Why Marketers Should Mix Content on a Small Business Blog

first_imgWhen I started writing frequently for this blog, I thought most posts would be pretty much the same: Concise, concrete tips about how to do You’d expect the articles that got the most traffic to also get the most inbound links. But that’s only true in one case. Both metrics are important, so you need to create different types of content. Eric Hamilton to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Post small business blog. small business blog Top Posts by Page Views (Last 3 Months) small business blog The takeaway here is clear: Just like a venture capitalist or a movie studio executive, you never know which projects will be most successful on your medium or , this blog thrives on a healthy mix of content. Photo:  Forget Community. Forget Conversation. Business Blogging Is About SEO. and how companies can use it to market their medium and . They thrive on their mix. Their homepages are grab-bags of news, features, videos, pictures, graphics and who-knows-what-else. Even if you have a small team working on your Twitter in Real Life: The Follow Back [cartoon] blog analytics tool WSJ.com Did You Graduate From Link Building High School Yet 6 Tips for Making a Business Marketing Video Page Views , you can post multiple types of content for your readers. All Hail The (New) Twitter Elite List State of the Twittersphere – Q4 2008 Report small business blog Inbound Links 11,270 8,768 .) . The only way to deal with such uncertainty is to create a portfolio of different posts — you gotta mix it up! Top Posts by Inbound Links (Last 3 Months) The report, the video and the cartoons are not surprising, but the others are. It’s hard to tell how these posts are any different from the dozens of others like them that we ran over the past three months. Topics:center_img 20 Post 33 Webinar: Blogging for Business 8 Marketing Tips From An Olympic Gold Medalist Want to learn more about publishing a small business blog on your business website? There are cartoons, a big report, a viral video, how-to stories and some bigger thought pieces. Social Media Marketing Madness [cartoon] 6 Tips for Making a Business Marketing Video You can also see this by looking at the posts that succeed on this blog. Below I’ve listed our top articles over the past three months, sorted by inbound links and page views. (I pulled this data from HubSpot’s 4,137  Looking at this data, three things jump out: 21 Originally published Jan 19, 2009 8:23:00 AM, updated October 18 2015 Inbound Marketing While that may be a consistent theme of posts on this blog, there is no single type of post that succeeds. Like any medium or You can see the importance of varied content on large news sites like You Oughta Know Inbound Marketing NYTimes.com (1) Lots of different types of articles. Download the free webinar 7,498 4,211 27 (3) Lots of surprises. or  (2) Little overlap between the two lists. I was wrong. inbound marketing 23 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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What Do Coke, Pepsi, Pampers, Dominos, Google and Facebook Have in Common?

first_img Facebook Marketing Are audiences more interested in understanding what the big brands are doing?  Do we look up to Coke and Pepsi and other great brands for inspiration?At HubSpot, we love to measure everything, and recently we completed a short study on how the use of brand names (including Coke, Pepsi, Dominos, Google, Pampers, Facebook,etc.) in article titles had an impact on blog article performance. The results were astounding.  Out of the approximately 100 articles published over a period of 50 days, just over 20% of them had major brand names in the title.  As you can see in the graph below, the articles that had a major brand name in the title generated 60% more page views on average than articles without them.Also, we published 6 articles with Google in the title, and on average they performed 50% better than articles without brand names in their titles.Surprisingly, while the use of brand names appeared to have an impact on page views and readership, it had little or no impact on comments (or conversation) and what appears to be a negative impact on inbound links.  The brand name articles got 3 fewer inbound links on average than their counterparts. If you’re wondering why we used such a short time frame for the study, it’s because blog articles are like annuities. Over longer periods of time, articles continue to amass more and more page views, which would skew the study.  The top-performing articles in all groups were spread pretty evenly across the time frame used for the study!Thoughts,  Observations and TakeawaysTiming Your Article Publication is Key — There was definitely a “news” factor to articles with brand names in their titles, and the timeliness of the publication coincided with the conversation about the brand on the Internet and in media.  (e.g. the Dominos and Pepsi articles).Visible Brands Serve as Case Studies — People and marketers in general love hearing what major brands are doing and how they are conducting their business.  A lot of companies like to emulate and learn from big brands. Familiarity Has an Impact on Viral Effect — People become bigger “sneezers” (per Seth Godin’s idea virus) when it comes to bigger brands because they are more familiar with them and their products. Have you noticed any interesting trends in how your blog articles perform?  Please share your thoughts in the comments! Photo credit: Nikita Kashner Video: Blogging for Business Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website?Watch the free video to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 11, 2010 8:30:00 AM, updated October 18 2015 Topics:last_img read more

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9 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Global SEO Strategy

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Jul 11, 2012 3:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 We all know there are many different strategies and tactics that can factor into generating more traffic to your website. And there are even more to consider if your business targets an audience that spans multiple countries, because you’ll need to create a global SEO strategy for your website, too!But going global can be a daunting task, and you may not know where to start. That’s why we’ve created an international SEO guide compiling all the best tips international marketers should know. That being said, it’s also important to know about the biggest global SEO mistakes international marketers typically make so you know to avoid them. So without further ado, here are the 9 worst ways to do global SEO:1. Translate All Your Content Using Google TranslateWant to make your website sound like a complete idiot and undermine your company’s credibility to an international audience? Just take all the content on your main website, run it through Google Translate, and paste that into your foreign language site. It will sound totally Google Translated — in other words, robotic, unnatural, and in many cases, completely nonsensical — to anyone who speaks the language natively. Want to avoid sounding like an idiot? Get help from someone who is fluent in the language you’re creating content for.2. Avoid Language- or Country-Specific Sites for Fear of Duplicate ContentYou might have avoided setting up a .co.uk counterpart for your .com site for fear of Google deeming this as “duplicate content,” since there’s not much of a language difference. However, Google now supports using the rel=“canonical” link element across different domains. This means you can have similar content on both the .com and .co.uk extensions of your site, and use the canonical link element to indicate the exact URL of the domain preferred for indexing. This will make duplicate content a non-issue. Also, keep in mind that this is not required when using different languages. Google does not consider foreign language translations to be duplicate content. But keep in mind that it is something to consider for multiple locale sites in the same language.3. Neglect Your Google Webmaster SettingsAccording to Trimark Solutions, many webmasters will simply keep one single sitemap for their entire website, which is not nearly as efficient to maintain and update. Google Webmaster tools allows you to submit multiple sitemaps, so you can submit one for each country or region you are targeting. Note that this is only necessary if you’re using subdirectories for each of your locale sites.In Google Webmaster tools, you can also geographically target certain websites or sections of your website to certain locations. You can find these settings by logging into your Webmaster Tools account, looking under ‘Site Configuration,’ and changing your geographic targeting in the ‘Settings’ tab.4. Assume One Keyword List Will Work for All CountriesIf you create one keyword list and assume it will serve your SEO purposes across all the countries you target, you definitely won’t be targeting your audience in those countries effectively. Different keywords may cater to different audiences depending on location, so as an international marketer, you need to identify which keywords are most popular in each country you’re targeting, and optimize the pages on that country’s section of your website accordingly. In addition, remember that even a correct and accurate translation of a keyword or term may not be what people actually use to search for a product or service locally. To help you identify international keywords for your global SEO strategy, the advanced option in Google’s free Keyword Tool enables you to choose keywords by country and/or language. Just enter one of your keywords, choose the language and/or country(ies) you wish to target, and Google will provide you with a list of keyword ideas and their associated monthly search volume.5. Make Your Different Locale Sites Hard to FindEven if you’re taking all measures possible to send website visitors to the right domain or website section, such as auto-detecting their location and redirecting them to the right web page, there will be people who are traveling, or simply slip through the cracks and end up on your main .com. So make sure your different locale sites are easy to find. If you have several versions of your site in different languages, add visual cues linking to your multilingual content in or near your top navigation. For example, you can use flag icons to link to each country or language’s site/website section. You can also add links to each country or language site in your sitewide footer.6. Add Multiple Languages to a Single Web PageGenerally speaking, you shouldn’t mix languages on the same web page. You might think that doing this will help your website visitors understand that your website caters to them even though your company is based in another country, but in reality, it will not help your website’s overall user experience. You’ll only be making your page confusing to sift through, as your visitors might not understand the content at the top of the page, leading them to immediately click the back button. Instead, refer back to #5, and use your website’s top navigation or footer to link to sections on your site dedicated solely to that country/language.7. Build Inbound Links Only to Your Main HomepageGenerating inbound links is one of the most important elements of SEO, no matter what countries you’re catering to. The more inbound links you have from external websites, the better your site will rank, and the more visibility it will have in search engines. However, when you guest blog or request inbound links, make sure your homepage isn’t the only page getting linked to. You should aim to increase inbound links to each of your locale sites from sites of the same country. In other words, get sites in the UK to link to your co.uk extension, sites in Ireland to link to your .ie extension, etc.8) Make Cultural AssumptionsAs you’re designing your website, you might think your sleek white layout will have a positive connotation for website visitors around the world. After all, in most of Europe and the Americas, white is associated with purity and marriage. But did you know that in Japan, China, and parts of Africa, white is traditionally the color of mourning? The same cultural assumptions might hinder your SEO strategy. If your business targets customers in countries foreign to yours, learn about the different countries’ cultures to understand what appeals to them versus people in your country.9) Forget to Take Local Competition Into AccountIf you’re located at your primary headquarters, you know who your local competitors are. But when doing global SEO research, don’t forget that your competitors in different regions may be different. Just because you’re an international business, doesn’t mean that all businesses abroad are also global. In other words, there might be some competition that you don’t even know about yet! Take that into consideration when you’re identifying keywords to target in each country so you can compete for search engine ranking positions local searchers may be using to find products and services like yours.Do you have anything to add to the list? Add your #10 in the comments below! SEO Strategylast_img read more

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Don’t Regret Your Website Redesign: The Resources You Need to Do It Right

first_img Originally published Nov 13, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Website Redesign I’m sick of looking at you, website. We started off well. You were a major improvement over my last website. But the thing is, you’re just not working for me anymore. It’s not your fault. The truth is, things have changed — I’ve changed. My businesses needs and you are just not compatible anymore. It’s time I start anew. You understand … don’t you?Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignOn average, we marketers redesign our websites every 18-24 months. Our reasons vary — from building a better customer experience, to reflecting a new corporate brand strategy. Regardless of the reason, we’re a constantly iterating breed.The good news is there’s a ton of content out there to help you make the right decisions for your website redesign. However, that’s also the bad news.With so much advice and content on redesigns, it can be hard to filter through it all to get to the best resources. Because I like you guys (and because we’ve gone through our fair share of redesigns ourselves), I’ve compiled a handful of top-notch resources for your next redesign.Deciding on a RedesignMake sure you’re not redesigning for the wrong reasons.I mentioned that marketers redesign their sites every two years on average — I didn’t say that every one of those redesigns is a good idea, though. This post by my colleague Jess Meher gives some common red flags that indicate you may be redesigning when you don’t need to.Scope out the project correctly.Website redesigns can take several months, but you are traveling a well-trodden path. Why not borrow the road maps of those who came before you? The following two resources should give you a good head start when it comes to scoping out your redesign project:Working with a designer? Inbound Marketing Agency Lynton Web has mapped out the 5 Phases of an Inbound Website Redesign.Doing it on your own? HubSpot’s got a Website Redesign Planning and Progress Kit that includes a spreadsheet to help you map out milestones, goals, benchmarks, and more. We’ve used this spreadsheet in our own designs to help us stay on track.Identifying Benchmarks and GoalsWebsite redesigns are filled with subjective measures. While gut reactions are worth listening to, the only way to really know if your redesign is working is to identify some benchmarks and set some goals.The effectiveness of your website can be measured by everything from bounce rate to conversions. To decide what works for you …Take a primer on marketing analytics.There’s a lot to cover in analytics. Should you track visits or unique visits? What’s the right balance of new vs. returning visitors? How do the rest of your marketing analytics fit into your website analytics? This 85-page guide covers the full gamut of marketing analytics, but pages 5-22 are all you need for your website redesign. Set up goals in Google Analytics.Google Analytics is the de facto free analytics program out there, but it changes quite often, so some of the content you may find out there is slightly outdated. This helpful post on Steamfeed, however, was published in September 2013 and gives step-by-step instructions on setting up your goals in Google.Compare the two types of analytics.Your website is not an island. As part of your redesign you should consider how website analytics fit into your larger marketing strategy. This post by fellow HubSpotter Pamela Vaughn explains the differences between website analytics and marketing analytics and guides you on what to measure for each. Preserving Your SEOIn 2009, Toys R Us paid $5.1 million to buy the Toys.com domain name, in an effort to scoop up the SEO benefit of having such a prominent keyword in their domain. So essentially, that’s $5.1 million the company spent to top the search charts.In a great error, however — that honestly could’ve happened to almost anyone — Toys R Us forwarded the entire domain of Toys.com to ToysRUs.com without using 301 redirects, and, in turn, Google de-indexed all of the Toys.com pages. It’s a fascinating story in and of itself, and one you can read about here.The lesson here? Be sure you preserve your SEO whenever going through a redesign. Here are a few more useful resources to help you make sure SEO is top of mind in your redesign.Learn the different types of redirects.There are a handful of different types of redirects you can use if you’re moving your pages from one web address to another. Search Engine People and Moz both have useful posts on the differences between these redirects. Search Engine People’s post is a bit more straightforward while the one by Moz is a bit more comprehensive.Discover other SEO strategies.There’s more to SEO than just the redirect. A website redesign offers you an opportunity to map out your content to really rank for certain keywords. Search Engine Land has a helpful post about building a keyword strategy in the context of a larger website redesign.Use an on-page SEO template.When you’re ready, HubSpot has a free on-page SEO planning template you can use to track all of your work and ensure all of your loose ends are tied down for the redesign.Planning Your Design and ContentOptimize your site for mobile.Mobile optimization is an essential part of creating an excellent visitor experience, driving conversions, and even ranking on search engine results. Make sure that any redesign includes a plan for mobile optimization. You can see how your current site looks on mobile devices here and learn the differences between mobile approaches here. Carefully plan your design.There is plenty of great advice out there on website design. Probably the most comprehensive is this post by Smashing Magazine, which covers everything from about-us pages, to 404s, to breadcrumbs, to calls-to-action. Some other great resources you can check out:Get inspired by looking at different homepage examples.Get scientific (sort of) through KISSmetrics’ Anatomy of an Effective Homepage Infographic.Understand your essential homepage elements.Learn why you don’t have to worry about the infamous website “fold” in this KISSMetrics post.Write your content.Words matter. A beautiful design and compelling words work together to make your site memorable and deliver your company’s unique value. I scoured the web to find some practical advice on moving your web copy from good to great.Get an overview of writing for web: This quick course in copywriting by Smashing Magazine is a nice primer in some of the concepts behind good copywriting.Don’t make it all about you: This Unbounce post explains some of the common pitfalls of company-centric website copy. Make a clear case for the problem that your company will solve for customers.Determine your value proposition: Different than a slogan or a tagline, your value proposition explains to prospective customers how your company will advance their goals. This post will walk you through a few steps to identify and communicate your value proposition.Choosing a Content Management System  A website redesign is probably the best timing for assessing your current content management system and trying to decide if you are happy or want to move to a different platform. You’re starting over from scratch, so you have the opportunity to consider all the facets of the way you market online.To determine the best platform for you, think about your core needs. Would it be better for all of your marketing tools to be integrated into one platform or are you ok with separate tools? Is mobile optimization important to you? Do you have a designer to work on your site or need pre-made templates?  One of the best ways to get to know the different platforms available is to take a look at review sites. There are a number of review sites around, but a few newer sites are doing a good job with crowd-sourcing reviews from actual users. Take a look at TrustRadius or G2Crowd to compare vendors. If Salesforce integration is important to you, you’ll also want to check out the reviews on its app exchange.Of course, we’re happy to talk with you about HubSpot’s content optimization system to help you determine if it’s a fit for your redesign. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Why People Like, Share, and Comment on Facebook [Infographic]

first_img Topics: 411Save Of Facebook’s 1.25 billion monthly active users, 44% Like their friends’ posts at least once a day — and 29% do it multiple times a day. That’s hundreds of millions of people interacting with content on the social network on a daily basis.So what motivates people to Like Facebook posts — and share them, and comment on them? And why should businesses care?Research has found several psychological reasons behind why users enjoy using Facebook so much.Free Resource: How to Reach & Engage Your Audience on FacebookFor example, studies observing people browsing on Facebook found psychological indications of happiness, like pupil dilation. By uncovering this type of audience insight, marketers can apply this information to create more effective Facebook marketing campaigns. Intrigued?Check out the infographic below from QuickSprout to learn more about why people use Facebook and what businesses can learn from it.411Save Originally published Jun 30, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Facebook Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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How to Use Facebook for Business: 13 Essential Tips [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Apr 18, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Facebook is constantly making changes to the design of the profiles — for businesses and individuals alike. They’ve made a few cool changes in the past few years, including adding call-to-action buttons to business Pages and letting you record company milestones, like product launches and events.There are a lot of ways Facebook is helping brands build a follower base, increase visibility, improve branding, communicate with and engage fans, and even drive traffic and leads.To learn more about how to use Facebook for business, download our free guide here. So, what can you do to optimize your brand’s presence on Facebook? Check out the infographic below from Cafe Quill for helpful tips on getting the most from your Facebook business Page.20Save20Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Facebook Business Pageslast_img read more

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How to Stay Focused in the Age of Distractions [Infographic]

first_imgWhile most of those “survivalist” reality TV shows — like Survivor and Naked and Afraid — send contestants to exotic, tropical locations, the producers of those shows are really missing out on an exceptionally chaotic destination: the office.True, in the office you don’t have to worry about building a shelter (that’s usually provided) or getting swallowed whole by an anaconda, but there are other dangers office workers have to face. And one of the most intimidating? The dreaded distraction.Tweets. Facebook messages. Texts. Snapchats. That annoying coworker who is always bugging you with their personal problems (for the last time, Tyler, I don’t care that your cat has eczema). Office distractions are everywhere. But in addition to being annoying, they can wreak havoc on our productivity. Fortunately, the team at On Stride Financial created the infographic below, which offers several tips and tricks for dealing with distractions. 2K+Save2K+SaveKnow any other tips for avoiding distractions and staying focused? Leave a comment below. Topics: Productivity Originally published May 26, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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10 Marketing Insights for 2017 From Gary Vaynerchuk, Ann Handley & More [Infographic]

first_img Topics: Originally published Dec 29, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Trends Don’t forget to share this post! Looking for a marketing strategy that’ll give you that extra leg up in 2017?While it’s always helpful and entertaining to spend hours absorbed in the blog posts, webinars, and podcasts from your favorite marketing influencers, there’s not always time for that. And with January 1 just a few short days away, you need to finalize your plans — fast.So in addition to all that content, why not look at what your favorite influencers are actually doing themselves?When I went to HubSpot’s INBOUND event last month, that was my goal. Before I even got to Boston, my coworkers and I started planning who we wanted to learn from. We made a list, we checked it twice, and we set out to learn from the best.Guess what? It paid off. While there, we spoke to some of the smartest people in inbound marketing and found out what marketing strategies they’re excited to use more in 2017. That’s not to mention what we learned in their talks and sessions.Check out the infographic below for some of the most helpful highlights from folks like Gary Vaynerchuk, Peg Fitzpatrick, Larry Kim, and more.128Save128Savelast_img read more

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How to Make the Most of a 30-Minute Phone Interview

first_img Topics: Hiring good people can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly. If you’re in a constant cycle of hiring, I don’t have to tell you about the time warp it can cause — but what about the cost?The more interviews you do, the more you spend. And the more time you spend absorbed in lengthy interviews the more likely you are to take shortcuts and make mistakes.Qualify top marketing candidates faster with this collection of 100 interview questions.And according to Dr. John Sullivan, the hiring process is getting even harder:”Aggressiveness, the need for counteroffers, higher rejection rates, and a renewed focus on recruiting the currently employed will all return to prominence.”What if I told you I could help you be more efficient with your time, and get the information you need to make decisions for next steps — in about half the time you’re currently committing?The advantage of reducing your hiring time will add to your bottom line, perhaps more than you realize. A report from UrbanBound illustrated the time demands, and how costs can add up:”Onboarding can be an extremely time-demanding project. It can cost up to 1/3 of an employee’s salary to onboard and train new hires, especially when that employee’s job description does not have to do with onboarding. Therefore, if a small company has a flawed onboarding plan, they risk having a bad retention percentage which can be extremely costly.”Considering this, it’s logical to believe organizations would be better off spending less time overall on interviews, but more quality time during that initial conversation. So, how would one shorten the time commitment and reduce overall costs, and give a better interview in the process? Consider my process for a 30-minute phone interview, below.How to Run a 30-Minute Phone InterviewI know what you’re thinking … 30 minutes seems really short when you are trying to find a fabulous candidate, how do you make it worthwhile? You’re probably asking yourself:What questions do I ask?How do I prioritize the questions?If I run such a tight agenda, how will we connect?Okay, maybe not that last one. But if you structure a simple agenda, prepare quality questions, and are disciplined throughout your time in front of candidates, I believe you can answer all of your questions after just a few interviews. Let’s start with time management.Managing The First 5 MinutesIf you’re going to pull off an effective interview in 30 minutes or less, you have to be organized and efficient. You’ll want to start strong and there’s no better time than the first five minutes.4 Things to Cover in the First 5 MinutesIntroduce yourself: “Hi, I’m the Managing Partner of Revenue River Marketing. We’re growing quickly and I’m looking for the very best marketers in the country.”State your intent: “We’re hiring for position XYZ and I’m looking for a specific type of candidate. I’d like to move quickly so we can both decide if there’s a good fit for us.”Set the agenda: “I’d like to spend 10 minutes asking you a few questions, then I’ll give you an equal amount of time to ask me anything you’d like.”Confirm buy-in: “How does that sound?” (If they say anything other than ‘absolutely’ or ‘I’m ready’, I’d be concerned. Anyone who just starts rambling clearly isn’t picking up on your goals.)The Next 10 Minutes: Getting Answers to Key QuestionsIf you’re going to get through enough quality questions in 10 minutes, you’ll want to ensure you’re on point with your preparation. You’ll want to prepare a set of direct questions and count on the candidate being perceptive enough to answer with brevity.I’ve noticed that observing how candidates handle the pace of this section can be very telling. If the candidate decides to grandstand during replies to your questioning, it’s a clear disqualifier.Instead of interrupting to get through your questions efficiently, I advise you let them talk. They’ll cost themselves the chance to answer the remainder of your questions, and likely a chance at employment with your organization.Conversely, a good candidate understands that you’ll ask follow-up questions if you want more detail. Some of our very best hires have quickly and artfully answered our most direct and pointed questions with quick-witted responses.While I can’t provide the exact types of key questions you should ask for your own specific position, I can give you a sense of qualities you want to look for that are predominantly universal for any job.Giving Them 10 Minutes to Pass the “Test”Now it’s time for your candidate to impress you with their prepared questions. Your goal for this ten-minute segment is to see how prepared the candidate is and how much they want this job in particular. You want to know if they’re just looking for any job they can find, or if they’re truly interested in a career with your organization.Good candidates prepare well. They study your website, your bio, your team, and your offering. They have a list of specific questions that demonstrate their understanding of your business, and hopefully even some observations on how they believe they can add value.Many candidates won’t realize how important this segment of the interview is, and they’ll reveal something about themselves you missed previously. The candidates that used active listening during the first five minutes will operate at the same pace you did and respect the agenda.Insight to Gain during Candidate QuestioningDid they study your website? Test them on it.Do they understand what you do? Ask them questions about it.Are they more interested in compensation or job duties?Are they more interested in benefits and vacation or company growth trajectory?Remaining 5 Minutes: Wrapping Up with Next StepsSomething to remember during this initial interview is that the goal is not to hire, but to qualify for next steps. Each candidate is either ready for another interview or they’re being ruled out. You’re not hiring them today, so don’t overdo it. Just get through the critical questions you think need to be answered and wrap things up.You likely won’t have exactly five minutes here, but that’s okay. Let them know your plans for next steps and let them know your expectations for follow-up.Follow-up should always be the responsibility of the candidate and never on the executive. I’ve been surprised by some great interviews that were followed by poor follow-up and their responsibility here allows them to demonstrate their skills further, one way or another.5 Important Qualities To Focus On in a 30-Minute Phone Interview1) CoachabilityEmployees that aren’t coachable struggle to get through tough times, and those who are receptive to instruction improve quickly. As Derek Lauber from Lightbox Leadership puts it, “Hiring for coachability can help you find those individuals with the traits necessary to becoming long-term valuable members of your organization.”Example Question: What would you do if you found yourself struggling to meet your objectives after 90 days?2) TransparencyYou can substitute in the word “honesty” here. I love asking questions that allow the candidates the chance to prove they’re not completely honest. A transparent workplace is important in maintaining a positive culture, and you don’t want to let any bad seeds take root. Jessica Miller-Merrell of Glassdoor advises, “When one person is not aligned with the organization, it is significantly more likely that everyone below them will be out of line as well.”Example Question: Why shouldn’t I hire you? (Please don’t tell me because sometimes you care too much) 3) DesirePeople that really want something for themselves work harder than people who just want to live a life of leisure so I look for people who are hungry. These are the people you want in your organization, pure and simple.Example Question: Why is this position the direction you want to go with your career?4) Organizational SkillsThe modern workplace is a massive game of dealing with distractions– organization creates efficiency and that means better productivity. In “Organizational Skills in the Workplace,” Rick Suttle advises, “Planning is a needed workplace skill, and it is particularly important as person advances into more supervisory or managerial roles.”Example Question: How do you plan your day/week, and what tools have you used to do so?5) HumilityThe best players on any team have humility — ego and selfishness can cause cancerous behavior that can destroy what you’ve built. As John Baldoni put it in HBR, “Humility is more than an important characteristic for leaders, but for employees as well. It is this trait which allows leaders and employees to work well individually and as a team. A humble employee is aware of his own limitations and is willing to accept –- and give –- help as needed.”Example Question: Those are some impressive results. To what do you owe that success?Additional Questions & CommentsYou’ll also want to spend a couple minutes on some resume specific questions. You should prepare a few direct questions about their resume you can mix in with the others. Here are a few questions I like to ask to see if I can get someone to complain, make excuses, or show inconsistencies for the character traits I’m targeting at this time.How was your relationship with your boss at this job?Which of these positions do you feel held your career back?These can be clear indicators of disqualifiers for your role, so don’t shy away from them.With Practice Comes PerfectionAfter you’ve used this 30-minute phone interview script with a few candidates you’ll perfect the process and refine your style. Once perfected, cutting your initial interview time in half with these concepts will save time and money while improving results during this step in the hiring process.Start by spending a little more time setting up your own script, and you’ll be sure to benefit once you’ve applied these tactics.Ready for the half-hour interview? Try out some of these great interview questions on your next candidate. Don’t forget to share this post! Interviews Originally published Oct 4, 2017 7:58:00 AM, updated April 18 2018last_img read more

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Our Sporting Future 2010 set to Challenge and Inspire

first_imgSCORS comprises of representatives from State and Territory Departments of Recreation and Sport.OSF 2010 will provide an in-depth analysis of the business of sport, with real examples of successful sports business models. Participants will have the opportunity to examine the sustainability of sport and how it can meet any current and future challenges.The forum will provide participants with relevant information, ideas and strategies on building a better national sports system. The program will explore new thinking, risk taking and innovation in the development of sports policy to effect change.There will also be a topical panel discussion that addresses current issues in Australian sport, stimulates new ideas, challenges current ways of thinking, and provides practical information that can be applied to sporting organisations.The forum will feature keynote speakers Bernard Petiot, Vice-President of casting and performance for Cirque Du Soleil and Peter Holmes à Court, one of Australia’s most respected entrepreneurs and businessmen.Other keynote speakers include Avril Henry who is regarded as one of Australia’s leading thinkers and speakers on Generational Diversity and Leadership and Li Cunxin whose bestselling autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, tells a remarkable story about his extraordinary life. To register for OSF 2010 visit the event website www.ausport.gov.au/OSF2010osf10@eventplanners.com.aulast_img read more

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2014 Year-End Giving Results in Big Win Online for Nonprofits

first_imgWant more insight on how online giving is growing? Stay tuned! In February, we’ll release our Digital Giving Index, which will take a closer look at online giving trends. We’ll share where, how, and how much donors gave across our digital channels in 2014. How did your year-end fundraising campaigns perform? Chime in with your experiences in the comments and let us know what you plan to build on—or change—in 2015! It’s no secret that year-end giving is an important source of donation dollars for most nonprofits. Last year was no exception and we saw a lot of “generous procrastinators” giving big online in December 2014. When we looked at organizations who received donations on the Network for Good platform in both December 2013 and December 2014, we saw an 18% increase in total donation volume year over year. A few other important notes about year-end giving results:The total number of donations also grew year over year. In December 2014, 22% more donations were made to charities through Network for Good compared to December 2013.As expected, #GivingTuesday was a big driver of December donations on the Network for Good platform in 2014, with over $4.5M raised on December 2. This represented a 148% increase over total donation volume on #GivingTuesday 2013.December giving also accounted for 30% of all online donations made to nonprofits through Network for Good in 2014, with 10% of all annual giving happening on the last three days of the year. This stat has remained consistent for the last 5 years, underscoring the significance of year-end giving on overall fundraising results.The average gift size for the month of December also increased by 6.5% compared to 2013.last_img read more

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Lack of Public Trust in Charities and What to Do About It

first_img Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. Furthermore, nearly half of those polled were mostly concerned about how organizations use their money. This was also the top concern in the Money for Good study released last year. Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. You know what comes next: Donors favor organizations with low administrative and fundraising costs. In fact, 54% of donors like charities that get good ratings by validators like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau, which seem to reward the “lean and mean” organizations. And now we are squarely back in the thick of the Overhead Myth.Quite a bit has been written and discussed about the Overhead Myth and the charity “watchdogs” or validators, so I won’t add to that debate here. Without a doubt, the measure of nonprofit performance has gotten stuck on financials. This is only one part of the story of an organization’s effectiveness. Nonprofits that have the resources to invest in talent, systems, and infrastructure are more likely to be successful, which is directly seen in their programs’ impact and results.So, if we know donors are scrutinizing charities more than ever and questioning how nonprofits are using their money, how can we restore donor confidence? Change the conversation. Share your vision and plans for the future. Celebrate your successes, and be honest about your challenges and how you are addressing them. Quantify your results and impact, both in numbers and stories.If donors see that you are doing good work with visible results, then the “administrative” costs and how you spend money on staff and fundraising, for example, fit within a broader context of organizational effectiveness. It then makes sense that having the financial resources to pay competitive salaries to hire talented and experienced staff will lead to stronger programs and results. Fundraising expenses become part of your organization’s overall strategy for growth and reinvestment of revenue to create a stronger foundation for innovative and expanded breadth of services. You get the picture.Donor trust should never be assumed. It’s earned. While you may not be able to shift your donors from restricting their gifts to specific programs, you can inspire greater investment by positioning everything you need—from vision to staff to resources—to continue doing your work well. The 2015 Giving USA report announced that giving levels across the United States returned to record highs, finally restarting the philanthropic pause triggered by the 2008 recession.If donor confidence seems to have been restored and all is right in the charitable world again, why does a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy poll point to stalled levels of confidence in nonprofits? Of the 1,000 or so people surveyed, 64% said they had a great deal of confidence in charities. More than 50% is pretty good, right? So what’s the problem? Donor trust levels have stayed about the same since 2002, when Paul Light, a professor at New York University, started studying donor confidence.last_img read more

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Preconception Planning, Counseling and Care (PCC) is Important for All Couples, Including Those Affected by HIV

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 21, 2013March 6, 2017By: Dr. Jean Anderson, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Jhpiego; Kelly Curran, Jhpiego, MCHIP; Laura Fitzgerald, Jhpiego, MCHIPClick 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)Decisions about whether a woman and her partner want to have children, how many they might want to have, and when they might want to have them, are not always clear-cut or predictable. Reproductive goals are often linked to a multitude of complicated and deeply personal hopes and beliefs. For this reason, healthcare providers have a responsibility to value clients as individuals with unique sets of life circumstances and priorities. All women, and all couples, deserve to access the information they need to make safe and informed choices…regardless of geography, regardless of socio-economic status, regardless of age, regardless of marital status, and regardless of the result of an HIV test.Safe family planning (FP) as well as preconception planning, counseling, and care (PCC) are important in the continuum of care for all couples, including those affected by HIV. These critical services:Prevent unintended pregnancy;Promote appropriate birth spacing;Optimize maternal health before pregnancy and maternal and fetal health during pregnancy;Prevent maternal to child transmission of HIV; andReduce the risk of HIV transmission to uninfected partner.A considerable unmet need for FP exists for women living with HIV.  In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, between 66 and 92 percent of HIV positive women do not want more children, but only 20 to 43 percent of women use contraception (Sarnquist et al. Curr HIV Res 2013;11:160). Irrespective of this need and of the safety of most FP methods for women living with HIV, some providers limit options for these women. Research demonstrates that providers are especially hesitant to recommend long acting reversible contraception or emergency contraception in the setting of HIV.Similarly, some providers do not feel comfortable when these women and their partners want to conceive.  Too many HIV positive women are told that intended pregnancies are irresponsible. All people have the right to respectful, quality care; not only do HIV positive women share similar feelings about motherhood as other women, but in the era of antiretroviral therapy, many also experience improvements in fertility.This is not to suggest that women living with HIV are without particular healthcare needs.  For instance, women who live with HIV may be more likely to experience violence within their intimate relationships.  They are also particularly vulnerable to co-infections with tuberculosis or malaria and to suffer from anemia.  Further, many of these women – up to 50 percent in a country like Kenya – are in serodiscordant relationships, and transmission to a partner is a concern. Appropriate PCC for couples allows for optimal prevention of transmission to HIV negative partners, as well as vertical transmission to children.PCC also offers an excellent opportunity to promote healthy behaviors.  PCC presents an opportunity to counsel couples about risk mitigation, FP, healthy eating habits, psychosocial and mental health issues, and long term care plans, as well as to address care and treatment of HIV and related issues.  Additionally, through PCC, underlying medical conditions – such as tuberculosis, other opportunistic infections, or other chronic conditions such as hypertension or diabetes – can be identified and treated, optimizing maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.Recent years have witnessed great strides in HIV prevention, care, and treatment.  People living with HIV enjoy longer and healthier lives. As a public health community, there is a pressing need to look beyond a narrow biomedical treatment lens, and to acknowledge clients’ fundamental life goals. Do couples want to postpone pregnancy to attain other educational, professional, or relational goals?  Do they want to conceive now, a year from now, five years from now, or not at all?  It is time to better understand how to integrate FP and PCC services into HIV care, and to look closely at their effectiveness in achieving better outcomes for women and their families.This post is part of a blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. To view the entire series, click here.For additional information about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, visit our topic page. Share this:last_img read more

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Celebrating the Second Year of the PLOS-MHTF Collection on Maternal Health

first_imgPosted on January 29, 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 following was originally posted on PLOS  BlogsPLOS Medicine and the MHTF review highlights of the second successful collection, as part of their 3 Year partnership focusing on improving Maternal Health globally.Back in late 2012 the Maternal Health Task Force, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and PLOS Medicine issued a call for papers on the theme ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health’, chosen in order to recognise that a women’s health is of crucial importance through her lifetime, and not just during pregnancy and labour.The breadth of the research that has been submitted to PLOS since the call has been of great quality and impact. In this blog, we’d like to highlight just some articles in the collection that represent a selection of the important work recommended to alleviate the poor health, low educational attainment and low socioeconomic status adversities affecting maternal health, that women and girls of experience throughout their lifetimes.To continue reading, visit the original post at PLOS. For more on Year 3 of the PLOS-MHTF  collection on maternal health, including guidelines for submitting to the collection, visit the Year 3 call for papers. To read articles published in the Year 1 and Year 2 collections, visit PLOS Collections.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Building Community Capacity for Maternal Health Promotion: An Important Complement to Investments in Health Systems Strengthening

first_imgPosted on October 23, 2014November 2, 2016By: Ellen Brazier, Senior Technical Advisor for Community Engagement, EngenderHealth; Moustapha Diallo, Country Director, EngenderHealth GuineaClick 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)EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Plus project recently published the results of two studies in Guinea, one examining factors associated with institutional delivery and another investigating the effect of an intervention to build the capacity of community-level volunteers to promote maternal health care-seeking.Community empowerment and participation has long been recognized as a fundamental component of good health programming and as a critical strategy for improving access to and use of health services. However, as Susan B. Rifkin notes in a 2014 review of the literature, evidence directly linking community participation to improved health outcomes remains weak.For maternal health, the evidence gap is particularly acute. A 2014 World Health Organization (WHO) report reviewed a community mobilization approach that involves training and supporting women’s groups to carry out an ongoing process of problem exploration, priority-setting and action planning. The report concluded that, while such participatory approaches appeared to have a strong effect on neonatal mortality, there was no evidence of effects on maternal mortality or on other critical maternal health indicators, such as institutional delivery, delivery with a skilled attendant, or receiving the recommended number of antenatal care visits.While important questions remain about what types of interventions are effective in improving maternal health, our recent research in Guinea found that women’s use of maternal health services was associated with the existence of strong support systems for maternal health within communities. Our study focused on villages where community volunteers had been trained to raise awareness about obstetric risks, including fistula, to monitor pregnancies, and to promote women’s routine use of maternal heath services. We assessed the extent to which community members were aware of and relied on community-level cadres as a main source of maternal health information and advice.We also found that women living in communities with a high score on our community capacity index were much more likely to use maternal health services than those living in communities with weak support systems. In fact, women living in villages with a high score on our community capacity index were more than twice as likely to attend at least four antenatal care visits during their pregnancies, to deliver in a health facility, and to seek care for perceived obstetric complications.Building the capacity of community cadres and volunteers to promote maternal heath and monitor maternal health care-seeking is challenging, and it does not occur overnight. However, our findings suggest that such capacity-building investments are worth it since community-level cadres can be important catalysts for changes in maternal health care-seeking when they have the training, support, and recongiztion they need to serve as a resource in their communities. Such investments are an important complement to ongoing efforts to improve the availability, accessibility, and quality of the continuum of maternal health services.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Apply to the International Development Design Summit by January 20th!

first_imgPosted on January 7, 2015February 6, 2015Click 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)Young mother and child,India.The International Development Design Summit (IDDS) is an intense, hands-on design experience that brings together people from all walks of life to co-create low cost technologies that improve the livelihoods of people living in poverty. Coming to India in July 2015, IDDS Aarogyam is a four-week summit that will focus on designing low-cost technologies that address global health challenges in remote and resource-poor settings. Hosted by HIVE—a nonprofit organization in Chennai, India that focuses on providing a space for innovations to come to life and thrive—the summit will be a one-stop shop for all innovators – giving them access to knowledge, expert advice and market information & networks.With expert instruction by Zubaida Bai, founder of ayzh, and prominent instructors from MIT’s Design Lab, summit participants will learn about the collaborative design process and work closely with local communities to be able to develop contextually relevant solutions that can be deployed to strengthen the healthcare system and empower the various stakeholders in the process. Participants will also create prototypes and business models designed specifically to support the creation of inclusive healthcare solutions in the communities where the summit is organized. However, the intention is that the models will have the potential to be replicated and scaled up across geographies that need access to quality healthcare.Quality healthcare, especially in rural India, is inaccessible to the masses due to weaknesses in accessibility, health systems, and human resources. This leads to 700 million people without any access to specialized care and one million deaths every year. IDDS Aarogyam aims to facilitate holistic healthcare solutions that meet people where they are and acknowledge their status, aspirations and dignity by bringing together a global and specialized mix of participants who undergo intensive modules that nurture co-creation to create practical technologies that improve the quality of healthcare services and render it accessible to the masses in resource-poor settings.Who will be thereThe intense, hands on summit will bring together frontline community representatives and members from the host town, health workers, midwives, students, business leaders, engineers and designers from across the globe who will be engaged in an intensive ecosystem of learning and development working closely with local communities to be able to develop contextually relevant solutions that can be deployed to strengthen the healthcare system and empower the various stakeholders in the process.Apply to participateWe are looking to bring together a mix of 45 participants who have the following characteristics:Expertise or a background in public health, engineering, design, business, government, or local community vocations (farmers, mothers, welders, mechanics, etc.)Enjoy creating things with their hands and believe they can solve problemsShow passion and enthusiasm for improving livelihoods with technology, even if they are not a technologistHave a strong likelihood to continue working on their project and/or another IDIN activity after the summitExcellent team playersRepresent a diversity of nationalities, cultures, ages, genders, professions, interests, and backgroundsStandard application criteriaApplicants must complete an application by 5 pm EST on January 20, 2015 – no late or incomplete applications will be reviewedApplicants must be 18 years of age to applyApplicants must be able to attend the entire summit: July 6,2015 – August 1, 2015Apply online or print and mail an applicationScholarshipsA limited number of scholarships to attend the summit are available. These will cover the cost of travel and stay during the summit and will be offered based on financial need of the applicant. Please apply here on or before 20th of January 2015.Questions?Visit the IDDS Aarogyam website to learn more details about participating in the event.For any additional questions, contact the lead organizer, Habib Anwar, by email or phone.email: habib@ayzh.com | INDIA: +91 74011 76711 | USA: +1 617 949 1057 ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: < Young mother and child>©<2009>< Steve Evans> used under a Creative Commons Attribution license:< https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/>Share this:last_img read more

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Accounting for 1 in 3 Maternal Deaths, Health Disparities Persist in South Asia

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on April 30, 2015June 12, 2017By: Linnea Bennett, Intern, Environmental Change and Security Program, Woodrow 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)As part of the Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health Series, the MHTF, along with UNFPA, supported the Wilson Center to host South Asia Consultation on Maternal Health: Regional Dialogue and Way Forward, to address neglected topics in maternal health.The state of maternal health in South Asia is difficult to assess. Although rates of maternal mortality are declining between 2 and 2.5 percent a year overall, the region’s massive population – one fifth of the world and over 1 billion people in India alone – means it still accounts for one out of three maternal deaths. [Video Below]Quality of care fluctuates wildly. Some countries, like Sri Lanka, have made major improvements while others, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, still struggle to meet baseline needs, said Dr. Linda Bartlett, an associate scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. There are major disparities within countries as well, noted Dr. Pallavi Gupta, health program coordinator of Oxfam India. “Even in southern states [of India] that are advanced, you have pockets that are extremely backwards,” she said. In Pakistan, the overall maternal mortality rate is 276 per 100,000 live births, but in the province of Balochistan the rate is as high as 785, with less than 10 percent of pregnant women receiving adequate vaccines and immunizations. “It seems horrifying that a country with nuclear capability can only vaccinate less than 10 percent of pregnant women in a whole big region of their country,” Bartlett said.Bartlett, Gupta, and other panelists at the Wilson Center on March 31 were participants in a February conference on the state of maternal health in South Asia sponsored by Oxfam India. Delegates from each South Asian country convened in Nepal for discussions on recurring problems, highlighting four persistent challenges as well as recommendations for improving results.Amid Data Craze, Gaps PersistDespite an emphasis on data since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there are major blind spots, said Gupta. “We have had instances where maternal deaths have happened but they were not on the record of the government.” Sources can also be quite different from one another. For example, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates average maternal mortality in South Asia to be 311 per 100,000 live births, but the UN reports 190. “Personally I’m not a very great fan of statistics,” Gupta said, “because I don’t really trust that the statistics we produce actually represent the reality on the ground.”Even when concrete and useful numbers are produced, they are often inaccessible or incomprehensible to the communities that need them most, and aggregation can cover up marginalized groups who are consistently left out of overall gains. And surveyors largely ignore qualitative data regarding user experience, which Gupta believes is critical to successful health programs.To close the data gap, the panel called for a more robust collection process led by surveyors who better understand the issues they are dealing with. “Frontline health workers who provide data should be trained to look at the perspective of service improvement, not just asked to fill in a data collection sheet,” Gupta said. She also suggested limiting surveys by external groups to reinforce in-country capacity and encouraging more collaboration between existing efforts by NGOs and funding agencies. When possible, data should be disaggregated too by religion, caste, ethnicity, and education, she said, to help discern which communities are in most need of programs and care.Respectful CareWhile data plays a critical role, Bartlett pointed out that maternal health is inherently a human rights issue. Providing care with dignity, informed consent, and open communication about options may be difficult to measure, but plays a major role in whether women take advantage of health care when it’s available. “It only takes one bad experience in a labor or delivery room to make you very aware of it,” she said.Instances of obstructive violence, corruption, violations of patients’ rights, and disrespect and abuse in the labor room are not uncommon. Patriarchal societies, and religious and ethnic differences often cause systematic discrimination, said Bartlett. She recommended it become mandatory for health workers – from physicians to midwives to those who operate the front door – to take basic training on respectful care. She also suggested using local celebrities to bring attention within the broader context of violence against women, noting that celebrity status can spread messages wider and faster among the South Asian diaspora than it might elsewhere in the world.Measuring Morbidity and Expanding Private CareWhere mortality measures the instances of maternal death in a country, morbidity looks at the general health and wellbeing of women. For every woman who dies from pregnancy-related causes, between 20 and 30 are left with acute or chronic health conditions, yet “there is no South Asian country besides Sri Lanka that tracks morbidity data,” said Dr. Jahangir Hossain, program director for health at CARE Bangladesh.Reducing morbidity will require a better trained workforce. In Bangladesh, Hossain said CARE has been helping to create innovative public-private partnerships that bring more skilled workers to communities in need.In Sunamganj, a flood-prone district in Bangladesh, pockets of the population were experiencing maternal mortality rates almost double that of the national average of 190 per 100,000 live births. Women on average paid 67 percent of their health care costs out of pocket. CARE partnered with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and a private company to train 168 community-based, private care providers. Workers were also linked to commodity suppliers to facilitate better access to supplies. These providers were then distributed across 10 sub-regions and 50 remote areas in Sunamganj in which 68 percent of the people served were “poor” or “ultra-poor.”By December of 2014, 34 percent of babies in the region were delivered by the new, privately trained providers while only 15 percent were delivered by providers who had been in place before. The privately trained providers were also earning ample wages and showing signs of financial stability. The program’s results showed that private providers can complement public efforts and fill in gaps in areas where the public health system is not functioning adequately.Connecting to a “Bigger Picture”Barbara Stilwell, senior director of health workforce solutions at the NGO Intrahealth International, served as a discussant, commenting on the conclusions of the Nepal conference. She agreed that programs like CARE’s are important because they “bring in parts of the population that wouldn’t otherwise get in.”Stilwell has evaluated how people enter and exit the health work force, looking for the best ways to improve quality and retention in poor resource settings. She cites a lack of secondary school, particularly for women, as an issue in low- and middle-income countries that prevent workers from qualifying for advanced degrees. People may also be driven away from education because of costs or, if they have the money, migrate abroad to practice instead of staying in the country where they were trained.Stilwell and her colleagues are looking at ways to increase the number of skilled providers by bringing job enrichment to all levels of the workforce. This includes encouraging peer to peer mentoring – not only to expand training capacity but to empower the mentors. “We’ve been involved in India in a mentoring project where some very skilled nurses have been trained to be mentors in Karnataka,” she said. “What we found is that not only have the nurse midwives become much better at giving care, but they’ve also shown [more] initiative.”Connecting health care to a “bigger picture” purpose can give health workers incentive and motivation, Stilwell said, especially when they see data that says quality of care makes a difference in their patients’ lives. Allowing people to master their professions gives them a career ladder and an opportunity to advance their work. According to the 2014 State of the World’s Midwifery Report, midwives could deliver 87 percent of all essential and needed care to mothers and newborns worldwide if given the right training.“In India, nurse midwives do not [do] more than making beds and giving the injections that they are asked to do,” Gupta said. “But that kind of capacity building and empowerment, that would take care of so much more.”Event Resources:Linda Bartlett’s PresentationPallavi Gupta’s PresentationJahangir Hossain’s PresentationBarbara Stilwell’s PresentationPhoto GalleryVideoSources: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, UN Population Fund, World Health Organization.Photo Credit: Midwives wait inside the birthing center in Dhaka, Bangladesh, courtesy of Conor Ashleigh/Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.This post originally appeared at The New Security Beat, the blog of Environmental Change and Security Program at The Wilson Center.Share this:last_img read more

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Grande Prairie bomb squad finds firearms and an IED during search of

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – A Grande Prairie man is facing 23 charges after Mounties executed a search warrant at a home south of the Swan City over the weekend.At around 9:30 last Saturday morning, members of the Grande Prairie RCMP, Police Dog Services, and the local bomb squad executed a search warrant at a rural property in Grovedale, roughly 20 kilometres south of Grande Prairie.Police had obtained information that the home’s resident possessed a number of prohibited weapons that were kept on the property. During the search, police located four firearms, one of which was stolen, along with ammunition, a computer and thumb drives. An improvised explosive device was also found on the property, which was secured by the bomb squad.47 year-old Grande Prairie resident David Monette has been charged with 22 weapons related offences and one charge of possessing an improvised explosive device. Monette remains in police custody and will appear in court on Wednesday, March 21st.Police extended thanks the public for their efforts in order to help solve crime in the local community. Anyone with information about any crime, can contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at (780)830-5700. If you would like to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or on the Internet at www.tipsubmit.com. You are not required to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers, and if you provide information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest(s), you may be eligible for a cash reward.last_img read more

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‘Was not prepared to watch 12 Years a Slave for first time’

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor says he was “not prepared” to watch for the first time 12 Years a Slave, film which marked a turning point in his career. The biographical drama, directed by Steve McQueen, featured Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington by two conmen in 1841 and sold into slavery. He was put to work on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before being released. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knotDuring his appearance on PeopleTV’s ‘Couch Surfing’, the 41-year-old actor, who is making his directorial debut with Netflix’s ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’, said he knew that the film will be “a strong piece of work”. “I was just not prepared the first time that I watched the film, even knowing it so intimately,” he said. “It took me a little while, even in a practical sense, of coming out of that experience, of being able to turn up at dinner parties and not just be talking about man’s inhumanity to man. It took me a little while to re-enter society,” he added. At the 86th Academy Awards, 12 Years a Slave bagged three Oscars.last_img read more

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RJD releases manifesto, promises reservation

first_imgPatna: The RJD on Monday released its manifesto, titled ‘Pratibadhta Patra’, promising reservation for SCs, STs, EBC and OBCs in proportion of their population in the private sector and the higher judiciary.The ceiling – a 50 per cent cap – had been broken after giving 10 per cent quota to the weaker sections among the general category so the people belonging to these categories (SCs, STs, EBC and OBCs) should be given reservation on the basis of their population, party leader Tejashwi Yadav said while releasing the manifesto here. The apex court had fixed a cap of 50 per cent on total reservation and the Centre last month justified in Supreme Court its recent law granting 10-per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), saying it was brought in to promote “social equality”. Advocating extension of quota for them in higher judiciary and the private sector, the manifesto also vowed to carry out caste-based census in 2020-21. Pointing out that the RJD, also agrees with the Congress manifesto, it said, the party “completely endorses” the ‘Nyay’ scheme of the Congress, which would be beneficial to states like Bihar. Tejashwi Yadav was accompanied by Rajya Sabha member and party’s national spokesman Manoj Jha, Bihar RJD chief Ram Chandra Purve and others at the release of the party’s manifesto. The RJD also demanded from the Centre to make public the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) data, carried out by the UPA government. Releasing the manifesto, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, also the leader of the opposition in the state, said that “it is not the manifesto of RJD, rather it is a ‘pratibadhta patra’ (commitment document) of the party”. A helpline number would be launched and a help centre set up in major cities of the country for the people of Bihar living outside the state, the manifesto said. The party would ensure that six per cent of gross domestic product be spent on education and four per cent on health, he said. “If our (party’s) government is formed in Bihar, then we will remove the ‘illegal’ tag on toddy and make it ‘legal’….The move to make toddy illegal has rendered many belonging to economically weaker sections jobless. “My father Lalu Prasad, when he was the chief minister, had abolished tax on toddy,” the RJD leader said. Replying to a query on his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav’s recent activities, Tejashwi evaded a direct reply, saying “the press conference has been organized for releasing the manifesto today”.last_img read more

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