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Investing In Women: An inside look at Merck’s $3 million commitment to India’s largest maternity care franchise

(Originally posted on the NextBillion blog.)

Since launching in 2007, MerryGold Health Network has unspooled a multi-tiered network of nearly 450 clinics and hospitals providing quality, comprehensive maternal health services in 35 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, two of India’s most populous northern states – and among its poorest.

Exploring early adopters of mobile money for health

By Marilyn Heymann (Reposted from CHMI

Mobile money (payments through phones, usually via SMS) is rapidly becoming a powerful mechanism to extend financial services to the unbanked in low and middle income countries. 

The Maternova marketplace: Cutting-edge health technologies improving survival for women and newborns

Originally posted on CHMI's Blog, this piece was authored by R4D Program Officer Christina Synowiec

Introduction: Christina Synowiec, who works on R4D's Center on Health Market Innovations, interviews the founders of Maternova, an online accelerator and marketplace aggregating and diffusing groundbreaking ideas and technologies in global health.  

Trevor Lewis reflects on the launch of a new Primary Care Learning Collaborative

Originally posted on CHMI's blog, this piece was authored by R4D Senior Program Associate Trevor Lewis.

Editor's introduction (by Christina Starr): The demand for outpatient healthcare is ballooning throughout the developing world as populations and incomes grow. In response to this trend, innovative entrepreneurs in India and Africa have been launching low-cost clinic chains and franchises delivering high quality primary care services. 

From October 18-21, the CHMI network launched the new Primary Care Learning Collaborative, the first collaboritive of its kind to focus on market-based primary care, to address challenges to rapid growth and create an opportunity for knowledge sharing between entrepreneurs in key emerging economies.  This is Trevor's reflection on the experience of the launch in New Dehli, India. 

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Connecting the Dots for Basic Healthcare: Using Innovative Market-Based Approaches to Improve Rural Health Care

Editor's note: The R4D-managed Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) has been following an organization called World Health Partners since 2010. They serve more than 40 million people in some of the most remote, rural areas in India. CHMI recommended World Health Partners and its President, Gopi Gopalakrishnan, for the Skoll Award. R4D Managing Director Gina Lagomarsino provided supporting testimony about their groundbreaking work to bring quality healthcare to rural India, and the organization won the award. Gopi was recently profiled in Forbes Magazine.

What's the Matter with India?: A Powerhouse of Social Innovation Struggles to Take the Next Step

When it comes to social innovation, there’s no place like India.

With its vast underserved communities and the sheer number of groups serving them, India is the site of countless cutting-edge programs focused on the base of the pyramid.

ISESE Competition: Improving the quality and relevance of middle school in Senegal

The Innovative Secondary Education for Skills Enhancement (ISESE) Competition blog series features the winners, runners-up and five additional models that have been selected due to their innovation, impact, sustainability and potential for replication in Africa and Asia. This is Part 2 of our 10-part series.

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A collection of links that caught the attention of R4D staff in last week. 

Fight hunger: To franchise or not to franchise

If poverty was a disease, malnutrition would be a symptom. Plumpy’nuts, a nutrient fortified, peanut butter bar-like food packet, treats the symptom, but what happens in the meantime when it comes to curing the disease? 

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Harvard Kennedy School professor Dani Rodrik authored a timely Project Syndicate column on “Doing Development Better”, where explained the differences between micro- and macro- approaches to development and what they can learn from each other, especially as Jim Yong Kim, who hails from the former, soon takes the reins of the World Bank, an institution firmly from the latter.