Difference between revisions of "Human development/Data uncertainties limitations"

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|Description=Due to the broad range of issues addressed in the model, there is also a range of uncertainties. Here, we discuss only the data uncertainties related to access to food, water and energy and the accompanied health risks.
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Most data used in the model originate from the appropriate UN institution, or from the World Bank:
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*Access to food: per capita food intake, coefficient of variation and region specific sex-age energy requirements (FAOSTAT, 2012)
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*Access to water: access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (WHO/UNICEF, 2012), (Hutton and Haller, 2004)
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*Access to energy: people using solid fuels and people using improved biomass stoves (Hutton et al., 2006)
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*Health: Health risks, disease burden (WHO, 2009) health expenditures (World Bank, 2009),
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*Poverty: poverty data (Chen and Ravallion, 2008) and GINI coefficients (Ackah et al., 2009)
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*Education: enrolment ratios per education level (World Bank, 2009) and educational attainment (Lutz et al., 2007)
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Per capita food intake is based on FAOSTAT data, applied as averages per region, in the startyear, and extended in the future by using the food consumption from MAGNET (chapter 4.2.1). The trends in per capita food availability determined in MAGNET use income elasticities for broad groups of crops and animal products, while these trends are not necessary linked physical limitations in consumption levels. Also for water and energy, aggregations of different technologies to broad groups mask the underlying heterogeneity, and thus lead to uncertainties in model behavior. Access levels to improved water supply and sanitation encompasses a broad range of possible types of improved connection for which each is assumed to have the same health risk potential. The same holds for access to modern energy sources for cooking and heating that encompass a broad range of traditional fuel and fuel-stove combinations. Finally, health impacts are based on exposure-response relationships (described in the literature) and it is assumed that these relationships are the same across the globe, and stay constant over time. It should further be noted that many parameters are based on cross-sectional relationships with per capita GDP (PPP), making the outcomes rather dependent on this parameter.
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model includes some important limitations. A general limitation is the limited representation of the heterogeneous characteristics within populations. Mostly, a population average combined with a stylized distribution function is applied. This might not represent fully the distributional aspects in reality in which many of these issues might concentrate in particular populations, and, more importantly, these distribution functions are not changed in the model over time, while they probably do in reality. Furthermore, although health service efficacy and enrolment ratios are driven by investments in health and education services, these investments are not bound by a sound economic model. Similarly, the investments in drinking water and sanitation are not explicit in the model but derived from achieved coverage. Therefore, analysis on these topics can only be done by using pre-determined what-if scenarios instead of analyzing the effect of specific investments on health outcomes.
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Revision as of 11:33, 2 August 2013

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