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Tuesday, 17 July 2007

High speed advice....

Interesting BBC News article on Ethiopia's high speed hospitals. An idea suggested to me by my brother almost two years ago for Zambia. Good to see that the AU has embraced the model and that 23 other African countries want to try it out - I can only hope that Zambia is one of the signatories. One question : why can't this be duplicated for other professions such as economists, IT experts, etc as a way of helping mitigate the brain drain problem?


  1. This is very promising use of technology! Not surprising that India is leading in implementation of this sort of tele-consulting service delivery. Barcelona is also said to be becoming somewhat of a clearinghouse of medical tele-consulting.

    Another intriguing pilot project which seems to be producing dramatic results in improving health care delivery is detailed in this recent working paper via the World Bank on the Ugandan Citizen Report Card programme. While still too early to fully evaluate the long term impact of the community-based monitoring project, short term results such as a 33% reduction in child mortality and a 16% increase in utilization of outpatient services vs. the control group are extremely hopeful.

  2. Yes the World Bank study seems quite promising.

    The key to effective local delivery as the report notes is strengthening the incentives to service providers either through community monitoring or other mechanism.

    In the education context there are a number of studies that try to do that - see the reference to the Duflo work in Western India.

  3. Speaking of "promising use of technology" . Intel have some interesting ideas. See the story Intel and $100 laptop join forces

  4. Here's another innovation with excellent potential to improve Zambian access to information, the eGranary Digital Library being distributed by the University of Iowa.

    It is very excellent news that Intel and OLPC have stopped feuding and agreed to work together. The guarantee to software developers that applications designed for either device will run on the other's operating system is especially important to the long run success of the initiative.

  5. It's pretty cool to use internet and video for hospitals...

    It doesn't really translate into IT. Hospitals are a special case because people are willing to donate their time. Hospitals need experts but most people can manage IT on their own. Doctors can start seeing patients immediately but IT work takes weeks to ramp up.

    The 1 laptop per child is an interesting project but it would be a waste for Zambia. It would be better to invest in teachers or laying fibre networks.

    Another good investment would be an IT program at UNZA. It only takes 3 professors to start a decent Computer Science program.

    Speaking of fibre networks, do you think that zamtel is a monopoly? Is it propped up through legislation? Is it helpful or harmful?

  6. "Speaking of fibre networks, do you think that zamtel is a monopoly? Is it propped up through legislation? Is it helpful or harmful?"

    Yes Zamtel is a monopoly and although Monopolies needn't always be harmful in Zamtel's case it is harmful to development.

    See the discussions we have had on this:


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