Free webinar: Mastering the in-person ask

first_imgIf the thought of asking for a donation in person makes you sweat, Network for Good’s next free webinar is for you.Tune in Tuesday, April 16 at 1 p.m. Eastern to hear fundraising expert Jay Frost give nonprofits the insider scoop on garnering support via one of the most powerful methods — the in-person ask.Join us and learn answers to the following: How to ask for donations in a way that is comfortable for youHow to identify your unique asking strengths and best use themWhy asking for gifts doesn’t have to be so scary!Register here.last_img read more

The most important holiday for all fundraisers

first_imgThanks to the most-photogenic NFGers for reminding us why it’s important to #beyourdonor on October 24th!Network for Good’s favorite holiday is this month. Although we do love Halloween, October 24this Be Your Donor Day and the reason why we celebrate big this month! Sometimes fundraisers are so caught up in the day to day that we forget how important our donors are to our organization’s success. Without understanding how our donors interact with our organization, what the donation process looks like from a donors’ point of view, and how donors are thanked for their gift, we can’t do much to improve (or overhaul!) the process.It takes more effort to bring in a new donor than to retain an existing donor. Once a donor starts a relationship with your organization, do your best to ensure that donor has a positive experience. That’s why we want all fundraisers to join in and celebrate this very important holiday. Block out some time on October 24th and do an audit of your donor communication. Make sure your all your fundraising activities are donor-centric. Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas:· Your home page’s Donate Now button should take less than 5 seconds to locate and donors shouldn’t have to make more than one click to get to your donation page. · Thank you letters should talk less about how much your organization does and should instead talk more about what a donor’s gifts does. · Your organization’s contact information should be easy to find on your website, letterhead, emails, and gift receipts. And when a donor does call, promptly answer questions.We recommend you download our complete Be Your Donor Day checklist and check out all your fundraising activities for “donor-centricness”. Be your donor on October 24th and be your organization’s fundraising superhero!last_img read more

The PartoPen: Working to Increase the Effectiveness of the Partograph

first_imgPosted on August 10, 2012Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Our colleagues at Maternova recently highlighted on their innovation index a new tool (that is currently in development) that aims to increase the effectiveness of the partograph. The PartoPen is being developed by University of Colorado-Boulder Ph.D candidate Heather Underwood.According to Maternova’s innovation index:Using an infrared camera, the pen takes picture of dots that are pre-printed on the paper that act as GPS coordinates for the pen. The pen provides real-time feedback for:     · Decision support: Based on location of the pen on graph, the pen will provide next steps     · Reminders: Auto-reminders of time and procedure     · Error Checking: ex. Recording a temperature in F vs. C, pen recognizes the errorThe digital partograph system provides real-time data feedback and reinforces birth attendant training, while retaining the paper-and-pen interface currently used by most healthcare workers. The system is currently being evaluated in Kenya.This project received a $100,000 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to develop and implement the technology.Learn more about this new tool from Maternova here.More information:Visit the PartoPen site.Access several documents about the partograph in the MHTF Library. (Just enter “partograph” in the search box!)Read a number of blog posts about the partograph on the MHTF Blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Join the MHTF and the Wilson Center September 23 to Launch: “Delivering Success: Scaling Up Solutions for Maternal Health”

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 16, 2013February 2, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Next Monday, September 23, the MHTF will join the Wilson Center in launching a new report, Delivering Success: Scaling Up Solutions for Maternal Health, which draws on the experiences of the Advancing Policy Dialogue in Maternal Health series. The launch event will be held from 3:00-5:00 pm (EDT) at the Wilson Center, in Washington, DC, and will feature speakers from the MHTF and several of our partners and colleagues, including UNFPA and the Public Health Foundation of India.From the event announcement:Since 2009, the Wilson Center’s Advancing Dialogue on Maternal Health series, one of the few forums dedicated to maternal health, has brought together experts, donors, and policymakers from around the world to leverage their collective knowledge and move forward on reducing pregnancy-related deaths and complications. As part of the 2012-2013 series, the Wilson Center and the Population Foundation of India convened a workshop on neglected maternal health issues which brought together participants in New Delhi with audiences at the Wilson Center and the Harvard School of Public Health. Join us as we launch Delivering Success: Scaling Up Solutions for Maternal Health, a new report which captures, analyzes, and synthesizes the strategies and recommendations that emerged from the series. Delivering Success consolidates key findings and ties them to discussions taking place in global forums.If you are interested in attending the event in person, visit the Wilson Center for more details, or RSVP here. To join the discussion on Twitter, use the hashtag #MHDialogue.Share this:last_img read more

3 Steps to Getting Corporate Sponsors for Your Event

first_imgFundraising events take a fair amount of money to produce, and it’s easy to spend more money on the event that it actually raises. There are a number of ways to keep this from happening (like setting a realistic budget and fundraising goal and having a data-backed plan to boost donations), but one of the most efficient ways to ensure your event is a net financial gain is through corporate sponsorships.So, how do you get corporate sponsors to support your event?Step 1: Identify prospects.To start, ask yourself: which companies should be targeted as sponsors? Ideally, you’d like sponsors that fit well with your mission, and whose target markets overlap the demographics of your guests. In other words, the people attending your event would also be likely to support your sponsors.Leverage your board’s personal networks and see if anyone has any connections that might be a good fit. Ask board members if they’d be willing to contact these companies directly, by signing the proposal letter and making a follow-up phone call after it’s been sent.Another method of finding potential sponsors is looking at your competitors. Which companies are sponsoring their events? Who are the competitors of those companies? It helps to check out event pages and websites to find out what kind of publicity your competitors are giving their sponsors.Step 2: Find out what matters to them.If you want to win over a sponsor, you need to speak their language. Formulate your approach with one question in mind: What’s in it for the sponsor?A corporate sponsor is looking for benefits like a new business, more customers, a halo effect with their customer base to encourage brand loyalty or visibility. When you approach prospective sponsors, listen more than you talk, and ask them about their goals and priorities. Then, show how it’s a big benefit to them to be in front of your audience.Chris Baylis at www.sponsorshipcollective.com has five great questions to ask potential sponsor:Who is your target audience?How do you normally engage in sponsorship?What does your target market value?What are your sales goals for the coming year?What would you consider to be the most important elements of a sponsorship proposal?While you’re communicating with various organizations, make sure you’re tracking your interactions. Use your donor management system to create an organization record for every company you approach. If you can’t easily track organizations in your current donor database, talk to us about switching to a system that gives you the option to make a company record.Step 3: Make them a winning offer.With all this background information, you’re ready to formulate a compelling proposal. First things first, your job is to sell the benefit to the sponsor. The cost of that benefit is your sponsorship package. Think of this way:Event Package + Promotional Package + Donation = Sponsorship PackageThat means you should lead with “Here’s what we can do for you – let’s make this win-win happen together,” not “Here’s our sponsorship package – please support us.” You need to demonstrate the value to them.So, how much should you actually charge your sponsors? A lot of it will depend on what you learn from your conversation with them. Also, get to know the market by looking at the competition. What do similar organizations in your region charge?Then, consider your own event. How many people will be attending your event? What kind of exposure can you offer for your sponsors? The answers to all of these questions can help you come up with a fair dollar amount.As you’re working to win over your sponsor, make sure you’re clear on what their role will be. It’s critical to establish clear parameters that are ethical and appropriate from the start.Once your sponsors have agreed to support you, follow-up with a contract – and create a plan to make you both successful. Involve the sponsor in planning and promotion so they feel like an integral part of your event – and so your event feels like part of their overall outreach strategy. The deeper the thought you put into the partnership, the deeper the partnership will be.Not only are corporate sponsors great partners for funding your event, but they lend your event more reach and recognition within your network. Knowing that a well-reputed business supports your cause gives your organization legitimacy in the eyes of a potential attendee or donor. Take advantage of this strategy for the long-term with your organization. Your sponsor’s for-profit savvy and business sense can be a powerful tool beyond your upcoming event.last_img read more

5 New Year Resolutions Every Fundraiser Should Make

first_imgYou know what takes a lot of inspiration and a truckload of guts?  Fundraising.I learned this the hard way when I started a nonprofit in the living room of my apartment with just $500 and a credit card.  There were days when I second guessed myself but ten years later we raised over 10 million dollars and have been featured on Oprah, CNN, and the Today show.  Last year, Girlstart turned 20.  I’ve learned a lot since then, including how to get the absolute best fundraising results in the shortest possible time using scientifically proven methods.So what tips do I have for you to make 2018 your best year ever?  Lots!  Are you ready to ring in the new year raising more?  Here are 5 New Year resolutions I want EVERY fundraiser to make:1. Resolve to learn more about your donors.Why did they give to your organization – what connected to them? What programs do they care about?  What motivated them to give in the first place?  What was the best gift they ever gave and why?  Of all the organizations they support which one does the best job engaging them?  What are their top three philanthropic priorities?  What do they love about what they do?  How do they prefer to be communicated with?  You can ask some of these questions when you call them to thank them just for being a donor and others in a visually rich donor survey.2. Resolve to learn from your data.Do you know what your donor retention rate is? If you don’t know how you’re currently performing, setting goals to improve is meaningless. You can examine retention overall or narrow it down to first-time donors and/or major donors. You can calculate retention by the number of donors or gift value.  I personally recommend examining by gift value so you know exactly what your retention rate is costing your organization.  To run your numbers, decide on your 12 month date range (a calendar year or your fiscal year) and add the donor gift amounts by annual “class” i.e. the class of major donors giving $1,000 or more in 2017 (or the class of all 1st time donors in 2017) and then divide that amount by what those same donors gave to you the previous year, in 2016.  In other words, if you had 1,000 first time donors in 2016 and only 200 of those made another gift in 2017 your new donor retention rate would be 20%.  Why does retention matter so much?  Acquiring those donors cost you money, time and effort.  As Roger Craver, author of Retention Fundraising, advises, “Taking actionable steps to reduce donor losses is the least expensive way to increase your fundraising income.”3. Resolve to make your donors FEEL something.This is one of my biggest pet peeves in fundraising. Giving is such a joyous experience but so much of our communications can feel bland and lifeless. Does your appeal or acknowledgment make your donor feel great about themselves? It should. What we feel is irrelevant. What our donors feel is the only thing that matters. While we’re busy trying to educate our donors, or boasting about how awesome our programs are, our donor might be tossing our letter in the trash. Communicate in a warm, friendly, personable tone. Make the donor feel like gushing over what they made possible. If your autoresponders sound like a robot wrote them, it’s time for a rewrite in 2018!4. Set a revenue goal for every donor in your portfolio.Base your appeal goals on your donor’s capacity, inclination, prior giving, and interests.  Now you’re ready for your best fundraising year ever!  What’s more, when your CEO walks in and tells you about a budget shortfall you’ve got solid ground to push back on unrealistic goals.5. Resolve to dedicate 30 minutes a day to call and personally thank donors.Don’t start with the biggest and then fall off the wagon on this goal come February.  If you can, include new donors to your call list.  Be prepared with a few great discovery questions and opportunities for them to engage with you deeper.  Before you know it, your lower level donors will be major gift prospects.  The secret is you have to STICK WITH IT.  Put it on your calendar as a recurring appointment when your energy levels are at their peak.  Don’t forget to smile while you’re talking or leaving a message.I’d love to share more of my secrets with you – Download the NFG Masterclass Webinar Fundraising Strategy Series with “The Secrets of High Performing Fundraisers”.  Want more help?  I have OODLES of guides to make your fundraising EASIER.Here’s to 2018!Learn more about our guest blogger:Rachel Muir, CFRE transforms individuals into confident, successful fundraisers through workshops and retreats.  When she was 26 years old, Rachel Muir launched Girlstart, a non-profit organization to empower girls in math, science, engineering and technology in the living room of her apartment with $500 and a credit card.  Several years later she had raised over 10 million dollars and was featured on Oprah, CNN, and the Today show. Learn more about Rachel at www.rachelmuir.com or follow her at facebook.com/rachelmuirfundraising and on Twitter @rachelmuir.last_img read more

How Technology is Changing Fundraising: Q&A with CEO Bill Strathmann

first_imgMediaplanet recently interviewed Network for Good CEO, Bill Strathmann, for a supplement in USA Today. The series, Empowering Nonprofits, included a piece titled “Experts on How Technology Is Changing the Future of Fundraising,” featuring five leaders using technology to level the fundraising playing field for small nonprofits. You can read the full feature here but we wanted to share some of Bill’s answers directly with you.How has technology changed fundraising?Technology has leveled the fundraising playing field for small nonprofits who make up the vast majority of the sector…more than a million of them. To reach donors, direct mail was unaffordable, to fundraise online ecommerce was inaccessible, and to spread awareness social media was incomprehensible. Now, small nonprofits can manage donors with advanced technology that doesn’t require an advanced technology degree. Even companies like Facebook and Google have incorporated fundraising technology that empowers any consumer to fundraise for any charity…instantly. The small nonprofit has arrived.Where do you see nonprofit technology in the next 5-10 years?In the U.S., 75% of giving comes from individuals. That will continue, but the Gen X and Millennial generations will soon replace Boomers as the primary fundraising source, as Millennials (now already 22-38 years old) enter their income-generating years and as the $30T great wealth transfer begins. That means fundraising will be all about digital engagement and will follow the changes in consumer engagement we are already seeing today…the expectation, at your finger tips, for easy experiences, transparency, real-time communication, and tangible results/impact that can be celebrated virally. As a result, donor-nonprofit relationships will also shift to more “subscription” model programs and fewer “one-off” experiences…if nonprofits get it right.What is your best advice for a nonprofit looking to upscale their fundraising impact?Change your perspective. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple have changed consumer behavior to expect instant, curated, and relevant content that can be accessed anywhere at any time. For nonprofits those are tough expectations to match unless they shift their perspective such that nonprofits reframe the donor-nonprofit relationship from treating donors like ATM machines to serving donors with stories and content that provides compelling evidence of impact and rewards donors emotionally for their financial contribution. Donors are consumers and will pay and stay…as long as they continue to see and feel value from their contribution.What are some of the most important functions of technology for nonprofits?Data management is the most all-encompassing and important function of technology for nonprofits, especially now with cloud-based solutions that make accessibility unlimited, visualization understandable, storage costs nominal, and using it easy. The two functions that are runner-ups are marketing and communications automation and payments. Nonprofits need to be able to reach their people, tell their stories, and share their impact. And when it comes to payments, nonprofits do not have cash registers…and checks are going the way of the Dodo.What is the biggest advantage of technology for the nonprofit sector?I can’t choose one. I’ll name three. Efficiency. Reach. Data.Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

NFG Staff Profile: AJ Johnson

first_imgThe idea of being able to help someone attracts AJ to nonprofits. From an early age, she was involved with a Golden Retriever rescue organization and co-founded a satellite rescue facility. Working remote in Florida, you’ll find AJ at one of the awesome parks in Orlando, FL on her days off!“Nothing brings a smile to my face more than when I watch our customers have that “a-ha” moment in real time.”Q&A with AJ Johnson, Customer Success ManagerWhat do you do at Network for Good?I currently work as a Customer Success Specialist on the Welcome Team! I like to tell my customers that I’m a little bit like a driving instructor – I’m here to help them understand not only their product, but how the different components work together to help boost their fundraising. I get to work with folks for their first few months so that they’ll have a point of contact for their questions, and make sure I can provide them with the resources they’ll need to be successful after my time working with them ends.What is your experience with nonprofit organizations outside of Network for Good?I’ve always been involved with the nonprofit world one way or another. When I first heard about the 9/11 attacks, I immediately asked my parents how we’d be able to help the families who’d lost a loved one. After my family adopted a golden retriever from a small rescue while I was in middle school, we became involved enough to co-found our own rescue, using a network of volunteers, fosters, and transport specialists (#adoptdontshop, always!). I raised money through donations from my Bat Mitzvah for the rescue’s benefit, and I even ran their fledgling social media accounts for a while in high school! My passion has always been with the LGBTQ+ community, though, and I have volunteered with various queer organizations (and I do, to this day!). My focus has always been making sure people across the gender spectrum have access to safe, comfortable, and affordable medical care.What attracts you to nonprofits? I just love the concept of being able to do everything in your power to help someone. I’ve found motivation in helping those who maybe don’t even realize that they might need help, and I’ve found motivation in giving voices to those who maybe don’t have the capability to speak up. It’s that motivation that moves me to incorporate service in all parts of my life – work, play, and everything in between.What do you enjoy most about your work? Nothing brings a smile to my face more than when I watch our customers have that “aha!” moment when I’m on the phone with them. When everything clicks together for them, in that moment, it’s easy to see their excitement grow – they often are realizing exactly how they’ll be able to use the system to reach more donors with their message. Nonprofits are people’s passions, their hearts and souls, and being able to see it all click as they use their new system is just so fulfilling. I also love the exposure I get to nonprofits and causes that I’d never heard of – there are so many incredible people doing incredible things and it’s inspiring to see the kind of solutions people can find and the real magic they can do.What do you enjoy doing outside work? I live (and work remotely) about 30 miles south of Orlando, and I’m a huge adrenaline junkie, so on my days off, there’s a good chance you’ll find me at one of the theme parks in the area. I’ve got annual passes to Universal, Sea World, and Disney World, but I’ve always been a Disney kid at heart, so sometimes I’ll just go to the parks to grab a Mickey pretzel with cheese and people watch. Universal is great, too, for when I need a little Hogwarts magic to get through the weekend, and you’ll catch me most nights during the fall at their Halloween Horror Nights, hiding behind my partner from all of the scares! Sea World has become a recent favorite, though, because you can actually feed some of the little rays some anchovies, or watch the baby dolphins as they play tag and chase each other in the nursery. No matter which park I’m at, though, I’ll be somewhere near those roller coasters!Lightning RoundDream vacation? A full European adventure. I took Italian in high school and fell in love with the language, the culture, the architecture, the art – but if I’m headed on a dream trip, why only include one stop on the tour?Most recent book read? I’m currently reading Retta’s memoir “So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know” and I haven’t been able to stop laughing. She’s funny and poignant, and it goes so far beyond her time on Parks and Rec. I love to read though, and I’ve got over a thousand physical books at home – don’t even ask my about my Kindle.Last movie seen in movie theater? The last two have been Aladdin and Toy Story 4 – I wasn’t kidding about being a Disney kid!Theme song? “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” by Panic! At the Disco.Favorite color? Blue!All time favorite athlete? Right now, it’s Coco Gauff – she’s an honest-to-goodness inspiration. At fifteen, she’s competing in Wimbledon against her all-time hero – at fifteen, I think I was working part-time at a water park! She sets such an example for anyone who wants to follow their dreams, as cheesy as it sounds. Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

From Mexico City: Iatrogenic Fistula on the Rise as More Women Gain Access to Surgery

first_imgShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 21, 2015October 13, 2016By: Sandeep Bathala, Senior Program Associate, Maternal Health Initiative, Wilson CenterClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor. It can lead to incontinence and infection, social stigmatization as others recoil in horror, and even mental illness. Between 50,000 to 100,000 women each year are affected by it – and it’s entirely preventable with proper medical attention.In my professional career, I have had the opportunity to visit three fistula hospitals, in Mali and Ethiopia. The challenges around unequal access to care stare you down in these places. Intravenous bags are held up by sticks in some cases, and each woman’s story is an exercise in heartbreak.Today, on the second day of the Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City, I had the opportunity to learn more about a new kind of fistula complication that is emerging.Dr. Lauri Romanzi, who spoke at the Wilson Center in July and is project director of the USAID/EngenderHealth Fistula Care Plus Project, explained how increased access to cesarean sections without regard to quality of care is causing an increase in iatrogenic fistulas, a form of fistula unintentionally caused by a health care provider.Iatrogenic fistulas are sometimes caused by inexperienced clinicians who are thrown into situations with many patients. According to research conducted by Dr. Thomas Raassen, a surgeon for the non-profit Operation Fistula, more than 13 percent of fistulas in 65 hospitals across East Africa and Asia over an 18-year period were iatrogenic.Raassen stressed the importance of better training (some medical officers receive only two months of instruction) and suggested staff should perform cesarean sections under supervision before they are posted to hospitals. Cesarean sections are “easy until they aren’t,” he said. They are major surgery, and mistakes can cause a lot of damage.He also stressed the need for cesarean section alternatives, especially in the unfortunate case of a dead fetus after days of obstructed labor.It’s not just an increase in poor quality cesarean section surgeries, said Dr. SK Nazmul Huda, a project manager with Fistula Care Plus in Bangladesh. He shared data from the National Fistula Center and three major hospitals in Bangladesh indicating that 27 percent of fistulas were iatrogenic from 2012 to 2014, but three quarters were caused by poor quality hysterectomies. Lack of access to quality care spans across a woman’s life cycle.Dr. Ganda Sanda of Niger’s Hopital National de Lamorde Niamey highlighted issues around classification and data. Should fistulas caused by sexual violence or female genital cutting be considered iatrogenic? How do we prevent these causes and prepare doctors to deal with them?Romanzi stressed throughout the session that fistula is an indicator of inequity. Fistulas are on the rise at a time when more women have access to cesarean sections and hysterectomies, which should be a good thing. But the poorest women are having a much harder time accessing high quality care.I look forward to learning more about equity and quality of care issues tomorrow.Sandeep Bathala is reporting from 2015 Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City for the Wilson Center, Maternal Health Task Force, and UN Population Fund.Photo: “Partner surgeon and staff during a fistula repair surgery” ©2014 Dining for Women, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.last_img read more

Not All Facilities Are Created Equal: The Relationship Between Delivery Volume, Surgical Capacity and Quality of Maternal Health Care in Africa

first_imgPosted on September 30, 2016November 18, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Delivery in a health facility is one of the indicators being used to measure progress in global maternal newborn health under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, research from numerous settings has illustrated that an increase in facility-based birth does not necessarily result in fewer maternal deaths or neonatal deaths. High quality of care is essential for improving health outcomes and ensuring that women continue to seek care throughout their current and future pregnancies. There is huge variation in quality of care and maternal mortality across facilities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, but research in this area is scarce.In a recent study published in The Lancet Global Health, Kruk and colleagues used nationally representative health system surveys to examine the quality of maternal health care provided in facilities in Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in relation to volume of deliveries and surgical capacity. Quality of care was evaluated using a set of indicators that measured the facility’s availability of 24-hour skilled staff, referral system, electricity, safe water, equipment for infection control, and ability to administer oxytocin, antibiotics and magnesium sulfate when necessary.The overall quality of care in the sample of 1,715 facilities was low. Nine out of ten facilities providing obstetric services in this region did not have the capacity to perform cesarean sections. The majority of primary facilities—facilities that did not offer cesarean sections—lacked the capacity to respond appropriately to common obstetric emergencies such as pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage by administering magnesium sulfate and oxytocin, respectively. Only 47% of primary facilities had skilled staff available at all times, 39% had referral capacity, 36% had safe water and a mere 11% had electricity. Although secondary facilities—facilities that offer cesarean sections—generally had better quality of care compared to primary care facilities, only 60% of secondary facilities had adequate safe water supply and 66% operated with electricity.Consistent with findings from high-income countries, higher delivery volume was associated with better quality of care in primary and secondary facilities in these sub-Saharan African countries. Primary facilities with fewer than 500 deliveries per year tended to have the poorest quality of care.The indicators used in this study reflect just a few of the most essential resources and practices necessary for providing high quality maternal health care. Basic infrastructure including electricity and safe water and medicines such as oxytocin and magnesium sulfate are essential elements of high quality care. This study also raises an important question: What steps can be taken to ensure that facilities provide quality care regardless of delivery volume?While increasing facility-based delivery may drive improvements in maternal and newborn health outcomes, what happens when a woman arrives at the facility is critical. A focus on understanding and improving the quality of maternal health care is crucial for reducing preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.—Read about the paper in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health news.Hear from Margaret Kruk in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health podcast: Is any care good care? Explore the new standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn health care from the World Health Organization.Check out the Obstetric Emergency Drills and Training Kit designed to help facilities in low-resource settings prevent and respond to obstetric emergencies.Learn about respectful maternity care, another key component of high quality maternal health care.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

New Report Provides Snapshot of SRMNAH Workforce in East and Southern Africa

first_imgKey messages from the reportThe 21 countries included in this report reflect a fairly high level of diversity across the region: Some have extremely high levels of maternal and neonatal mortality and stillbirths as well as high disease burdens; others have relatively low levels.South Africa is the only country in the region with an SRMNAH workforce that is large enough and has the appropriate skill mix to meet all of the country’s need for the 46 essential interventions for SRMNAH.The size of the SRMNAH workforce is an essential building block for effective coverage of SRMNAH services, but effective coverage depends also on accessibility, acceptability and quality. Countries with SRMNAH worker shortages must focus on increasing availability, and all countries should address the identified challenges to the provision of SRMNAH care that is accessible, acceptable and high quality.Countries are working hard to expand the SRMNAH workforce and deliver equitable services, but accurate workforce planning is dependent on accurate workforce data. A minimum of 10 pieces of information should be collected on all cadres:HeadcountPercentage time spent on SRMNAHRoles of each cadreAge distribution of current workforceRetirement ageDuration of educationNumber of students enrolling per yearEducation attrition rateNumber of new graduates joining the workforce each yearVoluntary attrition from the workforce ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: However, comprehensive, disaggregated data for determining the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of the SRMNAH workforce are not routinely and easily available, even to those tasked with making decisions about workforce planning and deployment.In order for the SRMNAH workforce to work effectively, health facilities need to be equipped to offer the appropriate services, including for emergencies (access to safe blood, cesarean sections, newborn resuscitation). All hospitals and primary care facilities in the region tend to be designated to offer these services, but relatively few are sufficiently well equipped to be able to provide them routinely.Legislation, regulation and licensing allows SRMNAH workers to provide high quality care and thus protect the health of women, adolescents and newborns. Countries in the region tend to have good policies and systems for this aspect of quality of care, but in some countries there are barriers to the effective implementation of these policies and systems.Midwives and nurse-midwives who are educated and regulated to international standards can provide 87% of the essential care needed for women, adolescents and newborns. Midwives and nurse-midwives can make a unique contribution due to their competencies covering the whole continuum of SRMNAH care, from pre-pregnancy, through antenatal care and care during childbirth, to postnatal services. The scaling up of midwifery represents a cost-effective contribution to improving SRMNAH outcomes.Are you working to expand the accessibility, acceptability and quality of your country’s SRMNAH workforce? We want to hear from you!—Download the full report.Explore other posts from the Global Maternal Health Workforce blog series and access related resources.Subscribe to receive new posts from the Maternal Health Task Force blog.Share this:center_img Posted on October 4, 2017October 5, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United Nations Population Fund recently published “The State of the World’s Midwifery: Analysis of the Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent Health (SRMNAH) Workforce in East & Southern Africa.” The report uses the framework of the 2014 State of the World’s Midwifery report to assess the SRMNAH workforce in 21 countries: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.last_img read more

New Jobs and Internships in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

first_imgShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 30, 2019Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaReproductive Health Program Management Advisor: PSI; Niamey, NigerSenior Advisor, Community Engagement: Save the Children; Bamako, MaliSenior Social and Behavior Change Advisor: Save the Children; Bamako, MaliM&E Director, Continuum of Care, Technical Assistance: PATH; Lusaka, Zambia (must have legal authorization to work in Zambia)Advocacy and Policy Manager, Advocacy and Public Policy: PATH; Kampala, Uganda (must have legal authorization to work in Uganda)Reproductive & Maternal Health Project Associate: Partners in Health; Kono, Sierra LeoneAsiaTechnical Director: Jhpiego; Afghanistan (Afghan nationals are strongly encouraged to apply)Program Director, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health: PATH; New Delhi, IndiaNorth AmericaCommunications and Influence Manager: Jacaranda Health; Durham, NCSPO, Child Survival and Surveillance: Gates Foundation; Seattle, WADivision Chief, Maternal, Child, and Family Health: State of Illinois; Cook County, ILSenior Program Specialist Maternal and Child Health: International Development Research Center; Ottawa, ON, CanadaResearch Assistant II, Delivery Decisions: Ariadne Labs; Boston, MANational Director, Research, Evaluation & Data: Planned Parenthood; New York, NYSenior Data Analyst: Planned Parenthood; US RemoteTORCH Reproductive Health Educator: National Institute for Reproductive Health; New York, NYOnline Communications Assistant, Media and Communications Branch, Division of Communications and Strategic Partnerships (DCS): UNFPA; New York, NY (Closing date: 26 September 2019 – 5:00pm EST)Maternal and Newborn Health Lead, MOMENTUM: Save the Children; Washington DCFamily Planning/Reproductive Health Lead, MOMENTUM: Save the Children; Washington DCSRHR Resource Mobilization Intern – US Government: CARE; Atlanta, GATechnical Lead, Immunizations, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition: PATH; Washington DC—Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.last_img read more

With Runners On Base Joey Votto Lets Too Many Good Chances Go

Near the end of last season, Cincinnati Enquirer writer Paul Daugherty penned a column about Reds first baseman Joey Votto. It was not kind.You can extol the virtues of the almighty walk all you like. You can tell me how wonderful it is that Votto makes fewer outs than anyone. I understand all that, and it is all good. Especially if you’re leading off or batting 2nd. If you are batting 3rd, your responsibilities are different. Seventy-three RBI with Choo ahead of you all year is substandard. All numbers aside, Votto doesn’t pass the eyeball test this summer. There have been times when he simply looks disengaged.This might seem like stinging criticism, particularly the part where Daugherty jumps from Votto’s RBI total to accusing the Reds star of checking out. Thing is, select members of Cincinnati’s baseball media corps often bash Votto for being too passive — especially when he comes up with runners on base. Marty Brennaman, the radio voice of the Reds for the past 40 years, seems to do it all the time. That September 2013 column wasn’t remotely the only time Daugherty called out Votto. The idea of Votto as this submissive hitter who keeps his bat on his shoulder during RBI opportunities has become so widespread that even the Cardinals announcers brought it up when the Reds visited St. Louis last month. And as far as the eyeball test goes, well, it’s tough to watch Votto do something like this (on a 2-1 count, no less), and not shake your head a little:That mid-at-bat stroll aside, is the narrative true? Is Votto hurting his team by turning into a wallflower when he gets chances to drive in runs? Or is this just another case of blaming a team’s best player for its failures?Votto defenders, and Votto himself, argue that indiscriminately swinging at more pitches would hurt more than it would help. Votto’s elite batting puts him at or near the top of the league in walk rate every year. It also helps him avoid making weak contact on pitches out of the strike zone; since his 2008 rookie season, no qualified hitter has been better at getting on base (and thus not making outs) than Votto has.So rather than pointing to simple walk rate or swing rate, we turned to ESPN’s TruMedia system for context. It slices and dices stats in countless ways, to the point where we can see how often Votto swings at pitches in the strike zone with runners in scoring position. That way, we can focus on the situations most conducive to knocking in runs and eliminate pitches out of the zone, which you’d want hitters to pass up anyway.We came up with three ways to dissect this stat. First, we can see how often Votto swings at strikes when at bat with runners in scoring position, and whether he’s doing it more or less now than he has in the past. We can also compare Votto’s swing rate in those situations with those of other elite hitters. TruMedia data goes back to 2009, and Votto ranks third in the majors since ’09 in weighted runs created plus,1Also known as wRC+, this stat tallies all the walks, singles, doubles, triples, homers, outs and other outcomes compiled by a hitter — minus context-dependent stats like RBI — then adjusts for park effects and the era in which a player plays and boils it down to one number. A score of 100 is average for a major league hitter, which means Votto’s 162 wRC+ since 2009 pegs him at 62 percent better than average. so comparing Votto to the rest of the top five in that stat over the past half-decade makes sense. Finally, we can see how often Votto swings in these spots relative to league average.The chart below tells the tale.At first glance, yes, Votto has become much less aggressive with runners in scoring position over the past five-plus seasons. In 2009, his second full season in the big leagues, Votto swung at 78.2 percent of the pitches he saw in the strike zone with RISP, ranking him 10th among 155 qualified batters, just slightly behind the grip-it-and-rip-it approach of RBI-machine Miguel Cabrera. Votto’s number dipped slightly to 76.2 percent in 2010, still ranking among the league’s leaders. In 2011, that number fell precipitously to 69.6 percent, just a smidgen above league average. In 2012, it took another big tumble, with Votto’s swing rate plunging to 62.4 percent — No. 121 in the majors if he’d had enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. Last year, he rebounded to 69.8 percent, once again a tick above league average. So far this season, the bottom has dropped out, with Votto swinging at just 57.7 percent of pitches in the strike zone with runners in scoring position, ranking him 171st among 187 qualified hitters. Those last 16 guys probably batted with their eyes closed.Now let’s compare Votto to other elite hitters. Placing him side by side with those other top-five wRC+ guys — Cabrera, Mike Trout, Ryan Braun and Jose Bautista — nets surprising results. While Cabrera and Braun rank among baseball’s most aggressive hitters when they get pitches with runners in scoring position, Trout and Bautista have been far more passive … more so even than Votto, before this year.Let’s run one more chart. Same hitters, same runners in scoring position situations, still using pitches in the strike zone, only this time we’ll look at fastballs only, since in theory you’d expect hitters to be more aggressive against heaters than, say, darting sliders or diving change-ups.Same pattern, but check out Votto’s free fall this season. On fastballs in the strike zone with RISP, he’s swung an incredibly low 50 percent of the time, ranking 182 out of 187 batters.So what’s going on here?Leaving RBI aside, Votto’s power numbers have shrunk a lot over the past couple of years. Since his 37-homer MVP season in 2010, Votto has hit 29, 14 and 24 bombs, with just four so far this year. Using isolated power, a stat that gives a better read of a player’s pop than slugging average since it focuses only on extra-base hits, we see that Votto posted a career-low .186 IP mark last year, ranking a less-than-elite 44th among 140 qualified batters. He’s down to .169 IP this year, just the 72nd-best mark in the majors. If a hitter feels he can do less damage when he swings, he’s probably going to swing less often. Votto is one of the brainiest, most self-aware players in the game, so it’s no surprise to see him swinging less often than he has in the past, both with runners in scoring position and the rest of the time.It’s hard to tell how aggressive Votto might be in the future, given what the numbers tell us. Go back and peruse those charts again. The two biggest drops in his swing rate (with runners in scoring position or otherwise) — and the only two times in his career that he’s been more passive than league average in RBI situations — have come in 2012 and this year.In 2012, Votto suffered a painful knee injury, one that sapped his power dramatically until it knocked him out of the lineup for 50 games; of course he’s going to swing less often when he’s both playing in pain and not hitting the ball as hard when he makes contact. As for this year, it’s May 9. Votto has seen only 52 pitches in the strike zone with runners in scoring position, and just 36 of those were fastballs. We should probably wait until we have a larger sample of at-bats before we break out Tom Smykowski’s mat.So yes, Daugherty’s belief that Votto has become more passive passes not only the eyeball test, but also the hard evidence test. Still, Votto doesn’t deserve this much criticism. We’re talking about a player who’s on track to reach base more than 40 percent of the time for the sixth straight season. He’s an excellent defender at first. An infield popup for him is like a Halley’s Comet sighting for the rest of us. And while he might be swinging less often than he used to, even that trend might prove to be much less pronounced than it looks right now.Joey Votto remains one of the best all-around players on the planet, whether or not he ever makes the ghost of Hack Wilson sweat. read more

Statheads Are The Best Free Agent Bargains In Baseball

TBA4365+51.2 DET4044+10.0 It’s getting more and more crowded on baseball’s bleeding edge. As sabermetrics has expanded to swallow new disciplines and data sets,1The data generated by a single game has gone from mega- to gigabytes, with terabytes sure to follow before long. the number of quantitative analysts in MLB front offices has multiplied to keep up, producing an army of number crunchers, modelers and decision scientists who would have seemed out of place at the ballpark even a decade ago.Because we, too, are statheads at heart, we’ve mined the data and charted the proliferation of these numbers-savvy front-office staffers over time. Yes, there are more of them now than ever, and yes, they’ve had a demonstrable effect on their teams’ fortunes. But contrary to the “Moneyball”-era hand-wringing about battles between scouts and statheads, their rise hasn’t come at the expense of old-school analysis. Rather, the two main points of contention are how much the “Moneyball” mindset has spread from the game’s most frugal teams to the richest ones; and why the front-office hiring boom hasn’t helped its gender diversity.You’re gonna need a bigger budgetTo track the expansion of baseball’s R&D departments, we took three snapshots of MLB staffs by studying cached online directories and team media guides from 2016, 2012 and 2009 — the first year for which media guides are widely available from MLBpressbox.com — and consulting with current and former front-office employees. We limited our sample to full-time employees (sorry, interns and consultants),2Disclosure: One of this article’s authors, Rob Arthur, works as a statistical consultant for the Toronto Blue Jays. and tried to maintain a consistent, fairly strict definition of what constitutes a quant: a “baseball operations” employee who spends a majority of his or her work hours either directing a quantitative department or doing statistical research, data processing or programming to support the team’s analytical efforts.Naturally, our task occasionally required some informed speculation. “Analytics” and “analyst” are slippery terms, particularly because most front-office employees are multitaskers who contribute to more than one department. Many teams are also guarded in how they describe (or don’t describe) their employees’ roles and responsibilities. But even with all those caveats, we’re confident that we’ve arrived at a roughly accurate accounting of MLB’s quant army.And our numbers reveal that baseball’s analytical arms race is proceeding at a pace only slightly slower than Moore’s law. Although the analytical gold rush began before the period we examined, hiring has accelerated at an almost exponential rate over the last few years. In 2009, the first season of our sample — which was several years after “Moneyball” became a best-seller — a total of 44 team employees fit our “quant” definition, and at least a third of teams had yet to assign a single full-time employee primarily to statistical work. By 2012, the number had climbed to 75, and only four teams had no quants. Four years after that, the analyst count has more than doubled again, to 156, and nowadays no team operates without some semblance of an R&D department. 3Only one of those departments — perhaps predictably, the tightfisted Miami Marlins — is still a solo act. MIL3848+26.3 ATL3246+43.8 KCA3647+30.6 SDN3655+52.8 TOR3858+52.6 WAS2847+67.9% ARI4161+48.8 CIN4665+41.3 TEX3849+28.9 NUMBER OF FULL-TIME SCOUTING PERSONNEL MIN3546+31.4 LAD4361+41.9 OAK3840+5.3 CLE4148+17.1 SourceS: MLB, VARIOUS TEAM MEDIA GUIDES SEA6762-7.5 Nor is there any indication that we’re approaching a plateau. A number of teams told us they expected to add more analysts soon; we’re aware of at least 12 open positions across MLB. And because the litany of prerequisite degrees and programming languages seems to grow with each listing, it seems certain that the average analyst also has a more impressive résumé today than in the past.To the statheads went the spoilsThe biggest benefits of buying into objective analysis were probably reaped around the time “Moneyball” was published, when a lot of the low-hanging fruit was still attached to baseball’s most rigid branches. Simple lessons such as “on-base percentage matters more than batting average” still eluded many front offices, and numerous talented analysts whose work would later be exclusive to one team were still posting their insights publicly on message boards or sites such as Baseball Prospectus.Even though some of the initial rewards had already been realized by 2009, there were still significant gains to be made by semi-early adopters. To measure them, we built a model estimating how good a team was before its front-office hires, using the following factors for each team: its winning percentages over the previous three seasons, its payroll and market size and its Baseball America farm-system ranking. Using these variables, we generated an expected winning percentage for each team over the following three seasons, beginning with the two historical years for which we had analyst counts (2009 and 2012).The takeaway: It paid to invest in analytics early. Teams with at least one analyst in 2009 outperformed their expected winning percentage4As predicted by the model. by 44 percentage points over the 2012-14 period, relative to teams who didn’t — an enormous effect, equivalent to more than seven extra wins per season. That might be overstating things a bit — the precise advantage varies depending on how the analysis is structured — but over most permutations of the model we tried,5Including using different thresholds (by number of analysts) to determine a team’s analytical buy-in, and different periods of time upon which to judge a team’s on-field output. the effect was consistently stronger than two wins per season, particularly for the earliest-adopting teams, which got a head start by implementing analytics before 2009.Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that sabermetrics conferred such a first-mover advantage. As a thought experiment, let’s assume the typical modern analytics department contains five people (156 staffers leaguewide, divided by 30 teams). If the two most senior members of the department earn $100,000 a year and the remaining members make half that, the yearly price would come to $350,000. Putting aside overhead costs,6Which, admittedly, can be quite large (i.e., in the millions) for some front offices. But even with multi-million dollar overhead costs, the total price of an analytics department wouldn’t approach most free-agent player contracts of similar value. that outlay still lags behind the MLB’s minimum salary for a single player — chump change in a sport where the average franchise is valued at 10 figures.For such a relatively small expenditure on analysts, even the minimum estimate of two extra wins per year would represent a return roughly 30 times as efficient as spending the same amount on the free-agent market. (It would be like the Chicago Cubs signing outfielder Dexter Fowler not for the $13 million he’s actually making but for what it would take to pay a player who just made his big-league debut.) At that rate, there’s plenty of room for front-office inflation to continue before teams run into diminishing returns.The rich are getting smarterAlthough the big-budget Boston Red Sox were also one of the first teams to demonstrate that an analytics department could help win a World Series,7Boston may have even been the first to win with a dedicated analytics staff, though it’s also worth noting that the Oakland A’s won in 1989 with early sabermetric consulting from Eric Walker. a number of low-payroll, small-market teams — including not only the Moneyball A’s, but also the Rays, Indians, Padres and Pirates — were among the first to form quantitative departments and develop systems to house and display statistical data. It made sense: The more pressing a team’s financial imperative to stretch every dollar and wring out every win, the more likely it was to try a new approach.But that’s no longer true. Although the Rays, who rank 29th in payroll this season, continue to occupy the R&D pole position with a still expanding department of almost 20 statheads — fortunately, Tropicana Field has plenty of quiet, climate-controlled workspace to spare — baseball’s “haves” are no longer have-nots when it comes to statistical expertise. In both 2009 and 2012, teams with low-ranking payrolls tended to employ more analysts. But in 2016, the balance of analytical buy-in shifts toward big spenders, which might explain why the Rays are having a harder time separating their on-field performance from the pack.Not only are wealthy teams capable of outspending competitors for free-agent players, but they’ve also become more willing to outbid them for brains. The sport’s two heaviest hitters by payroll, the Yankees and Dodgers, are also the only teams aside from the Rays whose R&D departments have double-digit head counts.In addition to hiring a large crew of new number crunchers and programmers, the Dodgers have plundered talent from other franchises’ front offices, absorbing not only the former general managers of the Rays (Andrew Friedman), Padres (Josh Byrnes) and Blue Jays (Alex Anthopoulos), but also a former A’s assistant GM, Farhan Zaidi, who joined Oakland as an analyst because “Moneyball” made him want to work in baseball. In particular, LA’s brain trust has devoted its efforts to preserving player health, which Billy Beane has publicly labeled the sport’s most glaring inefficiency. In their quest to curtail injuries, the Dodgers have invested in both computerized systems and human know-how, as well as seeding a sports-oriented startup incubation program.Stats haven’t killed the scouting starIn the factious days after “Moneyball” was published, the book was often characterized as a prophecy of scouting’s coming extinction. That interpretation was mostly off base, but one passage did strongly imply that the competition for front-office positions was a zero-sum game. In a postscript titled “Inside Baseball’s Religious War,” which appeared in later editions, Michael Lewis wrote that “[J.P.] Ricciardi, the new [Blue Jays] GM, had done what every enlightened GM will eventually do: fire a lot of scouts, hire someone comfortable with statistical analysis … and begin to trade for value, ruthlessly.”Lewis’s postscript looks ironic in retrospect, for multiple reasons. The deputy he describes as “someone comfortable with statistical analysis” was Keith Law, who has since become ESPN’s lead prospect analyst and spends much of his time scouting players. Moreover, Ricciardi himself was fired in 2009 and replaced by Anthopoulos, who almost immediately embarked on a scout-hiring spree — and shepherded Toronto to more success than it had ever enjoyed under his predecessor.8Anthopoulos left the Blue Jays for the Dodgers after the 2015 season. Even Beane’s stat-inclined sidekick, Paul DePodesta, later became vice president of player development and scouting for the Mets before switching sports earlier this year. BAL3432-5.9 STL3944+12.8 CHC5160+17.6 NYM5246-11.5 PHI33330.0 CHW3246+43.8 TEAM20092016%CHANGE BOS5971+20.3 NYY4574+64.4 HOU5552-5.5 SFN5956-5.1 COL3644+22.2 ANA3448+41.2 PIT3948+23.1 MIA3843+13.2 Scouting staffs are also on the rise In fact, the recent expansion of analytics staffing doesn’t seem to have squeezed out other kinds of employees. By our count, big-league teams employed 1,246 full-time scouts in the first year of our sample,9Which in most cases dates back to 2009, except for the few teams whose 2009 media guides don’t have accessible scouting sections. In those cases, we used 2010 data. across all levels and specialties — pro, amateur, advance and international. This year’s media guides list 1,539 scouts — an average increase of almost 10 per team. Only five teams employ fewer scouts than they did in 2009, and of those, four were previously among the top five scout employers. No team has downsized by more than six total scouts or 12 percent of its previous force.Although the increased ability to access information remotely may have made some advance and pro scouts redundant — or transferred their responsibilities to new, stay-at-home scouts who prep for opponents using a combination of stats and video — any modest downsizing in those areas has been more than offset by increased amateur and international coverage. For instance, the Rays — who also devote a massive head count to scouting, trailing only the Yankees and Red Sox — assign dedicated scouts to 12 countries outside the U.S., some of which haven’t historically been baseball hotbeds.10Including Curacao, Germany, the Czech Republic and Brazil, where they’re trying to build an academy. No scouting position is permanent, but our survey uncovered scant evidence to back up claims that teams are treating scouts as obsolete relics. If anything, smart teams have learned to treat scouting grades as statistical data that can improve upon purely numbers-based evaluations, making the two perspectives even more tightly intertwined.Given baseball’s burgeoning economy, it’s only logical that additional jobs for statheads haven’t come at scouts’ expense. Ever-rising broadcast rights and franchise valuations have caused revenue to skyrocket, and the profit has to go somewhere besides under owners’ mattresses. As revenue sharing, luxury taxes, and limits on amateur and international spending lower the ceiling on some forms of spending and shrink the payroll gaps between teams, the best option for a cash-flush club is to direct dollars away from the field. Beefing up front-office infrastructure makes acquiring, storing and applying information easier, and it allows teams to get more bang for the bucks they’re allowed to spend.That said, there are still places where analytics hiring has a lot of room to improve. Out of 190 analysts who appeared on our list at least once, only five were female, and only three of those women are still active. Granted, the gender imbalance in baseball ops is actually less lopsided on the R&D side than in scouting, where women are even scarcer. But high-level playing experience is far from a prerequisite in R&D roles, which tells us either that teams are having trouble attracting female applicants or that they’re overlooking the qualified candidates who do apply. As Zaidi, who has since hired one of the three active female analysts, put it last year: “If I’m going to put my geek cap on, it’s a statistical impossibility … that the best candidate for every position in baseball is a middle-aged Caucasian male.”Of course, baseball’s broadcast bubble might eventually burst, reversing the rise in revenue and forcing teams to economize. In that event, some would likely decide that stats, video and tracking systems such as Statcast and Kinetrax make scouting positions expendable, although they would probably also slash the budgets and support for their R&D staffs. Barring that type of catastrophe, though, baseball’s front-office hiring boom is unlikely to slow any time soon, since the rapid ascendance of baseball’s new school hasn’t made many teams think “out with the old.” Instead, teams have learned to synthesize information from multiple sources; even the supposedly sabermetrics-defying Kansas City Royals were aided by a talented analytics department en route to their World Series victory last season. When it comes to the search for front-office smarts, all signs still say “help wanted.”Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Butlers run offers hope for smaller schools

When Gordon Hayward let go of the shot, college basketball fans jumped out of their seats. As the ball neared the basket, it felt like the end of a Hollywood movie, only without the corny music playing in the background. To the disappointment of many, except Duke fans and gamblers, Hayward’s shot clanked off the rim. Duke, the mighty No. 1 seed, won the game 61-59 and took home the National Championship.  Although Butler did not win the game, the effects of this tournament run will not soon be forgotten. As many sports analysts compare this Butler basketball team to a modern-day “Hoosiers,” it is important to recognize that this is not a movie, but reality. The championship matchup featured the NCAA basketball powerhouse Duke versus the mid-major Horizon League opponent Butler. It was 2008 Olympic gold medal coach Mike Krzyzewski against 33-year-old former pharmaceutical salesman Brad Stevens. According to rivals.com, every member of Duke’s starting lineup was at least a four-star recruit. With every advantage leaning toward the Blue Devils, how did Butler only lose by two points? The truth is, Butler’s flair for the dramatic was a common tournament occurrence. The Bulldogs reached the championship because they excelled in two facets of the game. First, they played extraordinary defense. Their tenacious and gritty play helped them limit each NCAA Tournament opponent, except for Duke, to fewer than 60 points. Second, Butler was the better team under pressure. Its first test was in the second round when it inched out a two-point victory against No. 13 Murray State.  The Sweet 16 didn’t get any easier as the Bulldogs faced No. 1 Syracuse. After the Orange went up by four points with 5:23 remaining, the Bulldogs kept their composure and did not allow another field goal until 35 seconds left in the game, securing a 63-59 victory.  In the Elite Eight, Butler led the game most of the way until No. 2 Kansas State tied it at 54 with 3:09 remaining. Butler scored the next nine points to advance to the first Final Four appearance in school history. The Bulldogs then edged out fifth seed Michigan State 52-50 to reach the championship. Each game tested Butler’s strength. On paper, Duke should have rolled away with the victory easily, but Butler’s improbable run was fueled by heart and desire. The team would not go down without a fight. Butler’s journey to the championship game sends a message to mid-major students all across the nation. In the words of Kevin Garnett, “Anything is possibleeeee!” All jokes aside, the reverberations from this tremendous run should impact incoming high school recruits. Not only should it be easier for Butler to lure top prospects, but it might be easier for other mid-major schools to gain some legitimacy, as well. Butler was not only playing for itself, but for all the other smaller schools who could only dream to be in their position. In one of the greatest championship games ever, Butler gave mid-majors hope that they, too, can one day achieve such a goal. It is easy to assume Butler will not be overlooked by tournament time next year. Andy Katz of ESPN.com predicts Butler to be ranked preseason No. 3. The Bulldogs’ tournament run will force sports analysts to pay more attention to smaller schools. In addition, many brackets next year will inherently be filled with many more upset picks than in 2010. The small schools now have the media spotlight to shine on a national stage. read more

Ohio States Luke Fickell would exit post as Buckeyes head man with

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Urban Meyer has reportedly agreed to become Ohio State football’s next head coach, according to multiple media reports. If Luke Fickell is indeed in the waning hours of his time as OSU’s head coach as the reports suggest, he’ll have the support of his players as he leaves the position.After Saturday’s 40-34 loss to Michigan, which may have been Fickell’s last time at the helm of OSU football, the coach was visibly distraught as he fielded questions about his future with the program.“Like I said, it’s about the Ohio State-Michigan game,” Fickell said during the post-game press conference after a second-consecutive question was asked regarding his future as OSU coach. “It’s going to be about that always, and that’s the way it is.”Fickell slammed his fist against a table during the statement.Players supported Fickell after what may have been his final game as head coach.Senior wide receiver DeVier Posey, who was suspended for the first 10 game of the season after two five-game suspensions for receiving improper benefits and for being overpaid for work he did not do at a summer job, said he didn’t know what the future held for the OSU coaching staff.“Oh man, if I was on the Board of Trustees I would give you that answer, but I don’t know,” Posey said. “I love coach Fickell. He’s a great guy (and) a great coach. He’s a great leader. I can’t make that call. All I know is I love playing for the man.”Senior running back Daniel “Boom” Herron was suspended for the first six games of the regular season and said that Fickell was key to stabilizing the program as players went on and off suspension throughout the year.“I think (the team) handled it very well,” Herron said. “The team stuck together. I coach Fickell did a great job of keeping the team together. I think he’s a great coach and I think he should definitely get a chance.”Should Fickell’s time as coach end in the hours and days to come, he would be just the seventh OSU coach to serve for a period of one season and the first to do so in the modern era of Buckeyes football. Paul Bixler led the Buckeyes to a 4-3-2 record during the 1946 season and is the most recent coach to serve for one season. Other one-and-done coaches in OSU football history include Charles Hickey (1896), David Edwards (1897), Howard Jones (1910), Harry Vaughn (1911) and John Richards (1912).Fickell led the Buckeyes to a 6-6 regular season record and is tied with Jones and Richards for the most wins among one-season coaches.The Buckeyes (6-6, 3-5) now wait to see if they are invited to a postseason bowl game. read more

Sharpshooter Mariano is impressing Lopetegui

first_imgDuring the training sessions that Julen Lopetegui is conducting at Real Madrid on the international break, it appears that Mariano is banging them all in.Mariano Diaz, the player who became a laughing stock at Real Madrid for getting signed by Los Blancos and getting Ronaldo’s number ‘7’ is impressing Julen Lopetegui. The international break is well underway this week and the next one, the Spanish coach is having more personalized training sessions with many of the players who didn’t go with their national teams for the next few days. The boss has both of his top strikers under his command alongside young Brazilian talent Vinicius, but the one who is taking all the spotlight is Dominican forward Mariano Diaz. The club has published videos of the player getting into mini competitions with French striker Karim Benzema, who is a changed man after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit and is finally showing everyone that he truly is one of the greats on Spanish football. But turns out that Benzema has some very stiff competition with Mariano, as Julen Lopetegui is quite pleasantly surprised with the player’s goal-scoring abilities during the practice sessions from the last few days.¡Acción brillante!? @MarceloM12➡ @Benzema? @Lucasvazquez91? @marianodiaz7#RMCity | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/WKhJFQ644X— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 6, 2018Lopetegui has been watching all his new arrivals closely, but Mariano is arguably the one who he pays more attention to because there is a general feeling inside the club of this striker having the talent to wear the number ‘7’ jersey at the club. Lopetegui has been talking to the staff inside the club about Mariano as if he was the club’s most impressive signing during the summer, he is even telling everyone that he can become a more prominent player for the club as soon as the international break is over a week from now. The player’s teammates are also very surprised with his development at Olympique Lyonnais, because they feel like his Ligue 1 experience has helped him mature and brought him to transform into a top-quality striker who is set to bring a lot of great nights to the Santiago Bernabeu during the present season. In fact, just this week there was a series of matches with the academy players, in which Mariano took all the spotlight by scoring many impressive goals that Lopetegui thoroughly enjoyed during the session.⚽ GOLES ‘made in’ @lafabricacrm durante el entrenamiento de hoy… ? @marcosllorente? @Lucasvazquez91? @sergio_regui ? @marianodiaz7 #RMCity | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/v37jg9tQlD— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 5, 2018Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.The plan for Mariano’s debut.As the upcoming five matches for Real Madrid after the break will be the most difficult of this start of the season, Julen Lopetegui already has a plan for Mariano to make his debut as soon as possible and he has already chosen San Mames Stadium against Athletic Club to give the player the chance he’s been waiting for. The Spanish giants have to visit the Bilbao club on the weekend after the international break, but then they have four more matches that can be considered as highly competitive and that will need all the available players for Lopetegui at the top of their game. Giving Mariano this chance to start having activity with the club, is the best way for the manager to have a top striker ready for the next four matches after that. Also, Lopetegui is planning on giving some rest to many of his international players on the next match in order to avoid possible injuries. This is how Mariano might come in to replace other usual starting eleven players such as Gareth Bale or Marco Asensio.? #RMCity? @Benzema ⚽ @marianodiaz7 ? @vini11Oficial ? @marcosllorente pic.twitter.com/GsKbkGFOIK— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 6, 2018The calendar for Real Madrid in the next month will be truly challenging, because they have to travel to Bilbao on the weekend after the break and then come back for the Champions League debut against AS Roma just a few days after. Then Los Blancos will face Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to complete a total of three matches within seven days during the second half of September, but the next two games are what can become a real problem for Real Madrid. Just a few days after playing Espanyol at home, Real Madrid will have to travel against to face Sevilla FC at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium and then they will have to play another Madrid Derby against Atletico before the end of the month. That’s five highly competitive matches in the span of only two weeks. So yeah, Lopetegui needs Mariano at the top of his game as soon as possible and giving him the trust he needs will benefit the club quite a bit during the next month.Qué ganas de volver a pisar este cesped para vosotros #DiaDePartido #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/uWFVG4DCRG— Mariano Diaz Mejia (@marianodiaz7) September 1, 2018How do you think Mariano Diaz will respond to Julen Lopetegui’s confidence? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Mascherano pities those who criticize Messi

first_imgThe Argentinean superstar has always been criticized for his work in the national team since is not the same as the work he does for Barcelona.Football superstar Lionel Messi has always been criticized for his work in the Argentina national team since it’s not the same as the job he does for Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona.And now teammate and former Argentina captain Javier Mascherano has spoken on why he pities those who criticize the Blaugrana footballer.“When Messi is not [with the national team] it’s a problem and when he returns, it is as well,” Mascherano was quoted by Spanish media outlet Marca.“He always behaved as a leader and you can go and ask the people who work at the Argentine FA (AFA) if we did things for the national team or not.”“Messi has endured everything for ten years and the criticism of him is not about his football,” he added.Top 5 players who can actually replace Messi and Ronaldo Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 13, 2019 After Pep Guardiola’s latest defense of Messi and Ronaldo, we need to start talking about the Top 5 players who can replace them.Replacing Messi and…“The criticism comes from the yellow press, as we live in a country where it seems that if you don’t win something, you do not love the national team.”“I see the team doing really well, very strong,” former Messi teammate Sergi Samper added.“I always say that Messi is on another level.”“For me, he is the best player in history,” he concluded.Messi is back to the Argentina national team, after missing the second part of 2018 as he decided not to defend his country’s colours after the 2018 FIFA World Cup fiasco in Russia.He played for Argentina for the first time since the summer of 2018 in the 3-1 defeat against Venezuela, but he was injured for the match against Morocco some days later.last_img read more

July 17 2017Cosanti CoPresident Jeff Stein AIA wa

first_imgJuly 17, 2017Cosanti CoPresident Jeff Stein AIA was in Melbourne, Australia this past week, representing Arcosanti at the World EcoCity Summit 2017.This was the 12th in the series of the world renowned EcoCity Summits, started in 1990 in Berkeley, California, by Arcosanti alumnus Richard Register.The Summits, occurring every two years, have now taken place on all 6 inhabited continents. Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of the organization that Register created, EcoCity Builders, that governs the meetings.(photos and text by Jeff Stein)This year some 600 delegates from around the world, private citizens, planners, NGO representatives, and local and regional government officials (though only a few of them from the US) came together to address the way we humans build our home: our cities, towns and villages.Former Vice President Al Gore began the conference with a new slideshow and talk about climate change. And as usual, the work of Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti, the ideal of a car-free, 3-dimensional town… these things were at the center of many of the discussions throughout the week.EcoCity Builders describes the Summit this way: “It focuses on key actions that cities and citizens can take to rebuild our human habitat in balance with living systems. We are concerned to slow down and even reverse global heating, biodiversity collapse, loss of wilderness, habitat, agricultural lands and open space, and social and environmental injustices.”Melbourne, Australia, of course, has been voted the World’s Most Livable City for 6 years in a row. But even there, at a conference celebrating the myriad projects humans are undertaking world-wide to bring about a new way of living in cities on the planet, we realize the tremendous work that awaits us all. The fact that we do realize this is partly due to Arcosanti’s presence in the world, a reminder of what could be, based on what takes place here every day.last_img read more

Rep Poleski pleased to see roads settled

first_img Categories: News 05Nov Rep. Poleski pleased to see roads settled State Rep. Earl Poleski voted in favor of yesterday’s passed road funding package that calls for a 50/50 split between existing funds and new revenue, relying on $600 million from each.The passed plan is intended to keep fees and increases modest while reducing annual car repair costs for Michigan drivers and is specially designed decrease the state income tax rate as inflation increases over time.“I’m pleased we were able to reach an agreement on roads,” said state Rep. Earl Poleski, R-Jackson. “This multi-year funding plan ensures dollars budgeted for roads are spent responsibly, and that the materials and processes used to build and maintain them are effectively measured—resulting in safer, high-quality roads for our state.”The package provides $200 million in tax relief by expanding the Homestead Property Tax Credit for middle-class families, low-income residents and seniors across the state.The new plan also includes an amendment from the Senate that decreases registration fee increases from 40 percent to 20 percent and increases the gas tax 7.3 cents per gallon.The road-funding plan now moves to the governor’s desk for further consideration.###last_img read more