Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Love one another, build Ukraine..

During the 15 years of Independence Ukraine's population has declined for various reasons from 52 to 46.9 million.

BYuT is proposing women to be paid 8.5 thousand hryven' for giving birth to a first child, 15 thousand for a second, and 25 thousand for a third.[5UAH ~ 1$] This additional state benefit is, no doubt welcome and would probably help increase the pitifully low birth rate.

But it rather reminds me of the old Soviet days when the state would give mothers 'The Silver Lenin Order of Motherhood of the Soviet Union Award' [or some such] on the birth of their fifth child....or they could go for the gold...for ten children...

Seriously though, all this is analysed in more detail in a rather depressing article in 'Obkom.' One major cause of the population decline is the increase in premature deaths of Ukrainians, especially males, in the 25-34 and 45-54 age brackets, particularly acute in rural eastern and rural central-western areas, as well as in the more industrialised cities. Western Ukraine has proved more resilient and not suffered to such an extent, despite economic migration of a significant portion of its population.

One would imagine that the rural population would be better fed, and better sheltered from industrial pollution, but in fact death rates caused by TB, syphilis, chronic alcoholism, and drug abuse have significantly increased there.

A few weeks ago I cut out a paragraph from an article in the FT: [I wish I could remember from which one]

"In a changing and uncertain world most decisions are wrong - success comes not from inspired visions of exceptional leaders, or the prescience achieved through sophisticated analysis, but through small-scale experimentation that rapidly imitates success and acknowledges failure - this is the genius of the market economy."

It is up to the government in Ukraine to establish a situation where such small-scale experimentation can take place in an unfettered manner, otherwise sad physical and moral decline will continue. You can do it..

1 comment:

DLW said...

One can adopt Progressa/Opportunidades style randomization like Mexico has done to evaluate and learn in the process of big scale projects as well.

Someone needs to bring the latest advancements in program evaluation to the attention of Yuliya and the rest of Ukraine. It's really just a simple application of the principles for experimentation taught in high school science.