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

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Getting back to a positive path to the Millennium Development Goals

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My last few posts, both here and at My Pathways to New Paradigms, have leaned toward the negative. That is not what brought me to this point. My journey using the tools of Web 2.0 has shown me that change is possible not only through learning of new means of connecting and collaborating, but also new technologies and new methods of managing programs to bring about change.

One of the main sources of inspiration has been TED. One of the most interesting speakers has been Hans Rosling whose GapMinder is featured under the Understanding through Numbers section of this blog. Here is his latest TED Talk (and the 500th TEDTalk at that) Hans Rosling: Let my dataset change your mindset.

Talking at the US State Department this summer, Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.

TED also features GlobalTED, which this year was held at Oxford, England. Below are some additional talks that fit with the themes that I have contemplated during the time of my blogging.

  • How can the Internet be used to enhance communication and collaboration?
  • What new ways of thinking can be applied to the problems in the world?
  • What new technologies can be developed to help those living on $1 a day create new opportunities for themselves rather than hand-outs from outsiders?

I also chose them because they refer directly or indirectly to the Millennium Development Goals.

Surprise speaker Gordon Brown waxing eloquent on the transformation of global politics, in the age of Twitter. (Despite Brown's job title as Great Britain's Prime Minister, this is no stump speech).
I believe there is a moral sense and a global ethic that commands attention from people of every religion and every faith, and people of no faith. But I think what's new is that we now have the capacity to communicate instantaneously across frontiers right across the world. We now have the capacity to find common ground with people we will never meet but who we will meet through the Internet and through all the modern means of communication, that we now have the capacity to organize and take collective action together to deal with the problem or an injustice that we want to deal with, and I believe that this makes this a unique age in human history, and it is the start of what I would call the creation of a truly global society.
Economist Paul Romer unveiling his bold plan for helping failed states by creating "charter cities," special zones governed by partner nations.
But there is another class of ideas. The rules that govern how we interact with each other. Rules like let's have a tax system that supports a research university that gives away certain kinds of knowledge for free. Let's have a system where we have ownership of land that is registered in a government office, that people can pledge as collateral. If we can keep innovating on our space of rules, and particularly innovate in the sense of coming up with rules for changing rules, so we don't get stuck with bad rules, then we can keep moving progress forward and truly make the world a better place, so that people like Nelson and his friends don't have to study any longer under the streetlights. Thank you.
A remarkable water filter from inventor Michael Pritchard that turns revoltingly filthy sludge into clear drinking water in seconds (our own Chris Anderson braves a sip to prove it).
I talked a lot in the past about statistics, and the provision of safe drinking water for all. But they just don't seem to get through. And I think I've worked out why. It's because, using current thinking, the scale of the problem just seems too huge to contemplate solving. So we just switch off. Us, governments, and aid agencies. Well, today, I'd like to show you that through thinking differently, the problem has been solved. By the way, since I've been speaking, another 13,000 people around the world are suffering now with diarrhea. And four children have just died.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Senator Barbara Boxer Speaks Up for the Millennium Development Goals

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I wanted to do a positive "things can and are getting better" article and have decided to post the email that I received from Senator Barbara Boxer. The letter is in its original form with some links added. Following the links does dampen the positive spin of the email somewhat, but it is good to know that my representatives have their heart in the right place. There are still plenty of negative and hard-road-to-travel posts waiting in my drafts, but for now at least we have an administration that is headed in the right direction.

Dear Mr. Dowling:

Thank you for contacting me to share your views regarding America's commitment to providing international humanitarian assistance.

Like you, I believe that the United States must take a leading role in alleviating poverty and creating initiatives to help improve living conditions for the less-fortunate throughout the world. Our financial commitment to fighting global poverty and disease not only demonstrates our dedication to easing human suffering but also shares our humanitarian values with the world.

I am pleased to report that the Senate has voted to fully fund President Obama's request for the Fiscal Year 2010 International Affairs Budget. S.Con.Res.13 includes $51.7 billion in funding, a significant and necessary increase over FY2009 funding levels. Please know that I will work to maintain this level of funding as the appropriations process continues.

In addition, I strongly support the Obama Administration's goal of doubling foreign assistance by 2012. To that end, I am very pleased with the Administration's request to double funding for agricultural development programs in developing countries, making these programs more efficient and alleviating food shortages around the world. This effort closely mirrors the Global Food Security Act (S.384), which I also support.

Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of humanitarian assistance to people in need around the world. That is why I strongly support international efforts to fight HIV/AIDS and advance the Millennium Development Goals - a series of objectives endorsed by all 191 member states of the United Nations that range from halving extreme poverty to providing universal primary education by 2015. I also strongly support efforts to fully fund The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a critical component of the United States fight against global poverty and disease.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please know that I will continue to support humanitarian and financial assistance to people in need around the world.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two requests - One to help one woman, the other to help millions, both help us all

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The primary focus of this blog are the Millennium Development Goals and actions that are being taken to see them realized. Those actions include those both direct and indirect as well as those both online and 0n-the-ground. As I often do with blog posts, I am taking multiple perspectives with this issue to help develop a more global understanding.

One particular action that is being promoted by this blog is the Stand Up and Take Action event on 16 through 18 October 2009. This year there is also a focus on women's issues.

This year, Stand Up will once again provide an energetic, high impact platform for people to raise the profile of MDG- related issues relevant to their region, country or community. However, this year Stand Up will begin on October 16th, World Food Day, and on this one day the focus on food security and on hunger will be greater. As always, the policy demands will be determined at the national and local levels by participants. But in recognition of the fact that many of the MDGs directly linked to the status of women are not doing well, campaigners are encouraged to give this year’s Stand Up a clear focus on holding governments accountable for improving the status of women and their rights.

Despite some of my own recent doubts about online activism expressed in this blog and My Pathways to New Paradigms, I am again blogging about online actions. This time by Amnesty International USA, one in support again of Aung San Suu Kyi and the other in support of the International Violence Against Women Act. The words below are summarized from the Amnesty emails. As is my usual practice, I have added a few more links. I have also added two badges to the top of the right hand column. The irony of having Amnesty provide the post cards in light of the recent articles on slacktivism is not lost on me.

Leaders across the globe have issued statements condemning the verdict in pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's sham trial. Tell them it's time to match words with action.

Time is running out. Vietnam will replace Thailand as chair of ASEAN at the end of next month. Critics have raised concerns that ASEAN's new human rights body will be toothless under Vietnam's leadership. We must ramp up our calls on Thailand to show leadership on human rights in Myanmar in order for it to make a difference in the remaining weeks of its chairmanship.

That's why we're calling on ASEAN to convene a meeting of the top brass in foreign affairs from all 10 member nations to come up with concrete measures to finally address the growing human rights crisis in Myanmar.

We're turning up the heat ourselves by calling on supporters to send 10,000 postcards – instead of emails – to the Thai government, which currently chairs ASEAN. (Don't worry – we'll send the postcard for you, so you don't have to buy postage, lick stamps or find a mailbox.)

Act now. Help us send 10,000 postcards to the Thai government by September 1st to urge them to call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and thousands of other political prisoners in Myanmar.

Thank you for standing with us –
Jim, Nancy, Anil, Ulana and the rest of the Myanmar rapid response team

The United States could be doing more to combat rape in conflict, high rates of domestic violence around the world, human trafficking, and other forms of violence against women. President Obama and Vice President Biden championed I-VAWA as Senators. So we know that their support is there. They have been working with Senators Kerry and Lugar, who have promised to lead I-VAWA through the Senate.

  • Young girls are being sold into unwanted marriages to pay their fathers' debts.
  • Their sisters are raped by rebel bands as a tool of war.
  • And their mothers are beaten by husbands in retribution for daring to seek basic education

But the comprehensive legislation that would make fighting violence against women a priority for US foreign policy and give the State Department Office for Global Women's Issues the force of law is still missing.

Help add 5,000 signatures to the petition urging President Obama and Vice President Biden to actively support the re-introduction and passage of I-VAWA this fall.

The Obama Administration has already taken historic measures this year to raise the issue of violence against women by:

But the bottom line is I-VAWA has still not been reintroduced.

Sign our petition and share it with someone who supports women's human rights.

In Solidarity,

Betsy Wright Hawkings
Deputy Executive Director, Research & Policy
Amnesty International USA

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Galapogos Effect - Scaling in Health Care

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This post fits in with both the concept of Scaling versus Diffusion and with Global Health Care, two issues which have been dealt with in the recent past. From Hardware to Collaborative Philosophy "Whatever it takes" dealt with scaling. This article from FastCompany by Robert Fabricant appeared in July. I find scaling versus diffusion an interesting topic and Global Health Care a good medium for exploration. Robert Fabricant takes a biological approach to global health care delivery using the Galapagos Island Effect because, "It has evolved its own ecosystem and business practices that reflect this isolation" to understand the issues from a pragmatic perspective as to how best deliver services. As usual far more information is available at the orginal article.

TB: The Galapagos Effect in Health Care
And it was very apparent at the Pacific Health Summit despite the presence of some of the most brilliant minds in public health (like Tony Fauci, Paul Farmer, and Laurie Garrett). Despite their best efforts, industry leaders continue to betray an outdated, manufacturing mindset, referring to everything that has impact in the field--that touches communities and provides real human value--as "delivery." This one-way model of engagement is truly shocking in an age dominated by communications technologies and connectivity. Health is not 'delivered' to people. It relies on active engagement and participation. It is a dialogue.
He goes on to deal with some myths that to my mind can be applied beyond the health care field which a bulleted below.
  • #1: Innovation Happens in the Lab
  • MDR-TB vividly demonstrates that solutions that work in the lab are not necessarily well-suited to the behavior and cultural conditions in the field. So why not build those conditions into the model from the beginning? As designers, we find those conditions to be inspiring.
  • 2: Innovation Only Flows in One Direction
  • The prevailing direction of health-care innovation is not just from lab to field but also from first to third world. The "business" of delivering global health services was a post that featured both Dr. Ernest Madu: Creative ways to bring health care to the poorest and #Dr. Seyi Oyesola: Rich hospital, poor hospital
  • #3: The Field is Messy
  • The article points out that it is humans that are messy. This challenges us, "to think more broadly about human needs and behavior. To step outside the narrow lens of a particular condition."
  • #4 Innovation must be Market-Driven
  • The myth is that impact cannot be scaled and maintained without a market mechanism. This goes back to the idea of scalability as defined by market know-how. But as pointed out in the article, "does it hold equally true to scaling up access, outreach and support? How innovative are the large multi-nationals in this area particularly in relation to the routine and chronic diseases of the poor?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Great Flu : The Video Game for Paul Farmer Wanna-bes.

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Back in March of this year I did a post on Looking for the next Pandemic, a game online, life and death offline. The post focused on an article in Global Health - Change.org: What Will Be the Next Global Pandemic? Let's Find Out. and an online game found by two of my nieces, Pandemic II. Though I had doubts as to the veracity of the game, what I thought that what would be even better is if somebody came up with a WHO versus Pandemic game where one could learn the challenges facing global health delivery. Well somebody did, the folks at the Erasmus MC of the Netherlands (site has limited English). They have made a game called The Great Flu. The Rachel Maddow show said that the World Health Organization did not have time to play the game to give its opinion on it. So I still cannot say anything about the scientific accuracy of the game, but I have to believe that it is, and at least it is a step in the right direction. More at Swine flu inspires new video game by By MARIA CHENG AP Medical Writer at Wtop.com.


Related Posts:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi Support gets thanks but not results

Sphere: Related Content I have written both on the seemingly vast potential of Web 2.0 to help us in our efforts in bettering the world and my own status as a slacktivist, recognizing that while this blog hopefully has some minimal impact it is certainly not at the level of resources and programs featured in this blog.

There is one cause, unfortunately, for which the promise of the web has not been realized and that slacktivist efforts and those far more in earnest have fallen short. That is the effort calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. It was through my first blog My Pathways to New Paradigms that I started learning more about Burma (now Myanmar under the current oppressive regime). This blog has also posted on the topic.

It continues to be an inspiring, but tragic story. It provided in part the inspiration to create this blog, and more importantly to see the world from a different perspective.

Avaaz asks help Free Aung San Suu Kyi

It is not the first time we have been called to help out, and I do not mean in anyway that we should not, but past actions have fallen short by a large margin. This even with the fact that the United Nations has condemned the actions of the government as illegal and activist organizations around the globe spoke up in protest. I understand the geo-political reasons for this, but that understanding is pointless here.

Avaaz was responsible for one such action. Back in March when I wrote the post they were at 143,838 participants supporting the Burmese. Now they are at 406,865. Their goal, because of the importance of the number 8 in Asian societies, is 888,888. Now I am not blaming Avaaz or anybody else or even myself. There doesn't seem to be any action that one could take to change this situation except keep pushing our leaders to push their leaders. Just realizing that there is no magic solution even on the Web.

Despite my current pessimism, I am providing this link so that more voices can be add to the call for freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi. http://bit.ly/16gzG9. This particular action is being put forward by Amnesty International USA.
Myanmar's military junta extended Nobel Peace laureate and pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's imprisonment by 18 months today after finding her guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest.

Critics of Myanmar's military regime condemned the outcome of the 3-month sham trial, calling it a pretext to keep Suu Kyi out of the running during next year's presidential elections.

The junta commuted Suu Kyi's sentence from three years hard labor in prison to an 18-month extension to her house arrest in the hopes that the international community will view the reduced sentence as an act of leniency.

But Suu Kyi should have never been imprisoned in the first place.

Suu Kyi's deplorable imprisonment has been denounced by everyone from heads of state worldwide to nine of Suu Kyi's fellow Nobel laureates. Join the court of world opinion in condemning Daw Ang San Suu Kyi's sham trial. Tell the leader of Myanmar's military junta that Suu Kyi shouldn't serve another minute of her sentence.

We know that the odds of success may seem stacked against us any time we appeal to authoritarian rulers. But the recent release of two U.S. journalists from North Korea is proof that even totalitarian regimes cave to relentless international pressure.

The fact that Myanmar's government reduced Suu Kyi's sentence is also a sign that the military regime is susceptible to the world community's criticisms.

We've proven time after time that even military dictatorships and other repressive regimes are no match for Amnesty's millions-strong global movement. Just last year, Ma Khin Khin Leh, another prisoner of conscience in Myanmar, obtained her release after Amnesty activists sent tens of thousands of letters to Myanmar's leaders on her behalf.

Join us today in calling for Daw Ang San Suu Kyi's immediate release. Go to: http://bit.ly/16gzG9

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Different Paths to Saving the Climate - All Up Hill

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I was the 5,767th person to sign (click) the petition "Press Senate on Climate Legislation". They are at the time that this post is ready at 5,881. So they are beyond their modest goal of 5,000 signatures and should probably raise it to 10,000. My added two cents was taken liberally, in true slacktivist fashion, in large part from Millennium Development Goal No. 7. Environmental Sustainability,

We need to recognize that environmental sustainability is part of global economic and social well-being of our entire planet. We must stop the exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water, and fisheries-often by the powerful. Reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet in our natural world rather than continuing to harm the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

Though in my defense, I still believe that these issues need to be made main stream, which means getting the slacktivists and Internet onlookers on board. It also means linking up the worldwide concerns of the Millennium Development Goals and locally focused programs and actions. So, please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/588190272

They say that it takes just 30 seconds, but that it can truly make a difference, which is no doubt true. However, there appears to be two parallel paths that this process is taking. One is by governmental bodies which does not seem to be doing that well, despite the Obama administration's repenting of past practices by the United States. Still as they say petitions only succeed by word of mouth, and every signature makes a difference! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/588190272

Two stories from Global Warming by GinaMarie Cheeseman help explain the difficulty of making the "do as we say, not as we do" argument by the First World Nations. The first is U.S. Ranked Seven of Eight on Climate Change.

The U.S. is ranked seven in the G8 Climate Scorecard, in a recently released study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and global insurance company Allianz SE.

So we are not leading by example. The second was G8 Summit Talks on Climate Change a Bust.

Developing nations refused to agree to a global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 50 percent by 2050. The the G5 (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa) and Egypt met with G8 countries during the summit in L’Aquila, Italy. G8 nations agreed to an 80 percent reduction by 2050, but did not have specific plans for reducing GHG emissions.

Here is the Los Angeles Times story by Christi Parsons and Jim Tankersley July 9 2009cited in the post.

Climate impasse at G-8 summit leaves nations mired Developing countries refuse to back targets set by the Group of 8, which balk at any swift moves of their own.
Reporting from Washington and L'Aquila, Italy — Developing nations led by China and India refused Wednesday to back lofty but long-term targets proposed by the Group of 8 industrial nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, balking at reluctance by leaders of the world's biggest economies to move more quickly on their own.

The other path is a more emergent path illuminated by Kosmos Journal Personal to Planetary Transformation and the work of Paul Hawken, who was cited in the post One of the Morally Urgent Questions of Our Moment.

  • Diigo tags: environmental, collaboration, innovation

    • Our World

      We are living in a time of whole system transition on a personal and planetary scale that affects every aspect of life as we know it. Patterns of possibility are emerging that have never before been available to all the earth’s people and to the whole planet. Two million organisations are working toward ecological sustainability and social justice, according to Paul Hawken. Millions of individuals are self-organising to make a better world in spite of the negative factors that threaten to destroy us. Technological innovations and collective wisdom have created unprecedented opportunities for change. The revolution in communication technologies and the Internet have made it possible to connect all people in the world for the first time in human history. The new science of consciousness is revolutionizing our attitudes and worldviews, and the interdependence of all life is now an established scientific fact.

Finally, a third path laid out by Al Gore. I do agree with the concept that sustainability, including environmental sustainability, is good for the bottom line of business.

Al Gore: 15 Ways to Avert a Climate Crisis
Al Gore lays out 15 ways to avert climate crisis through our personal and professional lives. He plays a brief slide show and provides examples of many of the ways that these steps are being used in action. Speaking to a business audience at the TED conference he also points out important steps that businesses can take to influence climate change. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.


Turns out that I have about 20 past posts, provided here, having something to do with MDG7.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Taking a Step Beyond - Personal efforts in meeting the Millennium Development Goals

Sphere: Related Content In past posts, I have been self-depreciating (which doesn't mean that it is not true) about being a slacktivist. Even this small effort has sometimes become more difficult with other issues rising in my life. Truth is that we can always find people in our lives who are doing something more and can use that to help keep ourselves on the journey. So I wanted to connect with some of the good work that I have run across while on this pathway.

I have been wanting to do a blog post on what some of my Orkut and Facebook friends were getting involved in. It has been something on the backburner for a while. This pathway has introduced me to some rather interesting people. I did one with this blog on SAHASH INDIA NGO Society sometime ago.

One early connection was with Dr. Shushil Choubey of Bangalore, Karnataka, India who also has his own blog LIFE - Science Civilization.

Another friend Debashree Mukherjee works with TakingITGlobal - Inspire. Inform. Involve.
  • "TIG is an inspiration to other organizations - it leads by example with its dynamism and commitment to constantly exploring and implementing innovative ways of doing business, proving that it is possible for an organization to be successful and truly socially responsible, and by showcasing the passionate dedication and brilliance of young people who are, often thanklessly, making this world a better place for all of us."

    Diigo tags: global, takingitglobal, activism, collaboration, youth, education, web2.0

This journey has also introduced me to SUSANTA BISWAS documentary maker both on Orkut and Facebook. This is his home page SUSANTA BISWAS - homepage.

He recently introduced me to Jeanne Ratzloff on Facebook who works with PeopleWeaver.com.
So there are people all over trying to make the world a bit better. My interest in focusing on these efforts is that they are the efforts of individuals, perhaps through organizations, but it is their individual effort that makes the story. The efforts are a bit more than your run-of-the-mill slacktivist even by well-meaning people who keep blogs and wiki's. Helps to keep perspective when dealing with this crazy world. I recently revisited a TED Talk that made this point about the importance of the individual's efforts as opposed to the networks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New MDG blog links and resources from Millennium Promise

Sphere: Related Content I recently had the following exchange with Nicholas Chang of Millennium Promise.

Hi Brian,

I found your blog the other day after it was including in my google alert. I love what you are doing spreading the word about the MDGs! I work for Millennium Promise as the Social Media Specialist, and we are the NGO partner organization founded by Raymond Chambers and Jeffrey Sachs that works to achieve the MDGs with the UNDP and the Earth Institute. I was wondering if you could add us as links in your blog? For example, can you add a link to our blog under your "Millennium Bloggers" section and a link to our website in your "Supporting Millennium Development Goals In the Trenches" section? And can you add our facebook fan page to your facebook links section? We also have a twitter and myspace account that are all very new re-launches.

Well, if you can do this, I would appreciate it greatly. Great job on your blogging, and hope to hear from you. Please become a fan of Millennium Promise on facebook when you get a chance! Here are the links to the blog and social media profiles that I was talking about earlier:

Blog
http://blogs.millenniumpromise.org/

Website
http://www.millenniumpromise.org/

Facebook fan page
http://www.facebook.com/MillenniumPromise

twitter
http://twitter.com/EndOfPoverty

myspace
http://www.myspace.com/millenniumpromise


Nicholas Chang
Millennium Promise
432 Park Avenue South, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(917) 771-3147
nicholas.chang@millenniumpromise.org
http://www.millenniumpromise.org/

Follow us on twitter, facebook, and myspace!

http://twitter.com/EndOfPoverty
http://www.facebook.com/MillenniumPromise
http://www.myspace.com/millenniumpromise
----------

My response

Hi Nicholas,

First off thanks for visiting my blog and your kind words. Your blog is now under the "Millennium Bloggers" section your webpage is under "Supporting Millennium Development Goals In the Trenches" section and your facebook fan page has been added to the facebook links section of my blog.

I also have a wiki from PBworks Milestones For A New Millennium and have added these resources there as well.

One section that may be of particular interest is Jeffery Sachs and the Millennium Villages

It is only suppose to be a simple explanation, but if one is going to explain the Millennium Development Goals then it seems necessary.

Thanks again for the encouragement and the chance to help.

Brian Dowling
BrianDRPM

Monday, August 3, 2009

From Hardware to Collaborative Philosophy "Whatever it takes"

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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.org, jopsa, sms, activism, development,

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

Help put aid workers on the front lines

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Recently got an e-mail about the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 that I am passing along from
Oxfam America Advocacy Fund
Donate NowTell A Friend

Dear Reader,

In too many countries, the face of American anti-poverty efforts is wearing a uniform and carrying a gun.

Our nation's military does important work – but on the front lines of the global fight against hunger and poverty, it's aid workers, not soldiers, who should be leading the charge.

The US House has already started moving on legislation that would shift the dynamic and revitalize our nation's foreign aid agency, USAID. Now it's time for the Senate to act – will you help?

Tell your senators to co-sponsor the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009.

For many vulnerable communities – where civil wars, militia violence, and rebel groups have for so long been causes of homelessness and poverty – the last thing anyone wants to see is more soldiers.

And the American military agrees. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has even said that while American soldiers "have done an admirable job, it's no replacement for the real thing – civilian involvement and expertise."

Brian, it's time to give aid workers a chance to do their jobs. It's time to give our development experts the tools they need to help citizens in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty.

Tell your senators to revitalize our foreign aid system and put aid workers – not soldiers – on the front lines of global poverty.

Sincerely,

Raymond C. Offenheiser
Oxfam America Advocacy Fund

This type of effort is essential in meeting the challenge of the Millennium Development Goals regardless of what our governments do. Even more important because of what they are not doing, especially in America which still has not fulfilled its Millennium Promise.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Slacktivists take action on "6 Cents Can Save a Child's Life"!

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I will admit to being a Slacktivist. The truth is that running a blog and wiki does not reach the same level of commitment as spending a year in Rwanda at an AIDS clinic.

Now I know that I am not using the word Slacktivist in as negative of a connotation as is usual. I am also convinced, however, that to succeed in these efforts that we need the involvement of the middle class mainstream masses. So we need to appeal to not only the Slacktivists, but the onlookers and even the hockey-moms. The word Slacktivist actually has a wide range of application. From online creation to the the click & play variety. I do both. I just read and clicked the petition: 6 Cents Can Save a Child's Life.

Here is the spiel. All you have to do is click, no big deal for any of us, but if 50,000 plus do it.
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Hi, I signed the petition "6 Cents Can Save a Child's Life". I'm asking you to sign this petition to help us reach our goal of 50,000 signatures. I care deeply about this cause, and I hope you will support our efforts.

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