Learn how a simple change to loan products – flexible repayment schedule – can mean the difference between a profitable year or barely making ends meet for farmers in Bangladesh! Lalon is one of 4,000 smallholder farmers benefiting from A-Card. See his story in this short (3 minute) documentary.
Thanks to the kind shout out from Humanitarian Alternatives ( Alternatives Humanitaires)! A recent article noted Scale X Design’s efforts to break out of the traditional thinking and the divide between the for-profit and non-profit sectors. (Translated from the original French)
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!
“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.”
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”
Listening, prototyping, testing, learning and iterating. The cycle is fundamentally reshaping how we do
Not everyone uses words like “prototyping”, “lean startup”, or “human-centered design”, however. Similar ideas crop up in adaptive management frameworks across sectors. USAID defines adaptive management as “intentionally and systematically using relevant knowledge to inform decision-making and ultimately take action. Within the development context, that action could be adjusting interventions or whole strategies, experimenting with new ways of working, scrapping programming that simply isn’t working, or scaling approaches that have demonstrated value.”
In their first podcast, the USAID Learning Lab team explores the implementation of USAID’s Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) Framework to see what the impact has been and how these concepts are changing development.