Housing & Community Development

Improving Infrastructure Finance Through Grant-Loan Linkages

Improving Infrastructure Finance Through Grant-Loan Linkages
International Journal of Public Administration, Volume 22, No. 23.

Smoke, P.
01/01/1999

In recent years, developing countries under fiscal pressure have increasing recognized significant weaknesses in their intergovernmental mechanisms for financing local infrastructure. Many countries are in the process of rationalizing poorly coordinated and subjectively allocated grant systems as well as loans. Such efforts, however, are typically undertaken independently of each other, often providing conflicting incentives for local fiscal behavior. I argue that the reform of grant and loan mechanisms should be explicitly linked to improve the overall effectiveness of the infrastructure finance system. The potential complications involved in designing grant-loan linkages, however, are considerable. I illustrate some key issues by examining the water sector in Indonesia, concluding with suggestions for how to think about creating such linkages in other sectors and countries.

Lives on the Line: American Families and the Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Lives on the Line: American Families and the Struggle to Make Ends Meet
Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Shirk, M., Bennett, N. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/1999

Almost half of the nation's children live in officially defined poverty or near-poverty. Putting a human face on this and other statistics, the authors present a disturbing and provocative composite portrait of 10 families struggling to make ends meetAfour white, two Hispanic, three black and one Hawaiian/Samoan. Bennett and Aber, both directors of Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, and freelance journalist Shirk (a veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter), identify three factorsAteen parenthood, low educational achievement and temporary or low-wage workAthat they call "the 'Bermuda Triangle' of family poverty." Add the associated risks of domestic violence, poor child care and damage to early brain development from malnutrition, preventable birth complications, environmental toxins, etc., and readers will begin to see why poverty cuts across urban, suburban and rural areas. A few of the parents profiled here battle drug addiction; one gambles; several suffer from disabling depression; one single mother bravely raises a severely disabled five-year-old son afflicted with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and a 234-pound, 12-year-old daughter. In almost all the profiled families, one or both parents work, contradicting the widespread stereotype of the poor as lazy or irresponsible. In a succinct closing chapter, the authors call for a combination of public- and private-sector measures to help prevent or reduce child poverty. The issues they raise should fuel election-year debate.

The Risk and Protective Function of Perceived Family and Peer Microsystems Among Urban Adolescents in Poverty

The Risk and Protective Function of Perceived Family and Peer Microsystems Among Urban Adolescents in Poverty
American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 211-237.

Seidman, E., Chesir-Terna, D., Friedman, J.L., Yoshikawa, H., Allen, L.A., Roberts, A. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/1999

Utilized a pattern-based approach to discover the different constellations of perceived social transactions separately for family and peer systems and explored the risk and protective functions of these microsystem profiles for both depression and antisocial behavior among a sample of ethnically and racially diverse urban adolescents living in poverty. Measures of perceived social support, involvement and hassles with family and peers, as well as perceived social acceptance and peers' values were entered into two sets of iterative cluster analyses to identify distinct profiles of family and peer transactions. From each of the perceived family and peer transactional analyses, six replicated profiles emerged. Several of the profiles were consistent with expectations from prior literature such as Enmeshing families and Rejecting peer networks, while others were novel and intriguing such as Entangling peers. Family profiles were consistent in their risk and protective associations for both depression and antisocial behavior, while the peer profiles varied in their effects for each developmental outcome. For example, the Rejecting peer profile placed adolescents at increased risk for depression but protected them from antisocial behavior. Implications for future research and preventive intervention are discussed.

Preventing HIV Infection: The effects of community linkages, time, and money on recruiting and retaining women in intervention groups

Preventing HIV Infection: The effects of community linkages, time, and money on recruiting and retaining women in intervention groups
Journal of Women’s Health 1998; 7: 587-596.

Greenberg, J., J. Lifshay, Van Devanter, N., Gonzales, V. & Celentano, D.
06/01/1998

Few studies have addressed recruitment and retention of participants in preventive interventions directed at human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and these generally have not focused on women. In this study, part of the Women in Group Support (WINGS) project, we examine the experience of three sites in recruiting 444 high-risk women for a small group intervention to reduce risky sexual behavior. The intervention included six structured sessions, followed by a continuing series of client-focused, drop-in sessions. Incentives for participants included child care, food, and transportation tokens. Attendees at each structured session also received a cash incentive of $10-$20. Forty-six percent of the women were recruited from community sources, 35% from clinics, and 19% from drug programs. Across all recruitment sources, almost a third of the women reported having had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the past year, 88%-94% reported a risky male partner (who, they believed, had sex with other partners or with sex workers, was an injecting drug user, or was HIV positive), and 10%-36% reported trading sex for money or drugs. During 18 months of recruitment, each site averaged 34 screening interviews monthly to secure 8 eligible women a month who completed baseline interviews and reported for randomization. The average number of paid sessions attended by participants was five of six (83%). Average attendance at unpaid sessions was 1 of 12 (8%). Key facilitators to recruitment and retention included linkages with community agencies and monetary incentives. Our findings suggest that researchers and community service providers need to explore alternative strategies to paying women for attending group sessions (e.g., incorporating group interventions into existing program requirements) and balance these against the costs and recruitment effectiveness.

Anti-Democratic Demos: Public Ignorance & Congress

Anti-Democratic Demos: Public Ignorance & Congress
Critical Review 1998, Volume 12 Number 4.

Kersh, R.
01/01/1998

In representing a fragmented pluralist polity, the U.S. Congress inevitably exhibits high levels of conflict and disagreement. Increasingly, the American public finds such conflict-the ordinary procedures of legislative democracy-distasteful. As members of Congress pay closer attention to approval ratings and other poll measures, their natural inclination may be to avoid legislating, especially on controversial issues. This response to the preference of the demos has profoundly antidemocratic implications.

From Humanitarian Assistance to Human Development

From Humanitarian Assistance to Human Development
Washington, DC: Pan American Health Organization/WHO. .

Rodriguez-Garcia, R., Macinko, J. & Casas, J. (Eds.)
01/01/1998

Civil, political and military conflict--Natural and man-made disasters--Poverty and human suffering...As the new millennium approaches, the need for humanitarian assistance in response to these global challenges endures. Complex humanitarian emergencies demand human, financial and material resources on an international scale. This presents the global community, and particularly the health sector, with a formidable and daunting task: Faced with limited resources, how can organizations and actors simultaneously meet immediate humanitarian needs while maintaining their commitment to long term human development? More specifically, how can humanitarian relief and sustainable human development efforts be linked? From Humanitarian Assistance to Human Development responds and reacts to this question by serving as a forum for distinguished members of the health and development arena to present issues, policies and innovative programs in response. Divided into three sections, the book examines the humanitarian assistance-human development continuum within the global-policy context of human development, reviews humanitarian assistance as a social phenomena, highlights country experiences in Rwanda and Bosnia, and discusses means of relieving human suffering and restoring infrastructure and health and social services in the aftermath of conflict. In this thought-provoking, informative volume, the perspectives, experiences and proposals of specialists from academic institutions, national and international agencies and non-governmental organizations are united to help inform future policy, inspire programmatic action and, ultimately, bridge the gap between humanitarian assistance and human development.

Homelessness

Homelessness
in Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Volume 2, Dr. Howard Friedman (ed.), Academic Press, pp. 393-402.

Shinn, M., Weitzman, B.C. & Hopper, K.
01/01/1998

Predictors of Homelessness from Shelter Request to Housing Stability Among Families in New York City

Predictors of Homelessness from Shelter Request to Housing Stability Among Families in New York City
American Journal of Public Health, 88:11, pp. 1651-57.

Shinn, M., Weitzman, B.C., Stojanovic, D., Knickman, J.R., Jimenez, L., Duchon, L., James, S. & Krantz, D.H.
01/01/1998

This study examined predictors of entry onto shelter and subsequent housing stability for a cohort of families receiving public assistance in New York City. Methods. Interviews were conducted with 266 families as they requested shelter and with a comparison sample of 298 families selected at random from the welfare caseload. Respondents were reinterviewed 5 years later. Families with prior history of shelter use were excluded from the follow-up study. Results. Demographic characteristics and housing conditions were the most important risk factors for shelter entry; enduring poverty and disruptive social experiences also contributed. Five years later, four fifths of sheltered families had their own apartment. Receipt of subsidized housing was the primary predictor of housing stability among formerly homeless families (odd ratio [OR] = 20.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]= 9.9, 42.9). Conclusions. Housing subsidies are critical to ending homelessness among families.

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