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Global Public Opinion in an Era of Democratic Anxiety

December 7, 2021

As democratic nations have wrestled with economic, social and geopolitical upheaval in recent years, the future of liberal democracy has come into question. In countries across the globe, democratic norms and civil liberties have deteriorated, while populists have enjoyed surprising success at the ballot box. Newly democratic nations have struggled, while more-established, once self-assured democracies have stumbled, exposing long-simmering weaknesses in their social fabrics and institutional designs.These trends have been well-documented by organizations such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, International IDEA and the Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), which measure and track the quality of democracy around the world. Public opinion researchers have also focused on these issues by examining how citizens think about democracy and its alternatives. At Pew Research Center, we've applied a comparative, cross-national lens to explore global trends in attitudes toward political representation and individual rights.

When Costs Are a Barrier to Getting Health Care: Reports from Older Adults in the United States and Other High-Income Countries: Findings from the 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults

October 1, 2021

Issue: Unlike older adults in other high-income countries, those in the United States face significant financial barriers to getting health care, despite Medicare's universal coverage. These barriers may affect use of health services as well as health outcomes.Goal: To compare the out-of-pocket spending and care-seeking experiences of older Americans with those of older adults in 10 other high-income countries.Methods: Analysis of findings from the Commonwealth Fund's 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults.Key Findings: One-fifth of older Americans spent more than $2,000 out of pocket on health care in the past year. Only a small share of older adults in most of the other surveyed countries had such high out-of-pocket health costs. Similarly, a higher share of older Americans reported forgoing health care because of costs. Rates of skipping dental care because of costs were similar for older adults in nations that do not offer coverage of such services, including the U.S.Conclusions: Older Americans pay more for health care and are more likely to not get care for cost-related reasons than people in other high-income countries. Affordability remains a concern and should continue to be a focus of research and policy.

Mirror, Mirror 2021: Reflecting Poorly - Health Care in the U.S. Compared to Other High-Income Countries

August 4, 2021

Issue: No two countries are alike when it comes to organizing and delivering health care for their people, creating an opportunity to learn about alternative approaches.Goal: To compare the performance of health care systems of 11 high-income countries.Methods: Analysis of 71 performance measures across five domains — access to care, care process, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes — drawn from Commonwealth Fund international surveys conducted in each country and administrative data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization.Key Findings: The top-performing countries overall are Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia. The United States ranks last overall, despite spending far more of its gross domestic product on health care. The U.S. ranks last on access to care, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes, but second on measures of care process.Conclusion: Four features distinguish top performing countries from the United States: 1) they provide for universal coverage and remove cost barriers; 2) they invest in primary care systems to ensure that high-value services are equitably available in all communities to all people; 3) they reduce administrative burdens that divert time, efforts, and spending from health improvement efforts; and 4) they invest in social services, especially for children and working-age adults.

Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands Final Report

March 5, 2020

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history—to study the coral reef crisis on a global scale. As part of the 5-year expedition, an international team of scientists traveled to the Cook Islands in 2013 to assess the health and resiliency of their coral reefs. The Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands Final Report provides a comprehensive summary of the Foundation's research findings from the Cook Islands research mission, along with recommendations for preserving these reefs for the use and enjoyment of future generations.This report provides scientists, managers, and stakeholders with information on the status of corals and reef fish in the Cook Islands and helps further our understanding of the resiliency of these fragile marine ecosystems. Coral reefs face many threats, including pollution, climate change, overfishing, storm damage, and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish. In order to see how these threats impacted reefs, KSLOF worked closely with local leaders, government officials, and members of the Cook Islands Marine Park Steering Committee to study the reefs. Together, they completed over 400 surveys of the coral and reef fish communities surrounding Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Palmerston Atoll, and collected information to create over 400 km2 of high-resolution habitat and bathymetric maps of the seafloor. 

Migratory Convergence Facilitates Cultural Transmission of Humpback Whale Song

September 4, 2019

Cultural transmission of behaviour is important in a wide variety of vertebrate taxa from birds to humans. Vocal traditions and vocal learning provide a strong foundation for studying culture and its transmission in both humans and cetaceans. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) perform complex, culturally transmitted song displays that can change both evolutionarily (through accumulations of small changes) or revolutionarily (where a population rapidly adopts a novel song). The degree of coordination and conformity underlying song revolutions makes their study of particular interest. Acoustic contact on migratory routes may provide a mechanism for cultural revolutions of song, yet these areas of contact remain uncertain. Here, we compared songs recorded from the Kermadec Islands, a recently discovered migratory stopover, to multiple South Pacific wintering grounds. Similarities in song themes from the Kermadec Islands and multiple wintering locations (from New Caledonia across to the Cook Islands) suggest a location allowing cultural transmission of song eastward across the South Pacific, active song learning (hybrid songs) and the potential for cultural convergence after acoustic isolation at the wintering grounds. As with the correlations in humans between genes, communication and migration, the migration patterns of humpback whales are written into their songs.

Protecting Hector’s and Māui Dolphins

June 1, 2019

New Zealand's native dolphins are among the rarest in the world. Hector's dolphins are found in the waters around the South Island. They number some 15,000 and are classified as nationally vulnerable. Māui dolphins are found on the West Coast of the North Island. There are only around 63 of them left. They are classified as nationally critical and face a real threat of extinction. These mammals are precious taonga and we need to act now to ensure they have the best chance for long-term survival. The proposals in this consultation document draw on the latest data and expertise and give us the best picture yet of the risks to these dolphins. This information tells us that there is a range of humaninduced threats to these dolphins, including fishing, the disease toxoplasmosis and mining activities. We believe we have an opportunity to make a real difference by taking action to reduce these threats. Some of the options in this paper may have an impact on people's livelihoods. Your feedback will help us understand these impacts as well as the risks and opportunities associated with each option. We encourage you to make your voice heard.

Economic Security for Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence: Understanding and Measuring the Impact

July 31, 2016

Survivors of domestic and family violence –the majority of whom are women –experience a range of poor economic outcomes as a consequence of the violence they have survived. Some of these negative outcomes include: reduced access to savings and assets; a reduction in feelings of financial confidence; lower levels of workforce and educational participation; and damage to credit records. This impact is particularly prevalent for women where economic abuse was also part of the pattern of violence. This lack of financial resources makes leaving a violent relationship challenging for survivors. Financial insecurity is also a reason some women return to violent relationships.While these links are becoming better understood, there is a lack of consistency about what the definition of economic security for survivors of domestic and family violence is. Broad economic analysis demonstrates the costs of domestic and family violence to the economy are great and that survivors bear proportionally more of these costs; however, there is no consistent index with which to measure the economic security for survivors of domestic and family violence. In the absence of this understanding it is more difficult to gauge the extent of the problem. It is also difficult to measure whether service and policy responses are dealing with the issue.To this end, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand with the support of the Con Irwin Sub-fund of the Victorian Women's Trust reviewed the literature about economic security and domestic and family violence. The review was conducted in order to develop a definition of economic security that reflected its individual and structural elements. From there, a range of potential indicators with which to measure the economic security for survivors were scoped. A measurement tool was also piloted with the support of the Australia Institute.It is hoped that through this research, a larger scale, national study could be conducted to measure the full extent of this problem, and that the creation of an 'Economic Security for Survivors Index' could be developed on the basis of the proposed indicators in this report. This index could then be updated regularly to see whether progress has been made in dealing with the issue.The research makes a series of recommendations for policy and practice to better respond to the economic insecurity of survivors. There are also a series of recommendations for furthering data collection and the creation of the index.

International Profiles of Health Care Systems, 2015

January 21, 2016

This publication presents overviews of the health care systems of Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Each overview covers health insurance, public and private financing, health system organization and governance, health care quality and coordination, disparities, efficiency and integration, use of information technology and evidence-based practice, cost containment, and recent reforms and innovations. In addition, summary tables provide data on a number of key health system characteristics and performance indicators, including overall health care spending, hospital spending and utilization, health care access, patient safety, care coordination, chronic care management, disease prevention, capacity for quality improvement, and public views.

If You Build It, Will They Fund? Making Research Data Management Sustainable

January 7, 2016

Data management underpins current and future research, funder mandates, open access initiatives, researcher reputations and institutional rankings. While it is widely recognized that data management support is necessary, recognition that it requires sustainable funding is slower in coming. Even as the community is beginning to understand the costs, it must begin to address how data management might be funded. This brief report provides an overview of seven funding strategies and their standing in the US. Circumstances in seven other countries are described in the appendix.This work is part of our research collections and support efforts to inform current thinking about research collections and the emerging services that libraries are offering to support contemporary modes of scholarship. We are encouraging the development of new ways for libraries to build and provide these types of collections and deliver distinctive services.

International Profiles of Health Care Systems, 2014

January 1, 2015

This publication presents overviews of the health care systems of Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Each overview covers health insurance, public and private financing, health system organization and governance, health care quality and coordination, disparities, efficiency and integration, use of information technology and evidence-based practice, cost containment, and recent reforms and innovations. In addition, summary tables provide data on a number of key health system characteristics and performance indicators, including overall health care spending, hospital spending and utilization, health care access, patient safety, care coordination, chronic care management, disease prevention, capacity for quality improvement, and public views.

The Kermadecs – Fact Sheet

November 11, 2014

To have the entire 620,000 square kilometers of the Kermadec region protected. A Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary will be the single biggest marine reserve in the world, a fitting declaration for what National Geographic calls "one of the last pristine sites in our oceans."

A Line in the Ocean: Future Directions and Priorities for Kermadecs Science

November 1, 2014

The aim of this document is to stimulate interest in scientific research in the Kermadecs marine environment. It is also intended to inform discussion and debate – among the wider scientific community, science investors, decision makers and the general public – about the future of science in this remarkable natural laboratory. It presents some immediate directions and priorities for a more integrated approach to scientific research in the Kermadecs and is a first step towards a strategic approach to Kermadecs science. Research themes and questions in this document have been drafted by the Pew Environment Group, in consultation with scientists conducting research on key aspects of the Kermadec marine environment.