I’m a fan of both longitudinal population studies and of the work of public health researcher Michael Marmot from the University College London. His previous work on Whitehall studies I and II revealed a correlation between a person’s health indicators, and their position within the British public sector. Much of his work has revolved around the notion of how personal autonomy affects a person’s ability to choose healthy behaviour.
On my way to TED India I was shown around the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement activities in Saragur, rural India, by an old friend who worked there as a paediatric surgeon. It was started 15 years ago by 4 medical students from Mysore and comprises two schools educating approximately 800 students between them, and a 100 bed hospital supplying free medical care to the local population.
Here’s a link to a short article by Jeffrey Sachs on the digital war on poverty.
Its interesting to see market forces accomplishing a feat NGOs would be unable to (assuming they had wanted to). As of 2007 over 50% of the world’s population now use mobile phones. It took 20 years to reach 1 billion, another 3 years to reach 2 billion, and the 3rd billion took just 2 years. Mobile phones and their future capacity for information distribution are making their way into the hands of the world’s least resourced.
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