Posted on February 11, 2016 by
In this photo from 2014, a "change champion" in Zambia discusses how to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery with mothers. USAID's Communications Support for Health (CSH) project engaged 350 chiefs and headmen through its change champion approach within its successful Mothers Alive campaign, which was designed to increase demand for and uptake of facility-based maternal health services to prevent deaths and complications related to pregnancy and birth.
As part of the campaign, these traditional and local political leaders were trained in CSH’s behavior-centered communications approach through intensive week-long workshops held in their district capitals. CSH then worked with them to facilitate community discussions about sensitive issues like pregnancy care planning, male involvement, and family planning. Supplementing these discussions were diverse communications products, including more than 2 million picture-based pregnancy care planners that reminded women of key steps to take each month during pregnancy.
As a key part of USAID's Saving Mothers Giving Life, a broader initiative to increase the quality, availability, and use of maternal health services in Zambia, the Mothers Alive campaign played a direct role in decreasing maternal mortality by 35 percent in the targeted districts.
Zambia CSH assisted the government of Zambia with addressing health-related issues such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and family planning through effective health communications activities that emphasized behavior and social change.
Posted on February 9, 2016 by
The success of Kenya’s mobile money system, M-PESA
, over the past few years has opened many
people’s eyes to the potential of digital solutions to expand
access to finance. In recent years, global markets have also taken
notice in the lucrative opportunity posed by digital financial
services or “fintech” (shorthand for the financial technology
space). Since 2013, fintech investments have quadrupled to surpass
globally. With an estimated 2
billion working-age adults lacking access to...
Posted on February 3, 2016 by
December 17, 2015, marked a monumental moment
for Afghanistan. After 11
years of negotiations, The World Trade Organization (WTO) formally
adopted Afghanistan’s terms of accession at its 10th Ministerial
Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. What does this mean for Afghanistan’s
future? Here are eight reasons why WTO membership will benefit
Economic growth, investment, and job creation
Afghanistan’s export structure is
dominated by agricultural products and some manufacturing of...
Posted on February 2, 2016 by
By Christy Sisko
and David Fischer
Last year was a busy one for international trade and development
actors. We observed major progress in the renewal of the African
Growth and Opportunity Act, continued global ratification of the
World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, proposal of
the Tripartite Free Trade Area in Africa, and announcement of the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, all of which bring new attention to the
interrelationship between global trade and sustainable
Posted on January 26, 2016 by
A little more than five years ago, Sidi Bouzid fruit vendor
Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight. When he was unable to pay a
bribe to be allowed to sell fruit from a wheelbarrow, a local
policewoman reportedly slapped him, spat at him, confiscated his
scales, and threw his cart aside, ruining the merchandise he had
purchased on credit to sell. An hour later, before dousing himself
in gasoline front of the governor’s office, he cried “How do you
expect me to live?” The massive, youth-led public...
Posted on January 25, 2016 by
I used to deride the term “family planning.” I saw it as a sort
of euphemism used to skirt around controversial aspects of in
sexual and reproductive health. The term particularly bothered me
when used in regard to adolescent sexual and reproductive health
(ASRH) because it seemed like an attempt to hide the fact that, in
many places many young people have non-marital sex. I thought that
it ignored adolescents’ lived realities and stymied holistic
solutions for healthy productive lives. (Please...
Posted on January 21, 2016 by
The business case for promoting in women’s economic empowerment
is clear. According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute Report
, expanding and
improving women’s economic participation can add as much as $12
trillion to $28 trillion to the global GDP by 2025. In addition, as
studies consistently affirm, an investment in a woman’s economic
empowerment is an investment in the health, education, and security
of her family.
With new international trade agreements, such as the Trans
Posted on January 20, 2016 by
When conducting a preliminary analysis of civil society capacity
in Cambodia in September 2015, there was one topic that dominated
all my meetings and interviews: the new Law on Associations and
Non-Governmental Organizations (also called LANGO). Everyone, from
donors to international NGOs and local civil society organizations
(CSOs), were sharing their concern about how LANGO would curtail
the ability of civil society to do its work. The Cambodian Center
for Human Rights described it as...
Posted on January 14, 2016 by
Doina Nistor is chief of party for USAID’s Moldova
Competitiveness Enhancement Through Workforce Development and
Innovation (CE-WIN) project. She also served as chief of party for
the predecessor projects, Competitiveness Enhancement and
Enterprise Development (CEED) I and II. Before going into
development, she worked in Moldova’s private sector.
Q: CEED had success using USAID’s Global Development
Alliance (GDA) model in Moldova’s information technology (IT)
sector. Can you describe the...
Posted on January 12, 2016 by
There is a growing recognition
that democracy, human
rights, and governance (DRG) needs to be integrated into programs
in other sectors of development. The policy community model takes a
complementary approach, integrating sector policy reform objectives
into DRG-focused projects. This model, which my team and I
developed under USAID’s Program Representasi (ProRep) project
in Indonesia, helped us to overcome sectorial siloes and could be
What are policy
Posted on January 7, 2016 by
Shown here, a member of a dehkan farm reads land
information materials provided by the Tajikistan Land Reform and Farm Restructuring
as part of an educational tour of the Sughd
region. Dehkan farms are small, privately owned farms that have
emerged in the former Soviet republic to replace the collective
farming system. They are owned by individuals or families, for both
household consumption and sale at local markets.
Tajikistan LRFRP supports the continuing progress of
Posted on January 5, 2016 by
By Flora Lindsay-Herrera and Alicia Macmanus
This post was originally published by Agrilinks
and is cross-posted with
In Ecuador, farmers in the Ayampe and Galera San Francisco
watersheds were initially wary of changing their agricultural
practices. When they saw the tangible economic benefits, however,
the majority of farmers who participated in pilots incorporated
conservation-friendly approaches. The project demonstrated
techniques for introducing subsistence farmers...
Posted on December 29, 2015 by
2015, Chemonics celebrated our 40th anniversary. As such milestones
often do, it provided us with an opportunity to look back at our
history, plan for our future, and celebrate with our friends. I was
especially gratified to see so many of our staff all over the world
join the celebration
In many ways, looking back on our previous four decades has
galvanized us for what is ahead, and 2015 was an amazing year for
those of us who are passionate about improving the lives of people
Posted on December 23, 2015 by
In this photo, the owner of a small business in Ucayali, Peru,
and an employee work with seeds from the Amazon rainforest. The
business, Pro Mujer Oriente, employs 54 women to make
handicrafts using tree materials.
With the help of the Peru Environmental Management and Forest
Governance Support Activity (Peru Bosques), Pro Mujer
Oriente learned techniques to improve the quality of
their handicrafts and organize their business more effectively. As
a result, they have lowered their costs, increased...
Posted on December 21, 2015 by
This post was originally published by the Better Than Cash Alliance
and is cross-posted
with permission. Chemonics is a proud member of the
On a recent trip to Uganda,
where I assessed Chemonics’ implementation of mobile money
solutions, I was encouraged to see mobile money initiatives on the
rise, from cardless ATM withdrawals and bill payments to
international remittances. While the currently available solutions
make life easier, they do not yet cover the full spectrum of...
Posted on December 17, 2015 by
On December 12, 2015, the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) for
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded
with 190 countries adopting the Paris Agreement. This historic
agreement sets the path for the next phase of climate action. So
what has concretely changed?
Throughout COP21, I was struck by the delegations’ strong
determination and collective will to arrive at an ambitious
agreement. The conference started off with opening remarks from 150
Posted on December 15, 2015 by
Although the causes of climate change and the roles various
nations must play in fighting it have been hotly debated, data
provide solid evidence that our planet is facing significant
climate challenges that impact our livelihoods, our well-being, and
even our very lives. Addressing climate change requires a two-fold
strategy: mitigation to deal with carbon emissions and
adaption to deal with the effects of a changing
The world has made good progress with common measurements of
Posted on December 10, 2015 by
When the governor’s office of Antioquia first approached
USAID’s Colombia Human Rights Program
with the idea of creating the first ever official human rights
school, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh no, not another school.”
Unfortunately, it is often the case that students, particularly in
the area of human rights, are exposed to a plethora of theory with
little knowledge gained that translates into action or meaningful
change in the real world.
Jairo Emiro Rodgriguez proved...
Posted on December 8, 2015 by
kicked off in Paris, heads of state from 20 countries who
make up the Climate Vulnerable Forum adopted the Manila-Paris Declaration
, which outlined
concerns, priorities and plans for addressing climate change. The
declaration enumerated how the threats we see in the news everyday
— rising sea levels, cyclones, drought, and others — make these
nations vulnerable to climate change.
While geography influences how vulnerable nations, cities, and
villages are to climate change,...
Posted on December 2, 2015 by
Patrick Rader leads the Feed the Future Uganda Commodity Production and
(CPM), which harnesses market forces and
uses innovative methods to increase the productivity of Ugandan
families. CPM reduces poverty and under-nutrition by increasing the
quantity and quality of coffee, maize, and beans that rural
families are able to produce and sell.
Q. According to the World Bank
, climate change
could push more than 100 million people back into poverty over the
next 15 years, primarily...