Welcome to our weekly #ICT4D News Roundup! We are passionate about the intersection of technology and social good. Each week, we look for the best articles that focus on the ICT4D industry, the issues that impact the sectors we work across, and interesting content for social enterprises.
Highlighted articles this week:
- Big news in the fight against malaria! The world’s first vaccine against malaria will be introduced in three countries in 2018. – BBC
- [Video vignettes] See how Community Health Workers are fighting malaria in Zambia. – USAID
- [New Study] What types of interventions enable women and girls to use digital ICTs in ways that increase their voice and their influence? – ICTworks
MALARIA: KENYA, GHANA AND MALAWI GET FIRST VACCINE
On Wednesday, we recognized the continued fight against one of the deadliest diseases in human history — malaria. The theme of this year’s World Malaria Day was “let’s close the gap.” The World Health Organization, along with Gavi, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Unitaid, and GSK, made headlines this week by announcing the development of a new malaria vaccine that will be rolled out to Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi in 2018. This could be a huge step toward closing the gap in coverage of lifesaving malaria prevention tools. Although there are high hopes, the vaccine is only proven to prevent four in 10 cases of malaria. Those numbers drop significantly if all four doses of the vaccine are not given within a specific timeframe. Will these restraints hinder the vaccine’s effectiveness outside of a clinical setting?
This has been achieved in tightly controlled and well-funded clinical trials, but it is not yet clear if it can be done in the ‘real-world’ where access to health care is limited.”
LIFTING THE BURDEN OF MALARIA
Community Health Workers in Zambia have seen significant improvements in the fight against malaria over the past few years. This article features videos that capture stories of health workers providing care in areas that are most affected by malaria.
The Government of Zambia and the U.S. Government — through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) — has worked in districts, villages and remote communities to achieve historic reductions in malaria deaths and illness. The program has armed people with the tools to protect themselves from malaria and provided them with fast-acting medicines to cure malaria if they do become infected.”
8 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUPPORTING WOMEN AND GIRLS’ POWER, VOICE AND INFLUENCE THROUGH DIGITAL ICTs
“Do digital information and communications technologies increase the voice and influence of women and girls?” A new study dug into this question and came up with eight recommendations on how to design an ICT solution with women in mind.
The digital divide also means digital ICTs may increase the power of some women while reducing the power of others. For programming to be better informed by learning on the conditions under which (different groups of) women and girls are able to use digital ICTs to increase their power, voice and influence, there is a need for more research grounded in established social and political theory, including development and gender studies.”
If you are interested in how ICTs can help women’s organizations scale their impact, check out this interview from Womanity’s “ICTforWomanity” series.
FROM SCALING IMPACT TO IMPACT AT SCALE
The Bridgespan Group and Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative recently held their 2017 Transformative Impact Summit. The Summit brought together nonprofit, NGO, and foundations leaders from around the world to discuss “impact at scale.” Much like the ICTworks article (above), this summit focused on “impact gaps” that arise when “addressing only a small fraction of the need.” You can listen to the original talks on Bridgespan.org, and over the next few weeks you can read a series of articles to be published on how the leaders from this summit approach impact at scale.
The article and an accompanying series featured a set of pioneering leaders in the United States and Global South who had come to recognize this enormous ‘impact gap’ and were experimenting with a variety of strategies to address it.”
WILL VERTICAL FARMING CONTINUE TO GROW, OR HAS IT HIT THE GREENHOUSE CEILING?
In theory, indoor farms could allow us to grow food 24-hours a day, protect crops from unpredictable weather, and even eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. If these farms were built in cities, we could potentially mitigate crop loss due to shipping and storage, and cut down on fossil fuel usage because food wouldn’t need to be transported very far after harvest.”
Also, in agriculture news: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations developed a new database, WaPOR, that uses satellites to record and understand water usage patterns in countries that are closest to facing shortages. Read more here.
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