Gender and Inclusive Development

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The Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results (MEASURE) Evaluation Phase IV project is the flagship mechanism for strengthening health information systems (HIS) in developing countries at the USAID Bureau of Global Health. EnCompass was contracted to conduct an evaluation of this mechanism. In this report, the evaluation team examines how effective the project has been in meeting key stakeholders’ needs.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approved its first strategy on gender equality in 2017. Among other elements, the strategy includes a major focus on self-help groups (SHGs) as a tool for fostering women’s economic empowerment. Due to the growth of mobile and digital technologies in Africa and India, the Foundation is interested in the current and potential use of such technologies to support SHGs. They contracted EnCompass to conduct a landscape analysis of technologies, actors, innovations, and trends in technology-enabled SHGs. 

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In 2016 and 2017, EnCompass supported the USAID Performance Management and Support Program for Lebanon (PMSPL II) in conducting three education sector gender analyses across basic public education, higher education, and vocational training.

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Scant data exists on the prevalence of violence against children worldwide. However, available information shows that violence against children is a global problem. This desktop study aims to glean from published and grey literature the extent of sexual violence and exploitation against children in Lesotho. The goal of this study is to better understand the government of Lesotho's national response efforts to reduce violence against children.

HIV and mental illness are significant global public health concerns in Zimbabwe. A coordinated and comprehensive response, particularly between HIV treatment, care, and support services and mental health care can improve health outcomes among people living with HIV. In collaboration with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Care and Support and Treatment Technical Working Groups, AIDSTAR-One is implementing a pilot activity that will integrate mental health and harmful substance use screening, counseling, and referral into HIV treatment and care sites in Zimbabwe.

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Research shows that early childhood development (ECD) is critical to both mental and physical health later in life. However, programming targeting orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) is almost exclusively focused on school-aged OVC, and only rarely are very young children included in program activities. This technical brief, aimed at program planners and implementers, highlights the benefits of ECD interventions and outlines essential elements of ECD programming targeted towards OVC.

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There are no reliable estimates of the number of children living with disabilities. Estimates vary greatly, depending on the definition of disability, the methodology, and the measurement tool used (World Bank 2011; WHO 2012b). The most commonly used estimates are that approximately 93 million children aged 14 or younger live with a moderate or severe disability of some kind (UNICEF 2013c); and that globally, up to 150 million children (aged 0-18) experience some form of disability: learning, speech, physical, cognitive, sensory, or emotional (Global Partnership for Children 2012).

Among children under five years of age in the developing world, nearly one-quarter are underweight (127 million) and one-third are stunted (195 million). Over 90 percent of those who are stunted live in Africa and Asia (U.N. Children’s Fund [UNICEF] 2009, 2011a). These forms of undernutrition can have long-lasting and damaging effects on children, especially when it occurs during critical developmental years.

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This issue paper focuses on community-based early childhood development (ECD) centers, defined as centers established at the community level for the holistic development (i.e., physical, socioemotional, and cognitive) of young children, to meet their needs and those of their caregivers, family, and community through a childcare setting. Community-based ECD centers can be an important focal point for delivering comprehensive services to young children while enhancing the capacity of caregivers, families, and communities to support the healthy development of young children.

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Gender inequality is cited as a major contributor to Swaziland's high HIV prevalence rate. There is no routine screening for gender-based violence by health providers in Swaziland to provide statistical data relating to the incidence or prevalence of GBV. However, a national population-based household study on violence against children (mostly girls) and young women revealed an epidemic of sexual assault against girls.

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