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Innovating to improve women and children's health
Date:9/12/2011

innovations takes time, commitment, start-up funds, local support, and often public-private partnerships. IWG aims to bring 5 to 10 sustainable innovations to scale every year over the next three to five years.

Development, Beyond Assistance

Innovative projects pioneer a new approach to development. They focus not on assistance, but on creative, homegrown ideas with potential to be self-sustaining and serve the self-defined needs of a population.

"We need a fundamental change in our approach to development assistance," says Richard Klausner, M.D., also a contributor to the report and managing partner of the Column Group. "This is not a question of whether traditional aid and assistance programs work, but of reframing expectations about development. It is the time to confront the profound differences between development and assistance."

Some Innovative Approaches

Mobile phones are already a worldwide phenomenon; more than 1 billion women in low and middle-income countries own a mobile phone.

In some remote areas, health workers equipped with fetal monitors and wireless ultrasound transmit information by phone to a clinic; others use mobiles phones to keep track of high-risk patients and alert health workers when a woman is being referred to a clinic or simply to remind patients to keep appointments.

"We've seen the potential of mobile technology to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes worldwide, but innovators often meet obstacles when expanding their projects," said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation, a sponsor of Every Woman, Every Child and the mHealth Alliance, a partnership founded by the UN Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Vodafone Foundation. "This report points to best practices, business models, and sustainability solutions that will help people break down these barriers and get to the important business of improving lives."

"Projects must respond to demand from the community
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Contact: Marshall Hoffman
marshall@hoffmanpr.com
703-533-3535
United Nations Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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