Book Review: ‘The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator’, pt 1.

  Innovation is more than just a development buzz word, it’s way of approaching some of the world’s most pressing problems. Through our articles we parse out the ideas that people have designed to solve intractable issues in communities around the world. We look at how these ideas take shape and what methods they employ, because they are all changing the …

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Low-cost baby incubator improves outcomes

Every year, 20 million babies are born prematurely, and each hour 450 die from mostly avoidable causes. Most pre-term babies are born with low-birth weights that are unsuited to regulating body temperature and thus their ability to survive depends on medical intervention. India has the highest infant mortality rate for pre-term babies in the world. Many births occur at home, or in rural health centers that don’t have facilities to care for premature infants. Even state-run hospitals might not be able to afford the life-saving equipment, which can cost up to $20,000.

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Social Networking for Marginalized Communities

Mobile Vaani, launched in 2011, has brought social networking to rural India and resulted in an innovation in communication across the country. Created by Gram Vaani, which means “voice of the village”, it builds technology to induce marginalized communities to voice their news, concerns and demands. Circumventing problems of interpret access and literacy, the vocally-based program works through rudimentary cell phones.

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Can Drones Stop Poaching?

While conservation areas and governments employ rangers to monitor and care for wildlife populations, too often the presence of poachers is discovered after the fact. In many areas, out of date technologies such as tracking collars, are used and yield little success. For years, rangers have needed new, innovative ways to track the activities within parks, and ensure the safety and protection of endangered wildlife

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A Community-Driven Palliative Care Solution in India

In the Indian state of Kerala, Dr. Suresh Kumar has devised a community-led solution to the problem of inadequate palliative care. He founded the Neighbourhood Network for Palliative Care (NNPC), an organization with a goal of developing a cost-effective approach to making these services accessible to even the poorest members of society.

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Social Farming: Transcending International Borders

  In rural areas of many developing countries, seniors and people with disabilities are often some of the most marginalized groups. The World Bank estimates that 20% of the world’s poorest people have a disability and are also regarded as the most disadvantaged people in their communities. Due to traditional prejudices and a lack of understanding, they often experience insufficient to …

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Fresh Thinking Brings Solar-Powered Lighting to Indian Villages

TERI, India’s leading energy research institute, started the Lighting One Billion Lives initiative in 2007 to provide solar lanterns and charging stations (which also charge mobile phones) to villages in India that have no or little access to reliable electricity. The centralized stations power the lanterns during the day to make them ready for pickup by villages in the evening.

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