Issue 68 (Fall 1998)

Fall 1998, Issue #68

The APLIC-International Communicatoris published several times yearly by the Association for Population and Family Planning Libraries and Information Centers, International. Mailing address: c/o Family Health International Library, P.O. Box 13950, RTP, NC 27709 USA. ISSN 09-9847
Nicole Pelsinsky, Center for Communications Programs, Johns Hopkins University, 111 Market Place, Suite 310, Baltimore, MD. 21202. Phone: 410-659-6168; Fax: 410-659-6266; E-mail:
Jean Sack, Hopkins Population Center, Johns Hopkins University, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205. Phone: 410-614-5222; Fax 410-955-1215; E-mail:
Diane M. Rubino, Gender, Family, and Development Program Population Council/USA, 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, NY 10017. Phone: 212/339-0657; Fax: 212/755-6052; E-mail:

Table of Contents

Presidents’ Message
By Lisa A. Newman, Population Studies Center – University of Pennsylvania
Anne K. Ilacqua, Brown University Demography Library
APLIC-I Co-Presidents

Population and family planning librarians and information specialists will identify with the “Professional and Personal Competencies”, outlined in the Special Libraries Association Web Page at:

Among the Professional Competencies are:

  • has expert knowledge of the content of information resources, including the ability to critically evaluate and filter them.
  • develops and manages convenient, accessible and cost-effective information services that are aligned with the strategic directions of the organization.
  • uses appropriate information technology to acquire, organize and disseminate information.
  • continually improves information services in response to changing needs.

Among the Personal competencies are:

  • is committed to service excellence.
  • seeks out challenges and sees new opportunities both inside and outside the library.
  • sees the big picture.
  • looks for partnerships and alliances. [further defined in SLA’s Home Page as “…Forms partnerships with other libraries or information services inside or outside the organization to optimize resource sharing…”]

At our recent Fall Board Meeting, hosted by the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University, APLIC-I Board Members spent considerable time working to improve the organization and also, planning the Spring 1999 Annual Meeting agenda. Many Board members offered suggestions for topics and speakers. It looks like we will have some lively discussion groups and interesting speakers supporting the conference theme of population resources for a changing planet.Over the Summer, we have lost two Board members, Libby Evans and Sarah Kolda who have new positions. We wish them and Board Member and Treasurer Gera Draiijer well in their new positions!

To those members who are “out there” but have been inactive and especially to those who have never attended an Annual Meeting, we would like you to consider becoming more involved in your organization, whether it is simply sending a message to the Listserv, writing an article for the Communicator or getting on the train or plane and heading to the Big Apple for the next Annual Meeting. You won’t regret it! It is in APLIC- I that so many of us have formed very helpful alliances for resource sharing, support for challenges and frustrations, and to exchange information and ideas.

News From APLIC-I Members
By Jean Sack, Department of Population and Family Health Sciences

Nika Bareket of the University of Michigan Population Studies Center has experienced many changes this past summer. The Population Studies Center has merged and moved while she was experiencing childbirth (see article in this issue of the Communicator). Ori Moshe Bareket arrived safe and sound on July 23, 1998. He weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and was 22 inches long.

Gera Draaijer, formerly of the Population Research Center, Univ. of Texas at Austin, is now a reference librarian in the University Libraries and will have special assignment to help maintain the international census collection.

Elizabeth *Libby* Evans made a transition from the Carolina Center to the University of North Carolina computing department. Libby writes ” I love my job!!! I am so happy here. It’s not without its stresses, but it’s good group of people *and* the job is stimulating and exciting and fun. It’s great! Job changes are hard, but they can be very worthwhile.” During the hurricane their office flooded. Libby still uses her and collects her mail at: 10B Swain Hall, CB # 3420, Chapel Hill 27599-3420.

Arie Hoekman is working on a new project proposal, which among others will imply the creation of an international training center on population and sustainable development. The project will be set up in Panama and that’s the reason why my current project is already being transferred to Panama as well. The Center will be set up as part of the “City of Knowledge” initiative to transform one of the (still to be transferred) US military bases (probably Fort Clayton) into an international study center. I will be moving the whole entourage as of Tuesday 25 August. My new address will be: Arie Hoekman CTA Project RLA/96/P15 Apartado Postal 6314, Panama 5 Republica de Panama. Temporarily telephone will be (507)-228-8338 and fax (507)-228-8097 of the Social Cabinet of the Republic of Panama. My current e-mail will remain active: ( as well as our web site ( In case you have trouble connecting, as we will now only be able to operate the server by remote control, you can also reach me through my alternate e-mail address:

Abbie Hourwich Greetings, APLIC members: “When I started to work at the Wildlife Conservation Society I thought I might bump into population issues, at least as they relate to environment, but I didn’t realize that GIS is used to track the animal kingdom. Yesterday there was a lecture on “Elephants and GIS: Forest Elephant Distribution in Relation to the Distance from Roads in Gabon.” I’m doing development research (that’s fundraising, not economic development) in the Development Department, and I’m based at the Bronx Zoo. Any New Yorkers or visitors who’d like a day in the country are welcome to visit; I can get free passes, and there’s an express bus from Manhattan. My e-mail there is: Home e-mail is:

Bob McCann, formerly of Center for the Study of Population, Florida State University, has moved houses and jobs! On July 1st Bob began a position in the main library as a Library Technical Assistant Supervisor in charge of collection control in the circulation department. “It will be a Mon-Fri 8-5 job and also require that I work once every 6 weekends. As this will be a promotion, I’ll also be getting a 5% pay raise. I will be supervising six full-time staff and 20-40 part-time students.” E-mail:

Mike Zimmerman is getting home much earlier from his job as System Analyst/Administrator at the Pennsylvania State University Population Research Institute in order to be an effective father for his son Ian. Visit his page (

Jean Sack of the Hopkins Population Center shifted offices down the hall from the Population Collection and changed phone numbers (Room 2012, 410-614-5222, fax: 410-614-7288). When Dr. W. Henry Mosley retired as Department Chair, the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health Population Dynamics Department merged with the Department of Maternal and Child Health. Strengths in international studies, historic and family demography, an STDs focus and research in reproductive health from an experienced faculty now blend with the energy of a young MCH faculty with more domestic interests. The combined faculty and population/mch graduate students are in transition and in two buildings this year but call themselves by a new “married” name: Department of Population and Family Health Sciences with Dr. Bernie Guyer as the chairman.

Sarah Kolda has left Princeton’s Office of Population Research to move to the Berkeley, CA area with her husband (he has a new job in that area). “The weather is amazing (although I do miss the rain!). I am currently looking for a job and have had a couple of interviews. I am also enjoying exploring the area and spending time on some of the things I normally don’t get to spend time on (like gardening :-)). I really miss everyone back at Princeton. I will continue to be a member of APLIC-I through my unemployment and, hopefully, in my new job, and I will keep people updated as I know more about my situation. I will no longer be using an OPR email address, but I will re-subscribe to the APLIC listserv with my new/temporary email address (which is My address in CA is: 621 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530. If any of you are in the area, PLEASE feel free to look me up! We have no family in the area and few friends, so visitors will be especially welcome! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of you and VERY much hope I can continue to come to the APLIC conferences and meetings!”

Archives Update
By Edith Ericson, Interim APLIC-I Archivist 1998-99

“In recent years, as the fields of population and family planning grew, the librarians serving them felt the need for an association of their own. Thus, in 1968, at the invitation of the Carolina Population Center, population and family planning librarians and information specialists met formally for the first time. From this conference there emerged three stated goals: (1) the improvement of techniques for the retrieval, storage, and dissemination of population information (2) the promotion of cooperation and exchange among population libraries, as well as between these libraries and other organizations or libraries working in related fields; and (3) the periodic assessment of affairs in the population information field.

“Every year since 1968, there has been an annual conference on population library and information services. In 1970, a formal organization with a charter was brought into being with the name of the Association of Population/Family Planning Libraries and Information Centers, known by the acronym APLIC. Our goals have remained by and large the same through the years.”
Blanche Horowitz, “The Specialized Library Resource”, Overview: a Journal of Population Libraries, 1, no. 1 (May, 1972): 11.

Today, our organizational goals remain the same as we prepare for our 32nd annual conference in New York. I feel fortunate that I can read these words more than two decades after they were written. In addition to random items collected during the past 30 years, the APLIC-I archives has a full run of the Overview. Its contents, and those of the APLIC International Communicator *, document the activities of our members and their organizations through the years, first in print, and since Fall, 1996, on the internet.

The purpose of the archives is to collect, preserve, and make available for use materials that serve as a unique record of APLIC-I’s accomplishments. Plans for the archives involve acquiring complete collections of all official publications, including the annual conference proceedings; administrative and other organizational records, including minutes of meetings, reports of committees, documentation on special projects, and copies of selected correspondence, and news and publicity about APLIC-I. If you would like to use the archives for research, please let me know. The collections are far from complete right now, but as donations are received and processed, and finding aids are written, the information held in the archives can be used to plan programs and conferences, write grant proposals, and to keep from “reinventing the wheel”. I will post requests for donations of specific categories documents on the APLIC-I listserv, and in future Communicator articles.

*As a first step, I would like your help to complete the holdings of the APLIC-International Communicator. Missing issues are numbers 1-31,35-36, and 39. Please think about the needs of the archives when you clean out your files. If you can donate original documents, or photocopies of them, please send a note to me, Edith Ericson, at or call (319)378-9516 to make arrangements.

Society of Actuaries Library — A Special Library Review
By Ellen Ball

What is an actuary? An actuary applies specialized knowledge of the mathematics of finance, statistics and risk theory to problems faced by insurance companies, pension plans, government regulators, social programs and individuals. Traditionally, actuaries have specialized in life insurance, annuities, property and casualty insurance, pension plans, etc. Actuaries help people plan better for the future by controlling or reducing financial risks associated with sickness, disability, dying too soon, living too long, unemployment, property loss and damage and investment policy.

Founded in 1949, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is an education, research, and professional membership organization whose purposes are to promote high standards of competency among its members and to advance the state of actuarial science. It is the world’s largest actuarial organization. The 16,000 members of the Society of Actuaries are skilled in evaluation of contingent events, in structure models to describe and measure risk, and communicating the results.

The SOA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois maintains an extensive library, including approximately 4, 000 books, 300 audio cassettes, 120 video cassettes, 800 research reports, and subscriptions to 200 periodical titles. The primary purpose of the library is to store and provide access to information in support of the research, education, and other activities of the SOA members and staff. The library information center serves as a clearinghouse of both print and non-print sources in the areas of life and health insurance, mathematics, investments, retirement planning, actuarial education, mortality and morbidity and related areas. Different levels of services are provided to the patrons, with modified access for the general public and other OCLC libraries, including:

  • Ready reference
  • Online literature searches
  • Circulation
  • Interlibrary loan services
  • Photocopying services, including fax

For more information, please contact: Society of Actuaries Library, 475 North Martingale Road, Schaumburg, Illinois 60173-2226. Phone: 847 706-3575 Fax: 847 706-3599 Internet:

APLIC-I Membership Report
By Lisa Newman,
APLIC-I President and Membership Secretary

The following table gives a brief historical overview of APLIC-I membership, based upon the records in my possession. In 1979, the first membership committee was created, with Kathryn Speert as Membership Secretary. The format of membership reports varied from year to year, as did the date of the final membership tally.

Prior to 1990, new members were not recorded with respect to their status as “individual” or “sustaining” member, which explains the “?” in those years. From 1978-1989, membership reports had renewal information and totals but not broken down by country. Membership lists are, however, available for those years.

Membership Report for Communicator October 13, 1998

Total Membership 1989-1998

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
113 100 100 101 107 99 104 107 114 107

US vs. Non-US members:

84/29 67/33 74/26 77/24 81/26 77/22 81/23 86/21 93/21 87/20

New members (I/S):

19/? 6/? 10/3 5/11 6/10 9/1 15/6 12/2 15/10 14/8

APLIC-I Membership history:

Total Membership 1979-1988
1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1980 1979
120 102 116 101 109 103 118 146 140

Membership Secretaries:

Kathryn Speert – 1979-1980
Marilyn Mollenkamp – 1981-1986
Olga Boemeke – 1987
L. Terri Singer – 1988-1990
Lisa Newman – 1990- present

New Members:

Emma G. Stupp
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Atlanta, GA (for 1999)

Brien Kinkel
Population Council
Washington, DC

Tracey Friesen
Planned Parenthood Federation
McCormick Library

Dr. Borbala Koo
Bucharest, Romania

Assistance to Developing Nations: What is APLIC-I’s Role?
By Diane Rubino, Gender, Family, and Development Program Population Council

At the last Board meeting, an intriguing discussion arose around the topic of direct assistance to colleagues (not necessarily APLIC-I members) in developing countries. Anne Ilacqua (Brown University) and Laurian Carroll (Management Sciences for Health) relayed recent experiences that illustrate this issue. Both were called upon to provide consultation and how-to advice on the development of a resource collection. These two instances surely represent only a portion of the mosaic of requests that we all receive. APLIC-I has no guidelines or institutional policy for dealing with the situations described above, other than that these associates are encouraged—as are developed nation colleagues—to join our organization. Although general professional development goals are engraved in our mission statement, they are proffered without regard to geography. That is, the aim of the organization is to encourage effective documentation/information systems and services, professional networking, and continuing education. These goals are benefits for everyone—regardless of locale. Only one component of our written mandate could be construed as a suggestion to provide assistance to developing nations: [APLIC facilitates] “worldwide exchange of population information through international programs and activities.”

To some extent, tacit forms of assistance have been implemented. For example, membership dues for developing nations colleagues are reduced ($25 versus $15). We also have the DUPS program, which allows members to share extra copies of resources without cost to the recipient. The preference to distribute information to developing nation colleagues is clearly laid out by Jean Sack. “Materials will be distributed on a first come/first serve basis, with preference given to libraries in developing countries.” (“The New APLIC-I Duplicates [DUPS] Program,” Fall 1997, APLIC-I Communicator, Issue 65). Another carrot is donated membership dues for select institutions. In the recent past, both active members and retirees have contributed from their own pockets to pay fees for less financially stable organizations. There doesn’t seem to be any other defined benefits aimed at developing nation colleagues.

Nonetheless, individual APLIC-I members demonstrate a strong commitment to direct assistance. For example, Susan Pasquariella (UNDP) co-wrote an article entitled “Guidelines for Establishing Automated Libraries in Developing Countries” and presented a program, “African Library Development Assistance Program of the Center for Population and Family Health, Columbia University” at an annual APLIC meeting a decade ago. Laurian Carroll and a colleague at MSH are brewing an exciting new development with the same goal in mind. They are constructing an assessment instrument to help organizations begin—or refine—the process of creating an information center. “The idea of an information center seems to be popular,” she says, “Perhaps because the advent of the Internet has ameliorated feelings of isolation and information access has become more of a possibility. Its not the central focus of MSH’s technical assistance, but it comes up—my advice or recommendation is sought in how such places can be created.” This evaluation tool will define fundamental issues such as what role the organization expects to fulfill, whether they have Internet access, and if they perceive themselves as a research institute.

Yet there generally seems to be a duality between individual desire and group effort. Even without a formal organizational commitment, co-president Anne Ilacqua points out, “In terms of climate and environment I think that’s where are hearts are.” Can or should the organization develop a well-defined policy? If so, what would this look like? Laurian Carroll postulates, “We already have DUPS, which is running on an honor system. Does it make more sense to direct these [resources] to people who’ve spoken up through members of APLIC? Changing the format from an honor system to an advocacy system…Is there an opportunity for developing a program or a handbook that would provide guidance? It would be useful not just in developing countries but to anyone who wants to set up a center.” At the recent board meeting, Susan Pasquariella discussed her interest in encouraging partner relationships. Laurian concurs, adding that there might be a niche to create “a kind of mentoring process, not just a willingness to send materials, but to help people with a diagnostic tool to decide what they need, could use, and could reasonably get.” When queried, Anne agreed that there is an opportunity for a dialogue to be opened. “We could communicate with [our developing nation colleagues] via the listserv to encourage their participation. Someone could pose a query like ‘What is it like to be in a country without resources?’ and see if we get a response. Maybe we want to encourage our members to stimulate that type of discussion, networking, moral support, and exchange of ideas and suggestions. We have a lot of members in foreign countries and I want to know more about them and hear more from them.”

Of course, APLIC-I responsibilities are ancillary to our main responsibility—to our job, the people who pay us. In one recent instance, Anne Ilacqua offered her help to a health management consultant, Patricia Burns, working in Ethiopia, who just showed up at Brown’s Demography Library. Anne guided her through the demography and virtual reference collection, pointed out key electronic bookmarks, and then supplied Ms. Burns with duplicate materials the library had accrued. Our public relations-minded co-president also pointed Patricia back to the mother ship by suggesting that she “join APLIC-I.” However this experience illustrates a slight controversy. Anne points out, “As library professionals we are service oriented. But there’s a little tension because they’re not part of our regular clients and in some cases the time commitment is an issue. [In the case of Ms. Burns] of course that situation put me, in a sense, behind the eight ball. I did drop everything and help her when I might be more appropriately sitting down with a visiting scholar from Ghana.” Regardless of the conflict between the workload from our own institutions and this “extracurricular activities,” the concept is well-received. “I think the idea is a creative one and someone needs to throw it out there…[but] most of us are busy and overwhelmed and its almost something that would need to be an assignment or for volunteers,” says Anne.

In another recent scenario, a representative from an MSH client organization in Romanian prevailed upon Laurian to find out how to build up an information center in her country. Laurian suspects that this woman (who had already heard of APLIC-I) thought she would get access to a bunch of advisors by joining the association. This inspired Laurian to think more broadly about whether or not this was a role that APLIC could or should fill. Laurian also notes, “I’m not saying we should do it. I brought it up because this need arose at my own organization and I wanted to see if others had experienced this as well. That was reason enough to develop a knowledge base.” Exploring this avenue might be an opportunity to tap into a gold mine of information because, as Laurian reminds us, “there’s an awful lot of smart people” in APLIC and it might be a good idea if “this is a role that we want to take.”

Center for Social and Demographic Analysis (CSDA) University at Albany
By Eleanor Gossen, Information/Data Services Core Director

The Center for Social and Demographic Analysis (CSDA), established in 1981, is a research and training facility at the University at Albany, State University of New York. The CSDA is an interdisciplinary Center with two primary objectives: (1) assisting researchers in their quest for external funding, and (2) supporting their research projects once they have been funded.

The Center assists researchers in a variety of ways. It aids researchers in grant proposal preparation and to manage the day-to-day administration of their grants. It helps them acquire and use social science data sets. It offers computer programming and statistical support. It provides access to selected key sources of information, including census documents, code books and reference materials. In addition, the Center organizes a variety of activities such as computer training courses and colloquia that benefit the population of scholars among the University at Albany community.

Individual researchers are affiliated with CSDA as either Associates or Affiliates. Associates are those with Center affiliated grants currently in place and Affiliates are those currently preparing Center affiliated grant proposals for submission to granting agencies. At this time there are 20 Associates and 18 Affiliates, plus the graduate students who work with them. The research of CSDA Associates and Affiliates falls into four general areas of concentration: (1) Population Composition and Redistribution, (2) Family and Household Dynamics, (3) Health, Morbidity and Mortality, and (4) Status of Children and Adolescents. For information about specific research projects that fall under the four areas of concentration, please see the Center’s home page ( In 1997 the Center received a NICHD Population Research Center Core Grant which allowed it to move into more spacious quarters and to upgrade and expand its equipment and services.

CSDA services are provided by three cores: the Administrative Core, the Computing/Statistical Core and the Information/Data Services Core. The Administrative Core, directed by Stewart Tolnay (Sociology), has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the Center, as well as the initiative for changes or further development of the Center. It assists in the preparation and administration of research grants and provides text processing and editorial assistance. The Computing/Statistical Core, directed by Timothy Gage (Anthropology), provides an infrastructure for population researchers, including access to appropriate hardware and software and statistical expertise. The Information/Data Services Core, directed by Eleanor Gossen (University Libraries) helps researchers identify and retrieve data and print documents and maintains a small print reference collection. It provides for information needs which cannot be met by the University Libraries. The Information/Data Services Core is also responsible for the Center’s web page and the CSDA Newsletter. The three cores work closely together to ensure that researchers have access to the services and information they need to support their research.

The staff of the Information/Data Services Core consists of the director (25% time), a data librarian (50% time), a Senior Research Assistant (25% time) and a library assistant (50% time). The director, Eleanor A. Gossen, is a librarian at the University Libraries and the University’s ICPSR Official Representative and works carefully to make sure that services and collections are not unnecessarily duplicated on campus. The data librarian maintains the web page and helps researchers locate and retrieve data. The Senior Research Assistant serves as a survey consultant on sampling and survey design issues and runs the Center’s annual telephone survey. The library assistant photocopies articles, retrieves book and other information from the University Libraries, and does other jobs as necessary.

The actual print collections are very small, consisting of a handful of journals which the University Libraries do not hold, some essential reference works, and documentation for the U.S. Census and a few other data sets. ICPSR code books are either in machine-readable format or in the University Libraries, where they are cataloged and housed. The University at Albany has recently phased out its tape library, but the University Libraries provide disc space on their UNIX system for data from ICPSR or other agencies. Data acquired from ICPSR are kept available if they are actively being used, but no effort has been made to develop a local archive of data which can easily be downloaded upon demand from ICPSR. However, we are about to start writing frequently-used data to CD-ROM to keep in the Center. Non-ICPSR data which the Center acquires is kept on the Center’s disc space, written to tape or to CD-ROM. Since we do not anticipate ever having a huge collection because we rely so heavily on the University Libraries, we have no plans to develop our own catalog; instead, records of both data and print holdings are accessible through searchable lists on the Center’s web page.

Changes at the Population Studies Center, University of Michigan
By Nika Bareket, PSC Librarian

This past summer the Population Studies Center merged with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and is now under the administrative arm of that organization. All involved hope that this will lead to new opportunities and enhanced collaboration for both organizations. As part of this change, the Population Studies Center will be leaving the building that has been its home for more than 30 years, and moving across campus. The new offices will be conveniently located just upstairs from ICPSR. The PSC should be occupying the new space as of January 1, 1999.

In addition to all of this, the Population Studies Library has just begun a long-term project to re-catalog all of our approximately 35,000 records. This will entail inputting all of the items into an Inmagic database. Eventually we hope to have an online networked system that will be searchable via the WWW. This project is anticipated to take up a large part of our time over the next two years.

On a personal note the PSC librarian, Nika Bareket, is back at work full time, having just returned from maternity leave and the birth of a healthy baby boy. Ori (full name is Ori Moshe Bareket) is her first child and is keeping her very busy. He kept his parents waiting when he passed up his due date of July 10, deciding to wait until July 23 before he was ready to make an appearance. After 32 hours of labor and numerous small complications, everything ended well as he arrived on the scene weighing in at 8 lb. 12 oz., 22 inches long. He is now almost three months old and still hasn’t slept through the night! His current interests include eating and sleeping and he is hoping to accompany his mother to the APLIC conference in New York this spring.

In Search of National HIV/AIDS Policies
By Katherine Willson Manager, Information Services, The Futures Group International

National HIV/AIDS policies are currently being developed in many countries. Some are created with broad Parliamentary participation and approval, along with specific HIV/AIDS legislation and policy statements from the Ministry of Health. The process of drafting policies can be difficult and time-consuming due to the variety and complexity of issues related to HIV/AIDS. To provide assistance to those responsible for drafting such policies, the POLICY Project has prepared an HIV/AIDS Policy Compendium. This collection of policy statements has been organized in a database that can be searched by keyword and by country. It can help those involved in drafting new policies by providing examples of how other countries deal with specific issues.

The POLICY Project (1995 – 2000) is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by The Futures Group International (FUTURES) in collaboration with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and The Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). The project is designed to create a supportive environment for family planning and reproductive health programs, encourage local institutions to participate in the policymaking process, and foster the creation of client centered population policies. Since HIV/AIDS is a critical issue, from the beginning, the project has been active in promoting HIV/AIDS policy advocacy and strategic planning activities in its country programs and has sought to develop tools to promote effective policy analysis. Project assistance is provided to public and private sector institutions to strengthen their capabilities to contribute to the development and implementation of effective policies and programs. The project works with national and local governments, NGOs (including family planning associations, women’s groups, grassroots organizations, and professional associations), commercial organizations, and research institutions.

In July 1997, I was charged with the responsibility of compiling the HIV/AIDS Policy Compendium to help achieve the goals of the POLICY Project. This required the identification and collection of policy documents and the design of a database that contains the text of each document. Criteria were established for the type of materials that would be included. While the goal was to collect comprehensive national HIV/AIDS policies and laws, national strategy documents and national program plans (or medium term plans) were also assembled. Such documents do not strictly qualify as policy statements, however, the relevant policy-related text from these documents were extracted and included in the compendium. Additional details of the collection process can be found in the Background section of the HIV/AIDS Policy Compendium at The compendium was completed in May 1998 and information on Internet access was distributed at the 12th World AIDS Conference in Geneva in June 1998. The CD-ROM version will be available in October 1998 and is designed primarily for users in developing countries who may lack Internet access.

The HIV/AIDS Policy Compendium is available in three formats:

  • It can be accessed via the Internet at
  • It is also available on CD-ROM. (This method includes a Runtime version of Microsoft Access that will allow users with Windows 95 or Windows NT to run the database on their personal computers)
  • It can be requested on a diskette with a zipped file of the database to use with Microsoft Access. (The database file is in Access 2.0)

The database includes seven fields, which are described below:
1. Document ID = a unique catalog number assigned to each document

2. Country = the country (or region in some cases) of the national policy

3. Document Type = to provide some indication of the nature of the document. Some of the document types are: Resolution, Law, Sessional Paper, Position Paper, Report, Strategy, Agenda, Statement, Declaration, Manual, National Plan.

4. Statement Type = taken from the text of the national HIV/AIDS policy document. Some of the statement types are: Issues, Rights, Position, Goals, Actions, Items.

5. Heading = taken from the text of the national HIV/AIDS policy document.

6. Statement Text = taken verbatim from the text of the national HIV/AIDS policy document. However, in many cases only portions of a section were included.

7. Topics = 34 terms used to categorize the statements. Topics include: Blood supply, Counseling, Education, Human Rights, Notification, Privacy, Research, Testing. The full list of topics is available on the search form as a drop down list.
Two search forms are available. The Topic Search allows the user to select one of thirty-four topics, with the option of combining a country selection (or searching for the country selection alone). The Full Text Search finds words or phrases in the policy statement text. The text in the compendium is taken verbatim from the source document. In many cases, however, only portions are included, and are usually identified by either “…” or “(continues).” When searching for materials, the user needs to keep in mind that the texts are only available—and therefore searchable—in their original language. For example, to find references to women in a francophone country the user would use the search term “femme.” But searching for the topic “women” will retrieve all major entries in every language dealing with women. The statement text is linked to the bibliography entry for the source document, allowing the full citation to be viewed while reading the text. A listing of the ninety-two source document citations is also available.

The development of the compendium provided an opportunity for the Information Services/Library division to make an important contribution to the POLICY Project. It also allowed us to develop new technical skills which will be useful for other projects as well as internal information services. Obviously this task involved the work of more than one person. The additional team members were: Matthew Smith, Library Assistant; Sara Ellovich, Consultant; Kilian Songwe, Intern; and John Stover, Vice President provided additional assistance. We are also grateful for the policy documents contributors (a list is on the Internet site). We will continue to maintain the compendium and add new documents as they become available. The Internet version will always be the most up-to-date. We may issue updates of the CD-ROM if needed.

For more information, please contact:
Katherine Willson, The Policy Project
The Futures Group International
80 Glastonbury Blvd
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Tel: (860) 633-3501
Fax: (860) 657-3918

APLIC-I Membership Profile: Anil Kumar, Population Communications International
By Diane M. Rubino, Population Council
(The First in a Series to Explore the APLIC-I Community)

Anil Kumar speaks with ease and confidence about his work in population and reproductive health. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise—he’s had twenty-five years of experience. A post at IPPF in 1973 marked Kumar’s first foray into the not-for-profit world. He discovered, as many of us do, that he was not suited to the world of commerce and, he says, “It thoroughly depressed me.” After a lengthy stint and several incarnations at Regent’s College, Anil launched a consulting business serving the nonprofit community. Self-employment was followed by a stint at FHI and then he headed north to his current job at Population Communications International (PCI) in New York City. Here he is the chameleon’s chameleon, juggling the financial wellbeing of the organization and human resources and facilities management.

Building on a concept first used in Mexico to promote family planning, PCI utilizes mass media as a vehicle to support small families, contraceptive use, women’s empowerment, and a web of related messages. Though a substantial evaluation documenting the effectiveness of their ideas will be released shortly, the notion of media campaigns as promotional vehicles is sometimes snubbed in the often rarified demographic and population circles. “The industry at large considers us to be a kinky organization,” says Anil. Nonetheless, PCI ministers to a global audience, with projects in areas as diverse as Tanzania, India, and Mexico.

PCI has learned that the palette used by teledramas throughout the world to paint characters is limited to black and white, meaning that people are portrayed as all bad or all good. Hiring local writers and on-air talent, PCI encourages the use of “transition characters.” These figures represent the rest of us—the people who are both good and not-so-good. These are the characters people relate to and therefore, the ones that sometimes use contraceptives, practice safe sex, educate their daughters, and so forth. “We create permanent attitude change by providing role models,” says Kumar. Domestically, PCI uses videos, comic books, and the Internet to relay its messages. The organization also sponsors Soap Summits which bring together American writers, directors, and other media professionals, to encourage socially responsible programming.

Because of the institutional role in information dissemination, Anil sees PCI’S connection to APLIC as natural—though his colleagues don’t seem to agree. Many are reluctant to join the association because of the perception that APLIC is only involved in print materials. (Wait until they see the agenda for the 1998 annual conference!) But part of that belief is APLIC’s own doing, he warns. “APLIC is not the most aggressive self-promoter and part of it is that members don’t do enough promoting in their own workplaces. I think its essential to increase our membership—yet keep our mission focussed.”

Because of his financial expertise, Anil agreed to take on the role of APLIC treasurer, when Gera Draaijer steps down. (Gera has recently transferred from the University of Texas Population Research Center into a new position.) He sees the treasury post as an opportunity to do service, stemming from an attitude he claims to have developed “rather late in life.” He mentions the need to “give back” and also noted that all of the PCI board members are volunteers. The entire APLIC organization will then be able to avail themselves to what Anil Kumar describes as the most important traits he brings to his work: passion and commitment. “After twenty-five years I approach things with a certain amount of cynicism, but I still start each day by thinking that today I can change the world.”