All posts by Carolyn Moore

Top Five Reads and Resources: mPowering Frontline Health Workers

Each month, mPowering partners compile our top five recent articles, videos, and resources related to mHealth, global health, and technology for development. This month, Carolyn Moore, Program Officer with mPowering Frontline Health Workers, shares her top five reads and resources:

Online Book: Taking Stock: Why U.S. Investments in Global Health Matter, Global Health Council

This site provides briefs on critical global health topics (including an mHealthsection by mPowering), stories of the impact of U.S. global health investments, and information on appropriations for global health. The online book, which was distributed to Congress on March 16, is an important reminder of the importance of U.S. contributions to global health.

And, if you’re surprised to learn that the U.S. spends less than 1% of its federal budget on foreign aid, check out these videos from the One Campaign to learn more.

Report: Global Health Content for Local Solutions: Consultations Synopsis, mPowering Frontline Health Workers

This new mPowering report shares the results of a year-long consultation process, engaging stakeholders to learn what is needed to improve community health worker training on a global scale. Key takeaways included: the potential for mobile technology to dramatically improve training; the need for standardized and adaptable training content; and the critical role of a central platform for trainers and health workers to access mobile health content.

Report and Toolkit: Idea to Impact, USAID Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact

Idea to Impact: a guide to introduction and scale of global health initiatives is a reference, toolkit, and workbook guide for scaling up health products produced by USAID and Dalberg.  By applying a research & development and marketing process to global health, global health innovators can design products for success at scale. The toolkit guides implementers through traditionally private sector development tools and provides thought-provoking case studies to help global health professionals evaluate, design, and implementer their ideas.

Event Recording: Mobile Technology and mHealth: The newest frontline in health care innovation in Africa, Brookings

On March 12, panelists from Qualcomm, Vecna Cares, InStrat Global Health Solutions, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency Nigeria were convened by Brookings to discuss successes, opportunities, and challenges in mHealth in Africa.  Panelists discussed the need for a paradigm shift towards mHealth using “invisible” technologies that are integrated into the health systems; and shared their experiences using mobile technology in the ongoing Ebola response.

Watch the event recording by clicking the link above. If you’re interested in learning more about the use of mHealth in the response to Ebola, join our webinar series to engage in the discussions.

Article: Collective Impact, Stanford Social Innovation Review

As a global partnership of 17 organizations and many collaborators, we know that by working together, we can achieve our goals faster and in a more meaningful way. This article uses the example of the Strive program, a group of community NGOs working together to support children and youth, to illustrate the exponential increase in impact that happens when organizations collaborate. Read the article to learn how moving from isolated impact to collective impact stands to redefine the social sector.

Training Health Workers for Ebola Response and Community Support

A team of organizations, led by mPowering Frontline Health Workers andIntraHealth International, are coming together to share tools and information on how to support health workers responding to and rebuilding from the Ebola crisis.

Please join us in a three-part webinar series beginning April 1

Health workers in West Africa have been responding to Ebola since 2013, and, according to the latest WHO situation report, the pace of the outbreak is beginning to decline. This calls for relief and celebration. However, this is far from final for those who have been affected by Ebola.

The virus has left indelible marks on their lives, and their stories are many and severe:

“The Ebola situation is once more improving in terms of infection rate, but the socio-economic needs are enormous.” (Moses Khanu, Pastor, Sierra Leone)

What comes next for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three most affected countries? And how can countries nearby and in the region plan for future potentially deadly outbreaks?

Health workers remain at the center of community response and support. At the same time, the governments and international organizations that support health workers are seeking answers for how they can restore health services in West Africa, strengthen health systems, and prepare for future health emergencies.


What’s next for Ebola affected countries? 

Many organizations are working closely with all actors across the health sector. In our second series of Training Health Workers for Ebola webinars in April, we will have a group of colleagues who have been working in the affected countries talking about lessons learned and planning for rebuilding and strengthening health systems.

We invite you to join the discussion in the webinars.


Reviewing lessons learned, and looking ahead

These webinars will focus on tools and strategies that health workers, as well as the governments and organizations that support them, can use to continue the response, protect their communities and help rebuild health systems.  Free training and information resources are concurrently being posted in the Ebola Resource Center

Please join us in the webinars! Here are the details:

  • Webinar 1: Working with Youth, Volunteers, and Vlunerable Populations, April 1,  10:00 -11:00 am EDT
  • Webinar 2: Community Mobilization and Preparedness Planning, April 8,  10:00 -11:00 am EDT
  • Webinar 3: Effective Use of Data, April 15, 10:00 -11:00 am EDT    

These webinars will bring together more than 15 international health organizations, led by mPowering Frontline Health Workers and IntraHealth International.

Registration and more information are available here. The webinars are open to all, and will build upon the presentations and discussion in the first Training Health Workers for Ebola series.

All of the webinars will be available for viewing at after the air dates.

The webinar series has been made possible by the generous support of the USAID-supported Health Communication Capacity Collaborative.


Human-Centered Design in Practice

Human centered design, or design with the user, is the first of the nine Principles for Digital Development.  Designing with the user involves just that- engaging the people you hope will use the solution, and bringing their ideas to life in technology that meets their needs.

On February 10, mPowering Frontline Health Workers and the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) hosted Medic Mobile for a workshop on human centered design.  Medic Mobile is a non-profit technology company,  building mobile and web tools to help health workers provide better care that reaches everyone.

The workshop focused on how mobile technology can respond to the needs of the users, and improve access to health care in vulnerable communities. Our teams looked at communities and health systems in mPowering’s and MCSP’s priority countries, and brainstormed ways that we could work with users to design appropriate mobile solutions in those places.

Medic Mobile led us through the steps it takes to design its solutions with the users:

Empathize- Talk with the users to understand their needs, wants, challenges, and assets.

Define- Clarify the specific problem to be solved

Ideate- Brainstorm what tools and uses could solve the problem

Test and refine- Work with users to get feedback on tools, and make changes and improvements

Medic Mobile’s approach is to start with people, not with technology. This has allowed the team to develop tools that help frontline health workers reach more people in an efficient, effective way. Health workers use Medic Mobile to register pregnancies, track disease outbreaks faster, keep stock of essential medicines and communicate about emergencies. You can see specific examples here.

mPowering is building a digital content platform to connect frontline health workers to high-quality mobile-enabled resources for training, decision support, and health information. Our users- trainers, health workers, and content developers- are guiding us in the concept, design, and initial development of the site. We’re looking forward to sharing an early version of the site this spring, and hope to hear from you with feedback!

To learn about Medic Mobile, or try their platform, visit their web site: or reach out directly to Jacqueline [at] medicmobile [dot] org.

Interested in learning more about human centered design? Visit the ICT4D Principles Resources page for toolkits, case studies, and more information.

Top Five Reads and Resources: Frontline Health Workers Coalition

Each month, mPowering partners compile our top five articles, videos, and resources related to mHealth, global health, and technology for development. This month, Deepanjali Jain, Global Health Corps Policy Fellow, IntraHealth International, shares her top five recommended resources:

Cost of Scaling Up the Health Workforce in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Amid the Ebola Epidemic

This report, independently commissioned by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, estimates the cost of building a resilient, sustainable health workforce in the three countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Before the epidemic, these countries each had fewer than three doctors, nurses, and midwives per 10,000 population–significantly below the WHO threshold of 22.8 doctors, nurses and midwives per 10,000 population to deliver essential health services. The analysis estimates that it would cost approximately $573 million over five years (less than $115 million per year on average) to double the skilled health workforce in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as expand coverage via a comprehensive community health worker program. The analysis further supports the Frontline Health Workers Coalition’s Ebola-related policy recommendations, which can be found here.

PEPFAR Human Resources for Health Strategy – PEPFAR 3.0

In February 2015, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) released a Human Resources for Health strategy designed to complement the targets established in PEPFAR 3.0–geared towards achieving an AIDS-free generation. Since its inception in 2003, PEPFAR has supported more than 140,000 health workers, and the new human resources for health strategy highlights the importance of continued investment in health workforce to sustain progress in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention around the world. In recent years, PEPFAR has provided a majority of U.S. government investment in health workforce strengthening in developing countries.

Bridging the Gap: Surgical Care in Low-Resource Settings

One in seven marginalized persons in the world is affected by a lack of basic surgical care, and that lack of access contributes to 11-15% of the global disease burden. A major barrier to expanding access to surgical care is the lack of qualified health workers in low-resource settings. This blog post by Susan Hayes, the CEO and President of ReSurge International, tells the story of Mohammed Hussein, a young amputee in Bangladesh. The post highlights the importance of investment in and attention to basic surgical care.

President Obama’s National Security Strategy in 2015

The President’s National Security Strategy is a guiding document for how the administration plans to address some of the most pressing national security concerns of the United States. The strategy identifies increasing global health security as a priority to keep Americans safe. Released amid the devastating Ebola epidemic, this initiative is receiving bipartisan support and attention. Well-supported and well-trained health workers, especially on the frontlines of care, are critical to building country capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks–and no initiatives to safeguard global health security can succeed without an investment in health workers.

Summary of Stakeholder Conversations on Global Governance in Health Workforce

As the Millennium Development Goals draw to a close this year, and global attention to the Sustainable Development Goals magnifies, global coordination and governance in health are critical to build political will and attention and to affect change. Recently, IntraHealth International hosted stakeholder conversations on the future direction of the Global Health Workforce Alliance. These conversations emphasized the importance of integrating support for and investment in health workers into the post-2015 agenda and universal health coverage.

About the Frontline Health Workers Coalition: The Frontline Health Workers Coalition is an alliance of 40 United States-based organizations working together to urge greater and more strategic U.S. investment in frontline health workers in developing countries as a cost-effective way to save lives and foster a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.

January Top Reads and Resources

Each month, mPowering partners will compile our ‘top five’ articles, videos, and resources related to mHealth, global health, and technology for development. This month, Clodagh McLoughlin, Global Health Research Officer at iheed, shares her top reads:
Is the desire for Innovation substituting the need for Evidence?
The second GETHealth Summit , led by iheed and the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education, was held in Dublin on November 13th & 14th. The Summit aims to bridge the health workforce gap in developing countries through the promotion and use of digital media and information, communication technologies (ICTs), especially within developing countries. If you missed the opportunity to attend this event, you can catch up with videos of the plenary sessions now available. This article by the Irish Forum for Global Health highlights important discussions from the event.
Q&A: Creating a mobile health platform that “just works” for all
In this question and answer session, PSI Impact spoke with Trip Allport of Accenture Development Partnership, about a vision for an integrated mobile health platform that provides a range of services and training for community health workers. This cross- organisational, cross- sectoral, multi- audience platform would provide key knowledge and information for health workers and consumers on the front end, and data on the back-end to inform decisions and daily workflow for supervisors, supply chain managers, ministries of health, implementers and donors.
Reversing a global health workforce crisis
This WHO bulletin illustrates how our current model of human resources for health needs to be upgraded.  The Global Health Workforce Alliance is leading the development of a strategy on human resources for health that will promote an integrated approach to workforce development. Find out about the four main elements this strategy needs to achieve this.
Health workers’ experiences, barriers, preferences and motivating factors in using mHealth forms in Ethiopia
Evidence regarding the barriers and facilitators to health workers using mHealth tools is scarce, but is essential to the success and scalability of projects. This study assesses health workers’ experiences, barriers, preferences and motivating factors in using mobile health forms on smartphones in the context of maternal health care in Ethiopia.
Scaling ICT for maternal health in Nigeria
Country ownership has been identified as a critical component of successful, sustainable programs. But does it really make a difference? This article discusses how effective public-private partnerships and country ownership, such as Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technologies for Saving One Million Lives (ICT4SOML) programme, can drive change and improve health outcomes.
Controlling Ebola through mHealth strategies
This short article discusses the potential of mHealth in controlling the current Ebola epidemic’s spread through mapping outbreaks and providing education.
About iheed:
iheed is an Irish social enterprise which produces digital training content for health workers, and also seeks to bring together policymakers, leaders and implementers in the health worker training space, to scale up creation of content, and help mitigate global shortages of trained health personnel. It has been instrumental in thought leadership for the creation of health worker training content to address global health needs.