The World Economic Forum on Africa opened today in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. With young and rapidly growing populations, many countries in Africa face important challenges and opportunities in the years ahead. World population exceeded 7 billion in 2011, is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and much of that growth is expected to occur on the African Continent. In response, the World Economic Forum created the Global Agenda Council on Population Growth. PSI President and CEO Karl Hofmann is a member of the Council, which recently released two case studies, on Nigeria and Rwanda, with recommendations to respond to population growth trends in the coming years.
Q&A with Duncan Blair, Director of Public Health Initiatives, Alere, Inc.
Impact: How do you define innovation? What do you think are some of the most important factors driving innovation in global health?
DB: Innovation is not only about delivering something new but also about delivering something which provides positive outcomes. What you need for innovation really is creative and engaged people — it’s all about people being willing to challenge the status quo. If everybody always thinks the same things, talks the same language and simply tows the party line then that’s not an environment very conducive to innovation. So what you need is people and an environment that fosters and encourages group members to take risks, whether this is an R&D team, a marketing team, a program implementation team, or a policy development team. Without people who are willing to state their opinion and argue their position then you have no innovation.
Gib Bulloch, founder and global managing director of Accenture Development Partnerships, talks best buys in global health with Cate O’kane, PSI’s deputy director of Corporate Partnerships and Philanthropy. Community health workers and mhealth are at the top of his list.
The latest edition of Impact magazine seeks to uncover global health’s best investments, identify global health trends, and discuss barriers and solutions to scaling up promising interventions. Read the interview below from the issue, find the rest of the articles from the magazine here, and continue the conversation on Twitter using#BestBuys4GH.
Impact: GiveWell is known for using the very clear and direct framework of ‘proven/cost-effective/scalable’ when evaluating charities for public health. With your initiative, GiveWell Labs, you’re moving into new territory with the evaluation of areas outside public health and less straightforward frameworks. What was the impetus for this change and what challenges are you experiencing?
GiveWell: When GiveWell started, its co-founders had no experience in the non-profit sector, so they decided to focus on programs whose impact is easiest to measure: interventions with strong formal evidence of effectiveness from high-quality studies, such as randomized controlled trials. Now that we’ve been using this approach for a long time, we’re eager to learn about opportunities that might have great impact even if they are harder to measure, which is what GiveWell Labs is designed to do.
UNICEF and PSI have teamed up to develop a community of practice focused on using micronutrient powders at home.
Access to contraception is something we often take for granted in the United States. But 222 million women in the developing world – who have an unmet need for contraception – still can’t get it. How can contraception radically change their worlds?
Through providing increased access to safe water treatment products and promoting hand-washing with soap at critical times, the partnership between Procter & Gamble, USAID, and PSI seeks to prevent diarrhea among approximately 70,000 children under five in Myanmar, thereby reducing the number of preventable deaths. Diarrhea is the second major cause of death among children under five, following pneumonia, which can also be reduced significantly by improving hand-washing practices.
A team of researchers mapped over 9,800 tweets with sexual and drug-related themes and found that their locations were a good predictor for established statistics on HIV-prevalence. “Because of the growing amount of social media data, researchers and public health departments will soon be able to build upon these methods to more accurately monitor and detect health behaviors and disease outbreaks.”
Administrator Raj Shah this week helped deliver the first liter of clean drinking water under a Global Development Alliance (GDA) between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to improve health in Myanmar.
Over the next two years, USAID and P&G will make joint investments of at least $2 million on health projects aimed at providing clean drinking water through provision of P&G Purifier of Water packets, promoting better hygiene behaviors;,and building capability to deliver improved health services to mothers and children. These projects will be implemented on the ground by PSI.
The Kisakye Clinic is part of the ProFam network, which is a social franchise network supported by PACE Uganda, an NGO affiliated with PSI, the large international NGO. PSI is building many networks like ProFam to improve the quality of care provided in the private sector.