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:

    • Is Ghana’s community health worker model leading the way toward universal health programs for other countries? – The New York Times 
    • Six useful ideas for nonprofits that want to build their capacity to innovate. – Stanford Social Innovation Review
    • How are drones playing a role in agriculture? – ICTworks
    • This year’s International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science focused on funding, specifically how U.S. cuts could undermine global progress.Devex
    • In the Indian healthcare system, the private sector has stepped in where government funding has been lacking. Is it enough? – Scroll.in

 


SENDING HEALTH TO RURAL GHANA VIA TRAVELING MEDICS

In Ghana, 45 percent of the population lives in rural communities, without reliable access to healthcare services. In order to bridge this healthcare gap, the government in Ghana initiated a program to train thousands of community health workers (CHWs) to provide care in remote communities. The CHWs are trained on how to provide preventative care and how to respond during emergency situations. Ghana’s CHW model is unique because of its rapid scale approach. In addition, the government in Ghana has also started to pay CHWs for their work. Many researchers believe this program could serve as a global model for universal health programs.

The participants’ first task was to conduct a thorough survey of their communities. Each CHW was assigned roughly 100 households, and spent weeks going door to door asking about peoples’ health and noting those with potential needs like diabetes or women experiencing complicated pregnancies. They continue to make those rounds and follow up with people who require extra attention. And they will gradually take on more responsibilities, like coordinating vaccination campaigns.”

Read more on nytimes.com


IS YOUR NONPROFIT BUILT FOR SUSTAINED INNOVATION?

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Bridgespan Group and the Rockefeller Foundation recently surveyed 145 nonprofit leaders to assess their capacity to innovate. The study defined capacity for innovation as, “a break from practice, large or small, that leads to significant positive social impact.” While 80 percent of the nonprofits surveyed aspired to innovate, only 40 percent were structured in a way that allowed them to take on innovative practices. How can organizations build their capacity to innovate? This article highlights six ways.

Organizations that excel at continuously generating innovations over time can look very different from each other. They can work in dissimilar fields or deliver poles-apart services; their assets and capabilities may vary widely. But through our research, we have identified six elements common to nonprofits with a high capacity to innovate…”

Read more on ssir.org


THE STATE OF DRONES FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

Drones for Agriculture

This year’s ICTforAg conference brought together 300 experts in the agriculture and technology field from the international development community and the private sector. During the breakout session, “The State of Drones for Agricultural Development,” four experts addressed the benefits and challenges of using drones in agriculture. For a summary of the session and findings, read this article.

A future of agricultural drones and shrinking yield gaps in agricultural fields around the world is on the horizon. Now we need to ensure the services are accessible and demand-driven from the needs of smallholder and low resourced farmers.”

Read more on ictworks.org

One of the presenters of this breakout session was Kathryn Clifton from Catholic Relief Services (CRS). In one of our past ICT4D News Roundups we included an article that brought to light 11 ways CRS is using drones in agriculture projects. More information here.

 


HIV ADVOCATES FEAR US CUTS AND ‘GAG RULE’ COULD UNDERMINE GLOBAL PROGRESS

US Dollars

UNAIDS is working to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Unfortunately, this goal is becoming more difficult to achieve due to decreased funding for HIV programs over the past year. At the recent International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science, one specific concern was around the United States’ expansion of the “global gag rule,” which will affect many HIV programs.

As officials wait to see what happens with U.S. funding, they issued urgent calls for other donors to scale up their contributions amid a recognition that there are not many more efficiencies that can be wrung from the response.”

Read more on devex.com


PRIVATE SECTOR’S PROFITS IN HEALTHCARE SOAR AS INDIAN GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT STAGNATES

While government spending on healthcare in India has stagnated, many people in India are turning to private healthcare services. This shift from public to private healthcare has some experts worried and questioning whether healthcare in India is too profit driven today. This article provides an in-depth analysis of healthcare in India over the past seven years, how it has changed, and how it compares to other emerging economies’ healthcare systems.

As the public sector has failed to fill the gap in terms of investment as well as access to affordable and quality healthcare, the private sector has stepped in and brought with it big money, funding large hospitals and chains of diagnostic centres, but with a sharp focus on profitability. This is also why most private investments in the healthcare sector are driven towards big cities where people have a higher spending ability rather than in smaller cities and rural areas where facilities are lacking.”

Read more on scroll.in


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