; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A

    2017-06-01

    Conserving migratory species requires protecting connected habitat along the pathways they travel. Despite recent improvements in tracking animal movements, migratory connectivity remains poorly resolved at a population level for the vast majority of species, thus conservation prioritization is hampered. To address this data limitation, we developed a novel approach to spatial prioritization based on a model of potential connectivity derived from empirical data on species abundance and distance traveled between sites during migration. We applied the approach to migratory shorebirds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Conservation strategies that prioritized sites based on connectivity and abundance metrics together maintained larger populations of birds than strategies that prioritized sites based only on abundance metrics. The conservation value of a site therefore depended on both its capacity to support migratory animals and its position within the migratory pathway; the loss of crucial sites led to partial or total population collapse. We suggest that conservation approaches that prioritize sites supporting large populations of migrants should, where possible, also include data on the spatial arrangement of sites. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Setting practical conservation priorities for birds in the Western Andes of Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L

    2014-10-01

    We aspired to set conservation priorities in ways that lead to direct conservation actions. Very large-scale strategic mapping leads to familiar conservation priorities exemplified by biodiversity hotspots. In contrast, tactical conservation actions unfold on much smaller geographical extents and they need to reflect the habitat loss and fragmentation that have sharply restricted where species now live. Our aspirations for direct, practical actions were demanding. First, we identified the global, strategic conservation priorities and then downscaled to practical local actions within the selected priorities. In doing this, we recognized the limitations of incomplete information. We started such a process in Colombia and used the results presented here to implement reforestation of degraded land to prevent the isolation of a large area of cloud forest. We used existing range maps of 171 bird species to identify priority conservation areas that would conserve the greatest number of species at risk in Colombia. By at risk species, we mean those that are endemic and have small ranges. The Western Andes had the highest concentrations of such species-100 in total-but the lowest densities of national parks. We then adjusted the priorities for this region by refining these species ranges by selecting only areas of suitable elevation and remaining habitat. The estimated ranges of these species shrank by 18-100% after accounting for habitat and suitable elevation. Setting conservation priorities on the basis of currently available range maps excluded priority areas in the Western Andes and, by extension, likely elsewhere and for other taxa. By incorporating detailed maps of remaining natural habitats, we made practical recommendations for conservation actions. One recommendation was to restore forest connections to a patch of cloud forest about to become isolated from the main Andes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Integrating habitat status, human population pressure, and protection status into biodiversity conservation priority setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, H.; Singh, A.; Kant, S.; Zhu, Z.; Waller, E.

    2005-01-01

    Priority setting is an essential component of biodiversity conservation. Existing methods to identify priority areas for conservation have focused almost entirely on biological factors. We suggest a new relative ranking method for identifying priority conservation areas that integrates both biological and social aspects. It is based on the following criteria: the habitat's status, human population pressure, human efforts to protect habitat, and number of endemic plant and vertebrate species. We used this method to rank 25 hotspots, 17 megadiverse countries, and the hotspots within each megadiverse country. We used consistent, comprehensive, georeferenced, and multiband data sets and analytical remote sensing and geographic information system tools to quantify habitat status, human population pressure, and protection status. The ranking suggests that the Philippines, Atlantic Forest, Mediterranean Basin, Caribbean Islands, Caucasus, and Indo-Burma are the hottest hotspots and that China, the Philippines, and India are the hottest megadiverse countries. The great variation in terms of habitat, protected areas, and population pressure among the hotspots, the megadiverse countries, and the hotspots within the same country suggests the need for hotspot- and country-specific conservation policies.

  7. The conservation and management of tunas and their relatives: setting life history research priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria José Juan-Jordá

    Full Text Available Scombrids (tunas, bonitos, Spanish mackerels and mackerels support important fisheries in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters around the world, being one of the most economically- and socially-important marine species globally. Their sustainable exploitation, management and conservation depend on accurate life history information for the development of quantitative fisheries stock assessments, and in the fishery data-poor situations for the identification of vulnerable species. Here, we assemble life history traits (maximum size, growth, longevity, maturity, fecundity, spawning duration and spawning interval for the 51 species of scombrids globally. We identify major biological gaps in knowledge and prioritize life history research needs in scombrids based on their biological gaps in knowledge, the importance of their fisheries and their current conservation status according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. We find that the growth and reproductive biology of tunas and mackerel species have been more extensively studied than for Spanish mackerels and bonitos, although there are notable exceptions in all groups. We also reveal that reproductive biology of species, particular fecundity, is the least studied biological aspect in scombrids. We identify two priority groups, including 32 species of scombrids, and several populations of principal market tunas, for which life history research should be prioritized following the species-specific life history gaps identified in this study in the coming decades. By highlighting the important gaps in biological knowledge and providing a priority setting for life history research in scombrid species this study provides guidance for management and conservation and serves as a guide for biologists and resource managers interested in the biology, ecology, and management of scombrid species.

  8. Habitat evaluation of wild Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and conservation priority setting in north-eastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaofeng, Luan; Yi, Qu; Diqiang, Li; Shirong, Liu; Xiulei, Wang; Bo, Wu; Chunquan, Zhu

    2011-01-01

    The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is one of the world's most endangered species. Recently, habitat fragmentation, food scarcity and human hunting have drastically reduced the population size and distribution areas of Amur tigers in the wild, leaving them on the verge of extinction. Presently, they are only found in the north-eastern part of China. In this study, we developed a reference framework using methods and technologies of analytic hierarchy process (AHP), remote sensing (RS), geographic information system (GIS), GAP analysis and Natural Break (Jenks) classification to evaluate the habitat and to set the conservation priorities for Amur tigers in eastern areas of Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces of northeast China. We proposed a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) incorporating 7 factors covering natural conditions and human disturbance. Based on the HSI values, the suitability was classified into five levels from the most to not suitable. Finally, according to results of GAP analysis, we identified six conservation priorities and designed a conservation landscape incorporating four new nature reserves, enlarging two existing ones, and creating four linkages for Amur tigers in northeast China. The case study showed that the core habitats (the most suitable and highly suitable habitats) identified for Amur tigers covered 35,547 km(2), accounting for approximately 26.71% of the total study area (1,33,093 km(2)). However, existing nature reserves protected only (7124 km(2) or) 20.04% of the identified core habitats. Thus, enlargement of current reserves is necessary and urgent for the tiger's conservation and restoration. Moreover, the establishment of wildlife corridors linking core habitats will provide an efficient reserve network for tiger conservation to maintain the evolutionary potential of Amur tigers facing environmental changes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Setting priorities in prevention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaapveld, K.; Water, H.P.A. van de; Bergsma, E.W.

    1992-01-01

    In the last few years prevention has again become the focus of attention because of various international developments such as the WHO strategy for Health for All by the year 2000. When resources are scarce, it is all the more important to set priorities. This applies to prevention as well as to

  10. Priority setting for bird conservation in Mexico: the role of the Important Bird Areas program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma. del Coro Arizmendi; Laura Marquez Valdelamar; Humberto Berlanga

    2005-01-01

    Many species in Mexico are threatened and in need of protection. At least seventy species are considered to be globally threatened, yet conservation actions have been scarce and not coordinated. In 1996 BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas Program was initiated in Mexico to identify a network of the most important places in Mexico for birds, with the...

  11. Priority setting for government investment in forestry conservation schemes-an example from New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin L. O' Loughlin

    1991-01-01

    In New Zealand responsibility for funding flood protection and erosion prevention and control projects rests largely with local regional authorities. However, in 1988 Central Government decided to provide direct funding for a major forestry conservation scheme in the erosion-susceptible East Coast region. Government's investment decision was influenced by a number...

  12. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    Full Text Available Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs, and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts we developed a "conservation priorities portfolio" system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58. We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority-setting

  13. Priorities for global felid conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, Amy J; Hinks, Amy E; Macdonald, Ewan A; Burnham, Dawn; Macdonald, David W

    2015-06-01

    Conservation resources are limited, necessitating prioritization of species and locations for action. Most prioritization approaches are based solely on biologically relevant characteristics of taxa or areas and ignore geopolitical realities. Doing so risks a poor return on conservation investment due to nonbiological factors, such as economic or political instability. We considered felids, a taxon which attracts intense conservation attention, to demonstrate a new approach that incorporates both intrinsic species traits and geopolitical characteristics of countries. We developed conservation priority scores for wild felids based on their International Union for Conservation of Nature status, body mass, habitat, range within protected area, evolutionary distinctiveness, and conservation umbrella potential. We used published data on governance, economics and welfare, human population pressures, and conservation policy to assign conservation-likelihood scores to 142 felid-hosting countries. We identified 71 countries as high priorities (above median) for felid conservation. These countries collectively encompassed all 36 felid species and supported an average of 96% of each species' range. Of these countries, 60.6% had below-average conservation-likelihood scores, which indicated these countries are relatively risky conservation investments. Governance was the most common factor limiting conservation likelihood. It was the major contributor to below-median likelihood scores for 62.5% of the 32 felid species occurring in lower-likelihood countries. Governance was followed by economics for which scores were below median for 25% of these species. An average of 58% of species' ranges occurred in 43 higher-priority lower-likelihood countries. Human population pressure was second to governance as a limiting factor when accounting for percentage of species' ranges in each country. As conservation likelihood decreases, it will be increasingly important to identify relevant

  14. Healthcare priority setting in Kenya

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bukachi, Salome A.; Onyango-Ouma, Washington; Siso, Jared Maaka

    2014-01-01

    improves the priority setting decisions. This paper describes the healthcare priority setting processes in Malindi district, Kenya, prior to the implementation of A4R in 2008 and evaluates the process for its conformance with the conditions for A4R. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with key...

  15. Moving into Protected Areas? Setting Conservation Priorities for Romanian Reptiles and Amphibians at Risk from Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Viorel D.; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  16. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Viorel D; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  17. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viorel D Popescu

    Full Text Available Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s, and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas, but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1 building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2 facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside

  18. Identification of threatened areas of environmental value in the Conservation Area of Mexico City, and setting priorities for their protection

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    Zenia Saavedra

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Almost 60% of the Conservation Area of Mexico City is to the south within the Valley of Mexico; there is an extensive area of forests, scrub, wetlands, grasslands and agricultural zones. It is important for the city’s sustainability because of the environmental services provided such as aquifer recharge, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. It is being threatened by human activities despite a program of ecological regulation; this is partly because environmental problems are not always immediately visible to the government and general public in terms of the need for prompt action. The present study uses spatial evidence to identify and prioritize threatened environmentally valuable areas. Data from a variety of sources are combined, and information geo-referenced with Geographical Information Systems is verified in the field. The resultant maps show that the most threatened ecologically valuable areas are as follows: the oak wood and scrub relicts east of Milpa Alta; the forests west of Cuajimalpa, Álvaro Obregón and Magdalena Contreras; the forests of the Pelado and Malacatepec volcanoes in Tlalpan; and the forests of the Tláloc and Chichinautzin volcanoes in Milpa Alta. These results could be used by decision makers to design timely strategies to protect the Conservation Area and its supply of environmental services to Mexico City.

  19. Setting priorities for private land conservation in fire-prone landscapes: Are fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation competing or compatible objectives?

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    Alexandra D. Syphard

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although wildfire plays an important role in maintaining biodiversity in many ecosystems, fire management to protect human assets is often carried out by different agencies than those tasked for conserving biodiversity. In fact, fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation are often viewed as competing objectives. Here we explored the role of management through private land conservation and asked whether we could identify private land acquisition strategies that fulfill the mutual objectives of biodiversity conservation and fire risk reduction, or whether the maximization of one objective comes at a detriment to the other. Using a fixed budget and number of homes slated for development, we simulated 20 years of housing growth under alternative conservation selection strategies, and then projected the mean risk of fires destroying structures and the area and configuration of important habitat types in San Diego County, California, USA. We found clear differences in both fire risk projections and biodiversity impacts based on the way conservation lands are prioritized for selection, but these differences were split between two distinct groupings. If no conservation lands were purchased, or if purchases were prioritized based on cost or likelihood of development, both the projected fire risk and biodiversity impacts were much higher than if conservation lands were purchased in areas with high fire hazard or high species richness. Thus, conserving land focused on either of the two objectives resulted in nearly equivalent mutual benefits for both. These benefits not only resulted from preventing development in sensitive areas, but they were also due to the different housing patterns and arrangements that occurred as development was displaced from those areas. Although biodiversity conflicts may still arise using other fire management strategies, this study shows that mutual objectives can be attained through land-use planning in this region

  20. Setting Priorities for NIOSH Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Richard E.

    1975-01-01

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is attempting to develop total programs of occupational safety and health protection. It has established research criteria and a priority system for evaluating the order of investigating suspect substances or agents based upon the expected gain of the health benefit. (Author/MW)

  1. A decision support tool for setting population objectives for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Quachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Todd Jones-Farrand; John M. Tirpak; Frank R. Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; Charles K. Baxter; Jane A. Fitzgerald; William B. Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Setting and achieving population objectives for priority landbirds must be informed by, 1) the quantity, quality, and spatial confi guration of available habitat, 2) an explicit linkage between habitat condition and population response, and 3) expected future habitat conditions. Based on this philosophy, the Central Hardwoods and Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Ventures...

  2. Setting Priorities Personal Values, Organizational Results

    CERN Document Server

    (CCL), Center for Creative Leadership

    2011-01-01

    To be a successful leader, you need to get results. To get results, you need to set priorities. This book can help you do a better job of setting priorities, recognizing the personal values that motivate your decision making, the probable trade-offs and consequences of your decisions, and the importance of aligning your priorities with your organization's expectations. In this way you can successfully meet organizational objectives and consistently produce results.

  3. Plant conservation priorities of Xinjiang region, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, L. P.; Cui, W. H.; Wang, T.; Tian, S.; Xing, W. J.; Yin, L. K.; Abdusalih, N.; Jiang, Y. M.

    2017-02-01

    As an important region in the Silk Road, Xinjiang is getting a good chance of developing economy. However at the same time, its natural environment is facing a big challenge. To better protect the plant diversity, it is urgent to make a thorough conservation plan. With a full database of vascular and medicinal plant distributions and nature reserve plant lists and boundaries in Xinjiang of China, we analysed the plant diversity hotspots, protection gaps and proposed the plant conservation priorities of this region. Differed from the widely accepted viewpoints that lots of plants were not included in nature reserves, we found that most of the plants ( > 90%) were actually included in the current nature reserves. We believe that compared with establishing more nature reserves, improving the management of the existing ones is also important. Furthermore, the very few unprotected plants ( < 10%) were distributed mostly in the regions of Aletai, Tacheng, Zhaosu, Manasi, Qitai and Hetian which could be the future conservation priorities.

  4. Phylogenetically-Informed Priorities for Amphibian Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J. B.; Redding, David W.; Meredith, Helen M.; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species’ threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species’ phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our ‘top 100‘ list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history. PMID:22952807

  5. Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Ricketts

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four "priority sets" of 6-16 ecoregions (8-21% of the total number where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions.

  6. Priority setting: what constitutes success? A conceptual framework for successful priority setting

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    Sibbald Shannon L

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sustainability of healthcare systems worldwide is threatened by a growing demand for services and expensive innovative technologies. Decision makers struggle in this environment to set priorities appropriately, particularly because they lack consensus about which values should guide their decisions. One way to approach this problem is to determine what all relevant stakeholders understand successful priority setting to mean. The goal of this research was to develop a conceptual framework for successful priority setting. Methods Three separate empirical studies were completed using qualitative data collection methods (one-on-one interviews with healthcare decision makers from across Canada; focus groups with representation of patients, caregivers and policy makers; and Delphi study including scholars and decision makers from five countries. Results This paper synthesizes the findings from three studies into a framework of ten separate but interconnected elements germane to successful priority setting: stakeholder understanding, shifted priorities/reallocation of resources, decision making quality, stakeholder acceptance and satisfaction, positive externalities, stakeholder engagement, use of explicit process, information management, consideration of values and context, and revision or appeals mechanism. Conclusion The ten elements specify both quantitative and qualitative dimensions of priority setting and relate to both process and outcome components. To our knowledge, this is the first framework that describes successful priority setting. The ten elements identified in this research provide guidance for decision makers and a common language to discuss priority setting success and work toward improving priority setting efforts.

  7. Priority setting: what constitutes success? A conceptual framework for successful priority setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibbald, Shannon L; Singer, Peter A; Upshur, Ross; Martin, Douglas K

    2009-03-05

    The sustainability of healthcare systems worldwide is threatened by a growing demand for services and expensive innovative technologies. Decision makers struggle in this environment to set priorities appropriately, particularly because they lack consensus about which values should guide their decisions. One way to approach this problem is to determine what all relevant stakeholders understand successful priority setting to mean. The goal of this research was to develop a conceptual framework for successful priority setting. Three separate empirical studies were completed using qualitative data collection methods (one-on-one interviews with healthcare decision makers from across Canada; focus groups with representation of patients, caregivers and policy makers; and Delphi study including scholars and decision makers from five countries). This paper synthesizes the findings from three studies into a framework of ten separate but interconnected elements germane to successful priority setting: stakeholder understanding, shifted priorities/reallocation of resources, decision making quality, stakeholder acceptance and satisfaction, positive externalities, stakeholder engagement, use of explicit process, information management, consideration of values and context, and revision or appeals mechanism. The ten elements specify both quantitative and qualitative dimensions of priority setting and relate to both process and outcome components. To our knowledge, this is the first framework that describes successful priority setting. The ten elements identified in this research provide guidance for decision makers and a common language to discuss priority setting success and work toward improving priority setting efforts.

  8. Optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation in China: a systematic conservation planning perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ruidong; Long, Yongcheng; Malanson, George P; Garber, Paul A; Zhang, Shuang; Li, Diqiang; Zhao, Peng; Wang, Longzhu; Duo, Hairui

    2014-01-01

    By addressing several key features overlooked in previous studies, i.e. human disturbance, integration of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and principles of complementarity and representativeness, we present the first national-scale systematic conservation planning for China to determine the optimized spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation. We compiled a spatial database on the distributions of ecosystem- and species-level conservation features, and modeled a human disturbance index (HDI) by aggregating information using several socioeconomic proxies. We ran Marxan with two scenarios (HDI-ignored and HDI-considered) to investigate the effects of human disturbance, and explored the geographic patterns of the optimized spatial conservation priorities. Compared to when HDI was ignored, the HDI-considered scenario resulted in (1) a marked reduction (∼9%) in the total HDI score and a slight increase (∼7%) in the total area of the portfolio of priority units, (2) a significant increase (∼43%) in the total irreplaceable area and (3) more irreplaceable units being identified in almost all environmental zones and highly-disturbed provinces. Thus the inclusion of human disturbance is essential for cost-effective priority-setting. Attention should be targeted to the areas that are characterized as moderately-disturbed, biodiversity, but those isolated priority units in disturbed regions are in more urgent need of conservation actions so as to prevent immediate and severe biodiversity loss. This study presents a spatially optimized national-scale portfolio of conservation priorities--effectively representing the overall biodiversity of China while minimizing conflicts with economic development. Our results offer critical insights for current conservation and strategic land-use planning in China. The approach is transferable and easy to implement by end-users, and applicable for national- and local-scale systematic conservation prioritization

  9. Global conservation priorities for crop wild relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P; Khoury, Colin K; Achicanoy, Harold A; Bernau, Vivian; Dempewolf, Hannes; Eastwood, Ruth J; Guarino, Luigi; Harker, Ruth H; Jarvis, Andy; Maxted, Nigel; Müller, Jonas V; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Sosa, Chrystian C; Struik, Paul C; Vincent, Holly; Toll, Jane

    2016-03-21

    The wild relatives of domesticated crops possess genetic diversity useful for developing more productive, nutritious and resilient crop varieties. However, their conservation status and availability for utilization are a concern, and have not been quantified globally. Here, we model the global distribution of 1,076 taxa related to 81 crops, using occurrence information collected from biodiversity, herbarium and gene bank databases. We compare the potential geographic and ecological diversity encompassed in these distributions with that currently accessible in gene banks, as a means to estimate the comprehensiveness of the conservation of genetic diversity. Our results indicate that the diversity of crop wild relatives is poorly represented in gene banks. For 313 (29.1% of total) taxa associated with 63 crops, no germplasm accessions exist, and a further 257 (23.9%) are represented by fewer than ten accessions. Over 70% of taxa are identified as high priority for further collecting in order to improve their representation in gene banks, and over 95% are insufficiently represented in regard to the full range of geographic and ecological variation in their native distributions. The most critical collecting gaps occur in the Mediterranean and the Near East, western and southern Europe, Southeast and East Asia, and South America. We conclude that a systematic effort is needed to improve the conservation and availability of crop wild relatives for use in plant breeding.

  10. Priority setting for health research: lessons from developing countries. The Working Group on Priority Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-06-01

    Research resources for addressing health problems of developing countries remain disproportionately low compared with the tremendous disease burdens borne by these countries. There is a need to focus these scarce resources on research that will optimize health benefits and lead to equity. This paper reviews processes and methods that have been used for setting research priorities. Past and current processes have focused on expert-driven research agenda, emphasizing scientific autonomy and global analyses. Methods for setting priorities have focused on the metrics of disease burdens, while less attention has been placed on who sets priorities and how choices are made. The paper proposes a strategy of priority setting, based on lessons learned from essential national health research (ENHR) approaches attempted in several developing countries. With equity in health and development as its goal, the proposed model is demand-driven, and involves multi-dimensional inputs and multiple stakeholders. Various steps of the process are discussed: getting participants involved; gathering evidence and information; determining criteria for priority setting; and implementation and evaluation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the gap between national research priorities and the research agenda set at regional and global levels, an issue that needs to be satisfactorily addressed in the future.

  11. Priority setting for health in emerging markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glassman, Amanda; Giedion, Ursula; McQueston, Kate

    2013-05-01

    The use of health technology assessment research in emerging economies is becoming an increasingly important tool to determine the uses of health spending. As low- and middle-income countries' gross domestic product grows, the funding available for health has increased in tandem. There is growing evidence that comparative effectiveness research and cost-effectiveness can be used to improve health outcomes within a predefined financial space. The use of these evaluation tools, combined with a systematized process of priority setting, can help inform national and global health payers. This review of country institutions for health technology assessment illustrates two points: the efforts underway to use research to inform priorities are widespread and not confined to wealthier countries; and many countries' efforts to create evidence-based policy are incomplete and more country-specific research will be needed. Further evidence shows that there is scope to reduce these gaps and opportunity to support better incorporation of data through better-defined priority-setting processes.

  12. Global priorities for conservation across multiple dimensions of mammalian diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brum, Fernanda T; Graham, Catherine H; Costa, Gabriel C; Hedges, S Blair; Penone, Caterina; Radeloff, Volker C; Rondinini, Carlo; Loyola, Rafael; Davidson, Ana D

    2017-07-18

    Conservation priorities that are based on species distribution, endemism, and vulnerability may underrepresent biologically unique species as well as their functional roles and evolutionary histories. To ensure that priorities are biologically comprehensive, multiple dimensions of diversity must be considered. Further, understanding how the different dimensions relate to one another spatially is important for conservation prioritization, but the relationship remains poorly understood. Here, we use spatial conservation planning to (i) identify and compare priority regions for global mammal conservation across three key dimensions of biodiversity-taxonomic, phylogenetic, and traits-and (ii) determine the overlap of these regions with the locations of threatened species and existing protected areas. We show that priority areas for mammal conservation exhibit low overlap across the three dimensions, highlighting the need for an integrative approach for biodiversity conservation. Additionally, currently protected areas poorly represent the three dimensions of mammalian biodiversity. We identify areas of high conservation priority among and across the dimensions that should receive special attention for expanding the global protected area network. These high-priority areas, combined with areas of high priority for other taxonomic groups and with social, economic, and political considerations, provide a biological foundation for future conservation planning efforts.

  13. Integrating agricultural expansion into conservation biogeography: conflicts and priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Dobrovolski

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing food production without compromising biodiversity is one of the great challenges for humanity. The aims of my thesis were to define spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation and to evaluate conservation conflicts considering agricultural expansion in the 21st century. I also tested the effect of globalizing conservation efforts on both food production and biodiversity conservation. I found spatial conflicts between biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion. However, incorporating agricultural expansion data into the spatial prioritization process can significantly alleviate conservation conflicts, by reducing spatial correlation between the areas under high impact of agriculture and the priority areas for conservation. Moreover, developing conservation blueprints at the global scale, instead of the usual approach based on national boundaries, can benefit both food production and biodiversity. Based on these findings I conclude that the incorporation of agricultural expansion as a key component for defining global conservation strategies should be added to the list of solutions for our cultivated planet.

  14. Priority setting in paediatric preventive care research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavigne, Mikael; Birken, Catherine S; Maguire, Jonathon L; Straus, Sharon; Laupacis, Andreas

    2017-08-01

    To identify the unanswered research questions in paediatric preventive care that are most important to parents and clinicians, and to explore how questions from parents and clinicians may differ. Iterative mixed methods research priority setting process. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Parents of children aged 0-5 years enrolled in a research network in Toronto, and clinicians practising in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Informed by the James Lind Alliance's methodology, an online questionnaire collected unanswered research questions in paediatric preventive care from study participants. Similar submissions were combined and ranked. A consensus workshop attended by 28 parents and clinicians considered the most highly ranked submissions and used the nominal group technique to select the 10 most important unanswered research questions. Forty-two clinicians and 115 parents submitted 255 and 791 research questions, respectively, which were combined into 79 indicative questions. Most submissions were about nutrition, illness prevention, parenting and behaviour management. Parents were more likely to ask questions about screen time (49 parents vs 8 clinicians, ppreventive care from the perspective of parents and clinicians were identified. These research priorities may be important in advancing preventive healthcare for children. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  15. Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Di Minin, E.; Slotow, R.; Hunter, L.T.B.; Montesino Pouzols, F.; Toivonen, T.; Verburg, P.H.; Leader-Williams, N.; Petracca, L.; Moilanen, A.

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian carnivores have suffered the biggest range contraction among all biodiversity and are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. Therefore, we identified priority areas for the conservation of mammalian carnivores, while accounting for species-specific requirements for

  16. Priority setting for new technologies in medicine: A transdisciplinary study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Jennifer L; Martin, Douglas K; Singer, Peter A

    2002-01-01

    Background Decision makers in health care organizations struggle with how to set priorities for new technologies in medicine. Traditional approaches to priority setting for new technologies in medicine are insufficient and there is no widely accepted model that can guide decision makers. Discussion Daniels and Sabin have developed an ethically based account about how priority setting decisions should be made. We have developed an empirically based account of how priority setting decisions are made. In this paper, we integrate these two accounts into a transdisciplinary model of priority setting for new technologies in medicine that is both ethically and empirically based. Summary We have developed a transdisciplinary model of priority setting that provides guidance to decision makers that they can operationalize to help address priority setting problems in their institution. PMID:12126482

  17. Priority setting for new technologies in medicine: A transdisciplinary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gibson Jennifer L

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Decision makers in health care organizations struggle with how to set priorities for new technologies in medicine. Traditional approaches to priority setting for new technologies in medicine are insufficient and there is no widely accepted model that can guide decision makers. Discussion Daniels and Sabin have developed an ethically based account about how priority setting decisions should be made. We have developed an empirically based account of how priority setting decisions are made. In this paper, we integrate these two accounts into a transdisciplinary model of priority setting for new technologies in medicine that is both ethically and empirically based. Summary We have developed a transdisciplinary model of priority setting that provides guidance to decision makers that they can operationalize to help address priority setting problems in their institution.

  18. Setting Priorities: Personal Values, Organizational Results. Ideas into Action Guidebooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Talula

    2007-01-01

    Successful leaders get results. To get results, you need to set priorities. This book can help you do a better job of setting priorities, recognizing the personal values that motivate your decision making, the probable trade-offs and consequences of your decisions, and the importance of aligning your priorities with your organization's…

  19. Priority setting for existing chemicals : automated data selection routine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haelst, A.G. van; Hansen, B.G.

    2000-01-01

    One of the four steps within Council Regulation 793/93/EEC on the evaluation and control of existing chemicals is the priority setting step. The priority setting step is concerned with selecting high-priority substances from a large number of substances, initially starting with 2,474

  20. Promoting community participation in priority setting in district health systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamuzora, Peter; Maluka, Stephen; Ndawi, Benedict

    2013-01-01

    Community participation in priority setting in health systems has gained importance all over the world, particularly in resource-poor settings where governments have often failed to provide adequate public-sector services for their citizens. Incorporation of public views into priority setting is ...... of implementing community participation and the challenges of promoting it in the context of resource-poor settings, weak organizations, and fragile democratic institutions.......Community participation in priority setting in health systems has gained importance all over the world, particularly in resource-poor settings where governments have often failed to provide adequate public-sector services for their citizens. Incorporation of public views into priority setting...... is perceived as a means to restore trust, improve accountability, and secure cost-effective priorities within healthcare. However, few studies have reported empirical experiences of involving communities in priority setting in developing countries. The aim of this article is to provide the experience...

  1. Global conservation priorities for crop wild relatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Khoury, Colin K.; Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bernau, Vivian; Dempewolf, Hannes; Eastwood, Ruth J.; Guarino, Luigi; Harker, Ruth H.; Jarvis, Andy; Maxted, Nigel; Müller, Jonas V.; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Sosa, Chrystian C.; Struik, Paul C.; Vincent, Holly; Toll, Jane

    2016-01-01

    The wild relatives of domesticated crops possess genetic diversity useful for developing more productive, nutritious and resilient crop varieties. However, their conservation status and availability for utilization are a concern, and have not been quantified globally. Here, we model the global

  2. Integrating regional conservation priorities for multiple objectives into national policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beger, Maria; McGowan, Jennifer; Treml, Eric A.; Green, Alison L.; White, Alan T.; Wolff, Nicholas H.; Klein, Carissa J.; Mumby, Peter J.; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2015-01-01

    Multinational conservation initiatives that prioritize investment across a region invariably navigate trade-offs among multiple objectives. It seems logical to focus where several objectives can be achieved efficiently, but such multi-objective hotspots may be ecologically inappropriate, or politically inequitable. Here we devise a framework to facilitate a regionally cohesive set of marine-protected areas driven by national preferences and supported by quantitative conservation prioritization analyses, and illustrate it using the Coral Triangle Initiative. We identify areas important for achieving six objectives to address ecosystem representation, threatened fauna, connectivity and climate change. We expose trade-offs between areas that contribute substantially to several objectives and those meeting one or two objectives extremely well. Hence there are two strategies to guide countries choosing to implement regional goals nationally: multi-objective hotspots and complementary sets of single-objective priorities. This novel framework is applicable to any multilateral or global initiative seeking to apply quantitative information in decision making. PMID:26364769

  3. Decentralized health care priority-setting in Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maluka, Stephen; Kamuzora, Peter; Sebastiån, Miguel San

    2010-01-01

    Priority-setting has become one of the biggest challenges faced by health decision-makers worldwide. Fairness is a key goal of priority-setting and Accountability for Reasonableness has emerged as a guiding framework for fair priority-setting. This paper describes the processes of setting health...... were also gathered and group priority-setting in the district was observed. The results indicate that, while Tanzania has a decentralized public health care system, the reality of the district level priority-setting process was that it was not nearly as participatory as the official guidelines suggest...... it should have been. Priority-setting usually occurred in the context of budget cycles and the process was driven by historical allocation. Stakeholders' involvement in the process was minimal. Decisions (but not the reasoning behind them) were publicized through circulars and notice boards, but there were...

  4. Priority Questions and Horizon Scanning for Conservation: A Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kark, Salit; Sutherland, William J.; Shanas, Uri; Klass, Keren; Achisar, Hila; Dayan, Tamar; Gavrieli, Yael; Justo-Hanani, Ronit; Mandelik, Yael; Orion, Nir; Pargament, David; Portman, Michelle; Reisman-Berman, Orna; Safriel, Uriel N.; Schaffer, Gad; Steiner, Noa; Tauber, Israel; Levin, Noam

    2016-01-01

    Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that are expected to have substantial implications for biodiversity conservation and policy in the future. Here, we provide the first overview of the outcomes of biodiversity and conservation-oriented projects recently completed around the world using this framework. We also include the results of the first questions and horizon scanning project completed for a Mediterranean country. Overall, the outcomes of the different projects undertaken (at the global scale, in the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland and in Israel) were strongly correlated in terms of the proportion of questions and/or horizon scanning topics selected when comparing different topic areas. However, some major differences were found across regions. There was large variation among regions in the percentage of proactive (i.e. action and response oriented) versus descriptive (non-response oriented) priority questions and in the emphasis given to socio-political issues. Substantial differences were also found when comparing outcomes of priority questions versus horizon scanning projects undertaken for the same region. For example, issues related to climate change, human demography and marine ecosystems received higher priority as horizon scanning topics, while ecosystem services were more emphasized as current priority questions. We suggest that future initiatives aimed at identifying priority conservation questions and horizon scanning topics should allow simultaneous identification of both current and future priority issues, as presented here for the first time. We propose that further emphasis on social-political issues should be explicitly integrated into future

  5. Global diversity hotspots and conservation priorities for sharks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis O Lucifora

    Full Text Available Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine animals, as high exploitation rates coupled with low resilience to fishing pressure have resulted in population declines worldwide. Designing conservation strategies for this group depends on basic knowledge of the geographic distribution and diversity of known species. So far, this information has been fragmented and incomplete. Here, we have synthesized the first global shark diversity pattern from a new database of published sources, including all 507 species described at present, and have identified hotspots of shark species richness, functional diversity and endemicity from these data. We have evaluated the congruence of these diversity measures and demonstrate their potential use in setting priority areas for shark conservation. Our results show that shark diversity across all species peaks on the continental shelves and at mid-latitudes (30-40 degrees N and S. Global hotspots of species richness, functional diversity and endemicity were found off Japan, Taiwan, the East and West coasts of Australia, Southeast Africa, Southeast Brazil and Southeast USA. Moreover, some areas with low to moderate species richness such as Southern Australia, Angola, North Chile and Western Continental Europe stood out as places of high functional diversity. Finally, species affected by shark finning showed different patterns of diversity, with peaks closer to the Equator and a more oceanic distribution overall. Our results show that the global pattern of shark diversity is uniquely different from land, and other well-studied marine taxa, and may provide guidance for spatial approaches to shark conservation. However, similar to terrestrial ecosystems, protected areas based on hotspots of diversity and endemism alone would provide insufficient means for safeguarding the diverse functional roles that sharks play in marine ecosystems.

  6. Priority setting and health policy and systems research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bennett Sara C

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Health policy and systems research (HPSR has been identified as critical to scaling-up interventions to achieve the millennium development goals, but research priority setting exercises often do not address HPSR well. This paper aims to (i assess current priority setting methods and the extent to which they adequately include HPSR and (ii draw lessons regarding how HPSR priority setting can be enhanced to promote relevant HPSR, and to strengthen developing country leadership of research agendas. Priority setting processes can be distinguished by the level at which they occur, their degree of comprehensiveness in terms of the topic addressed, the balance between technical versus interpretive approaches and the stakeholders involved. When HPSR is considered through technical, disease-driven priority setting processes it is systematically under-valued. More successful approaches for considering HPSR are typically nationally-driven, interpretive and engage a range of stakeholders. There is still a need however for better defined approaches to enable research funders to determine the relative weight to assign to disease specific research versus HPSR and other forms of cross-cutting health research. While country-level research priority setting is key, there is likely to be a continued need for the identification of global research priorities for HPSR. The paper argues that such global priorities can and should be driven by country level priorities.

  7. Ecosystem services and opportunity costs shift spatial priorities for conserving forest biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schröter

    Full Text Available Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone or partially restricted (partial use zone. Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2% and the non-use zone (+3.2%. Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%, which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1% of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%.

  8. Priority-setting for achieving universal health coverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalkidou, Kalipso; Glassman, Amanda; Marten, Robert; Vega, Jeanette; Teerawattananon, Yot; Tritasavit, Nattha; Gyansa-Lutterodt, Martha; Seiter, Andreas; Kieny, Marie Paule; Hofman, Karen; Culyer, Anthony J

    2016-06-01

    Governments in low- and middle-income countries are legitimizing the implementation of universal health coverage (UHC), following a United Nation's resolution on UHC in 2012 and its reinforcement in the sustainable development goals set in 2015. UHC will differ in each country depending on country contexts and needs, as well as demand and supply in health care. Therefore, fundamental issues such as objectives, users and cost-effectiveness of UHC have been raised by policy-makers and stakeholders. While priority-setting is done on a daily basis by health authorities - implicitly or explicitly - it has not been made clear how priority-setting for UHC should be conducted. We provide justification for explicit health priority-setting and guidance to countries on how to set priorities for UHC.

  9. Setting priorities for space research: An experiment in methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    In 1989, the Space Studies Board created the Task Group on Priorities in Space Research to determine whether scientists should take a role in recommending priorities for long-term space research initiatives and, if so, to analyze the priority-setting problem in this context and develop a method by which such priorities could be established. After answering the first question in the affirmative in a previous report, the task group set out to accomplish the second task. The basic assumption in developing a priority-setting process is that a reasoned and structured approach for ordering competing initiatives will yield better results than other ways of proceeding. The task group proceeded from the principle that the central criterion for evaluating a research initiative must be its scientific merit -- the value of the initiative to the proposing discipline and to science generally. The group developed a two-stage methodology for priority setting and constructed a procedure and format to support the methodology. The first of two instruments developed was a standard format for structuring proposals for space research initiatives. The second instrument was a formal, semiquantitative appraisal procedure for evaluating competing proposals. This report makes available complete templates for the methodology, including the advocacy statement and evaluation forms, as well as an 11-step schema for a priority-setting process. From the beginning of its work, the task group was mindful that the issue of priority setting increasingly pervades all of federally supported science and that its work would have implications extending beyond space research. Thus, although the present report makes no recommendations for action by NASA or other government agencies, it provides the results of the task group's work for the use of others who may study priority-setting procedures or take up the challenge of implementing them in the future.

  10. Priority setting, justice, and health care: conceptual analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nilstun, T

    2000-01-01

    ...). The proposal put forward is that the task of medical ethics is to provide conceptual clarification and value premises relevant to justify rules of priority setting. The actual choice of such rules belongs primarily to the domain of politics.

  11. Priority Setting, Cost-Effectiveness, and the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persad, Govind

    2015-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be the most important health law statute in American history, yet much of the most prominent legal scholarship examining it has focused on the merits of the court challenges it has faced rather than delving into the details of its priority-setting provisions. In addition to providing an overview of the ACA's provisions concerning priority setting and their developing interpretations, this Article attempts to defend three substantive propositions. First, I argue that the ACA is neither uniformly hostile nor uniformly friendly to efforts to set priorities in ways that promote cost and quality. Second, I argue that the ACA does not take a single, unified approach to priority setting; rather, its guidance varies depending on the aspect of the healthcare system at issue (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Medicare, essential health benefits) and the factors being excluded from priority setting (age, disability, life expectancy). Third, I argue that cost-effectiveness can be achieved within the ACA's constraints, but that doing so will require adopting new approaches to cost-effectiveness and priority setting. By limiting the use of standard cost-effectiveness analysis, the ACA makes the need for workable rivals to cost-effectiveness analysis a pressing practical concern rather than a mere theoretical worry.

  12. Priority-setting in health systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Byskov, Jens

    2013-01-01

    include all organisations that influence health, whether they provide health services, address broader conditions for improved health or represent the users and communities that strive for better health. However health systems simply lack the capacity to measure or understand their own weaknesses...... of providers, health workers and communities in reaching consensus on needed, demanded and affordable health action in each setting (e.g. district)....

  13. Using evaluation theory in priority setting and resource allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Neale; Mitton, Craig; Cornelissen, Evelyn; Gibson, Jennifer; Peacock, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Public sector interest in methods for priority setting and program or policy evaluation has grown considerably over the last several decades, given increased expectations for accountable and efficient use of resources and emphasis on evidence-based decision making as a component of good management practice. While there has been some occasional effort to conduct evaluation of priority setting projects, the literatures around priority setting and evaluation have largely evolved separately. In this paper, the aim is to bring them together. The contention is that evaluation theory is a means by which evaluators reflect upon what it is they are doing when they do evaluation work. Theories help to organize thinking, sort out relevant from irrelevant information, provide transparent grounds for particular implementation choices, and can help resolve problematic issues which may arise in the conduct of an evaluation project. A detailed review of three major branches of evaluation theory--methods, utilization, and valuing--identifies how such theories can guide the development of efforts to evaluate priority setting and resource allocation initiatives. Evaluation theories differ in terms of their guiding question, anticipated setting or context, evaluation foci, perspective from which benefits are calculated, and typical methods endorsed. Choosing a particular theoretical approach will structure the way in which any priority setting process is evaluated. The paper suggests that explicitly considering evaluation theory makes key aspects of the evaluation process more visible to all stakeholders, and can assist in the design of effective evaluation of priority setting processes; this should iteratively serve to improve the understanding of priority setting practices themselves.

  14. Priority Settings in patients with Chronic Diseases and Cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arreskov, Anne Beiter; Graungaard, Anette Hauskov; Søndergaard, Jens

    Priority setting in patients with cancer and comorbidities Background and aim As both the cancer incidence and the number of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases are increasing, a growing population of cancer survivors will also deal with comorbid chronic diseases. The period after completed...... cancer treatment, where patients are transitioning to survivorship, might be a vulnerable time. Uncertainty about health status, physical- and emotional symptoms from cancer disease and treatment, and perhaps uncertainty about which doctor to consult, might influence patients’ priorities and attention...... to comorbidities. Some studies show that participation in regular follow-up consultations concerning comorbid chronic diseases and lifestyle are lower among cancer survivors than non-cancer patients. This could be explained by changes in the patient’s priority setting or in the doctor’s priority and attempt...

  15. Community Priority Index: utility, applicability and validation for priority setting in community-based participatory research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamisu M. Salihu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background. Providing practitioners with an intuitive measure for priority setting that can be combined with diverse data collection methods is a necessary step to foster accountability of the decision-making process in community settings. Yet, there is a lack of easy-to-use, but methodologically robust measures, that can be feasibly implemented for reliable decision-making in community settings. To address this important gap in community based participatory research (CBPR, the purpose of this study was to demonstrate the utility, applicability, and validation of a community priority index in a community-based participatory research setting. Design and Methods. Mixed-method study that combined focus groups findings, nominal group technique with six key informants, and the generation of a Community Priority Index (CPI that integrated community importance, changeability, and target populations. Bootstrapping and simulation were performed for validation. Results. For pregnant mothers, the top three highly important and highly changeable priorities were: stress (CPI=0.85; 95%CI: 0.70, 1.00, lack of affection (CPI=0.87; 95%CI: 0.69, 1.00, and nutritional issues (CPI=0.78; 95%CI: 0.48, 1.00. For non-pregnant women, top priorities were: low health literacy (CPI=0.87; 95%CI: 0.69, 1.00, low educational attainment (CPI=0.78; 95%CI: 0.48, 1.00, and lack of self-esteem (CPI=0.72; 95%CI: 0.44, 1.00. For children and adolescents, the top three priorities were: obesity (CPI=0.88; 95%CI: 0.69, 1.00, low self-esteem (CPI=0.81; 95%CI: 0.69, 0.94, and negative attitudes toward education (CPI=0.75; 95%CI: 0.50, 0.94. Conclusions. This study demonstrates the applicability of the CPI as a simple and intuitive measure for priority setting in CBPR.

  16. 78 FR 25093 - Multistate Conservation Grant Program; Priority List and Approval for Conservation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-29

    ............ Building Capabilities within Council to 200,906 0 200,906 State Fish and Wildlife Advance Hunting Agencies... Conservation Projects AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of receipt of priority list and approval of projects. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS...

  17. 76 FR 793 - Multistate Conservation Grant Program; Priority List for Conservation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-06

    ... carrying out the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, we may award... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... the FY 2011 priority list of wildlife and sport fish conservation projects from the Association of...

  18. Priority setting and cardiac surgery: a qualitative case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Nancy A; Martin, Douglas K; Peter, Elizabeth H; Pringle, Dorothy M; Singer, Peter A

    2007-03-01

    The purpose of this study is to describe priority setting in cardiac surgery and evaluate it using an ethical framework, "accountability for reasonableness". Cardiac surgery is an expensive part of hospital budgets. Priority setting decisions are made daily regarding ever increasing volumes of patients. While much attention has been paid to the management of cardiac surgery waiting lists, little empirical research exists into the way actual decision makers deliberate upon and resolve priority setting decisions on a daily basis. A key goal of priority setting, in cardiac surgical areas as well as others, is fairness. "Accountability for reasonableness" is a leading ethical framework for fair priority setting, and can be used to identify opportunities for improvement (i.e. make it fairer) and highlight good practices. A case study was conducted to examine the process of priority setting processes at three University of Toronto affiliated cardiac surgery centres. Relevant documents were examined, weekly triage rounds were observed for 27 months, and interviews were carried out with 23 key participants including cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, and triage nurses. In data analysis, the conditions of "accountability for reasonableness" (relevance, publicity, appeals and enforcement) were used as an analytic lens. While decisions may appear to be based strictly upon clinical criteria (e.g. coronary anatomy); non-clinical criteria also have an impact upon decision-making (e.g. patients' lifestyle choices, type of surgical practice and departmental constraints on resource use). Participants stated that these factors influence their decision-making and can result in unfair and inconsistent decisions. PUBLICITY: Non-clinical reasons are not publicly accessible, nor are they clearly acknowledged in discussions between cardiac clinicians. APPEALS: There are mechanisms for challenging decisions however without access to the non-clinical reasons, this can be problematic

  19. Health care priority setting in Norway a multicriteria decision analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Defechereux, T.; Paolucci, F.; Mirelman, A.; Youngkong, S.; Botten, G.; Hagen, T.P.; Niessen, L.W.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Priority setting in population health is increasingly based on explicitly formulated values. The Patients Rights Act of the Norwegian tax-based health service guaranties all citizens health care in case of a severe illness, a proven health benefit, and proportionality between need and

  20. Communitarian claims and community capabilities: furthering priority setting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Gavin

    2005-01-01

    Priority setting in health care is generally not done well. This paper draws on ideas from Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum and adds some communitarian underpinnings to provide a way of improving on current uses of program budgeting and marginal analysis (PBMA) in priority setting. The paper suggests that shifting to a communitarian base for priority setting alters the distribution of property rights over health service decision making and increases the probability that recommendations from PBMA exercises will be implemented. The approach is built on a paradigm which departs from three tenets of welfarism as it is normally conceived: (i) individuals qua individuals seek to maximise their individual utility/well-being; (ii) individuals want to do this; and (iii) it is the values of individuals qua individuals that count. Some of the problems of PBMA, as it has been applied to date, are highlighted. It is argued that these are due largely to a lack of 'credible commitment'. Bringing in the community and communitarian values to PBMA priority setting exercises can help to overcome some of the barriers to getting PBMA recommendations implemented. The approach has the merit of reflecting Sen's concept of capabilities (but extending that to a community level). It avoids the often consequentialist base of a conventional welfarist framework, and it allows community values as opposed to individual values to come to the fore. How to elicit communitarian values is explored.

  1. Integrating Public Input into Healthcare Priority-Setting Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitton, Craig; Smith, Neale; Peacock, Stuart; Evoy, Brian; Abelson, Julia

    2011-01-01

    Decision makers are pressed to involve the public in priority setting. However, public input is only one form of evidence. So, how can information from the public be combined with other knowledge? The authors qualitatively analysed articles that explicitly address this question. We identified the other forms of information that tend to be used in…

  2. Evaluating priority setting success in healthcare: a pilot study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background In healthcare today, decisions are made in the face of serious resource constraints. Healthcare managers are struggling to provide high quality care, manage resources effectively, and meet changing patient needs. Healthcare managers who are constantly making difficult resource decisions desire a way to improve their priority setting processes. Despite the wealth of existing priority setting literature (for example, program budgeting and marginal analysis, accountability for reasonableness, the 'describe-evaluate-improve' strategy) there are still no tools to evaluate how healthcare resources are prioritised. This paper describes the development and piloting of a process to evaluate priority setting in health institutions. The evaluation process was designed to examine the procedural and substantive dimensions of priority setting using a multi-methods approach, including a staff survey, decision-maker interviews, and document analysis. Methods The evaluation process was piloted in a mid-size community hospital in Ontario, Canada while its leaders worked through their annual budgeting process. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. Results The evaluation process was both applicable to the context and it captured the budgeting process. In general, the pilot test provided support for our evaluation process and our definition of success, (i.e., our conceptual framework). Conclusions The purpose of the evaluation process is to provide a simple, practical way for an organization to better understand what it means to achieve success in its priority setting activities and identify areas for improvement. In order for the process to be used by healthcare managers today, modification and contextualization of the process are anticipated. As the evaluation process is applied in more health care organizations or applied repeatedly in an organization, it may become more streamlined. PMID:20482843

  3. Evaluating priority setting success in healthcare: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibbald, Shannon L; Gibson, Jennifer L; Singer, Peter A; Upshur, Ross; Martin, Douglas K

    2010-05-19

    In healthcare today, decisions are made in the face of serious resource constraints. Healthcare managers are struggling to provide high quality care, manage resources effectively, and meet changing patient needs. Healthcare managers who are constantly making difficult resource decisions desire a way to improve their priority setting processes. Despite the wealth of existing priority setting literature (for example, program budgeting and marginal analysis, accountability for reasonableness, the 'describe-evaluate-improve' strategy) there are still no tools to evaluate how healthcare resources are prioritised. This paper describes the development and piloting of a process to evaluate priority setting in health institutions. The evaluation process was designed to examine the procedural and substantive dimensions of priority setting using a multi-methods approach, including a staff survey, decision-maker interviews, and document analysis. The evaluation process was piloted in a mid-size community hospital in Ontario, Canada while its leaders worked through their annual budgeting process. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. The evaluation process was both applicable to the context and it captured the budgeting process. In general, the pilot test provided support for our evaluation process and our definition of success, (i.e., our conceptual framework). The purpose of the evaluation process is to provide a simple, practical way for an organization to better understand what it means to achieve success in its priority setting activities and identify areas for improvement. In order for the process to be used by healthcare managers today, modification and contextualization of the process are anticipated. As the evaluation process is applied in more health care organizations or applied repeatedly in an organization, it may become more streamlined.

  4. Evaluating priority setting success in healthcare: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upshur Ross

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In healthcare today, decisions are made in the face of serious resource constraints. Healthcare managers are struggling to provide high quality care, manage resources effectively, and meet changing patient needs. Healthcare managers who are constantly making difficult resource decisions desire a way to improve their priority setting processes. Despite the wealth of existing priority setting literature (for example, program budgeting and marginal analysis, accountability for reasonableness, the 'describe-evaluate-improve' strategy there are still no tools to evaluate how healthcare resources are prioritised. This paper describes the development and piloting of a process to evaluate priority setting in health institutions. The evaluation process was designed to examine the procedural and substantive dimensions of priority setting using a multi-methods approach, including a staff survey, decision-maker interviews, and document analysis. Methods The evaluation process was piloted in a mid-size community hospital in Ontario, Canada while its leaders worked through their annual budgeting process. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. Results The evaluation process was both applicable to the context and it captured the budgeting process. In general, the pilot test provided support for our evaluation process and our definition of success, (i.e., our conceptual framework. Conclusions The purpose of the evaluation process is to provide a simple, practical way for an organization to better understand what it means to achieve success in its priority setting activities and identify areas for improvement. In order for the process to be used by healthcare managers today, modification and contextualization of the process are anticipated. As the evaluation process is applied in more health care organizations or applied repeatedly in an organization, it may become more streamlined.

  5. Local health department priority setting: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platonova, Elena A; Studnicki, James; Fisher, John W; Bridger, Colleen

    2010-01-01

    Priority setting is an integral part of the community health assessment process since it helps direct the allocation of limited public health resources among competing needs. There is a recognized need for a systematic mechanism to prioritize community health issues in objective, data-driven, quantifiable measures. This exploratory study examined the extent to which data-driven objective criteria were considered important to public health officials in North Carolina and, specifically, the extent to which they chose between objective and subjective criteria in establishing public health priorities. The differences between the health officers' practice (criteria they actually used) and their preferences (criteria thought to be important) were also assessed. It was found that NC health directors generally used subjective criteria more often than objective criteria when deciding on the most important health issues in their communities. A considerable segment of the respondents, however, considered objective criteria more important, even though subjective criteria were the dominant influence in their actual practice of priority setting. Our preliminary results suggest that officers' education and tenure may influence their practice and preferences. Perceived and real barriers to the use of data-driven objective criteria for priority setting are an important topic for future public health research.

  6. Crop expansion and conservation priorities in tropical countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phalan, Ben; Bertzky, Monika; Butchart, Stuart H M; Donald, Paul F; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Stattersfield, Alison J; Balmford, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Expansion of cropland in tropical countries is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss, and threatens to undermine progress towards meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. To understand this threat better, we analysed data on crop distribution and expansion in 128 tropical countries, assessed changes in area of the main crops and mapped overlaps between conservation priorities and cultivation potential. Rice was the single crop grown over the largest area, especially in tropical forest biomes. Cropland in tropical countries expanded by c. 48,000 km(2) per year from 1999-2008. The countries which added the greatest area of new cropland were Nigeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Brazil. Soybeans and maize are the crops which expanded most in absolute area. Other crops with large increases included rice, sorghum, oil palm, beans, sugar cane, cow peas, wheat and cassava. Areas of high cultivation potential-while bearing in mind that political and socio-economic conditions can be as influential as biophysical ones-may be vulnerable to conversion in the future. These include some priority areas for biodiversity conservation in tropical countries (e.g., Frontier Forests and High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas), which have previously been identified as having 'low vulnerability', in particular in central Africa and northern Australia. There are also many other smaller areas which are important for biodiversity and which have high cultivation potential (e.g., in the fringes of the Amazon basin, in the Paraguayan Chaco, and in the savanna woodlands of the Sahel and East Africa). We highlight the urgent need for more effective sustainability standards and policies addressing both production and consumption of tropical commodities, including robust land-use planning in agricultural frontiers, establishment of new protected areas or REDD+ projects in places agriculture has not yet reached, and reduction or elimination of incentives for land-demanding bioenergy

  7. Mental and neurological health research priorities setting in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandelwal, Sudhir; Avodé, Gilbert; Baingana, Florence; Conde, Bernado; Cruz, Marcelo; Deva, Parameshvara; Dumas, Michel; Gulbinat, Walter; Lopez, Carmen; Mayeya, John; Mubbashar, Malik H; Mohit, Ahmad; Ndeti, David; Puras, Dainius; Saeed, Khalid; Schilder, Klaas; Silberberg, Donald; Tomov, Toma; Townsend, Clare; Iemmi, Valentina; Jenkins, Rachel

    2010-04-01

    A multi-region consultation process designed to generate locally produced regional and global research priorities on mental and neurological health in low- and middle-income countries. Between 2003 and 2005, priority setting exercises on MNH research, using the systematic combined approach matrix (CAM) were held in the six regions of the developing world. One regional meeting per region was convened, and a global meeting was organized before and after the regional exercises. During regional meetings, regional agendas were created listing both research priorities and local problems in MNH. During global meetings, a global research agenda was established and four crucial areas of research priorities were identified: awareness and advocacy, enhancement of research capacity, training for service delivery, and development of evidence based policy. The combined matrix approach enabled the development of regional and global MNH research agendas, derived from bottom up consultations within and between low- and middle-income countries. Collaboration between regions with similar priorities was instituted. Such research agendas are designed to assist policy-makers and donors in the allocation of scarce resources, but they require regular review to reflect changing needs.

  8. Priority Setting for Improvement of Cervical Cancer Prevention in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azam Majidi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. Organized cervical screening and vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV have been successful interventions for prevention of invasive cervical cancer (ICC. Because of cultural and religious considerations, ICC has low incidence in Iran and many other Muslim countries. There is no organized cervical screening in these countries. Therefore, ICC is usually diagnosed in advanced stages with poor prognosis in these countries. We performed a priority setting exercise and suggested priorities for prevention of ICC in this setting. Methods We invited experts and researchers to a workshop and asked them to list important suggestions for ICC prevention in Iran. After merging similar items and removing the duplicates, we asked the experts to rank the list of suggested items. We used a strategy grid and Go-zone analysis to determine final list of priorities for ICC prevention in Iran. Results From 26 final items suggested as priorities for prevention of ICC, the most important priorities were developing national guidelines for cervical screening and quality control protocol for patient follow-up and management of precancerous lesions. In addition, we emphasized considering insurance coverage for cervical screening, public awareness, and research priorities, and establishment of a cervical screening registry. Conclusion A comprehensive approach and implementation of organized cervical screening program is necessary for prevention of ICC in Iran and other low incidence Muslim countries. Because of high cost for vaccination and low incidence of cervical cancer, we do not recommend HPV vaccination for the time being in Iran.

  9. Ecosystem Services Modeling as a Tool for Defining Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Gabriela Teixeira; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Paglia, Adriano Pereira

    2016-01-01

    Conservationists often have difficulty obtaining financial and social support for protected areas that do not demonstrate their benefits for society. Therefore, ecosystem services have gained importance in conservation science in the last decade, as these services provide further justification for appropriate management and conservation of natural systems. We used InVEST software and a set of GIS procedures to quantify, spatialize and evaluated the overlap between ecosystem services-carbon stock and sediment retention-and a biodiversity proxy-habitat quality. In addition, we proposed a method that serves as an initial approach of a priority areas selection process. The method considers the synergism between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Our study region is the Iron Quadrangle, an important Brazilian mining province and a conservation priority area located in the interface of two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. The resultant priority area for the maintenance of the highest values of ecosystem services and habitat quality was about 13% of the study area. Among those priority areas, 30% are already within established strictly protected areas, and 12% are in sustainable use protected areas. Following the transparent and highly replicable method we proposed in this study, conservation planners can better determine which areas fulfill multiple goals and can locate the trade-offs in the landscape. We also gave a step towards the improvement of the habitat quality model with a topography parameter. In areas of very rugged topography, we have to consider geomorfometric barriers for anthropogenic impacts and for species movement and we must think beyond the linear distances. Moreover, we used a model that considers the tree mortality caused by edge effects in the estimation of carbon stock. We found low spatial congruence among the modeled services, mostly because of the pattern of sediment retention distribution.

  10. Ecosystem Services Modeling as a Tool for Defining Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Teixeira Duarte

    Full Text Available Conservationists often have difficulty obtaining financial and social support for protected areas that do not demonstrate their benefits for society. Therefore, ecosystem services have gained importance in conservation science in the last decade, as these services provide further justification for appropriate management and conservation of natural systems. We used InVEST software and a set of GIS procedures to quantify, spatialize and evaluated the overlap between ecosystem services-carbon stock and sediment retention-and a biodiversity proxy-habitat quality. In addition, we proposed a method that serves as an initial approach of a priority areas selection process. The method considers the synergism between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Our study region is the Iron Quadrangle, an important Brazilian mining province and a conservation priority area located in the interface of two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. The resultant priority area for the maintenance of the highest values of ecosystem services and habitat quality was about 13% of the study area. Among those priority areas, 30% are already within established strictly protected areas, and 12% are in sustainable use protected areas. Following the transparent and highly replicable method we proposed in this study, conservation planners can better determine which areas fulfill multiple goals and can locate the trade-offs in the landscape. We also gave a step towards the improvement of the habitat quality model with a topography parameter. In areas of very rugged topography, we have to consider geomorfometric barriers for anthropogenic impacts and for species movement and we must think beyond the linear distances. Moreover, we used a model that considers the tree mortality caused by edge effects in the estimation of carbon stock. We found low spatial congruence among the modeled services, mostly because of the pattern of sediment retention

  11. Priority setting partnership to identify the top 10 research priorities for the management of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, Katherine H O; Flaherty, Helen; Daley, David J; Pascoe, Roland; Penhale, Bridget; Clarke, Carl E; Sackley, Catherine; Storey, Stacey

    2014-12-14

    This priority setting partnership was commissioned by Parkinson's UK to encourage people with direct and personal experience of the condition to work together to identify and prioritise the top 10 evidential uncertainties that impact on everyday clinical practice for the management of Parkinson's disease (PD). The UK. Anyone with experience of PD including: people with Parkinson's (PwP), carers, family and friends, healthcare and social care professionals. Non-clinical researchers and employees of pharmaceutical or medical devices companies were excluded. 1000 participants (60% PwP) provided ideas on research uncertainties, 475 (72% PwP) initially prioritised them and 27 (37% PwP) stakeholders agreed a final top 10. Using a modified nominal group technique, participants were surveyed to identify what issues for the management of PD needed research. Unique research questions unanswered by current evidence were identified and participants were asked to identify their top 10 research priorities from this list. The top 26 uncertainties were presented to a consensus meeting with key stakeholders to agree the top 10 research priorities. 1000 participants provided 4100 responses, which contained 94 unique unanswered research questions that were initially prioritised by 475 participants. A consensus meeting with 27 stakeholders agreed the top 10 research priorities. The overarching research aspiration was an effective cure for PD. The top 10 research priorities for PD management included the need to address motor symptoms (balance and falls, and fine motor control), non-motor symptoms (sleep and urinary dysfunction), mental health issues (stress and anxiety, dementia and mild cognitive impairments), side effects of medications (dyskinesia) and the need to develop interventions specific to the phenotypes of PD and better monitoring methods. These research priorities identify crucial gaps in the existing evidence to address everyday practicalities in the management of the

  12. Balancing forest-regeneration probabilities and maintenance costs in dry grasslands of high conservation priority

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolliger, Janine; Edwards, Thomas C.; Eggenberg, Stefan; Ismail, Sascha; Seidl, Irmi; Kienast, Felix

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of agricultural land has resulted in forest regeneration in species-rich dry grasslands across European mountain regions and threatens conservation efforts in this vegetation type. To support national conservation strategies, we used a site-selection algorithm (MARXAN) to find optimum sets of floristic regions (reporting units) that contain grasslands of high conservation priority. We sought optimum sets that would accommodate 136 important dry-grassland species and that would minimize forest regeneration and costs of management needed to forestall predicted forest regeneration. We did not consider other conservation elements of dry grasslands, such as animal species richness, cultural heritage, and changes due to climate change. Optimal sets that included 95–100% of the dry grassland species encompassed an average of 56–59 floristic regions (standard deviation, SD 5). This is about 15% of approximately 400 floristic regions that contain dry-grassland sites and translates to 4800–5300 ha of dry grassland out of a total of approximately 23,000 ha for the entire study area. Projected costs to manage the grasslands in these optimum sets ranged from CHF (Swiss francs) 5.2 to 6.0 million/year. This is only 15–20% of the current total estimated cost of approximately CHF30–45 million/year required if all dry grasslands were to be protected. The grasslands of the optimal sets may be viewed as core sites in a national conservation strategy.

  13. Effects of threat management interactions on conservation priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auerbach, Nancy A; Wilson, Kerrie A; Tulloch, Ayesha I T; Rhodes, Jonathan R; Hanson, Jeffrey O; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-12-01

    Decisions need to be made about which biodiversity management actions are undertaken to mitigate threats and about where these actions are implemented. However, management actions can interact; that is, the cost, benefit, and feasibility of one action can change when another action is undertaken. There is little guidance on how to explicitly and efficiently prioritize management for multiple threats, including deciding where to act. Integrated management could focus on one management action to abate a dominant threat or on a strategy comprising multiple actions to abate multiple threats. Furthermore management could be undertaken at sites that are in close proximity to reduce costs. We used cost-effectiveness analysis to prioritize investments in fire management, controlling invasive predators, and reducing grazing pressure in a bio-diverse region of southeastern Queensland, Australia. We compared outcomes of 5 management approaches based on different assumptions about interactions and quantified how investment needed, benefits expected, and the locations prioritized for implementation differed when interactions were taken into account. Managing for interactions altered decisions about where to invest and in which actions to invest and had the potential to deliver increased investment efficiency. Differences in high priority locations and actions were greatest between the approaches when we made different assumptions about how management actions deliver benefits through threat abatement: either all threats must be managed to conserve species or only one management action may be required. Threatened species management that does not consider interactions between actions may result in misplaced investments or misguided expectations of the effort required to mitigate threats to species. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Setting health priorities in a community: a case example

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fábio Alexandre Melo do Rego Sousa

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To describe the methodology used in the process of setting health priorities for community intervention in a community of older adults. METHODS Based on the results of a health diagnosis related to active aging, a prioritization process was conceived to select the priority intervention problem. The process comprised four successive phases of problem analysis and classification: (1 grouping by level of similarity, (2 classification according to epidemiological criteria, (3 ordering by experts, and (4 application of the Hanlon method. These stages combined, in an integrated manner, the views of health team professionals, community nursing and gerontology experts, and the actual community. RESULTS The first stage grouped the identified problems by level of similarity, comprising a body of 19 issues for analysis. In the second stage these problems were classified by the health team members by epidemiological criteria (size, vulnerability, and transcendence. The nine most relevant problems resulting from the second stage of the process were submitted to expert analysis and the five most pertinent problems were selected. The last step identified the priority issue for intervention in this specific community with the participation of formal and informal community leaders: Low Social Interaction in Community Participation. CONCLUSIONS The prioritization process is a key step in health planning, enabling the identification of priority problems to intervene in a given community at a given time. There are no default formulas for selecting priority issues. It is up to each community intervention team to define its own process with different methods/techniques that allow the identification of and intervention in needs classified as priority by the community.

  15. Remotely Sensed Data Informs Red List Evaluations and Conservation Priorities in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Binbin V; Hughes, Alice C; Jenkins, Clinton N; Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L

    2016-01-01

    The IUCN Red List has assessed the global distributions of the majority of the world's amphibians, birds and mammals. Yet these assessments lack explicit reference to widely available, remotely-sensed data that can sensibly inform a species' risk of extinction. Our first goal is to add additional quantitative data to the existing standardised process that IUCN employs. Secondly, we ask: do our results suggest species of concern-those at considerably greater risk than hitherto appreciated? Thirdly, these assessments are not only important on a species-by-species basis. By combining distributions of species of concern, we map conservation priorities. We ask to what degree these areas are currently protected and how might knowledge from remote sensing modify the priorities? Finally, we develop a quick and simple method to identify and modify the priority setting in a landscape where natural habitats are disappearing rapidly and so where conventional species' assessments might be too slow to respond. Tropical, mainland Southeast Asia is under exceptional threat, yet relatively poorly known. Here, additional quantitative measures may be particularly helpful. This region contains over 122, 183, and 214 endemic mammals, birds, and amphibians, respectively, of which the IUCN considers 37, 21, and 37 threatened. When corrected for the amount of remaining natural habitats within the known elevation preferences of species, the average sizes of species ranges shrink to amphibian ranges are conservation priorities.

  16. Accounting for Technical, Ethical, and Political Factors in Priority Setting

    OpenAIRE

    Kieslich, Katharina; Bump, Jesse; Norheim, Ole Frithjof; Tantivess, Sripen; Littlejohns, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Abstract—This article investigates two cases of priority setting to explore how, in addition to technical considerations, ethical and political factors shape the allocation of health resources. First, we discuss how Thai authorities adjudicated a coverage decision for HLA-B*1502 screening, which meets the national cost-effectiveness threshold for only some of the conditions it can detect. Second, we consider England's Cancer Drugs Fund to investigate the interplay of technical decision making...

  17. Rapid research and implementation priority setting for wound care uncertainties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trish A Gray

    Full Text Available People with complex wounds are more likely to be elderly, living with multimorbidity and wound related symptoms. A variety of products are available for managing complex wounds and a range of healthcare professionals are involved in wound care, yet there is a lack of good evidence to guide practice and services. These factors create uncertainty for those who deliver and those who manage wound care. Formal priority setting for research and implementation topics is needed to more accurately target the gaps in treatment and services. We solicited practitioner and manager uncertainties in wound care and held a priority setting workshop to facilitate a collaborative approach to prioritising wound care-related uncertainties.We recruited healthcare professionals who regularly cared for patients with complex wounds, were wound care specialists or managed wound care services. Participants submitted up to five wound care uncertainties in consultation with their colleagues, via an on-line survey and attended a priority setting workshop. Submitted uncertainties were collated, sorted and categorised according professional group. On the day of the workshop, participants were divided into four groups depending on their profession. Uncertainties submitted by their professional group were viewed, discussed and amended, prior to the first of three individual voting rounds. Participants cast up to ten votes for the uncertainties they judged as being high priority. Continuing in the professional groups, the top 10 uncertainties from each group were displayed, and the process was repeated. Groups were then brought together for a plenary session in which the final priorities were individually scored on a scale of 0-10 by participants. Priorities were ranked and results presented. Nominal group technique was used for generating the final uncertainties, voting and discussions.Thirty-three participants attended the workshop comprising; 10 specialist nurses, 10 district

  18. Priority setting in research: user led mental health research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghisoni, Marjorie; Wilson, Christine Ann; Morgan, Karen; Edwards, Bethan; Simon, Natalie; Langley, Emma; Rees, Helen; Wells, Amanda; Tyson, Philip John; Thomas, Phil; Meudell, Allen; Kitt, Frank; Mitchell, Brian; Bowen, Alan; Celia, Jason

    2017-01-01

    Involving people in health research is increasingly recognised as being important to make sure that research is focused more on the needs of people who use health services. At present, ideas about what should be researched most often comes from researchers and/or health professionals like doctors and nurses rather than people with a lived experience of mental illness. In this study, we will talk with this group of people from across Wales to explore what they think research into their health services should focus on. The findings from this work will help to influence the work of the National Centre for Mental Health Research Partnership Group; as well as` researchers and health professionals and others who concentrate on mental health research. The Research group is a partnership between people with a lived experience of mental ill health and professionals with an interest in mental ill health. The group plan to take forward the ideas that came from this research and some of the ideas have already been used to increase funding in the area of mental health research. Background This paper is the result of continued collaboration between members of the Service User and Carer Research Partnership, based in Wales and supported by the National Centre for Mental Health, Health and Care Research Wales, and Hafal. The aim of this study was to explore the research priorities of people with experience of mental health services which include people with a lived experience of mental ill health, their carers, and professionals. Method A nominal group technique was used to gather data. A one-day workshop 'Getting Involved in Research: Priority Setting' was held to gather the ideas and suggestions for research priorities from people who have experience of mental health services. Results Twenty-five participants attended the workshop. 5 were mental health professionals, 20 had a lived experience of mental ill health, (of which 3 were also carers). 11 were male and 14 were female

  19. Priority areas for large mammal conservation in Equatorial Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Mizuki; Ruffler, Heidi; Berlemont, Antoine; Campbell, Genevieve; Esono, Fidel; Agbor, Anthony; Mbomio, Domingo; Ebana, Agustín; Nze, Antonio; Kühl, Hjalmar S

    2013-01-01

    Hunting is one of the main driving forces behind large mammal density distribution in many regions of the world. In tropical Africa, urban demand for bushmeat has been shown to dominate over subsistence hunting and its impact often overrides spatial-ecological species characteristics. To effectively protect remaining mammal populations the main factors that influence their distribution need to be integrated into conservation area prioritisation and management plans. This information has been lacking for Río Muni, Equatorial Guinea, as prior studies have been outdated or have not systematically covered the continental region of the country. In this study we evaluated: 1) the relative importance of local vs. commercial hunting; 2) wildlife density of protected vs. non-protected areas; and 3) the importance of ecological factors vs. human influence in driving mammal density distribution in Río Muni. We adopted a systematic countrywide line transect approach with particular focus on apes and elephants, but also including other mammal species. For analysis of field data we used generalised linear models with a set of predictor variables representing ecological conditions, anthropogenic pressure and protected areas. We estimate that there are currently 884 (437-1,789) elephants and 11,097 (8,719-13,592) chimpanzees and gorillas remaining in Río Muni. The results indicate strong hunting pressures on both local and commercial levels, with roads demonstrating a negative impact on elephants and overall mammal body mass. Protected areas played no role in determining any of the mammal species distributions and significant human hunting signs were found inside these protected areas, illustrating the lack of environmental law enforcement throughout the country. Río Muni is currently under-represented in conservation efforts in Western Equatorial Africa, and we recommend a focus on cross-boundary conservation, in particular in the Monte Alén-Monts de Cristal and Río Campo

  20. Cheap and nasty? The potential perils of using management costs to identify global conservation priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin McCreless

    Full Text Available The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.

  1. Cheap and nasty? The potential perils of using management costs to identify global conservation priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.

  2. Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreless, Erin; Visconti, Piero; Carwardine, Josie; Wilcox, Chris; Smith, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity. PMID:24260502

  3. Setting priorities for development of emerging interventions against childhood diarrhoea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available An expert panel exercise was conducted to assess feasibility and potential effectiveness of 10 emerging health interventions against childhood diarrhoea. Twelve international experts were invited to take part in a CHNRI priority setting process. This group used 12 different criteria relevant to successful development and implementation of the emerging interventions, nine of which were retained in the final analysis. They showed most collective optimism towards developing household or community-level water treatment, followed by sustainable, affordable latrine options; those two emerging interventions were followed by antibiotic therapy of Cryptosporidium diarrhoea, and oral or transcutaneous enteric vaccine development.

  4. Threats from urban expansion, agricultural transformation and forest loss on global conservation priority areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veach, Victoria; Moilanen, Atte; Di Minin, Enrico

    2017-01-01

    Including threats in spatial conservation prioritization helps identify areas for conservation actions where biodiversity is at imminent risk of extinction. At the global level, an important limitation when identifying spatial priorities for conservation actions is the lack of information on the spatial distribution of threats. Here, we identify spatial conservation priorities under three prominent threats to biodiversity (residential and commercial development, agricultural expansion, and forest loss), which are primary drivers of habitat loss and threaten the persistence of the highest number of species in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and for which spatial data is available. We first explore how global priority areas for the conservation of vertebrate (mammals, birds, and amphibians) species coded in the Red List as vulnerable to each threat differ spatially. We then identify spatial conservation priorities for all species vulnerable to all threats. Finally, we identify the potentially most threatened areas by overlapping the identified priority areas for conservation with maps for each threat. We repeat the same with four other well-known global conservation priority area schemes, namely Key Biodiversity Areas, Biodiversity Hotspots, the global Protected Area Network, and Wilderness Areas. We find that residential and commercial development directly threatens only about 4% of the global top 17% priority areas for species vulnerable under this threat. However, 50% of the high priority areas for species vulnerable to forest loss overlap with areas that have already experienced some forest loss. Agricultural expansion overlapped with ~20% of high priority areas. Biodiversity Hotspots had the greatest proportion of their total area under direct threat from all threats, while expansion of low intensity agriculture was found to pose an imminent threat to Wilderness Areas under future agricultural expansion. Our results

  5. Research priorities for conservation and natural resource management in Oceania's small-island developing states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, R; Adams, V M

    2018-02-01

    For conservation science to effectively inform management, research must focus on creating the scientific knowledge required to solve conservation problems. We identified research questions that, if answered, would increase the effectiveness of conservation and natural resource management practice and policy in Oceania's small-island developing states. We asked conservation professionals from academia, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations across the region to propose such questions and then identify which were of high priority in an online survey. We compared the high-priority questions with research questions identified globally and for other regions. Of 270 questions proposed by respondents, 38 were considered high priority, including: What are the highest priority areas for conservation in the face of increasing resource demand and climate change? How should marine protected areas be networked to account for connectivity and climate change? What are the most effective fisheries management policies that contribute to sustainable coral reef fisheries? High-priority questions related to the particular challenges of undertaking conservation on small-island developing states and the need for a research agenda that is responsive to the sociocultural context of Oceania. Research priorities for Oceania relative to elsewhere were broadly similar but differed in specific issues relevant to particular conservation contexts. These differences emphasize the importance of involving local practitioners in the identification of research priorities. Priorities were reasonably well aligned among sectoral groups. Only a few questions were widely considered answered, which may indicate a smaller-than-expected knowledge-action gap. We believe these questions can be used to strengthen research collaborations between scientists and practitioners working to further conservation and natural resource management in this region. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology

  6. Health care priority setting in Norway a multicriteria decision analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Defechereux Thierry

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Priority setting in population health is increasingly based on explicitly formulated values. The Patients Rights Act of the Norwegian tax-based health service guaranties all citizens health care in case of a severe illness, a proven health benefit, and proportionality between need and treatment. This study compares the values of the country's health policy makers with these three official principles. Methods In total 34 policy makers participated in a discrete choice experiment, weighting the relative value of six policy criteria. We used multi-variate logistic regression with selection as dependent valuable to derive odds ratios for each criterion. Next, we constructed a composite league table - based on the sum score for the probability of selection - to rank potential interventions in five major disease areas. Results The group considered cost effectiveness, large individual benefits and severity of disease as the most important criteria in decision making. Priority interventions are those related to cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases. Less attractive interventions rank those related to mental health. Conclusions Norwegian policy makers' values are in agreement with principles formulated in national health laws. Multi-criteria decision approaches may provide a tool to support explicit allocation decisions.

  7. Health care priority setting in Norway a multicriteria decision analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defechereux, Thierry; Paolucci, Francesco; Mirelman, Andrew; Youngkong, Sitaporn; Botten, Grete; Hagen, Terje P; Niessen, Louis W

    2012-02-15

    Priority setting in population health is increasingly based on explicitly formulated values. The Patients Rights Act of the Norwegian tax-based health service guaranties all citizens health care in case of a severe illness, a proven health benefit, and proportionality between need and treatment. This study compares the values of the country's health policy makers with these three official principles. In total 34 policy makers participated in a discrete choice experiment, weighting the relative value of six policy criteria. We used multi-variate logistic regression with selection as dependent valuable to derive odds ratios for each criterion. Next, we constructed a composite league table - based on the sum score for the probability of selection - to rank potential interventions in five major disease areas. The group considered cost effectiveness, large individual benefits and severity of disease as the most important criteria in decision making. Priority interventions are those related to cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases. Less attractive interventions rank those related to mental health. Norwegian policy makers' values are in agreement with principles formulated in national health laws. Multi-criteria decision approaches may provide a tool to support explicit allocation decisions.

  8. Range-wide connectivity of priority areas for Greater Sage-Grouse: Implications for long-term conservation from graph theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crist, Michele R.; Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.

    2017-01-01

    The delineation of priority areas in western North America for managing Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a broad-scale experiment in conservation biology. The strategy of limiting spatial disturbance and focusing conservation actions within delineated areas may benefit the greatest proportion of Greater Sage-Grouse. However, land use under normal restrictions outside priority areas potentially limits dispersal and gene flow, which can isolate priority areas and lead to spatially disjunct populations. We used graph theory, representing priority areas as spatially distributed nodes interconnected by movement corridors, to understand the capacity of priority areas to function as connected networks in the Bi-State, Central, and Washington regions of the Greater Sage-Grouse range. The Bi-State and Central networks were highly centralized; the dominant pathways and shortest linkages primarily connected a small number of large and centrally located priority areas. These priority areas are likely strongholds for Greater Sage-Grouse populations and might also function as refugia and sources. Priority areas in the Central network were more connected than those in the Bi-State and Washington networks. Almost 90% of the priority areas in the Central network had ≥2 pathways to other priority areas when movement through the landscape was set at an upper threshold (effective resistance, ER12). At a lower threshold (ER4), 83 of 123 priority areas in the Central network were clustered in 9 interconnected subgroups. The current conservation strategy has risks; 45 of 61 priority areas in the Bi-State network, 68 of 123 in the Central network, and all 4 priority areas in the Washington network had ≤1 connection to another priority area at the lower ER4threshold. Priority areas with few linkages also averaged greater environmental resistance to movement along connecting pathways. Without maintaining corridors to larger priority areas or a clustered group

  9. Priority Setting in General Practice: Health Priorities of Older Patients Differ from Treatment Priorities of Their Physicians

    OpenAIRE

    Voigt, Isabel; Wrede, Jennifer; Diederichs-Egidi, Heike; Dierks, Marie-Luise; Junius-Walker, Ulrike

    2010-01-01

    Aim To ascertain health priorities of older patients and treatment priorities of their general practitioners (GP) on the basis of a geriatric assessment and to determine the agreement between these priorities. Methods The study included a sample of 9 general practitioners in Hannover, Germany, and a stratified sample of 35 patients (2-5 patients per practice, 18 female, average age 77.7 years). Patients were given a geriatric assessment using the Standardized Assessmen...

  10. Increased fairness in priority setting processes within the health sector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zulu, Joseph M.; Michelo, Charles; Msoni, Carol

    2014-01-01

    administration, in non-governmental organizations (NGO) and in health facilities. RESULTS: During the baseline study, concepts of legitimacy and fairness in PS processes were found to be grounded in local values of equity and impartiality. Government and other organizational strategies strongly supported......BACKGROUND: The challenge of priority setting (PS) in health care within contexts of severe resource limitations has continued to receive attention. Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) has emerged as a useful framework to guide the implementation of PS processes. In 2006, the AFR approach...... processes of health systems at district level in Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. This paper focuses on local perceptions and practices of fair PS (baseline study) as well as at the evolution of such perceptions and practices in PS following an AFR based intervention (evaluation study), carried out at district...

  11. Conservation priorities of genetic diversity in domesticated metapopulations: a study in taurine cattle breeds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Medugorac, Ivica; Veit-Kensch, Claudia E; Ramljak, Jelena; Brka, Muhamed; Marković, Božidarka; Stojanović, Srđan; Bytyqi, Hysen; Kochoski, Ljupche; Kume, Kristaq; Grünenfelder, Hans-Peter; Bennewitz, Jörn; Förster, Martin

    2011-01-01

    .... Because of the impact of neutral genetic diversity on long-term population adaptive capacity, we discuss the long-term outcome of different conservation priorities in a subdivided metapopulation...

  12. Research Priorities from Animal Behaviour for Maximising Conservation Progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greggor, Alison L; Berger-Tal, Oded; Blumstein, Daniel T; Angeloni, Lisa; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Blackwell, Bradley F; St Clair, Colleen Cassady; Crooks, Kevin; de Silva, Shermin; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Goldenberg, Shifra Z; Mesnick, Sarah L; Owen, Megan; Price, Catherine J; Saltz, David; Schell, Christopher J; Suarez, Andrew V; Swaisgood, Ronald R; Winchell, Clark S; Sutherland, William J

    2016-12-01

    Poor communication between academic researchers and wildlife managers limits conservation progress and innovation. As a result, input from overlapping fields, such as animal behaviour, is underused in conservation management despite its demonstrated utility as a conservation tool and countless papers advocating its use. Communication and collaboration across these two disciplines are unlikely to improve without clearly identified management needs and demonstrable impacts of behavioural-based conservation management. To facilitate this process, a team of wildlife managers and animal behaviour researchers conducted a research prioritisation exercise, identifying 50 key questions that have great potential to resolve critical conservation and management problems. The resulting agenda highlights the diversity and extent of advances that both fields could achieve through collaboration. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Setting conservation targets for sandy beach ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Linda; Nel, Ronel; Holness, Stephen; Sink, Kerry; Schoeman, David

    2014-10-01

    Representative and adequate reserve networks are key to conserving biodiversity. This begs the question, how much of which features need to be placed in protected areas? Setting specifically-derived conservation targets for most ecosystems is common practice; however, this has never been done for sandy beaches. The aims of this paper, therefore, are to propose a methodology for setting conservation targets for sandy beach ecosystems; and to pilot the proposed method using data describing biodiversity patterns and processes from microtidal beaches in South Africa. First, a classification scheme of valued features of beaches is constructed, including: biodiversity features; unique features; and important processes. Second, methodologies for setting targets for each feature under different data-availability scenarios are described. From this framework, targets are set for features characteristic of microtidal beaches in South Africa, as follows. 1) Targets for dune vegetation types were adopted from a previous assessment, and ranged 19-100%. 2) Targets for beach morphodynamic types (habitats) were set using species-area relationships (SARs). These SARs were derived from species richness data from 142 sampling events around the South African coast (extrapolated to total theoretical species richness estimates using previously-established species-accumulation curve relationships), plotted against the area of the beach (calculated from Google Earth imagery). The species-accumulation factor (z) was 0.22, suggesting a baseline habitat target of 27% is required to protect 75% of the species. This baseline target was modified by heuristic principles, based on habitat rarity and threat status, with final values ranging 27-40%. 3) Species targets were fixed at 20%, modified using heuristic principles based on endemism, threat status, and whether or not beaches play an important role in the species' life history, with targets ranging 20-100%. 4) Targets for processes and 5

  14. Public Issue Priority Formation: Media Agenda-Setting and Social Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jian-Hua; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Presents a mathematical model to explain the public's issue priority by integrating media agenda-setting and social interaction. Finds that the public's issue priority was influenced by both media and social interaction. (RS)

  15. Setting health priorities in a community: a case example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Fábio Alexandre Melo do Rego; Goulart, Maria José Garcia; Braga, Antonieta Manuela Dos Santos; Medeiros, Clara Maria Oliveira; Rego, Débora Cristina Martins; Vieira, Flávio Garcia; Pereira, Helder José Alves da Rocha; Tavares, Helena Margarida Correia Vicente; Loura, Marta Maria Puim

    2017-03-02

    To describe the methodology used in the process of setting health priorities for community intervention in a community of older adults. Based on the results of a health diagnosis related to active aging, a prioritization process was conceived to select the priority intervention problem. The process comprised four successive phases of problem analysis and classification: (1) grouping by level of similarity, (2) classification according to epidemiological criteria, (3) ordering by experts, and (4) application of the Hanlon method. These stages combined, in an integrated manner, the views of health team professionals, community nursing and gerontology experts, and the actual community. The first stage grouped the identified problems by level of similarity, comprising a body of 19 issues for analysis. In the second stage these problems were classified by the health team members by epidemiological criteria (size, vulnerability, and transcendence). The nine most relevant problems resulting from the second stage of the process were submitted to expert analysis and the five most pertinent problems were selected. The last step identified the priority issue for intervention in this specific community with the participation of formal and informal community leaders: Low Social Interaction in Community Participation. The prioritization process is a key step in health planning, enabling the identification of priority problems to intervene in a given community at a given time. There are no default formulas for selecting priority issues. It is up to each community intervention team to define its own process with different methods/techniques that allow the identification of and intervention in needs classified as priority by the community. Descrever a metodologia utilizada no processo de estabelecimento de prioridades em saúde para intervenção comunitária, numa comunidade idosa. Partindo dos resultados de um diagnóstico de saúde no âmbito da promoção do envelhecimento

  16. Planning and priority setting for vaccine development and immunization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelps, Charles E; Madhavan, Guruprasad; Gellin, Bruce

    2017-01-20

    We review a sequence of strategic planning efforts over time in the United States, all involving processes to prioritize new vaccine candidates. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has been involved in three priority setting processes, each using different metrics and methodologies: infant mortality equivalents (1985-1986), cost-effectiveness (2000), and more recently, the implementation of a software system based on a broader multi-criteria systems approach that can include either of the earlier metrics among other various considerations (2015). The systems approach offers users the flexibility to select, combine, rank, weigh and evaluate different attributes representing their perspectives, assumptions, and particular needs. This approach also overcomes concerns relating to the previous single-metric ranking approaches that yielded lists that, once published, were static, and could not readily accommodate new information about emerging pathogens, new scientific advances, or changes in the costs and performance features of interventions. We discuss the rationale and reasoning behind the design of this multi-criteria decision support approach, stakeholder feedback about the tool, and highlight the potential advantages from using this expanded approach to better inform and support vaccine policies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Assessment of the conservation priority status of South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study devises a method for prioritising South African estuaries on the basis of conservation importance, and presents the results of a ranking based on the collation of existing data for all South African estuaries. Estuaries are scored in terms of their size, type and biogeographical zone, habitats and biota (plants, ...

  18. Priorities for biodiversity conservation in the Udzungwa Mountains ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It is proposed that the 1st (West Kilombero), 2nd (Udzungwa Scarp North) and 4th (Udzungwa Scarp South) ranked sites should be conserved by supporting adjacent local communities and by giving one or more of these areas National Park status. Some management options are discussed. Journal of East African Natural ...

  19. Conservation priorities when species interact: the Noah's Ark metaphor revisited.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Courtois

    Full Text Available This note incorporates ecological interactions into the Noah's Ark problem. In doing so, we arrive at a general model for ranking in situ conservation projects accounting for species interrelations and provide an operational cost-effectiveness method for the selection of best preserving diversity projects under a limited budget constraint.

  20. Conservation Priorities when Species Interact: The Noah's Ark Metaphor Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtois, Pierre; Figuieres, Charles; Mulier, Chloé

    2014-01-01

    This note incorporates ecological interactions into the Noah's Ark problem. In doing so, we arrive at a general model for ranking in situ conservation projects accounting for species interrelations and provide an operational cost-effectiveness method for the selection of best preserving diversity projects under a limited budget constraint. PMID:25181514

  1. Conservation priorities for Prunus africana defined with the aid of spatial analysis of genetic data and climatic variables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Vinceti

    Full Text Available Conservation priorities for Prunus africana, a tree species found across Afromontane regions, which is of great commercial interest internationally and of local value for rural communities, were defined with the aid of spatial analyses applied to a set of georeferenced molecular marker data (chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites from 32 populations in 9 African countries. Two approaches for the selection of priority populations for conservation were used, differing in the way they optimize representation of intra-specific diversity of P. africana across a minimum number of populations. The first method (S1 was aimed at maximizing genetic diversity of the conservation units and their distinctiveness with regard to climatic conditions, the second method (S2 at optimizing representativeness of the genetic diversity found throughout the species' range. Populations in East African countries (especially Kenya and Tanzania were found to be of great conservation value, as suggested by previous findings. These populations are complemented by those in Madagascar and Cameroon. The combination of the two methods for prioritization led to the identification of a set of 6 priority populations. The potential distribution of P. africana was then modeled based on a dataset of 1,500 georeferenced observations. This enabled an assessment of whether the priority populations identified are exposed to threats from agricultural expansion and climate change, and whether they are located within the boundaries of protected areas. The range of the species has been affected by past climate change and the modeled distribution of P. africana indicates that the species is likely to be negatively affected in future, with an expected decrease in distribution by 2050. Based on these insights, further research at the regional and national scale is recommended, in order to strengthen P. africana conservation efforts.

  2. Conservation priorities for Prunus africana defined with the aid of spatial analysis of genetic data and climatic variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinceti, Barbara; Loo, Judy; Gaisberger, Hannes; van Zonneveld, Maarten J; Schueler, Silvio; Konrad, Heino; Kadu, Caroline A C; Geburek, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Conservation priorities for Prunus africana, a tree species found across Afromontane regions, which is of great commercial interest internationally and of local value for rural communities, were defined with the aid of spatial analyses applied to a set of georeferenced molecular marker data (chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites) from 32 populations in 9 African countries. Two approaches for the selection of priority populations for conservation were used, differing in the way they optimize representation of intra-specific diversity of P. africana across a minimum number of populations. The first method (S1) was aimed at maximizing genetic diversity of the conservation units and their distinctiveness with regard to climatic conditions, the second method (S2) at optimizing representativeness of the genetic diversity found throughout the species' range. Populations in East African countries (especially Kenya and Tanzania) were found to be of great conservation value, as suggested by previous findings. These populations are complemented by those in Madagascar and Cameroon. The combination of the two methods for prioritization led to the identification of a set of 6 priority populations. The potential distribution of P. africana was then modeled based on a dataset of 1,500 georeferenced observations. This enabled an assessment of whether the priority populations identified are exposed to threats from agricultural expansion and climate change, and whether they are located within the boundaries of protected areas. The range of the species has been affected by past climate change and the modeled distribution of P. africana indicates that the species is likely to be negatively affected in future, with an expected decrease in distribution by 2050. Based on these insights, further research at the regional and national scale is recommended, in order to strengthen P. africana conservation efforts.

  3. Conservation priorities for endangered Indian tigers through a genomic lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natesh, Meghana; Atla, Goutham; Nigam, Parag; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Zachariah, Arun; Borthakur, Udayan; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2017-08-29

    Tigers have lost 93% of their historical range worldwide. India plays a vital role in the conservation of tigers since nearly 60% of all wild tigers are currently found here. However, as protected areas are small (Panthera tigris tigris) across India and used genome-wide SNPs to infer genetic connectivity. We genotyped 10,184 SNPs from 38 individuals across 17 protected areas and identified three genetically distinct clusters (corresponding to northwest, southern and central India). The northwest cluster was isolated with low variation and high relatedness. The geographically large central cluster included tigers from central, northeastern and northern India, and had the highest variation. Most genetic diversity (62%) was shared among clusters, while unique variation was highest in the central cluster (8.5%) and lowest in the northwestern one (2%). We did not detect signatures of differential selection or local adaptation. We highlight that the northwest population requires conservation attention to ensure persistence of these tigers.

  4. Strengthening fairness, transparency and accountability in health care priority setting at district level in Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Maluka, Stephen Oswald

    2011-01-01

    Health care systems are faced with the challenge of resource scarcity and have insufficient resources to respond to all health problems and target groups simultaneously. Hence, priority setting is an inevitable aspect of every health system. However, priority setting is complex and difficult because the process is frequently influenced by political, institutional and managerial factors that are not considered by conventional priority-setting tools. In a five-year EU-supported project, which s...

  5. Setting priorities in health care organizations: criteria, processes, and parameters of success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Douglas K

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hospitals and regional health authorities must set priorities in the face of resource constraints. Decision-makers seek practical ways to set priorities fairly in strategic planning, but find limited guidance from the literature. Very little has been reported from the perspective of Board members and senior managers about what criteria, processes and parameters of success they would use to set priorities fairly. Discussion We facilitated workshops for board members and senior leadership at three health care organizations to assist them in developing a strategy for fair priority setting. Workshop participants identified 8 priority setting criteria, 10 key priority setting process elements, and 6 parameters of success that they would use to set priorities in their organizations. Decision-makers in other organizations can draw lessons from these findings to enhance the fairness of their priority setting decision-making. Summary Lessons learned in three workshops fill an important gap in the literature about what criteria, processes, and parameters of success Board members and senior managers would use to set priorities fairly.

  6. Setting priorities in health care organizations: criteria, processes, and parameters of success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Jennifer L; Martin, Douglas K; Singer, Peter A

    2004-09-08

    Hospitals and regional health authorities must set priorities in the face of resource constraints. Decision-makers seek practical ways to set priorities fairly in strategic planning, but find limited guidance from the literature. Very little has been reported from the perspective of Board members and senior managers about what criteria, processes and parameters of success they would use to set priorities fairly. We facilitated workshops for board members and senior leadership at three health care organizations to assist them in developing a strategy for fair priority setting. Workshop participants identified 8 priority setting criteria, 10 key priority setting process elements, and 6 parameters of success that they would use to set priorities in their organizations. Decision-makers in other organizations can draw lessons from these findings to enhance the fairness of their priority setting decision-making. Lessons learned in three workshops fill an important gap in the literature about what criteria, processes, and parameters of success Board members and senior managers would use to set priorities fairly.

  7. Setting Healthcare Priorities at the Macro and Meso Levels: A Framework for Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwine W. Barasa

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Priority setting in healthcare is a key determinant of health system performance. However, there is no widely accepted priority setting evaluation framework. We reviewed literature with the aim of developing and proposing a framework for the evaluation of macro and meso level healthcare priority setting practices. Methods We systematically searched Econlit, PubMed, CINAHL, and EBSCOhost databases and supplemented this with searches in Google Scholar, relevant websites and reference lists of relevant papers. A total of 31 papers on evaluation of priority setting were identified. These were supplemented by broader theoretical literature related to evaluation of priority setting. A conceptual review of selected papers was undertaken. Results Based on a synthesis of the selected literature, we propose an evaluative framework that requires that priority setting practices at the macro and meso levels of the health system meet the following conditions: (1 Priority setting decisions should incorporate both efficiency and equity considerations as well as the following outcomes; (a Stakeholder satisfaction, (b Stakeholder understanding, (c Shifted priorities (reallocation of resources, and (d Implementation of decisions. (2 Priority setting processes should also meet the procedural conditions of (a Stakeholder engagement, (b Stakeholder empowerment, (c Transparency, (d Use of evidence, (e Revisions, (f Enforcement, and (g Being grounded on community values. Conclusion Available frameworks for the evaluation of priority setting are mostly grounded on procedural requirements, while few have included outcome requirements. There is, however, increasing recognition of the need to incorporate both consequential and procedural considerations in priority setting practices. In this review, we adapt an integrative approach to develop and propose a framework for the evaluation of priority setting practices at the macro and meso levels that draws from

  8. Governance factors in the identification of global conservation priorities for mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklund, Johanna; Arponen, Anni; Visconti, Piero; Cabeza, Mar

    2011-01-01

    Global conservation priorities have often been identified based on the combination of species richness and threat information. With the development of the field of systematic conservation planning, more attention has been given to conservation costs. This leads to prioritizing developing countries, where costs are generally low and biodiversity is high. But many of these countries have poor governance, which may result in ineffective conservation or in larger costs than initially expected. We explore how the consideration of governance affects the selection of global conservation priorities for the world's mammals in a complementarity-based conservation prioritization. We use data on Control of Corruption (Worldwide Governance Indicators project) as an indicator of governance effectiveness, and gross domestic product per capita as an indicator of cost. We show that, while core areas with high levels of endemism are always selected as important regardless of governance and cost values, there are clear regional differences in selected sites when biodiversity, cost or governance are taken into account separately. Overall, the analysis supports the concentration of conservation efforts in most of the regions generally considered of high priority, but stresses the need for different conservation approaches in different continents owing to spatial patterns of governance and economic development. PMID:21844045

  9. Genetic analysis, breed assignment and conservation priorities of three native Danish horse breeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirstrup, J P; Pertoldi, C; Loeschcke, V

    2008-10-01

    A genetic analysis was performed on three indigenous Danish horse breeds using 12 microsatellite markers from a standard kit for parental testing. These three breeds are all considered endangered based on their small population sizes. Genetic variation in these three breeds was comparable to other horse breeds in Europe, and they do not seem to be at immediate danger of extinction caused by genetic deterioration. The Knabstrupper breed had more genetic variation, as measured by expected heterozygosity and allelic richness, than the other two breeds (Frederiksborg and Jutland). F(ST) statistics and population assignments confirmed population differentiation into three distinct breeds. The Frederiksborg and Knabstrupper breeds were closer to each other than to the Jutland breed. When establishing conservation priorities for the breeds, the priorities will depend on the conservation goals. Different methods for establishing conservation priorities are also discussed.

  10. Key Biodiversity Areas in the Philippines: Priorities for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.G.R. Ambal

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available A process for identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs for the Philippines was undertaken in two phases. The 128 terrestrial and freshwater KBAs were identified in 2006 and the 123 marine KBAs were identified in 2009. A total of 228 KBAs resulted from the integration of the terrestrial, freshwater and marine KBAs. These KBAs represent the known habitat of 855 globally important species of plants, corals, molluscs, elasmobranchs, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in the country. Inclusion of these KBAs in the country’s protected area system will be a significant step towards ensuring the conservation of the full scope of the country’s natural heritage.

  11. Conservation genetics of the Philippine tarsier: cryptic genetic variation restructures conservation priorities for an island archipelago primate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafe M Brown

    Full Text Available Establishment of conservation priorities for primates is a particular concern in the island archipelagos of Southeast Asia, where rates of habitat destruction are among the highest in the world. Conservation programs require knowledge of taxonomic diversity to ensure success. The Philippine tarsier is a flagship species that promotes environmental awareness and a thriving ecotourism economy in the Philippines. However, assessment of its conservation status has been impeded by taxonomic uncertainty, a paucity of field studies, and a lack of vouchered specimens and genetic samples available for study in biodiversity repositories. Consequently, conservation priorities are unclear. In this study we use mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to empirically infer geographic partitioning of genetic variation and to identify evolutionarily distinct lineages for conservation action. The distribution of Philippine tarsier genetic diversity is neither congruent with expectations based on biogeographical patterns documented in other Philippine vertebrates, nor does it agree with the most recent Philippine tarsier taxonomic arrangement. We identify three principal evolutionary lineages that do not correspond to the currently recognized subspecies, highlight the discovery of a novel cryptic and range-restricted subcenter of genetic variation in an unanticipated part of the archipelago, and identify additional geographically structured genetic variation that should be the focus of future studies and conservation action. Conservation of this flagship species necessitates establishment of protected areas and targeted conservation programs within the range of each genetically distinct variant of the Philippine tarsier.

  12. Setting Curricular Priorities for Students with Visual Impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lueck, Amanda Hall

    1999-01-01

    Presents a step-by-step method for identifying curricular priorities for students who are visually impaired once a comprehensive educational assessment has been completed. This methodological approach to analyzing instruction needs provides data to substantiate informed decisions about what to teach and the amount of instruction time required. (CR)

  13. Model for setting priority construction project objectives aligned with ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A comprehensive model based on priority project objectives aligned with monetary incentives, and agreed upon by built environment stakeholders was developed. A web survey was adopted to send out a questionnaire to nationwide participants, including contractors, quantity surveyors, project managers, architects, and ...

  14. Science priorities for seamounts: research links to conservation and management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm R Clark

    Full Text Available Seamounts shape the topography of all ocean basins and can be hotspots of biological activity in the deep sea. The Census of Marine Life on Seamounts (CenSeam was a field program that examined seamounts as part of the global Census of Marine Life (CoML initiative from 2005 to 2010. CenSeam progressed seamount science by collating historical data, collecting new data, undertaking regional and global analyses of seamount biodiversity, mapping species and habitat distributions, challenging established paradigms of seamount ecology, developing new hypotheses, and documenting the impacts of human activities on seamounts. However, because of the large number of seamounts globally, much about the structure, function and connectivity of seamount ecosystems remains unexplored and unknown. Continual, and potentially increasing, threats to seamount resources from fishing and seabed mining are creating a pressing demand for research to inform conservation and management strategies. To meet this need, intensive science effort in the following areas will be needed: 1 Improved physical and biological data; of particular importance is information on seamount location, physical characteristics (e.g. habitat heterogeneity and complexity, more complete and intensive biodiversity inventories, and increased understanding of seamount connectivity and faunal dispersal; 2 New human impact data; these shall encompass better studies on the effects of human activities on seamount ecosystems, as well as monitoring long-term changes in seamount assemblages following impacts (e.g. recovery; 3 Global data repositories; there is a pressing need for more comprehensive fisheries catch and effort data, especially on the high seas, and compilation or maintenance of geological and biodiversity databases that underpin regional and global analyses; 4 Application of support tools in a data-poor environment; conservation and management will have to increasingly rely on predictive

  15. Priority setting in general practice: health priorities of older patients differ from treatment priorities of their physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Isabel; Wrede, Jennifer; Diederichs-Egidi, Heike; Dierks, Marie-Luise; Junius-Walker, Ulrike

    2010-12-01

    To ascertain health priorities of older patients and treatment priorities of their general practitioners (GP) on the basis of a geriatric assessment and to determine the agreement between these priorities. The study included a sample of 9 general practitioners in Hannover, Germany, and a stratified sample of 35 patients (2-5 patients per practice, 18 female, average age 77.7 years). Patients were given a geriatric assessment using the Standardized Assessment for Elderly Patients in Primary Care (STEP) to gain an overview of their health and everyday problems. On the basis of these results, patients and their physicians independently rated the importance of each problem disclosed by the assessment. Whereas patients assessed the importance for their everyday lives, physicians assessed the importance for patients' medical care and patients' everyday lives. Each patient had a mean ± standard deviation of 18 ± 9.2 health problems. Thirty five patients disclosed a total of 634 problems; 537 (85%) were rated by patients and physicians. Of these 537 problems, 332 (62%) were rated by patients and 334 (62%) by physicians as important for patients' everyday lives. In addition, 294 (55%) were rated by physicians as important for patients' medical care. Although these proportions of important problems were similar between patients and physicians, there was little overlap in the specific problems that each group considered important. The chance-corrected agreement (Cohen κ) between patients and physicians on the importance of problems for patients' lives was low (κ=0.23). Likewise, patients and physicians disagreed on the problems that physicians considered important for patients' medical care (κ=0.18, Ppriorities between patients and physicians necessitates better communication between the two parties to strengthen mutual understanding.

  16. Research Priorities for the Conservation and Sustainable Governance of Andean Forest Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The long-term survival of Andean forest landscapes (AFL and of their capacity to contribute to sustainable development in a context of global change requires integrated adaptation and mitigation responses informed by a thorough understanding of the dynamic and complex interactions between their ecological and social components. This article proposes a research agenda that can help guide AFL research efforts for the next 15 years. The agenda was developed between July 2015 and June 2016 through a series of workshops in Ecuador, Peru, and Switzerland and involved 48 researchers and development experts working on AFL from different disciplinary perspectives. Based on our review of current research and identification of pressing challenges for the conservation and sustainable governance of AFL, we propose a conceptual framework that draws on sustainability sciences and social–ecological systems research, and we identify a set of high-priority research goals and objectives organized into 3 broad categories: systems knowledge, target knowledge, and transformation knowledge. This paper is intended to be a reference for a broad array of actors engaged in policy, research, and implementation in the Andean region. We hope it will trigger collaborative research initiatives for the continued conservation and sustainable governance of AFL.

  17. Improving district level health planning and priority setting in Tanzania through implementing accountability for reasonableness framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maluka, Stephen; Kamuzora, Peter; Sebastián, Miguel San

    2010-01-01

    In 2006, researchers and decision-makers launched a five-year project - Response to Accountable Priority Setting for Trust in Health Systems (REACT) - to improve planning and priority-setting through implementing the Accountability for Reasonableness framework in Mbarali District, Tanzania...

  18. Does taxonomic diversity in indicator groups influence their effectiveness in identifying priority areas for species conservation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Larsen, Frank Wugt; Rahbek, Carsten

    2008-01-01

    the taxonomic diversity in species indicator groups influence their effectiveness in the identification of priority areas for species conservation. We tested whether indicator groups comprising a higher taxonomic diversity (i.e. indicator groups consisting of species from many different taxonomic groups...... impact on indicator performance. Our results suggest that it might be of minor importance to consider taxonomic diversity when acquiring species data for future conservation projects using indicator groups....

  19. Cost-Effective Hearing Conservation: Regulatory and Research Priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobie, Robert A

    2017-12-14

    Hearing conservation programs (HCPs) mandated by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cost about $350/worker/year. Are they cost-effective? A cross-sectional model of the US adult population with and without HCPs incorporates (1) the American Medical Association's method for estimating binaural hearing impairment and whole-person impairment; (2) the model of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for estimating both age-related and noise-induced hearing loss; and (3) an acceptable cost of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year. The ISO model's outputs were audiometric thresholds for groups of people with different age, sex, and noise exposure history. These thresholds were used to estimate cost per quality-adjusted life year saved for people in HCPs with different noise exposure levels. Model simulations suggest that HCPs may be cost-effective only when time-weighted average (TWA) noise exposures are ≥ 90 dBA. Enforcing existing regulations, requiring engineering noise control at high exposure levels, and using new methods that can document hearing protection device performance could improve cost-effectiveness. If the OSHA action level remains at 85 dBA-TWA, reducing the permissible exposure limit to the same level would simplify management and slightly improve cost-effectiveness. Research should evaluate employer compliance across industries, determine whether workers currently excluded from HCP regulations are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss, and develop cost-effective HCPs for mobile workers in construction, agriculture, and oil and gas drilling and servicing. Research on HCP cost-effectiveness could be extended to incorporate sensitivity analyses of the effects of a wider range of assumptions.

  20. The accountability for reasonableness approach to guide priority setting in health systems within limited resources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Byskov, Jens; Marchal, Bruno; Maluka, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    : relevance, publicity, appeals, and enforcement, which facilitate agreement on priority-setting decisions and gain support for their implementation. This paper focuses on the assessment of AFR within the project REsponse to ACcountable priority setting for Trust in health systems (REACT). METHODS......BACKGROUND: Priority-setting decisions are based on an important, but not sufficient set of values and thus lead to disagreement on priorities. Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) is an ethics-based approach to a legitimate and fair priority-setting process that builds upon four conditions......: This intervention study applied an action research methodology to assess implementation of AFR in one district in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, respectively. The assessments focused on selected disease, program, and managerial areas. An implementing action research team of core health team members and supporting...

  1. Cystic Fibrosis James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership PROTOCOL [5 February 2016

    OpenAIRE

    Smyth, Alan R.; Rowbotham, Nicola J.; McPhee, Margaret; Smith, Sherie

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this protocol is to set out the aims, objectives and commitments of the Cystic Fibrosis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) and the basic roles and responsibilities of the partners therein.

  2. Cystic Fibrosis James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership PROTOCOL [updated 13 July 2016

    OpenAIRE

    Smyth, Alan R.; Rowbotham, Nicola J.; McPhee, Margaret; Smith, Sherie

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this protocol is to set out the aims, objectives and commitments of the Cystic Fibrosis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) and the basic roles and responsibilities of the partners therein.

  3. Identifying acne treatment uncertainties via a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Layton, Alison; Eady, E Anne; Peat, Maggie; Whitehouse, Heather; Levell, Nick; Ridd, Matthew; Cowdell, Fiona; Patel, Mahenda; Andrews, Stephen; Oxnard, Christine; Fenton, Mark; Firkins, Lester

    2015-01-01

    The Acne Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was set up to identify and rank treatment uncertainties by bringing together people with acne, and professionals providing care within and beyond the National Health Service (NHS...

  4. [The Danish Debate on Priority Setting in Medicine--An Update].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornak, S C; Raspe, H

    2015-09-01

    In the last years, the Danish debate about priority setting in medicine has gained new strength. This paper shows the main focuses of the current discussion based on a research of Danish primary literature. For the first time since the 1990s the Danish Council of Ethics has been involved with priority setting in medicine in a project running from 2011 to 2013. The Council emphasises the importance of legitimate processes and calls for visible values and criteria. A focus of the debate is how to deal with new expensive drugs. Politicians, physicians, health economists and the Council of Ethics have called for a national institution for priority setting in medicine. They have mainly looked to the Norwegian National Council for Priority Setting in Health Care and the British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for inspiration. The Danish Government considered establishing a national institute for priority setting, but the plans were not put into practice. In the year 2012 a new national project was launched to create clinical guidelines. Danish doctors welcome the guidelines as a good basis for priority setting. Just like in earlier Danish priority setting debates, a coordinating institution is lacking to bundle the discussion and keep it going. The debate seems to have come to an end once again. The fact that it was seriously considered to establish an institute for priority setting is a new development. It can be expected that the discussion will be resumed in the near future, possibly the idea of an institute for priority setting will be readopted. The general conditions for priority setting in health care have improved. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  5. Scale-dependent complementarity of climatic velocity and environmental diversity for identifying priority areas for conservation under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Carlos; Roberts, David R; Michalak, Julia L; Lawler, Joshua J; Nielsen, Scott E; Stralberg, Diana; Hamann, Andreas; Mcrae, Brad H; Wang, Tongli

    2017-11-01

    As most regions of the earth transition to altered climatic conditions, new methods are needed to identify refugia and other areas whose conservation would facilitate persistence of biodiversity under climate change. We compared several common approaches to conservation planning focused on climate resilience over a broad range of ecological settings across North America and evaluated how commonalities in the priority areas identified by different methods varied with regional context and spatial scale. Our results indicate that priority areas based on different environmental diversity metrics differed substantially from each other and from priorities based on spatiotemporal metrics such as climatic velocity. Refugia identified by diversity or velocity metrics were not strongly associated with the current protected area system, suggesting the need for additional conservation measures including protection of refugia. Despite the inherent uncertainties in predicting future climate, we found that variation among climatic velocities derived from different general circulation models and emissions pathways was less than the variation among the suite of environmental diversity metrics. To address uncertainty created by this variation, planners can combine priorities identified by alternative metrics at a single resolution and downweight areas of high variation between metrics. Alternately, coarse-resolution velocity metrics can be combined with fine-resolution diversity metrics in order to leverage the respective strengths of the two groups of metrics as tools for identification of potential macro- and microrefugia that in combination maximize both transient and long-term resilience to climate change. Planners should compare and integrate approaches that span a range of model complexity and spatial scale to match the range of ecological and physical processes influencing persistence of biodiversity and identify a conservation network resilient to threats operating at

  6. Ex situ conservation priorities for the wild relatives of potato (solanum L. Section petota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora P Castañeda-Álvarez

    Full Text Available Crop wild relatives have a long history of use in potato breeding, particularly for pest and disease resistance, and are expected to be increasingly used in the search for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Their current and future use in crop improvement depends on their availability in ex situ germplasm collections. As these plants are impacted in the wild by habitat destruction and climate change, actions to ensure their conservation ex situ become ever more urgent. We analyzed the state of ex situ conservation of 73 of the closest wild relatives of potato (Solanum section Petota with the aim of establishing priorities for further collecting to fill important gaps in germplasm collections. A total of 32 species (43.8%, were assigned high priority for further collecting due to severe gaps in their ex situ collections. Such gaps are most pronounced in the geographic center of diversity of the wild relatives in Peru. A total of 20 and 18 species were assessed as medium and low priority for further collecting, respectively, with only three species determined to be sufficiently represented currently. Priorities for further collecting include: (i species completely lacking representation in germplasm collections; (ii other high priority taxa, with geographic emphasis on the center of species diversity; (iii medium priority species. Such collecting efforts combined with further emphasis on improving ex situ conservation technologies and methods, performing genotypic and phenotypic characterization of wild relative diversity, monitoring wild populations in situ, and making conserved wild relatives and their associated data accessible to the global research community, represent key steps in ensuring the long-term availability of the wild genetic resources of this important crop.

  7. Top ten research priorities for spinal cord injury: the methodology and results of a British priority setting partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Middendorp, J J; Allison, H C; Ahuja, S; Bracher, D; Dyson, C; Fairbank, J; Gall, A; Glover, A; Gray, L; Masri, W El; Uttridge, A; Cowan, K

    2016-05-01

    This is a mixed-method consensus development project. The objective of this study was to identify a top ten list of priorities for future research into spinal cord injury (SCI). The British Spinal Cord Injury Priority Setting Partnership was established in 2013 and completed in 2014. Stakeholders included consumer organisations, healthcare professional societies and caregivers. This partnership involved the following four key stages: (i) gathering of research questions, (ii) checking of existing research evidence, (iii) interim prioritisation and (iv) a final consensus meeting to reach agreement on the top ten research priorities. Adult individuals with spinal cord dysfunction because of trauma or non-traumatic causes, including transverse myelitis, and individuals with a cauda equina syndrome (henceforth grouped and referred to as SCI) were invited to participate in this priority setting partnership. We collected 784 questions from 403 survey respondents (290 individuals with SCI), which, after merging duplicate questions and checking systematic reviews for evidence, were reduced to 109 unique unanswered research questions. A total of 293 people (211 individuals with SCI) participated in the interim prioritisation process, leading to the identification of 25 priorities. At a final consensus meeting, a representative group of individuals with SCI, caregivers and health professionals agreed on their top ten research priorities. Following a comprehensive, rigorous and inclusive process, with participation from individuals with SCI, caregivers and health professionals, the SCI research agenda has been defined by people to whom it matters most and should inform the scope and future activities of funders and researchers for the years to come. The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre provided core funding for this project.

  8. Integrating priority areas and ecological corridors into national network for conservation planning in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; He, Xinyue; Zeng, Guangming; Zhong, Minzhou; Gao, Xiang; Li, Xin; Li, Xiaodong; Wu, Haipeng; Feng, Chunting; Xing, Wenle; Fang, Yilong; Mo, Dan

    2018-01-11

    Considering that urban expansion and increase of human activities represent important threats to biodiversity and ecological processes in short and long term, developing protected area (PA) network with high connectivity is considered as a valuable conservation strategy. However, conservation planning associated with the large-scale network in China involves important information loopholes about the land cover and landscape connectivity. In this paper, we made an integrative analysis for the identification of conservation priority areas and least-cost ecological corridors (ECs) in order to promote a more representative, connected and efficient ecological PA network for this country. First, we used Zonation, a spatial prioritization software, to achieve a hierarchical mask and selected the top priority conservation areas. Second, we identified optimal linkages between two patches as corridors based on least-cost path algorithm. Finally, we proposed a new framework of China's PA network composed of conservation priority and ECs in consideration of high connectivity between areas. We observed that priority areas identified here cover 12.9% of the region, distributed mainly in mountainous and plateau areas, and only reflect a spatial mismatch of 19% with the current China's nature reserves locations. From the perspective of conservation, our result provide the need to consider new PA categories, specially located in the south (e.g., the middle-lower Yangtze River area, Nanling and Min-Zhe-Gan Mountains) and north regions (e.g., Changbai Mountains), in order to construct an optimal and connected national network in China. This information allows us better opportunities to identify the relative high-quality patches and draft the best conservation plan for the China's biodiversity in the long-term run. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Mapping of Florida's Coastal and Marine Resources: Setting Priorities Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Lisa; Wolfe, Steven; Raabe, Ellen

    2008-01-01

    The importance of mapping habitats and bioregions as a means to improve resource management has become increasingly clear. Large areas of the waters surrounding Florida are unmapped or incompletely mapped, possibly hindering proper management and good decisionmaking. Mapping of these ecosystems is among the top priorities identified by the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council in their Annual Science Research Plan. However, lack of prioritization among the coastal and marine areas and lack of coordination of agency efforts impede efficient, cost-effective mapping. A workshop on Mapping of Florida's Coastal and Marine Resources was sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), and Southeastern Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS). The workshop was held at the USGS Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) in St. Petersburg, FL, on February 7-8, 2007. The workshop was designed to provide State, Federal, university, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) the opportunity to discuss their existing data coverage and create a prioritization of areas for new mapping data in Florida. Specific goals of the workshop were multifold, including to: * provide information to agencies on state-of-the-art technology for collecting data; * inform participants of the ongoing mapping programs in waters off Florida; * present the mapping needs and priorities of the State and Federal agencies and entities operating in Florida; * work with State of Florida agencies to establish an overall priority for areas needing mapping; * initiate discussion of a unified classification of habitat and bioregions; * discuss and examine the need to standardize terminology and data collection/storage so that data, in particular habitat data, can be shared; 9 identify opportunities for partnering and leveraging mapping efforts among agencies and entities; * identify impediments and organizational gaps that hinder collection

  10. [The Danish debate on priority setting in medicine - characteristics and results].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornak, S; Meyer, T; Raspe, H

    2011-10-01

    Priority setting in medicine helps to achieve a fair and transparent distribution of health-care resources. The German discussion about priority setting is still in its infancy and may benefit from other countries' experiences. This paper aims to analyse the Danish priority setting debate in order to stimulate the German discussion. The methods used are a literature analysis and a document analysis as well as expert interviews. The Danish debate about priority setting in medicine began in the 1970s, when a government committee was constituted to evaluate health-care priorities at the national level. In the 1980s a broader debate arose in politics, ethics, medicine and health economy. The discussions reached a climax in the 1990s, when many local activities - always involving the public - were initiated. Some Danish counties tried to implement priority setting in the daily routine of health care. The Council of Ethics was a major player in the debate of the 1990s and published a detailed statement on priority setting in 1996. With the new century the debate about priority setting seemed to have come to an end, but in 2006 the Technology Council and the Danish Regions resumed the discussion. In 2009 the Medical Association called for a broad debate in order to achieve equity among all patients. The long lasting Danish debate on priority setting has entailed only very little practical consequences on health care. The main problems seem to have been the missing effort to bundle the various local initiatives on a national level and the lack of powerful players to put results of the discussion into practice. Nevertheless, today the attitude towards priority setting is predominantly positive and even politicians talk freely about it. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  11. Priority setting in hospitals: fairness, inclusiveness, and the problem of institutional power differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Jennifer L; Martin, Douglas K; Singer, Peter A

    2005-12-01

    Priority setting tends to take place in health care settings that are hierarchical and politically complex. Fair processes, as defined for example by Daniels' and Sabin's accountability for reasonableness framework, have been identified as essential for securing socially acceptable priority setting decisions. However, power differences in the decision-making context can pose a serious impediment to fair priority setting in health care organizations. Comparatively little attention has been paid to examining the institutional conditions within which priority setting decisions are made. We review a case study of priority setting in hospital operational planning in Toronto, which had been designed by executive leaders to be broadly inclusive of senior and middle-level clinical and administrative leaders. We report three power differences that arose as limiting factors on the inclusiveness of the priority setting process. We argue that these findings have significant theoretical implications for the accountability for reasonableness framework and propose a fifth condition, the "empowerment condition", which states that there should be efforts to minimise power differences in the decision-making context and to optimise effective opportunities for participation in priority setting.

  12. An equity lens can ensure an equity-oriented approach to agenda setting and priority setting of Cochrane Reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasser, Mona; Ueffing, Erin; Welch, Vivian; Tugwell, Peter

    2013-05-01

    This study aimed to develop and pilot an equity lens that could help researchers in developing a more equity-oriented approach toward priority setting and agenda setting in systematic reviews. We developed an equity lens to guide the development and evaluation of a prioritization process and evaluate its outcomes based on the information derived from a discussion workshop and a comparison with the existing literature on the topic. We piloted the process section of the equity lens across the 13 structured priority-setting approaches in the Cochrane Collaboration. We devised an equity lens with two checklists: one to guide the process of priority setting (nine questions) and the other to evaluate the outcomes of priority setting (eight questions). Of the nine questions, seven questions were partially addressed by at least one of the prioritization projects. Two questions were not considered in any of them. The prioritization projects did not report sufficient outcome data, thus we could not explore the eight question on evaluating outcomes. Currently, there are few strategies in the Cochrane Collaboration that explicitly address the research priorities of individuals from different sociodemographic groups. The equity lens for priority setting and agenda setting can help project teams to develop a more equity-oriented approach to set a research agenda and/or prioritize research topics. However, further studies are needed to evaluate its impact on the prioritization process. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Understanding the effects of different social data on selecting priority conservation areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Azadeh; Tulloch, Ayesha I T; Brown, Greg; Hockings, Marc

    2017-12-01

    Conservation success is contingent on assessing social and environmental factors so that cost-effective implementation of strategies and actions can be placed in a broad social-ecological context. Until now, the focus has been on how to include spatially explicit social data in conservation planning, whereas the value of different kinds of social data has received limited attention. In a regional systematic conservation planning case study in Australia, we examined the spatial concurrence of a range of spatially explicit social values and land-use preferences collected using a public participation geographic information system and biological data. We used Zonation to integrate the social data with the biological data in a series of spatial-prioritization scenarios to determine the effect of the different types of social data on spatial prioritization compared with biological data alone. The type of social data (i.e., conservation opportunities or constraints) significantly affected spatial prioritization outcomes. The integration of social values and land-use preferences under different scenarios was highly variable and generated spatial prioritizations 1.2-51% different from those based on biological data alone. The inclusion of conservation-compatible values and preferences added relatively few new areas to conservation priorities, whereas including noncompatible economic values and development preferences as costs significantly changed conservation priority areas (48.2% and 47.4%, respectively). Based on our results, a multifaceted conservation prioritization approach that combines spatially explicit social data with biological data can help conservation planners identify the type of social data to collect for more effective and feasible conservation actions. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Managing multiple projects: a literature review of setting priorities and a pilot survey of healthcare researchers in an academic setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Robert Borden; Campbell, Kaitryn; O'Reilly, Daria; Tarride, Jean-Eric; Bowen, Jim; Blackhouse, Gord; Goerre, Ron

    2007-05-16

    To summarize and then assess with a pilot study the use of published best practice recommendations for priority setting during management of multiple healthcare research projects, in a resource-constrained environment. Medical, economic, business, and operations literature was reviewed to summarize and develop a survey to assess best practices for managing multiple projects. Fifteen senior healthcare research project managers, directors, and faculty at an urban academic institution were surveyed to determine most commonly used priority rules, ranking of rules, characteristics of their projects, and availability of resources. Survey results were compared to literature recommendations to determine use of best practices. Seven priority-setting rules were identified for managing multiple projects. Recommendations on assigning priorities by project characteristics are presented. In the pilot study, a large majority of survey respondents follow best practice recommendations identified in the research literature. However, priority rules such as Most Total Successors (MTS) and Resource Scheduling Method (RSM) were used "very often" by half of the respondents when better performing priority rules were available. Through experience, project managers learn to manage multiple projects under resource constraints. Best practice literature can assist project managers in priority setting by recommending the most appropriate priority given resource constraints and project characteristics. There is room for improvement in managing multiple projects.

  15. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strecker, Angela; Olden, Julian D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential trade-offs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity; contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species); and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities; however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates

  16. Priority setting in primary health care - dilemmas and opportunities: a focus group study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Swedish health care authorities use three key criteria to produce national guidelines for local priority setting: severity of the health condition, expected patient benefit, and cost-effectiveness of medical intervention. Priority setting in primary health care (PHC) has significant implications for health costs and outcomes in the health care system. Nevertheless, these guidelines have been implemented to a very limited degree in PHC. The objective of the study was to qualitatively assess how general practitioners (GPs) and nurses perceive the application of the three key priority-setting criteria. Methods Focus groups were held with GPs and nurses at primary health care centres, where the staff had a short period of experience in using the criteria for prioritising in their daily work. Results The staff found the three key priority-setting criteria (severity, patient benefit, and cost-effectiveness) to be valuable for priority setting in PHC. However, when the criteria were applied in PHC, three additional dimensions were identified: 1) viewpoint (medical or patient's), 2) timeframe (now or later), and 3) evidence level (group or individual). Conclusions The three key priority-setting criteria were useful. Considering the three additional dimensions might enhance implementation of national guidelines in PHC and is probably a prerequisite for the criteria to be useful in priority setting for individual patients. PMID:20863364

  17. Incorporating climate change into conservation planning: Identifying priority areas across a species’ range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard G Pearson

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical and practical approaches associated with conservation biogeography, including ecological niche modeling, have been applied to the difficult task of determining how to incorporate climate change into conservation prioritization methodologies. Most studies have focused on identifying species that are most at risk from climate change, but here we asked, which areas within a species’ range does climate change threaten most? We explored methods for incorporating climate change within a range-wide conservation planning framework, using a case study of jaguars (Panthera onca. We used ecological niche models to estimate exposure to climate change across the range of the jaguar and incorporated these estimates into habitat quality scores for re-prioritization of high-priority areas for jaguar conservation. Methods such as these are needed to guide prioritization of geographically-specific actions for conservation across a species’ range.

  18. Ethics and equity in research priority-setting: stakeholder engagement and the needs of disadvantaged groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaumik, Soumyadeep; Rana, Sangeeta; Karimkhani, Chante; Welch, Vivian; Armstrong, Rebecca; Pottie, Kevin; Dellavalle, Robert; Dhakal, Purushottam; Oliver, Sandy; Francis, Damian K; Nasser, Mona; Crowe, Sally; Aksut, Baran; Amico, Roberto D

    2015-01-01

    A transparent and evidence-based priority-setting process promotes the optimal use of resources to improve health outcomes. Decision-makers and funders have begun to increasingly engage representatives of patients and healthcare consumers to ensure that research becomes more relevant. However, disadvantaged groups and their needs may not be integrated into the priority-setting process since they do not have a "political voice" or are unable to organise into interest groups. Equitable priority-setting methods need to balance patient needs, values, experiences with population-level issues and issues related to the health system.

  19. Promoting community participation in priority setting in district health systems: experiences from Mbarali district, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kamuzora

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Community participation in priority setting in health systems has gained importance all over the world, particularly in resource-poor settings where governments have often failed to provide adequate public-sector services for their citizens. Incorporation of public views into priority setting is perceived as a means to restore trust, improve accountability, and secure cost-effective priorities within healthcare. However, few studies have reported empirical experiences of involving communities in priority setting in developing countries. The aim of this article is to provide the experience of implementing community participation and the challenges of promoting it in the context of resource-poor settings, weak organizations, and fragile democratic institutions. Design: Key informant interviews were conducted with the Council Health Management Team (CHMT, community representatives, namely women, youth, elderly, disabled, and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other stakeholders who participated in the preparation of the district annual budget and health plans. Additionally, minutes from the Action Research Team and planning and priority-setting meeting reports were analyzed. Results: A number of benefits were reported: better identification of community needs and priorities, increased knowledge of the community representatives about priority setting, increased transparency and accountability, promoted trust among health systems and communities, and perceived improved quality and accessibility of health services. However, lack of funds to support the work of the selected community representatives, limited time for deliberations, short notice for the meetings, and lack of feedback on the approved priorities constrained the performance of the community representatives. Furthermore, the findings show the importance of external facilitation and support in enabling health professionals and community representatives to arrive at effective

  20. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglass, Lucinda L; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J; Roxburgh, Stephen H; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments.

  1. Global priority conservation areas in the face of 21st century climate change.

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    Junsheng Li

    Full Text Available In an era when global biodiversity is increasingly impacted by rapidly changing climate, efforts to conserve global biodiversity may be compromised if we do not consider the uneven distribution of climate-induced threats. Here, via a novel application of an aggregate Regional Climate Change Index (RCCI that combines changes in mean annual temperature and precipitation with changes in their interannual variability, we assess multi-dimensional climate changes across the "Global 200" ecoregions - a set of priority ecoregions designed to "achieve the goal of saving a broad diversity of the Earth's ecosystems" - over the 21(st century. Using an ensemble of 62 climate scenarios, our analyses show that, between 1991-2010 and 2081-2100, 96% of the ecoregions considered will be likely (more than 66% probability to face moderate-to-pronounced climate changes, when compared to the magnitudes of change during the past five decades. Ecoregions at high northern latitudes are projected to experience most pronounced climate change, followed by those in the Mediterranean Basin, Amazon Basin, East Africa, and South Asia. Relatively modest RCCI signals are expected over ecoregions in Northwest South America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, yet with considerable uncertainties. Although not indicative of climate-change impacts per se, the RCCI-based assessment can help policy-makers gain a quantitative and comprehensive overview of the unevenly distributed climate risks across the G200 ecoregions. Whether due to significant climate change signals or large uncertainties, the ecoregions highlighted in the assessment deserve special attention in more detailed impact assessments to inform effective conservation strategies under future climate change.

  2. Global priority conservation areas in the face of 21st century climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junsheng; Lin, Xin; Chen, Anping; Peterson, Townsend; Ma, Keping; Bertzky, Monika; Ciais, Philippe; Kapos, Valerie; Peng, Changhui; Poulter, Benjamin

    2013-01-01

    In an era when global biodiversity is increasingly impacted by rapidly changing climate, efforts to conserve global biodiversity may be compromised if we do not consider the uneven distribution of climate-induced threats. Here, via a novel application of an aggregate Regional Climate Change Index (RCCI) that combines changes in mean annual temperature and precipitation with changes in their interannual variability, we assess multi-dimensional climate changes across the "Global 200" ecoregions - a set of priority ecoregions designed to "achieve the goal of saving a broad diversity of the Earth's ecosystems" - over the 21(st) century. Using an ensemble of 62 climate scenarios, our analyses show that, between 1991-2010 and 2081-2100, 96% of the ecoregions considered will be likely (more than 66% probability) to face moderate-to-pronounced climate changes, when compared to the magnitudes of change during the past five decades. Ecoregions at high northern latitudes are projected to experience most pronounced climate change, followed by those in the Mediterranean Basin, Amazon Basin, East Africa, and South Asia. Relatively modest RCCI signals are expected over ecoregions in Northwest South America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, yet with considerable uncertainties. Although not indicative of climate-change impacts per se, the RCCI-based assessment can help policy-makers gain a quantitative and comprehensive overview of the unevenly distributed climate risks across the G200 ecoregions. Whether due to significant climate change signals or large uncertainties, the ecoregions highlighted in the assessment deserve special attention in more detailed impact assessments to inform effective conservation strategies under future climate change.

  3. Health research priority setting in selected high income countries: a narrative review of methods used and recommendations for future practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Jamie; Sanson-Fisher, Rob; Walsh, Justin; Stewart, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Research priority setting aims to gain consensus about areas where research effort will have wide benefits to society. While general principles for setting health research priorities have been suggested, there has been no critical review of the different approaches used. This review aims to: (i) examine methods, models and frameworks used to set health research priorities; (ii) identify barriers and facilitators to priority setting processes; and (iii) determine the outcomes of priority setting processes in relation to their objectives and impact on policy and practice. Medline, Cochrane, and PsycINFO databases were searched for relevant peer-reviewed studies published from 1990 to March 2012. A review of grey literature was also conducted. Priority setting exercises that aimed to develop population health and health services research priorities conducted in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe and the UK were included. Two authors extracted data from identified studies. Eleven diverse priority setting exercises across a range of health areas were identified. Strategies including calls for submission, stakeholder surveys, questionnaires, interviews, workshops, focus groups, roundtables, the Nominal Group and Delphi technique were used to generate research priorities. Nine priority setting exercises used a core steering or advisory group to oversee and supervise the priority setting process. None of the models conducted a systematic assessment of the outcomes of the priority setting processes, or assessed the impact of the generated priorities on policy or practice. A number of barriers and facilitators to undertaking research priority setting were identified. The methods used to undertake research priority setting should be selected based upon the context of the priority setting process and time and resource constraints. Ideally, priority setting should be overseen by a multi-disciplinary advisory group, involve a broad representation of stakeholders

  4. Provincial mortality in South Africa, 2000- priority-setting for now and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Provincial mortality in South Africa, 2000- priority-setting for now and a benchmark for the future. Debbie Bradshaw, Nadine Nannan, Pam Groenewald, Jane Joubert, Ria Laubscher, Beatrice Nojilana, Rosana Norman, Desiree Pieterse, Michelle Schneider ...

  5. Identification of priority conservation areas and potential corridors for jaguars in the Caatinga biome, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Gonçalves Morato

    Full Text Available The jaguar, Panthera onca, is a top predator with the extant population found within the Brazilian Caatinga biome now known to be on the brink of extinction. Designing new conservation units and potential corridors are therefore crucial for the long-term survival of the species within the Caatinga biome. Thus, our aims were: 1 to recognize suitable areas for jaguar occurrence, 2 to delineate areas for jaguar conservation (PJCUs, 3 to design corridors among priority areas, and 4 to prioritize PJCUs. A total of 62 points records of jaguar occurrence and 10 potential predictors were analyzed in a GIS environment. A predictive distributional map was obtained using Species Distribution Modeling (SDM as performed by the Maximum Entropy (Maxent algorithm. Areas equal to or higher than the median suitability value of 0.595 were selected as of high suitability for jaguar occurrence and named as Priority Jaguar Conservation Units (PJCU. Ten PJCUs with sizes varying from 23.6 km2 to 4,311.0 km2 were identified. Afterwards, we combined the response curve, as generated by SDM, and expert opinions to create a permeability matrix and to identify least cost corridors and buffer zones between each PJCU pair. Connectivity corridors and buffer zone for jaguar movement included an area of 8.884,26 km2 and the total corridor length is about 160.94 km. Prioritizing criteria indicated the PJCU representing c.a. 68.61% of the total PJCU area (PJCU # 1 as of high priority for conservation and connectivity with others PJCUs (PJCUs # 4, 5 and 7 desirable for the long term survival of the species. In conclusion, by using the jaguar as a focal species and combining SDM and expert opinion we were able to create a valid framework for practical conservation actions at the Caatinga biome. The same approach could be used for the conservation of other carnivores.

  6. Identification of priority conservation areas and potential corridors for jaguars in the Caatinga biome, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morato, Ronaldo Gonçalves; Ferraz, Katia Maria Paschoaletto Micchi de Barros; de Paula, Rogério Cunha; de Campos, Cláudia Bueno

    2014-01-01

    The jaguar, Panthera onca, is a top predator with the extant population found within the Brazilian Caatinga biome now known to be on the brink of extinction. Designing new conservation units and potential corridors are therefore crucial for the long-term survival of the species within the Caatinga biome. Thus, our aims were: 1) to recognize suitable areas for jaguar occurrence, 2) to delineate areas for jaguar conservation (PJCUs), 3) to design corridors among priority areas, and 4) to prioritize PJCUs. A total of 62 points records of jaguar occurrence and 10 potential predictors were analyzed in a GIS environment. A predictive distributional map was obtained using Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) as performed by the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) algorithm. Areas equal to or higher than the median suitability value of 0.595 were selected as of high suitability for jaguar occurrence and named as Priority Jaguar Conservation Units (PJCU). Ten PJCUs with sizes varying from 23.6 km2 to 4,311.0 km2 were identified. Afterwards, we combined the response curve, as generated by SDM, and expert opinions to create a permeability matrix and to identify least cost corridors and buffer zones between each PJCU pair. Connectivity corridors and buffer zone for jaguar movement included an area of 8.884,26 km2 and the total corridor length is about 160.94 km. Prioritizing criteria indicated the PJCU representing c.a. 68.61% of the total PJCU area (PJCU # 1) as of high priority for conservation and connectivity with others PJCUs (PJCUs # 4, 5 and 7) desirable for the long term survival of the species. In conclusion, by using the jaguar as a focal species and combining SDM and expert opinion we were able to create a valid framework for practical conservation actions at the Caatinga biome. The same approach could be used for the conservation of other carnivores.

  7. Setting priorities for land management to mitigate climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böttcher, Hannes; Freibauer, Annette; Scholz, Yvonne; Gitz, Vincent; Ciais, Philippe; Mund, Martina; Wutzler, Thomas; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef

    2012-03-16

    No consensus has been reached how to measure the effectiveness of climate change mitigation in the land-use sector and how to prioritize land use accordingly. We used the long-term cumulative and average sectorial C stocks in biomass, soil and products, C stock changes, the substitution of fossil energy and of energy-intensive products, and net present value (NPV) as evaluation criteria for the effectiveness of a hectare of productive land to mitigate climate change and produce economic returns. We evaluated land management options using real-life data of Thuringia, a region representative for central-western European conditions, and input from life cycle assessment, with a carbon-tracking model. We focused on solid biomass use for energy production. In forestry, the traditional timber production was most economically viable and most climate-friendly due to an assumed recycling rate of 80% of wood products for bioenergy. Intensification towards "pure bioenergy production" would reduce the average sectorial C stocks and the C substitution and would turn NPV negative. In the forest conservation (non-use) option, the sectorial C stocks increased by 52% against timber production, which was not compensated by foregone wood products and C substitution. Among the cropland options wheat for food with straw use for energy, whole cereals for energy, and short rotation coppice for bioenergy the latter was most climate-friendly. However, specific subsidies or incentives for perennials would be needed to favour this option. When using the harvested products as materials prior to energy use there is no climate argument to support intensification by switching from sawn-wood timber production towards energy-wood in forestry systems. A legal framework would be needed to ensure that harvested products are first used for raw materials prior to energy use. Only an effective recycling of biomaterials frees land for long-term sustained C sequestration by conservation. Reuse cascades

  8. Strengthening fairness, transparency and accountability in health care priority setting at district level in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Maluka

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Health care systems are faced with the challenge of resource scarcity and have insufficient resources to respond to all health problems and target groups simultaneously. Hence, priority setting is an inevitable aspect of every health system. However, priority setting is complex and difficult because the process is frequently influenced by political, institutional and managerial factors that are not considered by conventional priority-setting tools. In a five-year EU-supported project, which started in 2006, ways of strengthening fairness and accountability in priority setting in district health management were studied. This review is based on a PhD thesis that aimed to analyse health care organisation and management systems, and explore the potential and challenges of implementing Accountability for Reasonableness (A4R approach to priority setting in Tanzania. A qualitative case study in Mbarali district formed the basis of exploring the sociopolitical and institutional contexts within which health care decision making takes place. The study also explores how the A4R intervention was shaped, enabled and constrained by the contexts. Key informant interviews were conducted. Relevant documents were also gathered and group priority-setting processes in the district were observed. The study revealed that, despite the obvious national rhetoric on decentralisation, actual practice in the district involved little community participation. The assumption that devolution to local government promotes transparency, accountability and community participation, is far from reality. The study also found that while the A4R approach was perceived to be helpful in strengthening transparency, accountability and stakeholder engagement, integrating the innovation into the district health system was challenging. This study underscores the idea that greater involvement and accountability among local actors may increase the legitimacy and fairness of priority-setting

  9. Strengthening fairness, transparency and accountability in health care priority setting at district level in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maluka, Stephen Oswald

    2011-01-01

    Health care systems are faced with the challenge of resource scarcity and have insufficient resources to respond to all health problems and target groups simultaneously. Hence, priority setting is an inevitable aspect of every health system. However, priority setting is complex and difficult because the process is frequently influenced by political, institutional and managerial factors that are not considered by conventional priority-setting tools. In a five-year EU-supported project, which started in 2006, ways of strengthening fairness and accountability in priority setting in district health management were studied. This review is based on a PhD thesis that aimed to analyse health care organisation and management systems, and explore the potential and challenges of implementing Accountability for Reasonableness (A4R) approach to priority setting in Tanzania. A qualitative case study in Mbarali district formed the basis of exploring the sociopolitical and institutional contexts within which health care decision making takes place. The study also explores how the A4R intervention was shaped, enabled and constrained by the contexts. Key informant interviews were conducted. Relevant documents were also gathered and group priority-setting processes in the district were observed. The study revealed that, despite the obvious national rhetoric on decentralisation, actual practice in the district involved little community participation. The assumption that devolution to local government promotes transparency, accountability and community participation, is far from reality. The study also found that while the A4R approach was perceived to be helpful in strengthening transparency, accountability and stakeholder engagement, integrating the innovation into the district health system was challenging. This study underscores the idea that greater involvement and accountability among local actors may increase the legitimacy and fairness of priority-setting decisions. A broader

  10. What do District Health Planners in Tanzania think about improving priority setting using 'Accountability for Reasonableness'?

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    Olsen Oystein

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Priority setting in every health system is complex and difficult. In less wealthy countries the dominant approach to priority setting has been Burden of Disease (BOD and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA, which is helpful, but insufficient because it focuses on a narrow range of values – need and efficiency – and not the full range of relevant values, including legitimacy and fairness. 'Accountability for reasonableness' is a conceptual framework for legitimate and fair priority setting and is empirically based and ethically justified. It connects priority setting to broader, more fundamental, democratic deliberative processes that have an impact on social justice and equity. Can 'accountability for reasonableness' be helpful for improving priority setting in less wealthy countries? Methods In 2005, Tanzanian scholars from the Primary Health Care Institute (PHCI conducted 6 capacity building workshops with senior health staff, district planners and managers, and representatives of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health to discussion improving priority setting in Tanzania using 'accountability for reasonableness'. The purpose of this paper is to describe this initiative and the participants' views about the approach. Results The approach to improving priority setting using 'accountability for reasonableness' was viewed by district decision makers with enthusiastic favour because it was the first framework that directly addressed their priority setting concerns. High level Ministry of Health participants were also very supportive of the approach. Conclusion Both Tanzanian district and governmental health planners viewed the 'accountability for reasonableness' approach with enthusiastic favour because it was the first framework that directly addressed their concerns.

  11. A new proposal for priority setting in Norway: Open and fair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottersen, Trygve; Førde, Reidun; Kakad, Meetali; Kjellevold, Alice; Melberg, Hans Olav; Moen, Atle; Ringard, Ånen; Norheim, Ole Frithjof

    2016-03-01

    Health systems worldwide struggle to meet increasing demands for health care, and Norway is no exception. This paper discusses the new, comprehensive framework for priority setting recently laid out by the third Norwegian Committee on Priority Setting in the Health Sector. The framework posits that priority setting should pursue the goal of "the greatest number of healthy life years for all, fairly distributed" and centres on three criteria: 1) The health-benefit criterion: The priority of an intervention increases with the expected health benefit (and other relevant welfare benefits) from the intervention; 2) The resource criterion: The priority of an intervention increases, the less resources it requires; and 3) The health-loss criterion: The priority of an intervention increases with the expected lifetime health loss of the beneficiary in the absence of such an intervention. Cost-effectiveness plays a central role in this framework, but only alongside the health-loss criterion which incorporates a special concern for the worse off and promotes fairness. In line with this, cost-effectiveness thresholds are differentiated according to health loss. Concrete implementation tools and open processes with user participation complement the three criteria. Informed by the proposal, the Ministry of Health and Care Services is preparing a report to the Parliament, with the aim of reaching political consensus on a new priority-setting framework for Norway. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Setting priorities for land management to mitigate climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Böttcher Hannes

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background No consensus has been reached how to measure the effectiveness of climate change mitigation in the land-use sector and how to prioritize land use accordingly. We used the long-term cumulative and average sectorial C stocks in biomass, soil and products, C stock changes, the substitution of fossil energy and of energy-intensive products, and net present value (NPV as evaluation criteria for the effectiveness of a hectare of productive land to mitigate climate change and produce economic returns. We evaluated land management options using real-life data of Thuringia, a region representative for central-western European conditions, and input from life cycle assessment, with a carbon-tracking model. We focused on solid biomass use for energy production. Results In forestry, the traditional timber production was most economically viable and most climate-friendly due to an assumed recycling rate of 80% of wood products for bioenergy. Intensification towards "pure bioenergy production" would reduce the average sectorial C stocks and the C substitution and would turn NPV negative. In the forest conservation (non-use option, the sectorial C stocks increased by 52% against timber production, which was not compensated by foregone wood products and C substitution. Among the cropland options wheat for food with straw use for energy, whole cereals for energy, and short rotation coppice for bioenergy the latter was most climate-friendly. However, specific subsidies or incentives for perennials would be needed to favour this option. Conclusions When using the harvested products as materials prior to energy use there is no climate argument to support intensification by switching from sawn-wood timber production towards energy-wood in forestry systems. A legal framework would be needed to ensure that harvested products are first used for raw materials prior to energy use. Only an effective recycling of biomaterials frees land for long

  13. Setting research priorities to improve the health of children and young people with neurodisability: a British Academy of Childhood Disability-James Lind Alliance Research Priority Setting Partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Christopher; Simkiss, Doug; Busk, Mary; Morris, Maureen; Allard, Amanda; Denness, Jacob; Janssens, Astrid; Stimson, Anna; Coghill, Joanna; Robinson, Kelly; Fenton, Mark; Cowan, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To engage young people, parent carers and clinicians in a systematic process to identify and prioritise research questions regarding ways to improve the health and well-being of children and young people with neurodisability. Design British Academy of Childhood Disability (BACD)-James Lind Alliance research priority setting partnership bringing together patients, carers and clinicians as equal stakeholders. Setting UK health service and community. Methods The BACD Strategic Research Group formed the partnership. A Steering Group was established; charity and professional partner organisations were recruited. Suggestions were gathered in an open survey and from research recommendations for statutory guidance. Items were aggregated to formulate indicative research questions and verified as uncertainties from research evidence. An interim survey was used to rank the questions to shortlist topics. A mixed group of stakeholders discussed the top 25 questions at the final priority setting workshop agreeing a final rank order and the top 10 research priorities. Participants Partner organisations were 13 charities and 8 professional societies. 369 people submitted suggestions (40% non-clinicians). 76 people participated in the interim prioritisation (26 parents, 1 young person, 10 charity representatives, 39 clinicians); 22 took part in the final workshop (3 young people, 7 parents, 3 charity representatives, 9 professionals). Results The top three research priorities related to (1) establishing the optimal frequency and intensity (dose) for mainstream therapies, (2) means for selecting and encouraging use of communication strategies and (3) ways to improve children's attitudes towards disability. The top 10 included evaluating interventions to promote mobility, self-efficacy, mental health, continence, physical fitness, educational inclusion and reduce impacts of sleep disturbance. Conclusions The methodology provided a systematic and transparent process to

  14. Health research priority setting in Iran: Introduction to a bottom up approach

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    Parviz Owlia

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Priority setting is one of the major issues in the health research system and no health system can afford to pay for every research they want to do, particularly in developing countries, so we decided to set the national main areas of the health research priorities. Methods: In this study, according to Essential National Health Research (ENHR strategy and with cooperation of all the Iranian universities of medical sciences and other stakeholders, the national health research priorities were extracted. Results: The number of research priorities collected from the universities of medical sciences was 6723. Seventeen percent of the research priorities were related to basic science, 78 percent applied science, and 5 percent were related to developmental type. According to epidemiological classification, 50% of the research priorities were in descriptive form. In this process, 9 main extracted areas consist of communicable diseases, non-communicable disease, Health System Research, pharmaceutical sciences and Industry, basic science, traditional medicine and herbal medicine, nutrition, environmental health, and dentistry. And then for each area, five main projects were defined. Conclusions: In the Health Research System, the participatory priority setting is the main function based on needs assessment.

  15. Adapting the nominal group technique for priority setting of evidence-practice gaps in implementation science

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    Nicole M. Rankin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are a variety of methods for priority setting in health research but few studies have addressed how to prioritise the gaps that exist between research evidence and clinical practice. This study aimed to build a suite of robust, evidence based techniques and tools for use in implementation science projects. We applied the priority setting methodology in lung cancer care as an example. Methods We reviewed existing techniques and tools for priority setting in health research and the criteria used to prioritise items. An expert interdisciplinary consensus group comprised of health service, cancer and nursing researchers iteratively reviewed and adapted the techniques and tools. We tested these on evidence-practice gaps identified for lung cancer. The tools were pilot tested and finalised. A brief process evaluation was conducted. Results We based our priority setting on the Nominal Group Technique (NGT. The adapted tools included a matrix for individuals to privately rate priority gaps; the same matrix was used for group discussion and reaching consensus. An investment exercise was used to validate allocation of priorities across the gaps. We describe the NGT process, criteria and tool adaptations and process evaluation results. Conclusions The modified NGT process, criteria and tools contribute to building a suite of methods that can be applied in prioritising evidence-practice gaps. These methods could be adapted for other health settings within the broader context of implementation science projects.

  16. Priority setting in Indigenous health: assessing priority setting process and criteria that should guide the health system to improve Indigenous Australian health

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The health of Indigenous Australians is worse than that of other Australians. Most of the determinants of health are preventable and the poor health outcomes are inequitable. The Australian Government recently pledged to close that health gap. One possible way is to improve the priority setting process to ensure transparency and the use of evidence such as epidemiology, equity and economic evaluation. The purpose of this research was to elicit the perceptions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous decision-makers on several issues related to priority setting in Indigenous-specific health care services. Specifically, we aimed to: 1. identify the criteria used to set priorities in Indigenous-specific health care services; 2. determine the level of uptake of economic evaluation evidence by decision-makers and how to improve its uptake; and 3. identify how the priority setting process can be improved from the perspective of decision-makers. Methods We used a paper survey instrument, adapted from Mitton and colleagues’ work, and a face-to-face interview approach to elicit decision-makers’ perceptions in Indigenous-specific health care in Victoria, Australia. We used mixed methods to analyse data from the survey. Responses were summarised using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Results were reported as numbers and percentages. Results The size of the health burden; sustainability and acceptability of interventions; historical trends/patterns; and efficiency are key criteria for making choices in Indigenous health in Victoria. There is a need for an explicit priority setting approach, which is systematic, and is able to use available data/evidence, such as economic evaluation evidence. The involvement of Indigenous Australians in the process would potentially make the process acceptable. Conclusions An economic approach to priority setting is a potentially acceptable and useful tool for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). It has

  17. Setting research priorities across science, technology, and health sectors: the Tanzania experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Haan, Sylvia; Kingamkono, Rose; Tindamanyire, Neema; Mshinda, Hassan; Makandi, Harun; Tibazarwa, Flora; Kubata, Bruno; Montorzi, Gabriela

    2015-03-12

    Identifying research priorities is key to innovation and economic growth, since it informs decision makers on effectively targeting issues that have the greatest potential public benefit. As such, the process of setting research priorities is of pivotal importance for favouring the science, technology, and innovation (STI)-driven development of low- and middle-income countries. We report herein on a major cross-sectoral nationwide research priority setting effort recently carried out in Tanzania by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) in partnership with the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) and the NEPAD Agency. The first of its type in the country, the process brought together stakeholders from 42 sub-sectors in science, technology, and health. The cross-sectoral research priority setting process consisted of a 'training-of-trainers' workshop, a demonstration workshop, and seven priority setting workshops delivered to representatives from public and private research and development institutions, universities, non-governmental organizations, and other agencies affiliated to COSTECH. The workshops resulted in ranked listings of research priorities for each sub-sector, totalling approximately 800 priorities. This large number was significantly reduced by an expert panel in order to build a manageable instrument aligned to national development plans that could be used to guide research investments. The Tanzania experience is an instructive example of the challenges and issues to be faced in when attempting to identify research priority areas and setting an STI research agenda in low- and middle-income countries. As countries increase their investment in research, it is essential to increase investment in research management and governance as well, a key and much needed capacity for countries to make proper use of research investments.

  18. Setting priorities in primary health care - on whose conditions? A questionnaire study

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    Arvidsson Eva

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In Sweden three key criteria are used for priority setting: severity of the health condition; patient benefit; and cost-effectiveness. They are derived from the ethical principles established by the Swedish parliament 1997 but have been used only to a limited extent in primary care. The aim of this study was to describe and analyse: 1 GPs', nurses', and patients' prioritising in routine primary care 2 The association between the three key priority setting criteria and the overall priority assigned by the GPs and nurses to individual patients. Methods Paired questionnaires were distributed to all patients and the GPs or nurses they had contact with during a 2-week period at four health centres in Sweden. The staff registered the health conditions or health problem, and the planned intervention. Then they estimated the severity of the health condition, the expected patient benefit, and the cost-effectiveness of the planned intervention. Both the staff and the patients reported their overall prioritisation of the patient. In total, 1851 paired questionnaires were collected. Results Compared to the medical staff, the patients assigned relatively higher priority to acute/minor conditions than to preventive check-ups for chronic conditions. Severity of the health condition was the priority setting criterion that had the strongest association with the overall priority for the staff as a whole, but for the GPs it was cost-effectiveness. Conclusions The challenge for primary care providers is to balance the patients' demands with medical needs and cost-effectiveness. Transparent priority setting in primary care might contribute to a greater consensus between GPs and nurses on how to use the key priority setting criteria.

  19. Reconciling Mining with the Conservation of Cave Biodiversity: A Quantitative Baseline to Help Establish Conservation Priorities.

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    Rodolfo Jaffé

    Full Text Available Caves pose significant challenges for mining projects, since they harbor many endemic and threatened species, and must therefore be protected. Recent discussions between academia, environmental protection agencies, and industry partners, have highlighted problems with the current Brazilian legislation for the protection of caves. While the licensing process is long, complex and cumbersome, the criteria used to assign caves into conservation relevance categories are often subjective, with relevance being mainly determined by the presence of obligate cave dwellers (troglobites and their presumed rarity. However, the rarity of these troglobitic species is questionable, as most remain unidentified to the species level and their habitats and distribution ranges are poorly known. Using data from 844 iron caves retrieved from different speleology reports for the Carajás region (South-Eastern Amazon, Brazil, one of the world's largest deposits of high-grade iron ore, we assess the influence of different cave characteristics on four biodiversity proxies (species richness, presence of troglobites, presence of rare troglobites, and presence of resident bat populations. We then examine how the current relevance classification scheme ranks caves with different biodiversity indicators. Large caves were found to be important reservoirs of biodiversity, so they should be prioritized in conservation programs. Our results also reveal spatial autocorrelation in all the biodiversity proxies assessed, indicating that iron caves should be treated as components of a cave network immersed in the karst landscape. Finally, we show that by prioritizing the conservation of rare troglobites, the current relevance classification scheme is undermining overall cave biodiversity and leaving ecologically important caves unprotected. We argue that conservation efforts should target subterranean habitats as a whole and propose an alternative relevance ranking scheme, which could

  20. Reconciling Mining with the Conservation of Cave Biodiversity: A Quantitative Baseline to Help Establish Conservation Priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Prous, Xavier; Zampaulo, Robson; Giannini, Tereza C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Maurity, Clóvis; Oliveira, Guilherme; Brandi, Iuri V; Siqueira, José O

    2016-01-01

    Caves pose significant challenges for mining projects, since they harbor many endemic and threatened species, and must therefore be protected. Recent discussions between academia, environmental protection agencies, and industry partners, have highlighted problems with the current Brazilian legislation for the protection of caves. While the licensing process is long, complex and cumbersome, the criteria used to assign caves into conservation relevance categories are often subjective, with relevance being mainly determined by the presence of obligate cave dwellers (troglobites) and their presumed rarity. However, the rarity of these troglobitic species is questionable, as most remain unidentified to the species level and their habitats and distribution ranges are poorly known. Using data from 844 iron caves retrieved from different speleology reports for the Carajás region (South-Eastern Amazon, Brazil), one of the world's largest deposits of high-grade iron ore, we assess the influence of different cave characteristics on four biodiversity proxies (species richness, presence of troglobites, presence of rare troglobites, and presence of resident bat populations). We then examine how the current relevance classification scheme ranks caves with different biodiversity indicators. Large caves were found to be important reservoirs of biodiversity, so they should be prioritized in conservation programs. Our results also reveal spatial autocorrelation in all the biodiversity proxies assessed, indicating that iron caves should be treated as components of a cave network immersed in the karst landscape. Finally, we show that by prioritizing the conservation of rare troglobites, the current relevance classification scheme is undermining overall cave biodiversity and leaving ecologically important caves unprotected. We argue that conservation efforts should target subterranean habitats as a whole and propose an alternative relevance ranking scheme, which could help simplify the

  1. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

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    Lucinda L Douglass

    Full Text Available Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments.

  2. The crowded sea: incorporating multiple marine activities in conservation plans can significantly alter spatial priorities.

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    Tessa Mazor

    Full Text Available Successful implementation of marine conservation plans is largely inhibited by inadequate consideration of the broader social and economic context within which conservation operates. Marine waters and their biodiversity are shared by a host of stakeholders, such as commercial fishers, recreational users and offshore developers. Hence, to improve implementation success of conservation plans, we must incorporate other marine activities while explicitly examining trade-offs that may be required. In this study, we test how the inclusion of multiple marine activities can shape conservation plans. We used the entire Mediterranean territorial waters of Israel as a case study to compare four planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity, where additional zones, threats and activities were added (e.g., commercial fisheries, hydrocarbon exploration interests, aquaculture, and shipping lanes. We applied the marine zoning decision support tool Marxan to each planning scenario and tested a the ability of each scenario to reach biodiversity targets, b the change in opportunity cost and c the alteration of spatial conservation priorities. We found that by including increasing numbers of marine activities and zones in the planning process, greater compromises are required to reach conservation objectives. Complex plans with more activities incurred greater opportunity cost and did not reach biodiversity targets as easily as simplified plans with less marine activities. We discovered that including hydrocarbon data in the planning process significantly alters spatial priorities. For the territorial waters of Israel we found that in order to protect at least 10% of the range of 166 marine biodiversity features there would be a loss of ∼15% of annual commercial fishery revenue and ∼5% of prospective hydrocarbon revenue. This case study follows an illustrated framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and

  3. Setting priorities in global child health research investments: assessment of principles and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudan, Igor; Gibson, Jennifer; Kapiriri, Lydia; Lansang, Mary Ann; Hyder, Adnan A; Lawn, Joy; Darmstadt, Gary L; Cousens, Simon; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A; Brown, Kenneth H; Hess, Sonja Y; Black, Maureen; Gardner, Julie Meeks; Webster, Jayne; Carneiro, Ilona; Chandramohan, Daniel; Kosek, Margaret; Lanata, Claudio F; Tomlinson, Mark; Chopra, Mickey; Ameratunga, Shanthi; Campbell, Harry; El Arifeen, Shams; Black, Robert E

    2007-10-01

    This article reviews theoretical and practical approaches for setting priorities in global child health research investments. It also provides an overview of previous attempts to develop appropriate tools and methodologies to define priorities in health research investments. A brief review of the most important theoretical concepts that should govern priority setting processes is undertaken, showing how different perspectives, such as medical, economical, legal, ethical, social, political, rational, philosophical, stakeholder driven, and others will necessarily conflict each other in determining priorities. We specially address present research agenda in global child health today and how it relates to United Nation's (UN) Millennium Development Goal 4, which is to reduce child mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. The outcomes of these former approaches are evaluated and their benefits and shortcomings presented. The case for a new methodology for setting priorities in health research investments is presented, as proposed by Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative, and a need for its implementation in global child health is outlined. A transdisciplinary approach is needed to address all the perspectives from which investments into health research can be seen as priorities. This prioritization requires a process that is transparent, systematic, and that would take into account many perspectives and build on advantages of previous approaches.

  4. SARS and hospital priority setting: a qualitative case study and evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upshur Ross EG

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Priority setting is one of the most difficult issues facing hospitals because of funding restrictions and changing patient need. A deadly communicable disease outbreak, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS in Toronto in 2003, amplifies the difficulties of hospital priority setting. The purpose of this study is to describe and evaluate priority setting in a hospital in response to SARS using the ethical framework 'accountability for reasonableness'. Methods This study was conducted at a large tertiary hospital in Toronto, Canada. There were two data sources: 1 over 200 key documents (e.g. emails, bulletins, and 2 35 interviews with key informants. Analysis used a modified thematic technique in three phases: open coding, axial coding, and evaluation. Results Participants described the types of priority setting decisions, the decision making process and the reasoning used. Although the hospital leadership made an effort to meet the conditions of 'accountability for reasonableness', they acknowledged that the decision making was not ideal. We described good practices and opportunities for improvement. Conclusions 'Accountability for reasonableness' is a framework that can be used to guide fair priority setting in health care organizations, such as hospitals. In the midst of a crisis such as SARS where guidance is incomplete, consequences uncertain, and information constantly changing, where hour-by-hour decisions involve life and death, fairness is more important rather than less.

  5. Determining conservation priority areas for Palearctic passerine migrant birds in sub-Saharan Africa

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    Bruno A. Walther

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Migratory bird species breeding in the Palearctic and overwintering in sub-Saharan Africa face multiple conservation challenges. As a result, many of these species have declined in recent decades, some dramatically. We therefore used the best available database for the distribution of 68 passerine migrants in sub-Saharan Africa to determine priority regions for their conservation. After modeling each species' distribution using BIOMOD software, we entered the resulting species distributions at a 1° à - 1° grid resolution into MARXAN software. We then used several different selection procedures that varied the boundary length modifier, species penalty factor, and the inclusion of grid cells with high human footprint and with protected areas. While results differed between selection procedures, four main regions were regularly selected: (1 one centered on southern Mali; (2 one including Eritrea, central Sudan, and northern Ethiopia; (3 one encompassing southwestern Kenya and much of Tanzania and Uganda; and (4 one including much of Zimbabwe and southwestern Zambia. We recommend that these four regions become priority regions for research and conservation efforts for the bird species considered in this study.

  6. Taxonomic research priorities for the conservation of the South African flora

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    Lize von Staden

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Taxonomic revisions, monographs and floras are the most important, and often the only source of data for assessing the extinction risk of plants, with recent revisions contributing to more accurate assessments. The recently completed Red List of South African plants involved an overview of the taxonomic literature pertaining to the South African flora, providing an opportunity to identify critical gaps in taxonomic coverage. In this study we identified taxonomic research priorities for effective conservation of South African plants. Priorities were identified at genus level, according to time since last revision, level of endemism, collecting effort, proportion of taxa included in revisions, and specimen identification confidence. Although the results indicate that 62% of the flora has been recently revised, revisionary taxonomic output has declined drastically, particularly in the past 10 years. This decline is a result of a decrease in revisionary productivity per taxonomist and not a result of a decline in the number of working taxonomists. The family Aizoaceae is the top priority for taxonomic research with 55% of taxa in need of revision, followed by Hyacinthaceae with 34% of taxa not yet revised. Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rutaceae, Malvaceae, Asteraceae and Acanthaceae are also priorities with over 30% of taxa last revised before 1970. We recommend the reinstatement of the Flora of Southern Africa project in an online format in order to centralise South Africa's existing taxonomic information and reinvigorate revisionary taxonomic study. This project will allow South Africa to fulfil its commitments to the Convention on Biodiversity by achieving Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

  7. Opuntia in Mexico: identifying priority areas for conserving biodiversity in a multi-use landscape.

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    Patricia Illoldi-Rangel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: México is one of the world's centers of species diversity (richness for Opuntia cacti. Yet, in spite of their economic and ecological importance, Opuntia species remain poorly studied and protected in México. Many of the species are sparsely but widely distributed across the landscape and are subject to a variety of human uses, so devising implementable conservation plans for them presents formidable difficulties. Multi-criteria analysis can be used to design a spatially coherent conservation area network while permitting sustainable human usage. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Species distribution models were created for 60 Opuntia species using MaxEnt. Targets of representation within conservation area networks were assigned at 100% for the geographically rarest species and 10% for the most common ones. Three different conservation plans were developed to represent the species within these networks using total area, shape, and connectivity as relevant criteria. Multi-criteria analysis and a metaheuristic adaptive tabu search algorithm were used to search for optimal solutions. The plans were built on the existing protected areas of México and prioritized additional areas for management for the persistence of Opuntia species. All plans required around one-third of México's total area to be prioritized for attention for Opuntia conservation, underscoring the implausibility of Opuntia conservation through traditional land reservation. Tabu search turned out to be both computationally tractable and easily implementable for search problems of this kind. CONCLUSIONS: Opuntia conservation in México require the management of large areas of land for multiple uses. The multi-criteria analyses identified priority areas and organized them in large contiguous blocks that can be effectively managed. A high level of connectivity was established among the prioritized areas resulting in the enhancement of possible modes of plant dispersal as well as

  8. Priority setting at the micro-, meso- and macro-levels in Canada, Norway and Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapiriri, Lydia; Norheim, Ole Frithjof; Martin, Douglas K

    2007-06-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to describe the process of healthcare priority setting in Ontario-Canada, Norway and Uganda at the three levels of decision-making; (2) to evaluate the description using the framework for fair priority setting, accountability for reasonableness; so as to identify lessons of good practices. We carried out case studies involving key informant interviews, with 184 health practitioners and health planners from the macro-level, meso-level and micro-level from Canada-Ontario, Norway and Uganda (selected by virtue of their varying experiences in priority setting). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using a modified thematic approach. The descriptions were evaluated against the four conditions of "accountability for reasonableness", relevance, publicity, revisions and enforcement. Areas of adherence to these conditions were identified as lessons of good practices; areas of non-adherence were identified as opportunities for improvement. (i) at the macro-level, in all three countries, cabinet makes most of the macro-level resource allocation decisions and they are influenced by politics, public pressure, and advocacy. Decisions within the ministries of health are based on objective formulae and evidence. International priorities influenced decisions in Uganda. Some priority-setting reasons are publicized through circulars, printed documents and the Internet in Canada and Norway. At the meso-level, hospital priority-setting decisions were made by the hospital managers and were based on national priorities, guidelines, and evidence. Hospital departments that handle emergencies, such as surgery, were prioritized. Some of the reasons are available on the hospital intranet or presented at meetings. Micro-level practitioners considered medical and social worth criteria. These reasons are not publicized. Many practitioners lacked knowledge of the macro- and meso-level priority-setting processes. (ii) Evaluation

  9. Setting health research priorities using the CHNRI method: III. Involving stakeholders

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    Sachiyo Yoshida

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Setting health research priorities is a complex and value–driven process. The introduction of the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI method has made the process of setting research priorities more transparent and inclusive, but much of the process remains in the hands of funders and researchers, as described in the previous two papers in this series. However, the value systems of numerous other important stakeholders, particularly those on the receiving end of health research products, are very rarely addressed in any process of priority setting. Inclusion of a larger and more diverse group of stakeholders in the process would result in a better reflection of the system of values of the broader community, resulting in recommendations that are more legitimate and acceptable.

  10. Priority setting for horizon scanning of new health technologies in Denmark:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Douw, Karla; Vondeling, Hindrik; Oortwijn, Wija

    2006-01-01

     impact on health policy; such as the educational needs and organisational changes associated with the new technology. The proposed changes are regarded as an intermediate step in the process of producing a fully adapted instrument that can serve as a formal support for priority setting of new health technologies......In the context of the establishment of a Danish Horizon Scanning System (HSS) the views of health care stakeholders and health economists were solicitated by means of postal survey on the need for adaptation of a priority setting instrument for health technology assessment (HTA). The aim...... was to investigate if the instrument needed adaptation for priority setting in the context of a Danish HSS and, if so, how the instrument should be changed. A literature study served to enhance interpretation of the findings of the surveys and to formulate changes in the instrument that synthesize or bridge any...

  11. A simplified approach to the PROMETHEE method for priority setting in management of mine action projects

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    Marko Mladineo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In the last 20 years, priority setting in mine actions, i.e. in humanitarian demining, has become an increasingly important topic. Given that mine action projects require management and decision-making based on a multi -criteria approach, multi-criteria decision-making methods like PROMETHEE and AHP have been used worldwide for priority setting. However, from the aspect of mine action, where stakeholders in the decision-making process for priority setting are project managers, local politicians, leaders of different humanitarian organizations, or similar, applying these methods can be difficult. Therefore, a specialized web-based decision support system (Web DSS for priority setting, developed as part of the FP7 project TIRAMISU, has been extended using a module for developing custom priority setting scenarios in line with an exceptionally easy, user-friendly approach. The idea behind this research is to simplify the multi-criteria analysis based on the PROMETHEE method. Therefore, a simplified PROMETHEE method based on statistical analysis for automated suggestions of parameters such as preference function thresholds, interactive selection of criteria weights, and easy input of criteria evaluations is presented in this paper. The result is web-based DSS that can be applied worldwide for priority setting in mine action. Additionally, the management of mine action projects is supported using modules for providing spatial data based on the geographic information system (GIS. In this paper, the benefits and limitations of a simplified PROMETHEE method are presented using a case study involving mine action projects, and subsequently, certain proposals are given for the further research.

  12. Setting research priorities to improve global newborn health and prevent stillbirths by 2025

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Martines

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In 2013, an estimated 2.8 million newborns died and 2.7 million were stillborn. A much greater number suffer from long term impairment associated with preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital anomalies, and perinatal or infectious causes. With the approaching deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs in 2015, there was a need to set the new research priorities on newborns and stillbirth with a focus not only on survival but also on health, growth and development. We therefore carried out a systematic exercise to set newborn health research priorities for 2013–2025.

  13. Identifying acne treatment uncertainties via a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership

    OpenAIRE

    Layton, Alison; Eady, E Anne; Peat, Maggie; Whitehouse, Heather; Levell, Nick; Ridd, Matthew; Cowdell, Fiona; Patel, Mahendra; Andrews, Stephen; Oxnard, Christine; Fenton, Mark; Firkins, Lester

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: The Acne Priority Setting Partnership\\ud (PSP) was set up to identify and rank treatment\\ud uncertainties by bringing together people with acne,\\ud and professionals providing care within and beyond the\\ud National Health Service (NHS).\\ud Setting: The UK with international participation.\\ud Participants: Teenagers and adults with acne,\\ud parents, partners, nurses, clinicians, pharmacists,\\ud private practitioners.\\ud Methods: Treatment uncertainties were collected via\\ud separat...

  14. [Priority setting of health interventions. Review of criteria, approaches and role of assessment agencies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela-Lema, Leonor; Atienza-Merino, Gerardo; López-García, Marisa

    This study was carried out to develop an explicit health priority setting methodology to support decision-making regarding the technologies to be assessed for inclusion in the National Health Service service portfolio. The primary objective is to identify and analyse the criteria, approaches and conceptual frameworks used for national/international priority setting. An exhaustive review of the literature was carried out. For this purpose, a search of the main biomedical databases was performed and assessment agency websites were reviewed, among other sources. In general terms, it was found that there are no standardised criteria for priority setting, although some consensus and common trends have been identified regarding key elements (criteria, models and strategies, key actors, etc.). Globally, 8 key domains were identified: 1) need for intervention; 2) health outcomes; 3) type of benefit of the intervention; 4) economic consequences; 5) existing knowledge on the intervention/quality of and uncertainties regarding the evidence; 6) implementation and complexity of the intervention/feasibility; 7) priority, justice and ethics; and 8) overall context. The review provides a thorough analysis of the relevant issues and offers key recommendations regarding considerations for developing a national prioritisation framework. Findings are envisioned to be useful for different public organisations that are aiming to establish healthcare priorities. Copyright © 2016 SESPAS. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  15. Public engagement in setting healthcare priorities: a ranking exercise in Cyprus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmakas, Antonis; Theodorou, Mamas; Galanis, Petros; Karayiannis, Georgios; Ghobrial, Stefanos; Polyzos, Nikos; Papastavrou, Evridiki; Agapidaki, Eirini; Souliotis, Kyriakos

    2017-01-01

    In countries such as Cyprus the financial crisis and the recession have severely affected the funding and priority setting of the health care system. There is evidence highlighting the importance of population' preferences in designing priorities for health care settings. Although public preferences have been thorough analysed in many countries, there is a research gap in terms of simultaneously investigating the relative importance and the weight of differing and competing criteria for determining healthcare priority settings. The main objective of the study was tο investigate public preferences for the relative utility and weight of differing and competing criteria for health care priority setting in Cyprus. The 'conjoint analysis' technique was applied to develop a ranking exercise. The aim of the study was to identify the preferences of the participants for alternative options. Participants were asked to grade in a priority order 16 hypothetical case scenarios of patients with different disease and of diverse socio-economic characteristics awaiting treatment. The sample was purposive and consisted of 100 Cypriots, selected from public locations all over the country. It was revealed that the "severity of the disease" and the "age of the patient" were the key prioritization criteria. Participants assigned the smallest relative value to the criterion "healthy lifestyle". More precisely, participants older than 35 years old assigned higher relative importance to "age", while younger participants to the "severity of the disease". The "healthy lifestyle" criterion was assigned to the lowest relative importance to by all participants. In Cyprus, public participation in health care priority setting is almost inexistent. Nonetheless, it seems that the public's participation in this process could lead to a wider acceptance of the healthcare system especially as a result of the financial crisis and the upcoming reforms implemented such as the establishment of the

  16. Exploring the challenge of health research priority setting in partnership: reflections on the methodology used by the James Lind Alliance Pressure Ulcer Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, Mary; Morley, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The James Lind Alliance (JLA) brings patients, carers and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) to identify and prioritise shared uncertainties about the effects of treatment. The JLA emerged from the evidence-informed healthcare movement to address a concern that the research being carried out on treatment effectiveness is not that of most importance to patients and health professionals. In the JLA PSPs, 'hard' evidence-informed ideals meet 'soft' participatory practices. This article explores the challenges of putting co-production methods into practice by reflecting on the methods used by the JLA Pressure Ulcer PSP (JLAPUP). The JLA principles are transparency, inclusivity and avoiding waste in research. This means paying the same close critical attention to how PSPs are designed and run, as is desired in the health research which the JLA seeks to influence. JLAPUP showed that it was possible to work in partnership in a field where patients are often elderly, immobile, unrepresented and particularly unwell, many of whom are living with more than one long term condition. However, for those unfamiliar with it, 'uncertainty' was a difficult term to get to grips with. Also, it was harder for some people than others to take part and to have their voices heard and understood. In keeping with other PSPs, JLAPUP found that the nature and quality of research into pressure ulcer prevention and treatment did not reflect the priorities of those who took part. ᅟ. Studies identifying a mismatch between the priorities of academics and clinicians and those of people with direct experience of a health condition pose a challenge to the assumption that professional researchers can represent the interests of patients and the public in setting priorities for health research. The James Lind Alliance (JLA) brings patients, carers and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) to identify and prioritise shared uncertainties about the effects of

  17. Setting research priorities to improve global newborn health and prevent stillbirths by 2025

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yoshida, Sachiyo; Martines, José; Lawn, Joy E

    2016-01-01

    for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, there was a need to set the new research priorities on newborns and stillbirth with a focus not only on survival but also on health, growth and development. We therefore carried out a systematic exercise to set newborn health research priorities...... for 2013-2025. METHODS: We used adapted Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methods for this prioritization exercise. We identified and approached the 200 most productive researchers and 400 program experts, and 132 of them submitted research questions online. These were collated...... and clinical algorithms and improved skills of community health workers leading the list. The top 10 priorities in the domain of development were led by ideas on improved Kangaroo Mother Care at community level, how to improve the accuracy of diagnosis by community health workers, and perinatal audits. The 10...

  18. Life goes on - Priority settings in patients with cancer and comorbidities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arreskov, Anne Beiter; Graungaard, Anette Hauskov; Søndergaard, Jens

    Background As the number of patients living with cancer is increasing, a growing population of cancer patients will also deal with comorbid chronic diseases. The period after completed cancer treatment can be a vulnerable time including uncertainty about health status, physical and emotional...... symptoms from cancer disease and treatment. This might influence patients’ priorities and attention to comorbidities. Some studies show that the quality of care for the comorbid chronic diseases and participation in regular follow-up consultations are lower among patients with a cancer diagnosis compared...... to non-cancer patients. This could possibly be explained by changes in the patient’s priority setting perhaps resulting in comorbidities falling down the agenda. The purpose of this study is to explore priority settings of comorbid chronic diseases in patients who have completed primary cancer treatment...

  19. Phylogenetic Analysis of Conservation Priorities for Aquatic Mammals and Their Terrestrial Relatives, with a Comparison of Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J.; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2011-01-01

    Background Habitat loss and overexploitation are among the primary factors threatening populations of many mammal species. Recently, aquatic mammals have been highlighted as particularly vulnerable. Here we test (1) if aquatic mammals emerge as more phylogenetically urgent conservation priorities than their terrestrial relatives, and (2) if high priority species are receiving sufficient conservation effort. We also compare results among some phylogenetic conservation methods. Methodology/Principal Findings A phylogenetic analysis of conservation priorities for all 620 species of Cetartiodactyla and Carnivora, including most aquatic mammals. Conservation priority ranking of aquatic versus terrestrial species is approximately proportional to their diversity. However, nearly all obligated freshwater cetartiodactylans are among the top conservation priority species. Further, ∼74% and 40% of fully aquatic cetartiodactylans and carnivores, respectively, are either threatened or data deficient, more so than their terrestrial relatives. Strikingly, only 3% of all ‘high priority’ species are thought to be stable. An overwhelming 97% of these species thus either show decreasing population trends (87%) or are insufficiently known (10%). Furthermore, a disproportional number of highly evolutionarily distinct species are experiencing population decline, thus, such species should be closely monitored even if not currently threatened. Comparison among methods reveals that exact species ranking differs considerably among methods, nevertheless, most top priority species consistently rank high under any method. While we here favor one approach, we also suggest that a consensus approach may be useful when methods disagree. Conclusions/Significance These results reinforce prior findings, suggesting there is an urgent need to gather basic conservation data for aquatic mammals, and special conservation focus is needed on those confined to freshwater. That evolutionarily distinct

  20. RD & D priorities for energy production and resource conservation from municipal solid waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-08-01

    This report identifies research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) needs and priorities associated with municipal solid waste (MSW) management technologies that conserve or produce energy or resources. The changing character of MSW waste management and the public`s heightened awareness of its real and perceived benefits and costs creates opportunities for RD&D in MSW technologies. Increased recycling, for example, creates new opportunities for energy, chemicals, and materials recovery. New technologies to control and monitor emissions from MSW combustion facilities are available for further improvement or application. Furthermore, emerging waste-to-energy technologies may offer environmental, economic, and other advantages. Given these developments, DOE identified a need to assess the RD&D needs and pdodties and carefully target RD&D efforts to help solve the carbon`s waste management problem and further the National Energy Strategy. This report presents such an assessment. It identifies and Documents RD&D needs and priorities in the broad area of MSW resource . recovery, focusing on efforts to make MSW management technologies commercially viable or to improve their commercial deployment over a 5 to l0 year period. Panels of technical experts identifies 279 RD&D needs in 12 technology areas, ranking about one-fifth of these needs as priorities. A ``Peer Review Group`` identified mass-burn combustion, ``systems studies,`` landfill gas, and ash utilization and disposal as high priority areas for RD&D based on cost and the impacts of further RD&D. The results of this assessment are intended to provide guidance to DOE concerning possible future RD&D projects.

  1. Ranking energy-conservation measures to establish research priorities: synopsis of a workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Le, T.Q.; Pierce, B.

    1979-05-02

    A workshop was convened to assist DOE's Technology Assessment Division in evaluating the need to prepare additional environmental- and social-impact assessments of different energy-conservation measures. Attendees participated in a decision-making exercise designed to rank 19 different energy-conservation measures according to their overall potential for achieving important national goals and their ease of implementation. The participants felt that the most-important ranking criteria dealt with questions concerning feasibility (economic, political/institutional, social, and technical) and economic efficiency. Other criteria, such as environmental quality and occupational health and safety received lower weights; possibly because of the widespread belief that most of the conservation measures presented would be environmentally beneficial. In the participants' view, the most-promising and feasible conservation measures include new-building-performance standards, retrofit of existing housing stock, new-appliance-performance standards and increased use of smaller cars. In contrast, conservation options which ranked rather low, such as diesel engines, coal-fired aluminum remelt furnaces, and cupola furnace modifications were expected to have some harmful environmental and health impacts. Most of these impacts are expected to be highly localized and of lesser national concern. Disagreement exists as to the efficacy of funding those projects deemed highly desirable and feasible versus those which are expected to have the greater environmental and social impacts. These differences must be taken into account in the research priorities that are eventually established. While environmental and social impacts of alternative energy-conservation measures may prove to be either harmful or beneficial, neither side should be ignored by the policy maker.

  2. Setting Priorities in Global Child Health Research Investments: Guidelines for Implementation of the CHNRI Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudan, Igor; Gibson, Jennifer L.; Ameratunga, Shanthi; El Arifeen, Shams; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A.; Black, Maureen; Black, Robert E.; Brown, Kenneth H.; Campbell, Harry; Carneiro, Ilona; Chan, Kit Yee; Chandramohan, Daniel; Chopra, Mickey; Cousens, Simon; Darmstadt, Gary L.; Gardner, Julie Meeks; Hess, Sonja Y.; Hyder, Adnan A.; Kapiriri, Lydia; Kosek, Margaret; Lanata, Claudio F.; Lansang, Mary Ann; Lawn, Joy; Tomlinson, Mark; Tsai, Alexander C.; Webster, Jayne

    2008-01-01

    This article provides detailed guidelines for the implementation of systematic method for setting priorities in health research investments that was recently developed by Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI). The target audience for the proposed method are international agencies, large research funding donors, and national governments and policy-makers. The process has the following steps: (i) selecting the managers of the process; (ii) specifying the context and risk management preferences; (iii) discussing criteria for setting health research priorities; (iv) choosing a limited set of the most useful and important criteria; (v) developing means to assess the likelihood that proposed health research options will satisfy the selected criteria; (vi) systematic listing of a large number of proposed health research options; (vii) pre-scoring check of all competing health research options; (viii) scoring of health research options using the chosen set of criteria; (ix) calculating intermediate scores for each health research option; (x) obtaining further input from the stakeholders; (xi) adjusting intermediate scores taking into account the values of stakeholders; (xii) calculating overall priority scores and assigning ranks; (xiii) performing an analysis of agreement between the scorers; (xiv) linking computed research priority scores with investment decisions; (xv) feedback and revision. The CHNRI method is a flexible process that enables prioritizing health research investments at any level: institutional, regional, national, international, or global. PMID:19090596

  3. Priority setting in health care as portrayed in South Korean and Israeli newspapers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Factor, Roni; Kang, Minah

    2014-02-01

    Studies have reported differences in the public's understanding of, trust in, and satisfaction with its priority-setting processes and outcomes across countries. How the media frames and reports decision making processes and outcomes may both reflect and affect the public's knowledge of and attitudes toward them. Nevertheless, no studies have analyzed how priority-setting decision making processes are portrayed in the media. We analyzed 202 newspaper articles published over a decade, from January 2000 through December 2009, in leading newspapers of Israel and South Korea. The findings reveal intriguing differences between the countries in both the number and content of the reports. The issue of priority setting is much less salient in Korean than in Israeli society. While the complexity of the task was the most prevalent theme in the Israeli reports sampled, benefits package expansion decisions were most common in the Korean reports. Similarly, the Israeli reports emphasized the qualifications and backgrounds of individual members of the decision making committee, but the equivalent Korean committee was not portrayed as a major actor, and so received less attention. The least reported theme in both countries was priority-setting procedures and principles. These findings, along with results from previous studies which indicate that public satisfaction with the two systems differs between the countries, provoke several interesting future research questions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 75 FR 77642 - Priority Setting for the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-13

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Priority Setting for the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Pediatric Quality Measures Program--Notice of Correction On...

  5. Setting priorities for improving the preoperative assessment clinic: the patients' and the professionals' perspective.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Edward, G.M.; de Haes, J.C.J.M.; Oort, F.J.; Lemaire, L.C.; Hollmann, M.W.; Preckel, B.

    2008-01-01

    Background: The quality of the preoperative assessment clinic (PAC) is determined by many factors. Patients’ experiences are important indicators, but often overlooked. We prepare to set priorities to improve the PAC by obtaining detailed patients’ feedback on the quality of the PAC, and

  6. Decision maker views on priority setting in the Vancouver Island Health Authority

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitton Craig

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Decisions regarding the allocation of available resources are a source of growing dissatisfaction for healthcare decision-makers. This dissatisfaction has led to increased interest in research on evidence-based resource allocation processes. An emerging area of interest has been the empirical analysis of the characteristics of existing and desired priority setting processes from the perspective of decision-makers. Methods We conducted in-depth, face-to-face interviews with 18 senior managers and medical directors with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, an integrated health care provider in British Columbia responsible for a population of approximately 730,000. Interviews were transcribed and content-analyzed, and major themes and sub-themes were identified and reported. Results Respondents identified nine key features of a desirable priority setting process: inclusion of baseline assessment, use of best evidence, clarity, consistency, clear and measurable criteria, dissemination of information, fair representation, alignment with the strategic direction and evaluation of results. Existing priority setting processes were found to be lacking on most of these desired features. In addition, respondents identified and explicated several factors that influence resource allocation, including political considerations and organizational culture and capacity. Conclusion This study makes a contribution to a growing body of knowledge which provides the type of contextual evidence that is required if priority setting processes are to be used successfully by health care decision-makers.

  7. Identifying Priority Areas for Conservation: A Global Assessment for Forest-Dependent Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Graeme M.; Donald, Paul F.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.

    2011-01-01

    Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000–2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from

  8. Identifying priority areas for conservation: a global assessment for forest-dependent birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme M Buchanan

    Full Text Available Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species, we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005 included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing

  9. Identifying priority areas for conservation: a global assessment for forest-dependent birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Graeme M; Donald, Paul F; Butchart, Stuart H M

    2011-01-01

    Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from

  10. Multi-criteria decision analysis for setting priorities on HIV/AIDS interventions in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngkong, Sitaporn; Teerawattananon, Yot; Tantivess, Sripen; Baltussen, Rob

    2012-02-17

    A wide range of preventive, treatment, and care programs for HIV/AIDS are currently available and some of them have been implemented in Thailand. Policy makers are now facing challenges on how the scarce resources for HIV/AIDS control can be spent more wisely. Although effectiveness and cost-effectiveness information is useful for guiding policy decisions, empirical evidence indicates the importance of other criteria, such as equity and the characteristics of the target population, also play important roles in priority setting. This study aims to experiment with the use of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to prioritise interventions in HIV/AIDS control in Thailand. We used MCDA to rank 40 HIV/AIDS interventions on the basis of the priority setting criteria put forward by three groups of stakeholders including policy makers, people living with HIV/AIDs (PLWHA), and village health volunteers (VHVs). MCDA incorporated an explicit component of deliberation to let stakeholders reflect on the rank ordering, and adapt where necessary. Upon deliberation, policy makers expressed a preference for programs that target high risk groups such as men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and female sex workers. The VHVs preferred interventions that target the youth or the general population, and gave lower priority to programs that target high risk groups. PLWHA gave all interventions the same priority. The rank order correlation between the priorities as expressed before and after deliberation was 37% among the policy makers and 46% among the VHVs. This study documented the feasibility of MCDA to prioritize HIV/AIDS interventions in Thailand, and has shown the usefulness of a deliberative process as an integrated component of MCDA. MCDA holds potential to contribute to a more transparent and accountable priority setting process, and further application of this approach in the prioritisation of health interventions is warranted.

  11. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

  12. Conservation priorities in a biodiversity hotspot: analysis of narrow endemic plant species in New Caledonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrien S Wulff

    Full Text Available New Caledonia is a global biodiversity hotspot facing extreme environmental degradation. Given the urgent need for conservation prioritisation, we have made a first-pass quantitative assessment of the distribution of Narrow Endemic Species (NES in the flora to identify species and sites that are potentially important for conservation action. We assessed the distributional status of all angiosperm and gymnosperm species using data from taxonomic descriptions and herbarium samples. We characterised species as being NES if they occurred in 3 or fewer locations. In total, 635 of the 2930 assessed species were classed as NES, of which only 150 have been subjected to the IUCN conservation assessment. As the distributional patterns of un-assessed species from one or two locations correspond well with assessed species which have been classified as Critically Endangered or Endangered respectively, we suggest that our distributional data can be used to prioritise species for IUCN assessment. We also used the distributional data to produce a map of "Hotspots of Plant Narrow Endemism" (HPNE. Combined, we used these data to evaluate the coincidence of NES with mining activities (a major source of threat on New Caledonia and also areas of conservation protection. This is to identify species and locations in most urgent need of further conservation assessment and subsequent action. Finally, we grouped the NES based on the environments they occurred in and modelled the habitat distribution of these groups with a Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Model (MaxEnt. The NES were separable into three different groups based primarily on geological differences. The distribution of the habitat types for each group coincide partially with the HPNE described above and also indicates some areas which have high habitat suitability but few recorded NES. Some of these areas may represent under-sampled hotspots of narrow endemism and are priorities for further field work.

  13. Setting health research priorities using the CHNRI method: I. Involving funders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Rudan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In 2007 and 2008, the World Health Organization's Department for Child and Adolescent Health and Development commissioned five large research priority setting exercises using the CHNRI (Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative method. The aim was to define research priorities related to the five major causes of child deaths for the period up to the year 2015. The selected causes were childhood pneumonia, diarrhoea, birth asphyxia, neonatal infections and preterm birth/low birth weight. The criteria used for prioritization in all five exercises were the “standard” CHNRI criteria: answerability, effectiveness, deliverability, potential for mortality burden reduction and the effect on equity. Having completed the exercises, the WHO officers were left with another question: how “fundable” were the identified priorities, i.e. how attractive were they to research funders?

  14. Sources and sinks of diversification and conservation priorities for the Mexican tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, Judith X; Venable, D Lawrence

    2008-01-01

    Elucidating the geographical history of diversification is critical for inferring where future diversification may occur and thus could be a valuable aid in determining conservation priorities. However, it has been difficult to recognize areas with a higher likelihood of promoting diversification. We reconstructed centres of origin of lineages and identified areas in the Mexican tropical dry forest that have been important centres of diversification (sources) and areas where species are maintained but where diversification is less likely to occur (diversity sinks). We used a molecular phylogeny of the genus Bursera, a dominant member of the forest, along with information on current species distributions. Results indicate that vast areas of the forest have historically functioned as diversity sinks, generating few or no extant Bursera lineages. Only a few areas have functioned as major engines of diversification. Long-term preservation of biodiversity may be promoted by incorporation of such knowledge in decision-making.

  15. Future research into the treatment of vitiligo: where should our priorities lie? Results of the vitiligo priority setting partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eleftheriadou, V; Whitton, ME; Gawkrodger, DJ; Batchelor, J; Corne, J; Lamb, B; Ersser, S; Ravenscroft, J; Thomas, KS

    2011-01-01

    Background Vitiligo is the most frequent depigmentation disorder of the skin and is cosmetically and psychologically devastating. A recently updated Cochrane systematic review ‘Interventions for vitiligo’ showed that the research evidence for treatment of vitiligo is poor, making it difficult to make firm recommendations for clinical practice. Objectives To stimulate and steer future research in the field of vitiligo treatment, by identifying the 10 most important research areas for patients and clinicians. Methods A vitiligo priority setting partnership was established including patients, healthcare professionals and researchers with an interest in vitiligo. Vitiligo treatment uncertainties were gathered from patients and clinicians, and then prioritized in a transparent process, using a methodology advocated by the James Lind Alliance. Results In total, 660 treatment uncertainties were submitted by 461 participants. These were reduced to a list of the 23 most popular topics through an online/paper voting process. The 23 were then prioritized at a face-to-face workshop in London. The final list of the top 10 treatment uncertainties included interventions such as systemic immunosuppressants, topical treatments, light therapy, melanocyte-stimulating hormone analogues, gene therapy, and the impact of psychological interventions on the quality of life of patients with vitiligo. Conclusions The top 10 research areas for the treatment of vitiligo provide guidance for researchers and funding bodies, to ensure that future research answers questions that are important both to clinicians and to patients. PMID:21128908

  16. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio A Balaguera-Reina

    Full Text Available Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius, defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU and regional research priorities (RRP for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2 and Venezuela (919 km2, which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius' potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries. Caño Guaritico (Creek and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species

  17. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaguera-Reina, Sergio A; Espinosa-Blanco, Ariel S; Morales-Betancourt, Mónica A; Seijas, Andrés E; Lasso, Carlos A; Antelo, Rafael; Densmore, Llewellyn D

    2017-01-01

    Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU) and regional research priorities (RRP) for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM) to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2) and Venezuela (919 km2), which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius' potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon) exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries) where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia) and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries). Caño Guaritico (Creek) and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species is still

  18. Precision in Setting Cancer Prevention Priorities: Synthesis of Data, Literature, and Expert Opinion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Girschik

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Cancer will continue to be a leading cause of ill health and death unless we can capitalize on the potential for 30–40% of these cancers to be prevented. In this light, cancer prevention represents an enormous opportunity for public health, potentially saving much of the pain, anguish, and cost associated with treating cancer. However, there is a challenge for governments, and the wider community, in prioritizing cancer prevention activities, especially given increasing financial constraints. This paper describes a method for identifying cancer prevention priorities. This method synthesizes detailed cancer statistics, expert opinion, and the published literature for the priority setting process. The process contains four steps: assessing the impact of cancer types; identifying cancers with the greatest impact; considering opportunities for prevention; and combining information on impact and preventability. The strength of our approach is that it is straightforward, transparent and reproducible for other settings. Applying this method in Western Australia produced a priority list of seven adult cancers which were identified as having not only the biggest impact on the community but also the best opportunities for prevention. Work conducted in an additional project phase went on to present data on these priority cancers to a public consultation and develop an agenda for action in cancer prevention.

  19. What criteria do decision makers in Thailand use to set priorities for vaccine introduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pooripussarakul, Siriporn; Riewpaiboon, Arthorn; Bishai, David; Muangchana, Charung; Tantivess, Sripen

    2016-08-02

    There is a need to identify rational criteria and set priorities for vaccines. In Thailand, many licensed vaccines are being considering for introduction into the Expanded Program on Immunization; thus, the government has to make decisions about which vaccines should be adopted. This study aimed to set priorities for new vaccines and to facilitate decision analysis. We used a best-worst scaling study for rank-ordering of vaccines. The candidate vaccines were determined by a set of criteria, including burden of disease, target age group, budget impact, side effect, effectiveness, severity of disease, and cost of vaccine. The criteria were identified from a literature review and by in-depth, open-ended interviews with experts. The priority-setting model was conducted among three groups of stakeholders, including policy makers, healthcare professionals and healthcare administrators. The vaccine data were mapped and then calculated for the probability of selection. From the candidate vaccines, the probability of hepatitis B vaccine being selected by all respondents (96.67 %) was ranked first. This was followed, respectively, by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-13 (95.09 %) and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (90.87 %). The three groups of stakeholders (policy makers, healthcare professionals and healthcare administrators) showed the same ranking trends. Most severe disease, high fever rate and high disease burden showed the highest coefficients for criterion levels being selected by all respondents. This result can be implied that a vaccine which can prevent most severe disease with high disease burden and has low safety has a greater chance of being selected by respondents in this study. The priority setting of vaccines through a multiple-criteria approach could contribute to transparency and accountability in the decision-making process. This is a step forward in the development of an evidence-based approach that meets the need of developing country. The

  20. The trials methodological research agenda: results from a priority setting exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tudur Smith, Catrin; Hickey, Helen; Clarke, Mike; Blazeby, Jane; Williamson, Paula

    2014-01-23

    Research into the methods used in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials is essential to ensure that effective methods are available and that clinical decisions made using results from trials are based on the best available evidence, which is reliable and robust. An on-line Delphi survey of 48 UK Clinical Research Collaboration registered Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) was undertaken. During round one, CTU Directors were asked to identify important topics that require methodological research. During round two, their opinion about the level of importance of each topic was recorded, and during round three, they were asked to review the group's average opinion and revise their previous opinion if appropriate. Direct reminders were sent to maximise the number of responses at each round. Results are summarised using descriptive methods. Forty one (85%) CTU Directors responded to at least one round of the Delphi process: 25 (52%) responded in round one, 32 (67%) responded in round two, 24 (50%) responded in round three. There were only 12 (25%) who responded to all three rounds and 18 (38%) who responded to both rounds two and three. Consensus was achieved amongst CTU Directors that the top three priorities for trials methodological research were 'Research into methods to boost recruitment in trials' (considered the highest priority), 'Methods to minimise attrition' and 'Choosing appropriate outcomes to measure'. Fifty other topics were included in the list of priorities and consensus was reached that two topics, 'Radiotherapy study designs' and 'Low carbon trials', were not priorities. This priority setting exercise has identified the research topics felt to be most important to the key stakeholder group of Directors of UKCRC registered CTUs. The use of robust methodology to identify these priorities will help ensure that this work informs the trials methodological research agenda, with a focus on topics that will have most impact and relevance.

  1. The trials methodological research agenda: results from a priority setting exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Research into the methods used in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials is essential to ensure that effective methods are available and that clinical decisions made using results from trials are based on the best available evidence, which is reliable and robust. Methods An on-line Delphi survey of 48 UK Clinical Research Collaboration registered Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) was undertaken. During round one, CTU Directors were asked to identify important topics that require methodological research. During round two, their opinion about the level of importance of each topic was recorded, and during round three, they were asked to review the group’s average opinion and revise their previous opinion if appropriate. Direct reminders were sent to maximise the number of responses at each round. Results are summarised using descriptive methods. Results Forty one (85%) CTU Directors responded to at least one round of the Delphi process: 25 (52%) responded in round one, 32 (67%) responded in round two, 24 (50%) responded in round three. There were only 12 (25%) who responded to all three rounds and 18 (38%) who responded to both rounds two and three. Consensus was achieved amongst CTU Directors that the top three priorities for trials methodological research were ‘Research into methods to boost recruitment in trials’ (considered the highest priority), ‘Methods to minimise attrition’ and ‘Choosing appropriate outcomes to measure’. Fifty other topics were included in the list of priorities and consensus was reached that two topics, ‘Radiotherapy study designs’ and ‘Low carbon trials’, were not priorities. Conclusions This priority setting exercise has identified the research topics felt to be most important to the key stakeholder group of Directors of UKCRC registered CTUs. The use of robust methodology to identify these priorities will help ensure that this work informs the trials methodological research agenda, with

  2. The conservation of native priority medicinal plants in a Caatinga area in Ceará, northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Maria O; Almeida, Bianca V DE; Ribeiro, Daiany A; Macêdo, Delmacia G DE; Macêdo, Márcia J F; Macedo, Julimery G F; Sousa, Francisca F S DE; Oliveira, Liana G S DE; Saraiva, Manuele E; Araújo, Thatiane M S; Souza, Marta M A

    2017-01-01

    Much of the Brazilian semiarid region faces a considerable process of degradation of natural resources, and ethnobotanical studies have collaborated with important information about the use and traditional knowledge, serving as a tool to design conservation strategies of native plant species. Thus, this study aimed to determine medicinal species meriting conservation priorities in a "Caatinga" area in the northeastern of Brazilian territory. The ethnobotanical data were collected through semi-structured interviews with key subjects selected through the "snowball" technique. The availability and species conservation priority was verified by relative density, risk of collection, local use and use of diversity in the forest fragment sampled. It was recorded 42 native medicinal plants and conservation priority score was calculated for seven species, including Mimosa tenuiflora, Hymenaea courbaril, Ximenia americana and Amburana cearensis need immediate conservation and attention, since their collection does not occur in a sustainable way. In order to ensure the perpetuation of the species and the sustainability of traditional therapeutic practice there needs to be a development of conservation practices of caatinga remaining to better conserve the species of the biome.

  3. The conservation of native priority medicinal plants in a Caatinga area in Ceará, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIA O. SANTOS

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Much of the Brazilian semiarid region faces a considerable process of degradation of natural resources, and ethnobotanical studies have collaborated with important information about the use and traditional knowledge, serving as a tool to design conservation strategies of native plant species. Thus, this study aimed to determine medicinal species meriting conservation priorities in a “Caatinga” area in the northeastern of Brazilian territory. The ethnobotanical data were collected through semi-structured interviews with key subjects selected through the “snowball” technique. The availability and species conservation priority was verified by relative density, risk of collection, local use and use of diversity in the forest fragment sampled. It was recorded 42 native medicinal plants and conservation priority score was calculated for seven species, including Mimosa tenuiflora, Hymenaea courbaril, Ximenia americana and Amburana cearensis need immediate conservation and attention, since their collection does not occur in a sustainable way. In order to ensure the perpetuation of the species and the sustainability of traditional therapeutic practice there needs to be a development of conservation practices of caatinga remaining to better conserve the species of the biome.

  4. Cave conservation priority index to adopt a rapid protection strategy: a case study in Brazilian Atlantic rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza Silva, Marconi; Martins, Rogério Parentoni; Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes

    2015-02-01

    Cave environments are characterized by possessing specialized fauna living in high environmental stability with limited food conditions. These fauna are highly vulnerable to impacts, because this condition can frequently be easily altered. Moreover, environmental determinants of the biodiversity patterns of caves remain poorly understood and protected. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to propose a cave conservation priority index (CCPi) for a rapid assessment for troglobiotic and troglophile protection. Furthermore, the troglobiotic diversity, distribution and threats have been mapped in the Brazilian Atlantic forest. To propose the CCPi, the human impacts and richness of troglobiotic and troglophile species of 100 caves were associated. Data related to troglomorphic/troglobiotic fauna from another 200 caves were used to map the troglobiotic diversity and distribution. The CCPi reveals extremely high conservation priority for 15% of the caves, high for 36% and average for 46% of the caves. Fourteen caves with extremely high priorities should have urgent conservation and management actions. The geographical distribution of the 221 known troglobiotic/troglomorphic species allowed us to select 19 karst areas that need conservation actions. Seven areas were considered to have urgent priority for conservation actions. The two richest areas correspond to the "iron quadrangle" with iron ore caves (67 spp.) and the "Açungui limestone group" (56 spp.). Both areas have several caves and are important aquifers. The use of the CCPi can prevent future losses because it helps assessors to select caves with priorities for conservation which should receive emergency attention in relation to protection, management and conservation actions.

  5. Research priority setting in Barrett's oesophagus and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britton, James; Gadeke, Lisa; Lovat, Laurence; Hamdy, Shaheen; Hawkey, Chris; McLaughlin, John; Ang, Yeng

    2017-11-01

    The incidence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and Barrett's oesophagus is increasing. Barrett's oesophagus is the main precursor to oesophageal adenocarcinoma, which has a poor prognosis. In view of the vast potential burden of these diseases on patients and health-care resources, there is a real need to define and focus research efforts. This priority setting exercise aimed to produce a list of the top ten uncertainties in the field that reflect the priorities of patients and health-care providers. We adopted the robust and transparent methodologies previously outlined by the James Lind Alliance. This qualitative approach firstly involves an ideas gathering survey that, once distilled, generates a longlist of research uncertainties. These uncertainties are then prioritised via an interim ranking survey and a final workshop to achieve consensus agreement. The initial 629 uncertainties, generated from a survey of 170 individual respondents (47% professional, 53% non-professional) and one workshop, were narrowed down to the final top ten uncertainties of priority for future research. These priorities covered a range of issues, including a need for improved patient risk stratification, alternative diagnostic and surveillance tests, efficacy of a dedicated service for Barrett's oesophagus, cost-effectiveness and appropriateness of current surveillance, advances in development of non-drug treatments for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, safety of long-term drug treatment, and questions regarding the durability and role of different endoscopic therapies for dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus. This is the first patient-centred assessment of priorities for researchers in this chronic disease setting. We hope that recognition and dissemination of these results will shape the future direction of research and translate into meaningful gains for patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Priority setting of health interventions: the need for multi-criteria decision analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltussen, Rob; Niessen, Louis

    2006-08-21

    Priority setting of health interventions is often ad-hoc and resources are not used to an optimal extent. Underlying problem is that multiple criteria play a role and decisions are complex. Interventions may be chosen to maximize general population health, to reduce health inequalities of disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, ad/or to respond to life-threatening situations, all with respect to practical and budgetary constraints. This is the type of problem that policy makers are typically bad at solving rationally, unaided. They tend to use heuristic or intuitive approaches to simplify complexity, and in the process, important information is ignored. Next, policy makers may select interventions for only political motives. This indicates the need for rational and transparent approaches to priority setting. Over the past decades, a number of approaches have been developed, including evidence-based medicine, burden of disease analyses, cost-effectiveness analyses, and equity analyses. However, these approaches concentrate on single criteria only, whereas in reality, policy makers need to make choices taking into account multiple criteria simultaneously. Moreover, they do not cover all criteria that are relevant to policy makers. Therefore, the development of a multi-criteria approach to priority setting is necessary, and this has indeed recently been identified as one of the most important issues in health system research. In other scientific disciplines, multi-criteria decision analysis is well developed, has gained widespread acceptance and is routinely used. This paper presents the main principles of multi-criteria decision analysis. There are only a very few applications to guide resource allocation decisions in health. We call for a shift away from present priority setting tools in health--that tend to focus on single criteria--towards transparent and systematic approaches that take into account all relevant criteria simultaneously.

  7. Priority setting of health interventions: the need for multi-criteria decision analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltussen, Rob; Niessen, Louis

    2006-01-01

    Priority setting of health interventions is often ad-hoc and resources are not used to an optimal extent. Underlying problem is that multiple criteria play a role and decisions are complex. Interventions may be chosen to maximize general population health, to reduce health inequalities of disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, ad/or to respond to life-threatening situations, all with respect to practical and budgetary constraints. This is the type of problem that policy makers are typically bad at solving rationally, unaided. They tend to use heuristic or intuitive approaches to simplify complexity, and in the process, important information is ignored. Next, policy makers may select interventions for only political motives. This indicates the need for rational and transparent approaches to priority setting. Over the past decades, a number of approaches have been developed, including evidence-based medicine, burden of disease analyses, cost-effectiveness analyses, and equity analyses. However, these approaches concentrate on single criteria only, whereas in reality, policy makers need to make choices taking into account multiple criteria simultaneously. Moreover, they do not cover all criteria that are relevant to policy makers. Therefore, the development of a multi-criteria approach to priority setting is necessary, and this has indeed recently been identified as one of the most important issues in health system research. In other scientific disciplines, multi-criteria decision analysis is well developed, has gained widespread acceptance and is routinely used. This paper presents the main principles of multi-criteria decision analysis. There are only a very few applications to guide resource allocation decisions in health. We call for a shift away from present priority setting tools in health – that tend to focus on single criteria – towards transparent and systematic approaches that take into account all relevant criteria simultaneously. PMID:16923181

  8. Expert and stakeholder consensus on priorities for obesity prevention research in early care and education settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Dianne S; Vaughn, Amber; Story, Mary

    2013-04-01

    Early childhood is a formative period for many weight-related behaviors (diet and activity), but little obesity prevention research targeting this age group has been conducted. Early care and education settings are a useful avenue for interventions targeting young children, but the limited research provides insufficient evidence upon which to base policy decisions, practice guidelines, or mobilized efforts to improve healthy eating and physical activity, and ultimately healthy weight development in these settings. In September of 2011, prominent researchers, young investigators, and leaders in early care and education came together to examine past research and to explore challenges and priorities for future research on healthy weight development in children aged 2-5 years. During this meeting, experts presented and attendees discussed key issues around measurement of diet and physical activity, policy and environment measurement, intervention approaches, policy research, and capacity development. Following the meeting, attendees were invited to participate in an online voting exercise to select top research priorities. A total of 64 research issues were identified, and voting narrowed this list to 24 issues. Highest-rated issues included: Assessment of the quality of children's meals and snacks, use of financial incentives, interventions that include healthcare providers, the role of screen time, and need for multilevel interventions. The presentations within this meeting highlighted the importance of research to address the unique challenges for those working in early care and education settings. Expert and stakeholder consensus of priorities identified significant and innovative areas where future obesity prevention research efforts should be focused.

  9. Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L. Clark

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water yield in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest from Misiones, Argentina—an area of global conservation priority. Using these results, we then evaluate the efficiency of existing protected areas in conserving both habitat and ecosystem services. Selected areas for conserving habitat had an overlap of carbon and soil ecosystem services. Yet, selected areas for water yield did not have this overlap. Furthermore, selected areas with relatively high overlap of ecosystem services tended to be inside protected areas; however, other important areas for ecosystem services (i.e., central highlands do not have legal protection, revealing the importance of enforcing existing environmental regulations in these areas.

  10. Geographic analysis of Red List Rhododendron (Ericaceae) taxa by country of origin identifies priorities for ex situ conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MacKay, M.B.; Gardiner, S.E.

    2017-01-01

    A Red List assessment is insufficient to determine priorities for ex situ conservation in large genera such as Rhododendron, where there may be hundreds of taxa in any one Red List category. We have utilised an analysis of the geographic origins of 1?215 taxa of Rhododendron (Ericaceae) as a method

  11. Comparative analysis of components incorporated in conservation priority assessments: a case study based on South African species of terrestrial mammals

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Keith, M

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available , the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus (Temminck, 1820) (EN D) and the brown hyaena, Parahyaena brunnea (Thunberg, 1820) (NT) as of high conservation priority in South Africa. Mills et al. (2001) identified the wild dog and the brown hyaena...

  12. Care priorities- Registered Nurses' clinical daily work in municipal elderly care settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norell, Margaretha; Ziegert, Kristina; Kihlgren, Annica

    2013-06-01

    Common in Swedish elderly home care is that Registered Nurses work independently, and lead the care team without being a part of it. People involved in the care of the patient can be social services, physician, Registered Nurse (RN), nurses in inpatient care and family. In according to current model for nursing documentation RNs interventions is described as participation, information/education, support, environment, general care, training, observation/surveillance, special care drug administration and coordination. Time pressure is perceived as high, but the nurses have the opportunity to influence their daily work situation and make priorities. The purpose of this study was to investigate how RNs prioritise interventions in municipal elderly care settings. A quantitative descriptive method was used for the study. Data were collected during the months of April and October 2004 - 2008, using a web-based form. The nurses filled in patient's type of housing, performed interventions, and if the interventions were delegated. Interventions were described as keywords and were attributed a certain amount of time, calculated in previous time studies. The inclusion criteria were: all patients 80 years of age and older, in a municipality in south-western Sweden, who received some form of health care from a RN, or performed by non-certified staff by delegation. Results indicate that differences in priority could be observed, depending on the patient's gender, or whether the patient was living in independent or sheltered housing. Drug administration was prioritised for female patients, while coordination became a priority for patients living in ordinary housing. Support received the highest priority, regardless if the patient lived in ordinary or sheltered housing. However, it is not entirely clear what support signifies in municipal health care settings, and this issue would therefore require further investigation. © 2012 Nordic College of Caring Science.

  13. Estimating climate resilience for conservation across geophysical settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Mark G; Clark, Melissa; Sheldon, Arlene Olivero

    2014-08-01

    Conservationists need methods to conserve biological diversity while allowing species and communities to rearrange in response to a changing climate. We developed and tested such a method for northeastern North America that we based on physical features associated with ecological diversity and site resilience to climate change. We comprehensively mapped 30 distinct geophysical settings based on geology and elevation. Within each geophysical setting, we identified sites that were both connected by natural cover and that had relatively more microclimates indicated by diverse topography and elevation gradients. We did this by scoring every 405 ha hexagon in the region for these two characteristics and selecting those that scored >SD 0.5 above the mean combined score for each setting. We hypothesized that these high-scoring sites had the greatest resilience to climate change, and we compared them with sites selected by The Nature Conservancy for their high-quality rare species populations and natural community occurrences. High-scoring sites captured significantly more of the biodiversity sites than expected by chance (p < 0.0001): 75% of the 414 target species, 49% of the 4592 target species locations, and 53% of the 2170 target community locations. Calcareous bedrock, coarse sand, and fine silt settings scored markedly lower for estimated resilience and had low levels of permanent land protection (average 7%). Because our method identifies-for every geophysical setting-sites that are the most likely to retain species and functions longer under a changing climate, it reveals natural strongholds for future conservation that would also capture substantial existing biodiversity and correct the bias in current secured lands. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Identifying acne treatment uncertainties via a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, Alison; Eady, E Anne; Peat, Maggie; Whitehouse, Heather; Levell, Nick; Ridd, Matthew; Cowdell, Fiona; Patel, Mahenda; Andrews, Stephen; Oxnard, Christine; Fenton, Mark; Firkins, Lester

    2015-07-17

    The Acne Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was set up to identify and rank treatment uncertainties by bringing together people with acne, and professionals providing care within and beyond the National Health Service (NHS). The UK with international participation. Teenagers and adults with acne, parents, partners, nurses, clinicians, pharmacists, private practitioners. Treatment uncertainties were collected via separate online harvesting surveys, embedded within the PSP website, for patients and professionals. A wide variety of approaches were used to promote the surveys to stakeholder groups with a particular emphasis on teenagers and young adults. Survey submissions were collated using keywords and verified as uncertainties by appraising existing evidence. The 30 most popular themes were ranked via weighted scores from an online vote. At a priority setting workshop, patients and professionals discussed the 18 highest-scoring questions from the vote, and reached consensus on the top 10. In the harvesting survey, 2310 people, including 652 professionals and 1456 patients (58% aged 24 y or younger), made submissions containing at least one research question. After checking for relevance and rephrasing, a total of 6255 questions were collated into themes. Valid votes ranking the 30 most common themes were obtained from 2807 participants. The top 10 uncertainties prioritised at the workshop were largely focused on management strategies, optimum use of common prescription medications and the role of non-drug based interventions. More female than male patients took part in the harvesting surveys and vote. A wider range of uncertainties were provided by patients compared to professionals. Engaging teenagers and young adults in priority setting is achievable using a variety of promotional methods. The top 10 uncertainties reveal an extensive knowledge gap about widely used interventions and the relative merits of drug versus non-drug based treatments in acne management

  15. Wild gazelles of the southern Levant: genetic profiling defines new conservation priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia Hadas

    Full Text Available The mountain gazelle (Gazella gazelle, Dorcas gazelle (Gazella Dorcas and acacia gazelle (Gazella arabica acacia were historically abundant in the southern Levant, and more specifically in Israel. Anthropogenic and natural changes have caused a rapid decline in gazelle populations, raising concerns about their conservation status and future survival. The genetic profile of 111 wild gazelles from Israel was determined based on three regions of mitochondrial DNA (control region, Cytochrome b and 12S ribosomal RNA and nine nuclear microsatellite markers. Genetic analysis of the mountain gazelle population, the largest known population of this rare species, revealed adequate diversity levels and gene flow between subpopulations. Nevertheless, ongoing habitat degradation and other human effects, such as poaching, suggest the need for drastic measures to prevent species extinction. Dorcas gazelles in Israel displayed inbreeding within subpopulations while still maintaining considerable genetic diversity overall. This stable population, represented by a distinctive genetic profile, is fragmented and isolated from its relatives in neighboring localities. Based on the genetic profile of a newly sampled subpopulation in Israel, we provide an alternative hypothesis for the historic dispersal of Dorcas gazelle, from the Southern Levant to northern Africa. The small acacia gazelle population was closest to gazelles from the Farasan Islands of Saudi Arabia, based on mitochondrial markers. The two populations did not share haplotypes, suggesting that these two populations may be the last remnant wild gazelles of this species worldwide. Only a dozen acacia gazelles survive in Israel, and urgent steps are needed to ensure the survival of this genetically distinctive lineage. The genetic assessments of our study recognize new conservation priorities for each gazelle species in the Southern Levant.

  16. Priority Setting Meets Multiple Streams: A Match to Be Further Examined? Comment on "Introducing New Priority Setting and Resource Allocation Processes in a Canadian Healthcare Organization: A Case Study Analysis Informed by Multiple Streams Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, Jacqueline Margaret

    2016-05-16

    With demand for health services continuing to grow as populations age and new technologies emerge to meet health needs, healthcare policy-makers are under constant pressure to set priorities, ie, to make choices about the health services that can and cannot be funded within available resources. In a recent paper, Smith et al apply an influential policy studies framework - Kingdon's multiple streams approach (MSA) - to explore the factors that explain why one health service delivery organization adopted a formal priority setting framework (in the form of programme budgeting and marginal analysis [PBMA]) to assist it in making priority setting decisions. MSA is a theory of agenda-setting, ie, how it is that different issues do or do not reach a decision-making point. In this paper, I reflect on the use of the MSA framework to explore priority setting processes and how the framework might be applied to similar cases in future. © 2016 by Kerman University of Medical Sciences.

  17. Priority Setting Meets Multiple Streams: A Match to Be Further Examined?; Comment on “Introducing New Priority Setting and Resource Allocation Processes in a Canadian Healthcare Organization: A Case Study Analysis Informed by Multiple Streams Theory”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Margaret Cumming

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available With demand for health services continuing to grow as populations age and new technologies emerge to meet health needs, healthcare policy-makers are under constant pressure to set priorities, ie, to make choices about the health services that can and cannot be funded within available resources. In a recent paper, Smith et al apply an influential policy studies framework – Kingdon’s multiple streams approach (MSA – to explore the factors that explain why one health service delivery organization adopted a formal priority setting framework (in the form of programme budgeting and marginal analysis [PBMA] to assist it in making priority setting decisions. MSA is a theory of agenda-setting, ie, how it is that different issues do or do not reach a decision-making point. In this paper, I reflect on the use of the MSA framework to explore priority setting processes and how the framework might be applied to similar cases in future.

  18. What criteria do decision makers in Thailand use to set priorities for vaccine introduction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siriporn Pooripussarakul

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is a need to identify rational criteria and set priorities for vaccines. In Thailand, many licensed vaccines are being considering for introduction into the Expanded Program on Immunization; thus, the government has to make decisions about which vaccines should be adopted. This study aimed to set priorities for new vaccines and to facilitate decision analysis. Methods We used a best-worst scaling study for rank-ordering of vaccines. The candidate vaccines were determined by a set of criteria, including burden of disease, target age group, budget impact, side effect, effectiveness, severity of disease, and cost of vaccine. The criteria were identified from a literature review and by in-depth, open-ended interviews with experts. The priority-setting model was conducted among three groups of stakeholders, including policy makers, healthcare professionals and healthcare administrators. The vaccine data were mapped and then calculated for the probability of selection. Results From the candidate vaccines, the probability of hepatitis B vaccine being selected by all respondents (96.67 % was ranked first. This was followed, respectively, by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-13 (95.09 % and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (90.87 %. The three groups of stakeholders (policy makers, healthcare professionals and healthcare administrators showed the same ranking trends. Most severe disease, high fever rate and high disease burden showed the highest coefficients for criterion levels being selected by all respondents. This result can be implied that a vaccine which can prevent most severe disease with high disease burden and has low safety has a greater chance of being selected by respondents in this study. Conclusions The priority setting of vaccines through a multiple-criteria approach could contribute to transparency and accountability in the decision-making process. This is a step forward in the development of an evidence

  19. Monitoring drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in non-household settings: Priorities for policy and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronk, Ryan; Slaymaker, Tom; Bartram, Jamie

    2015-11-01

    -household settings as a priority. National and international monitoring systems will be important to better understand status, trends, to identify priorities and target resources accordingly, and to improve accountability for progressive improvements in WaSH in non-household settings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Setting conservation management thresholds using a novel participatory modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, P F E; de Bie, K; Rumpff, L

    2015-10-01

    We devised a participatory modeling approach for setting management thresholds that show when management intervention is required to address undesirable ecosystem changes. This approach was designed to be used when management thresholds: must be set for environmental indicators in the face of multiple competing objectives; need to incorporate scientific understanding and value judgments; and will be set by participants with limited modeling experience. We applied our approach to a case study where management thresholds were set for a mat-forming brown alga, Hormosira banksii, in a protected area management context. Participants, including management staff and scientists, were involved in a workshop to test the approach, and set management thresholds to address the threat of trampling by visitors to an intertidal rocky reef. The approach involved trading off the environmental objective, to maintain the condition of intertidal reef communities, with social and economic objectives to ensure management intervention was cost-effective. Ecological scenarios, developed using scenario planning, were a key feature that provided the foundation for where to set management thresholds. The scenarios developed represented declines in percent cover of H. banksii that may occur under increased threatening processes. Participants defined 4 discrete management alternatives to address the threat of trampling and estimated the effect of these alternatives on the objectives under each ecological scenario. A weighted additive model was used to aggregate participants' consequence estimates. Model outputs (decision scores) clearly expressed uncertainty, which can be considered by decision makers and used to inform where to set management thresholds. This approach encourages a proactive form of conservation, where management thresholds and associated actions are defined a priori for ecological indicators, rather than reacting to unexpected ecosystem changes in the future. © 2015 The

  1. Priority setting for technology adoption at a hospital level: relevant issues from the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lettieri, Emanuele; Masella, Cristina

    2009-04-01

    The increasing pace of development of healthcare technologies obliges hospitals to increase both the rationality and the accountability of priority setting for technology adoption. This paper aims at identifying which are the relevant issues for technology assessment and selection at a hospital level and at grouping them in a reference framework. An electronic search from January 1990 onwards, covering PubMed, Medline and CILEA, has been carried out in order to collect the relevant contributions. A total of 20 studies were selected from the fields of health policy, management of technology and biomedical engineering. Two main assessment perspectives have been identified and detailed: value generation at a hospital level and level of sustainability in the implementation stage. Four types of investment in technology at a hospital level have been identified combining the perspectives. Moreover, the two perspectives have been deployed in a list of 19 relevant issues that should be reviewed during the budget process. The proposed framework can aid priority setting for technology adoption at a hospital level and contribute to increase both the rationality and the accountability of technology assessment and selection in the budget process.

  2. Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schroter, M.; Rusch, G.M.; Barton, D.N.; Blumentrath, S.; Nordén, B.

    2014-01-01

    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints

  3. Research priority setting for health policy and health systems strengthening in Nigeria: the policymakers and stakeholders perspective and involvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uneke, Chigozie Jesse; Ezeoha, Abel Ebeh; Ndukwe, Chinwendu Daniel; Oyibo, Patrick Gold; Onwe, Friday; Aulakh, Bhupinder Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Nigeria is one of the low and middle income countries (LMICs) facing severe resource constraint, making it impossible for adequate resources to be allocated to the health sector. Priority setting becomes imperative because it guides investments in health care, health research and respects resource constraints. The objective of this study was to enhance the knowledge and understanding of policymakers on research priority setting and to conduct a research priority setting exercise. Methods A one-day evidence-to-policy research priority setting meeting was held. The meeting participants included senior and middle level policymakers and key decision makers/stakeholders in the health sector in Ebonyi State southeastern Nigeria. The priorities setting meeting involved a training session on priority setting process and conduction of priority setting exercise using the essential national health research (ENHR) approach. The focus was on the health systems building blocks (health workforce; health finance; leadership/governance; medical products/technology; service delivery; and health information/evidence). Results Of the total of 92 policymakers invited 90(97.8%) attended the meeting. It was the consensus of the policymakers that research should focus on the challenges of optimal access to health products and technology; effective health service delivery and disease control under a national emergency situation; the shortfalls in the supply of professional personnel; and the issues of governance in the health sector management. Conclusion Research priority setting exercise involving policymakers is an example of demand driven strategy in the health policymaking process capable of reversing inequities and strengthening the health systems in LMICs. PMID:24570781

  4. ENVIRONMENTAL PERCEPTION OF RURAL COMMUNITIES AND ANALYSIS OF LANDSCAPE: SUBSIDIES FOR PRIORITY AREA FOR CONSERVATION PROPOSITION IN THE RIO GRANDE DO NORTE SEMIARID, BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mycarla Araujo Lucena

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Priority Areas for Conservation are defined in order to protect environments that are home to a richness of species, endemisms and/or endangered species. However, besides these factors, additional studies such as Environmental Perception of local communities and Landscape Analysis are relevant to assess and minimize the negative effects caused to natural environments. In this context and in this perspective, the Mountain Range Complex João do Vale was studied, located in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, which holds a set of landscapes with different vegetation types that are being replaced by various economic activities resulting from disordered population growth and consequent exploitation of natural resources' potential. The use of these resources, in most cases, occurs improperly, leading to a depletion of this potential. This study proposes to combine Analysis of Landscape, through a Geographic Information System (GIS, to the Environmental Perception of rural communities in order to define Priority Areas for Conservation. Perception data were obtained through direct observation, questioning, interviews and application forms (n = 240; as to the landscape, data from slope maps, Permanent Preservation Areas (PPA and Environmental Vulnerability were used. The Content Analysis used for perception data showed that respondents have a sense of topophilia regarding where they live, hold a vast knowledge about natural resources and responded positively when asked about the choice of an exclusive area for conservation. These results coupledwith the Analysis of Landscape allowed with of Priorty Areas for Conservation in this Mountain Range Complex with three categories of priority low, medium and high.

  5. [Priority setting and rationing of pharmaceuticals - an experimental analysis of discussion processes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aumann, Ines; Litzkendorf, Svenja; Damm, Kathrin; von der Schulenburg, J Matthias Graf

    2017-08-01

    In the face of rising expenditure among statutory sickness funds in Germany it is necessary to start a discussion about priority setting in the healthcare system. For a long time this issue has been avoided in healthcare debates. As a result, normative directives are still missing, which can lead to priority setting among healthcare providers in daily healthcare practice. Prioritization can be conducted at three different levels: at the government (macro), the institutional (meso), and the patient (micro) level. Surveys about societal preferences for different criteria exist; however, specifications on their respective weighting in the situation of approval and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals (meso) are missing. For this reason, the present study analyzed the implementation and weighting of the criteria for priority setting at the meso level, taking values and experiences of the participants into account. Six qualitative focus groups were carried out with representatives from the fields of medicine, ethics, public health and economics. During the discussions four fictitious drugs for the treatment of different lung diseases were prioritized based on guidelines. The discussion processes were analyzed according to Bohnsack's documentary method. The criteria "quality of life", "life expectancy" and "other patient-relevant outcomes" were discussed in relation to each other. The evaluation of change in patient-relevant outcomes was difficult to perform for non-medical participants. The second argument concerned the criteria "costs", disease severity and "number of patients". Costs were given less weight, but were often used to support other criteria. Other challenges in reaching a consensus included emerging role conflicts between profession and personal opinion, and the transfer of the discussion to a different level of decision-making. In the discussions the problem of prioritizing did not arise from different preferences for prioritization criteria, but from the

  6. Priority setting and implementation in a centralized health system: a case study of Kerman province in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khayatzadeh-Mahani, Akram; Fotaki, Marianna; Harvey, Gillian

    2013-08-01

    The question of how priority setting processes work remains topical, contentious and political in every health system across the globe. It is particularly acute in the context of developing countries because of the mismatch between needs and resources, which is often compounded by an underdeveloped capacity for decision making and weak institutional infrastructures. Yet there is limited research into how the process of setting and implementing health priorities works in developing countries. This study aims to address this gap by examining how a national priority setting programme works in the centralized health system of Iran and what factors influence its implementation at the meso and micro levels. We used a qualitative case study approach, incorporating mixed methods: in-depth interviews at three levels and a textual analysis of policy documents. The data analysis showed that the process of priority setting is non-systematic, there is little transparency as to how specific priorities are decided, and the decisions made are separated from their implementation. This is due to the highly centralized system, whereby health priorities are set at the macro level without involving meso or micro local levels or any representative of the public. Furthermore, the two main benefit packages are decided by different bodies (Ministry of Health and Medical Education and Ministry of Welfare and Social Security) and there is no co-ordination between them. The process is also heavily influenced by political pressure exerted by various groups, mostly medical professionals who attempt to control priority setting in accordance with their interests. Finally, there are many weaknesses in the implementation of priorities, resulting in a growing gap between rural and urban areas in terms of access to health services.

  7. Determining and broadening the definition of impact from implementing a rational priority setting approach in a healthcare organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Evelyn; Mitton, Craig; Davidson, Alan; Reid, Colin; Hole, Rachelle; Visockas, Anne-Marie; Smith, Neale

    2014-08-01

    Techniques to manage scarce healthcare resources continue to evolve in response to changing, growing and competing demands. Yet there is no standard definition in the priority setting literature of what might constitute the desired impact or success of resource management activities. In this 2006-09 study, using action research methodology, we determined the impact of implementing a formal priority setting model, Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis (PBMA), in a Canadian health authority. Qualitative data were collected through post year-1 (n = 12) and year-2 (n = 9) participant interviews, meeting observation and document review. Interviews were analyzed using a constant comparison technique to identify major themes. Impact can be defined as effects at three levels: system, group, and individual. System-level impact can be seen in the actual selection of priorities and resource re-allocation. In this case, participants prioritized a list of $760,000 worth of investment proposals and $38,000 of disinvestment proposals; however, there was no clear evidence as to whether financial resources were reallocated as a result. Group and individual impacts, less frequently reported in the literature, included changes in priority setting knowledge, attitudes and practice. PBMA impacts at these three levels were found to be interrelated. This work argues in favor of attempts to expand the definition of priority setting success by including both desired system-level outcomes like resource re-allocation and individual or group level impacts like changes to priority setting knowledge, attitudes and practice. These latter impacts are worth pursuing as they appear to be intrinsic to successful system-wide priority setting. A broader definition of PBMA impact may also suggest conceptualizing PBMA as both a priority setting approach and as a tool to develop individual and group priority setting knowledge and practice. These results should be of interest to researchers and

  8. Developing risk-based priorities for reducing air pollution in urban settings in Ukraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brody, Michael; Caldwell, Jane; Golub, Alexander

    2007-02-01

    Ukraine, when part of the former Soviet Union, was responsible for about 25% of its overall industrial production. This aging industrial infrastructure continues to emit enormous volumes of air and water pollution and wastes. The National Report on the State of Environment in Ukraine 1999 (Ukraine Ministry of Environmental Protection [MEP], 2000) shows significant air pollution. There are numerous emissions that have been associated with developmental effects, chronic long-term health effects, and cancer. Ukraine also has been identified as a major source of transboundary air pollution for the eastern Mediterranean region. Ukraine's Environment Ministry is not currently able to strategically target high-priority emissions and lacks the resources to address all these problems. For these reasons, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set up a partnership with Ukraine's Ministry of Environmental Protection to strengthen its capacity to set environmental priorities through the use of comparative environmental risk assessment and economic analysis--the Capacity Building Project. The project is also addressing improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the use of its National Environmental Protection Fund. The project consists of a series of workshops with Ukrainian MEP officials in comparative risk assessment of air pollutant emissions in several heavily industrialized oblasts; cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis; and environmental finance. Pilot risk assessment analyses have been completed. At the end of the Capacity Building Project it is expected that the use of the National Environmental Protection fund and the regional level oblast environmental protection funds will begin to target and identify the highest health and environmental risk emissions.

  9. Setting priorities for knowledge translation of Cochrane reviews for health equity: Evidence for Equity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugwell, Peter; Petkovic, Jennifer; Welch, Vivian; Vincent, Jennifer; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A; Churchill, Rachel; deSavigny, Don; Mbuagbaw, Lawrence; Pantoja, Tomas

    2017-12-02

    A focus on equity in health can be seen in many global development goals and reports, research and international declarations. With the development of a relevant framework and methods, the Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group has encouraged the application of an 'equity lens' to systematic reviews, and many organizations publish reviews intended to address health equity. The purpose of the Evidence for Equity (E4E) project was to conduct a priority-setting exercise and apply an equity lens by developing a knowledge translation product comprising summaries of systematic reviews from the Cochrane Library. E4E translates evidence from systematic reviews into 'friendly front end' summaries for policy makers. The following topic areas with high burdens of disease globally, were selected for the pilot: diabetes/obesity, HIV/AIDS, malaria, nutrition, and mental health/depression. For each topic area, a "stakeholder panel" was assembled that included policymakers and researchers. A systematic search of Cochrane reviews was conducted for each area to identify equity-relevant interventions with a meaningful impact. Panel chairs developed a rating sheet which was used by all panels to rank the importance of these interventions by: 1) Ease of Implementation; 2) Health System Requirements; 3)Universality/Generalizability/Share of Burden; and 4) Impact on Inequities/Effect on equity. The ratings of panel members were averaged for each intervention and criterion, and interventions were ordered according to the average overall ratings. Stakeholder panels identified the top 10 interventions from their respective topic areas. The evidence on these interventions is being summarized with an equity focus and the results posted online, at http://methods.cochrane.org/equity/e4e-series . This method provides an explicit approach to setting priorities by systematic review groups and funders for providing decision makers with evidence for the most important equity

  10. Individual responsibility as ground for priority setting in shared decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandman, Lars; Gustavsson, Erik; Munthe, Christian

    2016-10-01

    Given healthcare resource constraints, voices are being raised to hold patients responsible for their health choices. In parallel, there is a growing trend towards shared decision-making, aiming to empower patients and give them more control over healthcare decisions. More power and control over decisions is usually taken to mean more responsibility for them. The trend of shared decision-making would therefore seem to strengthen the case for invoking individual responsibility in the healthcare priority setting. To analyse whether the implementation of shared decision-making would strengthen the argument for invoking individual responsibility in the healthcare priority setting using normative analysis. Shared decision-making does not constitute an independent argument in favour of employing individual responsibility since these notions rest on different underlying values. However, if a health system employs shared decision-making, individual responsibility may be used to limit resource implications of accommodating patient preferences outside professional standards and goals. If a healthcare system employs individual responsibility, high level dynamic shared decision-making implying a joint deliberation resulting in a decision where both parties are willing to revise initial standpoints may disarm common objections to the applicability of individual responsibility by virtue of making patients more likely to exercise adequate control of their own actions. However, if communication strategies applied in the shared decision-making are misaligned to the patient's initial capacities, arguments against individual responsibility might, on the other hand, gain strength. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  11. Self-management priority setting and decision-making in adults with multimorbidity: a narrative review of literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzke, Lisa C; Muehrer, Rebecca J; Kehl, Karen A; Lee, Kyoung Suk; Ward, Earlise C; Kwekkeboom, Kristine L

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of this narrative review was to synthesize current research findings related to self-management, in order to better understand the processes of priority setting and decision-making among adults with multimorbidity. A narrative literature review was undertaken, synthesizing findings from published, peer-reviewed empirical studies that addressed priority setting and/or decision-making in self-management of multimorbidity. A search of PubMed, PsychINFO, CINAHL and SocIndex databases was conducted from database inception through December 2013. References lists from selected empirical studies and systematic reviews were evaluated to identify any additional relevant articles. Full text of potentially eligible articles were reviewed and selected for inclusion if they described empirical studies that addressed priority setting or decision-making in self-management of multimorbidity among adults. Two independent reviewers read each selected article and extracted relevant data to an evidence table. Processes and factors of multimorbidity self-management were identified and sorted into categories of priority setting, decision-making, and facilitators/barriers. Thirteen articles were selected for inclusion; most were qualitative studies describing processes, facilitators, and barriers of multimorbidity self-management. The findings revealed that patients prioritize a dominant chronic illness and re-prioritize over time as conditions and treatments change; that multiple facilitators (e.g. support programs) and barriers (e.g. lack of financial resources) impact individuals' self-management priority setting and decision-making ability; as do individual beliefs, preferences, and attitudes (e.g., perceived personal control, preferences regarding treatment). Health care providers need to be cognizant that individuals with multimorbidity engage in day-to-day priority setting and decision-making among their multiple chronic illnesses and respective treatments. Researchers

  12. How Are Health Research Priorities Set in Low and Middle Income Countries? A Systematic Review of Published Reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Skye; Henderson, Klara J.; Kaldor, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Priority setting is increasingly recognised as essential for directing finite resources to support research that maximizes public health benefits and drives health equity. Priority setting processes have been undertaken in a number of low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings, using a variety of methods. We undertook a critical review of reports of these processes. Methods and Findings We searched electronic databases and online for peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed literature. We found 91 initiatives that met inclusion criteria. The majority took place at the global level (46%). For regional or national initiatives, most focused on Sub Saharan Africa (49%), followed by East Asia and Pacific (20%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (18%). A quarter of initiatives aimed to cover all areas of health research, with a further 20% covering communicable diseases. The most frequently used process was a conference or workshop to determine priorities (24%), followed by the Child Health and Nutrition Initiative (CHNRI) method (18%). The majority were initiated by an international organization or collaboration (46%). Researchers and government were the most frequently represented stakeholders. There was limited evidence of any implementation or follow-up strategies. Challenges in priority setting included engagement with stakeholders, data availability, and capacity constraints. Conclusions Health research priority setting (HRPS) has been undertaken in a variety of LMIC settings. While not consistently used, the application of established methods provides a means of identifying health research priorities in a repeatable and transparent manner. In the absence of published information on implementation or evaluation, it is not possible to assess what the impact and effectiveness of health research priority setting may have been. PMID:25275315

  13. How are health research priorities set in low and middle income countries? A systematic review of published reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Skye; Henderson, Klara J; Kaldor, John M

    2014-01-01

    Priority setting is increasingly recognised as essential for directing finite resources to support research that maximizes public health benefits and drives health equity. Priority setting processes have been undertaken in a number of low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings, using a variety of methods. We undertook a critical review of reports of these processes. We searched electronic databases and online for peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed literature. We found 91 initiatives that met inclusion criteria. The majority took place at the global level (46%). For regional or national initiatives, most focused on Sub Saharan Africa (49%), followed by East Asia and Pacific (20%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (18%). A quarter of initiatives aimed to cover all areas of health research, with a further 20% covering communicable diseases. The most frequently used process was a conference or workshop to determine priorities (24%), followed by the Child Health and Nutrition Initiative (CHNRI) method (18%). The majority were initiated by an international organization or collaboration (46%). Researchers and government were the most frequently represented stakeholders. There was limited evidence of any implementation or follow-up strategies. Challenges in priority setting included engagement with stakeholders, data availability, and capacity constraints. Health research priority setting (HRPS) has been undertaken in a variety of LMIC settings. While not consistently used, the application of established methods provides a means of identifying health research priorities in a repeatable and transparent manner. In the absence of published information on implementation or evaluation, it is not possible to assess what the impact and effectiveness of health research priority setting may have been.

  14. How are health research priorities set in low and middle income countries? A systematic review of published reports.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skye McGregor

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Priority setting is increasingly recognised as essential for directing finite resources to support research that maximizes public health benefits and drives health equity. Priority setting processes have been undertaken in a number of low- and middle-income country (LMIC settings, using a variety of methods. We undertook a critical review of reports of these processes. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We searched electronic databases and online for peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed literature. We found 91 initiatives that met inclusion criteria. The majority took place at the global level (46%. For regional or national initiatives, most focused on Sub Saharan Africa (49%, followed by East Asia and Pacific (20% and Latin America and the Caribbean (18%. A quarter of initiatives aimed to cover all areas of health research, with a further 20% covering communicable diseases. The most frequently used process was a conference or workshop to determine priorities (24%, followed by the Child Health and Nutrition Initiative (CHNRI method (18%. The majority were initiated by an international organization or collaboration (46%. Researchers and government were the most frequently represented stakeholders. There was limited evidence of any implementation or follow-up strategies. Challenges in priority setting included engagement with stakeholders, data availability, and capacity constraints. CONCLUSIONS: Health research priority setting (HRPS has been undertaken in a variety of LMIC settings. While not consistently used, the application of established methods provides a means of identifying health research priorities in a repeatable and transparent manner. In the absence of published information on implementation or evaluation, it is not possible to assess what the impact and effectiveness of health research priority setting may have been.

  15. Effects of errors and gaps in spatial data sets on assessment of conservation progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visconti, P; Di Marco, M; Álvarez-Romero, J G; Januchowski-Hartley, S R; Pressey, R L; Weeks, R; Rondinini, C

    2013-10-01

    Data on the location and extent of protected areas, ecosystems, and species' distributions are essential for determining gaps in biodiversity protection and identifying future conservation priorities. However, these data sets always come with errors in the maps and associated metadata. Errors are often overlooked in conservation studies, despite their potential negative effects on the reported extent of protection of species and ecosystems. We used 3 case studies to illustrate the implications of 3 sources of errors in reporting progress toward conservation objectives: protected areas with unknown boundaries that are replaced by buffered centroids, propagation of multiple errors in spatial data, and incomplete protected-area data sets. As of 2010, the frequency of protected areas with unknown boundaries in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) caused the estimated extent of protection of 37.1% of the terrestrial Neotropical mammals to be overestimated by an average 402.8% and of 62.6% of species to be underestimated by an average 10.9%. Estimated level of protection of the world's coral reefs was 25% higher when using recent finer-resolution data on coral reefs as opposed to globally available coarse-resolution data. Accounting for additional data sets not yet incorporated into WDPA contributed up to 6.7% of additional protection to marine ecosystems in the Philippines. We suggest ways for data providers to reduce the errors in spatial and ancillary data and ways for data users to mitigate the effects of these errors on biodiversity assessments. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Using multicriteria decision analysis to support research priority setting in biomedical translational research projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Graaf, Gimon; Postmus, Douwe; Buskens, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Translational research is conducted to achieve a predefined set of economic or societal goals. As a result, investment decisions on where available resources have the highest potential in achieving these goals have to be made. In this paper, we first describe how multicriteria decision analysis can assist in defining the decision context and in ensuring that all relevant aspects of the decision problem are incorporated in the decision making process. We then present the results of a case study to support priority setting in a translational research consortium aimed at reducing the burden of disease of type 2 diabetes. During problem structuring, we identified four research alternatives (primary, secondary, tertiary microvascular, and tertiary macrovascular prevention) and a set of six decision criteria. Scoring of these alternatives against the criteria was done using a combination of expert judgement and previously published data. Lastly, decision analysis was performed using stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis, which allows for the combined use of numerical and ordinal data. We found that the development of novel techniques applied in secondary prevention would be a poor investment of research funds. The ranking of the remaining alternatives was however strongly dependent on the decision maker's preferences for certain criteria.

  17. Estimation of Soil Erosion Dynamics in the Koshi Basin Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Assess Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kabir Uddin

    Full Text Available High levels of water-induced erosion in the transboundary Himalayan river basins are contributing to substantial changes in basin hydrology and inundation. Basin-wide information on erosion dynamics is needed for conservation planning, but field-based studies are limited. This study used remote sensing (RS data and a geographic information system (GIS to estimate the spatial distribution of soil erosion across the entire Koshi basin, to identify changes between 1990 and 2010, and to develop a conservation priority map. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE was used in an ArcGIS environment with rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, cover-management, and support practice factors as primary parameters. The estimated annual erosion from the basin was around 40 million tonnes (40 million tonnes in 1990 and 42 million tonnes in 2010. The results were within the range of reported levels derived from isolated plot measurements and model estimates. Erosion risk was divided into eight classes from very low to extremely high and mapped to show the spatial pattern of soil erosion risk in the basin in 1990 and 2010. The erosion risk class remained unchanged between 1990 and 2010 in close to 87% of the study area, but increased over 9.0% of the area and decreased over 3.8%, indicating an overall worsening of the situation. Areas with a high and increasing risk of erosion were identified as priority areas for conservation. The study provides the first assessment of erosion dynamics at the basin level and provides a basis for identifying conservation priorities across the Koshi basin. The model has a good potential for application in similar river basins in the Himalayan region.

  18. Estimation of Soil Erosion Dynamics in the Koshi Basin Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Assess Priority Areas for Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Kabir; Murthy, M S R; Wahid, Shahriar M; Matin, Mir A

    2016-01-01

    High levels of water-induced erosion in the transboundary Himalayan river basins are contributing to substantial changes in basin hydrology and inundation. Basin-wide information on erosion dynamics is needed for conservation planning, but field-based studies are limited. This study used remote sensing (RS) data and a geographic information system (GIS) to estimate the spatial distribution of soil erosion across the entire Koshi basin, to identify changes between 1990 and 2010, and to develop a conservation priority map. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) was used in an ArcGIS environment with rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, cover-management, and support practice factors as primary parameters. The estimated annual erosion from the basin was around 40 million tonnes (40 million tonnes in 1990 and 42 million tonnes in 2010). The results were within the range of reported levels derived from isolated plot measurements and model estimates. Erosion risk was divided into eight classes from very low to extremely high and mapped to show the spatial pattern of soil erosion risk in the basin in 1990 and 2010. The erosion risk class remained unchanged between 1990 and 2010 in close to 87% of the study area, but increased over 9.0% of the area and decreased over 3.8%, indicating an overall worsening of the situation. Areas with a high and increasing risk of erosion were identified as priority areas for conservation. The study provides the first assessment of erosion dynamics at the basin level and provides a basis for identifying conservation priorities across the Koshi basin. The model has a good potential for application in similar river basins in the Himalayan region.

  19. Estimation of Soil Erosion Dynamics in the Koshi Basin Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Assess Priority Areas for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Kabir; Murthy, M. S. R.; Wahid, Shahriar M.; Matin, Mir A.

    2016-01-01

    High levels of water-induced erosion in the transboundary Himalayan river basins are contributing to substantial changes in basin hydrology and inundation. Basin-wide information on erosion dynamics is needed for conservation planning, but field-based studies are limited. This study used remote sensing (RS) data and a geographic information system (GIS) to estimate the spatial distribution of soil erosion across the entire Koshi basin, to identify changes between 1990 and 2010, and to develop a conservation priority map. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) was used in an ArcGIS environment with rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, cover-management, and support practice factors as primary parameters. The estimated annual erosion from the basin was around 40 million tonnes (40 million tonnes in 1990 and 42 million tonnes in 2010). The results were within the range of reported levels derived from isolated plot measurements and model estimates. Erosion risk was divided into eight classes from very low to extremely high and mapped to show the spatial pattern of soil erosion risk in the basin in 1990 and 2010. The erosion risk class remained unchanged between 1990 and 2010 in close to 87% of the study area, but increased over 9.0% of the area and decreased over 3.8%, indicating an overall worsening of the situation. Areas with a high and increasing risk of erosion were identified as priority areas for conservation. The study provides the first assessment of erosion dynamics at the basin level and provides a basis for identifying conservation priorities across the Koshi basin. The model has a good potential for application in similar river basins in the Himalayan region. PMID:26964039

  20. Conservation Genetics of the Philippine Tarsier: Cryptic Genetic Variation Restructures Conservation Priorities for an Island Archipelago Primate: e104340

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rafe M Brown; Jennifer A Weghorst; Karen V Olson; Mariano R M Duya; Anthony J Barley; Melizar V Duya; Myron Shekelle; Irene Neri-Arboleda; Jacob A Esselstyn; Nathaniel J Dominy; Perry S Ong; Gillian L Moritz; Adrian Luczon; Mae Lowe L Diesmos; Arvin C Diesmos; Cameron D Siler

    2014-01-01

    .... Conservation programs require knowledge of taxonomic diversity to ensure success. The Philippine tarsier is a flagship species that promotes environmental awareness and a thriving ecotourism economy in the Philippines...

  1. Conservation genetics of the Philippine tarsier: cryptic genetic variation restructures conservation priorities for an island archipelago primate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Brown, Rafe M; Weghorst, Jennifer A; Olson, Karen V; Duya, Mariano R M; Barley, Anthony J; Duya, Melizar V; Shekelle, Myron; Neri-Arboleda, Irene; Esselstyn, Jacob A; Dominy, Nathaniel J; Ong, Perry S; Moritz, Gillian L; Luczon, Adrian; Diesmos, Mae Lowe L; Diesmos, Arvin C; Siler, Cameron D

    2014-01-01

    .... Conservation programs require knowledge of taxonomic diversity to ensure success. The Philippine tarsier is a flagship species that promotes environmental awareness and a thriving ecotourism economy in the Philippines...

  2. Priority setting in HIV/AIDS control in West Java Indonesia: an evaluation based on the accountability for reasonableness framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tromp, Noor; Prawiranegara, Rozar; Subhan Riparev, Harris; Siregar, Adiatma; Sunjaya, Deni; Baltussen, Rob

    2015-04-01

    Indonesia has insufficient resources to adequately respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and thus faces a great challenge in prioritizing interventions. In many countries, such priority setting processes are typically ad hoc and not transparent leading to unfair decisions. Here, we evaluated the priority setting process in HIV/AIDS control in West Java province against the four conditions of the accountability for reasonableness (A4R) framework: relevance, publicity, appeals and revision, and enforcement. We reviewed government documents and conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews based on the A4R framework with 22 participants of the 5-year HIV/AIDS strategy development for 2008-13 (West Java province) and 2007-11 (Bandung). We found that criteria for priority setting were used implicitly and that the strategies included a wide range of programmes. Many stakeholders were involved in the process but their contribution could be improved and particularly the public and people living with HIV/AIDS could be better engaged. The use of appeal and publicity mechanisms could be more transparent and formally stated. Public regulations are not yet installed to ensure fair priority setting. To increase fairness in HIV/AIDS priority setting, West Java should make improvements on all four conditions of the A4R framework. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine © The Author 2014; all rights reserved.

  3. Proceduralism and its role in economic evaluation and priority setting in health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan, Stephen

    2014-05-01

    This paper provides a critical overview of Gavin Mooney's proceduralist approach to economic evaluation and priority setting in health. Proceduralism is the notion that the social value attached to alternative courses of action should be determined not only by outcomes, but also processes. Mooney's brand of proceduralism was unique and couched within a broader critique of 'neo-liberal' economics. It operated on a number of levels. At the micro level of the individual program, he pioneered the notion that 'process utility' could be valued and measured within economic evaluation. At a macro level, he developed a framework in which the social objective of equity was defined by procedural justice in which communitarian values were used as the basis for judging how resources should be allocated across the health system. Finally, he applied the notion of procedural justice to further our understanding of the political economy of resource allocation; highlighting how fairness in decision making processes can overcome the sometimes intractable zero-sum resource allocation problem. In summary, his contributions to this field have set the stage for innovative programs of research to help in developing health policies and programs that are both in alignment with community values and implementable. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Research Priorities for the Intersection of Alcohol and HIV/AIDS in Low and Middle Income Countries: A Priority Setting Exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Sara; Rotheram-Borus, Mary Jane; Skeen, Sarah; Perry, Charles; Bryant, Kendall; Tomlinson, Mark

    2017-11-01

    The harmful use of alcohol is a component cause for more than 200 diseases. The association between alcohol consumption, risk taking behavior and a range of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS is well established. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS as well as harmful alcohol use in low and middle income countries is high. Alcohol has been identified as a modifiable risk factor in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The objective of this paper is to define research priorities for the interaction of alcohol and HIV/AIDS in low and middle income countries. The Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) priority setting methodology was applied in order to assess research priorities of the interaction of alcohol and HIV/AIDS. A group of 171 global and local experts in the field of alcohol and or HIV/AIDS related research were identified and invited to generate research questions. This resulted in 205 research questions which have been categorized and refined by senior researchers into 48 research questions to be evaluated using five criteria: answerability, effectiveness, feasibility, applicability and impact, as well as equity. A total of 59 experts participated independently in the voluntary scoring exercise (a 34% response rate). There was substantial consensus among experts on priorities for research on alcohol and HIV. These tended to break down into two categories, those focusing on better understanding the nexus between alcohol and HIV and those directed towards informing practical interventions to reduce the impact of alcohol use on HIV treatment outcomes, which replicates what Bryant (Subst Use Misuse 41:1465-1507, 2006) and Parry et al. (Addiction 108:1-2, 2012) found. Responses from experts were stratified by location in order to determine any differences between groups. On average experts in the LMIC gave higher scores than the HIC experts. Recent research has shown the causal link between alcohol consumption and the incidence of HIV

  5. Estimating Climate Resilience for Conservation across Geophysical Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    ANDERSON, MARK G; CLARK, MELISSA; SHELDON, ARLENE OLIVERO

    2014-01-01

    Conservationists need methods to conserve biological diversity while allowing species and communities to rearrange in response to a changing climate. We developed and tested such a method for northeastern North America that we based on physical features associated with ecological diversity and site resilience to climate change. We comprehensively mapped 30 distinct geophysical settings based on geology and elevation. Within each geophysical setting, we identified sites that were both connected by natural cover and that had relatively more microclimates indicated by diverse topography and elevation gradients. We did this by scoring every 405 ha hexagon in the region for these two characteristics and selecting those that scored >SD 0.5 above the mean combined score for each setting. We hypothesized that these high-scoring sites had the greatest resilience to climate change, and we compared them with sites selected by The Nature Conservancy for their high-quality rare species populations and natural community occurrences. High-scoring sites captured significantly more of the biodiversity sites than expected by chance (p SD 0.5 por encima del puntaje combinado promedio para cada escenario. Nuestra hipótesis fue que estos sitios con altas puntuaciones tuvieron la mayor capacidad de recuperación. Los comparamos con los sitios seleccionados por The Nature Conservancy por sus poblaciones de alta calidad de especies raras y sus ocurrencias de comunidades naturales. Los sitios con altos puntajes capturaron significativamente más de los sitios de biodiversidad de lo que se esperaba por casualidad (p suelo (en promedio 7%). Ya que nuestro método identifica – para cada escenario geofísico – sitios que tienen mayor probabilidad de retener especies y funciones más tiempo bajo un clima cambiante, revela baluartes naturales para la conservación futura que también capturaría biodiversidad existente sustancial y corregiría el sesgo en tierras que actualmente est

  6. The Fate of Priority Areas for Conservation in Protected Areas: A Fine-Scale Markov Chain Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattoni, Clara; Ciolli, Marco; Ferretti, Fabrizio

    2011-02-01

    Park managers in alpine areas must deal with the increase in forest coverage that has been observed in most European mountain areas, where traditional farming and agricultural practices have been abandoned. The aim of this study is to develop a fine-scale model of a broad area to support the managers of Paneveggio Nature Park (Italy) in conservation planning by focusing on the fate of priority areas for conservation in the next 50-100 years. GIS analyses were performed to assess the afforestation dynamic over time using two historical maps (from 1859 and 1936) and a series of aerial photographs and ortho-photos (taken from 1954 to 2006) covering a time span of 150 years. The results show an increase in the forest surface area of about 35%. Additionally, the forest became progressively more compact and less fragmented, with a consequent loss of ecotones and open habitats that are important for biodiversity. Markov chain-cellular automata models were used to project future changes, evaluating the effects on a habitat scale. Simulations show that some habitats defined as priority by the EU Habitat Directive will be compromised by the forest expansion by 2050 and suffer a consistent loss by 2100. This protocol, applied to other areas, can be used for designing long-term management measures with a focus on habitats where conservation status is at risk.

  7. Opuntia in México: Identifying Priority Areas for Conserving Biodiversity in a Multi-Use Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illoldi-Rangel, Patricia; Ciarleglio, Michael; Sheinvar, Leia; Linaje, Miguel; Sánchez-Cordero, Victor; Sarkar, Sahotra

    2012-01-01

    Background México is one of the world's centers of species diversity (richness) for Opuntia cacti. Yet, in spite of their economic and ecological importance, Opuntia species remain poorly studied and protected in México. Many of the species are sparsely but widely distributed across the landscape and are subject to a variety of human uses, so devising implementable conservation plans for them presents formidable difficulties. Multi–criteria analysis can be used to design a spatially coherent conservation area network while permitting sustainable human usage. Methods and Findings Species distribution models were created for 60 Opuntia species using MaxEnt. Targets of representation within conservation area networks were assigned at 100% for the geographically rarest species and 10% for the most common ones. Three different conservation plans were developed to represent the species within these networks using total area, shape, and connectivity as relevant criteria. Multi–criteria analysis and a metaheuristic adaptive tabu search algorithm were used to search for optimal solutions. The plans were built on the existing protected areas of México and prioritized additional areas for management for the persistence of Opuntia species. All plans required around one–third of México's total area to be prioritized for attention for Opuntia conservation, underscoring the implausibility of Opuntia conservation through traditional land reservation. Tabu search turned out to be both computationally tractable and easily implementable for search problems of this kind. Conclusions Opuntia conservation in México require the management of large areas of land for multiple uses. The multi-criteria analyses identified priority areas and organized them in large contiguous blocks that can be effectively managed. A high level of connectivity was established among the prioritized areas resulting in the enhancement of possible modes of plant dispersal as well as only a small number

  8. Opuntia in México: identifying priority areas for conserving biodiversity in a multi-use landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illoldi-Rangel, Patricia; Ciarleglio, Michael; Sheinvar, Leia; Linaje, Miguel; Sánchez-Cordero, Victor; Sarkar, Sahotra

    2012-01-01

    México is one of the world's centers of species diversity (richness) for Opuntia cacti. Yet, in spite of their economic and ecological importance, Opuntia species remain poorly studied and protected in México. Many of the species are sparsely but widely distributed across the landscape and are subject to a variety of human uses, so devising implementable conservation plans for them presents formidable difficulties. Multi-criteria analysis can be used to design a spatially coherent conservation area network while permitting sustainable human usage. Species distribution models were created for 60 Opuntia species using MaxEnt. Targets of representation within conservation area networks were assigned at 100% for the geographically rarest species and 10% for the most common ones. Three different conservation plans were developed to represent the species within these networks using total area, shape, and connectivity as relevant criteria. Multi-criteria analysis and a metaheuristic adaptive tabu search algorithm were used to search for optimal solutions. The plans were built on the existing protected areas of México and prioritized additional areas for management for the persistence of Opuntia species. All plans required around one-third of México's total area to be prioritized for attention for Opuntia conservation, underscoring the implausibility of Opuntia conservation through traditional land reservation. Tabu search turned out to be both computationally tractable and easily implementable for search problems of this kind. Opuntia conservation in México require the management of large areas of land for multiple uses. The multi-criteria analyses identified priority areas and organized them in large contiguous blocks that can be effectively managed. A high level of connectivity was established among the prioritized areas resulting in the enhancement of possible modes of plant dispersal as well as only a small number of blocks that would be recommended for

  9. Assessment of the conservation priority status of South African estuaries for use in management and water allocation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Turpie, JK

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Vol. 28 No. 2 April 2002 191 Assessment of the conservation priority status of South African estuaries for use in management and water allocation JK Turpie1*, JB Adams2, A Joubert3, TD Harrison4, BM Colloty2, RC Maree5, AK Whitfield6, TH Wooldridge7... and Coastal Management, Private Bag X2, Roggebaai 8012, South Africa 6JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa 7Zoology Department, University of Port Elizabeth, P.O Box 1600, Port Elizabeth, 6000, South Africa 8CSIR...

  10. Effective stakeholder participation in setting research priorities using a Global Evidence Mapping approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavisi, Ornella; Bragge, Peter; Tavender, Emma; Turner, Tari; Gruen, Russell L

    2013-05-01

    We present a multistep process for identifying priority research areas in rehabilitation and long-term care of traumatic brain-injured (TBI) patients. In particular, we aimed to (1) identify which stakeholders should be involved; (2) identify what methods are appropriate; (3) examine different criteria for the generation of research priority areas; and (4) test the feasibility of linkage and exchange among researchers, decision makers, and other potential users of the research. Potential research questions were identified and developed using an initial scoping meeting and preliminary literature search, followed by a facilitated mapping workshop and an online survey. Identified research questions were then prioritized against specific criteria (clinical importance, novelty, and controversy). Existing evidence was then mapped to the high-priority questions using usual processes for search, screening, and selection. A broad range of stakeholders were then brought together at a forum to identify priority research themes for future research investment. Using clinical and research leaders, smaller targeted planning workshops prioritized specific research projects for each of the identified themes. Twenty-six specific questions about TBI rehabilitation were generated, 14 of which were high priority. No one method identified all high-priority questions. Methods that relied solely on the views of clinicians and researchers identified fewer high-priority questions compared with methods that used broader stakeholder engagement. Evidence maps of these high-priority questions yielded a number of evidence gaps. Priority questions and evidence maps were then used to inform a research forum, which identified 12 priority themes for future research. Our research demonstrates the value of a multistep and multimethod process involving many different types of stakeholders for prioritizing research to improve the rehabilitation outcomes of people who have suffered TBI. Enhancing

  11. An assessment of priority setting process and its implication on availability of emergency obstetric care services in Malindi District, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyandieka, Lilian Nyamusi; Kombe, Yeri; Ng'ang'a, Zipporah; Byskov, Jens; Njeru, Mercy Karimi

    2015-01-01

    In spite of the critical role of Emergency Obstetric Care in treating complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth, very few facilities are equipped in Kenya to offer this service. In Malindi, availability of EmOC services does not meet the UN recommended levels of at least one comprehensive and four basic EmOC facilities per 500,000 populations. This study was conducted to assess priority setting process and its implication on availability, access and use of EmOC services at the district level. A qualitative study was conducted both at health facility and community levels. Triangulation of data sources and methods was employed, where document reviews, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with health personnel, facility committee members, stakeholders who offer and/ or support maternal health services and programmes; and the community members as end users. Data was thematically analysed. Limitations in the extent to which priorities in regard to maternal health services can be set at the district level were observed. The priority setting process was greatly restricted by guidelines and limited resources from the national level. Relevant stakeholders including community members are not involved in the priority setting process, thereby denying them the opportunity to contribute in the process. The findings illuminate that consideration of all local plans in national planning and budgeting as well as the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the priority setting exercise is essential in order to achieve a consensus on the provision of emergency obstetric care services among other health service priorities.

  12. Setting priorities for action plans at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, A.C.

    1992-09-30

    This report summarizes work done by Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) under Subcontract Number 9-XQ2-Y3837-1 with the University of California. The purpose of this work was to develop a method of setting priorities for environmental, safety, and health (ES&H) deficiencies at Los Alamos. The deficiencies were identified by a DOE Tiger Team that visited LANL in the fall of 1991, and by self assessments done by the Laboratory. ADA did the work described here between October 1991 and the end of September 1992. The ADA staff working on this project became part of a Risk Management Team in the Laboratory`s Integration and Coordination Office (ICO). During the project, the Risk Management Team produced a variety of documents describing aspects of the action-plan prioritization system. Some of those documents are attached to this report. Rather than attempt to duplicate their contents, this report provides a guide to those documents, and references them whenever appropriate.

  13. Using Resource Allocation Modeling to Inform HIV Prevention Priority Setting for Baltimore-Towson, Maryland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtgrave, David R; Maulsby, Cathy; Kim, J Janet; Cassidy-Stewart, Hope; Hauck, Heather

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the "Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Planning" initiative, which targeted funding to the 12 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with the most severe epidemics of human immunodeficiency virus infection to a) develop a plan to align each MSA's HIV prevention plan with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and b) identify and implement the optimal combination of prevention services to reduce new infections. This paper describes how the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) partnered with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) to conduct mathematical modeling and economic analyses to inform local planning for resource allocation and intervention design for the Baltimore-Towson MSA. The paper outlines the steps of building and implementing that analytic partnership, illustrates how results were discussed with other key stakeholders, and shows how the findings informed local priority setting. The paper demonstrates how health departments, academia, and community partners can jointly use policy modeling to improve resource allocation and address urgent public health challenges.

  14. A global research agenda for family planning: results of an exercise for setting research priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Moazzam; Seuc, Armando; Rahimi, Asma; Festin, Mario; Temmerman, Marleen

    2014-02-01

    To develop a global research agenda that will guide investment in effective interventions to satisfy the large unmet need for modern methods of family planning. In a global survey, experts on contraception were invited to identify and rank the types of research that would be needed--and the knowledge gaps that would have to be filled--to reduce the unmet need for family planning in the next decade. The experts were then asked to score the research on a given topic in terms of the likelihood of its leading to an intervention that would: (i) be deliverable, affordable and sustainable; (ii) substantially reduce the unmet need for contraceptives; (iii) be effective and efficient in improving health systems; (iv) be ethically implemented; and (v) improve equity in the target population. The overall scores were then ranked. Most of the topics that received the 15 highest scores fell into three categories: implementation of policies in family planning; the integration of services to address barriers to contraceptive use; and interventions targeted at underserved groups, such as adolescents. Experts on contraception gave top priority ranking to research on improving the implementation and integration of health services and on strengthening the health systems supporting family planning services. The results of the exercise may help decision-makers, researchers and funding agencies to develop a clear and focused approach to satisfying the global need for family planning and reach the target set by the Family Planning 2020 initiative.

  15. Setting health research priorities using the CHNRI method: VI. Quantitative properties of human collective opinion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Sachiyo; Rudan, Igor; Cousens, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Crowdsourcing has become an increasingly important tool to address many problems - from government elections in democracies, stock market prices, to modern online tools such as TripAdvisor or Internet Movie Database (IMDB). The CHNRI method (the acronym for the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative) for setting health research priorities has crowdsourcing as the major component, which it uses to generate, assess and prioritize between many competing health research ideas. We conducted a series of analyses using data from a group of 91 scorers to explore the quantitative properties of their collective opinion. We were interested in the stability of their collective opinion as the sample size increases from 15 to 90. From a pool of 91 scorers who took part in a previous CHNRI exercise, we used sampling with replacement to generate multiple random samples of different size. First, for each sample generated, we identified the top 20 ranked research ideas, among 205 that were proposed and scored, and calculated the concordance with the ranking generated by the 91 original scorers. Second, we used rank correlation coefficients to compare the ranks assigned to all 205 proposed research ideas when samples of different size are used. We also analysed the original pool of 91 scorers to to look for evidence of scoring variations based on scorers' characteristics. The sample sizes investigated ranged from 15 to 90. The concordance for the top 20 scored research ideas increased with sample sizes up to about 55 experts. At this point, the median level of concordance stabilized at 15/20 top ranked questions (75%), with the interquartile range also generally stable (14-16). There was little further increase in overlap when the sample size increased from 55 to 90. When analysing the ranking of all 205 ideas, the rank correlation coefficient increased as the sample size increased, with a median correlation of 0.95 reached at the sample size of 45 experts (median of the rank

  16. Global priorities for conservation of threatened species, carbon storage, and freshwater services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Londoño-Murcia, Maria C.; Turner, Will R.

    2011-01-01

    The potential of global biodiversity conservation efforts to also deliver critical benefits, such as carbon storage and freshwater services, is still unclear. Using spatially explicit data on 3,500 range-restricted threatened species, carbon storage, and freshwater provision to people, we conducted...... for which spatial planning and appropriate conservation mechanisms (e.g., payments for ecosystem services) can be used to realize synergies and mitigate tradeoffs....

  17. Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crist, Michele R.; Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.

    2015-09-08

    The network of areas delineated in 11 Western States for prioritizing management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a grand experiment in conservation biology and reserve design. We used centrality metrics from social network theory to gain insights into how this priority area network might function. The network was highly centralized. Twenty of 188 priority areas accounted for 80 percent of the total centrality scores. These priority areas, characterized by large size and a central location in the range-wide distribution, are strongholds for greater sage-grouse populations and also might function as sources. Mid-ranking priority areas may serve as stepping stones because of their location between large central and smaller peripheral priority areas. The current network design and conservation strategy has risks. The contribution of almost one-half (n = 93) of the priority areas combined for less than 1 percent of the cumulative centrality scores for the network. These priority areas individually are likely too small to support viable sage-grouse populations within their boundary. Without habitat corridors to connect small priority areas either to larger priority areas or as a clustered group within the network, their isolation could lead to loss of sage-grouse within these regions of the network. 

  18. Social values and health priority setting in Australia: an analysis applied to the context of health technology assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitty, Jennifer A; Littlejohns, Peter

    2015-02-01

    To describe the role of social values in priority setting related to health technology assessment processes and decision-making in Australia. The processes and decision criteria of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Benefits Advisory Committees are described based on literature and policy sources, and analysed using a framework for identifying social values in priority-setting. Transparency and accountability of processes are apparent. Participation balances inclusiveness and effectiveness of decision-making, but presents an opportunity to enhance priority setting processes. Clinical and cost-effectiveness are important content considerations. Social values related to justice/equity are considered, without quantification of criteria weights for equity relative to other factors. HTA processes support solidarity through subsidising approved technologies for all Australians, whilst retaining autonomy by permitting non-subsidised technologies to be accessed privately, leading to possible tension between the values of solidarity, autonomy and equity. Priority setting related to health technology subsidy incorporates a range of inter-related social values in the processes and content of decision-making. Participation in decision-making could arguably be improved if a patient and public engagement policy were to be formulated alongside more widespread changes across processes to assess social values using approaches such as the Citizens' Jury. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Priority setting of ICU resources in an influenza pandemic: a qualitative study of the Canadian public's perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silva Diego S

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pandemic influenza may exacerbate existing scarcity of life-saving medical resources. As a result, decision-makers may be faced with making tough choices about who will receive care and who will have to wait or go without. Although previous studies have explored ethical issues in priority setting from the perspective of clinicians and policymakers, there has been little investigation into how the public views priority setting during a pandemic influenza, in particular related to intensive care resources. Methods To bridge this gap, we conducted three public town hall meetings across Canada to explore Canadian's perspectives on this ethical challenge. Town hall discussions group discussions were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results Six interrelated themes emerged from the town hall discussions related to: ethical and empirical starting points for deliberation; criteria for setting priorities; pre-crisis planning; in-crisis decision-making; the need for public deliberation and input; and participants' deliberative struggle with the ethical issues. Conclusions Our findings underscore the importance of public consultation in pandemic planning for sustaining public trust in a public health emergency. Participants appreciated the empirical and ethical uncertainty of decision-making in an influenza pandemic and demonstrated nuanced ethical reasoning about priority setting of intensive care resources in an influenza pandemic. Policymakers may benefit from a better understanding the public's empirical and ethical 'starting points' in developing effective pandemic plans.

  20. Estimating landholders' probability of participating in a stewardship program, and the implications for spatial conservation priorities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M Adams

    Full Text Available The need to integrate social and economic factors into conservation planning has become a focus of academic discussions and has important practical implications for the implementation of conservation areas, both private and public. We conducted a survey in the Daly Catchment, Northern Territory, to inform the design and implementation of a stewardship payment program. We used a choice model to estimate the likely level of participation in two legal arrangements--conservation covenants and management agreements--based on payment level and proportion of properties required to be managed. We then spatially predicted landholders' probability of participating at the resolution of individual properties and incorporated these predictions into conservation planning software to examine the potential for the stewardship program to meet conservation objectives. We found that the properties that were least costly, per unit area, to manage were also the least likely to participate. This highlights a tension between planning for a cost-effective program and planning for a program that targets properties with the highest probability of participation.

  1. A higher-taxon approach to rodent conservation priorities for the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amori, G.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Although rodents are not considered among the most threatened mammals, there is ample historical evidence concerning the vulnerability to extinction of several rodent phylogenetic lineages. Owing to the high number of species, poor taxonomy and the lack of detailed information on population status, the assessment of threat status according to IUCN criteria has still to be considered arbitrary in some cases. Public appreciation is scarce and tends to overlook the ecological role and conservation problems of an order representing about 41 percent of mammalian species. We provide an overview of the most relevant information concerning the conservation status of rodents at the genus, subfamily, and family level. For species¿poor taxa, the importance of distinct populations is highlighted and a splitter approach in taxonomy is adopted. Considering present constraints, strategies for the conservation of rodent diversity must rely mainly on higher taxon and hot-spot approaches. A clear understanding of phyletic relationships among difficult groups -such as Rattus, for instance- is an urgent goal. Even if rodent taxonomy is still unstable, high taxon approach is amply justified from a conservation standpoint as it offers a more subtle overview of the world terrestrial biodiversity than that offered by large mammals. Of the circa 451 living rodent genera, 126 (27,9 %, representing 168 living species, deserve conservation attention according to the present study. About 76 % of genera at risk are monotypic, confirming the danger of losing a considerable amount of phylogenetic distinctiveness.

  2. DEFINING PRIORITY ZONES FOR CONSERVATION AND ECOTOURISM IN A PROTECTED AREA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taynan de Oliveira Costa

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT With the objective of promoting nature conservation, this study proposes an environmental zoning for a protected area that contains part of the remaining Atlantic Forest, a global hotspot that is home to several endangered species of flora and fauna. Conflicting therewith, the protected area is an important tourist attraction in the region and receives many visitors throughout the year. For the zoning preparation, the main factors and constraints of each objective (ecotourism and conservation are established, and a multi-criteria analysis is used, in addition to the MOLA (Multi-Objective Land Allocation algorithm, to establish the most suitable areas for each use. Extreme protection areas are defined through the intersection of endemic vegetation and soils and altitudes above 1,500 m. Thus, a fraction of 18% is obtained for extreme protection, 59% for conservation, and 23% for areas destined for ecotourism development. The results demonstrate the advantages of using these methods, due to their simplicity, which can support administrators in planning the protected area. The zoning is in accordance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN recommendation because the conservation area corresponds to approximately 77% of the park area, reinforcing the suitability and applicability of the methodology that is used for the zoning of a protected area.

  3. Massage Therapy and Canadians’ Health Care Needs 2020: Proceedings of a National Research Priority Setting Summit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dryden, Trish; Sumpton, Bryn; Shipwright, Stacey; Kahn, Janet; Reece, Barbara (Findlay)

    2014-01-01

    Background The health care landscape in Canada is changing rapidly as forces, such as an aging population, increasingly complex health issues and treatments, and economic pressure to reduce health care costs, bear down on the system. A cohesive national research agenda for massage therapy (MT) is needed in order to ensure maximum benefit is derived from research on treatment, health care policy, and cost effectiveness. Setting A one-day invitational summit was held in Toronto, Ontario to build strategic alliances among Canadian and international researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders to help shape a national research agenda for MT. Method Using a modified Delphi method, the summit organizers conducted two pre-summit surveys to ensure that time spent during the summit was relevant and productive. The summit was facilitated using the principles of Appreciative Inquiry which included a “4D” strategic planning approach (defining, discovery, dreaming, designing) and application of a SOAR framework (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results). Participants Twenty-six researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders actively participated in the events. Results Priority topics that massage therapists believe are important to the Canadian public, other health care providers, and policy makers and massage therapists themselves were identified. A framework for a national massage therapy (MT) research agenda, a grand vision of the future for MT research, and a 12-month action plan were developed. Conclusion The summit provided an excellent opportunity for key stakeholders to come together and use their experience and knowledge of MT to develop a much-needed plan for moving the MT research and professionalization agenda forward. PMID:24592299

  4. Research priorities for conservation of metallophyte biodiversity and their potential for restoration and site remediation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whiting, S.N.; Reeves, R.D.; Richards, D.; Johnson, M.S.; Cooke, J.A.; Malaisse, F.; Paton, A.; Smith, J.A.C.; Angle, J.S.; Chaney, R.L.; Ginocchio, R.; Jaffre, T.; Johns, R.; McIntyre, T.; Purvis, O.W.; Salt, D.E.; Zhao, F.J.; Baker, A.J.M.; Schat, H.

    2004-01-01

    Plants that have evolved to survive on metal-rich soils-metallophytes-have key values that must drive research of their unique properties and ultimately their conservation. The ability of metallophytes to tolerate extreme metal concentrations commends them for revegetation of mines and

  5. Width of riparian buffer and structure of adjacent plantations influence occupancy of conservation priority birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roger W. Perry; T. Bently Wigley; M. Anthony Melchiors; Ronald E. Thill; Philip A. Tappe; Darren A. Miller

    2011-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity on forest landscapes dominated by plantations has become an increasingly important topic, and opportunities to maintain or enhance biodiversity within these forests need to be recognized and applied. Riparian buffers of mature forest retained along streams in managed forest landscapes offer an opportunity to enhance biodiversity across...

  6. Research Priority Setting for Social Determinants of Health Research Center of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in 2013

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad-Reza Sohrabi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background and objective: It is obvious that, because of the lack of resources, we should devote our limited resources to priorities in order to reach an acceptable level of health. The objective of this study was to research priority setting for Pediatric Surgery Research Center; with the participation of all stakeholders.Material and Methods: This is a Health System Research (HSR project in order to apply governance and leadership issues with the participation of 41 people including faculty members in Pediatric Surgery Research Center, Shahid Beheshti Medical University and the other pediatric specialists and health system stakeholders as well as the people associated with health system inside & outside the university. This was performed in 2010 using the Council on Health Research for Development COHRED( model with little change. Based on the model, at first the stakeholders were identified and the field situation of Pediatric Surgery was analyzed. Then, research areas and titles were specified and research priorities were set out by giving scores according to the criteria.Results: The seven obtained research areas in priority order are included pediatric trauma, pediatric cancers, pediatric urology diseases, undescended testicles in children, developmental genetics & congenital defects, emergency in children and application of laparoscopic surgery in children. Because each of the research areas is composed of multiple subareas, we managed to finally specify 43 research subareas as research priorities. These subareas included epidemiology, risk factors, prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment. They also included follow-up, complications, knowledge & attitudes of parents, quality of life, economy aspects and data bank for further research.Conclusion: In this project, research priorities were set out for Pediatric Surgery Research Center of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, with the participation of all the stakeholders

  7. Integration of species and ecosystem monitoring for selecting priority areas for biodiversity conservation: Case studies from the Palearctic of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey A. Romanov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available At the start of the third millennium, new opportunities have arisen in biogeographical research, namely in the generalisation, visualisation and cross-spectrum analysis of biological and geographical information and in the compilation of biogeographical maps and innovative models for regions that differ in the availability of distribution data. These tasks include long-term monitoring of plants and animals which are in danger of extinction, geographical analysis of biodiversity distribution and development of effective wildlife conservation strategies for specific regions. The studies of the Department of Biogeography of Moscow University on geography and biodiversity conservation are based on long-term field expeditions. The examples of the Asian Subarctic Mountains, the steppes of Central Kazakhstan and the urbanised north-west of Russia are used to illustrate Russian approaches to the use of biogeographical monitoring for the identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation. The species populations of the higher plants and vertebrates listed in the Red Books have been considered as the basic units of biodiversity.

  8. Sites for priority biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    V. Anadon-Irizarry; D.C. Wege; A. Upgren; Young, R; Boom, B.; Leon, Y.M.; Y Arias; Koenig, K.; Morales, A.L.; Burke, W

    2012-01-01

    The Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot is exceptionally important for global biodiversity conservation due to high levels of species endemism and threat. A total of 755 Caribbean plant and vertebrate species are considered globally threatened, making it one of the top Biodiversity Hotspots in terms of threat levels. In 2009, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) were identified for the Caribbean Islands through a regional-level analysis of accessible data and literature, followed by extensive nat...

  9. A trans-national monarch butterfly population model and implications for regional conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberhauser, Karen; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Ries, Leslie; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Semmens, Brice

    2017-01-01

    1. The monarch has undergone considerable population declines over the past decade, and the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have agreed to work together to conserve the species.2. Given limited resources, understanding where to focus conservation action is key for widespread species like monarchs. To support planning for continental-scale monarch habitat restoration, we address the question of where restoration efforts are likely to have the largest impacts on monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus Linn.) population growth rates.3. We present a spatially explicit demographic model simulating the multi-generational annual cycle of the eastern monarch population, and use the model to examine management scenarios, some of which focus on particular regions of North America.4. Improving the monarch habitat in the north central or southern parts of the monarch range yields a slightly greater increase in the population growth rate than restoration in other regions. However, combining restoration efforts across multiple regions yields population growth rates above 1 with smaller simulated improvements in habitat per region than single-region strategies.5. Synthesis and applications: These findings suggest that conservation investment in projects across the full monarch range will be more effective than focusing on one or a few regions, and will require international cooperation across many land use categories.

  10. Setting research priorities to improve global newborn health and prevent stillbirths by 2025

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yoshida, Sachiyo; Martines, José; Lawn, Joy E

    2016-01-01

    and clinical algorithms and improved skills of community health workers leading the list. The top 10 priorities in the domain of development were led by ideas on improved Kangaroo Mother Care at community level, how to improve the accuracy of diagnosis by community health workers, and perinatal audits. The 10...

  11. Global pattern of phylogenetic species composition of shark and its conservation priority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hungyen; Kishino, Hirohisa

    2015-10-01

    The diversity of marine communities is in striking contrast with the diversity of terrestrial communities. In all oceans, species richness is low in tropical areas and high at latitudes between 20 and 40°. While species richness is a primary metric used in conservation and management strategies, it is important to take into account the complex phylogenetic patterns of species compositions within communities. We measured the phylogenetic skew and diversity of shark communities throughout the world. We found that shark communities in tropical seas were highly phylogenetically skewed, whereas temperate sea communities had phylogenetically diversified species compositions. Interestingly, although geographically distant from one another, tropical sea communities were all highly skewed toward requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae), hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae), and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus). Worldwide, the greatest phylogenetic evenness in terms of clades was found in the North Sea and coastal regions of countries in temperate zones, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, southern Australia, and Chile. This study is the first to examine patterns of phylogenetic diversity of shark communities on a global scale. Our findings suggest that when establishing conservation activities, it is important to take full account of phylogenetic patterns of species composition and not solely use species richness as a target. Protecting areas of high phylogenetic diversity in sharks, which were identified in this study, could form a broader strategy for protecting other threatened marine species.

  12. Sites for priority biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Anadon-Irizarry

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot is exceptionally important for global biodiversity conservation due to high levels of species endemism and threat. A total of 755 Caribbean plant and vertebrate species are considered globally threatened, making it one of the top Biodiversity Hotspots in terms of threat levels. In 2009, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs were identified for the Caribbean Islands through a regional-level analysis of accessible data and literature, followed by extensive national-level stakeholder consultation. By applying the Vulnerability criterion, a total of 284 Key Biodiversity Areas were defined and mapped as holding 409 (54% of the region’s threatened species. Of these, 144 (or 51% overlapped partially or completely with protected areas. Cockpit Country, followed by Litchfield Mountain - Matheson’s Run, Blue Mountains (all Jamaica and Massif de la Hotte (Haiti were found to support exceptionally high numbers of globally threatened taxa, with more than 40 such species at each site. Key Biodiversity Areas, building from Important Bird Areas, provide a valuable framework against which to review the adequacy of existing national protected-area systems and also to prioritize which species and sites require the most urgent conservation attention.

  13. Priority setting for universal health coverage: We need evidence-informed deliberative processes, not just more evidence on cost-effectiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Baltussen (R.); Jansen, M.P. (Maarten P.); T.S. Mikkelsen; N. Tromp; J.A.C. Hontelez (Jan); Bijlmakers, L. (Leon); G.-J. van der Wilt (Gert-Jan)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractPriority setting of health interventions is generally considered as a valuable approach to support low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in their strive for universal health coverage (UHC). However, present initiatives on priority setting are mainly geared towards the development of

  14. Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes, Not Just More Evidence on Cost-Effectiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baltussen, R.; Jansen, M.P.M.; Mikkelsen, E.; Tromp, N.; Hontelez, J.; Bijlmakers, L.; Wilt, G.J. van der

    2016-01-01

    Priority setting of health interventions is generally considered as a valuable approach to support low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in their strive for universal health coverage (UHC). However, present initiatives on priority setting are mainly geared towards the development of more

  15. On the relevance of personal responsibility in priority setting: a cross-sectional survey among Norwegian medical doctors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bringedal, Berit; Feiring, Eli

    2011-06-01

    The debate on responsibility for health takes place within political philosophy and in policy setting. It is increasingly relevant in the context of rationing scarce resources as a substantial, and growing, proportion of diseases in high-income countries is attributable to lifestyle. Until now, empirical studies of medical professionals' attitudes towards personal responsibility for health as a component of prioritisation have been lacking. This paper explores to what extent Norwegian physicians find personal responsibility for health relevant in prioritisation and what type of risk behaviour they consider relevant in such decisions. The proportion who agree that it should count varies from 17.1% ('Healthcare priority should depend on the patient's responsibility for the disease') to 26.9% ('Access to scarce organ transplants should depend on the patient's responsibility for the disease'). Higher age and being male is positively correlated with acceptance. The doctors are more willing to consider substance use in priority setting decisions than choices on food and exercise. The findings reveal that a sizeable proportion have beliefs that conflict with the norms stated in the Norwegian Patient Act. It may be possible that the implementation of legal regulations can be hindered by the opposing attitudes among doctors. A further debate on the role personal responsibility should play in priority setting seems warranted. However, given the deep controversies about the concept of health responsibility and its application, it would be wise to proceed with caution. Nationally representative cross-sectional study. Panel-data. 1072 respondents, response rate 65%.

  16. Setting priorities for a research agenda to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velayutham, B; Nair, D; Ramalingam, S; Perez-Velez, C M; Becerra, M C; Swaminathan, S

    2015-12-21

    Numerous knowledge gaps hamper the prevention and treatment of childhood drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Identifying research priorities is vital to inform and develop strategies to address this neglected problem. To systematically identify and rank research priorities in childhood drug-resistant TB. Adapting the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methodology, we compiled 53 research questions in four research areas, then classified the questions into three research types. We invited experts in childhood drug-resistant TB to score these questions through an online survey. A total of 81 respondents participated in the survey. The top-ranked research question was to identify the best combination of existing diagnostic tools for early diagnosis. Highly ranked treatment-related questions centred on the reasons for and interventions to improve treatment outcomes, adverse effects of drugs and optimal treatment duration. The prevalence of drug-resistant TB was the highest-ranked question in the epidemiology area. The development type questions that ranked highest focused on interventions for optimal diagnosis, treatment and modalities for treatment delivery. This is the first effort to identify and rank research priorities for childhood drug-resistant TB. The result is a resource to guide research to improve prevention and treatment of drug-resistant TB in children.

  17. Can wide consultation help with setting priorities for large-scale biodiversity monitoring programs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Boivin

    Full Text Available Climate and other global change phenomena affecting biodiversity require monitoring to track ecosystem changes and guide policy and management actions. Designing a biodiversity monitoring program is a difficult task that requires making decisions that often lack consensus due to budgetary constrains. As monitoring programs require long-term investment, they also require strong and continuing support from all interested parties. As such, stakeholder consultation is key to identify priorities and make sound design decisions that have as much support as possible. Here, we present the results of a consultation conducted to serve as an aid for designing a large-scale biodiversity monitoring program for the province of Québec (Canada. The consultation took the form of a survey with 13 discrete choices involving tradeoffs in respect to design priorities and 10 demographic questions (e.g., age, profession. The survey was sent to thousands of individuals having expected interests and knowledge about biodiversity and was completed by 621 participants. Overall, consensuses were few and it appeared difficult to create a design fulfilling the priorities of the majority. Most participants wanted 1 a monitoring design covering the entire territory and focusing on natural habitats; 2 a focus on species related to ecosystem services, on threatened and on invasive species. The only demographic characteristic that was related to the type of prioritization was the declared level of knowledge in biodiversity (null to high, but even then the influence was quite small.

  18. Setting health research priorities using the CHNRI method: V. Quantitative properties of human collective knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudan, Igor; Yoshida, Sachiyo; Wazny, Kerri; Chan, Kit Yee; Cousens, Simon

    2016-06-01

    The CHNRI method for setting health research priorities has crowdsourcing as the major component. It uses the collective opinion of a group of experts to generate, assess and prioritize between many competing health research ideas. It is difficult to compare the accuracy of human individual and collective opinions in predicting uncertain future outcomes before the outcomes are known. However, this limitation does not apply to existing knowledge, which is an important component underlying opinion. In this paper, we report several experiments to explore the quantitative properties of human collective knowledge and discuss their relevance to the CHNRI method. We conducted a series of experiments in groups of about 160 (range: 122-175) undergraduate Year 2 medical students to compare their collective knowledge to their individual knowledge. We asked them to answer 10 questions on each of the following: (i) an area in which they have a degree of expertise (undergraduate Year 1 medical curriculum); (ii) an area in which they likely have some knowledge (general knowledge); and (iii) an area in which they are not expected to have any knowledge (astronomy). We also presented them with 20 pairs of well-known celebrities and asked them to identify the older person of the pair. In all these experiments our goal was to examine how the collective answer compares to the distribution of students' individual answers. When answering the questions in their own area of expertise, the collective answer (the median) was in the top 20.83% of the most accurate individual responses; in general knowledge, it was in the top 11.93%; and in an area with no expertise, the group answer was in the top 7.02%. However, the collective answer based on mean values fared much worse, ranging from top 75.60% to top 95.91%. Also, when confronted with guessing the older of the two celebrities, the collective response was correct in 18/20 cases (90%), while the 8 most successful individuals among the

  19. Conservation biology of Chionodoxa lochiae and Scilla morrisii (Asparagaceae: Two priority bulbous plant species of the European Union in Cyprus

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    Marios Andreou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents data regarding conservation biology of Chionodoxa lochiae and Scilla morrisii; two threatened endemic plants of Cyprus, which are included as priority species in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. The population size and geographical distribution of the species were monitored for three years. C. lochiae was recorded in ten locations and S. morrisii was recorded in five locations. C. lochiae occurs in Pinus forests with/without Quercus alnifolia understory or in forest margins and riparian vegetation with Platanus orientalis. Favorable habitat of S. morrisii is the understory of Quercus infectoria stands and the Pistacia terebinthus-Quercus coccifera-Styrax officinalis shrubs. The distribution pattern of the species seems to follow habitat availability. Fecundity and Relative Reproductive Success of C. lochiae were stable and low, while in S. morrisii were constantly high. The lack of pollinators seems to be the main cause of the low sexual reproduction of C. lochiae. The germination strategy for both species is dependent on temperature. Some of the seeds are dormant and dormancy is broken by nitrates. The investigation of certain aspects of the biology of the two species yielded the information needed to identify the critical aspects affecting their survival and to propose sound conservation measures.

  20. From papers to practices: district level priority setting processes and criteria for family planning, maternal, newborn and child health interventions in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamazima Switbert

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Successful priority setting is increasingly known to be an important aspect in achieving better family planning, maternal, newborn and child health (FMNCH outcomes in developing countries. However, far too little attention has been paid to capturing and analysing the priority setting processes and criteria for FMNCH at district level. This paper seeks to capture and analyse the priority setting processes and criteria for FMNCH at district level in Tanzania. Specifically, we assess the FMNCH actor's engagement and understanding, the criteria used in decision making and the way criteria are identified, the information or evidence and tools used to prioritize FMNCH interventions at district level in Tanzania. Methods We conducted an exploratory study mixing both qualitative and quantitative methods to capture and analyse the priority setting for FMNCH at district level, and identify the criteria for priority setting. We purposively sampled the participants to be included in the study. We collected the data using the nominal group technique (NGT, in-depth interviews (IDIs with key informants and documentary review. We analysed the collected data using both content analysis for qualitative data and correlation analysis for quantitative data. Results We found a number of shortfalls in the district's priority setting processes and criteria which may lead to inefficient and unfair priority setting decisions in FMNCH. In addition, participants identified the priority setting criteria and established the perceived relative importance of the identified criteria. However, we noted differences exist in judging the relative importance attached to the criteria by different stakeholders in the districts. Conclusions In Tanzania, FMNCH contents in both general development policies and sector policies are well articulated. However, the current priority setting process for FMNCH at district levels are wanting in several aspects rendering the

  1. Can frameworks inform knowledge about health policy processes? Reviewing health policy papers on agenda setting and testing them against a specific priority-setting framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walt, Gill; Gilson, Lucy

    2014-12-01

    This article systematically reviews a set of health policy papers on agenda setting and tests them against a specific priority-setting framework. The article applies the Shiffman and Smith framework in extracting and synthesizing data from an existing set of papers, purposively identified for their relevance and systematically reviewed. Its primary aim is to assess how far the component parts of the framework help to identify the factors that influence the agenda setting stage of the policy process at global and national levels. It seeks to advance the field and inform the development of theory in health policy by examining the extent to which the framework offers a useful approach for organizing and analysing data. Applying the framework retrospectively to the selected set of papers, it aims to explore influences on priority setting and to assess how far the framework might gain from further refinement or adaptation, if used prospectively. In pursuing its primary aim, the article also demonstrates how the approach of framework synthesis can be used in health policy analysis research. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine © The Author 2014; all rights reserved.

  2. Setting healthcare priorities: a description and evaluation of the budgeting and planning process in county hospitals in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, Susan; Molyneux, Sassy; English, Mike

    2017-01-01

    Abstract This paper describes and evaluates the budgeting and planning processes in public hospitals in Kenya. We used a qualitative case study approach to examine these processes in two hospitals in Kenya. We collected data by in-depth interviews of national level policy makers, hospital managers, and frontline practitioners in the case study hospitals (n = 72), a review of documents, and non-participant observations within the hospitals over a 7 month period. We applied an evaluative framework that considers both consequentialist and proceduralist conditions as important to the quality of priority-setting processes. The budgeting and planning process in the case study hospitals was characterized by lack of alignment, inadequate role clarity and the use of informal priority-setting criteria. With regard to consequentialist conditions, the hospitals incorporated economic criteria by considering the affordability of alternatives, but rarely considered the equity of allocative decisions. In the first hospital, stakeholders were aware of - and somewhat satisfied with - the budgeting and planning process, while in the second hospital they were not. Decision making in both hospitals did not result in reallocation of resources. With regard to proceduralist conditions, the budgeting and planning process in the first hospital was more inclusive and transparent, with the stakeholders more empowered compared to the second hospital. In both hospitals, decisions were not based on evidence, implementation of decisions was poor and the community was not included. There were no mechanisms for appeals or to ensure that the proceduralist conditions were met in both hospitals. Public hospitals in Kenya could improve their budgeting and planning processes by harmonizing these processes, improving role clarity, using explicit priority-setting criteria, and by incorporating both consequentialist (efficiency, equity, stakeholder satisfaction and understanding, shifted priorities

  3. Diversity of bryophytes in priority areas for conservation in the Atlantic forest of northeast Brazil

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    Mércia Patrícia Pereira Silva

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The northeastern Brazilian Atlantic forest is the region with the greatest diversity of bryophytes in the country. However, knowledge about bryophytes is irregularly distributed among Brazilian regions. Therefore, we aimed to contribute to knowledge about bryophytes on a regional scale in the northeastern Atlantic forest, to identify the centers of bryophyte diversity in that region, and to reiterate the importance and identify locations for which new protected areas should be created. We built a database of bryophytes in 23 locations of the region, based on a literature review and new floristic inventories. To identify the locations of greatest relevance to bryophyte conservation, we considered 1 total and endemic species richness, 2 phylogenetic diversity (PD, and 3 functional diversity (proportion of shade specialists. The northeastern Atlantic rainforest contains 396 spp., representing 26% of the taxa occurring in the country, 13 of which are endemic. Generalist species predominated (164 spp., followed by shade (133 spp. and sun (92 spp. specialists. The Murici Ecological Station had the highest richness, number of endemic species, and phylogenetic diversity.

  4. The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership (SLV-PSP): overview and results of the research prioritisation survey process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Fiona; Wormald, Richard; Cable, Richard; Acton, Michele; Bonstein, Karen; Bowen, Michael; Bronze, Carol; Bunce, Catey; Conroy, Dolores; Cowan, Katherine; Evans, Kathy; Fenton, Mark; Giles, Heather; Gordon, Iris; Halfhide, Louise; Harper, Robert; Lightstone, Anita; Votruba, Marcela; Waterman, Heather; Zekite, Antra

    2014-07-23

    The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership aimed to identify research priorities relating to sight loss and vision through consultation with patients, carers and clinicians. These priorities can be used to inform funding bodies' decisions and enhance the case for additional research funding. Prospective survey with support from the James Lind Alliance. UK-wide National Health Service (NHS) and non-NHS. Patients, carers and eye health professionals. Academic researchers were excluded solely from the prioritisation process. The survey was disseminated by patient groups, professional bodies, at conferences and through the media, and was available for completion online, by phone, by post and by alternative formats (Braille and audio). People were asked to submit the questions about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sight loss and eye conditions that they most wanted to see answered by research. Returned survey questions were reviewed by a data assessment group. Priorities were established across eye disease categories at final workshops. 2220 people responded generating 4461 submissions. Sixty-five per cent of respondents had sight loss and/or an eye condition. Following initial data analysis, 686 submissions remained which were circulated for interim prioritisation (excluding cataract and ocular cancer questions) to 446 patients/carers and 218 professionals. The remaining 346 questions were discussed at final prioritisation workshops to reach agreement of top questions per category. The exercise engaged a diverse community of stakeholders generating a wide range of conditions and research questions. Top priority questions were established across 12 eye disease categories. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  5. Increased pollinator habitat enhances cacao fruit set and predator conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Samantha J; Northfield, Tobin D

    2017-04-01

    The unique benefits of wild pollinators to the productivity of agricultural crops have become increasingly recognized in recent decades. However, declines in populations of wild pollinator species, largely driven by the conversion of natural habitat to agricultural land and broad-spectrum pesticide use often lead reductions in the provision of pollination services and crop production. With growing evidence that targeted pollinator conservation improves crop yield and/or quality, particularly for pollination specialist crops, efforts are increasing to substitute agriculturally intensive practices with those that alleviate some of the negative impacts of agriculture on pollinators and the pollination services they provide, in part through the provision of suitable pollinator habitat. Further, similarities between the responses of some pollinators and predators to habitat management suggest that efforts to conserve pollinators may also encourage predator densities. We evaluated the effects of one habitat management practice, the addition of cacao fruit husks to a monoculture cacao farm, on the provision of pollination services and the densities of two groups of entomophagous predators. We also evaluated the impacts of cacao fruit husk addition on pollen limitation, by crossing this habitat manipulation with pollen supplementation treatments. The addition of cacao fruit husks increased the number of fruits per tree and along with hand pollination treatments, increased final yields indicating a promotion of the pollination ecosystem service provided by the specialist pollinators, midges. We also found that cacao fruit husk addition increased the densities of two predator groups, spiders and skinks. Further, the conservation of these predators did not inhibit pollination through pollinator capture or deterrence. The findings show that, with moderate habitat management, both pollinator and predator conservation can be compatible goals within a highly specialized plant

  6. Involving citizens in priority setting for public health research: Implementation in infection research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Timothy M; Castro-Sánchez, Enrique; Charani, Esmita; Husson, Fran; Moore, Luke S P; Holmes, Alison H; Ahmad, Raheelah

    2017-07-21

    Public sources fund the majority of UK infection research, but citizens currently have no formal role in resource allocation. To explore the feasibility and willingness of citizens to engage in strategic decision making, we developed and tested a practical tool to capture public priorities for research. A scenario including six infection themes for funding was developed to assess citizen priorities for research funding. This was tested over two days at a university public festival. Votes were cast anonymously along with rationale for selection. The scenario was then implemented during a three-hour focus group exploring views on engagement in strategic decisions and in-depth evaluation of the tool. 188/491(38%) prioritized funding research into drug-resistant infections followed by emerging infections(18%). Results were similar between both days. Focus groups contained a total of 20 citizens with an equal gender split, range of ethnicities and ages ranging from 18 to >70 years. The tool was perceived as clear with participants able to make informed comparisons. Rationale for funding choices provided by voters and focus group participants are grouped into three major themes: (i) Information processing; (ii) Knowledge of the problem; (iii) Responsibility; and a unique theme within the focus groups (iv) The potential role of citizens in decision making. Divergent perceptions of relevance and confidence of "non-experts" as decision makers were expressed. Voting scenarios can be used to collect, en-masse, citizens' choices and rationale for research priorities. Ensuring adequate levels of citizen information and confidence is important to allow deployment in other formats. © 2017 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Comparing two sampling methods to engage hard-to-reach communities in research priority setting

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    Melissa A. Valerio

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Effective community-partnered and patient-centered outcomes research needs to address community priorities. However, optimal sampling methods to engage stakeholders from hard-to-reach, vulnerable communities to generate research priorities have not been identified. Methods In two similar rural, largely Hispanic communities, a community advisory board guided recruitment of stakeholders affected by chronic pain using a different method in each community: 1 snowball sampling, a chain- referral method or 2 purposive sampling to recruit diverse stakeholders. In both communities, three groups of stakeholders attended a series of three facilitated meetings to orient, brainstorm, and prioritize ideas (9 meetings/community. Using mixed methods analysis, we compared stakeholder recruitment and retention as well as priorities from both communities’ stakeholders on mean ratings of their ideas based on importance and feasibility for implementation in their community. Results Of 65 eligible stakeholders in one community recruited by snowball sampling, 55 (85 % consented, 52 (95 % attended the first meeting, and 36 (65 % attended all 3 meetings. In the second community, the purposive sampling method was supplemented by convenience sampling to increase recruitment. Of 69 stakeholders recruited by this combined strategy, 62 (90 % consented, 36 (58 % attended the first meeting, and 26 (42 % attended all 3 meetings. Snowball sampling recruited more Hispanics and disabled persons (all P < 0.05. Despite differing recruitment strategies, stakeholders from the two communities identified largely similar ideas for research, focusing on non-pharmacologic interventions for management of chronic pain. Ratings on importance and feasibility for community implementation differed only on the importance of massage services (P = 0.045 which was higher for the purposive/convenience sampling group and for city improvements

  8. Is cost-effectiveness analysis preferred to severity of disease as the main guiding principle in priority setting in resource poor settings? The case of Uganda

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    Norheim Ole

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Several studies carried out to establish the relative preference of cost-effectiveness of interventions and severity of disease as criteria for priority setting in health have shown a strong preference for severity of disease. These preferences may differ in contexts of resource scarcity, as in developing countries, yet information is limited on such preferences in this context. Objective This study was carried out to identify the key players in priority setting in health and explore their relative preference regarding cost-effectiveness of interventions and severity of disease as criteria for setting priorities in Uganda. Design 610 self-administered questionnaires were sent to respondents at national, district, health sub-district and facility levels. Respondents included mainly health workers. We used three different simulations, assuming same patient characteristics and same treatment outcome but with varying either severity of disease or cost-effectiveness of treatment, to explore respondents' preferences regarding cost-effectiveness and severity. Results Actual main actors were identified to be health workers, development partners or donors and politicians. This was different from what respondents perceived as ideal. Above 90% of the respondents recognised the importance of both severity of disease and cost-effectiveness of intervention. In the three scenarios where they were made to choose between the two, a majority of the survey respondents assigned highest weight to treating the most severely ill patient with a less cost-effective intervention compared to the one with a more cost-effective intervention for a less severely ill patient. However, international development partners in in-depth interviews preferred the consideration of cost-effectiveness of intervention. Conclusions In a survey among health workers and other actors in priority setting in Uganda, we found that donors are considered to have more say than

  9. Building dialogue on complex conservation issues in a conference setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rock, Jenny; Sparrow, Andrew; Wass, Rob; Moller, Henrik

    2014-10-01

    Dialogue about complex science and society issues is important for contemporary conservation agendas. Conferences provide an appropriate space for such dialogue, but despite its recognized worth, best practices for facilitating active dialogue are still being explored. Face-to-face (FTF) and computer-mediated communication (CMC) are two approaches to facilitating dialogue that have different strengths. We assessed the use of these approaches to create dialogue on cultural perspectives of conservation and biodiversity at a national ecology conference. In particular, we aimed to evaluate their potential to enhance dialogue through their integrated application. We used an interactive blog to generate CMC on participant-sourced issues and to prime subsequent discussion in an FTF conference workshop. The quantity and quality of both CMC and FTF discussion indicated that both approaches were effective in building dialogue. Prior to the conference the blog averaged 126 views per day, and 44 different authors contributed a total of 127 comments. Twenty-five participants subsequently participated in active FTF discussion during a 3-h workshop. Postconference surveys confirmed that CMC had developed participants' thinking and deepened FTF dialogue; 88% indicated specifically that CMC helped facilitate the FTF discussion. A further 83% of respondents concluded that preliminary blog discussion would be useful for facilitating dialogue at future conferences. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. What do hospital decision-makers in Ontario, Canada, have to say about the fairness of priority setting in their institutions?

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    Martin Douglas K

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Priority setting, also known as rationing or resource allocation, occurs at all levels of every health care system. Daniels and Sabin have proposed a framework for priority setting in health care institutions called 'accountability for reasonableness', which links priority setting to theories of democratic deliberation. Fairness is a key goal of priority setting. According to 'accountability for reasonableness', health care institutions engaged in priority setting have a claim to fairness if they satisfy four conditions of relevance, publicity, appeals/revision, and enforcement. This is the first study which has surveyed the views of hospital decision makers throughout an entire health system about the fairness of priority setting in their institutions. The purpose of this study is to elicit hospital decision-makers' self-report of the fairness of priority setting in their hospitals using an explicit conceptual framework, 'accountability for reasonableness'. Methods 160 Ontario hospital Chief Executive Officers, or their designates, were asked to complete a survey questionnaire concerning priority setting in their publicly funded institutions. Eight-six Ontario hospitals completed this survey, for a response rate of 54%. Six close-ended rating scale questions (e.g. Overall, how fair is priority setting at your hospital?, and 3 open-ended questions (e.g. What do you see as the goal(s of priority setting in your hospital? were used. Results Overall, 60.7% of respondents indicated their hospitals' priority setting was fair. With respect to the 'accountability for reasonableness' conditions, respondents indicated their hospitals performed best for the relevance (75.0% condition, followed by appeals/revision (56.6%, publicity (56.0%, and enforcement (39.5%. Conclusions For the first time hospital Chief Executive Officers within an entire health system were surveyed about the fairness of priority setting practices in their

  11. Setting Priorities for Urban Forest Planning. A Comprehensive Response to Ecological and Social Needs for the Metropolitan Area of Rome (Italy

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    Giulia Capotorti

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Urban forests represent key elements of green infrastructure and provide essential ecosystem services in both the ecological and social spheres. Therefore, forestation planning plays a decisive role in the sustainable development strategies of metropolitan areas and addresses the challenge of maintaining biodiversity while improving human health and well-being. The aim of this work is to present a methodological approach that can be used to identify priorities in urban forest planning and can provide comprehensive responses to ecological and social needs in any metropolitan context. The approach, which is based on interdisciplinary principles of landscape ecology, ecosystem geography and dynamic plant sociology, has been adopted in the Municipality of Rome (Italy. The first step entails defining an ecological framework for forestation plans by means of the ecological land classification and assessment of landscape conservation status. The second step entails setting forestation priorities according to both ecological and social criteria. The application of the method proved to effectively select limited areas requiring intervention within an extensive metropolitan area. Furthermore, it provided responses to sustainability issues such as long-term maintenance of restored habitats, landscape perspective of planning, greening of urban agriculture, improvement in urban resilience, and cost-effective improvement in ecosystem services provision.

  12. Priorities determination using novel analytic hierarchy process and median ranked sample set, case study of landfill siting criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Younes, Mohammad K.; Nopiah, Z. M.; Basri, N. E. Ahmad; Basri, H.

    2015-02-01

    Integrating environmental, social, political, and economical attributes enhances the decision making process. Multi criteria decision making (MCDM) involves ambiguity and uncertainty due to various preferences. This study presents a model to minimize the uncertainty and ambiguity of human judgments by means of integrating the counter stakeholders with median ranked sample set (MRSS) and Analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The model uses landfill site selection as a MCDM problem. Sixteen experts belong to four clusters that are government, private, institution, and non-governmental organisations participated and their preferences were ranked in four by four matrix. Then the MRSS and the AHP were used to obtain the priorities of landfill siting criteria. Environmental criteria have the highest priority that equals to 48.1% and the distance from surface water, and the faults zones are the most important factors with priorities equal to 18% and 13.7% respectively. In conclusion, the hybrid approach that integrates counter stakeholders MRSS, and AHP is capable of being applied to complex decision making process and its outputs are justified.

  13. Public views on principles for health care priority setting: findings of a European cross-country study using Q methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Exel, Job; Baker, Rachel; Mason, Helen; Donaldson, Cam; Brouwer, Werner

    2015-02-01

    Resources available to the health care sector are finite and typically insufficient to fulfil all the demands for health care in the population. Decisions must be made about which treatments to provide. Relatively little is known about the views of the general public regarding the principles that should guide such decisions. We present the findings of a Q methodology study designed to elicit the shared views in the general public across ten countries regarding the appropriate principles for prioritising health care resources. In 2010, 294 respondents rank ordered a set of cards and the results of these were subject to by-person factor analysis to identify common patterns in sorting. Five distinct viewpoints were identified, (I) "Egalitarianism, entitlement and equality of access"; (II) "Severity and the magnitude of health gains"; (III) "Fair innings, young people and maximising health benefits"; (IV) "The intrinsic value of life and healthy living"; (V) "Quality of life is more important than simply staying alive". Given the plurality of views on the principles for health care priority setting, no single equity principle can be used to underpin health care priority setting. Hence, the process of decision making becomes more important, in which, arguably, these multiple perspectives in society should be somehow reflected. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Multi-criteria decision making--an approach to setting priorities in health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobre, F F; Trotta, L T; Gomes, L F

    1999-12-15

    The objective of this paper is to present a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) approach to support public health decision making that takes into consideration the fuzziness of the decision goals and the behavioural aspect of the decision maker. The approach is used to analyse the process of health technology procurement in a University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The method, known as TODIM, relies on evaluating alternatives with a set of decision criteria assessed using an ordinal scale. Fuzziness in generating criteria scores and weights or conflicts caused by dealing with different viewpoints of a group of decision makers (DMs) are solved using fuzzy set aggregation rules. The results suggested that MCDM models, incorporating fuzzy set approaches, should form a set of tools for public health decision making analysis, particularly when there are polarized opinions and conflicting objectives from the DM group. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Risk perception and priority setting for intervention among hepatitis C virus and environmental risks: a cross-sectional survey in the Cairo community

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schwarzinger, Michaël; Mohamed, Mostafa K; Gad, Rita R; Dewedar, Sahar; Fontanet, Arnaud; Carrat, Fabrice; Luchini, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    .... However, dramatic healthcare budget constraints limit access to the costly treatment. We assessed risk perception and priority setting for intervention among HCV, unsafe water, and outdoor air pollution in Cairo city...

  16. Conservation Learning in Wildlife Tourism Settings: Lessons from Research in Zoos and Aquariums

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, Roy; Packer, Jan; Hughes, Karen; Dierking, Lynn

    2007-01-01

    Zoos and aquariums have shifted their focus over recent years, taking a much more active role in wildlife conservation and in promoting conservation learning among their visitors. Research in these settings provides a valuable foundation for the emerging field of non-captive wildlife tourism. In particular, valuable lessons regarding the potential…

  17. Priority setting of public spending in developing countries: do not try to do everything for everybody.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baltussen, R.M.P.M.

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Public spending on health care in many developing countries falls short to provide a comprehensive set of essential health services, which indicates the need to target and prioritize resources. However, governments often attempt to provide free services to the whole population, and often

  18. Using Multicriteria Decision Analysis to Support Research Priority Setting in Biomedical Translational Research Projects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Graaf, Gimon; Postmus, Douwe; Buskens, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Translational research is conducted to achieve a predefined set of economic or societal goals. As a result, investment decisions on where available resources have the highest potential in achieving these goals have to be made. In this paper, we first describe how multicriteria decision analysis can

  19. Integration: valuing stakeholder input in setting priorities for socially sustainable egg production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, J C; Lee, Y; Thompson, P B; Bawden, R; Mench, J A

    2011-09-01

    Setting directions and goals for animal production systems requires the integration of information achieved through internal and external processes. The importance of stakeholder input in setting goals for sustainable animal production systems should not be overlooked by the agricultural animal industries. Stakeholders play an integral role in setting the course for many aspects of animal production, from influencing consumer preferences to setting public policy. The Socially Sustainable Egg Production Project (SSEP) involved the development of white papers on various aspects of egg production, followed by a stakeholder workshop to help frame the issues for the future of sustainable egg production. Representatives from the environmental, food safety, food retail, consumer, animal welfare, and the general farm and egg production sectors participated with members of the SSEP coordination team in a 1.5-d workshop to explore socially sustainable egg production. This paper reviews the published literature on values integration methodologies and the lessons learned from animal welfare assessment models. The integration method used for the SSEP stakeholder workshop and its outcome are then summarized. The method used for the SSEP stakeholder workshop can be used to obtain stakeholder input on sustainable production in other farm animal industries.

  20. In silico mapping of Conserved Ortholog Set (COS) markers in the potato genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conserved ortholog set (COS) markers are useful for genetic mapping across diverse taxa, including the Solanaceae. We amplified over 300 COS markers from diverse set of Solanum germplasm, sequenced them and aligned into the whole genome sequence of potato. We also mapped a set of COS markers genetic...

  1. The ICF as a common language for rehabilitation goal-setting: comparing client and professional priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van der Merwe Aletia

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Joint rehabilitation goals are an important component for effective teamwork in the rehabilitation field. The activities and participation domain of the ICF provides a common language for professionals when setting these goals. Involving clients in the formulation of rehabilitation goals is gaining momentum as part of a person-centred approach to rehabilitation. However, this is particularly difficult when clients have an acquired communication disability. The expressive communication difficulties negatively affect the consensus building process. As a result, obtaining information regarding rehabilitation goals from professionals and their clients warrants further investigation for this particular population. Methods This comparative study investigated clients and their assigned rehabilitation professionals' perception of the importance of ICF activities and participation domains for inclusion in their rehabilitation program. Twelve clients in an acute rehabilitation centre and twenty of their corresponding rehabilitation professionals participated in an activity using the Talking Mats™ visual framework for goal setting. Each participant rated the importance of the nine activities and participation domains of the ICF for inclusion in their current rehabilitation program. Results The ICF domains which consistently appear as very important across these groups are mobility, self-care and communication. Domains which consistently appear in the lower third of the rankings include spare time, learning and thinking and domestic life. Results indicate however that no statistical significant differences exist in terms of the individual domains across each of the participant groups. Within group differences however indicated that amongst the speech-language therapists and physiotherapists there was a statistical significant difference between spare time activities and communication and mobility. Conclusions Findings indicate that

  2. Budget- and Priority-Setting Criteria at State Health Agencies in Times of Austerity: A Mixed-Methods Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resnick, Beth; Kass, Nancy; Sellers, Katie; Young, Jessica; Bernet, Patrick; Jarris, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We examined critical budget and priority criteria for state health agencies to identify likely decision-making factors, pressures, and opportunities in times of austerity. Methods. We have presented findings from a 2-stage, mixed-methods study with state public health leaders regarding public health budget- and priority-setting processes. In stage 1, we conducted hour-long interviews in 2011 with 45 health agency executive and division or bureau leaders from 6 states. Stage 2 was an online survey of 207 executive and division or bureau leaders from all state health agencies (66% response rate). Results. Respondents identified 5 key criteria: whether a program was viewed as “mission critical,” the seriousness of the consequences of not funding the program, financing considerations, external directives and mandates, and the magnitude of the problem the program addressed. Conclusions. We have presented empirical findings on criteria used in state health agency budgetary decision-making. These criteria suggested a focus and interest on core public health and the largest public health problems with the most serious ramifications. PMID:24825212

  3. ENVIRONMENTAL PERCEPTION OF RURAL COMMUNITIES AND ANALYSIS OF LANDSCAPE: SUBSIDIES FOR PRIORITY AREA FOR CONSERVATION PROPOSITION IN THE RIO GRANDE DO NORTE SEMIARID, BRAZIL

    OpenAIRE

    Mycarla Araujo Lucena; Eliza Maria Freire

    2015-01-01

    Priority Areas for Conservation are defined in order to protect environments that are home to a richness of species, endemisms and/or endangered species. However, besides these factors, additional studies such as Environmental Perception of local communities and Landscape Analysis are relevant to assess and minimize the negative effects caused to natural environments. In this context and in this perspective, the Mountain Range Complex João do Vale was studied, located in the state of Rio Gran...

  4. Visual data mining of coexpression data to set research priorities in cardiac development research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanBuren, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, an immense amount of biomedical data have become available in the public domain due to the development of ever-more efficient screening tools such as expression microarrays. To fully leverage this important new resource, it has become imperative to develop new methodologies for mining and visualizing data to make inferences beyond the scope of the original experiments. This need motivated the development of a new freely available web-based application called StarNet ( http://vanburenlab.medicine.tamhsc.edu/starnet2.html ). Here we describe the use of StarNet, which functions primarily as a query tool that draws correlation networks centered about a gene of interest. To support inferences and the development of new hypotheses using the resulting correlation network, StarNet queries all genes in the correlation network against a database of known interactions and displays the results in a second graph and provides a statistical test of Gene Ontology term enrichment (keyword enrichment) to provide tentative summary functional annotations for the correlation network. Finally, StarNet provides additional tools for comparing networks drawn from two different selected data sets, thus providing methods for making inferences and developing new hypotheses about differential wiring for different regulatory domains.

  5. Identifying research priorities in anaesthesia and perioperative care: final report of the joint National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia/James Lind Alliance Research Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boney, Oliver; Bell, Madeline; Bell, Natalie; Conquest, Ann; Cumbers, Marion; Drake, Sharon; Galsworthy, Mike; Gath, Jacqui; Grocott, Michael P W; Harris, Emma; Howell, Simon; Ingold, Anthony; Nathanson, Michael H; Pinkney, Thomas; Metcalf, Leanne

    2015-12-16

    To identify research priorities for Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. Prospective surveys and consensus meetings guided by an independent adviser. UK. 45 stakeholder organisations (25 professional, 20 patient/carer) affiliated as James Lind Alliance partners. First 'ideas-gathering' survey: Free text research ideas and suggestions. Second 'prioritisation' survey: Shortlist of 'summary' research questions (derived from the first survey) ranked by respondents in order of priority. Final 'top ten': Agreed by consensus at a final prioritisation workshop. First survey: 1420 suggestions received from 623 respondents (49% patients/public) were refined into a shortlist of 92 'summary' questions. Second survey: 1718 respondents each nominated up to 10 questions as research priorities. Top ten: The 25 highest-ranked questions advanced to the final workshop, where 23 stakeholders (13 professional, 10 patient/carer) agreed the 10 most important questions: ▸ What can we do to stop patients developing chronic pain after surgery? ▸ How can patient care around the time of emergency surgery be improved? ▸ What long-term harm may result from anaesthesia, particularly following repeated anaesthetics?▸ What outcomes should we use to measure the 'success' of anaesthesia and perioperative care? ▸ How can we improve recovery from surgery for elderly patients? ▸ For which patients does regional anaesthesia give better outcomes than general anaesthesia? ▸ What are the effects of anaesthesia on the developing brain? ▸ Do enhanced recovery programmes improve short and long-term outcomes? ▸ How can preoperative exercise or fitness training, including physiotherapy, improve outcomes after surgery? ▸ How can we improve communication between the teams looking after patients throughout their surgical journey? Almost 2000 stakeholders contributed their views regarding anaesthetic and perioperative research priorities. This is the largest example of patient and public

  6. Squamate Conserved Loci (SqCL): A unified set of conserved loci for phylogenomics and population genetics of squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singhal, Sonal; Grundler, Maggie; Colli, Guarino; Rabosky, Daniel L

    2017-04-18

    The identification of conserved loci across genomes, along with advances in target capture methods and high-throughput sequencing, has helped spur a phylogenomics revolution by enabling researchers to gather large numbers of homologous loci across clades of interest with minimal upfront investment in locus design. Target capture for vertebrate animals is currently dominated by two approaches-anchored hybrid enrichment (AHE) and ultraconserved elements (UCE)-and both approaches have proven useful for addressing questions in phylogenomics, phylogeography and population genomics. However, these two sets of loci have minimal overlap with each other; moreover, they do not include many traditional loci that that have been used for phylogenetics. Here, we combine across UCE, AHE and traditional phylogenetic gene locus sets to generate the Squamate Conserved Loci set, a single integrated probe set that can generate high-quality and highly complete data across all three loci types. We use these probes to generate data for 44 phylogenetically disparate taxa that collectively span approximately 33% of terrestrial vertebrate diversity. Our results generated an average of 4.29 Mb across 4709 loci per individual, of which an average of 2.99 Mb was sequenced to high enough coverage (≥10×) to use for population genetic analyses. We validate the utility of these loci for both phylogenomic and population genomic questions, provide a comparison among these locus sets of their relative usefulness and suggest areas for future improvement. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need to Focus Both on Substance and on Process; Comment on “Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes, not Just More Evidence on Cost-Effectiveness”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy A. Lauer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In an editorial published in this journal, Baltussen et al argue that information on cost-effectiveness is not sufficient for priority setting for universal health coverage (UHC, a claim which is correct as far as it goes. However, their focus on the procedural legitimacy of ‘micro’ priority setting processes (eg, decisions concerning the reimbursement of specific interventions, and their related assumption that values for priority setting are determined only at this level, leads them to ignore the relevance of higher level, ‘macro’ priority setting processes, for example, consultations held by World Health Organization (WHO Member States and other global stakeholders that have resulted in widespread consensus on the principles of UHC. Priority setting is not merely about discrete choices, nor should the focus be exclusively (or even mainly on improving the procedural elements of micro priority setting processes. Systemic activities that shape the health system environment, such as strategic planning, as well as the substantive content of global policy instruments, are critical elements for priority setting for UHC.

  8. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and priority setting in using the multi-attribute approach for assessing sustainable intelligent buildings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    ALwaer, H. [The University of Dundee, School of Architecture, Matthew Building, 13 Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4HT (United Kingdom); Clements-Croome, D.J. [School of Construction Management and Engineering, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 219, Reading RG6 6AW (United Kingdom)

    2010-04-15

    The main objectives of this paper are to: firstly, identify key issues related to sustainable intelligent buildings (environmental, social, economic and technological factors); develop a conceptual model for the selection of the appropriate KPIs; secondly, test critically stakeholder's perceptions and values of selected KPIs intelligent buildings; and thirdly develop a new model for measuring the level of sustainability for sustainable intelligent buildings. This paper uses a consensus-based model (Sustainable Built Environment Tool- SuBETool), which is analysed using the analytical hierarchical process (AHP) for multi-criteria decision-making. The use of the multi-attribute model for priority setting in the sustainability assessment of intelligent buildings is introduced. The paper commences by reviewing the literature on sustainable intelligent buildings research and presents a pilot-study investigating the problems of complexity and subjectivity. This study is based upon a survey perceptions held by selected stakeholders and the value they attribute to selected KPIs. It is argued that the benefit of the new proposed model (SuBETool) is a 'tool' for 'comparative' rather than an absolute measurement. It has the potential to provide useful lessons from current sustainability assessment methods for strategic future of sustainable intelligent buildings in order to improve a building's performance and to deliver objective outcomes. Findings of this survey enrich the field of intelligent buildings in two ways. Firstly, it gives a detailed insight into the selection of sustainable building indicators, as well as their degree of importance. Secondly, it tesst critically stakeholder's perceptions and values of selected KPIs intelligent buildings. It is concluded that the priority levels for selected criteria is largely dependent on the integrated design team, which includes the client, architects, engineers and facilities managers

  9. Setting priorities for non-regulatory animal health in Ireland: results from an expert Policy Delphi study and a farmer priority identification survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    More, Simon J; McKenzie, Ken; O'Flaherty, Joe; Doherty, Michael L; Cromie, Andrew R; Magan, Mike J

    2010-07-01

    Agriculture is a very important contributor to the Irish economy. In Ireland, national animal health services have been a government, rather than an industry, responsibility. In 2009, Animal Health Ireland (AHI) was established to provide a partnership approach to national leadership of non-regulatory animal health issues (those not subject to national and/or EU regulation). The objectives of this study were to elicit opinion from experts and farmers about non-regulatory animal health issues facing Irish livestock industries, including prioritisation of animal health issues and identification of opportunities to maximise the effective use of AHI resources. The study was conducted with experts using Policy Delphi methodology over three rounds, and with farmers using a priority identification survey. Non-regulatory bovine diseases/conditions were prioritised by both experts and farmers based on impact and international competitiveness. For each high-priority disease/condition, experts were asked to provide an assessment based on cost, impact, international perception, impediment to international market access and current resource usage effectiveness. Further information was also sought from experts about resource allocation preferences, methods to improve education and coordination, and innovative measures to improve prevention and management. There was close agreement between responses from experts and dairy farmers: each gave highest priority to 3 diseases with a biosecurity risk (subsequently termed 'biosecure diseases') (bovine viral diarrhoea [BVD], infectious bovine rhinotracheitis [IBR], paratuberculosis) and 4 diseases/conditions generally without a biosecurity risk ('non-biosecure diseases/conditions') (fertility, udder health/milk quality, lameness, calf health). Beef farmers also prioritised parasitic conditions and weanling pneumonia. The adverse impact of biosecure diseases is currently considered relatively minor by experts, but would increase

  10. Fair Processes for Priority Setting: Putting Theory into Practice Comment on "Expanded HTA: Enhancing Fairness and Legitimacy".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Maarten P; Helderman, Jan-Kees; Boer, Bert; Baltussen, Rob

    2016-07-03

    Embedding health technology assessment (HTA) in a fair process has great potential to capture societal values relevant to public reimbursement decisions on health technologies. However, the development of such processes for priority setting has largely been theoretical. In this paper, we provide further practical lead ways on how these processes can be implemented. We first present the misconception about the relation between facts and values that is since long misleading the conduct of HTA and underlies the current assessment-appraisal split. We then argue that HTA should instead be explicitly organized as an ongoing evidence-informed deliberative process, that facilitates learning among stakeholders. This has important consequences for whose values to consider, how to deal with vested interests, how to consider all values in the decision-making process, and how to communicate decisions. This is in stark contrast to how HTA processes are implemented now. It is time to set the stage for HTA as learning. © 2017 The Author(s); Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

  11. Accountable priority setting for trust in health systems--the need for research into a new approach for strengthening sustainable health action in developing countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Byskov, Jens; Bloch, Paul; Blystad, Astrid

    2009-01-01

    and programme interventions and services and within human resources and health systems management. Qualitative and quantitative methods are being applied in an action research framework to examine the potential of AFR to support sustainable improvements to health systems performance.This paper reports...... from burden of disease statistics, cost effectiveness analysis, and published clinical trials. However, priority setting involves value-laden choices and these technical approaches do not equip decision-makers to address a broader range of relevant values - such as trust, equity, accountability...... and fairness - that are of concern to other partners and, not least, the populations concerned. A new focus for priority setting is needed.Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) is an explicit ethical framework for legitimate and fair priority setting that provides guidance for decision-makers who must...

  12. What Are the Top 10 Research Questions in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease? A Priority Setting Partnership with the James Lind Alliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Ailsa L; Lomer, Miranda; Verjee, Azmina; Kemp, Karen; Faiz, Omar; Daly, Ann; Solomon, Julie; McLaughlin, John

    2017-02-01

    Many uncertainties remain regarding optimal therapies and strategies for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Setting research priorities addressing therapies requires a partnership between health care professionals, patients and organisations supporting patients. We aimed to use the structure of the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership, which has been used in other disease areas, to identify and prioritise unanswered questions about treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. The James Lind Priority Setting Partnership uses methods agreed and adopted in other disease areas to work with patients and clinicians: to identify uncertainties about treatments; to agree by consensus a prioritised list of uncertainties for research; then to translate these uncertainties into research questions which are amenable to hypothesis testing; and finally to take results to research commissioning bodies to be considered for funding. A total of 1636 uncertainties were collected in the initial survey from 531 respondents, which included 22% health care professionals and 78% patients and carers. Using the rigorously applied processes of the priority setting partnership, this list was distilled down to the top 10 research priorities for inflammatory bowel disease. The top priorities were: identifying treatment strategies to optimise efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness; and stratifying patients with regard to their disease course and treatment response. Diet and symptom control [pain, incontinence and fatigue] were also topics which were prioritised. A partnership involving multidisciplinary clinicians, patients and organisations supporting patients has identified the top 10 research priorities in the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. © European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation 2016.

  13. Accountable priority setting for trust in health systems--the need for research into a new approach for strengthening sustainable health action in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byskov, Jens; Bloch, Paul; Blystad, Astrid; Hurtig, Anna-Karin; Fylkesnes, Knut; Kamuzora, Peter; Kombe, Yeri; Kvåle, Gunnar; Marchal, Bruno; Martin, Douglas K; Michelo, Charles; Ndawi, Benedict; Ngulube, Thabale J; Nyamongo, Isaac; Olsen, Oystein E; Onyango-Ouma, Washington; Sandøy, Ingvild F; Shayo, Elizabeth H; Silwamba, Gavin; Songstad, Nils Gunnar; Tuba, Mary

    2009-10-24

    Despite multiple efforts to strengthen health systems in low and middle income countries, intended sustainable improvements in health outcomes have not been shown. To date most priority setting initiatives in health systems have mainly focused on technical approaches involving information derived from burden of disease statistics, cost effectiveness analysis, and published clinical trials. However, priority setting involves value-laden choices and these technical approaches do not equip decision-makers to address a broader range of relevant values - such as trust, equity, accountability and fairness - that are of concern to other partners and, not least, the populations concerned. A new focus for priority setting is needed.Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) is an explicit ethical framework for legitimate and fair priority setting that provides guidance for decision-makers who must identify and consider the full range of relevant values. AFR consists of four conditions: i) relevance to the local setting, decided by agreed criteria; ii) publicizing priority-setting decisions and the reasons behind them; iii) the establishment of revisions/appeal mechanisms for challenging and revising decisions; iv) the provision of leadership to ensure that the first three conditions are met.REACT - "REsponse to ACcountable priority setting for Trust in health systems" is an EU-funded five-year intervention study started in 2006, which is testing the application and effects of the AFR approach in one district each in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The objectives of REACT are to describe and evaluate district-level priority setting, to develop and implement improvement strategies guided by AFR and to measure their effect on quality, equity and trust indicators. Effects are monitored within selected disease and programme interventions and services and within human resources and health systems management. Qualitative and quantitative methods are being applied in an action research

  14. Accountable priority setting for trust in health systems - the need for research into a new approach for strengthening sustainable health action in developing countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olsen Øystein E

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite multiple efforts to strengthen health systems in low and middle income countries, intended sustainable improvements in health outcomes have not been shown. To date most priority setting initiatives in health systems have mainly focused on technical approaches involving information derived from burden of disease statistics, cost effectiveness analysis, and published clinical trials. However, priority setting involves value-laden choices and these technical approaches do not equip decision-makers to address a broader range of relevant values - such as trust, equity, accountability and fairness - that are of concern to other partners and, not least, the populations concerned. A new focus for priority setting is needed. Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR is an explicit ethical framework for legitimate and fair priority setting that provides guidance for decision-makers who must identify and consider the full range of relevant values. AFR consists of four conditions: i relevance to the local setting, decided by agreed criteria; ii publicizing priority-setting decisions and the reasons behind them; iii the establishment of revisions/appeal mechanisms for challenging and revising decisions; iv the provision of leadership to ensure that the first three conditions are met. REACT - "REsponse to ACcountable priority setting for Trust in health systems" is an EU-funded five-year intervention study started in 2006, which is testing the application and effects of the AFR approach in one district each in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The objectives of REACT are to describe and evaluate district-level priority setting, to develop and implement improvement strategies guided by AFR and to measure their effect on quality, equity and trust indicators. Effects are monitored within selected disease and programme interventions and services and within human resources and health systems management. Qualitative and quantitative methods are being

  15. Increased fairness in priority setting processes within the health sector: the case of Kapiri-Mposhi District, Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zulu, Joseph M; Michelo, Charles; Msoni, Carol; Hurtig, Anna-Karin; Byskov, Jens; Blystad, Astrid

    2014-02-18

    The challenge of priority setting (PS) in health care within contexts of severe resource limitations has continued to receive attention. Accountability for Reasonableness (AFR) has emerged as a useful framework to guide the implementation of PS processes. In 2006, the AFR approach to enhance legitimate and fair PS was introduced by researchers and decision makers within the health sector in the EU funded research project entitled 'Response to Accountable priority setting for Trust in health systems' (REACT). The project aimed to strengthen fairness and accountability in the PS processes of health systems at district level in Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. This paper focuses on local perceptions and practices of fair PS (baseline study) as well as at the evolution of such perceptions and practices in PS following an AFR based intervention (evaluation study), carried out at district level in Kapiri-Mposhi District in Zambia. Data was collected using in depth interviews (IDIs), focus group discussions (FGDs) and review of documents from national to district level. The study population for this paper consisted of health related stakeholders employed in the district administration, in non-governmental organizations (NGO) and in health facilities. During the baseline study, concepts of legitimacy and fairness in PS processes were found to be grounded in local values of equity and impartiality. Government and other organizational strategies strongly supported devolution of PS and decision making procedures. However, important gaps were identified in terms of experiences of stakeholder involvement and fairness in PS processes in practice. The evaluation study revealed that a transformation of the views and methods regarding fairness in PS processes was ongoing in the study district, which was partly attributed to the AFR based intervention. The study findings suggest that increased attention was given to fairness in PS processes at district level. The changes were linked to a

  16. PRIORITY AREAS FOR FOREST CONSERVATION IN AN URBAN LANDSCAPE AT THE TRANSITION BETWEEN ATLANTIC FOREST AND CERRADO

    OpenAIRE

    Mello, Kaline de; Toppa, Rogério Hartung; Cardoso-Leite, Eliana

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Urbanization and agriculture growth are some of the major causes of natural ecosystems depletion and biodiversity loss. Conservation efforts can be developed through the prioritization of areas for forest conservation in order to minimize this process. Here, we establish conservation strategies based on a spatial analysis of forest fragments in an urban landscape at the transition between two important Brazilian biodiversity hotspots: Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. A high-resolution ma...

  17. Catalytic and functional roles of conserved amino acids in the SET domain of the S. cerevisiae lysine methyltransferase Set1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Williamson

    Full Text Available In S. cerevisiae, the lysine methyltransferase Set1 is a member of the multiprotein complex COMPASS. Set1 catalyzes mono-, di- and trimethylation of the fourth residue, lysine 4, of histone H3 using methyl groups from S-adenosylmethionine, and requires a subset of COMPASS proteins for this activity. The methylation activity of COMPASS regulates gene expression and chromosome segregation in vivo. To improve understanding of the catalytic mechanism of Set1, single amino acid substitutions were made within the SET domain. These Set1 mutants were evaluated in vivo by determining the levels of K4-methylated H3, assaying the strength of gene silencing at the rDNA and using a genetic assessment of kinetochore function as a proxy for defects in Dam1 methylation. The findings indicate that no single conserved active site base is required for H3K4 methylation by Set1. Instead, our data suggest that a number of aromatic residues in the SET domain contribute to the formation of an active site that facilitates substrate binding and dictates product specificity. Further, the results suggest that the attributes of Set1 required for trimethylation of histone H3 are those required for Pol II gene silencing at the rDNA and kinetochore function.

  18. High spatial resolution mapping of the Cerrado's land cover and land use types in the priority area for conservation Chapada da Contagem, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, F.; Roberts, D. A.; Davis, F. W.; Antunes Daldegan, G.; Nackoney, J.; Hess, L. L.

    2016-12-01

    The Brazilian savanna, Cerrado, is the second largest biome over South America and the most floristically diverse savanna in the world. This biome is considered a conservation hotspot in respect to its biodiversity importance and rapid transformation of its landscape. The Cerrado's natural vegetation has been severely transformed by agriculture and pasture activities. Currently it is the main agricultural frontier in Brazil and one of the most threatened Brazilian biomes. This scenario results in environmental impacts such as ecosystems fragmentation as well as losses in connectivity, biodiversity and gene flow, changes in the microclimate and energy, carbon and nutrients cycles, among others. The Priority Areas for Conservation is a governmental program from Brazil that identifies areas with high conservation priority. One of this program's recommendation is a natural vegetation map including their major ecosystem classes. This study aims to generate more precise information for the Cerrado's vegetation. The main objective of this study is to identify which ecosystems are being prioritized and/or threatened by land use, refining information for further protection. In order to test methods, the priority area for conservation Chapada da Contagem was selected as the study site. This area is ranked as "extremely high priority" by the government and is located in the Federal District and Goias State, Brazil. Satellites with finer spatial resolution may improve the classification of the Cerrado's vegetation. Remote sensing methods and two criteria were tested using RapidEye 3A imagery (5m spatial resolution) collected in 2014 in order to classify the Cerrado's major land cover types of this area, as well as its land use. One criterion considers the Cerrado's major terrestrial ecosystems, which are divided into forest, savanna and grassland. The other involves scaling it down to the major physiognomic groups of each ecosystem. Other sources of environmental dataset such

  19. Determination of the Sites with Conservation Priority in Research Forests of Yasouj University Based on Physiographic Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Zolfaghari

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Regarding high economic and conservative values of Zagros forests, and livelihood dependency of local people these recourses, determination of sites with higher conservation index can help us to maintain biodiversity of these forests more efficiently. Therefore, 49 plots with 450 m2 in area accompanied by 1, 10 and 45 m2 subplots were taken as systematic random design in research forests of Yasouj University. The number of species in each plot and subplot was recorded. The conservation values for different physiographic regions of forest were calculated using integrative parameters such as the number of species per plot, number of rare species per plot, number of tree species per plot, Jaccards similarity coefficient and slope of species-log(area. Comparing the conservation index in different physiographic sites revealed that the areas located in the north, hills and lower altitudes can be considered for in situ conservation due to higher number of trees, rare species and total plant species, species-log (area slope and lower amount of Jaccard similarity coefficient. But, vegetative sites located in lower slopes and south, because of lower conservation index, can be used for other multipurpose forestry activities. Using this index for different forest areas can be potentially conducted for better conservation and management of Zagros forests.

  20. The influence of power and actor relations on priority setting and resource allocation practices at the hospital level in Kenya: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barasa, Edwine W; Cleary, Susan; English, Mike; Molyneux, Sassy

    2016-09-30

    Priority setting and resource allocation in healthcare organizations often involves the balancing of competing interests and values in the context of hierarchical and politically complex settings with multiple interacting actor relationships. Despite this, few studies have examined the influence of actor and power dynamics on priority setting practices in healthcare organizations. This paper examines the influence of power relations among different actors on the implementation of priority setting and resource allocation processes in public hospitals in Kenya. We used a qualitative case study approach to examine priority setting and resource allocation practices in two public hospitals in coastal Kenya. We collected data by a combination of in-depth interviews of national level policy makers, hospital managers, and frontline practitioners in the case study hospitals (n = 72), review of documents such as hospital plans and budgets, minutes of meetings and accounting records, and non-participant observations in case study hospitals over a period of 7 months. We applied a combination of two frameworks, Norman Long's actor interface analysis and VeneKlasen and Miller's expressions of power framework to examine and interpret our findings RESULTS: The interactions of actors in the case study hospitals resulted in socially constructed interfaces between: 1) senior managers and middle level managers 2) non-clinical managers and clinicians, and 3) hospital managers and the community. Power imbalances resulted in the exclusion of middle level managers (in one of the hospitals) and clinicians and the community (in both hospitals) from decision making processes. This resulted in, amongst others, perceptions of unfairness, and reduced motivation in hospital staff. It also puts to question the legitimacy of priority setting processes in these hospitals. Designing hospital decision making structures to strengthen participation and inclusion of relevant stakeholders could

  1. Sympathy for the Devil: Detailing the Effects of Planning-Unit Size, Thematic Resolution of Reef Classes, and Socioeconomic Costs on Spatial Priorities for Marine Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pressey, Robert L.; Weeks, Rebecca; Andréfouët, Serge; Moloney, James

    2016-01-01

    Spatial data characteristics have the potential to influence various aspects of prioritising biodiversity areas for systematic conservation planning. There has been some exploration of the combined effects of size of planning units and level of classification of physical environments on the pattern and extent of priority areas. However, these data characteristics have yet to be explicitly investigated in terms of their interaction with different socioeconomic cost data during the spatial prioritisation process. We quantify the individual and interacting effects of three factors—planning-unit size, thematic resolution of reef classes, and spatial variability of socioeconomic costs—on spatial priorities for marine conservation, in typical marine planning exercises that use reef classification maps as a proxy for biodiversity. We assess these factors by creating 20 unique prioritisation scenarios involving combinations of different levels of each factor. Because output data from these scenarios are analogous to ecological data, we applied ecological statistics to determine spatial similarities between reserve designs. All three factors influenced prioritisations to different extents, with cost variability having the largest influence, followed by planning-unit size and thematic resolution of reef classes. The effect of thematic resolution on spatial design depended on the variability of cost data used. In terms of incidental representation of conservation objectives derived from finer-resolution data, scenarios prioritised with uniform cost outperformed those prioritised with variable cost. Following our analyses, we make recommendations to help maximise the spatial and cost efficiency and potential effectiveness of future marine conservation plans in similar planning scenarios. We recommend that planners: employ the smallest planning-unit size practical; invest in data at the highest possible resolution; and, when planning across regional extents with the

  2. Using scent detection dogs in conservation settings: a review of scientific literature regarding their selection.

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    Sarah Catherine Beebe

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Dogs are widely used for scent detection work, assisting in searches for, among other things, missing persons, explosives, and even cancers. They are also increasingly used in conservation settings, being deployed for a range of diverse purposes. Although scent detecting dogs have been used in conservation roles for over 100 years, it is only recently that the scientific literature has begun to document their effectiveness and, importantly, how suitable dogs should initially be selected by organizations wanting to develop a detection program. In this paper, we review this literature, with the aim of extracting information that might be of value to conservation groups considering whether to invest in the use of dogs. We conclude that selection of appropriate dogs is no easy task. While olfactory ability is critical, so also are a range of other characteristics. These include biological, psychological and social traits. At present, no validated selection tools have been published. Existing organizations have adapted selection instruments from other contexts for their use, but very little published information is available regarding the effectiveness of these instruments in a conservation setting. In the absence of clear guidelines, we urge those wanting to invest in one or more dogs for conservation purposes to proceed with extreme caution and, preferably, under the watchful eyes of an experienced professional.

  3. Economic evaluation and the Jordan Rational Drug List: an exploratory study of national-level priority setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafi, Rania; Robinson, Suzanne; Williams, Iestyn

    2012-01-01

    To explore the extent of and barriers to the use of economic evaluation in compiling the Jordan Rational Drug List in the health care system of Jordan. The research reported in this article involved a case study of the Jordan Rational Drug List. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews with decision makers and analysis of secondary documentary sources. The case study was supplemented by additional interviews with a small number of Jordanian academics involved in the production of economic evaluation. The research found that there was no formal requirement for cost-effectiveness information submitted as part of the decision-making process for the inclusion of new technologies on the Jordan Rational Drug List. Both decision makers and academics suggested that economic evidence was not influential in formulary decisions. This is unusual for national formulary bodies. The study identified a number of barriers that prevent substantive and routine use of economic evaluation. While some of these echo findings of previous studies, others-notably the extent to which the sectional interests of clinical groups and commercial (pharmaceutical) industry exert undue influence over decision making-more obviously result from the specific Jordanian context. Economic evaluation was not found to be influential in the Jordan Rational Drug List. Recommendations for improvement include enhancing capacity in relation to generating, accessing, and/or applying health economic analysis to priority setting decisions. There is a further need to incentivize the use of economic evaluation, and this requires that organizational and structural impediments be removed. Copyright © 2012 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Toward a VA Women's Health Research Agenda: Setting Evidence-based Priorities to Improve the Health and Health Care of Women Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Elizabeth M; Bastian, Lori A; Frayne, Susan M; Howell, Alexandra L; Lipson, Linda R; McGlynn, Geraldine; Schnurr, Paula P; Seaver, Margaret R; Spungen, Ann M; Fihn, Stephan D

    2006-01-01

    The expansion of women in the military is reshaping the veteran population, with women now constituting the fastest growing segment of eligible VA health care users. In recognition of the changing demographics and special health care needs of women, the VA Office of Research & Development recently sponsored the first national VA Women's Health Research Agenda-setting conference to map research priorities to the needs of women veterans and position VA as a national leader in Women's Health Research. This paper summarizes the process and outcomes of this effort, outlining VA's research priorities for biomedical, clinical, rehabilitation, and health services research. PMID:16637953

  5. Risk perception and priority setting for intervention among hepatitis C virus and environmental risks: a cross-sectional survey in the Cairo community

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    Dewedar Sahar

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV recently emerged as a major public health hazard in Egypt. However, dramatic healthcare budget constraints limit access to the costly treatment. We assessed risk perception and priority setting for intervention among HCV, unsafe water, and outdoor air pollution in Cairo city. Methods A survey was conducted in the homes of a representative sample of household heads in Cairo city. Risk perception was assessed using the "psychometric paradigm" where health hazards are evaluated according to several attributes and then summarized by principal component analysis. Priority setting was assessed by individual ranking of interventions reducing health hazards by 50% over five years. The Condorcet method was used to aggregate individual rankings of the three interventions (main study or two of three interventions (validation study. Explanatory factors of priority setting were explored in multivariate generalized logistic models. Results HCV was perceived as having the most severe consequences in terms of illness and out-of-pocket costs, while outdoor air pollution was perceived as the most uncontrollable risk. In the main study (n = 2,603, improved water supply received higher priority than both improved outdoor air quality (60.1%, P P Conclusions The Cairo community prefers to further improving water supply as compared to improved outdoor air quality and screening and treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

  6. Optimum allocation of conservation funds and choice of conservation programs for a set of African cattle breeds

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    Abdulai Awudu

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Although funds for livestock conservation are limited there is little known about the optimal allocation of conservation funds. A new algorithm was used to allocate Mio US$ 1, 2, 3, 5 or unlimited funds, discounted over 50 years, on 23 African cattle breeds conserved with four different possible conservation programs. Additionally, Mio US$ 1 was preferably allocated to breeds with special traits. The conceptional in situ conservation programs strongly involve breeders and give them part of the responsibility for the conservation of the breed. Therefore, the pure in situ conservation was more efficient than cryoconservation or combined in situ and cryoconservation. The average annual discounted conservation cost for a breed can be as low as US$ 1000 to US$ 4400 depending on the design of the conservation program and the economic situation of the country of conservation. The choice of the breeds and the optimal conservation program and the amount of money allocated to each breed depend on many factors such as the amount of funds available, the conservation potential of each breed, the effects of the conservation program as well as its cost. With Mio US$ 1, 64% of the present diversity could be maintained over 50 years, which is 13% more than would be maintained if no conservation measures were implemented. Special traits could be conserved with a rather small amount of the total funds. Diversity can not be conserved completely, not even with unlimited funds. A maximum of 92% of the present diversity could be conserved with Mio US$ 10, leaving 8% of the diversity to unpredictable happenings. The suggested algorithm proved to be useful for optimal allocation of conservation funds. It allocated the funds optimally among breeds by identifying the most suited conservation program for each breed, also accounting for differences in currency exchange rates between the different countries.

  7. How countries cope with competing demands and expectations: perspectives of different stakeholders on priority setting and resource allocation for health in the era of HIV and AIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, Françoise; Tiendrebeogo, Georges; Coolen, Anne; Blok, Lucie; Kouanda, Seni; Sataru, Fuseini; Ralisimalala, Andriamampianina; Mwapasa, Victor; Kiyombo, Mbela; Plummer, David

    2012-12-11

    Health systems have experienced unprecedented stress in recent years, and as yet no consensus has emerged as to how to deal with the multiple burden of disease in the context of HIV and AIDS and other competing health priorities. Priority setting is essential, yet this is a complex, multifaceted process. Drawing on a study conducted in five African countries, this paper explores different stakeholders' perceptions of health priorities, how priorities are defined in practice, the process of resource allocation for HIV and Health and how different stakeholders perceive this. A sub-analysis was conducted of selected data from a wider qualitative study that explored the interactions between health systems and HIV and AIDS responses in five sub-Saharan countries (Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Madagascar and Malawi). Key background documents were analysed and semi-structured interviews (n = 258) and focus group discussions (n = 45) were held with representatives of communities, health personnel, decision makers, civil society representatives and development partners at both national and district level. Health priorities were expressed either in terms of specific health problems and diseases or gaps in service delivery requiring a strengthening of the overall health system. In all five countries study respondents (with the exception of community members in Ghana) identified malaria and HIV as the two top health priorities. Community representatives were more likely to report concerns about accessibility of services and quality of care. National level respondents often referred to wider systemic challenges in relation to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, actual priority setting was heavily influenced by international agendas (e.g. MDGs) and by the ways in which development partners were supporting national strategic planning processes. At the same time, multi-stakeholder processes were increasingly used to identify

  8. Setting priorities for mental health research in Brazil Agenda de prioridades de pesquisa para saúde mental no Brasil

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    Guilherme Gregório

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The main aim of this study is to review the agenda for research priorities of mental health in Brazil. METHODOLOGY: The first step was to gather 28 experts (22 researchers, five policy makers, and the coordinator representing all mental health fields from different geographical areas of the country. Participants were asked to list what they considered to be the most relevant mental health research questions for the country to address in the next 10 years. Seventeen participants answered this question; after redundancies were excluded, a total of 110 responses were collected. As the second step, participants were asked to rank which questions were the 35 most significant. The final step was to score 15 items for each of the 35 selected questions to determine whether it would be a answerable, b effective, c deliverable, d equitable, and e effective at reducing the burden of mental health. The ten highest ranked questions were then selected. RESULTS: There were four questions addressing primary care with respect to a the effectiveness of interventions, b "matrix support", c comparisons of different models of stepped care, and d interventions to enhance identification and treatment of common mental disorders at the Family Health Program. The other questions were related to the evaluation of mental health services for adults and children/adolescents to clarify barriers to treatment in primary care, drug addiction, and severe mental disorders; to investigate the cost-benefit relationship of anti-psychotics; to design interventions to decrease alcohol consumption; and to apply new technologies (telemedicine for education and supervision of non-specialists. CONCLUSION: This priority-setting research exercise highlighted a need for implementing investments at the primary-care level, particularly in the family health program; the urgent need to evaluate services; and policies to improve equity by increasing accessibility to services and

  9. Evidence-informed capacity building for setting health priorities in low- and middle-income countries: A framework and recommendations for further research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ryan; Ruiz, Francis; Culyer, Anthony J; Chalkidou, Kalipso; Hofman, Karen J

    2017-01-01

    Priority-setting in health is risky and challenging, particularly in resource-constrained settings. It is not simply a narrow technical exercise, and involves the mobilisation of a wide range of capacities among stakeholders – not only the technical capacity to “do” research in economic evaluations. Using the Individuals, Nodes, Networks and Environment (INNE) framework, we identify those stakeholders, whose capacity needs will vary along the evidence-to-policy continuum. Policymakers and healthcare managers require the capacity to commission and use relevant evidence (including evidence of clinical and cost-effectiveness, and of social values); academics need to understand and respond to decision-makers’ needs to produce relevant research. The health system at all levels will need institutional capacity building to incentivise routine generation and use of evidence. Knowledge brokers, including priority-setting agencies (such as England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and Health Interventions and Technology Assessment Program, Thailand) and the media can play an important role in facilitating engagement and knowledge transfer between the various actors. Especially at the outset but at every step, it is critical that patients and the public understand that trade-offs are inherent in priority-setting, and careful efforts should be made to engage them, and to hear their views throughout the process. There is thus no single approach to capacity building; rather a spectrum of activities that recognises the roles and skills of all stakeholders. A range of methods, including formal and informal training, networking and engagement, and support through collaboration on projects, should be flexibly employed (and tailored to specific needs of each country) to support institutionalisation of evidence-informed priority-setting. Finally, capacity building should be a two-way process; those who build capacity should also attend to their own

  10. Evidence-informed capacity building for setting health priorities in low- and middle-income countries: A framework and recommendations for further research [version 1; referees: 2 approved

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    Ryan Li

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Priority-setting in health is risky and challenging, particularly in resource-constrained settings. It is not simply a narrow technical exercise, and involves the mobilisation of a wide range of capacities among stakeholders – not only the technical capacity to “do” research in economic evaluations. Using the Individuals, Nodes, Networks and Environment (INNE framework, we identify those stakeholders, whose capacity needs will vary along the evidence-to-policy continuum. Policymakers and healthcare managers require the capacity to commission and use relevant evidence (including evidence of clinical and cost-effectiveness, and of social values; academics need to understand and respond to decision-makers’ needs to produce relevant research. The health system at all levels will need institutional capacity building to incentivise routine generation and use of evidence. Knowledge brokers, including priority-setting agencies (such as England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and Health Interventions and Technology Assessment Program, Thailand and the media can play an important role in facilitating engagement and knowledge transfer between the various actors. Especially at the outset but at every step, it is critical that patients and the public understand that trade-offs are inherent in priority-setting, and careful efforts should be made to engage them, and to hear their views throughout the process. There is thus no single approach to capacity building; rather a spectrum of activities that recognises the roles and skills of all stakeholders. A range of methods, including formal and informal training, networking and engagement, and support through collaboration on projects, should be flexibly employed (and tailored to specific needs of each country to support institutionalisation of evidence-informed priority-setting. Finally, capacity building should be a two-way process; those who build capacity should also attend to

  11. Disease management index of potential years of life lost as a tool for setting priorities in national disease control using OECD health data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Sung-In; Nam, Jung-Mo; Choi, Jongwon; Park, Eun-Cheol

    2014-03-01

    Limited healthcare resources make it necessary to maximize efficiency in disease management at the country level by priority-setting according to disease burden. To make the best priority settings, it is necessary to measure health status and have standards for its judgment, as well as consider disease management trends among nations. We used 17 International Classification of Diseases (ICD) categories of potential years of life lost (YPLL) from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) health data for 2012, 37 disease diagnoses YPLL from OECD health data for 2009 across 22 countries and disability-adjusted life years (DALY) from the World Health Organization (WHO). We set a range of 1-1 for each YPLL per disease in a nation (position value for relative comparison, PARC). Changes over 5 years were also accounted for in this disease management index (disease management index, DMI). In terms of ICD categories, the DMI indicated specific areas for priority setting for different countries with regard to managing disease treatment and diagnosis. Our study suggests that DMI is a realistic index that reflects trend changes over the past 5 years to the present state, and PARC is an easy index for identifying relative status. Moreover, unlike existing indices, DMI and PARC make it easy to conduct multiple comparisons among countries and diseases. DMI and PARC are therefore useful tools for policy implications and for future studies incorporating them and other existing indexes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Identification of a conserved set of upregulated genes in mouse skeletal muscle hypertrophy and regrowth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaillou, Thomas; Jackson, Janna R.; England, Jonathan H.; Kirby, Tyler J.; Richards-White, Jena; Esser, Karyn A.; Dupont-Versteegden, Esther E.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the gene expression profile of mouse skeletal muscle undergoing two forms of growth (hypertrophy and regrowth) with the goal of identifying a conserved set of differentially expressed genes. Expression profiling by microarray was performed on the plantaris muscle subjected to 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14 days of hypertrophy or regrowth following 2 wk of hind-limb suspension. We identified 97 differentially expressed genes (≥2-fold increase or ≥50% decrease compared with control muscle) that were conserved during the two forms of muscle growth. The vast majority (∼90%) of the differentially expressed genes was upregulated and occurred at a single time point (64 out of 86 genes), which most often was on the first day of the time course. Microarray analysis from the conserved upregulated genes showed a set of genes related to contractile apparatus and stress response at day 1, including three genes involved in mechanotransduction and four genes encoding heat shock proteins. Our analysis further identified three cell cycle-related genes at day and several genes associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) at both days 3 and 10. In conclusion, we have identified a core set of genes commonly upregulated in two forms of muscle growth that could play a role in the maintenance of sarcomere stability, ECM remodeling, cell proliferation, fast-to-slow fiber type transition, and the regulation of skeletal muscle growth. These findings suggest conserved regulatory mechanisms involved in the adaptation of skeletal muscle to increased mechanical loading. PMID:25554798

  13. A mass conserving level set method for detailed numerical simulation of liquid atomization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Kun; Shao, Changxiao [State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Yang, Yue [State Key Laboratory of Turbulence and Complex Systems, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Fan, Jianren, E-mail: fanjr@zju.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China)

    2015-10-01

    An improved mass conserving level set method for detailed numerical simulations of liquid atomization is developed to address the issue of mass loss in the existing level set method. This method introduces a mass remedy procedure based on the local curvature at the interface, and in principle, can ensure the absolute mass conservation of the liquid phase in the computational domain. Three benchmark cases, including Zalesak's disk, a drop deforming in a vortex field, and the binary drop head-on collision, are simulated to validate the present method, and the excellent agreement with exact solutions or experimental results is achieved. It is shown that the present method is able to capture the complex interface with second-order accuracy and negligible additional computational cost. The present method is then applied to study more complex flows, such as a drop impacting on a liquid film and the swirling liquid sheet atomization, which again, demonstrates the advantages of mass conservation and the capability to represent the interface accurately.

  14. Dementia priority setting partnership with the James Lind Alliance: using patient and public involvement and the evidence base to inform the research agenda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Sarah; Lafortune, Louise; Hart, Nicola; Cowan, Katherine; Fenton, Mark; Brayne, Carol

    2015-11-01

    The James Lind Alliance (JLA) created an approach to elicit the views of those under-represented in research priority exercises. Building on this, the JLA Dementia Priority Setting Partnership was set up as an independent and evidence-based project to identify and prioritise unanswered questions ('uncertainties') about prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care relating to dementia. A survey was widely disseminated to stakeholders with an interest in the needs of the older population. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes from the large amount of questions collected from which research questions were developed using PICO framework (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome). Each question was checked against an extensive evidence base of high-quality systematic reviews to verify whether they were true uncertainties. One thousand five hundred and sixty-three questionnaires were received, from people with dementia, carers/relatives, and health and care professionals; 85 uncertainties were identified from other sources. Questions were refined and formatted iteratively into 146 unique uncertainties. An interim prioritisation process involving diverse organisations identified the top 25 ranked questions. At a final face-to-face prioritisation workshop, 18 people representing the above constituencies arrived by consensus at the top 10 priority questions. The impact of patient and public involvement on the priorities is discussed. The long (146 questions) and top 10 lists of dementia research priorities provide a focus for researchers, funders and commissioners. They highlight a need for more research into care for people with dementia and carers, and a need for high-quality effectiveness trials in all aspects of dementia research. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.

  15. Distributions, ex situ conservation priorities, and genetic resource potential of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L. Lam., I. series Batatas

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    Colin Kahlil Khoury

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Crop wild relatives of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L. Lam., I. series Batatas] have the potential to contribute to breeding objectives for this important root crop. Uncertainty in regard to species boundaries and their phylogenetic relationships, the limited availability of germplasm with which to perform crosses, and the difficulty of introgression of genes from wild species has constrained their utilization. Here we compile geographic occurrence data on relevant sweetpotato wild relatives and produce potential distribution models for the species. We then assess the comprehensiveness of ex situ germplasm collections, contextualize these results with research and breeding priorities, and use ecogeographic information to identify species with the potential to contribute desirable agronomic traits. The fourteen species that are considered the closest wild relatives of sweetpotato generally occur from the central United States to Argentina, with richness concentrated in Mesoamerica and in the extreme southeastern United States. Currently designated species differ among themselves and in comparison to the crop in their adaptations to temperature, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics and most species also show considerable intraspecific variation. With 79% of species identified as high priority for further collecting, we find that these crop genetic resources are highly under-represented in ex situ conservation systems and thus their availability to breeders and researchers is inadequate. We prioritize taxa and specific geographic locations for further collecting in order to improve the completeness of germplasm collections. In concert with enhanced conservation of sweetpotato wild relatives, further taxonomic research, characterization and evaluation of germplasm, and improving the techniques to overcome barriers to introgression with wild species are needed in order to mobilize these genetic resources for crop breeding.

  16. Competition between injunctive social norms and conservation priorities gives rise to complex dynamics in a model of forest growth and opinion dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigdel, Ram P; Anand, Madhur; Bauch, Chris T

    2017-11-07

    Human and environmental systems are often treated as existing in isolation from one another, whereas in fact they are often two parts of a single, coupled human-environment system. Developing theoretical models of coupled human-environment systems is a continuing area of research, although relatively few of these models are based on differential equations. Here we develop a simple differential equation coupled human-environment system model of forest growth dynamics and conservationist opinion dynamics in a human population. The model assumes logistic growth and harvesting in the forest. Opinion spread in the human population is based on the interplay between conservation values stimulated by forest rarity, and injunctive social norms that tend to support population conformity. We find that injunctive social norms drive the system to the boundaries of phase space, whereas rarity-based conservation priorities drive the system to the interior. The result is complex dynamics including limit cycles and alternative stable states that do not occur if injunctive social norms are absent. We found that the model with injunctive social norms had five possible observable outcomes, whereas the model without social norms had only two stable states. Thus social norms and have dramatic influence in conservation dynamics. We also find that increasing the conservation value of forests is the best way to boost and stabilize forest cover while also boosting conservationist opinion in the population, although for some parameter regimes it can also give rise to long-term oscillations in opinions and forest cover. We conclude that simple models can provide insights and reveal patterns that might be difficult to see with high-dimensional computational models, and therefore should be used more often in research on coupled human-environment systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Novel, male-produced aggregation pheromone of the cerambycid beetle Rosalia alpina, a priority species of European conservation concern.

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    Alenka Žunič Kosi

    Full Text Available Several recent studies have demonstrated the great potential for exploiting semiochemicals in ecology and conservation studies. The cerambycid beetle Rosalia alpina represents one of the flagship species of saproxylic insect biodiversity in Europe. In recent years its populations appear to have declined substantially, and its range has shrunk considerably as a result of forest management and urbanization. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by males and females of R. alpina. Analyses of the resulting extracts revealed the presence of a single male-specific compound, identified as a novel alkylated pyrone structure. In field bioassays in Slovenia, traps baited with the synthesized pyrone captured both sexes of R. alpina, indicating that the pyrone functions as an aggregation pheromone. Our results represent the first example of a new structural class of pheromones within the Cerambycidae, and demonstrate that pheromone-baited traps can provide a useful tool for sampling R. alpina. This tool could be particularly useful in the ongoing development of conservation strategies for the iconic but endangered Alpine longicorn.

  18. Guidance on priority setting in health care (GPS-Health): the inclusion of equity criteria not captured by cost-effectiveness analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    This Guidance for Priority Setting in Health Care (GPS-Health), initiated by the World Health Organization, offers a comprehensive map of equity criteria that are relevant to health care priority setting and should be considered in addition to cost-effectiveness analysis. The guidance, in the form of a checklist, is especially targeted at decision makers who set priorities at national and sub-national levels, and those who interpret findings from cost-effectiveness analysis. It is also targeted at researchers conducting cost-effectiveness analysis to improve reporting of their results in the light of these other criteria. The guidance was develop through a series of expert consultation meetings and involved three steps: i) methods and normative concepts were identified through a systematic review; ii) the review findings were critically assessed in the expert consultation meetings which resulted in a draft checklist of normative criteria; iii) the checklist was validated though an extensive hearing process with input from a range of relevant stakeholders. The GPS-Health incorporates criteria related to the disease an intervention targets (severity of disease, capacity to benefit, and past health loss); characteristics of social groups an intervention targets (socioeconomic status, area of living, gender; race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation); and non-health consequences of an intervention (financial protection, economic productivity, and care for others). PMID:25246855

  19. Understanding what matters: An exploratory study to investigate the views of the general public for priority setting criteria in health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratcliffe, Julie; Lancsar, Emily; Walker, Ruth; Gu, Yuanyuan

    2017-06-01

    Health care policy makers internationally are increasingly expressing commitment to consultation with, and incorporation of, the views of the general public into the formulation of health policy and the process of setting health care priorities. In practice, however, there are relatively few opportunities for the general public to be involved in health care decision-making. In making resource allocation decisions, funders, tasked with managing scarce health care resources, are often faced with difficult decisions in balancing efficiency with equity considerations. A mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach incorporating focus group discussions and a ranking exercise was utilised to develop a comprehensive list of potential criteria for setting priorities in health care formulated from the perspective of members of the general public in Australia. A strong level of congruence was found in terms of the rankings of the key criteria with the size of the health gain, clinical effectiveness, and the ability to provide quality of life improvements identified consistently as the three most important criteria for prioritising the funding of an intervention. Findings from this study will be incorporated into a novel DCE framework to explore how decision makers and members of the general public prioritize and trade off different types of health gain and to quantify the weights attached to specific efficiency and equity criteria in the priority setting process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Setting the global health agenda: The influence of advocates and ideas on political priority for maternal and newborn survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Stephanie L; Shiffman, Jeremy

    2016-10-01

    This study investigates a puzzle concerning global health priorities-why do comparable issues receive differential levels of attention and resources? It considers maternal and neonatal mortality, two high-burden issues that pertain to groups at risk at birth and whose lives could be saved with effective intrapartum care. Why did maternal survival gain status as a global health priority earlier and to a greater degree than newborn survival? Higher mortality and morbidity burdens among newborns and the cost-effectiveness of interventions would seem to predict that issue's earlier and higher prioritization. Yet maternal survival emerged as a priority two decades earlier and had attracted considerably more attention and resources by the close of the Millennium Development Goals era. This study uses replicative process-tracing case studies to examine the emergence and growth of political priority for these two issues, probing reasons for unexpected variance. The study finds that maternal survival's grounding as a social justice issue spurred growth of a strong and diverse advocacy network and aligned the issue with powerful international norms (e.g. expectations to advance women's rights and the Millennium Development Goals), drawing attention and resources to the issue over three decades. Newborn survival's disadvantage stems from its long status as an issue falling under the umbrellas of maternal and child survival but not fully adopted by these networks, and with limited appeal as a public health issue advanced by a small and technically focused network; network expansion and alignment with child survival norms have improved the issue's status in the past few years. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Priority setting for the implementation of artemisinin-based combination therapy policy in Tanzania: evaluation against the accountability for reasonableness framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mori Amani

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Priority setting for artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs has become an integral part of malaria treatment policy change in malaria-endemic countries. Although these drugs are more efficacious, they are also more costly than the failing drugs. When Tanzania changed its National Malaria Treatment Policy in 2006, priority setting was an inevitable challenge. Artemether-lumefantrine was prioritised as the first-line drug for the management of uncomplicated malaria to be available at a subsidized price at public and faith-based healthcare facilities. Methods This paper describes the priority-setting process, which involved the selection of a new first-line antimalarial drug in the implementation of artemisinin-based combination therapy policy. These descriptions were further evaluated against the four conditions of the accountability for reasonableness framework. According to this framework, fair decisions must satisfy a set of publicity, relevance, appeals, and revision and enforcement conditions. In-depth interviews were held with key informants using pretested interview guides, supplemented with a review of the treatment guideline. Purposeful sampling was used in order to explore the perceptions of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. The analysis followed an editing organising style. Results Publicity: The selection decision of artemether-lumefantrine but not the rationale behind it was publicised through radio, television, and newspaper channels in the national language, Swahili. Relevance: The decision was grounded on evidences of clinical efficacy, safety, affordability, and formulation profile. Stakeholders were not adequately involved. There was neither an appeals mechanism to challenge the decision nor enforcement mechanisms to guarantee fairness of the decision outcomes. Conclusions The priority-setting decision to use artemether-lumefantrine as the first-line antimalarial drug failed to satisfy the four

  2. Reconsidering 'Set the People Free': Neoliberalism and Freedom Rhetoric in Churchill's Conservative Party.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, James

    2017-09-18

    It is often assumed that 'Hayekian' or 'neoliberal' influences lay behind Conservative attacks on socialism in 1945 and subsequent calls to 'set the people free' in 1950 and 1951. This assumption has had consequences for our understanding of late-1940s Conservatism and for wider interpretations of post-war politics. Heeding recent calls to reconnect the inter-war and post-war parties and to pay closer attention to how opponents and contexts generate arguments, this article revisits senior Conservatives' rhetoric between 1945 and 1951 to break the link between neoliberal influence and freedom rhetoric. First, it argues that the rhetoric of 1945 was derived from a distinctly Conservative lineage of interwar argument and reflected strategies developed before the publication of F. A. Hayek's 'The Road to Serfdom'. Second, it demonstrates that senior Conservatives' emancipatory rhetoric in opposition after 1945 was neither a simple continuation of these themes nor primarily a response to the public's growing antipathy towards rationing and controls. Rather, such rhetoric was a complex response to Britain's immediate economic difficulties and the political challenges presented by austerity. Finally, the article sheds new light on the strategy that governed the party's campaigns in 1950 and 1951. Churchill and others' calls to 'set the people free' stemmed from a belief that the rhetorical opportunity lay in reconciling liberty with security. In that sense, the leadership had moved beyond begrudging compromises with the 'Attleean settlement' and was instead attempting to define a new identity within the parameters of the welfare state. © The Author [2017]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Setting priorities in health research using the model proposed by the World Health Organization: development of a quantitative methodology using tuberculosis in South Africa as a worked example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacking, Damian; Cleary, Susan

    2016-02-09

    Setting priorities is important in health research given the limited resources available for research. Various guidelines exist to assist in the priority setting process; however, priority setting still faces significant challenges such as the clear ranking of identified priorities. The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY)-based model to rank priorities by research area (basic, health systems and biomedical) by dividing the DALYs into 'unavertable with existing interventions', 'avertable with improved efficiency' and 'avertable with existing but non-cost-effective interventions', respectively. However, the model has conceptual flaws and no clear methodology for its construction. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to amend the model to address these flaws, and develop a clear methodology by using tuberculosis in South Africa as a worked example. An amended model was constructed to represent total DALYs as the product of DALYs per person and absolute burden of disease. These figures were calculated for all countries from WHO datasets. The lowest figures achieved by any country were assumed to represent 'unavertable with existing interventions' if extrapolated to South Africa. The ratio of 'cost per patient treated' (adjusted for purchasing power and outcome weighted) between South Africa and the best country was used to calculate the 'avertable with improved efficiency section'. Finally, 'avertable with existing but non-cost-effective interventions' was calculated using Disease Control Priorities Project efficacy data, and the ratio between the best intervention and South Africa's current intervention, irrespective of cost. The amended model shows that South Africa has a tuberculosis burden of 1,009,837.3 DALYs; 0.009% of DALYs are unavertable with existing interventions and 96.3% of DALYs could be averted with improvements in efficiency. Of the remaining DALYs, a further 56.9% could be averted with existing but non

  4. Predicting the spatial distribution of a seabird community to identify priority conservation areas in the Timor Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavers, Jennifer L; Miller, Mark G R; Carter, Michael J; Swann, George; Clarke, Rohan H

    2014-12-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal variability in the distribution of species is fundamental to the conservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. To support strategic decision making aimed at sustainable management of the oceans, such as the establishment of protected areas for marine wildlife, we identified areas predicted to support multispecies seabird aggregations in the Timor Sea. We developed species distribution models for 21 seabird species based on at-sea survey observations from 2000-2013 and oceanographic variables (e.g., bathymetry). We applied 4 statistical modeling techniques and combined the results into an ensemble model with robust performance. The ensemble model predicted the probability of seabird occurrence in areas where few or no surveys had been conducted and demonstrated 3 areas of high seabird richness that varied little between seasons. These were located within 150 km of Adele Island, Ashmore Reef, and the Lacepede Islands, 3 of the largest aggregations of breeding seabirds in Australia. Although these breeding islands were foci for high species richness, model performance was greatest for 3 nonbreeding migratory species that would have been overlooked had regional monitoring been restricted to islands. Our results indicate many seabird hotspots in the Timor Sea occur outside existing reserves (e.g., Ashmore Reef Marine Reserve), where shipping, fisheries, and offshore development likely pose a threat to resident and migratory populations. Our results highlight the need to expand marine spatial planning efforts to ensure biodiversity assets are appropriately represented in marine reserves. Correspondingly, our results support the designation of at least 4 new important bird areas, for example, surrounding Adele Island and Ashmore Reef. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. A Mass Conservation Scheme for Level Set Method Applied to Multiphase Incompressible Flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salih, A.; Ghosh Moulic, S.

    2013-06-01

    Despite the inherent advantages of the level set method in the computation of multiphase flows, the principal drawback has been the lack of conservation of mass (or volume in incompressible flows). While the level set community has resorted to the use of highly accurate schemes like a fifth-order Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO) scheme for the solution of level set equations, it is seen that for certain classes of problems the volume loss is still high. In order to circumvent this limitation of the level set method, in this paper we propose a volume-reinitialization scheme, wherein volume correction is accomplished by solving an appropriate equation for level set function after every time step. The volume-reinitialization scheme recognizes the local curvature of the interface while correcting the volume loss. The efficacy of the proposed technique has been tested for several problems that include determination of equilibrium shape of free surface in a rotating cylindrical container and simulation of zero-gravity drop oscillations. It is seen that there is a dramatic increase in the performance of the level set method when used in conjunction with volume-reinitialization and this strategy seems to hold promise for a wide class of problems.

  6. Evidence for intron length conservation in a set of mammalian genes associated with embryonic development

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2011-10-05

    Abstract Background We carried out an analysis of intron length conservation across a diverse group of nineteen mammalian species. Motivated by recent research suggesting a role for time delays associated with intron transcription in gene expression oscillations required for early embryonic patterning, we searched for examples of genes that showed the most extreme conservation of total intron content in mammals. Results Gene sets annotated as being involved in pattern specification in the early embryo or containing the homeobox DNA-binding domain, were significantly enriched among genes with highly conserved intron content. We used ancestral sequences reconstructed with probabilistic models that account for insertion and deletion mutations to distinguish insertion and deletion events on lineages leading to human and mouse from their last common ancestor. Using a randomization procedure, we show that genes containing the homeobox domain show less change in intron content than expected, given the number of insertion and deletion events within their introns. Conclusions Our results suggest selection for gene expression precision or the existence of additional development-associated genes for which transcriptional delay is functionally significant.

  7. Strong genetic structure among coral populations within a conservation priority region, the Bird's Head Seascape (Papua, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig John Starger

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas (MPAs are widely considered to be one of the best strategies available for protecting species diversity and ecosystem processes in marine environments. While data on connectivity and genetic structure of marine populations are critical to designing appropriately sized and spaced networks of MPAs, such data are rarely available. This study examines genetic structure in reef-building corals from Papua and West Papua, Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse and least disturbed coral reef regions in the world. We focused on two common reef-building corals, Pocillopora damicornis (Linnaeus 1758 and Seriatopora hystrix (family: Pocilloporidae, from three regions under different management regimes: Teluk Cenderawasih, Raja Ampat, and southwest Papua. Analyses of molecular variance, assignment tests, and genetical bandwidth mapping based on microsatellite variation revealed significant genetic structure in both species, although there were no clear regional filters to gene flow among regions. Overall, P. damicornis populations were less structured (FST = 0.139, p < 0.00001 than S. hystrix (FST = 0.357, p < 0.00001. Despite occurring in one of the most pristine marine habitats in Indonesia, populations of both species showed evidence of recent declines. Furthermore, exclusion of individual populations from connectivity analyses resulted in marked increases in self-recruitment. Maintaining connectivity within and among regions of Eastern Indonesia will require coral conservation on the local scales and regional networks of MPAs. 

  8. The world's second largest population of humpback dolphins in the waters of Zhanjiang deserves the highest conservation priority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xinrong; Song, Jinyuan; Zhang, Zhenhua; Li, Peng; Yang, Guang; Zhou, Kaiya

    2015-01-30

    Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) inhabiting shallow coastal waters are vulnerable to impacts from human activities in the near shore waters. This study examined the population of Chinese white dolphins occurring off the coast of Zhanjiang in the northern South China Sea. A total of 492 Chinese white dolphins were identified, 176 of which were photographed on more than one occasion. The Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population is isolated from populations of conspecifics along the Guangdong coast. It is composed of approximately 1485 individuals (95% CI = 1371-1629; SE = 63.8), with estimates of mean representative range and core area of 168.51 and 44.26 km(2), respectively. The high site fidelity and long-term residence of Chinese white dolphins in the study area are well established. A review of all available data indicates that based on what is currently known, the Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population is the second largest of the species and genus in the world. However, the recent industrial boom along the Zhanjiang coast has increased concerns regarding the conservation of the Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population. We recommend the designation of a national nature reserve as a most urgent measure for protecting Chinese white dolphins in Zhanjiang waters.

  9. (Q)SAR tools for priority setting: A case study with printed paper and board food contact material substances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bossuyt, Melissa; Van Hoeck, Els; Raitano, Giuseppa; Manganelli, Serena; Braeken, Els; Ates, Gamze; Vanhaecke, Tamara; Van Miert, Sabine; Benfenati, Emilio; Mertens, Birgit; Rogiers, Vera

    2017-04-01

    Over the last years, more stringent safety requirements for an increasing number of chemicals across many regulatory fields (e.g. industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics, …) have triggered the need for an efficient screening strategy to prioritize the substances of highest concern. In this context, alternative methods such as in silico (i.e. computational) techniques gain more and more importance. In the current study, a new prioritization strategy for identifying potentially mutagenic substances was developed based on the combination of multiple (quantitative) structure-activity relationship ((Q)SAR) tools. Non-evaluated substances used in printed paper and board food contact materials (FCM) were selected for a case study. By applying our strategy, 106 out of the 1723 substances were assigned 'high priority' as they were predicted mutagenic by 4 different (Q)SAR models. Information provided within the models allowed to identify 53 substances for which Ames mutagenicity prediction already has in vitro Ames test results. For further prioritization, additional support could be obtained by applying local i.e. specific models, as demonstrated here for aromatic azo compounds, typically found in printed paper and board FCM. The strategy developed here can easily be applied to other groups of chemicals facing the same need for priority ranking. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Data Priority List

    Data.gov (United States)

    City of Jackson, Mississippi — This data shows the priority ranking given to each City of Jackson data-set by the Data Governance Committee. The goal is to upload each set of data within the next...

  11. Setting priorities to address cardiovascular diseases through universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, David A; Nugent, Rachel A

    2017-01-01

    Over the past decade, universal health coverage (UHC) has emerged as a major policy goal for many low- and middle-income country governments. Yet, despite the high burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), relatively little is known about how to address CVD through UHC. This review covers three major topics. First, we define UHC and provide some context for its importance, and then we illustrate its relevance to CVD prevention and treatment. Second, we discuss how countries might select high-priority CVD interventions for a UHC health benefits package drawing on economic evaluation methods. Third, we explore some implementation challenges and identify research gaps that, if addressed, could improve the inclusion of CVD into UHC.

  12. Establishing and Prioritising Research Questions for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Hair Loss (excluding Alopecia Areata): The Hair Loss Priority Setting Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macbeth, A; Tomlinson, J; Messenger, A; Moore-Millar, K; Michaelides, C; Shipman, A; Kassim, J; Brockley, J; Szczecinska, W; Farrant, P; Robinson, R; Rodgers, J; Chambers, J; Upadhyaya, S; Harries, M

    2017-07-17

    Hair and scalp problems are common. Unfortunately, many uncertainties exist around the most effective management and treatments strategies for these disorders. To identify uncertainties in hair loss management, prevention, diagnosis and treatment that are important to both people with hair loss and healthcare professionals. A hair loss priority setting partnership was established between patients, their carers and relatives, and healthcare professionals to identify the most important uncertainties in hair loss. The methodology of the James Lind Alliance was followed to ensure a balanced, inclusive and transparent process. In total 2747 treatment uncertainties were submitted by 912 participants; following exclusions 884 uncertainties relating to hair loss (excluding alopecia areata) were analyzed. Questions were combined into "indicative uncertainties" following a structured format. A series of ranking exercises further reduced this list to a top 25 that was taken to a final prioritization workshop where the top 10 priorities were agreed. We present the top 10 research priorities for hair loss (excluding alopecia areata) to guide researchers and funding bodies to support studies important to both patients and clinicians. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Using the Species-Area Relationship to Set Baseline Targets for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip Desmet

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper demonstrates how the power form of the Species-Area Relationship (SAR can be used to set conservation targets for land classes using biodiversity survey data. The log-transformation of the power model is a straight line; therefore, if one knows the average number of species recorded per survey site and can estimate the true species number present in the land class, using EstimateS software, it is possible to calculate the slope of the curve, or z-value. The z-value is the exponent in the power model and it can then be used to estimate the proportion of area required to represent a given proportion of species present in any land class. This application of the SAR is explored using phytosociological relevé data from South Africa's Succulent Karoo biome. We also provide suggestions for extrapolating the estimated z-values to other land classes within a bioregion that lack sufficient survey data, using the relationship between z-values and remotely determined landscape variables such as habitat diversity (topographic diversity and geographic location (latitude and longitude. The SAR predicts that for most Succulent Karoo vegetation types a conservation target of 10% of the land area would not be sufficient to conserve the majority of species. We also demonstrate that not all land classes are equal from a plant biodiversity perspective, so applying one target to all land classes in a region will lead to significant gaps and inefficiencies in any reserve network based on this universal target.

  14. Set-based Tasks within the Singularity-robust Multiple Task-priority Inverse Kinematics Framework: General Formulation, Stability Analysis and Experimental Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Signe eMoe

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Inverse kinematics algorithms are commonly used in robotic systems to transform tasks to joint references, and several methods exist to ensure the achievement of several tasks simultaneously. The multiple task-priority inverse kinematicsframework allows tasks to be considered in a prioritized order by projecting task velocities through the nullspaces of higherpriority tasks. This paper extends this framework to handle setbased tasks, i.e. tasks with a range of valid values, in addition to equality tasks, which have a specific desired value. Examples of set-based tasks are joint limit and obstacle avoidance. The proposed method is proven to ensure asymptotic convergence of the equality task errors and the satisfaction of all high-priority set-based tasks. The practical implementation of the proposed algorithm is discussed, and experimental results are presented where a number of both set-based and equality tasks have been implemented on a 6 degree of freedom UR5 which is an industrial robotic arm from Universal Robots. The experiments validate thetheoretical results and confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

  15. Building robust conservation plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visconti, Piero; Joppa, Lucas

    2015-04-01

    Systematic conservation planning optimizes trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and human activities by accounting for socioeconomic costs while aiming to achieve prescribed conservation objectives. However, the most cost-efficient conservation plan can be very dissimilar to any other plan achieving the set of conservation objectives. This is problematic under conditions of implementation uncertainty (e.g., if all or part of the plan becomes unattainable). We determined through simulations of parallel implementation of conservation plans and habitat loss the conditions under which optimal plans have limited chances of implementation and where implementation attempts would fail to meet objectives. We then devised a new, flexible method for identifying conservation priorities and scheduling conservation actions. This method entails generating a number of alternative plans, calculating the similarity in site composition among all plans, and selecting the plan with the highest density of neighboring plans in similarity space. We compared our method with the classic method that maximizes cost efficiency with synthetic and real data sets. When implementation was uncertain--a common reality--our method provided higher likelihood of achieving conservation targets. We found that χ, a measure of the shortfall in objectives achieved by a conservation plan if the plan could not be implemented entirely, was the main factor determining the relative performance of a flexibility enhanced approach to conservation prioritization. Our findings should help planning authorities prioritize conservation efforts in the face of uncertainty about future condition and availability of sites. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  17. A GPU Accelerated Discontinuous Galerkin Conservative Level Set Method for Simulating Atomization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jibben, Zechariah J.

    This dissertation describes a process for interface capturing via an arbitrary-order, nearly quadrature free, discontinuous Galerkin (DG) scheme for the conservative level set method (Olsson et al., 2005, 2008). The DG numerical method is utilized to solve both advection and reinitialization, and executed on a refined level set grid (Herrmann, 2008) for effective use of processing power. Computation is executed in parallel utilizing both CPU and GPU architectures to make the method feasible at high order. Finally, a sparse data structure is implemented to take full advantage of parallelism on the GPU, where performance relies on well-managed memory operations. With solution variables projected into a kth order polynomial basis, a k + 1 order convergence rate is found for both advection and reinitialization tests using the method of manufactured solutions. Other standard test cases, such as Zalesak's disk and deformation of columns and spheres in periodic vortices are also performed, showing several orders of magnitude improvement over traditional WENO level set methods. These tests also show the impact of reinitialization, which often increases shape and volume errors as a result of level set scalar trapping by normal vectors calculated from the local level set field. Accelerating advection via GPU hardware is found to provide a 30x speedup factor comparing a 2.0GHz Intel Xeon E5-2620 CPU in serial vs. a Nvidia Tesla K20 GPU, with speedup factors increasing with polynomial degree until shared memory is filled. A similar algorithm is implemented for reinitialization, which relies on heavier use of shared and global memory and as a result fills them more quickly and produces smaller speedups of 18x.

  18. Priority interventions to reduce HIV transmission in sex work settings in sub-Saharan Africa and delivery of these services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Chersich (Matthew); S. Luchters (Stanley); I. Ntaganira (Innocent); A. Gerbase (Antonio); Y-R. Lo (Ying-Ru); F. Scorgie (Fiona); R. Steen (Richard)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractIntroduction: Virtually no African country provides HIV prevention services in sex work settings with an adequate scale and intensity. Uncertainty remains about the optimal set of interventions and mode of delivery. Methods: We systematically reviewed studies reporting interventions for

  19. 76 FR 78174 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure and Energy Conservation Standard for Set-Top Boxes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-16

    ... Contents I. Introduction II. Discussion A. Energy Conservation Standard 1. Product Classes 2. Lower Power... Procedure 1. Impact of Service Provider Software 2. Live Network Testing 3. Video Source 4. Digital Video...). \\6\\ IEC-62087: Methods of measurement for the power consumption of audio, video and related equipment...

  20. Quantitative benefit-harm assessment for setting research priorities: the example of roflumilast for patients with COPD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puhan, Milo A; Yu, Tsung; Boyd, Cynthia M; Ter Riet, Gerben

    2015-07-02

    When faced with uncertainties about the effects of medical interventions regulatory agencies, guideline developers, clinicians, and researchers commonly ask for more research, and in particular for more randomized trials. The conduct of additional randomized trials is, however, sometimes not the most efficient way to reduce uncertainty. Instead, approaches such as value of information analysis or other approaches should be used to prioritize research that will most likely reduce uncertainty and inform decisions. In situations where additional research for specific interventions needs to be prioritized, we propose the use of quantitative benefit-harm assessments that illustrate how the benefit-harm balance may change as a consequence of additional research. The example of roflumilast for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease shows that additional research on patient preferences (e.g., how important are exacerbations relative to psychiatric harms?) or outcome risks (e.g., what is the incidence of psychiatric outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease without treatment?) is sometimes more valuable than additional randomized trials. We propose that quantitative benefit-harm assessments have the potential to explore the impact of additional research and to identify research priorities Our approach may be seen as another type of value of information analysis and as a useful approach to stimulate specific new research that has the potential to change current estimates of the benefit-harm balance and decision making.

  1. Priority setting for the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases: multi-criteria decision analysis in four eastern Mediterranean countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghandour, Rula; Shoaibi, Azza; Khatib, Rana; Abu Rmeileh, Niveen; Unal, Belgin; Sözmen, Kaan; Kılıç, Bülent; Fouad, Fouad; Al Ali, Radwan; Ben Romdhane, Habiba; Aissi, Wafa; Ahmad, Balsam; Capewell, Simon; Critchley, Julia; Husseini, Abdullatif

    2015-01-01

    To explore the feasibility of using a simple multi-criteria decision analysis method with policy makers/key stakeholders to prioritize cardiovascular disease (CVD) policies in four Mediterranean countries: Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. A simple multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method was piloted. A mixed methods study was used to identify a preliminary list of policy options in each country. These policies were rated by different policymakers/stakeholders against pre-identified criteria to generate a priority score for each policy and then rank the policies. Twenty-five different policies were rated in the four countries to create a country-specific list of CVD prevention and control policies. The response rate was 100% in each country. The top policies were mostly population level interventions and health systems' level policies. Successful collaboration between policy makers/stakeholders and researchers was established in this small pilot study. MCDA appeared to be feasible and effective. Future applications should aim to engage a larger, representative sample of policy makers, especially from outside the health sector. Weighting the selected criteria might also be assessed.

  2. IDRC Thematic Priorities

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Claire Thompson

    IDRC Doctoral Research Awards (IDRAs) support research aligned with IDRC's mandate and thematic priorities. Proposed research must fit within the priorities of the Agriculture and Environment, Social and Economic Policy, or Technology and Innovation program areas as set out in this document. 1) Agriculture and ...

  3. Introducing New Priority Setting and Resource Allocation Processes in a Canadian Healthcare Organization: A Case Study Analysis Informed by Multiple Streams Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Neale; Mitton, Craig; Dowling, Laura; Hiltz, Mary-Ann; Campbell, Matthew; Gujar, Shashi Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Background: In this article, we analyze one case instance of how proposals for change to the priority setting and resource allocation (PSRA) processes at a Canadian healthcare institution reached the decision agenda of the organization’s senior leadership. We adopt key concepts from an established policy studies framework – Kingdon’s multiple streams theory – to inform our analysis. Methods: Twenty-six individual interviews were conducted at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, NS, Canada. Participants were asked to reflect upon the reasons leading up to the implementation of a formal priority setting process – Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis (PBMA) – in the 2012/2013 fiscal year. Responses were analyzed qualitatively using Kingdon’s model as a template. Results: The introduction of PBMA can be understood as the opening of a policy window. A problem stream – defined as lack of broad engagement and information sharing across service lines in past practice – converged with a known policy solution, PBMA, which addressed the identified problems and was perceived as easy to use and with an evidence-base from past applications across Canada and elsewhere. Conditions in the political realm allowed for this intervention to proceed, but also constrained its potential outcomes. Conclusion: Understanding in a theoretically-informed way how change occurs in healthcare management practices can provide useful lessons to researchers and decision-makers whose aim is to help health systems achieve the most effective use of available financial resources PMID:26673646

  4. Priority setting in health care: on the relation between reasonable choices on the micro-level and the macro-level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baerøe, Kristine

    2008-01-01

    There has been much discussion about how to obtain legitimacy at macro-level priority setting in health care by use of fair procedures, but how should we consider priority setting by individual clinicians or health workers at the micro-level? Despite the fact that just health care totally hinges upon their decisions, surprisingly little attention seems being paid to the legitimacy of these decisions. This paper addresses the following question: what are the conditions that have to be met in order to ensure that individual claims on health care are well aligned with an overall concept of just health care? Drawing upon a distinction between individual and aggregated needs, I argue that even though we assume the legitimacy of macro-level guidelines, this legitimacy is not directly transferable to decisions at micro-level simply by adherence to the guidelines' recommendation. Further, I argue that individual claims are subject to the formal principle of equality and the demands of vertical and horizontal equity in a way that gives context- and patient-related equity concerns precedence over equity concerns captured at the macro-level. I conclude that if we aim to achieve just health care, we need to develop a complementary framework for legitimising individual judgment of patients' claims on health care resources. Moreover, I suggest the basic structure of such a framework.

  5. Introducing New Priority Setting and Resource Allocation Processes in a Canadian Healthcare Organization: A Case Study Analysis Informed by Multiple Streams Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neale Smith

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background In this article, we analyze one case instance of how proposals for change to the priority setting and resource allocation (PSRA processes at a Canadian healthcare institution reached the decision agenda of the organization’s senior leadership. We adopt key concepts from an established policy studies framework – Kingdon’s multiple streams theory – to inform our analysis. Methods Twenty-six individual interviews were conducted at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, NS, Canada. Participants were asked to reflect upon the reasons leading up to the implementation of a formal priority setting process – Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis (PBMA – in the 2012/2013 fiscal year. Responses were analyzed qualitatively using Kingdon’s model as a template. Results The introduction of PBMA can be understood as the opening of a policy window. A problem stream – defined as lack of broad engagement and information sharing across service lines in past practice – converged with a known policy solution, PBMA, which addressed the identified problems and was perceived as easy to use and with an evidence-base from past applications across Canada and elsewhere. Conditions in the political realm allowed for this intervention to proceed, but also constrained its potential outcomes. Conclusion Understanding in a theoretically-informed way how change occurs in healthcare management practices can provide useful lessons to researchers and decision-makers whose aim is to help health systems achieve the most effective use of available financial resources.

  6. Conceptualizations of fairness and legitimacy in the context of Ethiopian health priority setting: Reflections on the applicability of accountability for reasonableness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petricca, Kadia; Bekele, Asfaw

    2017-05-22

    A critical element in building stronger health systems involves strengthening good governance to build capacity for transparent and fair health planning and priority setting. Over the past 20 years, the ethical framework Accountability for Reasonableness (A4R) has been a prominent conceptual guide in strengthening fair and legitimate processes of health decision-making. While many of the principles embedded within the framework are congruent with Western conceptualizations of what constitutes procedural fairness, there is a paucity in the literature that captures the degree of resonance between these principles and the views of decision makers from non-Western settings; particularly in Africa, where many countries have only recently, within the last 20-30 years, become more democratic. This paper contributes to the ethics literature by examining how Ethiopian decision makers conceptualize fair and legitimate health decision-making, and reflects on the degree of conceptual resonance between these views and the principles embedded in A4R. A qualitative case study approach from three districts in Ethiopia was undertaken. Fifty-eight decision makers from district, regional, zonal, and national levels were interviewed to describe their conceptualization of fairness and legitimacy in the district health planning process. Findings revealed that Ethiopians have a broad conception of fairness and legitimacy that while congruent with procedural justice, also aligned with principles of distributive and organizational justice. Researchers and practitioners seeking to strengthen procedural fairness in health priority setting must therefore recognize the significance of other philosophical dimensions influencing how fairness and legitimacy of health decision-making are constructed within the Ethiopian setting. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Setting Quality Improvement Priorities for Women Receiving Systemic Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer by Using Population-Level Administrative Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enright, Katherine A; Taback, Nathan; Powis, Melanie Lynn; Gonzalez, Alejandro; Yun, Lingsong; Sutradhar, Rinku; Trudeau, Maureen E; Booth, Christopher M; Krzyzanowska, Monika K

    2017-10-01

    Purpose Routine evaluation of quality measures (QMs) can drive improvement in cancer systems by highlighting gaps in care. Targeting quality improvement at QMs that demonstrate substantial variation has the potential to make the largest impact at the population level. We developed an approach that uses both variation in performance and number of patients affected by the QM to set priorities for improving the quality of systemic therapy for women with early-stage breast cancer (EBC). Patients and Methods Patients with EBC diagnosed from 2006 to 2010 in Ontario, Canada, were identified in the Ontario Cancer Registry and linked deterministically to multiple health care databases. Individual QMs within a panel of 15 QMs previously developed to assess the quality of systemic therapy across four domains (access, treatment delivery, toxicity, and safety) were ranked on interinstitutional variation in performance (using interquartile range) and the number of patients who were affected; then the two rankings were averaged for a summative priority ranking. Results We identified 28,427 patients with EBC who were treated at 84 institutions. The use of computerized physician electronic order entry for chemotherapy, emergency room visits or hospitalizations during chemotherapy, and timely receipt of chemotherapy were identified as the QMs that had the largest potential to improve quality of care at a system level within this cohort. Conclusion A simple ranking system based on interinstitutional variation in performance and patient volume can be used to identify high-priority areas for quality improvement from a population perspective. This approach is generalizable to other health care systems that use QMs to drive improvement.

  8. Developing a Bird Conservation Plan for the Diverse Coniferous Forests of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    John C. Robinson

    2005-01-01

    Bird conservation plans represent one of the pillars of the National Partners in Flight (PIF) bird conservation strategy known as the Flight Plan. The Flight Plan provides the framework for bird conservation plans that, in turn, set conservation priorities and specific objectives for bird populations and habitat for each state or eco-region in the nation. Many of...

  9. An evaluation tool for assessing performance in priority setting and resource allocation: multi-site application to identify strengths and weaknesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, William; Smith, Neale; Mitton, Craig; Gibson, Jennifer; Bryan, Stirling

    2016-01-01

    An evaluation tool should help improve formal priority setting and resource allocation (PSRA) processes in Canada and elsewhere. These are crucial to maximizing value from limited resources. On the basis of case studies, balanced scorecard development protocols and use-focused evaluation principles, an evaluation tool was developed based on an existing framework for high PSRA performance and implemented in two health care organizations in British Columbia, Canada. Implementation of the tool identified areas of strength, improvement and weakness in the pilot organizations' processes for PSRA including: communication, staff engagement and culture. Refinements were identified and incorporated into the tool for future application. This is the first documented multi-site application of such an evaluation tool. Broader dissemination should have use both in further refining the basis of the tool and in catalysing improved performance of PSRA practice. © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. 77 FR 4698 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure and Energy Conservation Standard for Set-Top Boxes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-31

    .... Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-2J... Set-Top Boxes and Network Equipment AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.... Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Request for...

  11. Characteristics of multiple-diseased elderly in Swedish hospital care and clinical guidelines: Do they make evidence-based priority setting a “mission impossible”?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlsson, Per

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available In Sweden, an expected growing gap between available resources and greater potential for medical treatment has brought evidence-based guidelines and priority setting into focus. There are problems, however, in areas where the evidence base is weak and underlying ethical values are controversial. Based on a specified definition of multiple-diseased elderly patients, the aims of this study are: (i to describe and quantify inpatient care utilisation and patient characteristics, particularly regarding cardiovascular disease and co-morbidity; and (ii to question the applicability of evidence-based guidelines for these patients with regard to the reported characteristics (i.e. age and co-morbidity, and to suggest some possible strategies in order to tackle the described problem and the probable presence of ageism. We used data from three sources: (a a literature review, (b a register study, based on a unique population-based register of inpatient care in Sweden, and (c a national cost per patient database. The results show that elderly patients with multiple co-morbidities constitute a large and growing population in Swedish inpatient hospital care. They have multiple and complex needs and a large majority have a cardiovascular disease. There is a relationship between reported characteristics, i.e. age and co-morbidity, and limited applicability of evidence-based guidelines, and this can cause an under-use as well as an over-use of medical interventions. As future clinical studies will be rare due to methodological and financial factors, we consider it necessary to condense existing practical-clinical experiences of individual experts into consensus-based guidelines concerning elderly with multi-morbidity. In such priority setting, it will be important to consider co-morbidity and different degrees of frailty.

  12. Priority interventions to reduce HIV transmission in sex work settings in sub-Saharan Africa and delivery of these services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chersich, Matthew F; Luchters, Stanley; Ntaganira, Innocent; Gerbase, Antonio; Lo, Ying-Ru; Scorgie, Fiona; Steen, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Virtually no African country provides HIV prevention services in sex work settings with an adequate scale and intensity. Uncertainty remains about the optimal set of interventions and mode of delivery. Methods We systematically reviewed studies reporting interventions for reducing HIV transmission among female sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa between January 2000 and July 2011. Medline (PubMed) and non-indexed journals were searched for studies with quantitative study outcomes. Results We located 26 studies, including seven randomized trials. Evidence supports implementation of the following interventions to reduce unprotected sex among female sex workers: peer-mediated condom promotion, risk-reduction counselling and skills-building for safer sex. One study found that interventions to counter hazardous alcohol-use lowered unprotected sex. Data also show effectiveness of screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and syndromic STI treatment, but experience with periodic presumptive treatment is limited. HIV testing and counselling is essential for facilitating sex workers’ access to care and antiretroviral treatment (ART), but testing models for sex workers and indeed for ART access are little studied, as are structural interventions, which create conditions conducive for risk reduction. With the exception of Senegal, persistent criminalization of sex work across Africa reduces sex workers’ control over working conditions and impedes their access to health services. It also obstructs health-service provision and legal protection. Conclusions There is sufficient evidence of effectiveness of targeted interventions with female sex workers in Africa to inform delivery of services for this population. With improved planning and political will, services – including peer interventions, condom promotion and STI screening – would act at multiple levels to reduce HIV exposure and transmission efficiency among sex workers. Initiatives are

  13. Priority interventions to reduce HIV transmission in sex work settings in sub-Saharan Africa and delivery of these services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chersich, Matthew F; Luchters, Stanley; Ntaganira, Innocent; Gerbase, Antonio; Lo, Ying-Ru; Scorgie, Fiona; Steen, Richard

    2013-03-04

    Virtually no African country provides HIV prevention services in sex work settings with an adequate scale and intensity. Uncertainty remains about the optimal set of interventions and mode of delivery. We systematically reviewed studies reporting interventions for reducing HIV transmission among female sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa between January 2000 and July 2011. Medline (PubMed) and non-indexed journals were searched for studies with quantitative study outcomes. We located 26 studies, including seven randomized trials. Evidence supports implementation of the following interventions to reduce unprotected sex among female sex workers: peer-mediated condom promotion, risk-reduction counselling and skills-building for safer sex. One study found that interventions to counter hazardous alcohol-use lowered unprotected sex. Data also show effectiveness of screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and syndromic STI treatment, but experience with periodic presumptive treatment is limited. HIV testing and counselling is essential for facilitating sex workers' access to care and antiretroviral treatment (ART), but testing models for sex workers and indeed for ART access are little studied, as are structural interventions, which create conditions conducive for risk reduction. With the exception of Senegal, persistent criminalization of sex work across Africa reduces sex workers' control over working conditions and impedes their access to health services. It also obstructs health-service provision and legal protection. There is sufficient evidence of effectiveness of targeted interventions with female sex workers in Africa to inform delivery of services for this population. With improved planning and political will, services - including peer interventions, condom promotion and STI screening - would act at multiple levels to reduce HIV exposure and transmission efficiency among sex workers. Initiatives are required to enhance access to HIV testing and ART for

  14. Priority interventions to reduce HIV transmission in sex work settings in sub-Saharan Africa and delivery of these services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew F Chersich

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Virtually no African country provides HIV prevention services in sex work settings with an adequate scale and intensity. Uncertainty remains about the optimal set of interventions and mode of delivery. Methods: We systematically reviewed studies reporting interventions for reducing HIV transmission among female sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa between January 2000 and July 2011. Medline (PubMed and non-indexed journals were searched for studies with quantitative study outcomes. Results: We located 26 studies, including seven randomized trials. Evidence supports implementation of the following interventions to reduce unprotected sex among female sex workers: peer-mediated condom promotion, risk-reduction counselling and skills-building for safer sex. One study found that interventions to counter hazardous alcohol-use lowered unprotected sex. Data also show effectiveness of screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs and syndromic STI treatment, but experience with periodic presumptive treatment is limited. HIV testing and counselling is essential for facilitating sex workers’ access to care and antiretroviral treatment (ART, but testing models for sex workers and indeed for ART access are little studied, as are structural interventions, which create conditions conducive for risk reduction. With the exception of Senegal, persistent criminalization of sex work across Africa reduces sex workers’ control over working conditions and impedes their access to health services. It also obstructs health-service provision and legal protection. Conclusions: There is sufficient evidence of effectiveness of targeted interventions with female sex workers in Africa to inform delivery of services for this population. With improved planning and political will, services – including peer interventions, condom promotion and STI screening – would act at multiple levels to reduce HIV exposure and transmission efficiency among sex workers

  15. Efficient Conservation in a Utility-Maximization Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank W. Davis

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Systematic planning for biodiversity conservation is being conducted at scales ranging from global to national to regional. The prevailing planning paradigm is to identify the minimum land allocations needed to reach specified conservation targets or maximize the amount of conservation accomplished under an area or budget constraint. We propose a more general formulation for setting conservation priorities that involves goal setting, assessing the current conservation system, developing a scenario of future biodiversity given the current conservation system, and allocating available conservation funds to alter that scenario so as to maximize future biodiversity. Under this new formulation for setting conservation priorities, the value of a site depends on resource quality, threats to resource quality, and costs. This planning approach is designed to support collaborative processes and negotiation among competing interest groups. We demonstrate these ideas with a case study of the Sierra Nevada bioregion of California.

  16. 77 FR 2829 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Television Sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-19

    ... set forth in 10 CFR 430.2: Television set means a color television set or a monochrome television set. Color television set means an electrical device designed to convert incoming broadcast signals into color television pictures and associated sound. Monochrome television set means an electrical device...

  17. Setting global research priorities for integrated community case management (iCCM: Results from a CHNRI (Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative exercise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerri Wazny

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Aims: to systematically identify global research gaps and resource priorities for integrated community case management (iCCM. Methods: an iCCM Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI Advisory Group, in collaboration with the Community Case Management Operational Research Group (CCM ORG identified experts to participate in a CHNRI research priority setting exercise. These experts generated and systematically ranked research questions for iCCM. Research questions were ranked using a “Research Priority Score” (RPS and the “Average Expert Agreement” (AEA was calculated for every question. Our groups of experts were comprised of both individuals working in Ministries of Health or Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs in low– and middle–income countries (LMICs and individuals working in high–income countries (HICs in academia or NGO headquarters. A Spearman's Rho was calculated to determine the correlation between the two groups' research questions' ranks. Results: The overall RPS ranged from 64.58 to 89.31, with a median score of 81.43. AEA scores ranged from 0.54 to 0.86. Research questions involving increasing the uptake of iCCM services, research questions concerning the motivation, retention, training and supervision of Community Health Workers (CHWs and concerning adding additional responsibilities including counselling for infant and young child feeding (IYCF and treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM ranked highly. There was weak to moderate, statistically significant, correlation between scores by representatives of high–income countries and those working in–country or regionally (Spearman's ρ = 0.35034, P < 0.01. Conclusions: Operational research to determine optimal training, supervision and modes of motivation and retention for the CHW is vital for improving iCCM, globally, as is research to motivate caregivers to take advantage of iCCM services. Experts working in–country or regionally in

  18. Conservation and Development in Latin America and Southern Africa: Setting the Stage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Romero

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The articles in this Special Feature stem from a 2010 conference (Bridging Conservation and Development in Latin America and Africa organized by the University of Florida's Tropical Conservation Development Program, Center for African Studies, and Center for Latin American Studies. The conference involved researchers and practitioners from Africa and Latin America focused on the complex and evolving relationship between conservation and development. The conference provided bridges between academics and non-academics, conservation and development, and theory and practice. The resulting comparative analyses focus on: empowerment of local institutions; enhanced capacity of local and regional stakeholders through a recognition and validation of local knowledge systems and the creation of knowledge networks; understanding of social and natural landscapes, history, contexts, and their evolution; and the roles of economic and market forces in shaping opportunities for using market-based incentives to promote conservation and development. In this introductory article we propose a conceptual framework based on the six connected pillars of natural resource characteristics, interactions of social actors, governance and participation, politics, information exchange, and economic issues that support spaces for both conflicts and synergies between conservation and development goals. Our goal is to foster informed dialogue and social learning to promote sustainability.

  19. Distributed Priority Synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald Ruess

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Given a set of interacting components with non-deterministic variable update and given safety requirements, the goal of priority synthesis is to restrict, by means of priorities, the set of possible interactions in such a way as to guarantee the given safety conditions for all possible runs. In distributed priority synthesis we are interested in obtaining local sets of priorities, which are deployed in terms of local component controllers sharing intended next moves between components in local neighborhoods only. These possible communication paths between local controllers are specified by means of a communication architecture. We formally define the problem of distributed priority synthesis in terms of a multi-player safety game between players for (angelically selecting the next transition of the components and an environment for (demonically updating uncontrollable variables. We analyze the complexity of the problem, and propose several optimizations including a solution-space exploration based on a diagnosis method using a nested extension of the usual attractor computation in games together with a reduction to corresponding SAT problems. When diagnosis fails, the method proposes potential candidates to guide the exploration. These optimized algorithms for solving distributed priority synthesis problems have been integrated into the VissBIP framework. An experimental validation of this implementation is performed using a range of case studies including scheduling in multicore processors and modular robotics.

  20. An arbitrary-order Runge-Kutta discontinuous Galerkin approach to reinitialization for banded conservative level sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jibben, Z.; Herrmann, M.

    2017-11-01

    We present a Runge-Kutta discontinuous Galerkin method for solving conservative reinitialization in the context of the conservative level set method [18,19]. This represents an extension of the method recently proposed by Owkes and Desjardins [21], by solving the level set equations on the refined level set grid [9] and projecting all spatially-dependent variables into the full basis used by the discontinuous Galerkin discretization. By doing so, we achieve the full k + 1 order convergence rate in the L1 norm of the level set field predicted for RKDG methods given kth degree basis functions when the level set profile thickness is held constant with grid refinement. Shape and volume errors for the 0.5-contour of the level set, on the other hand, are found to converge between first and second order. We show a variety of test results, including the method of manufactured solutions, reinitialization of a circle and sphere, Zalesak's disk, and deforming columns and spheres, all showing substantial improvements over the high-order finite difference traditional level set method studied for example by Herrmann [9]. We also demonstrate the need for kth order accurate normal vectors, as lower order normals are found to degrade the convergence rate of the method.

  1. Prevalence of Barriers and Facilitators to Enhancing Conservative Kidney Management for Older Adults in the Primary Care Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam-Tham, Helen; King-Shier, Kathryn M; Thomas, Chandra M; Quinn, Robert R; Fruetel, Karen; Davison, Sara N; Hemmelgarn, Brenda R

    2016-11-07

    Conservative management of adults with stage 5 CKD (eGFRWheel and tested for face and content validity. Physicians were contacted via postal mail and/or fax on the basis of a modified Dillman method. Four hundred nine eligible primary care physicians completed the questionnaire (9.6% response rate). The majority of respondents were men (61.6%), were ages 40-60 years old (62.6%), and practiced in a large/medium population center (68.0%). The most common barrier to providing conservative care in the primary care setting was the inability to access support to maintain patients in the home setting (39.1% of respondents; 95% confidence interval, 34.6% to 43.6%). The second most common barrier was working with nonphysician providers with limited kidney-specific clinical expertise (32.3%; 95% confidence interval, 28.0% to 36.7%). Primary care physicians indicated that the two most common strategies that would enhance their ability to provide conservative management would be the ability to use the telephone to contact a nephrologist or clinical staff from the conservative care clinic (86.9%; 95% confidence interval, 83.7% to 90.0% and 85.6%; 95% confidence interval, 82.4% to 88.9%, respectively). We identified important areas to inform clinical programs to reduce barriers and enhance facilitators to improve primary care physicians' provision of conservative kidney care. In particular, primary care physicians require additional resources for maintaining patients in their home and telephone access to nephrologists and conservative care specialists. Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.

  2. Prevalence of Barriers and Facilitators to Enhancing Conservative Kidney Management for Older Adults in the Primary Care Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam-Tham, Helen; King-Shier, Kathryn M.; Thomas, Chandra M.; Quinn, Robert R.; Fruetel, Karen; Davison, Sara N.

    2016-01-01

    Background and objectives Conservative management of adults with stage 5 CKD (eGFR<15 ml/min per 1.73 m2) is increasingly being provided in the primary care setting. We aimed to examine perceived barriers and facilitators for conservative management of older adults by primary care physicians. Design, setting, participants, & measurements In 2015, we conducted a cross–sectional, population–based survey of all primary care physicians in Alberta, Canada. Eligible participants had experience caring for adults ages ≥75 years old with stage 5 CKD not planning on initiating dialysis. Questionnaire items were on the basis of a qualitative descriptive study informed by the Behavior Change Wheel and tested for face and content validity. Physicians were contacted via postal mail and/or fax on the basis of a modified Dillman method. Results Four hundred nine eligible primary care physicians completed the questionnaire (9.6% response rate). The majority of respondents were men (61.6%), were ages 40–60 years old (62.6%), and practiced in a large/medium population center (68.0%). The most common barrier to providing conservative care in the primary care setting was the inability to access support to maintain patients in the home setting (39.1% of respondents; 95% confidence interval, 34.6% to 43.6%). The second most common barrier was working with nonphysician providers with limited kidney–specific clinical expertise (32.3%; 95% confidence interval, 28.0% to 36.7%). Primary care physicians indicated that the two most common strategies that would enhance their ability to provide conservative management would be the ability to use the telephone to contact a nephrologist or clinical staff from the conservative care clinic (86.9%; 95% confidence interval, 83.7% to 90.0% and 85.6%; 95% confidence interval, 82.4% to 88.9%, respectively). Conclusions We identified important areas to inform clinical programs to reduce barriers and enhance facilitators to improve primary care

  3. Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes for Universal Health Coverage: Broadening the Scope Comment on "Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes, Not Just More Evidence on Cost-Effectiveness".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopinathan, Unni; Ottersen, Trygve

    2016-11-27

    Universal health coverage (UHC) is high on the global health agenda, and priority setting is fundamental to the fair and efficient pursuit of this goal. In a recent editorial, Rob Baltussen and colleagues point to the need to go beyond evidence on cost-effectiveness and call for evidence-informed deliberative processes when setting priorities for UHC. Such processes are crucial at every step on the path to UHC, and hopefully we will see intensified efforts to develop and implement processes of this kind in the coming years. However, if this does happen, it will be essential to ensure a sufficiently broad scope in at least two respects. First, the design of evidence-informed priority-setting processes needs to go beyond a simple view on the relationship between evidence and policy and adapt to a diverse set of factors shaping this relationship. Second, these processes should go beyond a focus on clinical services to accommodate also public health interventions. Together, this can help strengthen priority-setting processes and bolster progress towards UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals. © 2017 The Author(s); Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

  4. New findings and setting the research agenda for soil and water conservation for sustainable land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keesstra, Saskia; Argaman, Eli; Gomez, Jose Alfonso; Quinton, John

    2014-05-01

    The session on soil and water conservation for sustainable land management provides insights into the current research producing viable measures for sustainable land management and enhancing the lands role as provider of ecosystem services. The insights into degradation processes are essential for designing and implementing feasible measures to mitigate against degradation of the land resource and adapt to the changing environment. Land degradation occurs due to multiple pressures on the land, such as population growth, land-use and land-cover changes, climate change and over exploitation of resources, often resulting in soil erosion due to water and wind, which occurs in many parts of the world. Understanding the processes of soil erosion by wind and water and the social and economic constraints faced by farmers forms an essential component of integrated land development projects. Soil and water conservation measures are only viable and sustainable if local environmental and socio-economic conditions are taken into account and proper enabling conditions and policies can be achieved. Land degradation increasingly occurs because land use, and farming systems are subject to rapid environmental and socio-economic changes without implementation of appropriate soil and water conservation technologies. Land use and its management are thus inextricably bound up with development; farmers must adapt in order to sustain the quality of their, and their families, lives. In broader perspective, soil and water conservation is needed as regulating ecosystem service and as a tool to enhance food security and biodiversity. Since land degradation occurs in many parts of the world and threatens food production and environmental stability it affects those countries with poorer soils and resilience in the agriculture sector first. Often these are the least developed countries. Therefore the work from researchers from developing countries together with knowledge from other disciplines

  5. DUTCH PRIORITY SETTING SYSTEM FOR EXISTING CHEMICALS: a systematic procedure for ranking chemicals according to increasing estimated hazards. To be incorporated into the UNIFORM SYSTEM FOR THE EVALUATION OF SUBSTANCES (USES)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Meent D; Toet C

    1992-01-01

    This report describes the Dutch PRiority Setting system for Existing Chemicals (PRISEC). PRISEC is designed to be incorporated into the Uniform System for Evaluation of Substances together with the Dutch Risk Assessment System for New Chemicals and the Dutch Risk Assessment System for Pesticides.

  6. 78 FR 63823 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Television Sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-25

    ... Standard for Television--Composite Analog Video Signal--NTSC for Studio Applications, approved November 20...-passive mode, and off mode, as well as a luminance test for the home and retail picture setting. In March... the January 2012 NOPR, DOE proposed definitions for home and retail picture settings to create a...

  7. Conserved piRNA Expression from a Distinct Set of piRNA Cluster Loci in Eutherian Mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gung-Wei Chirn

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The Piwi pathway is deeply conserved amongst animals because one of its essential functions is to repress transposons. However, many Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs do not base-pair to transposons and remain mysterious in their targeting function. The sheer number of piRNA cluster (piC loci in animal genomes and infrequent piRNA sequence conservation also present challenges in determining which piC loci are most important for development. To address this question, we determined the piRNA expression patterns of piC loci across a wide phylogenetic spectrum of animals, and reveal that most genic and intergenic piC loci evolve rapidly in their capacity to generate piRNAs, regardless of known transposon silencing function. Surprisingly, we also uncovered a distinct set of piC loci with piRNA expression conserved deeply in Eutherian mammals. We name these loci Eutherian-Conserved piRNA cluster (ECpiC loci. Supporting the hypothesis that conservation of piRNA expression across ~100 million years of Eutherian evolution implies function, we determined that one ECpiC locus generates abundant piRNAs antisense to the STOX1 transcript, a gene clinically associated with preeclampsia. Furthermore, we confirmed reduced piRNAs in existing mouse mutations at ECpiC-Asb1 and -Cbl, which also display spermatogenic defects. The Asb1 mutant testes with strongly reduced Asb1 piRNAs also exhibit up-regulated gene expression profiles. These data indicate ECpiC loci may be specially adapted to support Eutherian reproduction.

  8. 78 FR 15807 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Television Sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-12

    ..., DOE proposes to update that hierarchy by removing Video Graphics Array (VGA) and Digital Visual... it as ``the mode with the highest brightness level attainable by a factory defined menu option... configuration when the `retail' forced menu is selected (if available), or the preset picture setting in which...

  9. Defining priorities

    CERN Multimedia

    2013-01-01

    Last week the European Strategy Group met in Erice (Italy) to distil reams of input and months of discussion into a concise document outlining an updated Strategy for European Particle Physics. The result is a document that will be presented to the Council for feedback next month, before final approval by the Council at a special meeting in Brussels on 29 May. The Strategy process was important when it began in 2005, and is even more so today with important discoveries behind us and a changing global landscape for particle physics ahead.   The draft update, it’s fair to say, contains few surprises, but there are nevertheless some weighty issues for the Council to deliberate. The top priority is, of course, the full exploitation of the LHC, but the Strategy goes further, stating unambiguously that Europe’s top priority should be the high-luminosity upgrade of the machine. Other high-priority items are accelerator R&D to ensure the long-term global future of the field. O...

  10. Sensitivity analysis of conservation targets in systematic conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Noam; Mazor, Tessa; Brokovich, Eran; Jablon, Pierre-Elie; Kark, Salit

    2015-10-01

    Systematic conservation planning has rapidly advanced in the past decade and has been increasingly incorporated in multiple studies and conservation projects. One of its requirements is a quantitative definition of conservation targets. While the Convention on Biological Diversity aims to expand the world's protected area network to 17% of the land surface, in many cases such uniform policy-driven targets may not be appropriate for achieving persistence of various species. Targets are often set arbitrarily, often because information required for the persistence of each species is unavailable or unknown in the focal region. Conservation planners therefore need to establish complementary novel approaches to address the gaps in setting targets. Here, we develop and present a novel method that aims to help guide the selection of conservation targets, providing support for decision makers, planners, and managers. This is achieved by examining the overall flexibility of the conservation network resulting from conservation prioritization, and aiming for greater flexibility. To test this approach we applied the decision support tool Marxan to determine marine conservation priority areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as a case study. We assessed the flexibility of the conservation network by comparing 80 different scenarios in which conservation targets were gradually increased and assessed by a range of calculated metrics (e.g., the percentage of the total area selected, the overall connectivity). We discovered that when conservation targets were set too low (i.e., below 10% of the distribution range of each species), very few areas were identified as irreplaceable and the conservation network was not well defined. Interestingly, when conservation targets were set too high (over 50% of the species' range), too many conservation priority areas were selected as irreplaceable, an outcome which is realistically infeasible to implement. As a general guideline, we found that

  11. Incidence, causes and consequences of pregnancy failure in viviparous lizards: implications for research and conservation settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, Kelly M; Cree, Alison

    2010-01-01

    Research on the causes of pregnancy failure in vertebrates has historically been mammal-focussed. However, live-birth (viviparity) has evolved multiple times, and is present in all other vertebrate taxa except Aves and Agnatha. Viviparous lizards (O. Squamata, excluding snakes and amphisbaenians) provide a valuable experimental group when studying major evolutionary events and some are also species of high conservation value. Consequently, both researchers and herpetoculturists often require high reproductive output from captive-held lizards. We reviewed the literature to determine potential or known causes of pregnancy failure for captive lizards. Pregnancy success across species averages approximately 86%, but varies extensively and does not appear to be related to embryonic stage when brought into captivity or level of placentation. Causes of pregnancy failure also vary among species, but correct thermal environments are vital to success, and providing adequate nutrition before vitellogenesis increases the number of viable offspring. A coordinated sequence of hormonal changes involving both pro-pregnancy and pro-labour factors is important for successful pregnancies, although uncertainty remains around the maternal concentrations of corticosterone that allow successful development. Several research areas commonly studied in mammals have yet to be explored or fully addressed in pregnant lizards, including impacts of toxins, parasites, UV light and nutritional quality. As viviparity has evolved over 100 times in lizards, and many different levels of placentation exist, pregnant lizards provide valuable models for studies in ecology and evolution and offer a useful comparison for studies on other viviparous vertebrates.

  12. The Unique Morgue Ubiquitination Protein Is Conserved in a Diverse but Restricted Set of Invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ying; Carpenter, Zachary W.; Brennan, Gregory

    2009-01-01

    Drosophila Morgue is a unique ubiquitination protein that facilitates programmed cell death and associates with DIAP1, a critical cell death inhibitor with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Morgue possesses a unique combination of functional domains typically associated with distinct types of ubiquitination enzymes. This includes an F box characteristic of the substrate-binding subunit in Skp, Cullin, and F box (SCF)-type ubiquitin E3 ligase complexes and a variant ubiquitin E2 conjugase domain where the active site cysteine is replaced by a glycine. Morgue also contains a single C4-type zinc finger motif. This architecture suggests potentially novel ubiquitination activities for Morgue. In this study, we address the evolutionary origins of this distinctive protein utilizing a combination of bioinformatics and molecular biology approaches. We find that Morgue exhibits widespread but restricted phylogenetic distribution among metazoans. Morgue proteins were identified in a wide range of Protostome phyla, including Arthropoda, Annelida, Mollusca, Nematoda, and Platyhelminthes. However, with one potential exception, Morgue was not detected in Deuterostomes, including Chordates, Hemichordates, or Echinoderms. Morgue was also not found in Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Placozoa, or Porifera. Characterization of Morgue sequences within specific animal lineages suggests that gene deletion or acquisition has occurred during divergence of nematodes and that at least one arachnid expresses an atypical form of Morgue consisting only of the variant E2 conjugase domain. Analysis of the organization of several morgue genes suggests that exon-shuffling events have contributed to the evolution of the Morgue protein. These results suggest that Morgue mediates conserved and distinctive ubiquitination functions in specific cell death pathways. PMID:19602541

  13. The unique Morgue ubiquitination protein is conserved in a diverse but restricted set of invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ying; Carpenter, Zachary W; Brennan, Gregory; Nambu, John R

    2009-10-01

    Drosophila Morgue is a unique ubiquitination protein that facilitates programmed cell death and associates with DIAP1, a critical cell death inhibitor with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Morgue possesses a unique combination of functional domains typically associated with distinct types of ubiquitination enzymes. This includes an F box characteristic of the substrate-binding subunit in Skp, Cullin, and F box (SCF)-type ubiquitin E3 ligase complexes and a variant ubiquitin E2 conjugase domain where the active site cysteine is replaced by a glycine. Morgue also contains a single C4-type zinc finger motif. This architecture suggests potentially novel ubiquitination activities for Morgue. In this study, we address the evolutionary origins of this distinctive protein utilizing a combination of bioinformatics and molecular biology approaches. We find that Morgue exhibits widespread but restricted phylogenetic distribution among metazoans. Morgue proteins were identified in a wide range of Protostome phyla, including Arthropoda, Annelida, Mollusca, Nematoda, and Platyhelminthes. However, with one potential exception, Morgue was not detected in Deuterostomes, including Chordates, Hemichordates, or Echinoderms. Morgue was also not found in Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Placozoa, or Porifera. Characterization of Morgue sequences within specific animal lineages suggests that gene deletion or acquisition has occurred during divergence of nematodes and that at least one arachnid expresses an atypical form of Morgue consisting only of the variant E2 conjugase domain. Analysis of the organization of several morgue genes suggests that exon-shuffling events have contributed to the evolution of the Morgue protein. These results suggest that Morgue mediates conserved and distinctive ubiquitination functions in specific cell death pathways.

  14. Benefits of integrating complementarity into priority threat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadés, Iadine; Nicol, Sam; van Leeuwen, Stephen; Walters, Belinda; Firn, Jennifer; Reeson, Andrew; Martin, Tara G; Carwardine, Josie

    2015-04-01

    Conservation decision tools based on cost-effectiveness analysis are used to assess threat management strategies for improving species persistence. These approaches rank alternative strategies by their benefit to cost ratio but may fail to identify the optimal sets of strategies to implement under limited budgets because they do not account for redundancies. We devised a multiobjective optimization approach in which the complementarity principle is applied to identify the sets of threat management strategies that protect the most species for any budget. We used our approach to prioritize threat management strategies for 53 species of conservation concern in the Pilbara, Australia. We followed a structured elicitation approach to collect information on the benefits and costs of implementing 17 different conservation strategies during a 3-day workshop with 49 stakeholders and experts in the biodiversity, conservation, and management of the Pilbara. We compared the performance of our complementarity priority threat management approach with a current cost-effectiveness ranking approach. A complementary set of 3 strategies: domestic herbivore management, fire management and research, and sanctuaries provided all species with >50% chance of persistence for $4.7 million/year over 20 years. Achieving the same result cost almost twice as much ($9.71 million/year) when strategies were selected by their cost-effectiveness ranks alone. Our results show that complementarity of management benefits has the potential to double the impact of priority threat management approaches. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Grain-dependent responses of mammalian diversity to land use and the implications for conservation set-aside.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearn, Oliver R; Carbone, Chris; Rowcliffe, J Marcus; Bernard, Henry; Ewers, Robert M

    2016-07-01

    Diversity responses to land-use change are poorly understood at local scales, hindering our ability to make forecasts and management recommendations at scales which are of practical relevance. A key barrier in this has been the underappreciation of grain-dependent diversity responses and the role that β-diversity (variation in community composition across space) plays in this. Decisions about the most effective spatial arrangement of conservation set-aside, for example high conservation value areas, have also neglected β-diversity, despite its role in determining the complementarity of sites. We examined local-scale mammalian species richness and β-diversity across old-growth forest, logged forest, and oil palm plantations in Borneo, using intensive camera- and live-trapping. For the first time, we were able to investigate diversity responses, as well as β-diversity, at multiple spatial grains, and across the whole terrestrial mammal community (large and small mammals); β-diversity was quantified by comparing observed β-diversity with that obtained under a null model, in order to control for sampling effects, and we refer to this as the β-diversity signal. Community responses to land use were grain dependent, with large mammals showing reduced richness in logged forest compared to old-growth forest at the grain of individual sampling points, but no change at the overall land-use level. Responses varied with species group, however, with small mammals increasing in richness at all grains in logged forest compared to old-growth forest. Both species groups were significantly depauperate in oil palm. Large mammal communities in old-growth forest became more heterogeneous at coarser spatial grains and small mammal communities became more homogeneous, while this pattern was reversed in logged forest. Both groups, however, showed a significant β-diversity signal at the finest grain in logged forest, likely due to logging-induced environmental heterogeneity. The

  16. Using Wildlife Species Richness to Identify Land Protection Priorities in California's Hardwood Woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert S. Motroni; Daniel A. Airola; Robin K. Ma rose; Nancy D. Tosta

    1991-01-01

    A geographic information system was used to assess wildlife species richness (number of species) in valley-foothill hardwood habitats throughout California to set priorities for conservation attention. Species richness values were assessed and compared using three methods: one that included all species without considering canopy cover conditions and species preferences...

  17. Political priorities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Jingzheng

    2016-01-01

    …THE POLITICAL LEADERS of the local government of Chongqing, China, vigorously promote a low-carbon economy and sustainable development to mitigate environmental pollution. Accordingly, research grants focused on this issue were supported by the government, and our group obtained a grant for a pr...... for a project about industrial park planning and design.…In my view, political priorities based on correct decision-making and market requirements are beneficial for researchers.......…THE POLITICAL LEADERS of the local government of Chongqing, China, vigorously promote a low-carbon economy and sustainable development to mitigate environmental pollution. Accordingly, research grants focused on this issue were supported by the government, and our group obtained a grant...

  18. Politicians’ priorities and the determinants of priorities in the Swedish social services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Wörlén

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The setting of priorities is an integrated part of social-work politics in Sweden as well as internationally. This article explores Swedish social services and how politicians on the political boards wish to make priorities and what these priorities involve. The use of regression analyses also reveals which circumstances are of importance for allocative precedence and the impact different distributive principles have. It is hard to detect clear-cut patterns of circumstances that guide the judgements in any one direction. The results show that political affiliation overall is not a determining factor for attitudes towards how priorities are made. Another result is a manifest area bias, suggesting that respondents tend to see to the interests of their own professional domain, a result most visible among the politicians involved with Care for the Elderly and Disabled (CED. Yet, with regard to allocative principles, political colour seems to matter. Conservative politicians, as expected, agree with the principles of economy and of capacity to benefit, while the socialist block, less expectedly, seems to embrace the principle of deservingness.

  19. Identifying national freshwater ecosystem priority areas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nel, JL

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available longitudinal, lateral and vertical connectivity into planning The persistence of all but the most isolated priority areas depends fundamentally on management of connected systems. Figure 2: The conservation planning framework (blue boxes) that guided...

  20. Area selection for conservation of Mexican mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vázquez, L. B.

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Three sets of priority cells for mammal conservation in Mexico were identified using distributional data. A complementarity approach was implemented through linear integer programming. The minimum set of sites required for the representation of each mammal species varied between 38 (5.4% grid cells for at least one occurrence, 110 (15.6% grid cells for at least three occurrences, and 173 (24.5% grid cells for at least five occurrences. The complementary analyses mainly highlighted three regions of particular concern for mammal conservation in Mexico: (i the trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and natural provinces of the Pacific Coast, (ii Sierra Madre del Sur and the Highlands of Chiapas, and (iii the northern portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The results reported here did not indicate absolute priority locations for conservation activities, but rather identified locations warranting further investigation at finer resolutions more appropriate to such activity

  1. Antecedents to agenda setting and framing in health news: an examination of priority, angle, source, and resource usage from a national survey of U.S. health reporters and editors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallington, Sherrie Flynt; Blake, Kelly; Taylor-Clark, Kalahn; Viswanath, K

    2010-01-01

    The influence of news media on audience cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors in the realm of politics, race relations, science, and health has been extensively documented.Agenda setting and framing studies show that news media influence how people develop schema and place priorities on issues, with media stories serving as a major source of issue frames. Although news media are an important intermediary in the translation of scientific knowledge to different publics, little has been documented about the production of health news and factors that may predict media agenda setting and framing in health journalism. We used data from a 2005 national survey of U.S. health reporters and editors to examine predictors of source, resource, story angle, and frame usage among reporters and editors by variables such as organizational structure, individual characteristics of respondents (such as education and years working as a journalist),and perceptions of occupational autonomy. Multivariable logistic regression models revealed several differences among U.S. health reports and editors in the likelihood of using a variety of news sources, resources, priorities, and angles in reporting. Media agenda setting and framing theories suggest that practitioners familiar with media processes can work with journalists to frame messages, thereby increasing the probability of accurate and effective reporting. Results from this study may help to inform interactions between public health and medical practitioners and the press [corrected].

  2. Minimum viable populations: Is there a 'magic number' for conservation practitioners?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis H. Flather; Gregory D. Hayward; Steven R. Beissinger; Philip A. Stephens

    2011-01-01

    Establishing species conservation priorities and recovery goals is often enhanced by extinction risk estimates. The need to set goals, even in data-deficient situations, has prompted researchers to ask whether general guidelines could replace individual estimates of extinction risk. To inform conservation policy, recent studies have revived the concept of the minimum...

  3. Research Priorities for Endometriosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Peter A W; Adamson, G David; Al-Jefout, Moamar; Becker, Christian M; D'Hooghe, Thomas M; Dunselman, Gerard A J; Fazleabas, Asgerally; Giudice, Linda C; Horne, Andrew W; Hull, M Louise; Hummelshoj, Lone; Missmer, Stacey A; Montgomery, Grant W; Stratton, Pamela; Taylor, Robert N; Rombauts, Luk; Saunders, Philippa T; Vincent, Katy; Zondervan, Krina T

    2017-02-01

    The 3rd International Consensus Workshop on Research Priorities in Endometriosis was held in São Paulo on May 4, 2014, following the 12th World Congress on Endometriosis. The workshop was attended by 60 participants from 19 countries and was divided into 5 main sessions covering pathogenesis/pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnosis/classification/prognosis, disease/symptom management, and research policy. This research priorities consensus statement builds on earlier efforts to develop research directions for endometriosis. Of the 56 research recommendations from the 2011 meeting in Montpellier, a total of 41 remained unchanged, 13 were updated, and 2 were deemed to be completed. Fifty-three new research recommendations were made at the 2014 meeting in Sao Paulo, which in addition to the 13 updated recommendations resulted in a total of 66 new recommendations for research. The research recommendations published herein, as well as those from the 2 previous papers from international consensus workshops, are an attempt to promote high-quality research in endometriosis by identifying and agreeing on key issues that require investigation. New areas included in the 2014 recommendations include infertility, patient stratification, and research in emerging nations, in addition to an increased focus on translational research. A revised and updated set of research priorities that builds on this document will be developed at the 13th World Congress on Endometriosis to be held on May 17-20, 2017, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

  4. Setting research priorities to reduce malaria burden in a post graduate training programme: lessons learnt from the Nigeria field epidemiology and laboratory training programme scientific workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fawole, Olufunmilayo I; Ajumobi, Olufemi; Poggensee, Gabriele; Nguku, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Although several research groups within institutions in Nigeria have been involved in extensive malaria research, the link between the research community and policy formulation has not been optimal. The workshop aimed to assist post graduate students to identify knowledge gaps and to develop relevant Malaria-related research proposals in line with identified research priorities. A training needs assessment questionnaire was completed by 22 students two week prior to the workshop. Also, a one page concept letter was received from 40 residents. Thirty students were selected based the following six criteria: - answerability and ethics; efficacy and impact; deliverability, affordability; scalability, sustainability; health systems, partnership and community involvement; and equity in achieved disease burden reduction. The workshop was over a three day period. The participants at the workshop were 30 Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) residents from cohorts 4 and 5. Ten technical papers were presented by the experts from the academia, National Malaria Elimination (NMEP) Programme, NFELTP Faculty and Implementing partners including CDC/PMI. Draft proposals were developed and presented by the residents. The "strongest need" for training was on malaria prevention, followed by malaria diagnosis. Forty seven new research questions were generated, while the 19 developed by the NMEP were shared. Evaluation revealed that all (100%) students either "agreed" that the workshop objectives were met. Full proposals were developed by some of the residents. A debriefing meeting was held with the NMEP coordinator to discuss funding of the projects. Future collaborative partnership has developed as the residents have supported NMEP to develop a research protocol for a national evaluation. Research prioritization workshops are required in most training programmes to ensure that students embark on studies that address the research needs of their country

  5. Limitations of outsourcing on-the-ground biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacona, Gwenllian D; Bode, Michael; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-12-01

    To counteract global species decline, modern biodiversity conservation engages in large projects, spends billions of dollars, and includes many organizations working simultaneously within regions. To add to this complexity, the conservation sector has hierarchical structure, where conservation actions are often outsourced by funders (foundations, government, etc.) to local organizations that work on-the-ground. In contrast, conservation science usually assumes that a single organization makes resource allocation decisions. This discrepancy calls for theory to understand how the expected biodiversity outcomes change when interactions between organizations are accounted for. Here, we used a game theoretic model to explore how biodiversity outcomes are affected by vertical and horizontal interactions between 3 conservation organizations: a funder that outsourced its actions and 2 local conservation organizations that work on-the-ground. Interactions between the organizations changed the spending decisions made by individual organizations, and thereby the magnitude and direction of the conservation benefits. We showed that funders would struggle to incentivize recipient organizations with set priorities to perform desired actions, even when they control substantial amounts of the funding and employ common contracting approaches to enhance outcomes. Instead, biodiversity outcomes depended on priority alignment across the organizations. Conservation outcomes for the funder were improved by strategic interactions when organizational priorities were well aligned, but decreased when priorities were misaligned. Meanwhile, local organizations had improved outcomes regardless of alignment due to additional funding in the system. Given that conservation often involves the aggregate actions of multiple organizations with different objectives, strategic interactions between organizations need to be considered if we are to predict possible outcomes of conservation programs or

  6. Conserving biodiversity efficiently: what to do, where, and when.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerrie A Wilson

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Conservation priority-setting schemes have not yet combined geographic priorities with a framework that can guide the allocation of funds among alternate conservation actions that address specific threats. We develop such a framework, and apply it to 17 of the world's 39 Mediterranean ecoregions. This framework offers an improvement over approaches that only focus on land purchase or species richness and do not account for threats. We discover that one could protect many more plant and vertebrate species by investing in a sequence of conservation actions targeted towards specific threats, such as invasive species control, land acquisition, and off-reserve management, than by relying solely on acquiring land for protected areas. Applying this new framework will ensure investment in actions that provide the most cost-effective outcomes for biodiversity conservation. This will help to minimise the misallocation of scarce conservation resources.

  7. Characterisation of the rural indigent population in Burkina Faso: a screening tool for setting priority healthcare services in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouédraogo, Samiratou; Ridde, Valéry; Atchessi, Nicole; Souares, Aurélia; Koulidiati, Jean-Louis; Stoeffler, Quentin; Zunzunegui, Maria-Victoria

    2017-10-08

    In Africa, health research on indigent people has focused on how to target them for services, but little research has been conducted to identify the social groups that compose indigence. Our aim was to identify what makes someone indigent beyond being recognised by the community as needing a card for free healthcare. We used data from a survey conducted to evaluate a state-led intervention for performance-based financing of health services in two districts of Burkina Faso. In 2015, we analysed data of 1783 non-indigents and 829 people defined as indigents by their community in 21 villages following community-based targeting processes. Using a classification tree, we built a model to select socioeconomic and health characteristics that were likely to distinguish between non-indigents and indigents. We described the screening performance of the tree using data from specific nodes. Widow(er)s under 45 years of age, unmarried people aged 45 years and over, and married women aged 60 years and over were more likely to be identified as indigents by their community. Simple rules based on age, marital status and gender detected indigents with sensitivity of 75.6% and specificity of 55% among those 45 years and over; among those under 45, sensitivity was 85.5% and specificity 92.2%. For both tests combined, sensitivity was 78% and specificity 81%. In moving towards universal health coverage, Burkina Faso should extend free access to priority healthcare services to widow(er)s under 45, unmarried people aged 45 years and over, and married women aged 60 years and over, and services should be adapted to their health needs. The collection, storage and release of data for research purposes were authorised by a government ethics committee in Burkina Faso (Decision No. 2013-7-066). Respondent consent was obtained verbally. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless

  8. Definición de prioridades para las intervenciones de salud en el Sistema de Protección Social en Salud de México Priority setting for health interventions in Mexico's System of Social Protection in Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo González-Pier

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available La definición explícita de prioridades en intervenciones de salud representa una oportunidad para México de equilibrar la presión y la complejidad de una transición epidemiológica avanzada, con políticas basadas en evidencias generadas por la inquietud de cómo optimizar el uso de los recursos escasos para mejorar la salud de la población. La experiencia mexicana en la definición de prioridades describe cómo los enfoques analíticos estandarizados en la toma de decisiones, principalmente los de análisis de la carga de la enfermedad y de costo-efectividad, se combinan con otros criterios -tales como dar respuesta a las expectativas legítimas no médicas de los pacientes y asegurar un financiamiento justo para los hogares-, para diseñar e implementar un grupo de tres paquetes diferenciados de intervenciones de salud. Éste es un proceso clave dentro de un conjunto más amplio de elementos de reforma dirigidos a extender el aseguramiento en salud, especialmente a los pobres. Las implicaciones más relevantes en el ámbito de políticas públicas incluyen lecciones sobre el uso de las herramientas analíticas disponibles y probadas para definir prioridades nacionales de salud; la utilidad de resultados que definan prioridades para guiar el desarrollo de capacidades a largo plazo; la importancia de favorecer un enfoque para institucionalizar el análisis ex-ante de costo-efectividad; y la necesidad del fortalecimiento de la capacidad técnica local como un elemento esencial para equilibrar los argumentos sobre maximización de la salud con criterios no relacionados con la salud en el marco de un ejercicio sistemático y transparente.Explicit priority setting presents Mexico with the opportunity to match the pressure and complexity of an advancing epidemiological transition with evidence-based policies driven by a fundamental concern for how to make the best use of scarce resources to improve population health. The Mexican priority-setting

  9. Conservation biogeography - foundations, concepts and challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Timothy; Whittaker, R.J.; Whittaker, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation biogeography involves the application of biogeographical principles, theories, and analyses to problems regarding biodiversity conservation. The field was formally defined in 2005, and considerable research has been conducted in the ensuing 5 years. This editorial sets the context...... for 16 contributions in a special issue of Diversity and Distributions on developments and challenges in conservation biogeography. Papers are grouped into the following main themes: species distribution modelling; data requirements; approaches for assigning conservation priorities; approaches...... for integrating information from numerous disparate sources; special challenges involving invasive species; and the crucial issue of determining how elements of biodiversity are likely to respond to rapid climate change. One paper provides a synthesis of requirements for a robust conservation biogeography...

  10. The Operational Priority Substances model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jaarsveld JA van; LED

    2004-01-01

    This report describes in detail, OPS-Pro 4.1, the latest version of the Operational Priority Substances (OPS) model. OPS is a model that simulates the atmospheric process sequence of emission, dispersion, transport, chemical conversion and finally deposition. The model is set up as a universal

  11. Dreissenid mussel research priorities workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sytsma, Mark; Phillips, Stephen; Counihan, Timothy D.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, dreissenid mussels have yet to be detected in the northwestern part of the United States and western Canada. Infestation of one of the jurisdictions within the mussel-free Pacific Northwest would likely have significant economic, soci­etal and environmental implications for the entire region. Understanding the biology and environmental tolerances of dreissenid mussels, and effectiveness of various man­agement strategies, is key to prevention.On November 4-5, 2015, the Aquatic Bioinvasion Research and Policy Institute and the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State University, the US Geological Survey, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, convened a Dreissenid Mussel Research Priorities Workshop funded by the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The purpose of the workshop was to review dreissenid research priorities in the 2010 Quagga-Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters, reassess those priorities, incorporate new information and emerging trends, and develop priorities to strategically focus research efforts on zebra and quagga mussels in the Pacific Northwest and ensure that future research is focused on the highest priorities. It is important to note that there is some repetition among dreissenid research priority categories (e.g., prevention, detection, control, monitoring, and biology).Workshop participants with research experience in dreissenid mussel biology and management were identified by a literature review. State and federal agency managers were also invited to the workshop to ensure relevancy and practicality of the work­shop outcomes. A total of 28 experts (see sidebar) in mussel biology, ecology, and management attended the workshop.

  12. Optimal purely functional priority queues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Stølting; Okasaki, Chris

    1996-01-01

    Brodal recently introduced the first implementation of imperative priority queues to support findMin, insert and meld in O(1) worst-case time, and deleteMin in O(log n) worst-case time. These bounds are asymptotically optimal among all comparison-based priority queues. In this paper, we adapt...... Brodal's data structure to a purely functional setting. In doing so, we both simplify the data structure and clarify its relationship to the binomial queues of Vuillemin, which support all four operations in O(log n) time. Specifically, we derive our implementation from binomial queues in three steps...

  13. Analysis of Schizosaccharomyces pombe mediator reveals a set of essential subunits conserved between yeast and metazoan cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spåhr, H; Samuelsen, C O; Baraznenok, V

    2001-01-01

    With the identification of eight new polypeptides, we here complete the subunit characterization of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe RNA polymerase II holoenzyme. The complex contains homologs to all 10 essential gene products present in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mediator, but lacks clear homologs...... to any of the 10 S. cerevisiae components encoded by nonessential genes. S. pombe Mediator instead contains three unique components (Pmc2, -3, and -6), which lack homologs in other cell types. Presently, pmc2(+) and pmc3(+) have been shown to be nonessential genes. The data suggest that S. pombe and S...... essential genes conserved between S. pombe and S. cerevisiae also have a metazoan homolog, indicating that an evolutionary conserved Mediator core is present in all eukaryotic cells. Our data suggest a closer functional relationship between yeast and metazoan Mediator than previously anticipated....

  14. A multi-task graph-clustering approach for chromosome conformation capture data sets identifies conserved modules of chromosomal interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fotuhi Siahpirani, Alireza; Ay, Ferhat; Roy, Sushmita

    2016-05-27

    Chromosome conformation capture methods are being increasingly used to study three-dimensional genome architecture in multiple cell types and species. An important challenge is to examine changes in three-dimensional architecture across cell types and species. We present Arboretum-Hi-C, a multi-task spectral clustering method, to identify common and context-specific aspects of genome architecture. Compared to standard clustering, Arboretum-Hi-C produced more biologically consistent patterns of conservation. Most clusters are conserved and enriched for either high- or low-activity genomic signals. Most genomic regions diverge between clusters with similar chromatin state except for a few that are associated with lamina-associated domains and open chromatin.

  15. A review of the allozyme data set for the Canarian endemic flora: causes of the high genetic diversity levels and implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez de Paz, Julia; Caujapé-Castells, Juli

    2013-06-01

    Background and Aims Allozyme and reproductive data sets for the Canarian flora are updated in order to assess how the present levels and structuring of genetic variation have been influenced by the abiotic island traits and by phylogenetically determined biotic traits of the corresponding taxa; and in order to suggest conservation guidelines. Methods Kruskal-Wallis tests are conducted to assess the relationships of 27 variables with genetic diversity (estimated by A, P, Ho and He) and structuring (GST) of 123 taxa representing 309 populations and 16 families. Multiple linear regression analyses (MLRAs) are carried out to determine the relative influence of the less correlated significant abiotic and biotic factors on the genetic diversity levels. Key Results and Conclusions The interactions between biotic features of the colonizing taxa and the abiotic island features drive plant diversification in the Canarian flora. However, the lower weight of closeness to the mainland than of (respectively) high basic chromosome number, partial or total self-incompatibility and polyploidy in the MLRAs indicates substantial phylogenetic constraint; the importance of a high chromosome number is feasibly due to the generation of a larger number of linkage groups, which increase gametic and genotypic diversity. Genetic structure is also more influenced by biotic factors (long-range seed dispersal, basic chromosome number and partial or total self-incompatibility) than by distance to the mainland. Conservation-wise, genetic structure estimates (FST/GST) only reflect endangerment under intensive population sampling designs, and neutral genetic variation levels do not directly relate to threat status or to small population sizes. Habitat protection is emphasized, but the results suggest the need for urgent implementation of elementary reproductive studies in all cases, and for ex situ conservation measures for the most endangered taxa, even without prior studies. In non

  16. ALI Conservation Scorecards Input Data Layers

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — In 2014 and 2015, the Arid Lands Initiative developed “Conservation Scorecards” for their Priority Core Areas (PCAs) and Priority Linkage Areas (PLAs). To create...

  17. Special Globelics session proposal on: Lessons learned for priority setting and indicators relevant to the impact of research programmes in Europe and Emerging Economies. An evidence-based debate between the research and the policy-shaping community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caloghirou, Y.; Vonortas, N.

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of this session is to present a coherent set of papers offering useful insights on research priority setting processes/activities and indicators used to measure the impact of research and technology development programmes in Europe and Emerging Economies (Brazil, Chile, Peru and Russia). In particular, the first paper focuses on the research collaborative networks funded by the European Union during the past three decades and offers a comprehensive picture of science-industry collaboration in Europe by using network indicators and providing data on the characteristics and the innovative performance of young firms participating in these networks. The second paper presents three cases of non-traditional indicators for R&D funding agencies from emerging economies and aims at contributing to the discussions on the importance of employing suitable indicators that can complement classic STI indicators. The third paper seeks to provide a critical overview of the recent exercise in the evaluation of public research institutions in Russia. The session (180 min) aims at bringing together researchers from both developed and emerging countries as well as policy makers and will be divided into two parts . The first part will be devoted in papers’ presentation and the second one in papers’ discussion by invited policy experts and officials. (Author)

  18. Priority arbitration mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmire, Derrick L.; Herring, Jay R.; Stunkel, Craig B.

    2007-03-06

    A method is provided for selecting a data source for transmission on one of several logical (virtual) lanes embodied in a single physical connection. Lanes are assigned to either a high priority class or to a low priority class. One of six conditions is employed to determine when re-arbitration of lane priorities is desired. When this occurs a next source for transmission is selected based on a the specification of the maximum number of high priority packets that can be sent after a lower priority transmission has been interrupted. Alternatively, a next source for transmission is selected based on a the specification of the maximum number of high priority packets that can be sent while a lower priority packet is waiting. If initialized correctly, the arbiter keeps all of the packets of a high priority packet contiguous, while allowing lower priority packets to be interrupted by the higher priority packets, but not to the point of starvation of the lower priority packets.

  19. Breastfeeding promotion and priority setting in health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, S; Sanghvi, T; Phillips, M; Fiedler, J; Perez-Escamilla, R; Lutter, C; Rivera, A; Segall-Correa, A M

    1996-06-01

    An increase in exclusive breastfeeding prevalence can substantially reduce mortality and morbidity among infants. In this paper, estimates of the costs and impacts of three breastfeeding promotion programmes, implemented through maternity services in Brazil, Honduras and Mexico, are used to develop cost-effectiveness measures and these are compared with other health interventions. The results show that breastfeeding promotion can be one of the most cost-effective health interventions for preventing cases of diarrhoea, preventing deaths from diarrhoea, and gaining disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The benefits are substantial over a broad range of programme types. Programmes starting with the removal of formula and medications during delivery are likely to derive a high level of impact per unit of net incremental cost. Cost-effectiveness is lower (but still attractive relative to other interventions) if hospitals already have rooming-in and no bottle-feeds; and the cost-effectiveness improves as programmes become well-established. At an annual cost of about 30 to 40 US cents per birth, programmes starting with formula feeding in nurseries and maternity wards can reduce diarrhoea cases for approximately $0.65 to $1.10 per case prevented, diarrhoea deaths for $100 to $200 per death averted, and reduce the burden of disease for approximately $2 to $4 per DALY. Maternity services that have already eliminated formula can, by investing from $2 to $3 per birth, prevent diarrhoea cases and deaths for $3.50 to $6.75 per case, and $550 to $800 per death respectively, with DALYs gained at $12 to $19 each.

  20. Planning & Priority Setting for Basic Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-05

    continued U.S. advantage in intellectual capital Maintain unique/essential research infrastructure aintain the health of the Defense Scientist and...Engineer orkforce Develop and nurture future generation of DoD researchers and engineers Ensure continued U.S. advantage in intellectual capital aintain

  1. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

    Asian's remarkable economic growth brought many benefits but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Economic growth brings biodiversity threats but also conservation opportunities. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Prioritising biodiversity conservation, tempered by what is tractable, remains a high priority. Policy and market distortions and failures significantly underprice biodiversity, undermine ecosys...

  2. Integrating conservation costs into sea level rise adaptive conservation prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjian Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation requires strategic investment as resources for conservation are often limited. As sea level rises, it is important and necessary to consider both sea level rise and costs in conservation decision making. In this study, we consider costs of conservation in an integrated modeling process that incorporates a geomorphological model (SLAMM, species habitat models, and conservation prioritization (Zonation to identify conservation priorities in the face of landscape dynamics due to sea level rise in the Matanzas River basin of northeast Florida. Compared to conservation priorities that do not consider land costs in the analysis process, conservation priorities that consider costs in the planning process change significantly. The comparison demonstrates that some areas with high conservation values might be identified as lower priorities when integrating economic costs in the planning process and some areas with low conservation values might be identified as high priorities when considering costs in the planning process. This research could help coastal resources managers make informed decisions about where and how to allocate conservation resources more wisely to facilitate biodiversity adaptation to sea level rise.

  3. Identification of sources of priority substances set out in Article 16 of the Water Framework Directive and estimation of their discharges into the German aquatic environment; Ermittlung der Quellen fuer die prioritaeren Stoffe nach Artikel 16 der Wasserrahmenrichtlinie und Abschaetzung ihrer Eintragsmengen in die Gewaesser in Deutschland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehm, E.; Hillenbrand, T.; Marscheider-Weidemann, F.; Mueller, B.; Wiederhold, J.; Herrchen, M.; Klein, M.

    2002-12-01

    The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) is a new instrument, that inter alia has replaced, harmonized and further developed the control and reduction of point and diffuse discharges of dangerous substances according to Council Directive 76/464/EEC. Article 16 of the Water Framework Directive set out a 'Strategy against pollution of water' which demands specific measures against pollution of water by individual pollutants or groups of pollutants presenting a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment (e.g. by drinking water consumed). For these priority substances community-wide water quality standards and emission controls have to be established. On the basis of Article 16 of Directive 2000/60/EC a list of 33 priority substances has been adopted by the decision of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 2001. This list identifies 11 priority hazardous substances, 14 substances subject to a review for identification as possible priority hazardous substance and 8 priority substances. The Commission will make a proposal for the final classification of the 'substances subject to a review' (priority hazardous or priority substances) not later than 12 months after adoption of this list. The planned measures aim at the cessation or phasing out of discharges, emissions and losses to the aquatic environment within 20 years for the priority hazardous substances and at the progressive reduction for the priority substances. In this project the available data for these 33 substances resp. groups of substances for the Federal Republic of Germany were put forward and described in a standardized pattern. This pattern includes the following items: nomenclature and properties of the substances, monitoring data, production and fields of application of these substances, existing regulations in Germany, releases to environment and possibilities to reduce discharges to the aquatic environment. The basis of the data is the year 2000 as far as

  4. Geography of conservation spending, biodiversity, and culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T R; Rankin, P S

    2016-10-01

    We used linear and multivariate models to examine the associations between geography, biodiversity, per capita economic output, national spending on conservation, governance, and cultural traits in 55 countries. Cultural traits and social metrics of modernization correlated positively with national spending on conservation. The global distribution of this spending culture was poorly aligned with the distribution of biodiversity. Specifically, biodiversity was greater in the tropics where cultures tended to spend relatively less on conservation and tended to have higher collectivism, formalized and hierarchical leadership, and weaker governance. Consequently, nations lacking social traits frequently associated with modernization, environmentalism, and conservation spending have the largest component of Earth's biodiversity. This has significant implications for setting policies and priorities for resource management given that biological diversity is rapidly disappearing and cultural traits change slowly. Therefore, we suggest natural resource management adapt to and use characteristics of existing social organization rather than wait for or promote social values associated with conservation spending. Supporting biocultural traditions, engaging leaders to increase conservation commitments, cross-national efforts that complement attributes of cultures, and avoiding interference with nature may work best to conserve nature in collective and hierarchical societies. Spending in modernized nations may be a symbolic response to a symptom of economic development and environmental degradation, and here conservation actions need to ensure that biodiversity is not being lost. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Proposed biodiversity conservation areas: gap analysis and spatial prioritization on the inadequately studied Qinghai Plateau, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renqiang Li

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Global biodiversity priorities are primarily addressed through the establishment or expansion of conservation areas (CAs. Spatial prioritization of these CAs can help minimize biodiversity loss by accounting for the uneven distribution of biodiversity and conservation considerations (e.g., accessibility, cost, and biodiversity threats. Furthermore, optimized spatial priorities can help facilitate the judicious use of limited conservation resources by identifying cost effective CA designs. Here, we demonstrate how key species and ecosystems can be incorporated into systematic conservation planning to propose the expansion and addition of new CAs in the biodiversity-unique and data-poor region of Qinghai Plateau, China. We combined species distribution models with a systematic conservation planning tool, MARXAN to identify CAs for biodiversity on Qinghai Plateau. A set of 57 optimal CAs (273,872 km2, 39.3 % of this Province were required to achieve the defined conservation targets in Qinghai Province. We also identified 29 new CAs (139,216 km2, 20% of Qinghai Province outside the existing nature reserve (NRs that are necessary to fully achieve the proposed conservation targets. The conservation importance of these 29 new CAs was also indicated, with 10 labeled as high priority, 11 as medium priority, and 8 as low priority. High priority areas were more abundant in the eastern and southeastern parts of this region. Our results suggest that many species remain inadequately protected within the Qinghai Plateau, with conservation gaps in eastern and northwestern regions. The proposed more representative and effective CAs can provide useful information for adjusting the existing NRs and developing the first National Park in China.

  6. Politicians’ priorities and the determinants of priorities in the Swedish social services

    OpenAIRE

    Marie Wörlén

    2012-01-01

    The setting of priorities is an integrated part of social-work politics in Sweden as well as internationally. This article explores Swedish social services and how politicians on the political boards wish to make priorities and what these priorities involve. The use of regression analyses also reveals which circumstances are of importance for allocative precedence and the impact different distributive principles have. It is hard to detect clear-cut patterns of circumstances that guide the jud...

  7. Mitigation assessment results and priorities in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu Zongxin; Wei Zhihong [Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China)

    1996-12-31

    In this paper energy related CO2 emission projections of China by 2030 are given. CO2 mitigation potential and technology options in main fields of energy conservation and energy substitution are analyzed. CO2 reduction costs of main mitigation technologies are estimated and the AHP approach is used for helping assessment of priority technologies.

  8. Don't Discount Societal Value in Cost-Effectiveness Comment on "Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes, Not Just More Evidence on Cost-Effectiveness".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, William

    2017-01-14

    As healthcare resources become increasingly scarce due to growing demand and stagnating budgets, the need for effective priority setting and resource allocation will become ever more critical to providing sustainable care to patients. While societal values should certainly play a part in guiding these processes, the methodology used to capture these values need not necessarily be limited to multi-criterion decision analysis (MCDA)-based processes including 'evidence-informed deliberative processes.' However, if decision-makers intend to not only incorporates the values of the public they serve into decisions but have the decisions enacted as well, consideration should be given to more direct involvement of stakeholders. Based on the examples provided by Baltussen et al, MCDA-based processes like 'evidence-informed deliberative processes' could be one way of achieving this laudable goal. © 2017 The Author(s); Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

  9. Framework conditions set by nature conservation law for the Wismut rehabilitation project; Naturschutzrechtliche Rahmenbedingungen der Wismut-Sanierung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frenz, W. [RWTH Aachen (Germany). Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Berg- und Umweltrecht

    2003-07-01

    Despite their contamination, mining leftovers in and around the former Wismut mining area such as waste heaps, contaminated land and small waters as well as residual mining holes can give rise to ecotopes worthy of protection (e.g. dry meadow, heavy metal vegetation with viola lutea ssp. calaminaria, certain Almeria subspecies and similar saline flora, wet biotopes etc.). These phenomena are not specific to uranium ore mining but can also be found at other former mining sites such as waste heaps from coal and metal ore mining, unfilled residual mining holes and quarries. The present paper reflects the general conflict that exists between change through rehabilitation on one side and an approach to nature conservation that advocates preserving biotopes that have developed in mining landscapes on the other. [German] An bergbaulichen Hinterlassenschaften wie zum Beispiel Halden, durch bergbauliche Taetigkeit kontaminierte Flaechen und kleinere Gewaesser sowie Tagebaurestloecher im Einzungsbereich des frueheren Abbaugebietes der Wismut koennen sich aufgrund besonderer Standortbedingungen trotz der vorhandenen Kontamination besondere schutzwuerdige Oekotope ausbilden (z.B. Magerrasen, Schwermetallvegetation mit Galmeiveilchen, Bleigrasnelken u.ae. Salzfloren, Feuchtbiotope etc.). Diese Phaenomene treten nicht spezifisch im Uranerzbergbau und seinen Hinterlassenschaften auf, sondern finden sich auch an anderen Standorten des Altbergbaus wie etwa auf Bergehalden des Kohle- und Metallerzbergbaus, offen gelassenen Tagebaurestloechern oder Steinbruechen. Die folgende Untersuchung ist daher Ausdruck der allgemeinen Konfliktlage zwischen Veraenderung durch Sanierung und Naturschutz durch Beibehaltung eines entstandenen Biotops im Bergbau. (orig.)

  10. Identification and characterization of a set of conserved and new regulators of cytoskeletal organization, cell morphology and migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suryavanshi Narendra

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cell migration is essential during development and in human disease progression including cancer. Most cell migration studies concentrate on known or predicted components of migration pathways. Results Here we use data from a genome-wide RNAi morphology screen in Drosophila melanogaster cells together with bioinformatics to identify 26 new regulators of morphology and cytoskeletal organization in human cells. These include genes previously implicated in a wide range of functions, from mental retardation, Down syndrome and Huntington's disease to RNA and DNA-binding genes. We classify these genes into seven groups according to phenotype and identify those that affect cell migration. We further characterize a subset of seven genes, FAM40A, FAM40B, ARC, FMNL3, FNBP3/FBP11, LIMD1 and ZRANB1, each of which has a different effect on cell shape, actin filament distribution and cell migration. Interestingly, in several instances closely related isoforms with a single Drosophila homologue have distinct phenotypes. For example, FAM40B depletion induces cell elongation and tail retraction defects, whereas FAM40A depletion reduces cell spreading. Conclusions Our results identify multiple regulators of cell migration and cytoskeletal signalling that are highly conserved between Drosophila and humans, and show that closely related paralogues can have very different functions in these processes.

  11. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K B; Tognelli, Marcelo F; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H; Randrianirina, Jasmin E; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and western regions of Madagascar and this study highlights the importance of

  12. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  13. Effectiveness of GAEC cross-compliance Standard 4.2c for biodiversity conservation in set-asides, part II (ground-dwelling Arthropods and Vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Biaggini

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The MO.NA.CO. project has been set up to evaluate the effectiveness of some GAECs (Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions through the institution of a monitoring network throughout the Ita