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Information Systems: the Secret to Solving Uganda’s Health Problems

It’s interesting how so many ideas have been documented and visualized about improving the health sector in Uganda, while ignoring the fact that an improved health sector starts with health providers being able to work more efficiently and effectively. This involves proper documentation of patient records, proper data storage, and proper feedback mechanisms in order to create a smooth information flow. Most of the current processes are often manual and more laborious than they need to be. This causes greater inefficiencies, longer turn-around time, loss of revenue due to inaccurate compilations, inability to archive data for future use, and poor allocation of resources. Well developed health information systems that are based on the idea of sharing critical information can assist areas of operation in the health sector

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7 Aspirations for Better ICT4D in 2015

Technology Salon NYC had another banner year of great discussions. To cap it off and start the 2015 series of events, we had a unique Salon. We shared our hopes and fears for 2015, with three amazing lead discussants to guide the conversation: Felicity Ruby, long-time activist and currently ThoughtWorks’ Director of Global Internet Policy; Abi Weaver, Director of the Global Technology Program at the American Red Cross; and Laura Walker Hudson, CEO of Social Impact Lab (SIMLab). Below I’ve organized the Tech Salon discussion into 7 aspirations for our sector in 2015. Keep an eye on these themes, and if you have ideas that weren’t mentioned at the Salon, go ahead and add them to the comments section!

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Why Bill and Melinda’s Annual Letter is both exciting and disappointing

Judging by his latest annual letter, if you could bottle and sell Bill Gates’ optimism, you’d probably make even more money than he has from software. In what they call a ‘big bet’ (actually, more like a prediction), the letter sets out Bill and Melinda’s personal version of some post-MDG goals for …

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Gates Foundation reviews funding focus after criticism

The foundation aims to look less at technology and more at delivery to target polio and other diseases.


Blog Post Outlines 10 Top Global Health Issues For 2015

Humanosphere: 10 Global health issues to watch in 2015 In a guest post, Margarite Nathe, senior writer for IntraHealth International, outlines 10 top global health issues for 2015, including mental health, cancer, HIV/AIDS, family planning, mobile technology, global health security and surveillance, war and civil unrest, Ebola, the post-2015 development agenda, and people-centered health systems…More


How To Beautifully Visualize M&E Results in Microsoft Excel

Excel gets a bad rap for data visualization. I get it. I can barely stand to look at these ugly charts. Can you imagine sending a client something like this? To be honest, I can barely see the patterns that are supposed to be highlighted in these charts


Information Systems: the Secret to Solving Uganda’s Health Problems

uganda flag wiki

It’s interesting how so many ideas have been documented and visualized about improving the health sector in Uganda, while ignoring the fact that an improved health sector starts with health providers being able to work more efficiently and effectively. This involves proper documentation of patient records, proper data storage, and proper feedback mechanisms in order to create a smooth information flow. Most of the current processes are often manual and more laborious than they need to be. This causes greater inefficiencies, longer turn-around time, loss of revenue due to inaccurate compilations, inability to archive data for future use, and poor allocation of resources. Well developed health information systems that are based on the idea of sharing critical information can assist areas of operation in the health sector


Why Bill and Melinda’s Annual Letter is both exciting and disappointing

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Judging by his latest annual letter, if you could bottle and sell Bill Gates’ optimism, you’d probably make even more money than he has from software. In what they call a ‘big bet’ (actually, more like a prediction), the letter sets out Bill and Melinda’s personal version of some post-MDG goals for …


7 Aspirations for Better ICT4D in 2015

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Technology Salon NYC had another banner year of great discussions. To cap it off and start the 2015 series of events, we had a unique Salon. We shared our hopes and fears for 2015, with three amazing lead discussants to guide the conversation: Felicity Ruby, long-time activist and currently ThoughtWorks’ Director of Global Internet Policy; Abi Weaver, Director of the Global Technology Program at the American Red Cross; and Laura Walker Hudson, CEO of Social Impact Lab (SIMLab). Below I’ve organized the Tech Salon discussion into 7 aspirations for our sector in 2015. Keep an eye on these themes, and if you have ideas that weren’t mentioned at the Salon, go ahead and add them to the comments section!


Technology, Innovation In Health, Education, Agriculture Will Help Further Reduce Inequality…

News outlets highlight the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter, released on Wednesday, as well as comments made by Bill and Melinda Gates in a related interview. Agence France-Presse: World’s poor headed for better lives in 2030: Gates “The lives of the poor will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any…More


Book Review

The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator Ken Banks (ed), London Publishing Partnership, 2013, 232 pages Review by the Society of Business Economists “Any book with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and comments from the World Economic Forum, the BBC and National Geographic is surely one to take notice of, and this book still exceeded my expectations in so many ways. If the book has a purpose, it is probably to inspire us to innovate using existing technology for those who cannot help themselves. As an economist in the field of innovation and creativity I was ready to uncover the principles involved. What I didn’t expect was the emotional roller coaster that made me stop and wonder why I was so close to tears. Human stories of injustice and income inequality are so much more powerful than statistics.


Principles and Charters: A recipe for harmony in ICT4D?

There’s a phenomenon in the science world known as ‘multiple independent discovery‘. It’s where “similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other” and the Theory of Evolution, the jet engine and the television can be counted among its ranks. Not that any of my work comes close to any of these, it was no surprise when I recently announced my Donors Charter to learn that friends on the other side of the Atlantic were working on something very similar. Or at least that appeared very similar. The Donors Charter was borne out of a specific frustration that donors often appeared to be funding ICT4D projects they shouldn’t.


Why Good Geo-Mapping is Worth a Thousand Words

There’s no denying the importance of having the right information and data when it comes to planning, informing, analyzing, and monitoring and evaluating. How that information is displayed can have a surprising influence on the ease of understanding and interpreting the data. At the M&E Tech Conference I had the opportunity to talk about the strengths of using maps as a data visualization tool and shared some of the things we at Development Gateway and AidData have learned when integrating mapping into Aid Management Platforms around the world. The images below show two different ways to display funding information about projects taking place throughout Timor-Leste: a tabular report and a line graph. While they show the same information, they each have their own limitations: the report makes you dig for information, while the graph can’t show country context or other data layers


Health workers’ experiences, barriers, preferences and motivating factors in using mHealth…

Background: Mobile health (mHealth) applications, such as innovative electronic forms on smartphones, could potentially improve the performance of health care workers and health systems in developing countries.


What explains regulatory failure? Analysing the architecture of health care regulation in two…

Regulating health care is a pre-eminent policy challenge in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), particularly those with a strong private health sector.


GHIT Fund Helping Pharmaceutical Companies To Develop NTD Treatments

Japan Times: Japanese drugmakers addressing neglected tropical diseases, and not just out of altruism “…A total of one billion people are currently infected with NTDs, a major obstacle to development in poorer countries. To address the problem, the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, a Japan-initiated organization, assists in the development of new drugs. ……More


Indian Government To Use Mobile Technology To Track Rural Toilet Use

Reuters: India to track toilet use with tablets “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is launching a nationwide online program to check whether people are using toilets as part of his cleanliness drive. [Beginning in January], officials will head out with mobile phones, tablets, and iPads to report on whether toilets are being used in rural…More


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