Weekly News Roundup: Going beyond the high tech hype, lessons on integrating family planning into health services and more!

"Promising technologies for maternal and child health, TB, and malaria abound, but we need to determine what works."—so begins a new post on the Stanford Social Innovation Review in which authors from the University of Toronto T-HOPE research center discuss ways to determine what technologies go beyond the hype. Authors examined PesinetChangamka Microhealth LimitedOn Cue Compliance,  Aceh Behar Midwives with Mobile Phone projectD-tree InternationalHealth Care at my Fingertips and other CHMI featured programs to see what’s really working.

Program News:

Jacaranda Health’s Sirina Keesara and Grace Lesser know first hand that family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce maternal mortality. In this article, Keesara and Lesser provide 5 lessons on integrating family planning and maternal health.

Ashoka reports on Forbes.com that with Kenya’s rapidly increasing mobile penetration and better access to health information, development organizations often struggle to deliver health services to the most in-need areas. Access Afya, however, has been a great example of how an organization can meet those challenges and succeed. Read more about it here.


Mobile for Development Intelligence explores key findings of recent publications and how these may impact mobile for development practitioners in their latest webinar series. This month’s topic is mobile data: getting mid- & lower-income customers onto the mobile internet on February 19.

The Unite for Sight Conference has been hailed by CNN as the “meeting of minds,” and is the world’s largest global health and social entrepreneurship conference. The 2014 event will take place April 12-13 at Yale University. Learn more here.

The Global Health Mini University registration is now open! This year’s mini university will take place in Washington, DC on Friday, March 7 and offers a variety of sessions highlighting evidence-based best practices and state-of-the-art information. Register here.

Nyaya Health, an organization that’s improving the right to health for Nepal’s rural poor, is looking for summer 2014 interns in their New York City office.


Population Services International (PSI) systematically reviewed two decades of literature on social marketing for HIV, reproductive health, malaria, child survival, and tuberculosis in developing countries. After reviewing more than 6500 studies, they found 109 studies looking at whether social marketing makes people healthier. Explore their findings in this info-graphic.

Also out from PSI are new case studies on the Total Market Approach, a system in which the public, commercial, and socially marketed sectors work together to effectively deliver health products such as contraceptives. Case studies explore the approach for expanding condom use in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda, with a study on Mali coming out soon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank are seeking feedback on the proposed UHC monitoring framework from countries, development partners, civil society, academics, and other interested stakeholders. Learn more here.

Microinsurance Innovation Facility’s latest brief, Mobile Phones and Microinsurance, addresses how insurers are using mobile phones to increase efficiency and reach scale in the microinsurance sector.

With less than 700 days left until the Millennium Development Goals’ target date, the Secretary-General, along with co-chairs and several members of the MDG Advocacy Group, will attend a luncheon discussion on the MDGs and their progress for women. Learn more here.

General News:

From encouraging contraception in Ethiopia use to checking blood glucose levels in West Virginia: the effect of the community health worker has unlimited reach. The Atlantic explores the world of two health workers working to better their communities.

When planning towards the goal of achieving universal health coverage, a strong civil society is essential. How is Africa working towards UHC? Find out more here.