I recently read a very interesting article from The New York Times about how social science and behavioral economics was used to get out the vote. The article, “Academic Dream Team Helped Obama’s Effort,” details how experts like Robert Cialdini (whom I covered just this past week), formed a consortium that provided research-based ideas on motivating people to take certain actions (especially voting). Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or of any party, the advice the academics provided is very useful to all of us involved in the work of social change. We’re all in the business of compelling people to do things. So I wanted to pass on the most interesting tips.1. People favor candidates – and organizations! – that exhibit a combination of competence and warmth. You want to seem smart but also likable.2. When countering rumors (or myths), it’s a bad idea to repeat them. People may register a denial in the short term, but they only tend to remember the rumor or myth in the long term. Don’t deny or counter something – simply assert your competing notion.3. Use people’s sense of identity to influence behavior. In the election, volunteer canvassers said, “Mr. Jones, we know you’ve voted in the past,” to prompt future voting. We can do the same with volunteers or donors: “Mr. Jones, we know you’ve supported us in the past.” People want to stick to their past behaviors, so this can work well.4. Informal commitments help. Getting people to sign a card promising to vote increases likelihood to vote, for example. Pledging is also useful in fundraising!5. Tell people to make a plan. People are more likely to follow through on a promise if they have a plan, however simple. Ask people to specify when they’ll help you.6. Use social norms. When people were told others in their neighborhood planned to vote, it influenced them. Never forget the power of peer pressure – call out your supporters to inspire others to jump on board.For more fascinating tips on how this worked during the campaign, check out the article here.
Before: Take the Farm Friends SurveyAfter: Farm Friends Asks: What’s Your Fantasy Meal? Subject lines are more important than you might think. On average, at least 100 emails flood your constituents’ inboxes every single day. That’s a lot of digital noise to shout over, which is why your email subject lines need as much TLC as the content inside. Here’s a simple, four-step makeover to help transform your subject lines from ho-hum to “Oh, wow!” 1. State the ObviousDon’t dance around the point of your email. Talk straight to your recipients about what they’ll find inside. You can be creative and pique curiosity, but for best results, make sure you answer the question, “What’s this email about?” If you make readers think too hard, they may just opt to delete without reading and move on to their next message. For newsletters, highlight the key piece of content you’re sending—a subject line like “Fall 2013 Newsletter” is easy to gloss over in a busy inbox.Before: All the news that’s fit to emailAfter: The Top 10 Women in Science 4. Keep It ShortMake every word count. After you’ve written your subject line, go back and delete words or phrases that don’t add value. Ideally, stick with around 50 characters or less. Some studies have found that the 28- to 39-character range is the sweet spot for maximum open rates.Before: Final reminder to make reservations to attend the Strutting Dog Gala on October 15, 2013!After: Strutting Dog Gala: Last day to RSVP! 3. Avoid the Spam TrapWhy bother with killer content if your subject line gets it caught in the spam filter? Keep your message front and center by avoiding things like cute symbols and special characters—spam filter magnets that attract the wrong kind of attention. Subject lines containing the words help, RE, or FWD are often interpreted as scams.Before: ♥♥♥You will LOVE these PREMIUM GIFTS for your donation!!!♥♥♥After: Cool donor gifts from Heart Healthy Houston! 2. Stand Out from the Crowd In a sea of emails, it helps to be a little different. Add a touch of visual interest with brackets, quotes, a smidge (just a smidge) of all caps, or an exclamation point (just one!). Personalize your subject line with the recipient’s city or state, which typically generate higher open rates than first or last names. Instead of telling people what’s inside, try asking a question that piques their curiosity.Before: SafeSurf loves its volunteersAfter: SafeSurf LOVES its volunteers! Before: Hot dog! Get down and boogie with your beagle!After: Join Long Island Pet Rescue’s Fall Frolic Before: RE: Help a veteran find a homeAfter Homes for Heroes Fall Fundraiser wants you! Revamping your subject lines with these simple tips can make a big difference in your email open rates. You might even see a boost in constituent engagement and giving!Don’t forget:Your email subject lines can show how much you respect your constituents’ busy schedules by telling them exactly what they’ll find inside.It’s okay to add a little visual interest to your subject line, just don’t overdo it and catch the eye of the spam filter instead.Short and sweet is best when it comes to subject lines. Always try to keep them under 50 characters. Before: Books for Kids is Coming to your neighborhoodAfter: Books for Kids is Coming to Newport!
We’ve all heard it before, “Give me your Rolodex, give me 20 names that I can contact.” It can be overwhelming to produce a big list of people who are eager to raise money for your cause. But what if 20 names is 19 too many? What if all you need is just one? This is the idea proposed by philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea in their recent book, The Generosity Network.Reach out.Asking your nonprofit board members for just one person who might be interested in joining your cause will seem more manageable to them and is more likely to generate a thoughtful response. That way, you can meet with someone who is open to starting a relationship with you and—ultimately—your organization.Meet in an intimate setting.Invite your new contact to meet, but beware of asking them to your office! Conference rooms can be beautiful spaces: great for viewing PowerPoints, but actually hosting an intimate first meeting? Forget it! Go to coffee or breakfast so that you can be in a space that is made for conversation. In a coffee shop, sharing your story won’t come across as rehearsed the way it automatically would in a conference room or at someone’s desk. Context is everything.Form a connection.Remember, this first meeting isn’t a sales call; it’s a chance to authentically connect. Be ready to ask what your new contact truly values and consider saying, “For the record, I’m not going to ask you for money today.” If people think you’re just there to extract something from them, they might beworrying about your potential ask. If they’re only half listening, it will be hard to build a relationship of trust and explore a potential partnership. But don’t wait too long to ask for a commitment! It’s important to share what your organization is doing and what you could achieve together.For more ideas on developing a relationship with your donors and how to turn them from one-time customers into lifelong partners, access the archived webinar presentation of Nonprofit 911: Build Your Generosity Network with Jennifer McCrea and Jeff Walker.
Reach Broader to Fine-Tune Messages, Channels, and TimingDon’t stop with your donor database. Your organization will find equally valuable insights in sources as like your email system, volunteer database, Facebook and Twitter analytics, and online survey findings.These sources provide priceless clues about donor habits. The most reliable way to reach your donors or prospects will always be:Where they already are (For example, in their email inboxes or Facebook accounts).At the times and on the days they tend to be there (when they open or click emails, sign your online petition, or retweet a recent tweet from your organization).You can also use these sources to sharpen your insights into your donors’ passions and values, so you can ensure your campaigns reach and resonate with them. For example, use your volunteer data to find out: How many current or recent donors were volunteers first (and whether they still are or not)? If there’s a significant percentage of donors who entered the organization as volunteers:Consider launching a donor recruitment campaign to current volunteers that features profiles of existing donors who are or were volunteers.If you need to build your volunteer corps, cross-promote those opportunities to similar donors who are not current volunteers.When it comes to data, there’s SO much power in the information that’s already at your fingertips. I can’t wait to hear what you do with it! As a fundraiser, one of the toughest parts of your job is finding (and keeping) loyal donors. This is an especially difficult task in the face of uncertain economic times. Mix in our crazy presidential election ramp up, and you’re left with a foolproof recipe for widespread anxiety and skepticism.I know that these barriers are hard to transcend, but there is a way to build deep and lasting connections with your targeted donors and prospects. And that way is paved with data that you already have. Let me tell you what I mean.Use Giving to Date to Shape Your Future Approach The easiest place to start is with what you already know. Dig into your donor database and focus on donors from the last two years, especially those who are high-ticket givers or have given three or more years in a row. Retaining these folks is your absolute priority!Don’t have a donor database that can get the job done? Learn more about Network for Good’s newest product for small to mid-sized nonprofits: a donor management system that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Learn more.Next, look for trends or patterns to help you deliver the strongest possible ask to each donor (or, more realistically, to small groups of donors). Here are two questions you can answer with data you’re likely to have on hand:What do your monthly donors look like? Get a clear picture of your monthly donors, especially those who are newly committed to monthly giving. These folks are loyal and most likely to become long-term supporters.See if other prospects share some of the same characteristics, and then launch a campaign to convert them into monthly donors. Who’s made a significantly larger gift than ever before within the last six months?Make a personal thank you calls (a personal note otherwise), and ask what spurred the latest gift. There may be more donors about to experience the same situation and likely to respond to a focused ask. Plus, these folks may be ripe for major gift prospecting.
Posted 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:
These written words can do no justice to the presence, dignity and inspiration of this gentle man, a hero who, as a colleague and friend remarked, through his life has saved countless lives. Another colleague, who sat on my other side during the ceremony, said never in his life had he witnessed such a moving and motivating closing statement. Throughout the speech you could not hear a pin drop. Everyone was riveted. At the end of his speech, he received a long and well deserved standing ovation. Most of us admitted to having tears in our eyes, hard not to because most of us seemed not to have a tissue! After the formal closing by the Minister of Health of Zanzibar, many of the participants, especially the younger ones (the “new blood”) rushed to where Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla was to congratulate him, to shake his hand, and to have their photograph taken with him. We all agreed that this was a reminder of why we get up every day to do the work we do.Learn more about the conference and access the conference presentations at www.gmhc2013.com. Join the conference conversation on Twitter: #GMHC2013Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: We thank and we appreciate.We regret and we apologize.We promise, and yes, we can. We thank and we appreciate.We regret and we apologize.We promise, and yes, we can. Posted on January 24, 2013June 12, 2017By: Karen Beattie, Director of Fistula Care and Associate Vice President of EngenderHealthClick 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)This post is cross-posted from the EngenderHealth website.Reflections from a lifelong global women’s health advocate on the closing ceremony of the Global Maternal Health ConferenceIt was the end of three days of meetings, and I seriously considered skipping out on the closing plenary session. But – I knew Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla would be speaking and I have learned that one should never miss an opportunity to hear his thoughts. For those uninitiated, Dr. Fathalla is a professor at Assiut University in Egypt, a former head of the reproductive health division at WHO, and the father of the Safe Motherhood initiative. He was also a member of EngenderHealth’s Board of Directors for a long period of time.The Global Maternal Health Conference took place at the Arusha International Conference Center in Arusha, Northern Tanzania. The Center was for many years the home of the international tribunal that judged the actions of those involved in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Arusha is also close to the Rift Valley and Olduvai Gorge, for the longest time considered the cradle of humankind, although a spot in South Africa now holds the “cradle of humankind” title. At Laetoli, nearby to Olduvai Gorge, footprints of an early human ancestor were preserved in volcanic ash dating from 3.6 million years ago and were discovered in the 1970s. That brings me to Dr. Fathalla’s speech, entitled “A Message to the Lady of Laetoli.” Dr. Fathalla noted that one of the sets of footprints was deemed to be that of a lady, and because of the way the print was indented into the ash, it was widely held that she was carrying an infant on her left hip. He also noted that this individual or one of her sisters was our collective “mitochondrial mother.”Dr. Fathalla’s message to the Lady of Laetoli: We thank and we appreciate because we know the sacrifices and risks of women through the ages are the reasons we are here today. We know that maternal mortality was extremely high until recently. Where nothing is done to avert maternal mortality, “natural” mortality is around 1,000 to 1,500 per 100,000 live births. Dr. Fathalla cited a PRB 2011 paper that estimated the number of humans ever born was 107 billion and the population in mid-2011 was just under 7 billion. A stunning fact Dr. Fathalla gave is that more women have given up their lives in childbirth, for the survival of our species, than men have ever died in battle. So our very existence is the gift and sacrifice of women.We regret and we apologize and we cannot expect forgiveness. Women had to give up their lives when we did not have the means to prevent their deaths in pregnancy and childbirth. And yet, when we do have the means, we still leave them to die. We should plead guilty when we see that 800 women still die every day. An inconvenient truth is that they die because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives can be saved.We promise we will eradicate maternal mortality, and yes, we can, for several reasons:The work presented by participants at the GMHC Conference 2013 is evidence of the immense body of knowledge and commitment shared across disciplines and throughout all areas of the world. Dr. Fathalla was gratified and comforted by the “new blood” to carry on this work. He showed a picture of Malala, the young girl recently shot down for wanting an education and advocating for education on behalf of her peers. He was gratified that she is recovering and moved by the statements of her classmates that they would not be stopped from getting an education – and “they will win.”He noted the progress the world has made. Between 1990 and 2010, maternal deaths had dropped by 50%, but there still remains work to be done.The message from the representatives of the host country, Tanzania, that maternal health is a national priority and that it had experienced a 25% drop in maternal mortality between 2005 and 2010.The power of women, making their voices heard.He repeated his message to the Lady of Laetoli:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 16, 2014August 10, 2016Click 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 maternal health community has made great strides towards improving the health of women and newborns around the world, but as global efforts have scaled up interventions quickly, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) has often paused to consider the quality of this work.To evaluate this, Ana Langer and Anne Austin from the MHTF joined experts from around the world to create the Quality of Care in Maternal and Child Health supplement, published by the Reproductive Health Journal in September, 2014.Three of the five articles in the supplement have been highly accessed, which demonstrates high interest in quality of care in the community and untapped momentum that may be used to fill the identified research gaps.We talked to Dr. Zulfi Bhutta, lead researcher for the series, and asked him a few questions about the research process and how we as the maternal health community should move forward with the results.Q: What prompted the research team to take on the systematic reviews that make up the series?Despite recent progress, about 273,500 women died of maternal causes in 2010. Furthermore, the share of neonatal deaths among all under-five children increased from about 36% in 1990 to 44% in 2012. These deaths have occurred disproportionately in low-income countries or among the disadvantaged in high- and middle-income countries. It is particularly acute where access to and utilization of skilled services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest.Evidence shows that poor quality of care for these women and newborns is a major factor for their elevated morbidity and mortality rates. Understanding underlying factors that impact the quality of maternal and newborn health (MNH) services and assessing the effectiveness of interventions at various health care delivery levels is crucial.The collection assesses and summarizes findings from systematic reviews on the impact of various approaches to quality of care improvements. The focus was two-fold: identify the evidence base and information gaps and assess approaches that enable health providers to adopt and implement patient-centered, evidence-based interventions that improve quality of care during childbirth and immediately after.Q: What gap does this series fill?This series systematically reviews the evidence of interventions aimed at improving care at the community, district and facility level. It also highlights knowledge gaps, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The gaps point to priority research questions to pursue to improve quality of care in these settings.The findings can help governments, stakeholders and donors to form policies and develop health care models applicable to various levels of healthcare. This could enable community- and facility-based health care providers and district-level program managers to implement patient-centered, evidence-based interventions, which will improve childbirth and postpartum quality of care delivery.Q: Which result stood out most?At the community level, packaged care involving home visitation, outreach services, community mobilization, referrals, women’s support groups and community health worker and traditional birth attendants training showed improvements in MNH outcomes.Mid-level health worker (MLHW) based care not only demonstrated outcomes comparable to routine non-MLHW care delivery but also showed better results for some outcomes. At the district level, user-directed financial strategies—especially conditional cash transfers and voucher schemes—increased MNH service utilization. District level supervision also found positively influenced provider’s practice, knowledge and awareness. At the facility level, in-service training, standardized or individualized social support programs and continuity of specialized midwifery care throughout pregnancy, labor and the postnatal period have the potential to improve perinatal, maternal, and labor specific indicators.The findings demonstrate that community-based improvement interventions have been widely assessed for MNH outcome effectiveness in LMICs. However, many district- and facility-level interventions have been evaluated mainly in high-income country settings. Given the differences in low-, middle-, and high-income county healthcare infrastructure and systems, findings across countries in district- and facility-based care are not generalizable. There is also an information gap on the effectiveness of these interventions on different subgroups that may represent within-country disparities. Few of the studies provided evidence on sustainability and scale up. Generating evidence on the sustainability of proven interventions—including implementation feasibility and scale up in various settings in countries with constrained resources and weak health systems—is needed.Q: What is the series’ biggest take-away?In addition to the effectiveness of specific quality improvement interventions on MNH, as I mentioned above, there is a dearth of evidence on district- and facility-level interventions, particularly those specific to quality of maternal health and MNH outcomes. Further evidence is needed to evaluate the best combination of strategies.Q: Given the research gaps you’ve identified, what are the priority areas for future research?Future research in LMICs should focus on factors affecting interventions’ sustainability and cost-effectiveness when scaled up. District- and facility-level interventions—including social support, specialized midwifery teams and staff skills mix—have proven to improve MNH outcomes in high-income countries; we need further research on implementation feasibility in low-resource settings. We also need qualitative data describing the individual components of interventions for reproducibility, which would make the interventions invaluable for scale up and sustainability in low-resource settings. Strengthening health information systems, one of the strategies that evaluate interventions’ effectiveness over a time period, should be established in LMICs. Further evidence is now needed to evaluate the best possible combination of strategies and healthcare models to suit specific groups.Share this:
Posted on February 18, 2015August 10, 2016Click 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)Thursday, February 26, 2015, 12:30-1:30pm ESTThe Leadership Studio, 10th Floor Kresge Building, 677 Huntington Ave., BostonJoin us with The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for Putting Mothers and Babies First: Benefits across a lifetime – a panel discussion presented in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost.One of the smartest investments a society can make is to foster the health and education of its mothers. Healthy mothers raise healthier children, which boosts the productivity and stability of communities and economies. Yet, maternal mortality remains a terrible and disproportionate reality, particularly in developing countries, where 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur. These deaths put the lives of infants and older children at risk. Traditional approaches address the needs of mothers and children separately, but growing efforts are breaking down those silos — embracing the continuum of mother and child health in the hopes of providing more effective care and resources. The hoped-for result? Health benefits to mothers, children and their families across their lifetimes.This Forum event will explore how to achieve those benefits, including providing basic care such as vaccinations, and how societies stand to thrive as a result. The panel will be moderated by Marissa Miley, Deputy Editor of Global Health for The GroundTruth Project, and includes the following experts:Ana Langer: Professor of the Practice of Public Health and Director of the Women and Health Initiative and Maternal Health Task Force, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthAlicia Yamin: Director, Program on Health Rights of Women and Children, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthJoy Riggs-Perla: Director, Saving Newborn Lives, Save the ChildrenKirsten Gagnaire: Executive Director of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal ActionTune in for the live webcast by visiting the The Forum event page. Also follow and join the conversation by using #mothersbabiesfirst and following @ForumHSPH and @MHTF on Twitter.E-mail questions for the expert participants any time before or during the live webcast to email@example.com, the Community Discussion page, or Tweet them to @ForumHSPH using #mothersbabiesfirst.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Since it was founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday has exploded in popularity. In 2015, $116.7 million were donated in this one day. The next year, that number jumped to $168 million. 2017 is expected to be record-breaking as well.So, what can you do to make sure you get your piece of the giving day pie?Our research here at Network for Good shows that, rather than seeing #GivingTuesday as a single event, it pays to approach this day as the kick-off of a month-long year-end giving campaign. In fact, nonprofits who used #GivingTuesday to launch their year-end campaigns raised, on average, five times more overall during year-end.Not only that, but nonprofits using Donor Management raised more than those without it. It makes sense – having a donor management system lets you effectively harness your data to create better plans, quickly create targeted emails to specific subsets of donors, and easily store this information from year to year to build on your past success.If you’ve never participated before, now’s the time to start.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 28, 2017January 2, 2018By: Pompy Sridhar, India Director, MSD for MothersClick 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)Many would assume that the 45,000 mothers dying in India every year during childbirth is a result of complications that are difficult to manage. It should be rather surprising that these deaths are mostly preventable. In fact, one of the main reasons for losing lives is often due to sub-standard and inconsistent quality of care.Our entire maternal health care community is aware of this. And yet, improving the quality of maternal health services has been a tough challenge in India, largely due to insufficient tools and incentives for providers to change.In recent years, considerable efforts to improve the quality of institutional care during the antenatal, delivery and postpartum periods have favored public health care facilities, largely excluding private ones. This has been the case despite the fact that private providers in India account for up to 30% of institutional deliveries in rural areas and up to 52.5% of institutional deliveries in urban areas, and despite evidence suggesting that quality of care is an issue in both sectors. Many such facilities, even those that have been in business for 5 to 10 years and even longer, have been found not to be following recognized, evidence-based quality standards of care in their labor and delivery wards. They do not have the necessary emergency protocols in place to prevent complications.These challenges persist due to a widespread lack of technical resources, insufficient training and other opportunities for nurses and paramedics to update their skills and knowledge (leading to continued use of outdated, ineffective and sometimes harmful practices); weak incentives for private maternity facilities to invest in quality improvement because efforts typically do not immediately translate into an increased client base; and limited capacity (if not total absence) of systems to measure and monitor the quality of their services.Greater efforts must be made to bridge the gap between research-supported knowledge and clinical practice. What we need is a large scale streamlined quality improvement initiative, offering a practical and compelling way for private health care facilities to improve their capacities for managing care during labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period, when risks for life threatening complications are the highest.An intervention which offers all of the above is an important step forward for maternal health in India. One such example that comes to mind is a recently published white paper on the Private Sector Quality Improvement Initiative undertaken by FOGSI in partnership with Jhpiego and MSD for Mothers that offers some path breaking insights. The pilot program was implemented over a period of three years (2013–2016) in 11 large cities in the states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh: Agra, Allahabad, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Ranchi and Varanasi. Its primary objective was to improve the quality of care provided by private maternity providers through implementation of quality standards, and strengthen the clinical competency of private maternity providers. After five rounds of assessments, 122 out of 140 participating facilities (87%) achieved a 70% score or better, compared to only 3% of facilities in the beginning.This was achieved due to regular assessments, prioritizing resources (equipment, drugs and supplies) that are essential for adherence to recommended practices; “upskilling” health workers in key areas where performance was found to be lacking; improving compliance through post-training onsite mentoring and troubleshooting support (including drills), and applying WHO-endorsed Safe Childbirth Checklist; as well as improving the use of data to drive action and increase accountability via standardized data collection tools. Professional associations such as FOGSI have played a pivotal role in bringing together and motivating community of providers to join the quality bandwagon. Such partnerships are critical.We need frameworks for assuring quality of care over time. Providers need to be regularly reassessed to make sure they are keeping up with their skills. Those who demonstrate compliance with FOGSI’s evidence-based standards specific to maternity care must receive a stamp endorsing quality. In addition, payers can ensure that they are buying quality services for their patients by making certification mandatory for participation in their insurance/health financing schemes.To drive patient demand for quality, we need tools that empower women to make informed choices about where they seek care. Consumers should have the option to choose to deliver their babies only in certified hospitals.Sustaining quality eventually requires the might of the entire health care ecosystem – the government, regulatory authorities, the private sector, civil society, development agencies and academics to ensure that the right incentives are entrenched in the system. State and national leaders can play a catalyst in forging cross-sectoral alliances and supporting quality improvement through concrete policy and regulatory action.We need accrediting bodies to recognize and adopt quality standards for maternal health and help build out complementary certification, surveillance and other quality assurance mechanisms. And we need buy-in from payers, including Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and other schemes. Financing and quality assurance efforts must work in tandem to ensure that services are adequate – and affordable. This will strengthen our health care system.It’s time for all maternal health stakeholders in this country to hold ourselves and others accountable for delivering – and demanding – the kind of care every woman deserves during one of the most important, and potentially perilous, moments in her life. A “world where no woman dies giving life” from preventable causes is indeed possible. Show every mother in India that #SheMatters.This post originally appeared on ET Healthworld.Share this:
Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.Virgin Media’s £3 billion (€4 billion) Project Lightning broadband investment programme will extend the company’s reach to two thirds of UK homes and generate up to £1 billion in incremental revenue by 2020, according to parent company Liberty Global’s president and CEO Mike Fries.Fries, speaking on an analyst call after Liberty Global released its full-year results at the end of last week, said that the company believed Virgin Media could replicate its existing footprint rates of 40% penetration and £50 ARPU, based on its experience with field trials in Glasgow and Teeside, where expansion to 10,000 homes achieved penetration of 23% and ARPU of £48.Fries said the build-out of Virgin Media’s network to new areas would be “demand led” based on its reception in various areas. While the headline price tag of £3 billion implies a cost of about £625 per home built out, Fries said the some of the investment would be variable based on take up, such as investment in consumer premise equipment. He said the company would launch with broadband speeds of 150Mbps.Speaking on the same call, Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge said that the cost of building out infrastructure is much less than it was a few years ago, thanks to advances in technology. The network in new areas will be fibre-deep and will not include a copper overlay to deliver telephony services, as is the case with Virgin Media’s legacy network.Mockridge said Virgin Media would look to build in cities where it already has a presence, filling in gaps in its network and taking customers from rival providers as well as growing penetration in areas where it is not already present.
Italy’s antitrust regulator has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the division of Serie A football rights between Sky and Mediaset for the 2015-18 seasons, according to local reports.Sky and Mediaset are suspected of colluding to carve up the rights, freezing out rivals including Discovery-owned Eurosport.Last year Mediaset at the last minute secured DTT rights to the matches of leading teams in the face of what it saw as a threat to allocate both major packages on offer to Sky. Serie A clubs agreed to allocate package A, with exclusive satellite rights to the matches of the eight leading teams to Sky, while package B, with DTT rights, went to Mediaset along with a package covering the matches of the 12 remaining teams.In a statement, Mediaset said that the deal had been approved by regulator AgCom at the time. It said that no alternative broadcaster had submitted a bid above the price threshold for each package at the time, and that therefore such players could not have been discriminated against. It also argued that the sale of both major packages to a single player – such as Sky – would have been against the rules governing the central sale of rights.
Apple is seeking slightly more than a billion dollars in damages, while Samsung wants a figure closer to $28 million.The jury has been asked to determine whether design features at issue in the case are worth all profit made from Samsung smartphones that copied them or whether those features are worth just a fraction because they are components.”Samsung isn’t saying it isn’t required to pay profits,” Samsung attorney John Quinn said during closing arguments on Friday.”It is just saying it isn’t required to pay profits on the whole phone.”The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone’s black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed.Samsung no longer sells the smartphone models at issue in the case.Two utility patents also involved apply to “bounce-back” and “tap-to-zoom” functions.”This is a case that is focused on design, and the application of design to smartphones,” Apple attorney Joseph Mueller said in closing arguments.When one company copies a rival’s design, that “is not a level playing field, and that is just not right,” he contended.Apple argued in court that the iPhone was a “bet-the-company” project at Apple and that design is as much the “article of manufacture” as the device itself.Apple attorney Bill Lee equated the notion to a carmaker copying the look of the Volkswagen Beetle and coming to market with a competing model.Determining whether the design features qualify as the “article of manufacture” will be key to whether jurors award the profit from all the Samsung phones involved, according to legal standards presented by the court.The case dates back seven years. An original trial finding that Samsung violated Apple patents was followed by lengthy appellate dueling over whether design features such as rounded edges are worth all the money made from a phone.Technology vs StyleSamsung, which had been ordered to pay $400 million, challenged the legal precedent that requires the forfeiture of all profits from a product even if only a single design patent has been infringed.The US Supreme Court in 2016 overturned the $400 million patent infringement penalty imposed on the South Korean consumer electronics giant.Justices ruled that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components, sending the case back to a lower court.The ruling found that the penalty—one element of a major patent infringement case—was inappropriate because it represented “Samsung’s entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones” for copying the iPhone’s “rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colorful icons on a black screen.”The key question of the value of design patents rallied Samsung supporters in the tech sector, and Apple backers in the creative and design communities.Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation.Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics, citing precedents like Coca-Cola’s iconic soda bottle.The Supreme Court stopped short of delving into details of how the lower court should determine how much phone design components are worth when it comes to patent infringement violations.Presiding US District Court Judge Lucy Koh gave jurors in her San Jose courtroom a four-factor test to determine an “article of manufacture,” but it is up to the panel to decide how the evidence fits that framework.The case is one element of a $548 million penalty—knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award —Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents. Explore further Citation: Apple-Samsung iPhone design copying case goes to jury (2018, May 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-apple-samsung-iphone-case-jury.html Jurors are weighing the price to put on patented iPhone design features copied by Samsung in a legal case dating back seven years Samsung and Apple are back in court over iPhone design. Here’s why. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Jurors return to a Silicon Valley courtroom Monday to put a price on patented iPhone design features copied by Samsung in a legal case dating back seven years. © 2018 AFP
Just like in the movies, default real-life virtual assistants are often female (Siri; Alexa). But there is some promise of change: having announced in May that their Google Assistant would be getting six new voices, but that the default was named “Holly,” Google more recently issued an update that assigns them colours instead of names, done randomly in order to avoid any associations between particular colours and genders.This is a promising step, but technology cannot progress while the same types of people remain in control of their development and management. Perhaps increased female participation in Silicon Valley could change the way we imagine and develop technology and how it sounds and looks. Diversity in front of and behind the Hollywood camera is equally important in order to improve the way we present our possible futures and so inspire future creators. Marvel assistantsAt least since the demise of Stark’s sentient AI JARVIS in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2013), the fictional AI landscape has become predominantly female. Stark’s male AI JARVIS – which he modelled and named after his childhood butler – is destroyed in the fight against Ultron (although he ultimately becomes part of a new embodied android character called The Vision). Stark then replaces his operating system not with a back up of JARVIS or another male voiced AI but with FRIDAY (voiced by Kerry Condon). This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures Iron Man (Stark). Credit: Marvel 2016 Fictional male voices do exist, of course, but today they are simply far less common. HAL-9000 is the most famous male-voiced Hollywood AI – a malevolent sentient computer released into the public imagination 50 years ago in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.Male AI used to be more common, specifically in stories where technology becomes evil or beyond our control (like Hal). Female AI on the other hand is, more often than not, envisaged in a submissive servile role. Another pattern concerns whether fictional AI is embodied or not. When it is, it tends to be male, from the Terminator, to Sonny in I, Robot and super-villain Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ex Machina’s Ava (Alicia Vikander) is an interesting anomaly to the roster of embodied AI and she is seen as a victim rather than an uncontrolled menace, even after she kills her creator.The Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically the AI inventions of Tony Stark, and the 2017 film Blade Runner 2049, offer interesting and somewhat problematic takes on the future of AI. The future may be female, but in these imagined AI futures this is not a good thing. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Designing a chatbot: male, female or gender neutral? FRIDAY is a far less prominent character. Stark’s AI is pushed into a far more secondary role, one where she is very much the assistant, unlike the complex companion Stark created in JARVIS. Likewise, in Spider-Man Homecoming, Stark gifts Peter Parker (Tom Holland) his own super suit, which comes with a nameless female-voiced virtual assistant. Peter initially calls her “suit lady,” later naming her Karen. Peter imbues his suit with personality and identity by naming it, but you wonder if he would have been so willing to imagine his suit as a caring confidant if it had come with a older-sounding male voice. Citation: There’s a reason Siri, Alexa and AI are imagined as female – sexism (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-siri-alexa-ai-female-sexism.html Explore further Provided by The Conversation Karen is virtual support for the Spider-Man suit, designed to train and enhance Peter’s abilities. But in building a relationship of trust with her, Karen takes on the role of a friend for Peter, even encouraging him to approach the girl he likes at school. Here, the female voiced AI takes on a caring role – as a mother or sister – which places the Karen AI into another limiting female stereotype. Female voiced or embodied AI is expected to have a different role to their male-aligned counterparts, perpetuating the idea that women are more likely to be in the role of the secretary rather than the scientist.Blade Runner’s JoiAnother classic example of artificial intelligence can be found in Blade Runner (1982) and its bio-robotic androids, the Replicants. These artificial beings were designed and manufactured to do the jobs that humans in the future didn’t want: from colonising dangerous alien planets to serving as sex workers. Although stronger and often smarter than their humans creators, they have a limited lifespan that literally stops them from developing sufficiently to work out how to take over.The recent Blade Runner 2049 updates the replicants’ technology and introduces a purchasable intelligent holographic companion called Joi (Ana de Armas). The Joi we are shown in the film is Agent K’s (Ryan Gosling) companion – at first restricted by the projector in his home and later set free, to an extent (Joi is still controlled by K’s movements), when K buys himself a portable device called an Emanator. Joi is a logical extension of today’s digital assistants and is one of the few female AIs to occupy the narrative foreground. Credit: Pegasene/Shutterstock.com Virtual assistants are increasingly popular and present in our everyday lives: literally with Alexa, Cortana, Holly, and Siri, and fictionally in films Samantha (Her), Joi (Blade Runner 2049) and Marvel’s AIs, FRIDAY (Avengers: Infinity War), and Karen (Spider-Man: Homecoming). These names demonstrate the assumption that virtual assistants, from SatNav to Siri, will be voiced by a woman. This reinforces gender stereotypes, expectations, and assumptions about the future of artificial intelligence. But at the end of the day, Joi is a corporate creation that is sold as “everything you want to hear and everything you want to see.” A thing that can be created, adapted, and sold for consumption. Her holographic body makes her seem a little more real but her purpose is similar to those of the virtual assistants discussed here already: to serve often male masters. Subservient womenWhen we can only seemingly imagine an AI as a subservient woman, we reinforce dangerous and outdated stereotypes. What prejudices are perpetuated by putting servile obedient females into our dreams of technology, as well as our current experiences? All this is important because science fiction not only reflects our hopes and fears for the future of science, but also informs it. The imagined futures of the movies inspire those working in tech companies as they develop and update AI, working towards the expectations formed in our fictions.
Next Induction of Congress MLAs into BJP is death of Parrikar’s legacy: Vijai SardesaiOutgoing Deputy CM of Goa Vijai Sardesai said the induction of ten MLAs of Congress into BJP was the “death of the legacy” of late CM Manohar Parrikar.advertisement Press Trust of India PanajiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 19:03 IST HIGHLIGHTSGoa Congress suffered a body blow on Wednesday when 10 of its 15 MLAs switched over to BJPSubsequently, CM Sawant dropped four ministers — three of Goa Forward Party, including Vijay Sardesai, from his cabinetSardesai also announced that Goa Forward Party was “withdrawing” its support to the BJP-led governmentOutgoing Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Vijai Sardesai on Saturday said the induction of ten MLAs of the Congress into the BJP was the “death of the legacy” of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar – the tallest saffron leader in the coastal state credited for forming the coalition government in 2017 by bringing together regional parties.The Congress in Goa suffered a body blow on Wednesday when 10 of its 15 MLAs switched over to the BJP, a development that raised the ruling stock in the 40-member House to 27.Subsequently, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant dropped four ministers — three of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), including Sardesai, and one Independent — from his cabinet.”Parrikar died twice…once on March 17 physically while today it is the death of his political legacy,” Sardesai told a gathering held near Parrikar memorial at Miramar.Meanwhile, Sardesai also announced that the Goa Forward Party (GFP) was “withdrawing” its support to the BJP-led government.He alleged that the ruling government wanted to finish Parrikar’s legacy, which won’t be allowed.”We supported the Pramod Sawant government because I had given my word to Parrikar that the support to the government will continue in any circumstances. We now feel cheated and ditched by the NDA,” he said.Sardesai reiterated that he had not recieved any communication from Central leaders of the BJP.”The central leadership of the BJP has lost its face. The NDA has ditched their partners,” he said.ALSO READ: 3 Congress rebels, one BJP MLA sworn in as Goa MinistersALSO READ: Hours before Goa Cabinet reshuffle, CM Pramod Sawant drops four ministersFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanjay Nirala