Rethinking Community Connectivity: As the Pandemic Wears On, NGOs Turn to Technology for Information Dissemination and Behaviour Change
Behavior change and information dissemination initiatives face many challenges in emerging economies, and COVID-19 has made their work even more difficult. But according to Abhishek Sharma at Glific, these efforts remain essential – whether they're focused on raising awareness of government programs or sharing accurate information about the pandemic. He explores how a growing movement of NGOs, governments and social enterprises are turning to digital communications channels to reach marginalized communities, and discusses Glific's WhatsApp-based approach.
Financial Inclusion During – And After – COVID-19: The 2021 Compass Survey Reveals the True Scale of the Challenges Ahead
COVID-19 has upended the global financial inclusion sector, causing immense new challenges for low-income clients, their households and businesses, providers, funders, and the broader ecosystem. The full extent of this impact won't be seen until the pandemic fully subsides, but trends are emerging. Sam Mendelson at e-MFP shares findings from the organization's most recent Financial Inclusion Compass survey, which asked a broad cross-section of stakeholders where they see these increasingly complex issues trending — and what they’d like to see in the future.
The Supply and Demand Dilemma in COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing: Could Lessons from the Fashion Industry Provide Ideas for a Solution?
Expanding access to the COVID-19 vaccine is essential to stopping global transmission and halting the emergence of new variants of the virus. But efforts to optimize vaccine manufacturing and distribution have been hampered by multifaceted challenges involving supply and demand. Prashant Yadav at INSEAD, Rebecca Weintraub at Harvard Medical School, and biotech and vaccine industry consultant Tom Johnston explain how solutions to those issues may be found in another sector with volatile product demand and a global manufacturing base: the fashion apparel industry.
- Health Care
Making This Year Better Than the Last: A Recent Survey Assesses the Pandemic’s Impacts on Micro and Small Businesses
Micro and small businesses dealt with massive challenges during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even those that adapted and survived still face major struggles. Juan Carlos Thomas at TechnoServe shares the results of a recent study on COVID-19's impact on these enterprises, and explores how his organization has been supporting them – including through a crisis toolkit that helps them weather the pandemic's challenges, and through digital tools focused on business training and access to finance.
Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Around the World: Leveraging Partnerships and Technology to Optimize Medical Supply Chains
Effective vaccine distribution is key to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries. Similar vaccination efforts for routine childhood diseases have been widely successful, but targeting an adult population presents unique challenges, say Wade Warren at Deloitte Consulting and Marian W. Wentworth at Management Sciences for Health. They explore four challenges that vaccine distribution efforts will face – and four tried-and-proven ways to improve the process.
The Resilience of Indian Microfinance: Why the Sector Has Successfully Navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic
When a crisis hits a financial system or economy at large, the microfinance sector is usually among the worst impacted, since it caters to the most economically vulnerable segments of the population. As Sudip Bandyopadhyay at Inditrade explains, that's what happened to Indian microfinance when COVID-19 struck — yet the sector has shown remarkable resilience in weathering the pandemic. He explores some effective measures Indian microfinance institutions and policymakers have taken to address these historic challenges.
The COVID-19 crisis has had serious impacts on the microfinance industry and the micro and small enterprises it typically serves, leading to a decrease in both the quality and volume of microfinance institution (MFI) portfolios. Mathilde Bauwin of ADA explains how the organization designed and implemented a response program to help its partner MFIs overcome the pandemic's challenges. She shares lessons learned during the process, which could be useful in helping MFIs navigate future crises.
Learning From India: How Low- and Middle-Income Countries Can Scale up Access to Oxygen During a COVID-19 Surge
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial importance of medical oxygen. And as India has shown, it has also revealed health systems’ limitations in supplying it – and the global supply chain’s inability to respond to the massive need that can arise during a crisis. PATH has worked for the past five years to sustainably improve access to oxygen in low- and middle-income countries. Analysts at the organization explore the current oxygen crisis in India, and share lessons that can help other countries avoid similar shortfalls if they experience their own COVID-19 surges.