Recent Developments

TIST: Rising carbon price enables more rapid growth of TIST tree growing in Africa and India

Growth of TIST’s pro-poor tree growing activities in sub-Saharan Africa and India has been held back in the past by the low price paid in the informal carbon market for its “high quality” carbon credits. The greater recent awareness of the need to act to address climate change has led to a large increase in 2020 in the price paid to purchase TIST’s carbon credits. The resulting increase in resources has enabled TIST to adopt a more ambitious expansion plan aimed at substantial further increases in the currently 90,000 farmer beneficiaries and the currently 18 million trees grown.

Reflections on 2020 from Jacaranda

18 December 2020

Like many others in the health space, 2020 has been a year of learning and adapting. It has been no different for us at Jacaranda Health. Maternal health has been dramatically impacted by the pandemic, and this year has challenged us to act creatively to ensure that mothers and babies receive quality care when they need it. As this year comes to an end, we reflect on a few achievements our team is proud of and look ahead to the year to come:

  • When COVID-19 reached Kenya, our goal was to accelerate the reach of our programs to as many women as possible to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on care-seeking and service delivery. Over the course of 2020, we have doubled our county partnerships, and are now deploying programs in 8 of Kenya’s most populous counties, where nearly 30% of the population lives
  • We have reached over 350,00 mothers with our PROMPTS digital health platform, helping mothers to navigate facility restrictions and closures during the country-wide lockdown, and access care at critical moments during pregnancy and postpartum. We have developed new features over the platform, using AI to ‘triage’ women with potential danger signs to our clinical help desk, and creating digital referrals for cases sent from our help desk to healthcare facilities.
  • We have also grown our network of in-facility nurse mentors, who support their peers building skills to manage obstetric and neonatal emergencies. We have built a network of 190 in-facility mentors who have mentored over 3,000 healthcare providers in 103 public hospitals. Our team adapted to virtual trainings and support meetings, and kept up morale as healthcare providers stood on the front lines of the pandemic. In order to keep facilitating provider skills development at scale, we are excited to be launching an e-learning platform for healthcare providers, who can access virtual learning modules over their phones.
  • We are kicking off a country-wide impact evaluation funded by USAID and with partners at Harvard and IPA.

As we reflect on the challenges and successes of the year, we also look ahead into the coming year with excitement. We remain laser-focused on our target of reaching 1.5 million mothers and babies with our programs by the year 2022 and reaching national scale in Kenya as the standard of care in all public facilities. Our work is getting national recognition, as team members participated in developing the national Ministry of Health guideline for provider mentorship. We are also investigating a pilot in one new country in 2021.

Looking ahead to 2021, our team is excited by the challenges and opportunities that await us. We will keep working to expand and improve along the way, to ensure all mothers and babies get access to the quality care that they deserve.

Nick and Sathy, Executive Directors

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Jacaranda receive $1.5m USAID award to launch an independent impact evaluation

2 November 2020

Jacaranda are excited to share that they have recently received funding from USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) fund to launch a large-scale impact evaluation of their programs. This is an important step for Jacaranda as they continue to build the evidence base for their core programs, and rigorously evaluate their impact on health outcomes. Jacaranda will be working with an independent evaluation team, and partnering with Margaret McConnell and Jessica Cohen from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University.

Jacaranda develops a way to improve emergency obstetric blood supplies in Kenya

20 October 2020

Jacaranda in their most recent blog post share how they are saving time and lives by creating a new blood tracker mapping tool to identify sources, and provide access, to real-time blood supply information for healthcare providers in Kenya using the power of free, open-source tools and simple coding.  They are sharing a blue print guide for other health management teams to replicate the tool, improve distribution across facilities and reduce preventable loss of life.


Penda Health: rolling out National Health Insurance Fund

30 September 2020

Following a successful National Health Insurance Fund pilot in 2019, Penda enrolled 1477 patients both in-person and over social media, and as a result patient visits and revenue increased by a significant 33%.  NHIF currently reimburses 100 KSH per person per month for limited primary care services, and for each 100 people signed up with Penda they see about 30 patient visits per month. Because Penda’s model is built on trustworthy and ultra-low-cost care, they earn a profit margin that is similar to that earned with uninsured cash-paying patients.  The scheme has been so successful, Penda anticipate over 3000 patients to enrol in 2020.