Four years ago when we created our course, our goal was to develop a skills-based, practical course on using mobile technology to improve health outcomes. We wanted to give our students an opportunity to develop feasible mobile solutions to meet the needs of NGOs in resource-poor countries. We also wanted to find an industry partner with experience in developing and implementing mobile solutions globally. Dimagi, right next door in Cambridge, was the perfect choice. Dimagi is an award-winning social enterprise that developedCommCare, a free open source platform that enables non-programmers to build apps. We selected CommCare as our principal application-building platform and planted the seeds of our partnership with Dimagi.
Identifying organizations that want to work with our student teams is one of the challenges of practice-based teaching, but we have been tremendously successful. We have worked with organizations like Partners in Health in Mexico, PharmAccess in Namibia, Last Mile Health in Liberia, Primer Pasos in Guatemala, Mercy Corps in Pakistan, and Special Olympics International. Our partners provide the student teams with detailed terms of reference for their application and work virtually with the team during the application building process.
In the first years of the course, Dimagi staff came to class to introduce students to CommCare and to provide support for application building. This year Dimagi took our partnership to a new level by building a small private online course (SPOC) for our students. The SPOC, Mobile Application Building for BU Students, launched February 19th on Dimagi Academy. Students in the class now learn the basics of application building online before our course begins. Dimagi Academy’s online course on the Open edX platform is self-paced and self-instructional, so students are able to complete it when and where it works best for them. We expect that this online component of the course will allow us to devote more class time to program design, testing, and implementation rather than the mechanics of application building. An additional benefit of our partnership is the potential for our students to receive certification in CommCare Application Building from Dimagi. Students who (1) complete the SPOC successfully, (2) build their application for their partner organization during our course, and (3) pass Dimagi’s capstone project by the end of the course, will be certified in CommCare Application Building.
We have great expectations for our course, and we hope to come back to these blog pages over the next several months to report on the results of our collaboration. We are certain it will remain a Trifecta!
The Global Health eLearning Center developed by the USAID Bureau of Global Health is a response to repeated requests from field staff for access to technical public health information. (http://www.globalhealthlearning.org)
We have heard from USAID Population, Health, and Nutrition officers (PHNs) and from Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs) that they want to be current on global health topics, yet find it a challenge to obtain the information because of logistical and time constraints.
The Global Health eLearning Center provides Internet-based courses that:
- Provide useful and timely continuing education for health professionals
- Offer state-of-the-art technical content on key public health topics
- Serve as a practical resource for increasing public health knowledge
Thirty-eight percent of under-five deaths occur in the neonatal period, i.e., the first four weeks of life, accounting for about four million deaths annually, three-quarters of which take place in the first week of life. Around 31% are due to infection.
This course will orient the participant to key issues in the prevention and treatment of neonatal infections, emphasizing recognition and management of bacterial infections at peripheral facilities and in the community, and issues of global public health importance.
Family Planning Manager's Handbook
The first management book written specifically for family planning program managers, this award-winning handbook has become a standard text in management training courses around the world.
Beyond the Clinic Wall
Based on an African family planning program, this book of nine case studies describes how to develop and sustain a cost-effective community-based distribution program
Founding editor and editor in chief of the Manager
MSH's award-winning quarterly, The Manager, is now available online. Online editions are currently available in English. French, Spanish, and Portuguese and arabic. Each full-text issue provides health professionals at every level with information and practical tools they need to manage health care programs. Each issue focuses on a specific management topic and includes techniques for solving management problems, working solutions from the field, “how-to” guidelines, and case studies and analyses to be used for staff development and training.
The Family Planning Manager Compendium
Managers everywhere need specific solutions to the critical challenges facing public health and development programs. This compilation showcases the range of management topics and solutions covered in volumes 1—4 of MSH’s popular quarterly publication, The Manager.
The Global Health eLearning Center developed by the USAID Bureau of Global Health is a response to repeated requests from field staff for access to technical public health information. The Global Health eLearning Center provides Internet-based courses that: provide useful and timely continuing education for health professionals, offer state-of-the-art technical content on key public health topics, serve as a practical resource for increasing public health knowledge. The courses combine technical content with program principles, best practices, and case studies. They are intended to provide concrete examples and to stimulate your thinking about ways you can use the principles you have learned in the course to solve problems in the field.
The Virtual Development Program (VLDP) was developed to create leadership training opportunities in the workplace for health managers and their teams, who seldom have the time or the resources to attend offsite leadership development programs. The program is designed for teams rather than individual managers. Each team identifies an important institutional challenge to address and develops and implements an action plan designed to help them achieve results. Teams from Ministries of Health, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, and HIV/AIDS commissions from 30 countries (including countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East) have participated in the VLDP. The program is offered in Spanish, French, Portuguese, English, and Arabic.