Good Agricultural and Pastoral Production
As the harvest season gets underway, food security and nutritional conditions are generally calm following a relatively easy lean period. Grain availability is good, thanks to large market supplies, the beginning of harvesting activities in nearly all parts of the country and ongoing social marketing programs and targeted distributions of free food aid… As far as nutrition indicators are concerned, there has been a sizeable drop in admissions to treatment facilities with the improvement in the household food security and the active involvement of women in ongoing farm work.
Porn Actors Set to Star in Meth Campaign
Crystal methamphetamine might not be so sexy any more. There have been reported decreases in crystal meth use and HIV infection rates among gay and bi men, but community service providers aren't convinced the message equals a trend.
That is why starting this week the Stonewall Project is launching the "Hot Sex Without Crystal? Hell Yes!" campaign featuring eight gay male porn stars who volunteered their time for the project to promote the message that hot sex on a natural high is not only possible but sexy as well…
For 2005, the most recent data available, there was a 21 percent drop in new cases of HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men since 2001…Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of the STD Prevention and Control for DPH, is hopeful that the emerging figures potentially point toward a positive new trend. "It's encouraging and shows that social marketing campaigns can be effective, that the San Francisco gay male community cares about these issues and that they can be effectively mobilized," he said…
"I think you have to look carefully at and be a little bit skeptical about some of these statistics," said Siever, who is co-chair of the Mayor's Task Force on Crystal Meth… "There are often fluctuations in some of these statistics that don't necessarily mean they are on a long-term trend..."
One of the concerns about the drop in the statistics being reported is that while the numbers might be showing positive results due to the media and educational campaigns and direct outreach by social service agencies, there is the concern that people, due to the new stigma around crystal meth, might not be providing accurate information in community agency surveys and to healthcare workers.
Who Sets the Agenda for Microcredit?
…In the ’50s and ’60s, development was perceived more as a capital-intensive mix of charity and social welfare measures.
From the mid-’70s onwards, the development discourse accentuated empowerment, on the one hand, and professionalism and skills in service delivery and project implementation on the other.
And, in the later part of the ’90s, when the notion of the welfare state is gradually withering away and transnational corporations have begun to incorporate philanthropy as a successful social marketing strategy, development itself is increasingly being treated as a business -- a profitable business at that. The larger-than-life image of microcredit epitomises this basic shift.
At the moment, Grameen Bank is the presiding deity of poverty eradication through the strategy of microcredit. The lesson many of us learnt from the Grameen Bank model is not so much about real political or for that matter socio-economic empowerment, but the fact that women from the lowest social strata are creditworthy. And a well-oiled institutional strategy of delivery and repayment can really help generate profit for the bank.
The neo-liberal ideology of development lays so much emphasis on institutional frameworks and success rates of institutions that it tends to sideline the long-term process of empowerment at the grassroots level. When the output of development is measured in highly deceptive quantitative scales, such as GNP, GDP and the financial balance sheets of service-delivery organisations, it does not really matter what happens to the everyday lives of the people, or what they experience, think and feel.
Social change institutions and service-delivery organisations may play a significant role in long-term social change. But it would be erroneous to equate the institutional or financial viability of such organisations with the extent of real social development.
Symposium, Mela on Social Marketing for Self-Help Groups Organised
The rhythms of Kerala's traditional folk music resounded amidst stalls stocked with terracotta and jute handicrafts, homemade pickles and jams and colourful textiles at the Madras School of Social Work (MSSW) here on Saturday.
More than forty representative teams of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) participated in the symposium and mela on social marketing called `Paadhaigal - Forging New Paths' here that concluded on Sunday.
Members of the groups picked up tips from experts on marketing and branding their products, encashing on the retail boom and other avenues that could be explored for income generation.