Protecting Drinking Water at the Source: Lessons from United States Watershed Investment Programs

Protecting Drinking Water at the Source: Lessons from United States Watershed Investment Programs. World Resources Institute. Suzanne Ozment at al. October 2016.

Watershed investment programs offer promising pathways to securing safe drinking water. But what does it take to establish and grow a successful watershed investment program? Program investors and practitioners are looking for guidance and ideas on how to build a program that works for their own context.
This report addresses this need by compiling experiences and lessons from 13 watershed investment programs from across the United States. Based on a 3-year comparative case study analysis, it serves as a roadmap to guide utilities and communities as they work together to protect precious source waters. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 140 pages, 9.3 MB].

The Evolving Role of Retail Clinics

The Evolving Role of Retail Clinics. RAND Corporation. November 10, 2016.

Retail clinics are medical clinics located in pharmacies, grocery stores, and “big box” stores, such as Target and Walmart. These clinics offer extended weekend and evening hours, walk-in availability, and short wait times. Many visits to retail clinics are in the evenings and weekends, when primary care offices are not available. The clinics treat a limited range of health conditions, such as minor infections and injuries, and provide vaccines and other preventive care. Care is delivered by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Prices are typically fixed and transparent.
Retail clinics have been proposed as an alternative to costly emergency department care for nonemergency conditions. It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of emergency department visits for a nonemergency condition could take place at a retail clinic or urgent care center, potentially generating cost savings as high as $4.4 billion annually. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 128.5 KB].

Quality and impact of Centre-based Early Childhood Education and Care

Quality and impact of Centre-based Early Childhood Education and Care. RAND Corporation. Barbara Janta, Janna van Belle, Katherine Stewart. November 4, 2016.

There is a strong association between the quality of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) provision and the outcomes for children, with high quality ECEC being associated with better child outcomes later in life. This brief reviewed the broad range of indicators that have been linked to quality, with a focus on understanding how these indicators relate to quality and eventual child outcomes. Following the academic literature on this subject the authors distinguished between structural quality, which relates to the physical environment and staffing requirement, and process quality, which relates to curricular practices, caregiver qualities, and parental involvement. They found that the interaction between structural and process indicators of ECEC quality is complex, and varies significantly across socio-economic, cultural and national contexts, which reflects the beliefs, needs, roles and motivations of the different stakeholders involved in defining ECEC services. Despite this complexity they identified several structural indicators which are frequently considered indicators of high process quality. For each of these indicators they present policy levers for improving ECEC quality, and discuss the context in which these levers work, i.e. whether they act at national level, family and community level or at the level of the childcare setting. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages, 1.38 MB].

Social Media Update 2016

Social Media Update 2016. Pew Research Center. Shannon Greenwood, Andrew Perrin and Maeve Duggan. November 11, 2016.

Over the past decade, Pew Research Center has documented the wide variety of ways in which Americans use social media to seek out information and interact with others. A majority of Americans now say they get news via social media, and half of the public has turned to these sites to learn about the 2016 presidential election. Americans are using social media in the context of work (whether to take a mental break on the job or to seek out employment), while also engaging in an ongoing effort to navigate the complex privacy issues that these sites bring to the forefront. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 500.6 KB].

The Rise and Stall of the Islamic State in Afghanistan

The Rise and Stall of the Islamic State in Afghanistan. U.S. Institute of Peace. Casey Garret Johnson. November 3, 2016

This report details the structure, composition, and growth of the Islamic State’s so-called Khorasan province, particularly in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, and outlines considerations for international policymakers. More than sixty interviews carried out by The Liaison Office with residents of Nangarhar and provincial and national Afghan security officials informed this report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 409.17 KB].

Clean Energy Complements Fossil Fuel Industry in North Dakota

Clean Energy Complements Fossil Fuel Industry in North Dakota. Pew Charitable Trusts. Phyllis Cuttino. November 10, 2016.

North Dakota is a resource-rich state, with abundant oil, coal, and natural gas, but there still is room in this mix to harness the state’s clean energy potential—particularly wind power.
North Dakota is a leader in the clean energy revolution, not only in the wind sector but also in solar power, advanced biofuels, and industrial energy efficiency. Combined heat and power (CHP), which generates electricity and thermal power from a single fuel source, can be used with natural gas, coal, and other fuels. Waste heat to power (WHP), which uses exhaust from industrial processes to generate electricity, harnesses wasted thermal energy along pipelines in North Dakota. Private investment in clean energy projects in the state totaled nearly $1.8 billion from 2009 to 2013 and is expected to grow by an additional $2.9 billion through 2023. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Civic Education: Laying the Groundwork for Democracy

Civic Education: Laying the Groundwork for Democracy. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Daniel F. Runde and Erin Nealer. November 1, 2016

Civic education—through which citizens learn how their country’s government works and how they can participate—manifests itself in many ways around the world and plays a key role in emerging democracies. Programs that foster civic education include voter education, neighborhood conflict-solving initiatives, and participation in city hall or local government institutions. The relationship between an informed, active citizenry and an accountable, transparent government is clear; civic education in schools and beyond teaches citizens how to vote, what their community needs are and what values it holds, and what the social compact between elected officials and their constituents means in practical terms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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