Category Archives: General

You’re Invited! Scale the Technology Now: The Case for Immediate Scaling of Mobile Digital Content Delivery Systems Using Engineering Principles

Join mPowering and our partner Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ Wednesday, October 25 from 4-6 PM  for an evening of debate, discussion and networking. The focus of the event is our jointly produced paper Scale the Technology Now

Hosted at USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program at 1776 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036.

RSVP here



For questions about the event, please email

Zika: Lessons Learned after 1 Year’s Response

Over the course of the past program year (October 2016-September 2017), mPowering was able to join the Zika Response Team within USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program. As part of mPowering’s involvement, a Zika-specific domain was launched on the ORB platform, the entire ORB site was translated into Spanish, and over 80 quality-assured, mobile-ready, Zika-related health worker training materials were curated on ORB. This collaboration also awarded mPowering the opportunity to establish new networks and build on existing partnerships for increased impact and reach.

Lesson 1: Sharing Helps Everyone

The past year of activities have demonstrated the efficiency of online resource sharing. The Zika Communications Network has supported this point by establishing itself as a central hub for any and all Zika-related tools and materials. By hosting a variety of resources focused toward community engagement, health worker training, policymakers, vector control and sexual transmission in a wide variety of formats such as fact sheets, videos, posters, pamphlets and others; the ZCN provides a platform for content creators and content seekers to meet across organizational lines.

Photo Credit: Life News

ORB shares this focus on content sharing, but differs from the ZCN in that ORB curates health worker training materials that are in formats usable on a mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or smart phone. ORB also requires that all resources be open-source through public domain or Creative Commons licensing in order for users to be able to download resource files for use offline. This is especially important when health workers download a resource then travel to an area without cellular connectivity or Wi-Fi. An example could be if a health worker downloaded Pathfinder’s Cue Cards for Counseling Adolescents on Contraception then used their smart phone or tablet to show them to young people in a rural community outside of cellular network.

ORB and the ZCN continuously conduct cross-site scans to ensure applicable resources are shared on each platform.

Lesson 2: Quality is Possible in Emergencies

One challenge faced during the first year was the ever-changing accuracy of technical evidence and the impact this had on materials development. Content creators feared that sharing tools and resources outside of their organization’s programs could jeopardize the quality of materials if technical content was to change as a result of new findings. This fear proved to be a hurdle in the path toward open resource sharing. mPowering and MCSP’s Zika Response Team found that linking online resources to their original source website as well as timestamping resources and including disclaimers regarding the fast-paced updating of Zika technical findings helped to reinforce quality standards and safety in sharing.

Lesson 3: Keep Sharing!

As mPowering continues to work with MCSP’s Zika Response Team, heading into Year 2, there is still a need for advocacy of open-source sharing. We encourage content creators to share their resources on platforms like ORB and the ZCN. If organizational hurdles prevent sharing on external sites, we encourage creators to share announcements of resources through networks like HipNet, HIFA, the Global Digital Health Network, the Zika Communications Network and others for dissemination on listservs and blogs.

If you are creating materials for Zika response and would like to share on ORB, find our Resource Guidelines here:

Health Workers Featured at IntraHealth’s Switchpoint Conference!


On April 27th and 28th, the Switchpoint Conference took place in Saxapahaw, North Carolina. The conference, a production by our partner IntraHealth, showcased topics dealing with humanitarian innovation, global health and technology. Focusing on building interconnectivity amongst its participants, the conference had interactive networking sessions, microlabs, and presentations on various topics. A special session featured community health workers from around the world and let them voice their stories and experiences.


The following “Testimonies from the Front Lines”, shed light on the experiences of two of the health workers in attendance.


Vânia Soares de Oliveira e Almeida Pinto


Vânia Soares de Oliveira e Almeida Pinto graduated from the Faculdade de Medicina de São José do Rio Preto in 2001 where she specialized in family and community medicine. Vânia taught medical courses at the Universidade de Ribeirão Preto, at the Centro Universitário Barão de Mauá, and at the Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto-USP. Currently, she is a professor at the Mucuri Valley, in Teófilo Otoni Minas Gerais, Brazil. She is a tutor for the program More Doctors for Brazil and will finish her master’s degree this year. In collaboration with the Medtronic Foundation and other partners, Vânia is coordinating a project for Healthrise Brazil. This project taps into Vânia’s passion for primary health care and family health, specifically public health policies for under-served communities.



Sanele Madela

Expectra 868 Health Solutions

Dr. Sanele Listen Mandlenkosi Madela was born in the dusty streets of Dundee Sibongile Township and now holds a medical degree from Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medical de Villa Clara (Cuba) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Sanele is the MD/founder of Expectra 868 Health Solutions, a non-government organization (NGO) in South Africa focused on community health work. Expectra 868 aims to address the health disparities faced by the community of Umzinyathi District Municipality, where 80% of the population lives in rural areas. Sanele was awarded the 2013 MEC Annual Excellence Award for his contribution to the community-based medical education and advocacy of primary health care.


Learn more about Switchpoint here:




Contributors: Hamida Mohammad, Alex Kellerstrass & IntraHealth Staff


Getting Started with Digital Health: New Guides and Resources

We know that mobile phones have the power to provide health workers with up-to-date training and information. Digital tools  can allow training to reach more people in their own communities. However, with so much training happening in person, and the wealth of information that’s available in paperform – where do we begin? How can we change our practices to incorporate new technologies into training and communication?


mPowering Frontline Health Workers, USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Project (MCSP), and the Knowledge for Health Project (K4Health) hosted an event to look at this very question. During a presentation at MCSP, our teams shared tools and resources to help program managers, technical experts, and trainers begin to incorporate digital content and approaches in their work. Some of the resources we shared included:

  • K4Health’s Content Adaptation Guide: This interactive guide helps users understand how to adapt content to a new context, language, delivery mechanism, or other form. Through worksheets and case studies, users can practice changing existing content to make it meaningful to a new audience.
  • Creating with Mobile in Mind: This advocacy document explains why it matters to design materials and resources that can be used on a mobile device. Mobile-friendly materials matter, as more people now are accessing the internet for the first time on a mobile device than on a computer.
  • Creative Commons FAQ: Creative Commons licenses are important tools for sharing digital content. This document answers frequently asked questions like: Where can I learn more about available licenses? How do I choose the one that meets my needs?
  • Mobile Training Discussion Guide: Using digital health in a new or existing program can take a number of forms, but it always requires careful planning. This guide will help a team consider a new idea to integrate a digital tools and content into a training program. It asks questions about each phase of development, implementation, and evaluation; and provides space for teams to make notes.

We encourage you to access these resources, and contact with any questions. These are only a few of the tools that can help you integrate digital health into training and communications programs – for even more ideas, take a look at the mHealth Knowledge site or join the Global Digital Health Network. If you use any of these tools to develop a mobile training or product, send us an email and let us know.

By Carolyn Moore and Liz Eddy.
Midwifery students in Ghana use a tablet in training. Kate Holt/MCSP
Cover of Making Content Meaningful, K4Health

Join Us for World Health Worker Week’s Twitter Chat

In honor of World Health Worker Week, we’re exploring the many ways our community can advocate for increased health worker support, training and investment during the #WHWWeek Twitter chat on Tuesday, April 4. 

From gender equality to peace and security to innovation and technology to economic growth, investing in the health workforce still proves to be one of the most cross-cutting, effective commitments our global community can make toward achieving a healthier world. As we continue to tackle the challenges that come with realizing the Global Goals, frontline health workers still remain our best bet in maintaining and advancing the gains we’ve made so far.

mPowering’s vision is a trained health worker for every woman and child. World Health Worker Week highlights the important work being done by so many of our valued partners to advance health worker training around the world.

Join us, along with Jhpiego, Frontline Health Workers Coalition, IntraHealth International, RTI, Seed Global Health, Chemonics and Johnson & Johnson, as we lift up why frontline health workers are an investment we can all get behind.