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Forecasting paediatric malaria admissions on the Kenya Coast using rainfall

Background: Malaria is a vector-borne disease which, despite recent scaled-up efforts to achieve control in Africa, continues to pose a major threat to child survival.

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It’s not possible to innovate people out of poverty

Central to some of the biggest projects in recent years that address poverty is the idea that innovation is the single most important element to bringing change. The Gates Foundation put money behind new condom designs, systems that re-use waste water for drinking and no-water toilets. Companies like Facebook, which wants bring the Internet to

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Transforming research results into useful tools for global health: BOOST

We reported the results of the PRECOG study1 in the inaugural issue of The Lancet Global Health (July, 2013). Although visual outcomes of cataract surgery have usually been assessed weeks or months after surgery, this study of 4000 patients at 40 hospitals in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where few patients return after operations, demonstrated that assessment of vision the day after surgery could reliably measure operative quality. We felt the readers of The Lancet Global Health might be interested to hear about the next chapter of this work.

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Striking a Balance: How Donors Can More Effectively Promote Sustainable Reform

Last week, an ISIS-supported suicide bomber killed eight people when his car exploded outside of the presidential palace in Aden, Yemen. This is just one of countless attacks that have been carried out by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Yemen since the 2011 launch of the Yemeni revolution.


Need Funding? Here Are 3 New ICT4D Calls for Proposals

We all would love more cash for our great digital development ideas, so the hunt for new investors and donors is never-ending. Luckily, we’ve found three new opportunities to increase your resources and have greater impact. Be sure to sign up to get emails about new donors or investors as we find them. $9 Million UNICEF Innovation Fund Congratulations to Chris Fabian for raising $9 million for the UNICEF Innovation Fund to investment in rapidly changing technologies such as blockchain, 3D printing, wearables, sensors, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy, and taking a strong stance on Digital Development Principle 6: Be Open: “The purpose of the UNICEF Innovation Fund is to invest in open source technologies for children,” says Christopher Fabian, UNICEF Innovation Co-Lead. The Innovation Fund will focus on organizations based in UNICEF programme countries working in three portfolio areas: Products for youth under 25 to address a range of needs including learning and youth participation; Real-time information for decision-making; and Infrastructure to increase access to services and information, including connectivity, power, finance, sensors and transport


Open Source App Takes on Ebola and Mental Health in Liberia

Angie Nyakoon and Amanda Gbarmo Ndorbor are two outspoken and energetic women who oversee the Mental Health Unit at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) in Liberia. Together, they’re applying a new open source app called mHero (that was first used to help them deal with the Ebola crisis) to the mental health issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the epidemic due to displacement and abandonment. For years, Liberia has been suffering from mental health problems so severe that they can lead to suicide, brought on from a long running civil war and now the Ebola epidemic. To allow health workers on the ground and at the frontline to care for patients, even in the most remote parts of Liberia, Angie and Amanda developed a SMS workflow that help them answer a series of questions about the prevalence of depression and other disorders. This information can also be used by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) to help alleviate the problems and find solutions.The background story of how Angie and Amanda were able to move so quickly and creatively to address this need is based on a repurposed technology called mHero. Before mHero, the ministry didn’t have access to this kind information because there was no existing health information systems to collect data on mental health indicators.Now, thanks to Angie and Amanda’s good work, they have a start. mHero provides a trusted channel that facilitates two-way communication using SMS and interactive voice response for sending and receiving critical information to and from frontline health workers, in real time.Smart thinking leads to mHeroDesperate times call for desperate measures


Screen-based sedentary behavior and associations with functional strength in 6–15 year-old…

Physical strength is associated with improved health outcomes in children.


The Rise of Consumer Health Wearables: Promises and Barriers

by Lukasz Piwek, David A. Ellis, Sally Andrews, Adam Joinson


A Randomized, Controlled Trial of a Shared Panel Management Program for Small Practices

Objectives To determine whether a shared panel management program was effective at improving quality of care for patients with uncontrolled chronic disease.


Institutions and Connectivity: Wasted Resources or Big Impact?

When I started my company, Rugged Communications, a few years ago, speaking with investors and institutions about the importance of connectivity felt like pulling teeth. There seemed to be a stubbornness to stick with traditional development methods, like digging wells and making latrines for rural people in developing countries. Since then, I have seen an unbelievable emergence of a number of serious institutions, like Facebook, CraigConnects Foundation, The UN Foundation, The GSMA, The Microsoft Foundation, and others, embracing and moving towards the connectivity and digital divide ecosystem. However, these organizations seem to feel uncertain about how to best engage in this sphere.


The Enduring Need for Cancer Treatment

Danielle Rodin is a Radiation Oncology Resident at the University of Toronto and co-founded the group GlobalRT, which is a group of young professionals dedicated to improving the availability and accessibility of radiation therapy resources for cancer patients in low-resource settings. Daniel Smith is a recent Medical Physics PhD graduate from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and heads the physics section of GlobalRT. They share their thoughts on expanding equitable treatment options globally, in time for World Cancer Day. Global health involves the provision for populations of what has been termed “health security”. When the World Health Organization was formed in 1948, this term referred to acute public health threats, such as those due to epidemics of infectious disease, or to military actions


Forecasting paediatric malaria admissions on the Kenya Coast using rainfall

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Background: Malaria is a vector-borne disease which, despite recent scaled-up efforts to achieve control in Africa, continues to pose a major threat to child survival.


Recommendations for Foreign Assistance in the Digital Age

In the past two decades alone, advances in mobile technology and digital connectivity have completely revolutionized how we interact with the world around us. They also provide unparalleled opportunities to deliver social impact and economic returns to millions of people in developing countries, while engaging new actors in the development process. How can digital tools and advances help developing countries break through to the next level of economic gains? According to Booz Allen Hamilton, the “digitization” of developing economies could yield as much as a $4.1 trillion increase in GDP among the most underserved 3.9 billion consumers. We’re already seeing promising signs of this digitization in Africa.


Weekly links February 29: migration as development, Heckman on the extreme failure of early…

A quora discussion with Susan Athey has the most thorough explanation I’ve seen of why so many tech companies are hiring economists, and the types of work they are doing in these companies. The IGC blog has a summary of recent work looking at the external validity of the Angrist and Evans instrument for family size (if your first two kids are the same gender, you are more likely to have a third) Cyrus Samii with a useful reminder on how inverse covariance weighting vs factor analysis works in aggregating several variables.


It’s not possible to innovate people out of poverty

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Central to some of the biggest projects in recent years that address poverty is the idea that innovation is the single most important element to bringing change. The Gates Foundation put money behind new condom designs, systems that re-use waste water for drinking and no-water toilets. Companies like Facebook, which wants bring the Internet to


Can the Internet end poverty? Share your thoughts

When was the last time you unfolded a map on your last road trip? Or went to the post office to mail a letter? With a few swipes of your thumbs, you can pay bills, buy and sell stuff, hold conference calls, and talk to your friends and family. Whatever you need, and everything you may not know you need, there’s an app for that. If you’re plugged in, the world is, literally, at your fingertips


The Rise of Mobile Money Services in Somaliland

In 2009, Somaliland’s biggest mobile network operator, Telesom, launched their mobile payment service “ZAAD”, and today more than 10% of the 3.8 million inhabitants are subscribed to the service. As with normal mobile money systems, you can transfer, receive, and deposit money with ZAAD. The mobile money service is used for different purposes such as paying for your groceries, dinner at the restaurant, or your electricity. Other money payment transactions include livestock trade, merchant payments, and bill and salary payments. Recently on a trip to Somaliland I took through the streets Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, my Somali colleague and I wanted to purchase some traditional Somali fabric.


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