Community Health Entrepreneurs profiled in the Frontline Health Workers blog!

We’re always excited to see alumni teams and their scaling successes highlighted! Cohort 1 team, Community Health Entrepreneurs, continues to scale their model. A recent blog from the Frontline Health Workers Coalition profiles Masuda, Shankori and Shilpi – three community health entrepreneurs trained through CARE’s model:

“These entrepreneurial midwives are part of a cohort of 300 trained by CARE International and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to reach remote communities with skilled health services. They are now covering all of Sunamganj, a population of 2.8 million. They have delivered 29,000 babies and have provided 738,000 services. Each entrepreneurial midwife is supported by 10 community health workers who educate the community and identify the pregnant women.”

Congrats to the team for now covering all of Sunamganj district!

Shankori is introduced to the community she will serve through folk song. The entertaining play draws in a packed audience and is an effective way to introduce them to their new entrepreneurial midwife, acting out how she can help when a baby is born and dispelling myths.

What We’re Reading: Enough Innovation Already!

In a recent SSIR article, Kevin Starr of Mulago Foundation and Greg Coussa of Spring Impact (an SxD partner) remind us that,

“The most urgent challenge in the social sector is not innovation, but replication. No idea will drive big impact at scale unless organizations—a lot of them—replicate it. And there are plenty of high-impact ideas awaiting high-quality replication. More than a few of them are backed by randomized controlled trial (RCT) results and all that stuff. It turns out that replication matters even more than innovation when it comes to impact at scale.”

Great argument! As a well as a very well articulated comment in response:

“USAID spends <5% on traditional R+D (i.e. new vaccines, etc) and <1% on grand challenges (i.e. Saving Lives at Birth, etc). I believe USAID and other donors need to be working with more non-traditional partners, not fewer, and encouraging new ways of doing business, not the same. It’s anecdotal, cynical and overly simplistic articles like this about “innovation” (whee!) vs. “scale” (the people who really “get it”) that exacerbate this mis-perception. The fact that “innovation” gets outsized attention relative to its actual spend and focus in global health and development certainly doesn’t mean we should do less of it.  If done right, innovation should always be a healthy part of a strategic investment portfolio (likely more than the current 1-5%) if we want any hope of meeting the SDGs. The status quo isn’t gonna get us there.”

Read the full commentary here.

In their book Innovation and Scaling for Impact, Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair make a similar argument: Don’t innovate if you haven’t figured out how to scale!

Chat! Talks with the Lenny Letter

CARE Innovator-in-Residence, Elana Berkowitz, recently interviewed the Chat! team (Cohort 1) in the Lenny Letter! The Lenny Letter is a popular online Feminist newsletter created to give young, female voices a place to write about and discuss their issues.

“The early results have been remarkable. So far, Chat! has reached 15,000 workers at factories serving big Western brands like Levi’s and Marks & Spencer. Rates of modern contraception use among sexually active factory workers have doubled, reaching nearly 50 percent. Unwanted pregnancies have declined, and women in the program report that their confidence in discussing contraception with their partners — and even in refusing sex altogether — has tripled”

Catch up with the Chat! team here: The App Teaching Cambodian Garment Workers About Their Sexual Health:   How Chat! is making contraception and STD information into a game and helping women at the same time.

Learning, teaching and having fun doing it!