3,783 research outputs found

    EC budget support: thumbs up or down?

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    Budget support is a form of macro-economic financial assistance that is designed to prioritise the fight against poverty and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The European Commission (EC) is providing more and more budget support under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), which structures the provision of assistance by the European Union (EU) to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The EC also provides macro-economic support through its cooperation agreements with a number of non-ACP countries, for which it is now also introducing budget support. During the course of its work in the ACP regions, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) was approached by parliamentarians, representatives of non-governmental organisations and partner government officials, all of whom had certain questions to ask about the background to and operation of budget support. These actors regard budget support as an increasingly important mechanism for development cooperation, and one that has potentially far-reaching implications for their work. At the same time, it is a relatively new mechanism, is poorly understood and is driven by a relatively small group of experts in aid agencies and partner country finance or planning ministries. We have prepared this Discussion Paper in response to these queries. Our aim is to give policy-makers and practitioners in-depth information on the nature and potential of, and the constraints associated with, budget support as a development cooperation modality. The paper explains the complex nature of budget support and its implications for the actors involved, as well as highlighting issues that have a bearing on its success. Budget support creates opportunities that are not always fully appreciated by its critics. At the same time, it creates risks which tend to be downplayed by its supporters. Against this background, this paper also aims to contribute to this intensely debated issue by providing a balanced view for those seeking to understand its complexities. As this is intended to be a relatively brief paper, it is limited to key policy issues and the challenges arising from recent experiences with budget support. For this reason, we have not devoted much space to discussing the issue of sector budget support. We advise the reader to consult the bibliography for more detailed information on the practice and technicalities of this rapidly evolving mechanism. Finally, it is important to recognise that the move towards budget support has aroused many questions among partner government officials, donor agencies, consultants and academic institutes, which tend to feed into the production of specialist documents assessing approaches and experiences. For this reason, this paper can do no more than to describe the current state of a rapidly evolving debate and practice. We hope to be able to follow up this initial study and produce further publications on specific issues, tailored to the needs of individual ACP audiences, as part of our future work

    The Economics of Manure Utilization: Model and Application

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    A model of manure utilization is developed and applied to four types of transportable manure. Model results highlight important response differences among manure types and generally illustrate the diseconomies of manure production. For example, as manure production increases, manure value decreases and excess phosphate applications increase, thereby increasing the potential for phosphorus runoff. Policy scenarios limiting the manure application rate reduce manure value and excess phosphate application. Increasing the ratio of land using manure increases manure value while reducing excess phosphate application. Buildup of soil nutrients reduces manure value, but either increases or decreases excess phosphate application depending on the scenario.linear programming, manure application, manure transportation, manure utilization, manure value, optimization, Farm Management,

    Using simulation studies to evaluate statistical methods

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    Simulation studies are computer experiments that involve creating data by pseudorandom sampling. The key strength of simulation studies is the ability to understand the behaviour of statistical methods because some 'truth' (usually some parameter/s of interest) is known from the process of generating the data. This allows us to consider properties of methods, such as bias. While widely used, simulation studies are often poorly designed, analysed and reported. This tutorial outlines the rationale for using simulation studies and offers guidance for design, execution, analysis, reporting and presentation. In particular, this tutorial provides: a structured approach for planning and reporting simulation studies, which involves defining aims, data-generating mechanisms, estimands, methods and performance measures ('ADEMP'); coherent terminology for simulation studies; guidance on coding simulation studies; a critical discussion of key performance measures and their estimation; guidance on structuring tabular and graphical presentation of results; and new graphical presentations. With a view to describing recent practice, we review 100 articles taken from Volume 34 of Statistics in Medicine that included at least one simulation study and identify areas for improvement.Comment: 31 pages, 9 figures (2 in appendix), 8 tables (1 in appendix

    Roadside marketing of agricultural products by Ohio farmers

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    Novel potential interacting partners of fibronectin in spontaneous animal model of interstitial cystitis

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    Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) is the only spontaneous animal model for human interstitial cystitis (IC), as both possess a distinctive chronical and relapsing character. Underlying pathomechanisms of both diseases are not clearly established yet. We recently detected increased urine fibronectin levels in FIC cases. The purpose of this study was to gain further insight into the pathogenesis by assessing interacting partners of fibronectin in urine of FIC affected cats. Several candidate proteins were identified via immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry. Considerable changes in FIC conditions compared to physiological expression of co-purified proteins were detected by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Compared to controls, complement C4a and thioredoxin were present in higher levels in urine of FIC patients whereas loss of signal intensity was detected in FIC affected tissue. Galectin-7 was exclusively detected in urine of FIC cats, pointing to an important role of this molecule in FIC pathogenesis. Moderate physiological signal intensity of galectin-7 in transitional epithelium shifted to distinct expression in transitional epithelium under pathophysiological conditions. I-FABP expression was reduced in urine and urinary bladder tissue of FIC cats. Additionally, transduction molecules of thioredoxin, NF-κB p65 and p38 MAPK, were examined. In FIC affected tissue, colocalization of thioredoxin and NF-κB p65 could be demonstrated compared to absent coexpression of thioredoxin and p38 MAPK. These considerable changes in expression level and pattern point to an important role for co-purified proteins of fibronectin and thioredoxin-regulated signal transduction pathways in FIC pathogenesis. These results could provide a promising starting point for novel therapeutic approaches in the future
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