Contributors: Mbow, Cheikh; Neufeldt, Henry; Ouedraogo, Issa; Toure, Ibrahim
... The Building Biocarbon and Rural Development in West Africa Programme aims to demonstrate the multiple developmental and environmental wins that result from a high value biocarbon approach to climate change and variability in large landscapes principally in Mali, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The Programme will also build local institutions and capacity to be able to sustain the benefits in the sites and will establish linkages with related initiatives to jointly build national and regional capacity to scale up the approaches into other programmes and projects. The themes of the Programme are very closely linked to Finland's international development priorities and are closely aligned with the priorities expressed in its national poverty reduction and climate change adaptation strategies. Furthermore, the Programme aims to generate critical information that can fill the global knowledge gaps on how to better link climate change mitigation and adaptation thrusts and how to make these actions work effectively to enhance the livelihoods of rural communities. (2015)
Contributors: Kosimov, Sherzod
... Workshops, coordination meetings, field visits
Contributors: Kosimov, Sherzod
... Project reports and related publications
Contributors: Qodax, Aden, Kays Megan
... Since the launch of the programs, PSI/Somaliland has been promoting Water Treatment (BiyoSifeeye), Birth spacing (Nasiye products) and Diarrheal Treatment (Shuban-Daweeye) products and life saving behaviours (i.e. health facility delivery, Antenatal care, Infant and Young child feeding practices) through a variety of channels, such as mass media (national TV and radio channels), peer education, community-theatre, interpersonal communication, information, education and communication (IEC) materials, including outdoor advertising and special events. This study measured media consumption habits of Somali women as well as their recall of PSI messaging.
Contributors: Vujcic, Jelena
... The goal of this study is to gain better understanding of the feasibility of employing rigorous methods to measure and evaluate handwashing behavior for future evaluations. While piloting these methods, we also aimed to describe differences in handwashing behavior, knowledge, perceptions, exposure to handwashing messages between a community that received the Sunlight Villages pilot program and an unexposed comparison community. We implemented a one-time cross-sectional survey and direct behavioral observations in one purposively selected intervention community and one purposively selected comparison community approximately 6 weeks after the Sunlight Villages pilot. Trained data collectors recruited female primary caregivers with at least 1 child less than 5 years old. In a subset of households, we conducted structured observations to directly observe handwashing behavior at critical events.
Contributors: Anthony Bain
... Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig–fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig–fig pollinator and ant–plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.
Soil and land health survey to characterize two-100 km2 sites using the Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) within Babati district, Tanzania
Contributors: Winowiecki, Leigh
... This was Task 1.2. “Soil survey to characterize two sentinel sites” as part of Work Package 1 “Identification of the key biophysical production constraints to crops and livestock at farm and landscape levels” The aim of this task was to conduct an assessment of soil and land health in the Babati district in Tanzania covering the action villages of the USAID- AfricaRISING project. The Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) was employed to conduct a systematic biophysical baseline of key land and soil health metrics, which was to be combined with agronomic survey data collected as part of the wider project. The LDSF is designed to provide a biophysical baseline at landscape level, and a monitoring and evaluation framework for assessing processes of land degradation and the effectiveness of rehabilitation measures (recovery) over time. Babati Agricultural District Office and Tanzania National Agricultural Research System as well as Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) staff were involved in two one-week trainings in the LDSF methodology at the Long and Matufa LDSF sites. Those trained include: Majid Suleiman (District Agricultural Officer), Edgar Wakurwa (District Agronomist), Mbwambo (Extension Officer), Prosper Massawe from Selian Agricultural Research Institute and Boniface Massawe, from SUA. George Sayula of SARI also helped coordinate the field efforts. Local farmers were also involved in the surveys and farmer knowledge on management practices and land use history was incorporated into the LDSF database.
Thailand (2014): Female transgender in Pattaya: Age category based social relations, and pathways through the HIV testing, care and treatment cascade
Contributors: Duangsamorn Jatupornpimol, Rapeepun Jommaroeng, Marc Theuss
... PSI/Thailand is implementing a program targeting transgender women in Pattaya. The program aims to promote safer sex and HIV testing and care through peer education and drop in centers and increase access to and availability of condoms and water-based lubricant through a high coverage social marketing strategy. PSI/Thailand has very little understanding of what happens to TG women after they test positive for HIV. The study investigates at what point TG are lost within the prevention, care and treatment cascade and why. This includes a detailed understanding of barriers to HCT uptake and common responses to diagnosis, and how and where services are accessed. The study employs a qualitative research method to generate narratives from TG respondents and key informants.
Thailand (2014): HIV/AIDS TRaC Study among Transgenders in Pattaya, Sattahip and Sriracha. Second Round.
Contributors: Duangta Pawa, Yaowalak Jittakoat, Gary Mundy
... This study is the second round of the Tracking Results Continuously (TRaC) survey among transgenders. The purpose of the TRaC survey is to provide evidence for monitoring and implementation of PSI/Thailand's HIV prevention program. Information from this study will be used to develop behavior change communication interventions for HIV prevention including branding, key messages, and/or campaigns for condom use, lubricant use, and HIV and STI testing. The study population for this TRaC were transgender women in Pattaya, Sattahip and Sriracha, aged 18-35. Time-location sampling was used to recruit this hard-to-reach group, and a structured questionnaire designed in tablet was used to collect data. Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) was used to match treated individuals with those in a control group, based on specific covariates, in order to estimate the effect of treatment on the behavioral outcomes of interest.
Contributors: Wu, Cheng-Chia
... Purpose: Side effects related to radiation exposures are based primarily on the assumption that the detrimental effects of radiation occur in directly irradiated cells. However, several studies have reported over the years of radiation-induced non-targeted/ abscopal effects in vivo that challenge this paradigm. There is evidence that Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) plays an important role in modulating non-targeted effects, including DNA damages in vitro and mutagenesis in vivo. While most reports on radiation-induced non-targeted response utilize x-rays, there is little information available for heavy ions. Methods and Materials: Adult female transgenic gpt delta mice were exposed to an equitoxic dose of either carbon or argon particles using the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan. The mice were stratified into 4 groups of 5 animals each: Control; animals irradiated under full shielding (Sham-irradiated); animals receiving whole body irradiation (WBIR); and animals receiving partial body irradiation (PBIR) to the lower abdomen with a 1 x 1 cm2 field. The doses used in the carbon ion group (4.5 Gy) and in argon particle group (1.5 Gy) have a relative biological effectiveness equivalent to a 5 Gy dose of x-rays. 24 hours after irradiation, breast tissues in and out of the irradiated field were harvested for analysis. Induction of COX2, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), phosphorylated histone H2AX (γ-H2AX), and apoptosis-related cysteine protease-3 (Caspase-3) antibodies were examined in the four categories of breast tissues using immunohistochemical techniques. Analysis was performed by measuring the intensity of more than 20 individual microscopic fields and comparing the relative fold difference. Results: In the carbon ion group, the relative fold increase in COX2 expression was 1.01 in sham-irradiated group (p > 0.05), 3.07 in PBIR (p 0.05), 11.31 in PBIR (p 0.05), 8.41 in PBIR (p < 0.05) and 10.59 in WBIR (p < 0.05). Results for the argon particle therapy group showed a similar magnitude of changes in the various biological endpoints examined. There was no statistical significance observed in Caspase-3 expression among the 4 groups. Conclusions: Our data show that both carbon and argon ions induced non-targeted, out of field induction of COX2 and DNA damages in breast tissues. These effects may pose new challenges to evaluate the risks associated with radiation exposure and understanding radiation-induced side effects.