December 2008 Archives

A Grassroots Movement for Rural Healthcare

December 16, 2008

This month's National Geographic has a long article on the effects of the Jamkhed health care movement, Necessary Angels in India. It is an amazing look at the grassroots power of providing basic health care — primarily preventive and environmentally holistic — in an area under-served by allopathic and ayurvedic techniques alike. This is a movement that has the same potential as the Grameen Bank, as the Green Belt Movement. It is changing lives, communities, and ecosystems.

A few lessons that can be learned:

  • Importance of focusing development efforts on those with the "lowest" status (typically women, here untouchable women);
  • Basic needs assessment emphasized over (but not exclusively) advanced medical treatments;
  • Bringing science to the people;
  • Self-organizing principals at the local level, including ability of those "on the ground" to make decisions and act locally without having to go back for expert guidance.

Tangent: there is much here convergent on Lean principles of management. This movement is eliminating a lot of waste in the way of delivering health care.

Mumbai Re-emphasizes Need for Interfaith Cooperation

December 3, 2008

This week’s terror attacks in Mumbai are unusual in their size and coordination, but that they occurred at all, sadly, is not shocking. While bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have fought for our attention, India has seen its own share of violence — since 2003, more than 700 people have been killed in bombings, violent counter-protests, and these latest attacks.

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