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The Power Of The “Demographic Dividend”

By: Gary Darmstadt
Originally posted by: the Impatient Optimists

Kanpur.jpgI recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting at the World Bank where global health and development leaders and finance ministers from rich and poor countries met to share experiences and learning about the demographic dividend.

The concept of the demographic dividend is that when fertility rates in a country decline, fewer births take place each year, and the size of the population of individuals who are dependent on the state grows smaller. Read more...

Aid Effectiveness Forum: What Does It Mean for Reproductive Health?

By: Suzanna Dennis
Originally posted by: Population Action International

Aid effectiveness and government investments directly shape the amount and quality of funding for reproductive health.  For example, the move to greater country ownership over aid has advocates concerned that governments will not sufficiently prioritize sexual and reproductive health.

Last week, global development powerbrokers convened in Busan, South Korea to assess progress towards aid effectiveness goals, develop a more inclusive global aid framework and address issues beyond aid.  The organizers of this Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) declared it a resounding success:  They delivered a global Partnership for Development Cooperation bringing together all development actors around a shared set of development principles. Read more...

The UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women Announces the 2011 Call for Proposals

The United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women is accepting applications for its 16th grant cycle (2011) from government authorities, civil society organizations and networks — including non-governmental, women’s and community-based organizations and coalitions, and operational research institutions — and UN Country Teams (in partnership with governments and civil society organizations). Read more...  

Corporate Buzz: Partnering for Healthy Girls, Women and Economies

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

Farm.jpgIn November 2010, GBCHealth (formerly the Global Business Coalition) launched a cross-sectoral initiative, Healthy Women, Healthy Economies (HHWE), to highlight the importance of investing in the health of girls and women in order to promote economic sustainability and growth. Each HHWE corporation works to strengthen their programs while also collaborating with other partners to learn ways in which they can invest better in girls and women through the development of best practices and strategic innovations.

The partnership between GBCHealth, the U.S. State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues, and companies including Coca Cola and Chevron (among many others) guides corporate investment to areas where companies can have the most impact: improving health systems, bolstering the health of the female workforce, and supporting girls’ education. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Fixing What’s Broken, Education for Medical Equipment Technicians

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

tech.jpgTwo reasons—a lack of spare parts and too few highly trained technicians—are often cited as the causes of large numbers of out-of-service laboratory and medical equipment across the developing world. As a result of broken equipment, already burdened health systems find it increasingly challenging to accurately diagnose and treat patients.

This obstacle is particularly alarming as 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), looms on the horizon. Strong, functioning health systems are essential to reaching the MDGs, and MDG 5 in particular. With this in mind, Duke University researchers from Robert Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory set out to better understand the problem of unused or underutilized medical equipment in developing countries. Read more...

International Conference on Family Planning: Invest in Women – It Pays!

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

This week, I was privileged to join more than 2,200 participants at the International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal. It was truly an amazing conference with three days of rich discussion and wonderful commitments, like those made by Dfid and the government of Senegal.
 
As the focus of this conference was on family planning, it was essential that participants not only discuss the social benefits of investing in family planning – which include a reduction of unintended pregnancies, a decrease in maternal deaths, and a decline of unsafe abortions – but also the incredible economic impact of investing in family planning. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Jhpiego wins $1.6M grant from GE Foundation

By: Alexander Jackson, originally posted on Baltimore Business Journal

Jhpiego.jpgA Johns Hopkins University affiliate has been awarded $1.6 million from the GE Foundation to support the development of lifesaving technologies for women and children in developing countries.

Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international nonprofit, will use the money to create new products through its Innovation Development Program. Centered on maternal and child health, the program focuses on early-stage innovation and then, for selected projects, field-testing and product introduction. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: One Country’s Plant Is The Whole World’s Treasure

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, Volunteer at Women Deliver

bamboobike.jpgWhat is stronger than steel, completely sustainable, and could transform the lives of underserved rural women and girls worldwide? The answer is Bamboo. And Ghana’s commitment to bamboo bicycles is a powerful first step in showing how resourceful this plant can be.

Access to rural transport is critical to poverty reduction and development. When unavailable, communities that can’t get their goods to market, can’t bring in new capital; nor can individuals reach new and more lucrative employment opportunities. In addition, statistics have shown that countries with the least access to rural transport have the highest maternal mortality and gender education disparity, as issues of mobility are intrinsically linked to a country’s economic growth and the global issue of climate change. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Shaping our Future, Access to Reproductive Health Care in 2015

By: Saundra Pelletier, CEO, WomenCare Global

Many smart people love the idea of alleviating poverty; however, because it is such an overwhelming proposition, they quickly shift their thinking to more attainable goals. What they do not realize is the answer is simple; the puzzle can be solved; and it as easy as investing in the world’s women. Women, after all, hold up half the sky. A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her health, education, and well being by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family, and building a strong community. Yes, Women Deliver.

When I look ahead to the year 2015, I envision a world where there is a cultural consciousness and awareness of why preventing mothers from dying in childbirth is so vital. Women’s health, particularly women’s reproductive health, will no longer be pushed aside for more “pressing issues.” The lives of women and mothers will be at the core of conversations in both global health and global development circles. One of the most important benefits will be that 600,000 children will not grow up without the love and care of a mother. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: A New Generation of Business Models for Health

By: Victoria Hale, PhD, CEO at Medicines360

Most people have one life changing, “ah-ha” moment in their lives, but in my case, I had two. The first moment came when I was sitting in the back of a New York City taxi, and the driver asked me what I did for a living. When I told him that I was a pharmaceutical scientist, he said, “Oh, you have all the money!” And, in that moment, my first company, OneWorld Health, was born.

OneWorld Health is a first-generation non-profit pharmaceutical company created as an innovative, gutsy initiative to develop drugs to treat people with neglected tropical diseases. This charity model is entirely dependent on others—that is, on large grants from philanthropists and on the for-profit pharmaceutical industry for the delivery of medicines to the poor. Read more...

2015+: What Happens To the Millennium Development Goals When They Expire?

By: Rachel Cernansky, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

2015+.JPGThe Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015, which means it's time to start looking ahead to what happens once they do. And looking back to see what good they've served. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a report in July, highlighting progress achieved toward the goals so far, including: Read more...

Financing for Development: Invest in Women – It Pays

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; originally published in the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Reference Report 2011

Improving maternal health gives a high return on investment. The loss of a woman’s life or health is not just a loss to her family, but it is also a loss to the community and the nation as a whole. While nations need to keep building towards the ultimate goal of strengthening health systems, there are investments that can be made today, right now, to decrease maternal death and injury. Most of these solutions are low-cost, highly effective, and can begin to show results almost immediately. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Chickpeas Nourish Ethiopia’s Mothers, Children and Agricultural Economy

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

chickpeas.jpgCould chickpeas be a potential solution for meeting two of Ethiopia’s biggest challenges: child malnourishment and an underperforming economy?

PepsiCo, the World Food Programme (WFP), and USAID believe so. That’s why the company is entering into an innovative public-private partnership with the WFP and USAID to promote food and economic security in the east African nation. Under Enterprise EthioPEA, the three organizations will work with nearly 10,000 Ethiopian farmers to double chickpea yields by utilizing modern agricultural practices and better irrigation techniques. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Soda Crates to Deliver Essential Health Products

coca_cola_boxes.jpgBy: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver 

Why is it that you can get a bottle of soda almost anywhere in the world, but not essential health products? Companies like Coca-Cola have mastered the art of shipping and logistics, reaching the most remote places in the world with their products. ColaLife, a non-profit enterprise, asked this same question and decided to leverage the power and efficiency of Coca-Cola’s distribution systems to bring simple health products to the hardest-to-reach communities.

The need for essential health products is great. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Dairy Cooperative Empowers Tanzania’s HIV Population

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate at Women DeliverTanzania_Cow.jpg

Nearly 730,000 women are living with HIV in Tanzania. Among them is 61-year old Faith. One of 1,600 women and men participating in the “Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB)” training program, Faith now has access to the entrepreneurial skills-building and HIV awareness-raising activities the program provides.

“I learnt that you need money or a business to generate enough income to be able to travel to town for regular check-ups and to collect antiretroviral drugs. We do not have these services at our village dispensary,” said Faith. Read more...

Women Deliver Has Strong Presence During UNGA Week

The third week of September was a busy one for Women Deliver. The United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), amongst other events, filled the city with Heads of State and agents of change, providing ample opportunity to discuss maternal health, sexual and reproductive rights and gender equity.  Here are a few of our highlights:

  • The World Bank: “Realizing the Demographic Dividend, Challenges and Opportunities for Ministers of Finance and Developmentpanel focused on the policy actions necessary in family planning, health, education, gender equality, and labor market policies, if positive economic returns are to be secured. Women Deliver Founder and President, Jill Sheffield, who spoke at the event, reinforced this point by stating: "The fact is: that women drive economic development. They operate the majority of small businesses and farms in developing countries and their unpaid work equals roughly 1/3 of the GDP." Read more...

Family Planning, Healthier Economies

Originally posted by the World Bank on 09/24/2011
By: Julia Ross, Corporate and Home Page Editor for the World Bank website

Countries like South Korea and Thailand have seen similar demographic formulas work to their advantage in recent decades: falling fertility rates lead to burgeoning adult working populations lead to greater economic productivity.

How did they harness these changes to create engines of growth? According to speakers at a World Bank panel on “Realizing the Demographic Dividend,” greater investments in health, family planning, and gender equality paved the way, followed by further investments in education, youth development, and job creation. Read more...

The World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development, Finds Gaps in Women’s Progress

Originally posted by The World Bank:Mother_and_Child.jpg

The lives of women around the world have improved dramatically, at a pace and scope difficult to imagine even 25 years ago. Women have made unprecedented gains in rights, education, health, and access to jobs and livelihoods.

Despite the progress, gaps remain in many areas. The worst disparity is the rate at which girls and women die relative to men in developing countries. Excess female deaths account for an estimated 3.9 million women each year in low- and middle-income countries. About two-fifths are never born due to a preference for sons, a sixth die in early childhood, and over a third die in their reproductive years. Read more...

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