SDC ICT 4 Development

Health, Data, Decision-making

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There is lots of discussion about data related to health communication. Lora Shimp has produced a blog on Data for Decision-Making: Empowering Local Data Use. It includes these 2 key questions:

  1. Are we helping the end-line users and those collecting the data at its source to make decisions themselves with their own data?
  2. Are we too focused on the short-term data (this month, this year) and not on analysis of the trends and how our program and activities are faring over time?

Your thoughts, analysis and ideas?


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Communication and Natural Disasters

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In her blog Learning from "Chennai floods": Development Paradigms and Disasters, Ranjani.K.Murthy contends the following: Living in Chennai at the time of 2015 floods (which in fact hit several coastal districts of the state Tamil Nadu), and hearing commentaries of how climate change and poor disaster reduction/management were responsible for the deaths and the crisis that followed, I was thinking there is something missing in the debate. The missing element was the direction of development followed in Tamil Nadu, and perhaps globally. Ranjani expands on this with reference to markets, real estate development, housing "rules", wet lands, marshy lands, water courses, and overall development strategies. How natural disasters are handled is a crucial communication and media issue.

Health, Gender, Households, Strategies, Communication?

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In the research report Perceptions of Influence that had a focus on how households make health decisions, one of the significant implications from that research read as follows:

More broadly, PEI (and initiatives for wider health system strengthening) need a clearer gender strategy – building communication and engagement between men and women within households, but also through their mutual participation in the planning and management of community health activities, and integrating female health workers more closely in institutional processes of service planning and delivery. This could strengthen the role of women within public health at multiple levels of decision-making but also improve the coherence and commitment of male and female household heads to health as a priority issue for positive action.

We would very much welcome you sharing (a) your reation to that proposed priority (b) any initiatives in which you have been engaged that have a focus on greater gender equity in the ways in which households make health decisions and (c) your critique of that work relative to improving health status. With many thanks for engaging on this important issue. 


Nigeria: getting to polio free

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The last wild polio case in Nigeria was reported on July 24 2014 and the last vaccine derived case on May 16 2015 - also the only polio case in 2015.  No cases have been reported in 2016.  This means that the entire country has seen just one case of polio in 22 months and counting.  An achievement to be celebrated, if cautiously.  Cautiously because without maintaining a sense of real and ongoig urgency to vaccinate 'every child every time', coverage rates could slip and polio outbreaks emerge among pockets of un- and under-immunised children.

It is in this context that the polio programme continues to remind the government and people of Nigeria that being removed from the endemic list of countries is not the same as being declared polio free.  The requirement to go three years without a case of wild polio - for Nigeria, July 2017 - is not arbitrary, it allows time to determine that there are no pockets of hidden virus and that immunity levels have been sustained over time.

Maintaining this level of coverage means polio must remain a priority in the eyes of government, polio workers and parents.  As the date of the last case recedes, so does the difficulty of maintaining commitment to continuously high rates of vaccination, increase.  This is, in large part, a communication challenge.

Local language communication importance

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We know that local language communication is vital for effective development action. This is basic, intuitive reasoning of course. But, specific to India there is also compelling research data, for example: Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India - a bit old but still relevant. This recent blog posted on The Communication Initiative platform: Mother tongue: boosting maternal health through mobile phones provides further compelling insights about the vital nature of local language communication in all senses - not just translation but resonance with local, cultural  "touchstones" through those languages. Question: How do you assess the attention and priority that Development agencies have provided for local language as a communication priority? Please do comment and share your perspectives.  

Impact: Health Communication?

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The impact of Health Communication appears to remain a vexed issue. Those of us in the health comm field think we have loads of data - for example 1,333 impact data examples summarised here - filter to your interests. But it seems really hard for us to get "decision-makers", "policy-makers" and "funders" to agree that there is proven impact (check - is that correct?). We could all earn a pretty penny if we got paid for every time we are asked for "proof of impact". Would be great if you could share with others how you handle the "impact" question. What is the main argument you posit? What is the main data that you cite? What references do you quote? What seems to work for you? What challenges remain. Thanks for joining this conversation in support of everyone's work to advance the scale and impcat of health communication.     

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Nigeria: Social Media and Development - Uses and Impact?

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We all know about the growth of digital in Nigeria. And within that growth there are trends of course - I was intrigued by this article related to business - Nigeria: 2016’s Biggest Social Media Trends for Business. But how effective have we all been at harnessing those digital trends relative to Development goals, no matter what those goals may be, from peace and security through the full spectrum of democracy and governance, education, gender rights, community advancement, health and much more to something as specific as polio eradication? Three questions for your response and sharing in support of all engaged in Development action in Nigeria (a) please provide a brief insight into some good examples, in your opinion, where digital media processes have been applied to a Development priority (b) how do you assess the impact of digital growth in Nigeria on key Development goals and (c) where are the present opportunities to harness digital in an improved mannner for Development progress? Thanks

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The "Switch": Communication Perspectives

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As countries work through the polio switch from trivalent OPV (tOPV) to bivalent OPV (bOPV), removing the type 2 what is your feedback on the communication strategy and process associated with that switch? What is going well? What are the challenges? What are we learning for polio? And, more broadly, what are we learning and/or what are the implications for improved routine immunization? Many thanks for sharing your perspectives and insights in support of everyone's work. Warren     

Lebo Ramafoko keynote speech

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We have uploaded the key note speech by Lebo Ramafoko (Executive Director of Soul City) to the SBCC Summit in Addis Ababa in Feb 2016: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Reflections of 20 Years of Proving What We Do Matters There is also a link to the video of Lebo's speech. Please do keep this conversation going by asking questions (we will encourage and support Lebo to respond) or making comments, observations and analysis, through the comments facilities. Thanks - much appreciated - Warren

When Does ICT-Enabled Citizen Voice Lead to Government Responsiveness?

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Digital Dividends Background Paper

Tiago Peixoto
Jonathan Fox
Publication Date
January 1, 2016

World Bank Group (Peixoto); American University (Fox)

"These cases suggest that while ICT platforms have been relevant in increasing policymakers' and senior managers' capacity to respond, most of them have yet to influence their willingness to do so."

This is a key finding from a review of how 23 information and communication technology (ICT) platforms were used to project citizen voice, with the goal of improving public service delivery. With the increasing accessibility of ICTS around the world, civil society organisations (CSOs) and governments are experimenting with how these platforms can encourage and project citizen voice in order to hold leaders accountable and improve public service delivery. Where evidence is available, the findings from the 23 case studies indicate mixed results, suggesting that "where senior managers are already committed to learning from feedback and using it to bolster their capacity to get agencies to respond, ICT platforms can make a big difference." However, ICTS alone are rarely able to influence the willingness of leaders to respond to citizens voices where this commitment does not already exist.


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