NGOs and Uncooperative Host Countries

Choking on Bureaucracy: State Curbs on Independent Civil Society Activism. Human Rights Watch has released a report on Russia, alleging that the Russian government is stifling civil society by placing unreasonable limits on NGO activity. Burma is doing something similar.

Relationships with the host government are always a tricky thing. NGOs as a general rule are there to support the country’s development, but what if the NGO feels that the best interest of the government is different than the best interest of the people.

Mideast fertility rates plunge

EDITORIAL: Mideast fertility rates plunge –

So, lower fertility rates in the Middle East are a good thing. I think. This is embarrassing for a public health person to admit, but I’ve never really understood optimal fertility rates. It seems very strange to me that human society is a giant pyramid scheme, dependent on constant expansion, but that’s what most demographers seem to be implying when they talk about Russia or Japan. It seems to me that this Middle East decrease is a good thing, that it will help scarce resources go farther, but what do I know?