Doing Good Is Good Business

Design Thinking

Readings and Questions 

Designing Field Trial Protocols in Ethiopia for Pneumonia Diagnostic Devices

Interesting Concepts:

  • The importance of: early identification, classification, diagnosis and treatment of children where they need it the most: close to home.

In relation to (ARIDA) versus the beads method:

Question: The contradictions between analog and digital or “sophisticated” technologies to solve humanitarian problems seem to have a complexity of layers, however, most of them go back to education and efficiency. When time is of the essence, is it possible to introduce an element of education or culture awareness to the final solution or design-efficiently?

  • High Trust in Technology: The user research also showed that patients do have some experience with ‘low-tech’ health products, such as thermometers, stethoscopes, blood pressure meters and pregnancy tests, and they have a high degree of trust in them.  Patients generally believe that health technology reduces human error. When one of these tools is used on them, people feel that they have been properly examined; raising confidence in the health worker and potentially reducing their desire to self-medicate, use traditional healing methods or seek advice from unlicensed ‘chemists’.

Thought: This element of “trust” is crucial. In my personal experience, back home in Colombia where the health system, in general, suffers from all kinds of corruption and inefficiencies, people have already lost faith in the system and tend to rely more often on community doctors which sometimes might not be the best solution. However, it would be valuable to provide this community centers with the proper technology that might save lives and slowly educate and regain trust in the potential benefits of the health system.

Question: what are the common causes of pneumonia in these communities? Is there a way to prevent it at all? Is it due to specific environmental conditions linked to cultural traditions? As I read this papers I find it interesting how little we know about the world, and how easy it is to look up in google some fact sheet which I am sure will be the basic knowledge of the typical politician or bureaucrat. But how can we redesign the system so that a person can actually understand or explore the complex situation that a community might be experiencing? How can we pretend to solve a problem when we know so little about the multiple layers that determine a culture?

Community Case Management handbook

Interesting Concepts:

“We do not need a new science or new gadget to address the challenges we face today. What we need is to remove the bottlenecks that prevent these population groups from sustainably accessing essential services.”

One of the key bottlenecks is the ability to know where disparities are the greatest so that resources can be targeted more actively .

Are we reaching the right people?

What are the returns on our investments?

How can we make mid-term course corrections to our programmes based on feedback from real time data?

How can we get the few key pieces of information we need that can help programme managers act in time?

Can mobiles help us improve program- matic outcomes and increase impact?

And how can we engage the people we serve in this process?

How can we use communication technologies to give a stronger voice to community demand for Community Case Management services through Community Health Workers on the front line of care?

Idea: The most common complaint you will get in public/poor hospitals and health service providers in Colombia is: “The nurse or caretaker is always on her mobile and couldn’t care less about the patient.”  I have seen this situation first hand and it is quite impressive how mobile phones affect the already poor service quality in hospital but also other public service centers.  

However, it is such an intrinsic element of their realities that it seems quite smart to give it a turn and benefit from it somehow. I am not sure if it will work at all, but in the case of the nurses and caretakers, it would be interesting to see what happens if they were given an incentive for everytime they use a specific mobile app to help a patient. The incentive might be that they will be given free internet data for personal use. 

  • Rather than forcing hierarchical, linear chains of communications, look for overlaps in the system. 

UBER & Drones

  •  It is through its hyper focus on efficiency that Uber may have the most potential to benefit riders and drivers across the 473 cities and 76 countries where it works.
  • Early stage impact and long term potential in areas like safe roads and clean air that have traditionally fallen within the domain of aid agencies.
  • Uber is a testament that the global development community needs to continue pushing the envelope in terms of innovations that promote sustainable transport.
  • Uber advertises the flexibility the platform gives drivers to be their own bosses.

Question: How can we as designers, create or remodel and make attractive the idea of investing in doing good. How can we make “doing good” the next big thing in finance?


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