On Feb. 12 the members of the Faculty Council met with the president to ask and answer questions as representatives of the faculty and heard a proposal from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.The council next meets on Feb. 26. The next meeting of the faculty is March 4 at 4 p.m. The preliminary deadline for the March 4 meeting of the faculty is Feb. 18 at noon.
Congratulations to Eric Heppner who announced last week that he is retiring as the Batesville football coach. In his 20 years at the helm of the Batesville Bulldogs his teams won 148 games. When you consider that you are only guaranteed 10 games in a year, this means that Eric won approximately 70% of the games he coached. In the all-time scheme of coaching, this is quite a lofty position.Along with Eric I understand that 4 of his long-time assistant coaches have also decided to retire with him. For 20 years Tim Hunter, Terry Nobbe, Mike Ploeger, and Steve Ollier have been with Eric. I have not seen the official retirement announcement by these 4 gentlemen, but these are the 4 who have been with Eric for those 20 years.I will miss our weekly talks on Coaches’ Corner. Eric is an interviewer’s dream–one question and he is off and running! Enjoy the freedom this decision will give you, Eric.
Ray Maota Emmanuel Mutai won the men’s race in two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds – the fifth fastest time in the marathon’s 30-year history. (Image: WTOP) Mary Keitany, who shaved 10 minutes off her personal best time for a marathon of this nature, recorded the fourth fastest time in the women’s division since the race’s inception. (Image: Athletics Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Virgin London Marathon +44 020 7902 0200 RELATED ARTICLES • New drive to spark local sports frenzy • Legacy of 2010 shines in Kenya • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmers • South Africa’s toughest endurance challengesKenyans dominated the 2011 Virgin London Marathon on 17 April, winning both the men’s and women’s races.Emmanuel Mutai won the men’s race in two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds – the fifth fastest time in the marathon’s 30-year history.The women’s division was won by Mary Keitany, who broke a record that had been in place since 2005 with a time of two hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds.‘My dreams have come true’The marathon – which is run past many of the city’s landmarks including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Tower of London, and ends in front of Buckingham Palace – boasted a field of nearly 35 000 runners in 2011.The event is known for attracting an array of participants in elaborate costumes – many of whom dress up and run for charity. This year was no different and one running couple even donned masks resembling the soon-to-be-wed Prince William and Kate Middleton.The 2011 marathon saw 33 new Guinness World Records being set, including the fastest jester to complete a marathon, the fastest male and female marathoners in superhero costumes and the fastest Roman legionary.Mutai would have shattered the world record set by Ethiopian marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie had he come in 41 seconds earlier. Although Mutai didn’t manage this, his winning margin of a minute and five seconds was the largest recorded since 1986.Mutai, who was delighted to win his first major race, said: “My dreams have come true because I had it in my mind that one day I would win one of the five major marathons.“I was second here and in New York last year, but today has finally come for me. My aim was just to win. I was not focusing on the time, but I tried my best to push it when I saw we were inside world-record pace at one stage.”Keitany, who shaved 10 minutes off her personal best time for a marathon of this nature, recorded the fourth fastest time in the women’s division since the race’s inception.“I think I surprised myself because I was running with the champion from last year and I was a bit scared, but then I started to believe in myself that I could do it and I feel very happy,” she said.Running around LondonThe first London Marathon was run on 29 March 1981 after John Disley and Chris Brasher secured sponsorship of US$122,000 (R830 000) a year for three years from the man’s grooming conglomerate, Gillette.Between 1981 and 2009, 746 635 runners had completed the London Marathon.In 1993 the Golden Bond scheme was introduced to enable charities to buy guaranteed entries to the race for $488 (R3 324) each, which they give to runners unable to secure their own places. These runners then pledge a four-figure sum to the charities in return.In 2007 $75-million (R511-million) was raised for good causes by runners. That year saw the London Marathon become a Guinness World Record breaker as the largest single annual fundraising event in the world. That record was broken again in 2008 when $76-million (R518-million) was raised.An estimated $813-million (R5.5-billion) has been raised through the race since 1981 for charitable causes.Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was signed up as the race sponsor in 2010 and the term will end in 2014.
IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Start with needsDo lessDesign with dataDo the hard work to make it simpleIterate. Then iterate again.Build for inclusionUnderstand contextBuild digital services, not websitesBe consistent, not uniformMake things open: it makes things betterThese aren’t merely mottos inscribed on the wall and forgotten. The government has actively been espousing them, in part by hosting its code on GitHub. But then, which governments aren’t hosting code on GitHub? As O’Reilly’s Alex Howard points out, GitHub is increasingly popular with the government IT crowd, with the total number of government repositories booming on the popular code-sharing site:Source: GitHub. Chart by Alex Howard.All of which is interesting, but becomes even more so when you dig into what is being hosted there. Take Chicago, which has not only open sourced code, but also datasets for things like building footprints, bike paths, etc. That’s a great step toward open data, but Chicago is even more ambitious. The City’s WindyGrid project, for example, a “real-time infrastructure for the publication of data that delivers information in the moment of need.” Sounds promising, but what does that mean?As The Wall Street Journal notes:[As an] example, city officials might look at a high crime area, while also mapping out the number of liquor permits for a neighborhood, along with the amount of nearby abandoned buildings. Using transcripts from resident complaints or 911 calls, officials could also see trending concerns for the area, like broken lights or stolen garbage cans, and the times the incidents are occurring. If the high crime area also has a high number of liquor permits, for example, officials could then see if other neighborhoods also faced both issues, allowing them to create a more effective response for those areas.Big Data being put to use in real time, at considerable cost savings and improved productivity for the City. Oh, and WindyGrid will be open sourced, too, so that other government organizations can use it.This kind of project would be interesting no matter who was doing it, but the fact that it’s a government organization is impressive. Same with GDS in the UK. Or with the US’ own shift to cloud computing.It’s hard to pinpoint a particular reason for this. Perhaps the embrace of cloud and open source is simply a way to squeeze more productivity out of ever-tightening resources, given the global recession over the past few years. Or perhaps government IT got tired of seeing its private enterprise peers playing with all the shiny new toys. Either way, it’s a welcome change to government as usual.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#City of Chicago#cloud computing#Government#Government Digital Services Matt Asay At one time government IT was the last place to look to find innovation. With little incentive to save money or do much beyond keep the lights on, governments across the world have happily dumped money into a cabal of legacy IT vendors without much thought for consequences. All too often, those consequences were dire.But something seems to have changed. Today, from the City of Chicago to the UK government’s Government Digital Services group, government IT has become a hotbed of open innovation. For the first time, private industry has much to learn from government IT.Yes, you read that right.Uncle Sam’s CIOThe Obama administration gets some credit for helping to kick things off. In March 2009, the U.S. named Vivek Kundra its first-ever chief information officer. Kundra then set to work with a cloud-first policy that saw him shutter dozens of resource-heavy datacenters, moving more workloads to the cloud, in an attempt to save taxpayers $18.8 billion by 2015. Kundra has since left, his legacy lives on.It has also crossed the Pond. Years ago, the UK was roundly criticized for its too-cozy relationship with Microsoft. Today, the UK’s Government Digital Services Group, which is tasked by the UK government with transforming its digital services, espouses a set of design principles that would be right at home within the most progressive of Silicon Valley startups, and which cut against the “buy-whatever-Ballmer-tells-us-to” mentality that sometimes pervaded UK procurement policies:
Donor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize, and activate your prospects and donors—are the key to fundraising success. But you already know that.What you may not know, however, is that few organizations do donor communications well. Most have lots of room to improve, as evidenced by the focus on donor communications in conference agendas, e-newsletters, blog content in the field, Facebook chats, Twitter discussions, and more. If that’s your organization, you’re not alone!Now, with the release of Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, by Mal Warwick/DonorDigital, we have proof of the ways most donor communications fail and the impact of those failures. If you’ve asked for resources to strengthen donor communications and have been turned down or just haven’t found the time to tackle them, this is the kick in the pants you need. These striking findings come from a six-month study of donor communications—both online and offline—from 16 large nonprofits, following online contributions to each organization. Since “multichannel donors are more loyal than single-channel donors,” researchers focused on how much and how well outreach is coordinated across channels for a consistent, recognizable, and satisfying donor experience.What I love about this report is that the researchers share what’s good, bad, and ugly in multiple dimensions so we get an idea of what’s working well (that is, what to strive for and what’s happening in organizations you’re competing with for donor dollars), as well as what’s not. Take a look at these findings:Thank you letters—a reliable cultivation tactic—arrive way too late or not at all. The quickest thank you letter, sent via USPS, arrived in 12 days. The slowest took 28 days. Eight organizations didn’t mail a thank you at all.Most donor communications content is inconsistent—in tone, message, and or/graphics—across channels, so it’s more likely to confuse and annoy recipients than to strengthen loyalty or motivate them to give. Most organizations do reach out to donors via multiple channels.Follow-up appeals via direct mail are frequently implemented, but that second ask can come months after the initial online gift, diminishing its success rate.Sustainer programs (aka monthly giving) provide a strong base of revenue, especially during economic dips, and “new online donors are highly responsive to monthly giving recruitment.” But only one organization integrated its monthly giving ask into mail and email, whereas four didn’t make monthly giving asks at all. There’s much more to learn in the full report, and I recommend that you download it now. Wherever your organization currently sits on the good, bad, and ugly continuum, there’s always room to do donor communications better.With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.
Fundraising for a Cause? Look into Peer FundraisingPeer fundraising, also called peer to peer fundraising, has become a popular way to raise money, but it is also exceptionally useful for spreading the word about your cause. In addition to meeting your nonprofit fundraising goals, you also gain new supporters.How Peer Fundraising WorksYour existing supporters become your first line of outreach in a peer fundraising campaign. As with any fundraiser, you begin with your plan. Then, instead of just sending out your appeal, you also send out a request to forward your information, share on social media, etc. to your supporters’ own personal networks. With minimal effort, you are able to turn your supporters into advocates for your cause and have them help raise the money your organization needs.Keep It SimpleBecause you are so passionate about your cause, your organization, and fundraising, it can be tempting to provide your supporters with too much information. Your supporters can get easily overwhelmed if they feel like they are being asked to do anything that’s too involved. Therefore, ensure your peer fundraising materials are more simplified than what you might present otherwise.You still need to make a strong case, and nothing does that better than engaging stories. Make it clear with your heading that it is a story, and use a layout that indicates a quick read, as opposed to an academic presentation of the “facts,” so that people will be drawn in and not be afraid they don’t have the time to read it now.Peer Fundraising Is an Online EndeavorInclude links to your donation page wherever it’s appropriate. If your organization gains a supporter, but she can’t figure out how to contribute, then the effort was wasted. Your supporters know that they are asking for money and their friends recognize the technique by now.Taking advantage of peer fundraising has enabled even very small nonprofit fundraising efforts to reach huge numbers of people. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet in this new, and fun, approach!Network for Good has a blog with more free information on how to be successful at nonprofit fundraising. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your peer fundraising efforts. Call us today at 1-855-229-1694 to learn more!
When it comes to updating nonprofit branding, there can seem be more questions than answers. Questions like:Will rebranding increase donations?Will rebranding make it easier for us to convey our organization’s impact and value?Is now the time for us to rebrand?We finally get answers to these million-dollar questions in The Rebrand Effect: How Significant Communications Changes Help Nonprofits Raise More Money (free download here).This eBook from nonprofit communications agency Big Duck is based on the results of a national survey of 350 nonprofit organizations that rebranded within the last 10 years.For the study, Big Duck defines a comprehensive rebrand as developing or changing four or more of these elements:Brand strategyOrganizational nameTaglineLogoKey messagesElevator pitch.A limited rebrand includes three or fewer of these elements.Here are the highlights of this study and what they may mean for your organization:The Good News: Nonprofits that Rebrand Raise More Money.According to the study, most organizations invest in rebranding in hopes of connecting more quickly and firmly with individual donors and prospects. Statistics show those hopes are the reality for many organizations.Fifty percent of organizations surveyed reported revenue growth, with the greatest increase seen in individual giving. This success rate is particularly striking since many participating organizations were in the process or rebranding, or had done so within the last one to two years, so felt it was too early to assess the impact of those changes.Organizations that Comprehensively Rebrand See Greatest ROI.More than half (56%) of the organizations that completed a comprehensive rebrand saw revenue increase, compared to 41% of organizations that implemented limited rebranding.And the impact of comprehensive rebranding exceed revenue gains. The survey found that organizations making more comprehensive changes are likely to see these additional wins:Greater audience participation, from program registration to activism.Improved staff ability and confidence to communicate effectively about the organization, its impact, and value.More media coverage.Several Factors Influence Rebrand Results.The data shows that results stem from more than the rebrand itself. Organizations that rebrand with any or all of these elements already in place are far more likely to get to goal:New, clear organizational focus or strategic plan (within last 12 months)New leadershipStaff and leadership committed to advancing branding and communications changes.In other words, these factors lead to relevant and robust rebrands. If your organization has any or all of these success factors in place, rebranding may well deliver significant value! Dig into the full report from Big Duck to learn more about if, and how, rebranding done right is likely to move the needle for your fundraising efforts.Bonus: Nonprofit branding is important so don’t ignore it. Are you reflecting your brand in all aspects of your giving experience: Events, donation pages, emails, and peer-to-peer campaigns? If not, we can help. Talk to a rep to learn more.
I was fortunate to attend the plenary discussion in Arusha. Richard Horton provided a provocative performance as Chair, and the panelists were excellent in their responses.However, little mention was given to WHO’s WHO’s role and responsibilities in health research: Draft WHO strategy on research for health. That document states, “all the goals concern all Member States and all individuals, communities, institutions and organizations involved in the production and/or use of research, including WHO.”Paragraph 25 discusses the issue of standards:No country is self-sufficient in its research capacity, so Member States need to be able to share research outputs. Effective and equitable sharing requires internationally agreed norms and standards for research; with this in mind, the standards goal concerns the promotion of good practice in research by means of work to establish agreements on good practices, scientific benchmarks, ethical guidelines and accountability mechanisms. The achievement of this goal is essential for winning public support and confidence.The principles from Arusha are sound, and the debate will no doubt continue. But live, Q&A sessions in plenary will not always allow for panelists to critically think through the implications of their intuitive responses. Caution is needed, with consideration of the inadvertent effects that may arise.Several examples in relation to the points proposed:A PhD researcher (from the global north), applying for ethics approval at their host University for their independent, original research is immediately in breach of the first point. Is it feasible that Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, the LSE etc., etc. would change their academic standards of research to insist that all research in LMICs is a joint endeavor – unless you happen to be from the global south?The World Bank/IBRD is a funder of research (often at the country’s expense) but would they shift to this principle on all their publications? Including those that inform their financing decisions with a country? They are after all, a Bank.It is not just “medical” journals that need to heed the call. Aspirations for effective coverage and quality of care for all (i.e. Universal Health Coverage) require many types of health workers. Public health, midwifery, nursing, management, pharmacy and other journals should all be included.More reflection is needed, and perhaps the WHO is best placed to steer a future code. In the meantime, we should all continue to encourage “health” journals to ensure that health information is available for all.For more information on Integrare’s presentations on the High Burden Countries Initiative in Arusha please click here.To learn more about the H4+ High Burden Countries Initiative, click here and follow ICS Integrare on Twitter. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on February 6, 2013March 21, 2017By: Jim Campbell, Director, Instituto de Cooperacion Social Integrare based in Barcelona, SpainClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania had many highlights, including the closing plenary presentation from Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla ( watch the presentation here and see Karen Beattie’s blog), and the GMHC2013 manifesto proposed by Richard Horton (see Ann Starrs’ blog for more).A recent article in The Lancet also reports on the plenary discussions on a proposed new Code of Conduct for health research in low-income countries. Lancet Editor Richard Horton reports:The meeting in Arusha was opened by Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health. She argued passionately that research and ethics must be more closely bound together. She spoke about the theft of data from Africa and the new enslavement of Africans. She called for a Code of Conduct for research in low-income countries.Here is a draft of a Code – a set of principles – assembled from a debate between Agnes Binagwaho, Wendy Graham, Rafael Lozano, and Marleen Temmerman: No ethics committee, funder of research, or medical journal should approve, support, or publish research about a low-income country without joint authorship from that country.In any research project in a low-income setting, local scientists must be included as co-principal investigators.Before starting research in a low-income country, western authors and institutions must define a clear plan for how they will transfer research skills back to that country. Medical journals and their publishers must ensure that all global health research is free at the point of use in countries.Western journals must facilitate language translation of research, either themselves or by enabling local journals to republish freely.
Posted on May 8, 2013March 8, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we noted last week, PLOS Medicine launched a new collection on May 7, Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.The collection compiles evidence related to tools and indicators for collecting high quality evidence to expand coverage and improving the quality of care for key health interventions.About the collection:Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, a PLOS Collection, presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field. Coverage indicators are widely used to assess whether interventions are reaching women and children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through population-based household surveys. This collection of original research articles and reviews shows that while some indicators can be measured accurately, others may not provide valid results and therefore need further investigation and development.Highlights of the “Measuring Coverage” collection include two articles that address approaches for strengthening quality of maternal health services: “Validating Women’s Self-Report of Emergency Cesarean Sections in Ghana and the Dominican Republic,” and Testing the Validity of Women’s Self-Report of Key Maternal and Newborn Health Interventions during the Peripartum Period in Mozambique.”The collection also includes reviews key determining and interpreting inequalities in coverage and discussing new findings, strategies and recommendations for action.For more, watch video of the May 7 launch event at the National Press Club, or visit Impatient Optimists to read a blog post by Miriam Claeson and Wendy Prosser of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on May 28, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)If you have been following the news and our MMR Estimates Blog Series, you know that the WHO and IHME recently released new global estimates for maternal mortality. These estimates have strong implications for global maternal health goals as they will be used as baselines for Post-2015 targets.Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief at The Lancet, recently addressed a common concern with these estimates—the estimates differ greatly at a regional and country level. Dr. Horton points out, “These differences are not at all obvious when one examines the headline numbers from each source. IHME’s global estimate for maternal deaths is 292,982. The equivalent UN figure is 289,000. But at the regional level, big differences begin to appear.” In fact, 15 of the 75 countries with the highest burden of maternal mortality have estimates that differ by 1,041 to 21,792 maternal deaths. The discrepancy of 21,792 deaths falls on India—the country with the highest number of maternal deaths in the world.For a country that needs to strategize well to address this high burden of disease, India is faced with a discrepancy that could affect how they respond. Dr. Horton says, “[If] you were India’s new Prime-Minister-elect, Narendra Modi, you might just alter the urgency with which you acted to reduce maternal mortality if you believed the UN figure, which records a remarkable 21,792 fewer maternal deaths than the independently calculated estimate from a competing large international collaboration. It would not be unreasonable if other Presidents and Prime Ministers, let alone Ministers of Health, were confused by these often strikingly divergent results.” The discrepancies not only affect the important decisions of country officials, but also affect the credibility of the estimates themselves.So what can be done to address these discrepancies? Dr. Horton suggests reviewing the methods and models used to generate these estimates. “[The] Gates Foundation funded Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease… meets next month in Seattle. One of its remits is to ‘engage in dialogue with other efforts on global health estimates.’ A further goal is to review strengths and weaknesses of the GBD’s methods. But this second objective will solve only half of the problem. Someone also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the UN’s methods. [The Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease] could consider conducting a careful comparison of methods used by both the UN and IHME.”The most important conclusion of this discussion is that country leaders need accurate data to effectively mitigate maternal mortality. As the common management adage teaches us, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Hopefully with increased collaboration we can bridge the gap between UN and IHME estimates for maternal mortality.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: