Highlights of Some Contemporary Challenges

Bongs lainjo



Below are details of my smaller project with a bigger one still in progress. The project is a 6000-word-paper including  some of the documentation below. At this time, I’m looking for a researcher/ghost writer to use the documentation below and produce a scientific  evidence-based paper.

The abstract provided is meant to serve as an update with a useful and critical  narrative.

The presentation, which was presented at an International conference in Toronto, Canada would serve as a guide in producing the paper’s outline.

Questions, need for further clarification and enquiries can be posted on THIS PAGE. Relevant responses would be made available as soon as practically possible.

The required quote should include:

  1. A one-page literature review based on documentation below;
  2. An outline of the potential paper using the presentation;
  3. A detailed quote, timeline and phone contact. Fees can either be flat rate, or unit and total amounts, including payment schedule and preferred methode.
  4. Completed quotes should be emailed to: bsuiru@gmail.com, cc: bsuiru@bell.net.
  5.  Specifications and format of the paper will be made available later






Over the last six decades since many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) achieved independence, attempts by multi and bi lateral agencies to provide effective foreign assistance have been met with mixed results. There continues to be a need to strengthen understanding of program dynamics, its synergies and results (both intended and unintended). There is also a pressing need to establish a common ground among these donors, implementing agencies, other stakeholders and potential evaluators.

It is in light of the above challenges that the framework: Program Indicator Screening Matrix (PRISM) was designed. The model is defined by six criteria – Specificity, Reliability, Sensitivity, Simplicity, Utility and Affordability.



In an attempt to improve results based management (RBM) in general and intervention data specifically; making foreign aid more focused and strategic with compelling evidence-based results; donors have increasingly teamed up and progressively introduced ubiquitous evaluation processes as an integral component of any program. In course of streamlining program implementation, funding agencies in collaboration with recipient governments and other stakeholders have also promoted the availability and utilization of strategic frameworks (SFs). The current most frequently used SFs are the Logic Framework and the Strategic Objective framework. These frameworks serve as complementary elements of RBM.

A critical component that continues to confront many development aid Stakeholders, is the ability to establish equitable, standard and inclusive strategies that include, donors, national governments, implementing agencies, program managers, beneficiaries and oversight systems. Current reviews of existing dynamics continue to be mixed. And hence a compelling need for a paradigm change cannot be adequately emphasized. Informed decisions are only as useful and constructive as the trustworthiness of the relevant data.

Objective of PRISM

The general objective of this model is to strengthen the knowledge of Implementing Agencies, Program Managers and other key and relevant stakeholders in LMICs; emphasizing sustainable engagement by mitigating indicator redundancies and optimizing results in program management.

Framework and Methodology

The model comprises a set of deterministic criteria simultaneously applied in an attempt to identify the most effective set of indicators in any thematic program area. At the same time it mitigates many program management nuisances by making indicators and data more trust worthy. The model criteria include: specificity, reliability, sensitivity, simplicity, utility and affordability. Experts are required to conduct the assessment. The working groups of experts use an analytical approach synonymous with the Delphi methodology. Each criterion during the assessment process is assigned binary outcome (0,1) based on its performance with the relevant criterion. The resulting composite scores are evaluated against a “gold-standard” or target established by these experts a priori.

As a quality control measure, all the teams’ outcomes are finally evaluated based on the degree of intra-team and inter-team concordance. And it is only after this level of concordance is established that the final indicators are selected. The model is thematically generic with an inclusive target audience. It has been successfully tested in Africa, Pacific Island Countries and the USA.

(Key words: Indicator-screening-matrix, Results-based-management, Gold-standard, Concordance, Binary-outcome, Composite-score.)











After reviewing several articles, suggestions, you tube videos and even consulting Micro Soft support, no one was able to solve my problem.  I was able (the hard way) to find a way out and convinced many Apple owners with same problem would find my solution helpful.   The following steps apply to Office 2011 (PPT 2011) only. And for those with Apple KEYNOTE, the task is ONE step shorter by creating the presentation using the APP. Here is the logical sequence of the steps I used:

2. SELECT slides of interest
3. AUDIO record the selected slides
4. SAVE them as M4V File as a precaution

*****************BRAVO You made it!!!!*********************************


Mixed Method Program Evaluation: A Case Study

Detailed Narrative of the Case Study is available here:


Comments are Welcome below






Canada’s Complicity in Slave Trade: A Call for a Cultural Monument



I like to perceive slavery as the “incarceration” of human beings (men. Women and children): a process during which the perpetrators use the victims as maids, farmers, labourers and yes, mistresses. There is of course the traditional definition of slavery where people are confined as legal property. And thankfully, this has since been outlawed. In this report, slavery and slave trade are used interchangeably.


One of the first things that come my mind when I think about slavery is to highlight perpetrating countries like the US, Europe, Britain and their colonies, Brazil, India (whose perpetrators were the Portuguese) and indeed Canada. Canada? One is tempted to ask. In a background presented in Wikipedia, the following serves among others as a confirmation of Canada’s role in slave trade. “Slavery was a legal institution in all of the 13 American colonies and Canada (acquired by Britain in 1763)”. So yes, we were part of this shameful and inhuman trade: an activity that will continue to be part of our history.


In its 2016 Global Slavery index, the Walk Free Foundation reported that there are about 45.8 million people globally engulfed in contemporary facets of slavery. The report further states that more than half the population of modern slaves is in India, with 18.35 million; China with 3.39m; Pakistan with 2.13m; Bangladesh with 1.53, and Uzbekistan with 1.23m. These statistics were compiled from 42,000 interviews conducted in 53 languages. If these data were self-reported, there is the likelihood that the global population is higher. And the dismal message needs to be taken seriously! We can no longer sit and hope that humanity would at some point self-evaluate and do what is believed to be the correct thing. Who would have thought that after over a century of outlawed slavery another transformed version of human humiliation would serve as the norm in some communities? These compelling figures also serve as an obvious reminder that laws are only as effective as they are respected. The onus remains on us actors and onlookers alike to disapprove such activities in very strong terms and continue to advocate among different governments for better and more effective laws.


In an article published in the Montreal La Presse+, it was stated that slavery in the Montreal Region existed during a period of 200 years. And according to the paper, one of the slave owners was James McGill: the founder of McGill University. His case reminds me of the Jesuits in Georgetown University in 1838 who trafficked slaves in order to pay some of their bills; a case whose victims included a two-month old baby and her mother. How disgusting! Slavery, the paper continues served as one source of his wealth. Other owners included Marguerite D’youville who had six children and who ended up the sisterhood; Frontenac, the Governor of New France; Madeleine De Verchères, popular in her attack of the Iroquois; and the Jesuits where many religious communities owned slaves.


The paper, citing historian Marcel Trudel (author and specialist on slavery), indicated that there were 1525 slaves in Montréal: 1007 Native American (who conducted intra ethnic slavery) and 518 blacks during the English and French rules. In the latter case, owners were the elites, traders, military officers, the clergies etc. The historian also went on to reveal that the women out numbered the men with an average age of 17.7 years; specifically employed as maids with some as wives (mixed marriages were common) were ultimately accepted as legal wives of their respective masters. Men were generally used as traders of wool and participated in certain expeditions. It is generally known that between 1629 and 1833, there were 4200 slaves living in Québec.


Let’s now explore the dynamics of slavery in the Maritimes. First the role of the loyalists who were considered explicit owners of slaves and who regarded slaves as their property. But who were they? Wikipedia defines them as follows: “Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the British Empire and the British monarchy during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King’s Men; Patriots called them, “persons inimical to the liberties of America.” They were prominent slave owners who settled in Prince Edward Island (PEI), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They remained very adamant and outspoken when attempts were made to deprive them of their ownership. At some point among the three provinces, only PEI had the appropriate statute laws that were meant to address slavery and its effects.

In an article titled “The Struggle over Slavery in the Maritime Colonies” by Harvey Amani Whitfield of University of Vermont, the author states that exact number of slaves in the Maritimes was unknown. He states that at some point “In 1784, Robert Morse estimated that there were 1,232 “servants” at the Loyalist settlements. Exactly how many of these servants were slaves remains elusive”. According to the article, there is evidence that from 1713 to 1758, the total number of slaves peaked to about 300.

So, is Canada exonerated? The evidence produced above points to the contrary. We were participants who promoted the acquisition of “cheap labour” from Africa who served as property and provided services to their slave masters when needed. Given the pro-activeness of our current “new deal” government, one would like to believe (using examples of the Aboriginal residential school and apology in the house of commons to Indians who were repatriated on arrival), that some form of government-initiated intervention will not only be appropriate but timely and rewarding. We all need to stop whining about the past and look forward to a more positive and inclusive Canada. And that is why establishing a cultural monument to highlight our shameful past will serve as an indication of remorse, understanding and empathy!

Our Medical Charts: An Inconvenient Truth

During my years in the academic world, one thing that I constantly told my students was that ‘data and information’ are not the same. ‘Data’ is processed information. While the latter can be used for informed decision making, the former cannot. In other words data by itself is meaningless while information is meaningful.

Many of us have the tendency of using both words inter-interchangeably. This is a misperception that has been in existence for generations. And given the existing conventional wisdom, things are unlikely to change anytime soon. It is like some of us listening to music. Who cares about the lyrics? The sound, beats etc. are what propels the euphoria. In fact there are many songs I hum with no understanding of what the real message is. Data and information can be perceived in that context.

In this report, I will shy away from that confusion and say it as it should be. If I did it differently, it will be a betrayal of my profession and an unprofessional portrayal of knowledge sharing with the public.

Let us consider an area that I remain generally loyal to and that continues to serve as my comfort zone: health or medical data. The subject is so close to my heart that I published a book on data management! There is almost unanimity among many of us that our health data are sacred and should not be made available to third parties. In other words , our health data should only be limited to us and our physicians. This of course is understandable especially given the potential for misuse and abuse by third parties. In some states, patients have direct access to their electronic health information. And note, here I use the word information because some of what we know about our health and stored electronically can be used to make informed decisions. For example, change in blood sugar level or our blood pressure etc.

What remains mind-boggling about our health information is the damage and potential abuse if made available either by design or in error to unscrupulous parties. And there is even a more challenging dynamic that should raise a red flag among all of us. That is the level of vulnerability when it comes to what information about us that is already public. As we move from store to store or shop on-line, all we are doing is sharing our personal information unintentionally with the general public. Most people who shop on-line will agree with me that the websites we use have more background information about us than we can ever imagine. For example try to make a reservation and the site will give you a comprehensive report of your previous reservations. That is the outcome of phishing as the experts will call it. And yet we generally accept these situations as business as usual. That also goes to demonstrate our degree of ambiguity!

All these dynamics tend to highlight a set of important issues. These include ethical, confidentiality, encryption and legal. And can all these be addressed? The reality is that our current laws and policies are significantly outdated; and very ingenious and innovative efforts are required by the appropriate policy makers to address these issues.

So the bigger question is how compelling are these concerns, especially when they are related to access to our health data. My response and personal take is that it depends. ( typical political response!). While there are pros and cons, the overall benefits out-weigh the risks. For example in many meta ( more than one) longitudinal (over a long duration using the same group of participants) analyses, findings have contributed in discoveries that have contributed in finding pathways and cures to some diseases. And that is a win-win outcome that encourages us to be more flexible with our personal health data and making them available and accessible for research purposes.

Unfortunately current trends are not very encouraging. Regulatory Agencies do have a significant and protective role. The reality is that the challenges are both daunting and monumental. And reluctance by the average patient to make their data public continues to represent an enormous challenge. For example in a recent national population survey conducted by Lake Research Partners for the California HealthCare Foundation, only seven percent of those interviewed had personal health records. And among those who did not have, 75 percent worried about the privacy of their health information: representing the biggest impediment.

And as we continue to resist sharing our health data especially for research purposes, let’s at the same time remind ourselves that the outcomes are for the general good and that in relative terms, the benefits far out-weigh the risks. Hence if you consider yourself one of the reluctant cases, grapple over it again and let cool heads prevail.


Bangkok: ISESS Conference Presentation

Title: Sustainable Program Management: Hierarchical Causal Systems.

Presentation available through the following link:



Please post your comments below.

UWI Port of Spain Conference

At this conference, participants were given a “take-home-quiz”.  During the RAPSYS presentation, it was demonstrated by the presenter that while the CPR for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were about the same  (both upper 40 %), the TFR for Sri Lanka was significantly lower (1.9 versus 3.0). The question: What dynamics in the Sri Lanka program led to the below replacement rate while Bangladesh remained at three?

Responses can be posted on the discussion page below. And details of the presentation are available on the following link: