Tag Archives: Humanitarian

What mobile apps are essential for collaboration on the go? #SMEM

With a growing proportion of the workforce already being highly mobile, coupled with an increasing number of workers are expecting to bring their own devices to work, it’s clear that picking the right collaboration apps to keep workers productive while on the go is vital to business success. But what apps do mobile workers need to get their jobs done? A new Forrester report, Mobilize Your Collaboration Strategy, has identified eight “must have” categories of mobile collaboration apps. Here’s a run-down of all the categories outlined, together with some of GigaOM’s recommendations for apps to use in each category:

Email and calendars. Email is, unsurprisingly,  still the most important mobile app. According to Forrester, 87 percent of smartphone workers use email on their devices (which leaves me wondering what other 13 percent use their smartphones for), and collectively, they do 32 percent of their email on a smartphone. While most smartphones come with their own email and calendaring tools most users will use, there are some third-party options worth considering:

  • Gmail and Google Calendar. If you use Gmail, it’s worth noting that the mobile-optimized versions of the Gmail and Google Calendar sites are pretty good. They are fast and have a great UI, and one of the advantages of using them is that you can seamlessly switch from device to device without having to set up IMAP details in your various devices’ email clients.
  • Touchdown. Brings superb Microsoft Exchange support to Android devices.

Document-based collaboration. Mobile workers need to be able to access their documents while out of the office on any of their devices. Cloud-based document collaboration tools need to include mobile access to be truly effective.

  • Documents to Go. Dataviz’s Documents to Go is a popular mobile document editing app. It’s available for a variety of platforms, including iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Palm. When combined with a cloud file sync service like Dropbox or box.net, it enables users to access and edit their documents no matter where they are.
  • Soonr. Soonr is a cloud-based document sync service. However, it also offers integrated MS Office document editing capabilities , which means users don’t need to use a separate app like Documents to Go.

Web conferencing. According to Forrester, 18 percent of information workers and 34 percent of senior staff use web conferencing at least weekly. Mobile access means being able to attend meetings even while away from the laptop.

Activity streams. Forrester thinks activity streams are becoming a critical resource for organizations that work collectively: sales teams, project teams, and executive staff, for example. Mobile support is crucial as it enables workers to stay updated no matter where they are.

Presence and chat. Knowing whether a colleague is available or not is a killer feature when out of the office. While this category of app lags today, Forrester expects adoption to accelerate. These types of features are often also often included in other mobile collaboration tools.

Social collaboration. In this category, Forrester includes access to internal blogs, wikis, community sites, and social networks from a tablet or smartphone. Mobile access allows every professional will remain connected and part of the collaborative process.

Expertise location. Forrester says this type of application is on the rise as firms look for ways to make mobile employees productive by helping them identify experts from anywhere. This type of app brings together presence, notifications, social profiles and data from HR. Many social business tools provide this kind of functionality, including:

Video conferencing. Skype has some 170 million active monthly users, and 39 percent of those people use Skype for work. Web conferencing vendors are also adding video to their products. Due to heavy resource requirements, there are few multi-party mobile video conferencing apps, though.

Personally, I’m not convinced expertise location is really a “must-have” category of mobile collaboration app just yet. Do you agree with Forrester’s categories of “must-have” apps, and which apps do you recommend for each category?

Photo courtesy Flickr user Yagan Kiely

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

What mobile apps are essential for collaboration on the go? #SMEM

With a growing proportion of the workforce already being highly mobile, coupled with an increasing number of workers are expecting to bring their own devices to work, it’s clear that picking the right collaboration apps to keep workers productive while on the go is vital to business success. But what apps do mobile workers need to get their jobs done? A new Forrester report, Mobilize Your Collaboration Strategy, has identified eight “must have” categories of mobile collaboration apps. Here’s a run-down of all the categories outlined, together with some of GigaOM’s recommendations for apps to use in each category:

Email and calendars. Email is, unsurprisingly,  still the most important mobile app. According to Forrester, 87 percent of smartphone workers use email on their devices (which leaves me wondering what other 13 percent use their smartphones for), and collectively, they do 32 percent of their email on a smartphone. While most smartphones come with their own email and calendaring tools most users will use, there are some third-party options worth considering:

  • Gmail and Google Calendar. If you use Gmail, it’s worth noting that the mobile-optimized versions of the Gmail and Google Calendar sites are pretty good. They are fast and have a great UI, and one of the advantages of using them is that you can seamlessly switch from device to device without having to set up IMAP details in your various devices’ email clients.
  • Touchdown. Brings superb Microsoft Exchange support to Android devices.

Document-based collaboration. Mobile workers need to be able to access their documents while out of the office on any of their devices. Cloud-based document collaboration tools need to include mobile access to be truly effective.

  • Documents to Go. Dataviz’s Documents to Go is a popular mobile document editing app. It’s available for a variety of platforms, including iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Palm. When combined with a cloud file sync service like Dropbox or box.net, it enables users to access and edit their documents no matter where they are.
  • Soonr. Soonr is a cloud-based document sync service. However, it also offers integrated MS Office document editing capabilities , which means users don’t need to use a separate app like Documents to Go.

Web conferencing. According to Forrester, 18 percent of information workers and 34 percent of senior staff use web conferencing at least weekly. Mobile access means being able to attend meetings even while away from the laptop.

Activity streams. Forrester thinks activity streams are becoming a critical resource for organizations that work collectively: sales teams, project teams, and executive staff, for example. Mobile support is crucial as it enables workers to stay updated no matter where they are.

Presence and chat. Knowing whether a colleague is available or not is a killer feature when out of the office. While this category of app lags today, Forrester expects adoption to accelerate. These types of features are often also often included in other mobile collaboration tools.

Social collaboration. In this category, Forrester includes access to internal blogs, wikis, community sites, and social networks from a tablet or smartphone. Mobile access allows every professional will remain connected and part of the collaborative process.

Expertise location. Forrester says this type of application is on the rise as firms look for ways to make mobile employees productive by helping them identify experts from anywhere. This type of app brings together presence, notifications, social profiles and data from HR. Many social business tools provide this kind of functionality, including:

Video conferencing. Skype has some 170 million active monthly users, and 39 percent of those people use Skype for work. Web conferencing vendors are also adding video to their products. Due to heavy resource requirements, there are few multi-party mobile video conferencing apps, though.

Personally, I’m not convinced expertise location is really a “must-have” category of mobile collaboration app just yet. Do you agree with Forrester’s categories of “must-have” apps, and which apps do you recommend for each category?

Photo courtesy Flickr user Yagan Kiely

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

Medical Innovations in Humanitarian Situations: The Book (free pdf)

medicalinnovations

Medical Innovations in Humanitarian Situations explores how the particular style of humanitarian action practiced by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has stayed in line with the standards in scientifically advanced countries while also leading to significant improvements in the medical care delivered to people in crisis.

Through a series of case studies, the authors reflect on how medical aid workers dealt with the incongruity of practicing conventional evidence-based medicine in contexts that require unconventional approaches.

Medical Innovations in Humanitarian Situations: The Book (free pdf)

medicalinnovations

Medical Innovations in Humanitarian Situations explores how the particular style of humanitarian action practiced by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has stayed in line with the standards in scientifically advanced countries while also leading to significant improvements in the medical care delivered to people in crisis.

Through a series of case studies, the authors reflect on how medical aid workers dealt with the incongruity of practicing conventional evidence-based medicine in contexts that require unconventional approaches.

Gilead License Expands Access, But Several Countries Left Out | Doctors Without Borders

Press Release

Gilead License Expands Access, But Several Countries Left Out

Excluded Countries Should be Ready to Issue Compulsory Licences to Access Needed Drugs

July 12, 2011–>

Take Action

Tweet this:
.@JNJStories, Abbott, Merck, follow Gilead’s first steps into the Patent Pool to make #AIDS drugs affordable. http://bit.ly/or7GNz

Follow @MSF_USA for updates.

Patent Pool Explained

GENEVA/NEW YORK, July 12, 2011 – An agreement announced today by pharmaceutical company Gilead to licence several HIV/AIDS drugs to the Medicines Patent Pool could improve access to medicines for patients, but it excludes several countries with many people living with HIV, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

“This agreement is an improvement over what other big pharma companies are doing to ensure access to their patented AIDS medicines in developing countries,” said Michelle Childs, policy and advocacy director at MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. “But some caution is needed, because in several key areas Gilead is not going beyond the status quo. More needs to be done to fulfil the vision of the Patent Pool to provide a solution to all people living with HIV. So this licence should not become the template for future agreements,” she said.

On the positive side, the licence covers two promising drugs in the pipeline (cobicistat and elvitegravir), one pipeline combination, and the crucial drug tenofovir. This could help ensure that new treatment options are available in developing countries at the same time as in rich countries.

The licence also allows for new fixed-dose combinations and child-friendly medicines to be developed. Critically, the licence is the first of its kind to explicitly incorporate the potential use of public health safeguards: it allows medicines to be exported to countries excluded from the agreement when their governments choose to override the patent with a compulsory licence. It also allows producers to exit the agreement for any one of the drugs if Gilead loses a patent because of a legal challenge. The agreement has also been made public, which sets an important precedent for transparency.

On the negative side, the agreement falls significantly short of what is needed to fully meet the public health needs for HIV/AIDS: it limits price-busting competition by confining manufacturing to one country (India) and includes narrow supply options for active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to make the drugs.

Most critically, people living with HIV in certain middle-income countries are excluded. This contrasts sharply with the first Pool license granted by the US National Institutes of Health, which covers all developing countries. If voluntary measures like the Patent Pool are unable to ensure people access to the medicines they need, countries that are left out will need to aggressively pursue non-voluntary paths like compulsory licences, MSF said.

Several of the countries that are excluded under the Gilead licences are among the first in which MSF provided HIV/AIDS treatment ten years ago.

“We handed over many treatment programs in Latin America and Asia to local authorities in the confidence that they would be able to provide people with the treatment they needed to stay alive,” said Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, executive director of MSF’s Access Campaign. “If people in middle-income countries are left out of such deals, their governments still need to pursue compulsory licences to overcome patent barriers.”

The initial idea of the Patent Pool was to allow access for all people in developing countries. Any producer meeting the right standards should be able to make use of licenses to produce and sell. But in this agreement, manufacturers in Thailand and Brazil, which have capacity to produce, have been left out.

This agreement builds on existing contracts made in 2006 between Gilead and generic producers of tenofovir (TDF), a backbone of improved first-line HIV/AIDS treatment. The new deal will allow these producers to make new drugs coming from Gilead, but has not overcome the issue of supply to countries facing patent barriers, such as China.

“Companies currently negotiating with the Pool should agree to licenses that more fully meet public health needs,” said Childs. “We expect all companies, including Johnson and Johnson, Abbott, and Merck, to also put their patents in the Pool, just as we hope that countries that don’t benefit from this agreement will use all means, including compulsory licenses, to increase access to HIV medicines for their people.”

 

Tags:

Access to Medicines,

HIV/AIDS

Gilead License Expands Access, But Several Countries Left Out | Doctors Without Borders

Press Release

Gilead License Expands Access, But Several Countries Left Out

Excluded Countries Should be Ready to Issue Compulsory Licences to Access Needed Drugs

July 12, 2011–>

Take Action

Tweet this:
.@JNJStories, Abbott, Merck, follow Gilead’s first steps into the Patent Pool to make #AIDS drugs affordable. http://bit.ly/or7GNz

Follow @MSF_USA for updates.

Patent Pool Explained

GENEVA/NEW YORK, July 12, 2011 – An agreement announced today by pharmaceutical company Gilead to licence several HIV/AIDS drugs to the Medicines Patent Pool could improve access to medicines for patients, but it excludes several countries with many people living with HIV, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

“This agreement is an improvement over what other big pharma companies are doing to ensure access to their patented AIDS medicines in developing countries,” said Michelle Childs, policy and advocacy director at MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. “But some caution is needed, because in several key areas Gilead is not going beyond the status quo. More needs to be done to fulfil the vision of the Patent Pool to provide a solution to all people living with HIV. So this licence should not become the template for future agreements,” she said.

On the positive side, the licence covers two promising drugs in the pipeline (cobicistat and elvitegravir), one pipeline combination, and the crucial drug tenofovir. This could help ensure that new treatment options are available in developing countries at the same time as in rich countries.

The licence also allows for new fixed-dose combinations and child-friendly medicines to be developed. Critically, the licence is the first of its kind to explicitly incorporate the potential use of public health safeguards: it allows medicines to be exported to countries excluded from the agreement when their governments choose to override the patent with a compulsory licence. It also allows producers to exit the agreement for any one of the drugs if Gilead loses a patent because of a legal challenge. The agreement has also been made public, which sets an important precedent for transparency.

On the negative side, the agreement falls significantly short of what is needed to fully meet the public health needs for HIV/AIDS: it limits price-busting competition by confining manufacturing to one country (India) and includes narrow supply options for active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to make the drugs.

Most critically, people living with HIV in certain middle-income countries are excluded. This contrasts sharply with the first Pool license granted by the US National Institutes of Health, which covers all developing countries. If voluntary measures like the Patent Pool are unable to ensure people access to the medicines they need, countries that are left out will need to aggressively pursue non-voluntary paths like compulsory licences, MSF said.

Several of the countries that are excluded under the Gilead licences are among the first in which MSF provided HIV/AIDS treatment ten years ago.

“We handed over many treatment programs in Latin America and Asia to local authorities in the confidence that they would be able to provide people with the treatment they needed to stay alive,” said Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, executive director of MSF’s Access Campaign. “If people in middle-income countries are left out of such deals, their governments still need to pursue compulsory licences to overcome patent barriers.”

The initial idea of the Patent Pool was to allow access for all people in developing countries. Any producer meeting the right standards should be able to make use of licenses to produce and sell. But in this agreement, manufacturers in Thailand and Brazil, which have capacity to produce, have been left out.

This agreement builds on existing contracts made in 2006 between Gilead and generic producers of tenofovir (TDF), a backbone of improved first-line HIV/AIDS treatment. The new deal will allow these producers to make new drugs coming from Gilead, but has not overcome the issue of supply to countries facing patent barriers, such as China.

“Companies currently negotiating with the Pool should agree to licenses that more fully meet public health needs,” said Childs. “We expect all companies, including Johnson and Johnson, Abbott, and Merck, to also put their patents in the Pool, just as we hope that countries that don’t benefit from this agreement will use all means, including compulsory licenses, to increase access to HIV medicines for their people.”

 

Tags:

Access to Medicines,

HIV/AIDS

Doing Good With Data – Data Without Borders | jake.porway

Update here: http://jakeporway.com/2011/06/data-without-borders-huh-people-like-this-idea/

As we all know, the world is inundated with data about practically everything we do, from where we are to who we know to what we eat, and it’s an extremely exciting time to be working in a field trying to make sense of all of it. However, as I and others have pointed out, there’s a lot of effort in our discipline put toward what I feel are sort of “bourgeois” applications of data science, such as using complex machine learning algorithms and rich datasets not to enhance communication or improve the government, but instead to let people know that there’s a 5% deal on an iPad within a 1 mile radius of where they are. In my opinion, these applications bring vanishingly small incremental improvements to lives that are arguably already pretty awesome.

On the other hand there are lots of NGOs and non-profits out there doing wonderful things for the world, from rehabilitating criminals, to battling hunger, to providing clean drinking water. However, they’re increasingly finding themselves with more and more data about their practices, their clients, and their missions that they don’t have the resources or budgets to analyze. At the same time, the data /dev communities love hacking together weekend projects where we play with new datasets or build helpful scripts, but they usually just culminate in a blog post or some Twitter buzz. Wouldn’t it be rad if we could get these two sides together?

Read the rest here: jakeporway.com

Doing Good With Data – Data Without Borders | jake.porway

Update here: http://jakeporway.com/2011/06/data-without-borders-huh-people-like-this-idea/

As we all know, the world is inundated with data about practically everything we do, from where we are to who we know to what we eat, and it’s an extremely exciting time to be working in a field trying to make sense of all of it. However, as I and others have pointed out, there’s a lot of effort in our discipline put toward what I feel are sort of “bourgeois” applications of data science, such as using complex machine learning algorithms and rich datasets not to enhance communication or improve the government, but instead to let people know that there’s a 5% deal on an iPad within a 1 mile radius of where they are. In my opinion, these applications bring vanishingly small incremental improvements to lives that are arguably already pretty awesome.

On the other hand there are lots of NGOs and non-profits out there doing wonderful things for the world, from rehabilitating criminals, to battling hunger, to providing clean drinking water. However, they’re increasingly finding themselves with more and more data about their practices, their clients, and their missions that they don’t have the resources or budgets to analyze. At the same time, the data /dev communities love hacking together weekend projects where we play with new datasets or build helpful scripts, but they usually just culminate in a blog post or some Twitter buzz. Wouldn’t it be rad if we could get these two sides together?

Read the rest here: jakeporway.com

Refunite Blog (@refunite) – June 20th is World Refugee Day

June 20th is a day like every other day. 86,400 seconds: A blink of an eye to some, and to others a lifetime passing by. For more than 36 million people, this day, as any other, is 1,440 minutes of despair, another day of uncertainty, 24 hours of fear.  

June 20th is World Refugee Day

Celebrating World Refugee Day is not so much a celebration as a remembrance; a remembrance of what could have been for all these people had they been granted the geographical opportunities we enjoy.  A remembrance that, at the end of the day, we are all looking for the same things: The opportunity to make something of ourselves, to provide shelter and food for those you love, to spend time with your family. 

This last thing, family, is a luxury taken for granted by most, yet a necessity deprived so many. Across our world, hundreds of thousands of refugee families have been separated, unable to find each other, touching the lives of millions of people. It need not be so. 

In remembrance of World Refugee Day, Refugees United and Ericsson are proud to extend our partnership in mobile phone family tracing services for refugees with mobile operators MTN Group and Safaricom. 

Working to encompass refugee agencies as well as refugees themselves in a seamless information network, every day Refugees United make inroads in helping families reconnect. Currently, more than 41,000 refugees have been signed up to our platform, in search of missing loved ones. 

It’s a huge responsibility trying to reconnect what was not long ago, as well as an opportunity to push the wonders of mobile technologies to empower some of the most information-deprived peoples among us. A remembrance of missing loved ones that, hopefully, soon will be just that: A thing of the past.   

Please follow www.twitter.com/refunite today for exciting updates, news and press releases. 

David and Christopher Mikkelsen, 

On behalf of the Refugees United Team

AfDB and AidData launch interactive aid map

children school cameroon credit bookaidinternational

AfDB and AidData launch interactive aid map

0 Comments

Published: 17/06/2011

ADB and AidData launch interactive map

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched an interactive map detailing the exact locations of its projects in several countries. Development Loop, a partnership between the AfDB and AidData, maps projects in Cameroon, Morocco and Tanzania. These geocoded AfDB activities, which represent a subset of nearly 2,040 activities from the Bank, cover school builds, health clinics and roads, amongst others.

The value of this new project is that is makes the Bank’s work more transparent, enabling people to see where their projects are based and decreasing the chance of overlap.

Simon Mizrahi, manager of AfDB’s Results and Quality Assurance Department says:

The map makes it easy to see where the Bank is working, not just in which countries, but in which regions or towns. Through this partnership, we’ve been able to efficiently translate information which existed primarily in long documents into a simple visual tool for decision makers and the public at large to quickly understand what we do, and where. This is a critical step toward being able to ask the right questions about whether aid is going to the right places and what impact it has.

It will also help the AfDB to evaluate their current programmes and plan for future ones. What’s more, it enables citizens and other aid agencies to better understand where aid is going, whilst also allowing feedback from those affected by projects.

For more information about the maps and to find out how they were created visit Development Gateway’s website.