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Archive for the ‘Philanthrophy’ Category

Global Health Council 5: We ♥ Margaret Chan

Friday ended with an impressive lineup of global health leaders discussing the disconnect between horizontal and vertical funding in the plenary session titled Meeting Along the Diagonal: Where the First and Last Mile Connect.  A webcast of this session, and 2-3 others from the Global Health Council Conference, will be available on kaisernetwork.org starting Tues-3-Jun-2008.  It’s nearly 2 hours long, but brings together ideas from the Gates Foundation, WHO, the Global Health Council, and USAID.  As much as it was about these organizations and the types of organizations (foundation, multilateral, advocacy, bilateral), it was about the individuals who spoke their minds:

  • Jaime Sepulveda, Director, Integrated Health Solutions Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Nils Daulaire, President and CEO, Global Health Council
  • Henrietta H. Fore, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Director, U.S. United States Foreign Assistance
Victor Kamanga of the Malawi Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS was supposed to speak at this panel representing the community perspective, but was denied a visa by the United States.  Nils was brave enough to say that it may have been due to Kamanga being HIV-positive.
The session was moderated by Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs, and her performance – one that was witty, but neither overbearing or spectatorish – made more sense after I learned about her NewsHour and NPR roots.
Administrator Fore spoke of USAID’s accomplishments and left immediately for the White House.  The session was awash in metaphors related to the theme: diagonal (Sepulveda), fractal (Daulaire), circular (Gordon Perkin, in the audience).  Dentzer synthesized the overall position of each of the speakers in a few words (in order that they spoke):
  • Fore: “horizontal aspects to vertical programs”
  • Sepulveda: “integration”
  • Chan: “connect”
  • Nils: “fractal”
The collective message for me from the session was this: health systems are complex, we need to look at integrated solutions, and it will take time.
Sepulveda’s framework for looking at health systems requirements was his effort to “make that black box {of health systems] transparent”.  His four requirements of health systems are:
  1. Stewardship
  2. Financing
  3. Delivery (personal and non-personal services)
  4. Resource Generation (people, information, vaccines, technology)
He referred in his comments to 2 articles:
  1. Walsh J A & Warren K S. Selective primary health care: an interim strategy for disease control in developing countries. N. Engl. J. Med. 301.967-74, 1979.
  2. An “forgotten” article that Sepulveda wrote in the 1980s in the Bulletin of the WHO on the topic of “diagonalism”, but perhaps not in those words.  (I wasn’t able to find it, but if you know of the article, please post a link as a comment.)
Both Sepulveda and Daulaire had some interesting things to say, but I want to focus on Margaret Chan.  About 2/3 of the way through the sesssion, I was so taken by Margaret Chan’s honesty and perspective that I wrote “I ♥ Margaret Chan” in my notebook.  I passed my notebook to an NIGH colleague sitting next to me, who then showed me his notebook which had “I [heart] Margaret Chan” written atop his penultimate page of notes.  He didn’t want to draw a heart, he later told me, because he was afraid somebody might see it.  If that wasn’t weird enough, I told the story to another NIGH colleague, who responded that she too had written “I ♥ Margaret Chan” in her notebook.
Some Margaret Chan highlights (keep in mind her emphases in her tenure at the WHO have been Africa, primary healthcare, and women)
  • Dentzer told her she was “the James Brown of global health”, a reference to her work ethic
  • “What works for Hong Kong doesn’t work for Zambia.”  This sounds obvious, but there was quite a lot of talk at this conference about exporting successful models from one country to another.  I’m not saying you can’t learn from successes, but there is at least some better work we need to do in adapting those models to different situations.
  • “Primary healthcare faded from the vocabulary of global health.”  She cited Periago’s “crushed” comment from earlier in the day.  In fact, she brought in a lot of examples of what other people were saying throughout the day, so it’s clear that she was listening.
  • One of the other examples she brought up was a Johns Hopkins professor who in a morning comment advocated for “health impact assessments” like “environmental impact assessments” prior to doing something new.  (Sorry, don’t know the name of the JHU professor.)
  • “Famous soft drink”.  She didn’t name it because she didn’t want to advertise for it, but asked “why can’t we get to the same areas of the world?” (a reference to technologies like vaccines and medicines).  If we can’t do that, “we fail our people”.
  • “It’s easy to blame people when you fail.”
  • In referring to her 30+ years of experience: “I look young, but I’m not”.
  • “Primary healthcare was alive” in places like Brazil, India, and Argentina, even though it wasn’t in the “official vocabulary”.
  • “I’m not going to repeat the WHO definition of health.  To me health is a social objective.”
  • In indicating that we need to train more mid-level professionals: “For the clinicians in the audience, don’t worry, there’s plenty of work.”
  • “We have not listened enough.”  “We underestimate the ingenuity of the community.” “If you say ‘talk is one thing, walk is another’, I rest my case.”
  • “We are insular. We only look at the health sector.”  We need to look at safe water and sanitation, education, etc.
  • “Ministry of Health [alone] cannot handle the complexity of the situation.”
  • “Let’s be realistic. Even NGOs are making profits.”
  • “Why is it that working with industry is seen as dirty?” “Industry is part of the solution.”  We need to work with food and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Peer review is “another elephant in the room”- Chan identified most of the elephants.  It is a process by which “your friends condone your work”.

And my favorite, because it directly addresses the work I do and that we need to advocate for in the development of new technologies and services:

  • “I didn’t realize that the color of bednets makes a difference.”
  • “It wasn’t until we brought in the anthropologists that we found out that the color red represented death.”
  • They changed the color to yellow and people started to use them.
I encourage you to watch the session if you can spare the time.  Posted from the Wi-Fi bus between DC and New York.
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More Web 2.0: Power of Online Social Networks

We have blogged about the power of online social networks before as have many other bloggers. The Wall Street Journal has a brief review on online social networks and cause marketing that you can see below. For those of us in the public health space, we should be taking notes on how to leverage these ideas and what’s around the corner for reaching out to people (for education, involvement, philanthropy, documenting disease trends, etc.). This may not be directly related to global health yet or promoting a favorite cause, but check out the growing popularity of PatientsLikeMe (a social networking site of sorts where patients can discuss how they managed their conditions… and perhaps they can add a feature down the line for raising funds for a particular disease?).

A New Generation Reinvents Philanthropy:
Blogs, Social-Networking Sites Give 20-Somethings a Means To Push, Fund Favorite Causes

Wall Street Journal, August 21st, by Rachel Silverman

“Joe Alamo didn’t set out to become a do-gooder. But late last year, when the Geneva, N.Y., Web designer was surfing on MySpace, he chanced onto the profile of Kiva.org, a nonprofit that allows people to make zero-interest “microfinance” loans over the Internet to needy entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Young donors and volunteers, snubbing traditional appeals such as direct mail and phone calls, are satisfying their philanthropic urges on the Internet. They’re increasingly turning to blogs and social-networking Web sites…”Full story

wsj-giving.gif

Written by Aman

September 6, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Kiva, Clinton and Oprah

Last week we alerted you to Bill Clinton being on Oprah to promote his new book – Giving. I didn’t actually get to see the episode, but from the buzz on other blogs and various news reports, it seems like it was quite a hit and in the process Kiva got some great publicity from Oprah. Catch up on the latest news and blog posts on Kiva below and see the YouTube interview at the end:

The best part of Bill Clinton’s appearance on Oprah from “Don’t Tell the Donor.org”:
“A big part of the PR tour was taping an appearance on Oprah. Several news outlets have been reporting the story from the angle that Oprah and Clinton are both big donors… but for me, the show was stolen by Matt and Jessica Flannery, co-founders of Kiva, who were sitting in the front row. Read more…”

Kiva | Starting the week on a “LinkedIn for Good” note from the LinkedIn Blog:
“We have started profiling some of the non-profit groups who have been associated with our “LinkedIn For Good” initiatives. This week we are taking a quick look at Kiva, the second micro-finance group we’ve profiled on our blog… Here are five uplifting stories of the people behind Kiva as well as those whose life has changed through the service.” Read more (with video)

Hipcast: Matthew and Jessica Flannery, Founders of Kiva.org, from Innovate
“Great things are afoot at Kiva, featured today on Oprah alongside Bill Clinton…iinnovate caught up with Matt and Jessica Flannery for an insightful chat…” Read more and listen to the interview at Innovate…

Kiva and Clinton on Oprah September 4th
Check out the Kiva founders presentation and interview over at NetSquared

Entrepreneurs Helping Others: Kiva.Org, from Ladies who Launch

Microfinancing: A Social Capitalism Success, GreenOptions


News reports:

Loans to change lives, MSNBC (with video)
“I was struck by the simplicity of Kiva but also its potential to impact lives in a meaningful way.”

Help the world with a small loan, Orlando Sentinel
“Will Nathan, 23, became their lender through Kiva.org. All while sitting on his couch. Nathan is at the forefront of an emerging form of grass-roots philanthropy that makes everyday people microfinancers.”

Written by Aman

September 4, 2007 at 9:59 pm

iPhone for Global Health

There is not much left to say about the iPhone, it is clearly one of the most hyped electronic gadgets in history and it is an understatement to say that it has lit up the internet (a google search for iPhone yields 103 million hits, compare that to only 70 million hits for a google search on “paris hilton”). It looks like an enterprising non profit decided to see if they can use the iPhone hype to market their cause (getting anti-retroviral treatment to children infected with AIDS in Africa, KCA website). They were first in line at a New York store in order to get an iPhone that they will auction off. The “first iPhone sold” will be presented by Alicia Keys at the Black Ball.

As the highly anticipated iPhone launch approaches, so does the promise of improved communications and connectivity with people around the world. Connectivity is not limited to technology; rather, it’s a fundamental fact that we are “one.” source… Supporters of Keep A Child Alive took advantage of the wildly hyped iPhone launch by standing in line for 4 days and communicating the charity’s grass- roots mission to New Yorkers and media from around the world. At 6 pm on Friday, June 29th, Spike Lee, renowned director, producer, writer and actor, joined Keep A Child Alive volunteers at Apple’s Soho location to purchase the first iPhone.” Full story, Earth Times

I would guess that getting in line on Tuesday will have garnered more knowledge and advertising about their cause than the auction will. I am not sure what the impact has been on the organization, but it is certainly a unique and innovative idea. They have been smart about getting the word out. Of course there is the publicity they received from actually being first in line, but in addition to that, I have seen their cause mentioned on widely popular techie websites such as InfoWorld, Gizmodo and Endgaget and on other sites they have partnerned with (iphonelaunch.tv). The Taproot Foundation also had someone in line for charity (see stories here and here). Some pics below from the folks at Keep a Child Alive (via flickr):

iphoneline.jpg

“This morning we started lining up for the iPhone – we are first in line at the Soho Store! We’re doing it with our friends at Keep A Child Alive an amazing organization that provides drugs for kids in Africa.”

iphone_team.jpg

spike_iphone.jpg

keepachild_team.jpg

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Written by Aman

July 1, 2007 at 7:28 pm