Awarded Collaborative Faculty Seed Grants, 2009
Carbon, Livelihoods, and Communities: Studying Local Forest Management Outcomes in East Africa
Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya
Sokoine University, Tanzania
Makarere University, Uganda
Arun Agrawal, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Michigan
Tropical forests play a crucial role in global climate change in addition to their widely recognized contributions to rural livelihoods in developing countries. It remains unclear, however, whether forests that contribute more to livelihoods store more carbon or less, or if carbon storage and livelihood contributions of forests are unrelated. Indeed, there have been many calls for a better general understanding of the nature of tradeoffs vs. win‐win outcomes in the context of the multiple contributions of forests to human welfare. The importance of improving existing understandings of these relationships has increased very substantially as concern mounts regarding climate change and there is greater attention to the carbon sequestration contributions of forests – such concern comes with very real risks that the local benefits of forests to poor users will be downplayed and greater areas of forests will be devoted to meeting the needs of sequestering carbon and providing renewable energy. This background and context makes the proposed research to understand better the synergies and tradeoffs between carbon storage and livelihoods contributions of forests both urgent, and important.
Existing studies of benefits from forest commons, and from forests more generally, have provided valuable insights into 1) how and under what conditions forests contribute sustainably to human welfare in different ways; 2) the role of local‐level property rights arrangements, economic and demographic forces, and national policy regimes in influencing forest conservation; and 3) how participation and decentralization of decision making affect specific forest‐related outcomes. No one has yet undertaken a quantitative assessment of the tradeoffs and synergies related to carbon storage and livelihood benefits using data from multiple countries. Yet, such an assessment is precisely what is needed for national policies that can effectively work against negative contributions of forests to carbon storage and livelihoods benefits and instead promote improvements in both dimensions.
Framing an Agenda for Transformative Research and Responsive Engagement with South African High Schools
Department of Education, Rhodes University, South Africa
Lori Hill, School of Education and Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan
Nearly two decades ago, South Africa embarked on an unprecedented process of societal transformation. Before that time, the system of education had played a critical role in perpetuating an extreme form of racial inequality which was a defining feature of the apartheid regime and which severely constrained the life opportunities for the country’s Blacki citizens. As a consequence, the task of redefining education as a resource for the social and economic advancement of historically marginalized racial groups presents a formidable challenge to the social transformation that is still underway.
In South Africa, there is an urgent need for an agenda that can address racial disparities in access to the kind of schooling experiences that facilitate access to higher education. This need is powerfully reflected in the fact that nearly three quarters (65%) of South Africa’s white minority population have educational attainment levels at or above high school graduation. However, comparable figures for African and Coloured adults are 14% and 17% respectively (Statistics South Africa 2007). Moreover, persistently low pass rates on the Senior Certificate Examination (which determines eligibility for university admission) continue to limit access to higher education for Black students. These trends underscore the need for education policies and strategic interventions that can foster better schooling outcomes and facilitate broader access to higher education for disadvantaged students.
Faculty in the Department of Education at Rhodes University are preparing to launch an initiative designed to develop a research agenda that will inform strategies to increase Black students’ enrollment at Rhodes. The initiative will generate research and facilitate engagement that is intended to address pressing needs (i.e., responsive engagement) in high schools serving communities in the immediate vicinity of the University. The proposed project will facilitate the development and enactment of this emerging agenda to increase access to higher education for disadvantaged students and to foster greater diversity at Rhodes.
Small-Scale Miners, Health and the Environment in Northeastern Ghana
Kenneth Pelig-Ba, University of Development Studies-Navrongo, Ghana
Elisha Renne, Anthropology/CAAS, University of Michigan
While small-scale gold mining has proliferated in Ghana, due to the rising price of gold and to widespread unemployment, particularly in rural areas in Northern Ghana, little is known about the long term health consequences of processing large quantities of rock, the use of mercury in isolating gold, and population increases. Furthermore, in areas around Bolgatanga in northeastern Ghana where increased small-scale gold mining is taking place, basic health services have not kept up with the population growth in the area. This project seeks to address the two related issues of documentation of miners’ health as a consequences of small-scale gold-mining and of primary health care provision, through the testing of gold miners for mercury contamination, through surveys and qualitative interviews of men and women involved in gold mining, and through building of a small health clinic in Talensi-Nabdam District outside of Bolgatanga.
Understanding Health Beliefs and Practices of Perinatal Care Providers during the Newborns’ First 7 Days of Life in Northern Ghana: What is the Relationship to Stillbirth and Neonatal Mortality?
Philip Adongo, University of Ghana, Ghana
Abraham Hodgson, Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana
Cheryl Moyer, Global REACH, University of Michigan
Each year, 98% of the eight million stillbirths and neonatal deaths (SANDs) worldwide occur in developing countries. In Ghana, of the 680,000 births a year, an estimated 50,000 babies are stillborn or die in the first 28 days of life (the neonatal period). While mortality rates for Ghanaian children outside the neonatal period have improved, SAND rates continue to rise and are the single largest cause of deaths among children under five. A major barrier to reducing SANDs in Ghana and other developing countries is the paucity of information about the causes of SANDs and perinatal health care delivery. This is particularly true for SANDs occurring outside health facilities (the site of most births in Ghana) since these events are not captured by any formal health or vital registration system. Capitalizing on the unique multidisciplinary research strengths of investigators at the Navrongo Health Research Center (NHRC), and the Universities of Ghana (UG), Michigan (UM), and North Carolina (UNC), this project aims:
- To investigate health beliefs and practices among community and facility-based perinatal care providers in Northern Ghana to determine what occurs during the first 7 days of life for infants born in and outside health facilities in Northern Ghana.
- To examine data from the existing NHRC and pregnancy termination databases, including verbal autopsy data (see below), to better differentiate between stillbirth and early neonatal death and describe causes of stillbirth, early neonatal and neonatal deaths.
- To utilize the findings from the aforementioned aims to apply for extramural grant funding for a perinatal interventional study or health systems improvement project in Northern Ghana.
Outcomes: The Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Study (SANDS) was conducted in rural northern Ghana in 2010 and included both quantitative and qualitative data collection to explore the issues associated with the continuum of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH), especially as it pertained to neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Quantitative data were retrieved from the Navrongo Health Research Centre’s Health and Demographic Surveillance System on nearly 20,000 births over 8 years, and qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with 253 community members. A total of 11 manuscripts resulted from the SANDS study, spanning a broad range of clinical, sociological, and cultural topics. The background knowledge gained from SANDS was instrumental in the development and funding of a subsequent $1.44M USAID project known as PREMAND – PREventing Maternal And Neonatal Deaths. (Co-Directors: Cheryl Moyer (Michigan), John Williams (Navrongo Health Research Centre)
Cheryl Moyer (U-M) with Raymond Aborigo and John Williams from the Navrongo Health Research Centre in northern Ghana discussing their research on maternal and neonatal mortality
Women in rural northern Ghana participating in focus group research for the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Study (SANDS)
Cheryl Moyer (center) listens as women in northern Ghana discuss maternal and child health in their communities
- Moyer CA, Aborigo R, Logonia G, Affah G, Rominski S, Adongo P, Williams J, Hodgson A, Engmann CM. Clean delivery practices in rural northern Ghana: A qualitative study of community and provider knowledge, attitudes, and belief systems. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012; 12(50). Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/12/50/ doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-50
- Aborigo RA, Moyer CA, Rominski S, Adongo P, Hodgson A, Williams J, Logonia G, Affah G, Engmann C. Infant nutrition in the first seven days of life in rural northern Ghana: A Qualitative Study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012; 12(76) Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/12/76/abstract doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-12-76
- Engmann C, Walega P, Williams J, Aborigo R, Adongo P, Lavasani L, Moyer C, Bose C, Binka F, Hodgson A. Stillbirth and Early Neonatal Mortality in Rural West Africa. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2012; 17(3): 272-282. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02931.x
- Engmann C, Adongo P, Aborigo R, Gupta M, Logonia G, Affah G, Waiswa P, Hodgson A, Moyer CA. Infant illness spanning the antenatal to early neonatal continuum in rural Northern Ghana: Local perceptions, beliefs and practices. Journal of Perinatology. 2013; 33(6):476-481. doi: 10.1038/jp.2012.151
- Moyer CA, Adongo P, Aborigo RA, Hodgson A, Engmann C, DeVries R. “It’s up to the woman’s people”: How social factors influence facility-based delivery in rural northern Ghana. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2014; 18(1): 109-19. doi 10.1007/s10995-01301240-y
- Welaga P, Moyer CA, Aborigo R, Adongo P, Williams J, Oduro A, Hodgson A, Engmann C. Why are babies dying in the first month after birth? A 7-year study of neonatal mortality in northern Ghana. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58924 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058924
- Moyer CA, Adongo PB, Aborigo R, Hodgson A, Engmann C. “They treat you like you are not a human being”: Midwifery maltreatment in rural northern Ghana. Midwifery. 2014; 30(2):262–268. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2013.05.006
- Hill E, Hess R, Aborigo R, Adongo P, Hodgson A, Engmann C, Moyer CA. “I don’t know anything about their culture”: The disconnect between allopathic and traditional maternity care providers in rural northern Ghana. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2014; 18(2):36-45.
- Aborigo R, Moyer CA, Gupta M, Adongo P, Williams J, Hodgson A, Allotey P, Engmann C. Obstetric danger signs and factors affecting health seeking behavior among the Kassena-Nankani of Northern Ghana: A qualitative study. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2014; 18(3):78-86.
- Gupta M, Aborigo RA, Adongo P, Rominski S, Hodgson A, Engmann C, Moyer CA. Grandmothers as gatekeepers? The role of grandmothers in influencing health-seeking for mothers and newborns in rural northern Ghana. Global Public Health. 2015;10(9):1078-91. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2014.1002413. Epub 2015 Jan 30
- Engmann CM, Hodgson A, Aborigo R, Adongo P, Moyer CA. Addressing the Continuum of Maternal and Newborn Care in Ghana: Implications for Research, Policy and Practice. Health Policy and Planning. 2016, 1-9. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czw072
Additional presentations included:
- Moyer CA, Adongo P, Aborigo RA, Hodgson A, Engmann C, DeVries R. “‘It’s up to the woman’s people’:How social factors influence facility-based delivery in rural northern Ghana.” Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2013.
- Moyer CA, Adongo PB, Aborigo RA, Hodgson A, Engmann C. “‘They treat you like you are not a human being”: Midwifery maltreatment during labor and delivery in northern Ghana.” Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2013.
- Gupta ML, Aborigo RA, Adongo PB, Hodgson A, Engmann CM, Moyer CA. “Grandmothers as gatekeepers: The evolving role of grandmothers in influencing women’s and newborn health-seeking behavior in rural northern Ghana.” Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2013.
- Moyer CA. “Evidence-based newborn care in Ghana: Lessons from a research institution.” Invited plenary, Ghana’s third annual national newborn stakeholder’s meeting, Accra, Ghana, July 28-30, 2015
- Moyer CA. “Social and Cultural Factors as Determinants of Facility Based Delivery.” Invited plenary for a jointly sponsored Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation / University of California San Francisco convening on Facility Based Delivery. Seattle, WA. January 2014.
- Moyer CA. The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Study (SANDS): Lessons learned from research across a four institution consortium. 12th Annual INDEPTH Scientific Conference. Johannesburg, South Africa. October 2013.
- Moyer CA. “Community perceptions and practices regarding newborn health in Navrongo, Ghana.” American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Washington DC, November 2011.
- Moyer CA. “Understanding Early Neonatal Mortality in Rural Northern Ghana: The Value of a Mixed Methods Approach.” Invited Plenary. Unite for Sight Annual Meeting. New Haven, CT, April 2012.