29 May 2006

Blog categories

Starting today, all articles on this blog are organized into categories that are listed in the sidebar. This should make it easier for readers to find articles that interest them. Blogger, the host of my blog, is a powerful and flexible service but one feature is missing: it offers no way to organize posts by category. To find an article on India, for example, readers of this blog had to do a search or browse the archives. [Update December 2006: Blogger has introduced label management. See below for more information.]

Recently I discovered that blog categories can be implemented with the help of del.icio.us, a social bookmarking service. An article on Blogger Tips and Tricks describes an easy method to add categories to a blog. The steps are summarized below, for a detailed description please read the article Creating categories step-by-step.
  • Create a del.icio.us account that will be used only for your blog.
  • Add a del.icio.us bookmarklet or extension to your browser.
  • Log in with the new del.icio.us account name.
  • Bookmark all individual entries from your blog, or at least the most important ones. The tags are the categories that will be listed in the blog sidebar. In contrast to the guide at Blogger Tips and Tricks, I suggest starting with the oldest posts because this ensures that del.icio.us lists the newest posts first, similar to how they appear in your blog. I accomplished this by going to the monthly archives (beginning with the oldest posts), calling up the individual post pages by clicking on the date stamp at the bottom of each article, and tagging each page with del.icio.us.
  • Go to the help section on the del.icio.us site and select the Tag Rolls section under Blog Integration.
  • Customize the appearance of the tag list and copy the code at the bottom of the tag rolls page.
  • Log in to your Blogger account and paste the code to the sidebar section of the template.
  • Save the template and republish the blog.
The result can be seen in the sidebar of my blog, under the heading Categories. I selected a simple list with article count when I customized the tag roll, other options include a tag cloud and varying font size and color depending on the number of articles within each category. Clicking on a keyword, for example India, brings up a del.icio.us page with all articles from my blog that are filed under the respective category, with the most recent articles at the top. The complete list of tags for each article is also shown.

The tag roll code by del.icio.us creates links in colors that vary with the number of articles within each category. I had selected black for all links on the tag roll customization page. This yields a code that contains the part color=000000-000000, where 000000 stands for black (see this RGB color palette). The first number is the color of categories with the smallest number of articles, the second number the color of categories with the highest number of articles. I changed this part to color=114488-114488, which makes all links appear in blue. I have not found a way to underline the links or to change the font of the categories so that they match the rest of my blog.

Update 27 December 2006: Blogger introduced label management to a new beta version of its blogging service in October 2006 (read the announcement on Blogger Buzz). After the new version of Blogger was launched on 19 December 2006 (announcement on Blogger Buzz) I began using the new label feature for my posts. Blogger labels are now listed under each post. Clicking on a label leads to a page containing all posts with the particular label (example: all posts labeled "India"). However, I continue to list the del.icio.us tag roll in the side bar of my blog because it offers certain advantages. The main advantage of the del.icio.us tag roll is that it brings up a comprehensive list of all articles in a certain category, showing only the title and tags (example: all posts tagged "India"). I find this list easier to navigate than a page with complete articles. On the other hand, Blogger labels make it easy to combine all posts on a particular topic on a single page for printing or archiving. To be consistent, I use the same keywords to label articles in Blogger and del.icio.us.

Friedrich Huebler, 29 May 2006 (edited 27 March 2007), Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2006/05/blog-categories.html

27 May 2006

Secondary school attendance in Bolivia

Bolivia is one of UNICEF's 25 priority countries for girls' education. The primary school net attendance rate (NAR) is 76.4 percent, according to results of a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from 2003/04. This means that three out of four children of primary school age are in primary school.

Fewer children continue their education at the secondary level. Overall, the secondary school NAR is 56.3 percent according to the DHS, but attendance rates are much higher in urban areas and among the richest households (see the graph below). In the richest 20 percent of all households, 79.9 percent of all children of secondary school age are in secondary school. In urban areas of Bolivia, the secondary school NAR is 67.9 percent. The lowest attendance rate, 27.9 percent, is observed among the poorest 20 percent of all households. In other words, more than seven out of ten children from the poorest households do not attend secondary school. In rural areas the secondary NAR is 37.2 percent.

Secondary school net attendance rate, Bolivia 2003/04
Bar chart with total, male and female secondary school net attendance rate in Bolivia, 2003/04
Data source: Bolivia 2003/04 DHS.

In Bolivia overall, there is gender parity at the secondary level of education. The gender parity index (GPI), the ratio of the female to the male NAR, is 0.98, as shown in the following table. In primary school, gender parity exists regardless of the area of residence and the level of household wealth, but this is not the case at the secondary level of education. In rural areas and among the poorest households, boys are much more likely to attend secondary school than boys. The GPI in rural areas is 0.81 and among the poorest 20 percent of all households it is as low as 0.66, which means that for every three boys only two girls are in secondary school. To reach the Millennium Development Goal of gender parity at all levels of education, it is necessary to bring more girls from poor and rural households into school.

Secondary school net attendance rate, Bolivia 2003/04

NAR (%)
Male NAR (%)Female NAR (%)Difference
male- female
female/ male
Richest 20%79.980.679.31.30.98
Poorest 20%27.933.422.011.40.66
GPI: gender parity index. - Data source: Bolivia 2003/04 DHS.

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Friedrich Huebler, 27 May 2006 (edited 30 June 2006), Creative Commons License