Weekly News Roundup: Innovators are singing their successes to the world

Program News:

With operations in El Salvador, India and Bangladesh, VisionSpring has created a unique market for eyeglasses using a high-volume and low-margin approach. Read NextBillion’s interview with Peter Eliassen, chief operating officer of VisionSpring here.

A motorbike in Africa can make a difference to thousands of people in need of health services.  Andrea and Barry Coleman, co-founders of Riders for Health, tell the story of Kaemba, a health worker in Zambia who is now able to reach more than 6,000 people in her province, thanks to her working transportation.

Brazil’s Saúde Criança believes that in order to improve disease you must address the underlying social conditions that exacerbate them. By providing a range of post-hospitalization supports, the organization is improving the lives of families long-term. Read the New York Times’ Opinonater article about Saúde Criança here.

Interested in social entrepreneurship in Kenya? The Gobee Group’s Kickstarter project is raising funds for a stunning photojournalistic book, depicting stories from urban Kenya’s social enterprise programs including Jacaranda Health.

Nepal’s Ministry of Health has just signed a new partnership agreement with Nyaya Health, doubling their cash funding from the government and securing a majority of their pharmaceuticals, for free, through the MoH’s supply chain. Read more about this milestone here.

Congratulations to three of our programs, APOPO, ColaLife and FrontlineSMS, for making fundsforngos.org’s “Ten Most Innovative NGOs in the World” list!

Ross Clinics reaches the semifinals for the Sankalp Social Enterprise Awards, the most competitive recognition platform for social enterprises. 

In Mali and Burkina Faso, many treatable illnesses are responsible for the death of children before age 5.  Nextbillion examines Pesinet’s program that holistically addresses issues in a sustainable manner, using a three-prong approach to bring children into local health centers starting at their earliest symptoms.


The 2014 Stars Foundation’s Impact Awards are now open! The Awards recognize outstanding organizations working to improve the lives of children in countries with the highest rates of under-five mortality. Check it out here.

The Africa Healthcare Summit 2014, being held in London on 20-21 of February, is the ideal platform to explore the latest investment opportunities within Africa's healthcare industry and discover the latest regulatory changes, technological advancements, innovations and techniques. Learn more about the 2014 Summit here.

Results for Development and the Think Tank Initiative have launched a survey for high-level personnel in low- and middle-income country policy research organizations and think tanks. Learn more here. 


Just out! The Center for Health Market Innovations’s Highlights: 2013 features 81 programs, across the globe, that are changing the way people in low- and middle-income countries receive healthcare. The report examines its database’s fastest-growing programs and reported results from a wide variety of innovators.

Presented at the International Conference on Family Planning hosted by SHOPS, a new poster provides an explanation of the steps required to implement a total market approach for contraceptive products, including specific country cases where the approach was implemented.

Interested in research about universal healthcare coverage? A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health seeks to understand the empirical determinants of universal healthcare coverage through a prospective longitudinal study of the economic, social and political predictors for 194 countries. A December paper, developed jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group, builds on a series of discussions and proposes a new framework for tracking country progress towards universal healthcare coverage.

How can mobile phones increase efficiency and reach scale? Microinsurance Innovation Facility reviews good practices and lessons for insurers interested in implementing mobile-based microinsurance schemes in their latest paper.

General News:

On the Stanford Social Innovation BlogResults for Development Institute's Donika Dimovska wrote about growth in developing countries’ health markets driving new health care solutions in 2013 and our new Highlights report.

The Indian Government is urging the private sector to “come out of their comfort zones” to help healthcare programs reach further into rural communities throughout the country.  

With more people around the world having access to a cell phone before a toilet, it is important that phones are being utilized for more than just talking. Mental_Floss examines six key ways in which mobile phones are improving quality of life for billions of people.