Coming out of the 37th Caricom Heads of Government Meeting held earlier this week in Guyana, regional Leaders have decided to lobby the United States Government to intervene and stop the country’s banks, which have been ending corresponding relations with indigenous banks in the Caribbean over money laundering concerns.During the final leg of the Caricom caucus, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness updated the meeting on discussions over the two days. He noted that the issue of correspondent banking has affected all the countries in the Region.In this regard, the Jamaican PM declared that the Conference has come to an agreement to lobby the US Government on the matter: “We have advanced on this matter in terms of agreeing that we should seek to lobby directly to the US Government.”Additionally, the Jamaica Leader outlined that member States also resolved to increase their voices in various international forums, as well as to enlist the support of friendly countries on their behalf.According to Holness, the issue has the potential of seeing the Caribbean being locked out from the international financial system if it is not addressed immediately. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister stated that steps are afoot to ensure that member States are compliant with the relevant Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws in order to avoid de-risking.“We feel that we are taking the necessary steps to comply – all countries are moving apace with compliance and internally, we have encouraged each other to, as quickly as possible, meet the compliance requirements,” he remarked.However, the Jamaica PM noted that at the same time, it should be recognised that there are those countries that are in compliance and should therefore be rewarded for facing the threat of a correspondent bank pulling out its services.Moreover, when asked, Holness opted not to provide a figure as to how many corresponding banks have cut ties with the Region but stressed that several banks have pulled out from various countries across the Caribbean.The Jamaica Leader went on to highlight the issue is not only about the ending of correspondent banking relations but also the threat of it and the uncertainty it adds to financial transactions in the Region.“Certainly, in Jamaica we know of at least one case where we have lost a correspondent bank and the burden it imposes, the uncertainty. But we are doing everything to move apace with compliance and Jamaica would be amongst those countries that have complied at this stage,” he remarked.Caricom’s final decision to lobby the US Government comes on the heels of St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet cautioning that such a move would be fruitless; instead, they should seek help of US companies and individuals with ties to the region.According to the St Lucian Prime Minister, the region must stop thinking that it has to solve this problem alone. He pointed out that there are a number of multinational companies in the US such as airlines, cruise industries, suppliers and individuals who own their homes – who have a vested interests in the region and who know exactly how to lobby their government.“The idea of us going to Washington DC by ourselves is a tried and tested failure. We must be able to bring more people to the argument and we must do it urgently,” Chastanet stated in his presentation at the opening of the Heads of Government Conference on Monday.Foreign Banks, particularly those in the US, have been withdrawing from their relationships with indigenous Caribbean banks because of fears of money laundering and questionable sources of funds, which would cause them to receive heavy fines from regulators.However, the Caribbean banking institutions rely on such relationships in order to allow residents to conduct international financial transactions. Since last year the Region has been facing the impact of de-risking and the issue has been occupying the attention of Regional policy-makers, following signals by international banks that they are unwilling to continue carrying the business of regional banks.This situation is called de-risking and poses dire consequences for the region including crushing impacts on the wider economy.De-risking in the Caribbean came into the limelight last year when the Belize Bank was cut off by the Bank of America and one of the two banks in Montserrat experienced the same fate. In addition, the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobind Ganga, just recently confirmed that the Bank of America has also ended its correspondent banking relations with Guyana about a month ago.However, Dr Ganga assured that there is no need to panic since Guyana is already in talks with other overseas banks that are interested in offering correspondent banking services to local financial institutions.Some of the areas that affected because of de-risking are: transfers of remittances, cheque payments, international trade, and the facilitation of credit card settlements for local clients.The Caribbean Development Bank quoted a November World Bank survey as saying that about 75 per cent of international banks have experienced a reduction in correspondent banking services, with the Caribbean being the worst affected.
I’m a huge fan of case studies. They’re an incredible tool to showcase your nonprofit’s work, demonstrate social proof, and gain more supporters. Jay Baer’s Youtility explains the power of case studies in greater detail, but here are a few ways you can use this approach to support your fundraising and marketing efforts: 1) Get testimonials. Tell the story of why people support your organization. Ask questions such as:Why are you passionate about this issue?When did you start learning about this issue?Why do you choose to support our organization?By gathering this information, you’ll not only have endorsements for your cause, but you can also use responses to inform your marketing and donor recruitment strategies.2) Document how you spent money. Did you dedicate a large portion of funds to operational expenses? Why? What impact did it have? Once you explain that to donors, they’ll better understand how you fulfill your mission, and why it’s important to have operational expenses. Every penny of your budget doesn’t have to go to on-the-ground work, but you do have to demonstrate how operations are vital to ensuring the services you provide are making a positive change. 3) Survey those you help. Ask your constituency how they’ve found your services. Do they see your nonprofit as a vital member of their community? Would they be able to get where they are without you?If those answers affirm your work, ask respondents if you can use a quote in your case study. Most will be happy to help. In some cases, if you provide them with links and social media messages, they’ll share the study with their network, too. If the answers bring up questions or poke holes in your work, pay attention to that. That’s a great opportunity to take feedback and turn it into something positive.Have you created a case study before? What were the results? How did you share it with supporters?
Running a successful fundraising event is easier said than done.You put in weeks of planning with the ultimate goal of getting as many people as involved as possible, and you want to make sure your hard work pays off.One of the most important tools you have to promote your next fundraising event is email marketing.With email campaigns, you can reach your audience members directly and send targeted messages that build enthusiasm and provide the information they need to get involved.Here are 5 ways you can use email to drive participation at your next fundraiser:1. Save-the-dateA successful event relies on advanced planning. Once you have a date nailed down for your event, make sure you get the word out so your guests can add it to their calendars ahead of time.This initial email doesn’t have to include all the details — the point is to give some notice and get your audience excited early so you can build on that interest in the weeks ahead.If the event is open to the public, you can also post about the date on your social media accounts. Encourage your social media fans to join your mailing list so they won’t miss any future details.2. Send a formal invitationAs more of the specifics come together, you’re ready to let your contacts know all about the great things you have planned.The more personalized you can make your invitation the better. For example, if your fundraiser is an annual event, start by following up with last year’s attendees with a “Hope to see you again this year!” themed message.Or, if you’re sending the event to media contacts, consider sending them a press release rather than a general email invite. Think about how you can deliver the right message to the right people for best results.Make sure all the information is clear, concise, and easy to read from a mobile device. Your invitation should also link to a landing page for more extensive details. This landing page can be hosted on your website, or you can build one through your Constant Contact account.3. Make your emails socialEmail and social media marketing work best when they’re working together. Each email you send out should include social share buttons that make it easy for your contacts to share your email and invite others.You should also encourage your contacts to forward your email to anyone they think might be interested in attending.4. Send last-minute remindersEven if you feel like you’ve been building up your event for weeks, don’t underestimate the power of a last-minute reminder. Even an email 24-48 hours in advance can drive some last-minute registrants.Make sure you’re subject line reflects the timeliness of the message by adding the event date or a countdown.This is also a good time to remind people that there’s more than one way to support your event. You can add a line to your email like: Can’t make the event? We’ll miss you! Consider supporting our event goal by making an online donation.”Hopefully some of your audience members that have a scheduling conflict will take you up on your offer!5. Follow up after the eventDon’t let the momentum of a successful event end when the event is over. Sending a thank you email or a quick recap will extend the life of all your hard work.If you didn’t quite hit your fundraising goal, this is also a good time to encourage contacts to help you out.Try to include multimedia in this email where you can. If you took pictures during the event, link off to an album. You want your registrants to relive the good times, and motivate those who didn’t attend to make it a priority the next time around!Incorporating these 5 tips into your email marketing strategy will ensure your fundraising event generates real results.Add these ideas to your calendar when promoting your next fundraiser and see which emails receive the highest opens, clicks, and registrations for you.Have any advice we didn’t cover? Let us know how email boosts event involvement for your organization by Tweeting to us: @Network4Good and @ConstantContact
The secret to better campaign results, more engaged donors, and board buy-in is a thoughtful and clear fundraising plan. While we all know we need a plan, sometimes it’s not always easy to make time to create a realistic plan and in many cases, we may not have the information we need to make the right strategic decisions. If you’re like most small nonprofits, it’s likely that your plan is missing a critical element—clean, accurate fundraising data.Your Fundraising Plan Must Be Based on Accurate Fundraising DataHaving the right data on your campaign performance, funding sources, donor history, and giving patterns will allow you to make smarter decisions on how to spend your time and resources going forward. Why is this so important?You’ll know what’s working, and what’s not.Sounds obvious, right? But most nonprofits are surprised when they see their aggregated fundraising results and campaign data. As trends emerge, you can make better decisions on what to do more of…and what to stop doing in the coming year. You can double down on the tactics and messages that work best for your supporters.You can identify donor segments and create strategies for them.Once you understand who your new, major, recurring, lapsed, and event donors are, you can develop tailored outreach to best reach and convert them. (Just getting started with donor segmentation? We have a simple planning template that will help you maximize your communications.)You’ll have more credibility with your board.You can feel more confident presenting your plan to your board when you have the data to back it up vs. relying on a hunch or opinions. Having a data-backed plan will also help you answer questions and fend off “creative tinkering” from well-meaning board members.You’ll know what you need to spend to meet your fundraising goals.Armed with the data about your past fundraising results and donor opportunities, you can project how much you’ll need to spend (and which resources to allocate) to make the plan happen.Need some help getting a better fundraising plan in place and figuring out how to collect, compile, and understand the data you need? Check out this upcoming webinar to learn simple steps for quickly creating a solid plan that will allow you to reach your small nonprofit’s funding goals this year.Register for this webinar now and learn How to Create Your 12-Month Fundraising Plan!
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 1, 2012June 21, 2017Click 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)K4Health recently published a needs assessment and network mapping of family planning and reproductive health information in Ethiopia. The overall goal of the assessment was to gain a better understanding of the accessibility and flow of information relating to family planning and reproductive health among key actors in Ethiopia.In Ethiopia, K4Health sought to explore the current family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) knowledge management system; examine information flows and barriers at different levels of the health system; and identify areas to strengthen health information sharing and use. Using a novel, participatory approach (Net-Map) yielded a highly visual presentation of the data that identifies key FP/RH actors in Ethiopia, explores the nature of relationships among the actors, and examines the level of influence of the different actors with regard to reproductive health information exchange. Using the Net-Map approach, the researchers were able to identify bottle necks to information flow and opportunities to improve that flow across health system levels in Ethiopia.This body of research aimed to determine how to better meet health care professionals’ dynamic information needs so that they can provide better health care to the populations they serve. In Ethiopia, reproductive health indicators can be improved through better health information exchange. This report provides important recommendations that can help get the right information delivered to health care professionals when they need it and can help enhance the quality of health care programs countrywide.Read the full assessment here.Share this:
Posted on November 16, 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)On November 2nd, the Economist published an article, Out of the Basket, that explores reasons for progress in a country they describe as one of the most intriguing puzzles in development: Bangladesh.From the story:City states apart, it is the world’s most densely populated country, with around 150m people crammed onto the delta of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, an area regularly swept by devastating floods. Its private sector is weak and its government widely perceived as corrupt and dysfunctional.And yet Bangladesh has done better than most countries at improving the basic standard of living of its people. Bangladeshis can expect to live four years longer than Indians even though they are much poorer. The country has achieved some of the largest reductions in early deaths of infants, children and women in childbirth ever seen anywhere.So that is the puzzle: Bangladesh combines economic disappointment with social progress. The Economist suggests four factors to explain why.Read the full story here.For a more detailed report on development in Bangladesh from the Economist, click here.Read the accompanying editorial here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 20, 2013March 8, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick 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 66th World Health Assembly convened today, May 20 with addresses and discussions focused on the post-2015 global development agenda. The Assembly runs through May 28, and will feature numerous discussions and consideration of resolutions on issues that are critical to advancing maternal health.The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has prepared an overview of side events on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Among the highlights is “Securing the future: Saving the lives of women and children,” which will focus on success stories, as well as key challenges for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child movement. It will provide an opportunity for discussion of a proposed resolution on the ‘Implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.’ Other key events include a session on promoting accountability for maternal and child health, which will provide health ministers an opportunity to share perspectives on progress and challenges for MDGs 4 and 5, and to reflect on the “unfinished business” that will require attention past the 2015 MDG deadline; and a session on the importance of human resources for health.For more on the proceedings of the World Health Assembly, including the provisional agenda and highlights of each day’s proceedings, visit the World Health Organization media center. Share this:
Preconception Planning, Counseling and Care (PCC) is Important for All Couples, Including Those Affected by HIV
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:
mHealth for Maternal Health: Digital Health Solutions Addressing Rising Tide of Diabetes in Pregnancy
Posted on April 4, 2014August 18, 2017By: Dr. Jane Hirst, Nuffield Medical Fellow, University of OxfordClick 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 rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes rise around the world, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is becoming increasingly common. GDM is a condition where blood glucose levels in pregnancy are too high, which has potentially serious consequences for both mother and baby, most commonly with the baby growing too large resulting in birth trauma. Keeping maternal blood glucose levels within the normal range can largely prevent complications of GDM. This is achieved through diet and exercise, often requiring the addition of medications such as insulin or metformin. More women with GDM has led to increasingly overcrowded outpatient clinics, with many women coming only for review of their blood glucose results.GDm-Health is an interactive remote blood glucose monitoring system developed in response to increasing numbers of women with GDM in the UK. The aim was to develop a digital solution to help women better monitor and control their blood glucose levels at home with less frequent outpatient appointments. The technology uses a Bluetooth enabled blood glucose meter to automatically transmit readings to a smartphone application and secure website. A midwife then reviews the results and can contact the women via SMS or phone call if any changes are required.Preliminary results from a service development cohort of 50 women were extremely encouraging. Women found the system convenient to use, appreciating the extra support from the health care team without the need for long waits in the outpatient department. For the success of any mHealth application, It is vital that users be involved at all stages in the development process. An example of this from our initiative was modification of the technology to improve bilateral communication with the introduction of a function for patients to signal to the midwife that they would like a phone call. Seemingly small additions like this can help improve compliance.A randomized controlled trial evaluating whether the system can actually improve clinical outcomes with the system is currently underway. If we can demonstrate that this technology can improve clinical outcomes as well as patient satisfaction, the next challenge will be effective scale up, both within the UK and abroad.While the uptake of smartphones isn’t a challenge to scale-up in our case given the setting, scaling faces several other challenges. Firstly, the security and confidentiality of the patient’s data must be paramount. Currently all information is hosted on a secure NHS server, however if the system were to be used elsewhere this would have to be negotiated. The second major consideration is the ongoing costs of the system. Blood glucose test strips compatible with the system are expensive, limiting enthusiasm for uptake. Additionally, the cost of data transmission via 3G networks must also be considered.And yet the key rate-limiting step to scale-up in many settings is likely to be gaining support of the health professionals required for the system to work. A phone itself does not save lives. It is the people using it and their experience and ability to effectively communicate advice through the technology.It is hoped that working with hospitals in our region, industry partners and learning from experiences abroad these issues will be able to be overcome and outcomes for women with GDM improved.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani at firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
“As a kid growing up, my opportunities were limited when it came to being able to go somewhere like the YMCA. As a YMCA employee for 23 years, I have seen benefits from the dollars United Way has provided for children’s programs. Now it’s like I’m on the outside looking in, seeing how awesome it is for these kids to have this kind of childhood experience. I have always been interested in kids, and 20 years ago, United Way was the organization I felt strongly about in being secure and taking action to create change.‘ I know I can count on United Way, and that the money is going to the agencies and not being spent frivolously. I have seen firsthand what United Way dollars have done to our community and feel they make a huge impact. If you build a strong community, then you have a better place to live. ” —Beth Alban, Donor since 1989, United Way of Greater Stark County “PATH accelerated the delivery of a vaccine against deadly Japanese encephalitis in Laos and Cambodia, and our vaccine technologies helped ensure the vaccine’s safe arrival in each community.” Type #2: Donor StoriesDonor stories engage supporters because they’re about people like them. These stories convey the subliminal feel-good message “people like me do are making a difference,” which motivates donors to stay close and give again.These stories are much more impactful than names on a donor list, but not enough organizations use them to model great giving. Get inspired by this compelling donor story from the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation. I think you’ll see what I mean: Type #3: Beneficiary and Donor Testimonials Annual report content doesn’t get better than this! Beth’s testimonial works so well because it’s specificity brings her relationship with the United Way to life.Caveat: The most powerful testimonials aren’t about your organization, they’re about how someone like your donor has benefited being involved with your organization.If you’re not already banking stories and testimonials, now’s the time to get started. They’ll transform your annual report…and your donors’ response to it!P.S. Still putting your annual report plans into place? Check out this post to get off on the right foot: 2 Ways to Transform Your Annual Report from Dull to Dynamic On the other hand, looking ahead stories demonstrate your organization’s potential impact. Piggyback on impact to date to give your donors a preview of what’s to come in the next year (more of the same good work and success) thanks to their support. Here’s a great example from EcoJustice: Never underestimate the power of someone’s words in an annual report. To make the most of testimonials, include as much personal information as you can to bring them to life. The United Way of Greater Stark County does in this powerful testimonial: How Unforgettable Stories Motivate Giving & Keep Donors CloseWith budget and staffing challenges touching us all in some way, it’s hard not to evaluate how much time and money go into your annual report.I encourage you to consider this advice from master fundraiser Tom Ahern: “Think of your annual report as a once-a-year golden opportunity to deeply connect with your customers’ (e.g., donors’) feelings, dreams, aspirations, hidden and sometimes even embarrassing needs—like the need to be liked; or the need to do something good in the world, a need as common as the air in our lungs.”An annual report that conveys your organization’s impact in a vibrant and memorable way fulfills your donors’ needs. It keeps them close and engaged. And engagement is the most reliable path there is to donor retention.So, what does this have to do with people’s stories? Rich, personal stories help fulfill your donors’ needs. They let them touch and see the good work they’re funding. Simply put, these stories (paired with vibrant photos, of course) are real, moving, and memorable.Below are the three key story types for annual reports.No single story type works for every donor. You may want to use your donor management database to segment donors by giving history and interests to get a clear sense of which stories will be most relevant for your primary annual report audiences.Type #1: Beneficiary Stories (a.k.a. success stories)I like to categorize success stories into two groups: retrospective stories and looking ahead stories. Retrospective stories show your impact to date and build credibility for your organization.These “our work in action” stories directly connect donors with the change they’ve generated. Be explicit! Link successes with your donors’ support. Give them the credit they deserve. Consider this example from PATH: