Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Monday, August 3, 2009

From Hardware to Collaborative Philosophy "Whatever it takes"

Sphere: Related Content

Social Entrepreneurship blogger Nathaniel Whittemore's had a post which has been sitting in my draft box for some time. It was on a comparison of Scale vs. Diffusion. His focus was about how to "scale" social sector innovation, and whether "diffusion" might be a more useful idea.

He followed up with another post on Understanding Scale. There is a great deal of interesting insights in the comments sections of both posts. This brings this blogging effort full circle returning to concept of "Creative Destruction" in my first blog which lead me along the path to where I find myself today. Also touches upon "Disruptive Innovation" from earlier in this blog. The concept of in-bound marketing is now taking root in empowering people.

The response to the post demonstrated a nerve was hit and that many social entrepreneurs are thinking hard about how to reevaluate the notion of "scale." It has taken me some time to get my head around it and I will be coming back to these concepts. In very simplistic terms, scaling is bricks and diffusion is water. Use both and you can turn grain into bread. Here is a quick bullet list, more at the original posts.

  • Comment Theme #1 - Finally, "Scale" Isn't Sacrosanct:
  • Comment Theme #2 - Affirmation of Local Context: Diffusion necessarily gives local context a stronger hand in adapting an innovation to meet a particular and discreet set of needs.
  • Comment Theme #3 - Mind Shift, Not Resource Increase: Foundations still had a potentially vital role fostering the ecosystems in which innovation could diffuse across networks, and that a mindset shift was more important than any sort of resource increase.
  • Comment Theme #4 - Institutional Scale Still Matters: A final point was that the "diffusion" mindset doesn't entirely supplant our notion of scale as much as supplements it.
What I also found interesting was the examples provided. They demonstrate a pathway from hardware technology create to solve a specific problem to organizational adoption to collaborative strategies. Paul Farmer's work has been featured in this blog and earlier in my first blog.
  • FrontlineSMS is free open source software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a central communications hub.

    • A lack of communication can be a major barrier for grassroots non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in developing countries. FrontlineSMS is the first text messaging system created exclusively with this problem in mind.

      FrontlineSMS leverages computers and mobile phones already available to most NGOs enabling instantaneous two-way communication on a large scale.

  • The FrontlineSMS in action

    • From the start of our projects to the finish, it’s people who determine what FrontlineSMS:Medic does, when we do it, and why. The tech tools we use exist to serve patients, community health workers, and healthcare professionals – not the other way around.

      We strongly believe that projects should start when clinics ‘pull’ them to a site, as opposed to having projects ‘pushed’ onto healthcare providers..

  • Implementing the Millennium Development Goals health objectives in the developing world will require new technologies arising from disruptive innovation. Finding new uses for technologies we take for granted.

    • How powerful is a light-weight tool in the right hands? During a six month pilot in Malawi, our partner doubled the number of people being treated for Tuberculosis.
    • Driven by local ownership and appropriate technology.

      In the developing world, lack of infrastructure prevents health workers from delivering efficient healthcare to rural areas. As health workers travel from clinics to reach isolated patients, they are often as disconnected from central clinics as the patients they are trying to serve. The mission of FrontlineSMS:Medic is to advance healthcare networks in the developing world by building and distributing innovative, appropriate mobile technologies.

  • The PIH model of care – partnering with poor communities to combat disease and poverty

    For the first time, substantial funding is available to treat infectious diseases in impoverished settings. Funding alone, though, won’t be enough. For this massive investment to make a real impact on the twin epidemics of poverty and disease, a comprehensive and community-based approach is key.

    • The PIH Vision: Whatever it takes
    • At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone.
    • Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.
Diigo tags: frontlinesms, mobile, global health vision, mdgs, jopsa, sms, activism, development,

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms