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Polio, MDGs, UHC, and more: WHO Bulletin July 2014

In this month’s bulletin: • Why polio is a public health emergency of international concern• Factors that predict success in meeting MDG 4 and 5• Read More

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Newborn Health on the Line:  The Potential #mHealth Applications

New Article in JAMA by Smisha Agarwal, MPH, MBA, BDS and Alain Labrique, PhD, MHS, MS. JAMA Network | JAMA | Newborn Health on the Line:  The Potential mHealth Applications.

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Deadly cholera outbreak strikes South Sudan

May 20, 2014 A cholera outbreak in capital of South Sudan where five months of civil war has left thousands homeless and disrupted food supplies and health services, has left at least nine people dead. From Reuters: WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Monday nine people were believed to have died of cholera, which can kill in days if not treated. An estimated 138 had been registered so far in and around Juba. A WHO spokeswoman in Juba told Reuters by phone: “The outbreak has just started and it’s spreading…Although they are not confirmed, we’ve got reports that other people in other areas are equally affected, so it is certainly spreading.” UNICEF has supplied tents, hygiene equipment, clean water and oral rehydration solutions for a treatment centre.

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Accessibility and Accountability: Social Impact Lab’s Governance Project Plans

From Colombia to Ghana to Canada, communicating with members of parliament, tracking city council spending, and advocating for environmental oversight of extractive industries are among a wide range of governance activities that have become possible for anyone with access to an internet connection, a computer, or a smartphone. That’s a lot of people, but not nearly enough. At SIMLab, our work with mobile technologies, specifically FrontlineSMS and FrontlineCloud, has taught us a lot: civic technologies are rapidly transforming the way governments interact with and (sometimes) respond to citizens; digital platforms have limited capacity to reach and include various populations in these activities and; governance is about ongoing interactions between people and institutions, whether those institutions are elected governments or not.


Field of dreams

Two years ago this summer, long-time friend Erik Hersman and I took a stroll through this grass meadow in St. Ives, a small market town in Cambridgeshire where I work from a small office above a supermarket. Erik was on holiday, but that didn’t stop us taking a long walk discussing life, family and work. Erik had a few ideas on the boil, and I was entering a new phase after stepping back from day-to-day operations at FrontlineSMS a couple of months earlier. I walk a lot, and often use the time to think, strategise and develop my ideas


Reflections on two days in a ‘media silo’

I’m sitting in the old German parliament building listening to a plenary discussion on activism. It’s my second day at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, and I’m in Bonn to help mentor Ashoka Fellows as part of their Globalizer programme, to speak on an Ashoka panel on social entrepreneurship, and to take part in a Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications discussion on how mobile technology is changing society. It’s been a busy three days, and I’ve had to regularly remind myself that I’m at a media-focused event. We’ve had discussions on the future of journalism, new business models for the media, big media vs. social media, how to communicate in disasters, community building, social entrepreneurship, the Arab Spring, mobile connectivity, technology in Africa, democracy building, governance, digital security and privacy, surveillance, big data and how to engage youth in development.


Polio, MDGs, UHC, and more: WHO Bulletin July 2014

WHO

In this month’s bulletin: • Why polio is a public health emergency of international concern• Factors that predict success in meeting MDG 4 and 5• Read More


Newborn Health on the Line:  The Potential #mHealth Applications

no image

New Article in JAMA by Smisha Agarwal, MPH, MBA, BDS and Alain Labrique, PhD, MHS, MS. JAMA Network | JAMA | Newborn Health on the Line:  The Potential mHealth Applications.


Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow has arrived, but not for everyone. A digital divide persists, even in seemingly connected countries like the United States, where some twenty percent of the population, or sixty million people, don’t have Internet access at home. Those on the wrong side of the divide—the poor, the elderly, the geographically dispersed— are already marginalized, and tend to have a more critical need for specialized legal services, whether to resolve a conflict, acquire a land title, seek asylum, or escape an abusive situation


DataAid: managing information streams in the Philippines disaster response with FrontlineCloud

A huge thank you to Amos Doornbos for writing this guest post about his experience using FrontlineCloud as a co-manager of World Vision’s Speed Evidence Project. What’s the problem with data in disasters? Over the past couple years, I’ve had the privilege of co-managing World Vision’s Speed Evidence Project, which seeks to improve information management in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.  After most disasters, reliable field data is significant challenge – what we can find is normally incomplete and/or inaccurate.  This lack of rigorous data prevents us from understanding and anticipating the rapidly changing needs of the people affected or predicting the required scale of a response.


Tribute to a friend

It’s quite fitting, really, that I find myself sitting in the most unlikely place – the foyer of a five star hotel in Saudi Arabia – randomly reading a tribute to a man who was instrumental in helping get me where I am today. You won’t find anything online about Frederick Richard Vivian Howard Cooper, not even news of his passing late last year. Freddie was an intensely private man. His phone number was ex-directory, and he never gave anyone his contact details. For the vast majority of the time I knew him it was his social club down the road from the housing estate where I grew up in Jersey that gave me the point of contact I needed.


Enabling a future generation of writers

This post was written by Rebecca Leege from World Vision. When children are acquiring reading skills, good teaching is critical. But just as critical is the opportunity to practice reading. Practice allows children to apply skills learned in class and to expand their vocabulary and content knowledge through reading. Unfortunately, children’s reading materials are rare in developing countries


Building Sustainability: Lessons from Swazi Cotton

Editor’s note: Many thanks to Georgia Barrie and GSMA for letting us cross-post this wonderful blog post! It’s fantastic to hear about a case study that focussed so hard on the sustainability and business model of the intervention itself. Bravo TechnoServe


Deadly cholera outbreak strikes South Sudan

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May 20, 2014 A cholera outbreak in capital of South Sudan where five months of civil war has left thousands homeless and disrupted food supplies and health services, has left at least nine people dead. From Reuters: WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Monday nine people were believed to have died of cholera, which can kill in days if not treated. An estimated 138 had been registered so far in and around Juba. A WHO spokeswoman in Juba told Reuters by phone: “The outbreak has just started and it’s spreading…Although they are not confirmed, we’ve got reports that other people in other areas are equally affected, so it is certainly spreading.” UNICEF has supplied tents, hygiene equipment, clean water and oral rehydration solutions for a treatment centre.


Introducing FrontlineSync!

Starting today, we’re making it even easier to engage, everywhere. We’d like to introduce you to FrontlineSync, our first, free Android app, available now on the Google Play Store. FrontlineSync turns any Android phone into a gateway – meaning that users can now use local phone numbers to send, receive, and manage SMS, and – for the first time – missed calls using FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS.


IHP news 271: Missing girls, MERS and Modi

Dear Colleagues,   While I’m putting together this newsletter, most of my department colleagues are enjoying a creative art workshop (annex teambuilding exercise) in Middelheim Park, Antwerp. The weather is great, so I hope they have a lovely time. Yesterday, on the first day of the annual departmental days, we did some strategic brainstorming, as we tend to do at gatherings like this. In a sign of the times, ‘wellbeing at the department’ was a discussion item, for the first time. Have we reached a tipping point?


Innovation out of necessity is alive and well

(This article first appeared on the Virgin website as part of their special feature on innovation and disruption. The original post can be read here). While much of the West debates the pros, cons, merits and current state of technological innovation, innovators in the developing world just get on with it. And they’ve never been so busy. Innovation out of necessity is alive and well, and on the rise, according to Ashoka Fellow, Ken Banks


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