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Today I received the following note from a sharp-eyed reader of this blog:Hello Katya,I attended one of your online fundraising seminars in Washington, D.C. last fall and I’ve been following your blog since then. Today as I was exiting the metro in DC and heading off to work, I noticed people passing out samples of Trident gum. This type of marketing is not unusual here. But what I did find unusual was that the people were wearing Save the Children t-shirts while passing out samples of Trident Splash! gum. What do you think is the marketing plan here? What’s in it for Save the Children? Name recognition?Best,Tara KaraschHmmm… good question. What was the connection, and why wasn’t it made clearer at the point of distribution?I googled “Trident” and “Save the Children” and found this microsite. It says:TridentÂ® sugarless gum and Save the ChildrenÂ® U.S. Programs have teamed together to bring a smile to children’s faces by supporting literacy and nutritional initiatives that benefit children in need in rural areas throughout our country. Join us as we celebrate Trident supporting Save the ChildrenÂ® U.S. Programs. Trident has generously donated to this worthy cause. Pass along a smile! On the site, you can donate to Save the Children, download wallpaper, send ecards, see pictures of yourself taken by the gum-distributing smile patrol, etc.I asked Tara if she got any of that. Here’s what she said:Hello Katya,This makes sense after reading the press release, but not before. I have to admit that I didn’t read the entirety of their t-shirts, but what I did notice was “Save the Children” boldly printed on yellow t-shirts. How much detail do we really take in while zooming past on our commute? It wasn’t a very successful marketing effort for me. Perhaps if the gum samples actually had the program logo on them (as the packs of gum on the website did), it all would have clicked and made sense for me. However, my experience was walking away wondering why Save the Children was passing out gum. They did make me think though.TaraThe campaign is certainly interesting but there are some missing links here, I think.1. Missing link #1: The communication to the consumer. They need to communicate the program to commuters, quickly. I don’t think most people will bother to think the way Tara and I did.2. Missing link #2: The connection between gum and charity. What is the link between literacy, nutrition and gum? It feels like a stretch. The program is meant to show that when you chew the gum, Trident helps a charity, so kids smile and you smile and feel good – at least I think so – but that’s a lot to explain. If Trident were supporting the charity Operation Smile, I would completely get it. That would have an intuitive connection that is lacking here.3. Missing link #3: The connection between action and result. The site’s actions – wallpaper, ecards, etc. don’t exactly feel like ways to improve literacy, nor does buying gum. I think they need to connect the actions of the consumer to the results for children more clearly.Anyone else gotten a pack? Had a different experience? Like the new gum? (I like the strawberry lime myself.) Do tell!
Posted on April 14, 2010July 14, 2014Click 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)You may have seen our post on Monday that linked to the new maternal mortality estimates published in the Lancet.It is exciting to see that several leading media outlets (both print and online) are covering the new findings of dramatic reductions in global maternal mortality. With an “above the fold” front page story in the New York Times, coverage in the San Francisco Examiner, the Washington Post, and on Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog, it is clear that maternal health is gaining long-awaited attention.Staying true to our mandate to share important information as it happens and provide a neutral space for dialogue, we will continue to post links to coverage of this story–and please share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 5, 2011June 20, 2017By: Martha Fikre Adenew, Young Champion of Maternal 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)This blog post was contributed by Martha Fikre Adenew, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.I was sitting in the city park in New Orleans and I was enjoying the warmness of the sun. I was really thinking of how the weather changes from that terrible coldness, it looked as if it would never change to this pleasant weather. I hoped the spring would stay throughout the year, which of course will not happen. While I was enjoying the warmness I was thinking of my next step. As my Young Champion Program is going to wrap up within a couple of months, I was looking for ways to move forward.The day before, I had a group discussion with my colleagues about my idea and the maternal health situation in our countries. It was really an interesting discussion and I have gotten good feedback for my idea. We have been also discussing areas of collaboration for my future work. Their contributions to my idea make me feel that I am moving one step ahead or at least a little bit lifting from the ground where I initially stood. One of them suggested that I look into different research that has been recently published. I decided to look at some of the resources she provided and some of the findings were interesting and heartbreaking.I jotted down some of the most disturbing responses of the research participants from a research entitled “Care-seeking for maternal health: Challenges remain for poor women” by Charlotte Warren.“If my husband does not have money, he may say ‘Why should I take you to a facility?’ out of ignorance. He will take me there only when the illness becomes serious or when I am close to death. If we had a facility here, I could just go without telling him and tell him to pay after I get treated” (woman from Amhara regional state).“We stay at our home and we give birth, by the time they tell us of complications, it is already dangerous — we just die. We do not have an option because we cannot afford to pay for a car to take us to hospital” (woman from Amhara regional state)“If she does not have money, she might die. The only thing we can do is to go to her funeral…” (father from Amhara regional state).I was really very sad and it really broke my heart to read this. Things really need to change. I felt so frustrated and thought “How I am able to address this situation?” But it also gave me courage since I feel I am on the right track and this is the right time. I have also realized my idea can be broadened in a way that it can bring a real change to the whole society. I know my responsibility is huge and I have to tackle a complicated issue as a social entrepreneur. As Hal Borland said “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” I am sure the entire pressing situation will pass and we can make things change.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 29, 2011November 13, 2014Click 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)Earlier this week, a Maternal Health Dialogue Series event focused on maternal morbidities and discussed why they are often neglected even within the maternal health field. A full summary and video of the event will be available soon through the Wilson Center website.Fistula was one of the morbidities that was discussed at the event and was covered at the event by Karen Beattie of the Fistula Care Project. A photoessay from USAID, published this week, explores the work being done to address fistula in Guinea:The average Guinean woman will have six children during her lifetime, but due to the lack of obstetric care, many develop fistula, a painful injury that is especially traumatic due to the stigma associated with it…USAID is helping more than 1,500 women in Guinea access treatment for fistula and working with communities-women and men, secular and religious leaders-to understand, prevent, and treat fistula while better supporting those who have suffered from it.Share this:
Posted on February 1, 2013June 21, 2017By: Mariam Claeson, France Donnay and Melanie Walker, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationClick 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)This post is cross-posted from Impatient Optimists.Although it was intended to create space for the maternal health community to get together to discuss challenges and solutions so that we can improve programs, the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013: Improving Quality of Care in Arusha, Tanzania achieved much more than that. It was a momentum for change, inspiring a movement. What made it so special?The movementThe research presented at the conference helped to break through some of the false dichotomies in maternal, newborn and child health: care delivered at home versus at a health facility, focus on the mother versus the baby, urban versus rural poor, and sexual reproductive health versus maternal health. This discussion helped to move the agenda forward towards a common platform for maternal health.The plenary on “respectful” services brought to the fore the human rights, ethics, and quality of services perspectives of midwives, community groups and champions for governance and accountability. And the panel on urban maternal health brought in the social, economic determinants and the urban poor context.To create a comprehensive, unified movement and move the reproductive and maternal, newborn, and child health platform forward we also need to include nutrition, infectious diseases (malaria in pregnancy) and family planning, find opportunities and entry points for integration in antenatal care, intra-partum and post-partum interactions, and tackle the most difficult implementation barriers at local levels, often fueled by gender inequalities. This recognition, which was well captured at the large plenary sessions, made this conference an important milestone for many scientists, health providers, program managers, policymakers and advocates.The momentumA standing ovation followed Professor Mahmoud Fathalla’s presentation at the closing of the conference, as he brought us along on a historical journey dating back to the Lady of Laetoli who left the earliest known human footprints, 3.6 million years ago in Laetoli, Tanzania. He concluded by saying: “We thank and we appreciate; we regret and we apologize; we promise, and yes, we can.” The regrets refer to the fact that still 800 women die every day although women in the twenty-first century “do not have to give up their lives when they give us a new life”.We can save lives and appreciate the drop in maternal mortality by 33 percent between 1990 and 2010; and yes, we can do more.Also helping to create a momentum for change was the high level engagement from political leaders in the region, with Hon. Salma Kikwete, the First Lady of Tanzania, and Hon. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, the Vice President of Tanzania, attending the conference, and the contribution of the Minister of Health of Rwanda, Hon. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho. Broad representation across geographies, disciplines, and age groups, including young researchers and activists, helped fuel the momentum as well. The many scholarships that the Maternal Health Task Force had given to young researchers enabled them to travel to the conference and share their data.A vision for moving forwardThe meeting resulted in a manifesto which was presented by Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, to contribute to the platform for moving forward and to the discussions about new global health goals, post 2015.Included in the recommended actions going forward are: setting a new and challenging goal for maternal mortality post-2015; redefining the continuum of care to make women central to RMNCH, and include quality, HIV, malaria, and social determinants; reaching women who are socially excluded because of, for example, culture, geography, and education; listening to voices of women in policy and making sure women have a platform and power to shape their futures; addressing stillbirths and newborn mortality; strengthening measurement, information, and accountability about maternal outcomes; and, empowering women to connect to services when they need them through the power of mobile technology.The community is energized coming out of this successful gathering in Arusha. What happens next will be both exciting and challenging.Learn more about the conference and access the conference presentations at www.gmhc2013.com. Join the conference conversation on Twitter: #GMHC2013Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 5, 2015August 10, 2016Click 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)This year, International Women’s Day is inspiring action with the theme “Make it Happen”! Every year on March 8th, organizations and people around the world turn their thoughts and efforts to women as we celebrate their strength and power and work to address the disparities and challenges they still face.In commemoration of this day, the MHTF wants to share with you, our maternal health community, resources that will help us reflect on the tremendous impact women have on shaping health and society.New Policy BriefPutting Mothers and Babies First: Integrating Policies, Programs and Services – WISH 2015 Policy Briefing by Ana Langer, Joy Riggs-Perla, Mark Steedman and Mary Nell WegnerFrom the authors: “This policy briefing aims to build a case for integrating policies, programs and services in ways that improve the quality and accessibility of care for mothers and newborns. Service integration is a key strategy to sustain the current momentum. We examine the social and health burdens caused by ineffective care, the opportunities to provide more integrated care, and the actions that various key players can take to achieve a common goal: improving the health and wellbeing of all women and newborns.”International Women’s Day EventsSearch for International Women’s Day events in your country!Smart Economics: Women’s Reproductive Health presented at Women’s Health: Rewriting the Goals, Friday, March 6th at 11:25 am EST: Part of the Chicago Council for Global Affairs International Women’s Day Symposium, join with Purnima Mane from Pathfinder, Priya Agrawal from Merk for Mothers, and Jeni Klugman from Harvard Kennedy School to discuss the economic payoff and human rights imperative for investing in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Participate in Chicago or online!Resources on Empowerment and HealthThe influence of women’s empowerment on maternal health care utilization: Evidence from AlbaniaEmpowerment and use of antenatal care among women in Ghana: a cross-sectional studyIncreasing literate and illiterate women’s met need for contraception via empowerment: a quasi-experiment in rural IndiaWomen’s Empowerment and Contraceptive Use: The Role of Independent versus Couples’ Decision-Making, from a Lower Middle Income Country PerspectiveDevelopment of the Community Midwifery Education initiative and its influence on women’s health and empowerment in Afghanistan: a case studyWE-MEASR: A New Tool for Measuring Women’s Empowerment in Health Programs Join the conversation on Twitter!Follow @womensday, #makeithappen, #IWD2015, and #womensday on Twitter to follow and contribute to the conversation about empowering women!Share this:
Posted on December 8, 2015October 13, 2016By: Katherine Semrau, Director of the BetterBirth Program at Ariadne Labs, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Global Health EquityClick 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)Although great strides have been made, women and their newborns are still dying in childbirth at unacceptably high rates all over the world. I have seen firsthand the immense suffering within families and communities when these needless deaths occur. These deaths happen to otherwise healthy women, a tragedy impacting women, families and their communities. When mothers die in childbirth, the infants too have a greater likelihood of dying. At times, their babies are delivered stillborn, causing immense family grief.To help solve this problem, the World Health Organization has just launched the revised Safe Childbirth Checklist and an accompanying Implementation Guide for public download and dissemination. Until now, there was limited access to this tool as it was being piloted and adapted by 34 groups in 29 countries. The idea for the Safe Childbirth Checklist emerged from the success of the WHO’s Safe Surgery Checklist, which is now the WHO global standard of care and has been shown to reduce surgical complications and death by 18 to 47 percent.In coordination with the World Health Organization, Ariadne Labs is championing this new approach. Checklists have proven an invaluable tool in numerous high-risk industries such as airlines and construction. Every time you fly on an airplane, checklists are used to ensure that the basic, standard and essential practices are completed. The high-rises that fill our cities are built using checklists that ensure essential standards and steps are followed, in the right sequence.Over the years, many strategies have been deployed to prevent the death of laboring women and their newborns – and many have worked. Most interventions have focused on enhancing women’s access to health care facilities that can provide a skilled birth attendant. This approach has improved access to care, but that alone has not solved the problem. While maternal and neonatal death rates have dropped, we still have work to do. We now understand that the quality of care provided during childbirth is not meeting basic standard practices.BetterBirth coaches introduce WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist to their peers in Uttar Pradesh, IndiaThe WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC) includes basic standard practices and reflects the same principles as the Safe Surgery Checklist. It ensures clinicians do what we already know works best. The SCC includes 28 essential childbirth practices such as assessing maternal temperature and blood pressure, providing oxytocin within one minute of delivery and putting the mother and infant skin-to-skin (chest-to-chest) after delivery. The practices are grouped into four pause points during the birthing process—admission, just before pushing (or c-section), within one hour of delivery and discharge—and can make a significant impact on quality of care.I believe the strength of a checklist lies in its simplicity. The Safe Childbirth Checklist does not require expensive technology or much additional time to implement. It does, however, require commitment from birth attendants and facility leadership to use the checklist with each and every laboring woman.Our testing of the Safe Childbirth Checklist has shown us that it makes a difference. Specifically the checklist helps clinicansfocus on the basic care that every woman and newborn should receive,organize the labor and delivery room with appropriate supplies,streamline basic practices, andhighlight critical life-saving basic practices.Like any public health intervention, a checklist cannot be airlifted in to a childbirth facility and dropped off. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” said Peter Drucker, and I agree. In essence, a checklist has to make sense and be achievable in the facility where it is introduced. Adaptation of the Safe Childbirth Checklist is essential to ensure that it can be used easily and effectively.As part of the accompanying Safe Childbirth Checklist Implementation Guide, we, along with our partners at Population Services International, identified a strategy that has been effective in introducing and adapting the checklist. Engaging facility staff and leadership, launching the checklist and supporting its use over time are critical steps to ensuring successful and sustainable use of the checklist.The process starts with a commitment. Then, through consistent use, the checklist can create profound, lasting and systemic behavior change and a cultural shift in a health facility. It is hard work: Implementing simple tools is not easy. Creating this kind of change requires buy-in and acceptance and a willingness to listen, test, adapt and follow the checklist consistently.We have the continued opportunity and moral obligation to reduce and even stop maternal and neonatal deaths, especially since most deaths that occur within the first 24 hours of childbirth are preventable. From country to country, the reasons why 300,000 women and 2.7 million babies die every year—often hemorrhage, obstructed labor, infections and neonatal asphyxia— are consistent and well-documented. These are problems that we can solve, whether they occur in India, the United States, or Namibia.I am hopeful that we can save the lives of more and more women and their newborns through a focus on improving the quality of care. The Safe Childbirth Checklist makes clear the essential practices for every woman and newborn. The systemic change we seek starts with one health facility, one birth attendant and one laboring mother and her infant at a time.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on March 16, 2016October 12, 2016By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, 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)While improving access to maternal and newborn health services and strengthening quality of care are crucial strides in decreasing the global maternal and neonatal mortality ratios, assessing health outcomes accurately and efficiently is an inextricable step. Reliable health information systems and audit tools allow us to monitor patients’ health, identify warning signs, and prevent complications. These mechanisms enable the maternal health community to track progress, document success, and identify gaps in health systems, which are critical actions in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.To this end, the Maternal Health Innovations Fund, a project of the MHTF, recently supported several projects in collaboration with The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and Aga Khan University (AKU) that evaluated maternal health information systems and tools in Pakistan.Icddr,b and AKU have published 10 knowledge briefs summarizing findings from several studies that took place in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Southern Kyrgystan, and Pakistan. The knowledge briefs identify urgent needs in maternal health, highlight improvements in the field, and offer recommendations for addressing gaps in access, quality, and measurement of care based on the implementation research conducted under this project.Two of the projects addressed measurement challenges within maternal health:Rapid Appraisal of District Health Information System: This study assessed the efficiency and use of Pakistan’s newly revised District Health Information System. Researchers noted that although the system is well-established and functioning, areas of improvement include more refresher trainings for staff, increased health facility supplies, and additional feedback on reports.Perinatal Audit Tools: Researchers found that the use of the National Early Warning Score sheet, a tool that measures physiological markers such as heart and respiratory rates, improved maternal and newborn health outcomes and provided medical staff with early warning feedback at a Karachi maternal and newborn hospital.Learn more about the Maternal Health Innovations Fund and read the rest of the knowledge briefs >> Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
I have a friend who was recently accused of failing to pay one of his contractors on time. Because my friend is a well-known public figure, the contractor decided to post a video on YouTube airing out her grievances. To date, the video has almost 18,000 views. I watched most of the hour-long video and came to the conclusion that both my friend and the contractor were at fault. She completed the work without a contract–and, indeed, based on the time stamps and screen shots that the contractor shared, my friend did not pay her in a timely manner.But that’s not the interesting part of this story. After watching the clip, I decided to read the comments. That’s when I started to see a pattern emerging. Several people were intimating or stating directly that the contractor was overreacting because she shouldn’t have expected to be paid in a timely manner.One commenter wrote: “Ok. Let’s be clear [if you do] any freelance work, contract work [you should] expect your money to be late. . .this is widely known in the industry.”Several people liked the comment, but no one disagreed with the commenter. As someone who has experienced a late payment or two over the course of my freelance career, the callous assumption that a freelancer should expect late payments rubbed me the wrong way. It’s one thing if something is an outlier and it is something totally different if something becomes so normalized that no one questions whether it is ethical (or legal).This led me to think about how other people’s perceptions of what freelancers do or deserve may affect the way freelancers are treated, including whether it is accepted that late payments are job hazards, similar to the potential hazards that other professionals must contend with. Curious as to whether this belief was an anomaly, I reached out to some of my freelancing colleagues. Several agreed that they had grown used to late payments. One even stated, “It comes with the territory.”But it shouldn’t.Not only should we not accept this, but we also need to make sure that we are putting some safety nets in place to make sure that we, as freelancers, are not contributing to the idea that fair and timely compensation is reserved for W-2 employees.Get it in writingOne of the most egregious mistakes that a freelancer or contractor can make is work without a contract. Phone conversations are great; so are e-mails and text messages. But you must insist upon a legally binding contract, even for small amounts.If possible, have a lawyer review it or better yet, have a lawyer create one for you. There are some great contract templates online, but it never hurts to make sure that the contract’s language and clauses are applicable in your state. Lastly, make sure both parties sign and date it and keep copies in a safe place.Payment due dateI have heard of instances when late payments were the result of a misunderstanding or logistical misstep: An email recipient may be on vacation or your contact person may have left the organization. These are innocent mistakes that can be easily rectified.But what about the not-so-innocent “mistakes”? First, know what you will and will not accept in terms of payment due dates. Second, don’t assume that your pay schedule will be the same for every client. My recommendation is that you ask before you begin. I have one client who pays 60 days net. Two months is a long time to wait for a payment, but that is his system and I know that before I begin any projects for him. A different freelancer may decide to decline because that payment schedule does not work for her.Additionally, if your client uses an invoicing system and they stipulate that you will be paid 10 days after you invoice them, make sure that you are clear about whether that is 10 business days or 10 calendar days. If not, you may find yourself waiting around for a check that has not been mailed yet.Most importantly, to ensure that everyone is clear about expectations, embed the due date and all appropriate language in the contract. When determining when you expect to be paid and even how the payment will be made, be as explicit as possible.Failure to make timely payment clauseWhen I first started, I used a pretty generic contract, but over time, I realized the importance of having my lawyer add a clause that stipulated what the consequences were for failure to pay by the stated date. I use a specific dollar amount as a fine, but I have seen other contracts that indicate that additional interest will be added on after the due date until the contract is paid in full.This penalty can serve as an added incentive for a client who may be inclined to dismiss the importance of making a payment on time. (Of course, there is still a place for grace for clients who may be experiencing some extenuating circumstances, but that should be handled on a case by case basis.)In terms of recourse when a client continues to pay late or refuses to pay, I recommend that you consult someone who is familiar with the contract laws in your state. Freelancing isn’t free and your payments shouldn’t be late either.
Post navigation Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedEverything You Need to Know About Opening a Savings AccountNovember 29, 2018In “Saving”How to Organize Your Financial AccountsDecember 27, 2018In “Financial Literacy”How to Save Money in Just 6 Simple StepsOctober 31, 2018In “Saving” At my other job, I write about food. Just as personal finance writers often return to favorite topics like Roth IRAs and not buying expensive coffee, every food writer eventually writes about their recommended basic set of kitchen tools.If you haven’t read one of these articles recently, you can guess what goes into the toolbox: basics like a knife, a saucepan, a wooden spoon, and a Pyrex measuring cup.You can’t cook literally everything with those items, but you can cook enough great food to keep your mind off a $1600 solid brass duck press for a while. Maybe forever.Your basic set of financial accounts can be nearly as simple. Here’s the starter kit everyone needs.You may need more accounts on top of these, and you might even get by with less, but start here and use this as a checklist.If you’re missing an account on the list, think about whether opening one would make your finances simpler or more secure.If you have a bunch of accounts not on the list, well, it might be time to get out that chef’s knife and start chopping.The basic four1. A checking account for paying billsYour paycheck gets deposited here, along with any other income.From this account you’ll pay your housing, car, utility, insurance, school tuition, and any other bills that show up every month (or less). You’ll also set up an automatic transfer from this account to…2. A checking account for daily spendingThis can be at the same bank as account #1 or a different bank. Since the only deposits will be coming in from account #1, this is a good candidate for opening at an online bank.This account is for daily spending on groceries, entertainment, dining out, minor household items, and so on. You can spend this account down to nearly zero, knowing it will be regularly replenished from account #1.Why two checking accounts, when I said this was about simplifying?Because in my experience, switching from a single spending account to two separate spending accounts with different purposes had an immediate positive effect on my family’s finances.We went from worrying about why the checking account was always empty to knowing exactly how much we could spend without endangering our ability to pay upcoming bills.And because you can add both accounts to Mint and see the balances anytime, it’s not much more trouble than a single account.3. An emergency fundThis will most likely be an FDIC-insured savings account, ideally one that pays a little interest (no bank account pays more than a little interest these days) and is not too easy to get to.An online bank where it takes two or three days to get the money should be fine. Few emergencies require a large amount of cash immediately.Your emergency fund is there to cover unexpected medical bills, car repairs, or unemployment.Why keep it in a separate account? Because if you keep it in account #1 or #2, you’re more likely to spend it on a non-emergency. Don’t even try to deny it.You can squeeze out a little more interest without taking additional risk by getting creative with your emergency fund. Here are a few ideas.4. A retirement accountThis could be a 401(k), an IRA or Roth IRA, or any of the rest of the alphabet soup of lesser-known retirement accounts.Most families will end up having multiple retirement accounts (one spouse’s 401(k), the other spouse’s Roth IRA, and so on), but one is infinitely better than none.If you’re looking to open your first retirement account and don’t have a $1000 or more to start with, check our guide to investing with very little money.One more for the self-employedIf you’re self-employed, first of all, your retirement account should be one designed for self-employed people, such as a Solo 401(k). You’ll also need one more account to keep yourself out of tax trouble:5. A quarterly tax accountIf you work for a boss and receive a W-2, your income and Social Security/Medicare taxes are automatically withheld from your paycheck. If you work for yourself, no such luck.Plenty of freelancers and small business owners shoot themselves in the financial foot every year by failing to pay their quarterly taxes.Everyone who pays quarterlies should accumulate the money in a separate account designated for the purpose, and should set aside a portion of every check.You can connect that account directly to the IRS via EFTPS.gov and pay online in seconds.What’s missing?Notice what’s missing from the list? An old-fashioned non-emergency savings account.A savings account can be handy for saving up for short- to medium-term goals, but the best interest checking accounts pay nearly as much interest as savings accounts.The savings account at one major online bank, for example, pays 0.95% interest, while the checking account pays 0.75%.And reward checking accounts can pay more than any savings account, if you follow the rules.Now, with that out of the way, what should I make for dinner? I have an idea, but it involves $1600 and a very unhappy duck.Matthew Amster-Burton is a personal finance columnist at Mint.com. Find him on Twitter @Mint_Mamster.
Did you know Giving USA reported that in 2018, Americans donated over $410 billion dollars?! It’s around this time of year especiailly that giving back becomes top of mind for many. Whether it’s for a particular occasion or we’re looking… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,Open enrollment season is here! We’re expecting to receive a big packet from human resources with all the options and benefits that our employers’ offer. While I won’t say that this is an exciting thing, we are eager to go over… Full Story,What are some of the biggest lessons you received about money growing up? For me, a few things stand out. We didn’t get too many formal lectures about money, but from time to time, I’d get a lesson sprinkled in here… Full Story,As the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean… Full Story,While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have… Full Story,How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays? For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on… Full Story,It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few… Full Story,How much does your family spend on food? If you’re like most, food is one of your top three expenses (the other two being housing and transportation). While it’s an essential expense for sure, but when digging around those receipts,… Full Story,If you’re a parent, helping your kids avoid or minimize college debt is a goal you’d like to help them tackle. Right now the average price for a public four-year college is $25,290 in-state ($40,940 out of state) while a… Full Story
We know you love Mint, and Mint loves you right back. That’s why we’ve brought a refreshed look and feel that features a sleek design, added benefits, and a simplified view of what’s important with your money.This month, Mint is rolling out a new app experience for Android users, one that iOS users have been enjoying since the Fall. Featuring exclusive data-driven Mintsights™ to help existing (and new!) users effortlessly stay on top of their savings, expenses and budgets. The refreshed app will intelligently use all of your financial data to unlock powerful money insights and money-saving offers and will be available to all Mint users in the coming months.We heard from customers that they wanted to learn more about how to take their financial information and apply actionable steps to help them reach their goals.Well, guess what? We listened and now Android MintSights, and soon to be iOS MintSights, will use machine learning technology to deliver predictive money-saving offers and actionable insights based on your personal financial history. This means you’ll see specific insights, recommendations and offers that will help you take your financial success to the next level.We’re excited to introduce you to the new Mintsights™ feature – the tool will grow with you over time to help you save more money and find outstanding offers from our trusted partners. Mint is the only app that can help unlock powerful money insights and money-saving offers personalized to your unique situation at your fingertips. Seeing your profile in one place is helpful – receiving personalized insights and offers is even better!Additionally, the updated design will reorganize your financial data, ultimately cutting down on steps you must take to find information and elevating the most important information for your finances.Current Mint users will continue to enjoy existing features including bill tracking, budgeting, savings, investments, and checking your credit scores. First-time users will access the new features at Mint.com or download the mobile app.Now, let’s take the app for a spin!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedAnnouncement: Mint Has a Fresh New Look on iOSAugust 27, 2018In “Updates”Jessica Naziri of TechSesh on the New Mint for iOS LookSeptember 25, 2018In “Budgeting”Reminder: Mint Bill Payment Feature No Longer SupportedJune 21, 2018In “Updates” Post navigation
This week, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board convenes in Zambia for its final meeting of the year. Zambia is a milestone meeting for the GCF Board, as a pipeline of projects is expected to emerge.After initially accrediting seven institutions earlier this year, the Board has now accredited 20 entities (including five national institutions) that the GCF will channel money through, and this is this first time it is faced with approving proposals for specific activities. Are these proposals ambitious enough? Do they contribute to a paradigm shift in developing countries? Or do they fall short?These questions, among others, are some of the most important that the Board will face this week. Four issues in particular will be important to prioritize:1) Approve high-quality proposals that indicate the kind of paradigm-shifting activities that the GCF should support.The Board will have eight project proposals to consider at the meeting, covering a range of adaptation and mitigation activities, from climate-resilient infrastructure in Bangladesh to distributed renewable energy in Rwanda and Kenya. It is encouraging to see a strong emphasis on adaptation (at least six of the proposals have an adaptation dimension to them) and a focus on energy efficiency and energy access in mitigation. The Board should consider each of these proposals individually to determine how innovative they are, how well they contribute to a paradigm shift, what added value the GCF brings by financing them, whether relevant standards and safeguards have been considered, and whether the activities clearly articulate a path for success. For example, in some proposals it is unclear to what extent affected stakeholders have been consulted in the design stages of the project. Others articulate innovative approaches, but need further detail on how financial structures will be operationalized, and who will be responsible for certification, monitoring and more. The Board should explore the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal and focus on approving high quality projects in order to set a good precedent from the outset.2) Strengthen national institutions to access climate finance.The GCF was founded on principles of country ownership and direct access. This means that strengthening national institutions, both in terms of their ability to access finance and their capacities to plan and implement transformational activities, must be a priority for the Fund. However, of the 20 institutions that the GCF can channel funds through, only five are national developing country institutions. The GCF needs to achieve a balance of working with national institutions and international or multilateral institutions. Supporting more effective readiness activities is critical to achieving this balance. National implementing entities encounter significant hurdles in meeting fiduciary standards, environmental and social standards, and gender policy considerations. The lack of coherent and coordinated policy frameworks that can guide the development of transformational pipelines is also a challenge that readiness efforts need to address.In Zambia, it’s important that the Board:Explicitly address the question of balance in the accreditation strategy and connect this to improvements to the readiness programm;Request the Secretariat to work closely and coordinate with other readiness partners so that it is adding value to national readiness efforts, which will require increased Secretariat capacity; andIncrease support for the readiness programme by $14 million, recognizing the need to disburse readiness funding more efficiently than the trend this year (only two of 17 committed requests have been disbursed).3) Ensure transparency and participation in approving proposals and accreditation applications.The GCF has recently begun providing more access to information, but accreditation and proposal approval processes still need improvement. For example, information pertaining to accreditation applications and proposals are only released two or three weeks before a Board decision, which undermines meaningful stakeholder engagement and informed decision-making. In order to improve current processes, the GCF should:Aim to be the “gold standard” for transparency and stakeholder engagement in accreditation and proposal processes;Disclose information about accreditation applicants at early stages so that the Secretariat can conduct appropriate consultations and due diligence. This includes informing the public when a potential entity applies, formalizing a practice of disclosing which applicants are under consideration at a given Board meeting, and having public comment periods for applications; andMake proposals and concept notes publicly available with comment periods before the GCF conducts its internal due diligence. This practice is consistent with the Adaptation Fund. In addition, due diligence assessments should also be available for public review.4) Establish a clear process for developing a Strategic Plan for the GCF.The GCF needs a strategy to effectively spend the $10 billion that countries have committed to it. With so many institutions channeling climate finance, the GCF has an opportunity to identify what is unique about its role, and how it can improve or add to what countries are already doing. For example, achieving a paradigm shift in developing countries requires more than simply identifying a good climate project or programme. It requires understanding the development, investment and climate context of a country, aggregating and prioritizing activities with potential, and identifying the financial arrangements that will maximize impact. The GCF needs to decide the situations in which it will play a catalytic role in financing, where it can invest in shifting behavior, and where complementary actions will make the difference in achieving transformation. While this requires further assessment on national and regional levels, the Board should, at a minimum, commit to developing a plan and establish a process to execute it between now and the next Board meeting in 2016.The Board is also expected to consider the GCF’s monitoring and accountability policy and a final information disclosure policy, both of which are important issues that should not be given short shrift.The Zambia Board meeting is a significant milestone before the UN climate talks in Paris. The international community is looking forward to the first batch of proposals, and for the GCF to show that it can deliver finance to developing countries. Will the proposals communicate ambition and transformation? Will the Board commit to improving readiness efforts to support national institutions? Will we see the beginnings of a paradigm shift? Or will it just be business as usual?
To be sure, the elephant in the room is the United States. The world’s second-largest GHG emitter has made no contributions to the GCF since 2016, at which point it had contributed a third of its pledge. Stakeholders we interviewed stressed the need to stay engaged with the United States, the country that our model suggests should make the biggest contributions to the GCF.Another feature of the Calculator relates to other countries, which might join the mix of contributors; you can experiment with the possibilities in our Calculator. If developing countries decide to contribute, especially those that are already major emitters, it must be clear that these contributions will be voluntary and will not count towards the international finance goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year from 2020 onwards by developed countries.Strengthening Governance to Deliver ResultsDrip irrigation project in Malawi. Flickr/IFPRI The most recent GCF Board meeting in South Korea in July 2018 ended in gridlock. The Board had $1 billion in projects in the queue, and shockingly approved none. Project proposals from countries all around the world (like Tonga, India, Guatemala, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire) are still waiting their turn. The Board also failed to advance preparations for the replenishment process.This is just a recent example of deficiencies in the GCF’s governance system, which undermine confidence stakeholders’ confidence in the GCF – including developing and developed countries. This loss of confidence will potentially restrain contributors from making new funds available to fill the coffers of GCF, subsequently affecting developing countries’ ambition to contribute to the timely implementation of the Paris Agreement.This lack of progress corroborates concerns about the GCF’s governance interviewed stakeholders shared with us. We identified several shortcomings. We think three cross-cutting solutions can unlock the gridlock:Apply consensus, not unanimity, to decisions. The GCF has interpreted consensus to mean each and every one of the 24 members has to agree with a proposed decision. Consensus is important, but not at all costs: if some Board members have reservations with a proposed decision, the Board should still be able to move forward through a mechanism for decision-making in the absence of consensus (as provided for in the GCF’s governing document.) This is essential to remain a reliable partner and to be able to accelerate climate action in developing countries.Introduce a Board self-assessment mechanism. The Board needs to work in a collegial, structured and results-focused manner; it is important to assess from time to time whether deliberations are living up to these standards. Like many other institutions, we recommend both an external assessment and a self-assessment of Board performance.Strengthen the Board’s role as a representative body. Most stakeholders noted a lack of clarity on what role Board members have, which countries selected them, and what responsibilities the hold. A more transparent system for selecting Board members, accounting for their positions on policy issues and clarity about their mandate, would rectify these ambiguities, as would better efforts to connect Board members with the countries they represent.We Need the GCF. The GCF Needs Us.For the GCF to work, it needs predictable funding and governance reform. Predictable funding and governance reform can only come from committed leaders, who support climate action and from that perspective are willing to support a dynamic and transparent GCF, which can take risks for the sake of promoting bold action. Time is not on our side, leaders need to act to make sure that GCF can make up its promise to support transformational change in developing countries. The Green Climate Fund’s mandate couldn’t be more crucial: accelerating climate action in developing countries by supporting transformational investments in adaptation and emissions reduction. Projects already financed by the GCF range from solar power in Mongolia and improved water management in Colombia, to climate-resilient agriculture in Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda.However, the GCF is facing a crisis of confidence. Its most recent Board meeting, in July, was spectacularly unproductive, and its executive director left the organization. This is only the latest example of a broader problem—a GCF that in the eyes of many can be a lot more effective and efficient. More resources and strengthened governance are fundamental to restoring confidence in the GCF, as we lay out in a new working paper, Setting the Stage for the GCF’s First Replenishment. After speaking with 86 stakeholders—including board members from developing and developed countries—we have recommendations for strengthening key aspects of the GCF.An Uncertain Future2014 meetings yielded $10.3 billion pledged to the GCF. Flickr/German Development Institute As expected, applying the formula will require most developed countries to increase their contributions. For leading countries—Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom—each of whom exercised exemplary global leadership in the initial round of funding, giving more than the minimum—we recommend they at least match their ambitious contributions in the replenishment.More details on what our formula would imply for each of the contributing countries can be found in our GCF Contributions Calculator. In 2014, contributors pledged $10.3 billion to the GCF, making it the biggest multilateral climate fund. This money is used to stimulate environmentally sustainable economic growth in developing countries by funding projects like renewable energy facilities and storm shelters that reduce emissions and adapt a country to the changing climate.Now, four years after the initial contributions were pledged, the GCF is getting close to allocating most of its resources and triggering a new round of funding (“replenishment”). However, given the GCF’s crisis of confidence, uncertainty looms over the process.That is a problem, for the present as well as the future. Developing countries have prepared their nationally-determined contributions (NDCs, which are national climate plans) with the expectation that–in addition to their own domestic budget resources–they can count on financial support from developed countries, including through the GCF. Given the longer-term objectives of the NDCs, good planning and timely implementation are key; this in turn requires predictable external financial support.Hence, replenishing the fund and providing predictability to that funding is very important. The question is, how should contributing countries split the bill?Splitting the BillHow should the financial burden be allocated? The same way you might approach dividing up a dinner check among friends: agree on an objective, transparent, and fair way to determine who should pay for what.In a similar manner, contributors might apply objective criteria to assess their contributions to the GCF. In our paper, to advance the conversation, we designed a formula that combines three objective criteria: gross national income (GNI), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and GHG emissions per capita. This is just one suggestion; the important thing is that any way of thinking through what countries contribute should remain based on objective data. You can interact with our methodology using our Contributions Calculator:This formula is a suggestion, not a recommendation, and the most important takeaway is that more predictable funding is needed.
Missed last week’s episode? Headlines Where is search going? What are microformats and the semantic web? Binghas a different user interface, and some features allowing you tosearch for photos similar to a specific image result, as well as an advancedtravel search engine Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack @ and registering for Forum Fodder Inbound Marketing University . Does this encourage texting while you drive? Marketing Takeaway : SEOmoz is an IMU Partner, and Rand is an SEO Professor CBS Outdoor merges text with billboards : Brush up on your SEO by checking out search engine optimization kit SEOmoz.org Google Wave Drips With Ambition. A New Communication Platform For A New Web. What is “Wave”? How will people use it? How to interact on Twitter – @ Episode #42 – May 29nd, 2009 mvolpe : Post your HubSpot TV questions in the : Wave is still in development stage, and not worth thinking about from a marketing standpoint. Download our Using text messaging all CBS Outdoor billboards can allow people to send a text message with a keyword to get more info . Sign up for free (Episode Length: 26 minutes, 24 seconds) forums Remember to subscribe in iTunes: Inbound Marketing University Inboundmarketing.com asks “What are the steps to optimize images for Google image search?” randfish :Make sure you are publishing content in a semantic/microformat-compatible way. Blogs and websites built on CSS are a good start. Did Google Change SEO Yesterday? The Future of Search Marketing (May 22nd, 2009) Special Guest: SEO Guru Rand Fishkin from Marketing Tip of the Week Brandon Mulnix from Modern Photographics Search Engine Optimization Kit Microsoft Announces Bing.com, Makes Its First Serious Challenge to Google’s Dominance Billboards Become Conversational Intro SEOmoz Google Does the Wave. What is it? Marketing Takeaway Learn more about how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search engines so you get found by more qualified prospects. Closing : You can even try to make traditional advertising more interactive and measurable. HubSpot TV – Lose Control of Your Marketing Originally published May 30, 2009 11:16:00 AM, updated July 04 2013 Marketing Takeaway : Play around with relevant search terms and see how your website shows up as compared to Google Marketing Takeaway http://itunes.hubspot.tv File name, ALT tags on images Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave. Microsoft Announces New Search Engine – Bing.com
Juventus Allegri promises Juventus will compete with Champions League ‘favourites’ Goal Last updated 1 year ago 09:47 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juventus UEFA Champions League Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Videos The Juventus manager praised his team for advancing to the tournament’s quarter-finals, though he acknowledged a difficult road ahead Massilmiliano Allegri is pleased Juventus have made the quarterfinals of the Champions League, but has cautioned his team have a tough road ahead.Juventus came back from a goal down in the second leg against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, behind a three-minute pair of goals by the Argentine duo Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala to advance past Spurs 4-3 on aggregate.The victory sends Juventus into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the third time in four years. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Allegri, who managed Juventus to the Champions League final last season, is pleased to have continued his success in the tournament.”First an foremost we’re really happy that we won tonight and that we made it to the last eight,” Allegri said. “I’ve always said since I first came to Juventus that our ambition is to go as far as possible.”However, Juventus now sit in a top-eight that features the likes of runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, and Real Madrid, the latter of who have won the tournament the last two seasons. They may also be joined in the last-eight by Barcelona and Bayern Munich, meaning Juventus may well find themselves matched up against one of those sides in the next round.And Allegri is preaching caution, talking up the quality of the ‘favorites’ though promising his side will compete no matter the opposition.”But you just have to look around you,” Allegri added. “We’re in the last eight and there’s some really good teams. People talk about Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are perhaps up there with the favorites, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to compete.”Juventus has advanced to the Champions League final in two of the last four seasons. In each of those appearances, they dispatched one of Real Madrid or Barcelona in the knockout stages, only to lose to the other in the final.
Manchester City Madrid were never dead – Danilo not surprised by PSG slaying Dom Farrell 08:43 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City UEFA Champions League Manchester City v Basel PSG v Real Madrid Real Madrid PSG Basel The Brazilian spent two seasons at the Bernabeu before moving to Manchester City, and he laughed off suggestions of his former club’s decline Danilo insists anyone who wrote off Real Madrid before their comprehensive Champions League defeat of Paris Saint-Germain was foolish to do so.The Brazilian full-back left the Santiago Bernabeu last July to sign for Manchester City and joined his former team-mates in the quarter-finals on Wednesday – a 2-1 home defeat to Basel for Pep Guardiola’s side somewhat academic after a resounding 4-0 triumph in the first leg.Danilo featured as a substitute in Madrid’s 2016 Champions League triumph over Atletico Madrid and was part of Zinedine Zidane’s squad as they retained the trophy in Cardiff against Juventus last season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Big-spending PSG were seen as a significant obstacle for a side off the pace in LaLiga this time around but goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro sealed a 2-1 win at Parc Des Princes on Tuesday, rounding off a 5-2 aggregate victory.”Only those who didn’t know Real Madrid could think they were dead,” Danilo told reporters.”Madrid have won the last two cups and those people said there were dead. Madrid have history, fans and you have to respect them.”Nevertheless, the 26-year-old would have no qualms over runaway Premier League leaders City being paired with the 12-time European champions in Friday’s quarter-final draw.”This is our goal, to fight with the big teams,” he added. “We are working day by day to get big things.”It’s going be difficult and we are going to face big teams from now but we keep working to achieve big things.”We can’t choose which one we play against, so we have to be ready and try to win.”
Touch Football Australia invites suitable applicants to fill the vacant position of Media Coordinator in the National Office in Canberra.The position is responsible for generating profile for the sport and is the primary conduit for communications with members. Key among the duties is the establishment and maintenance of a national network primarily of volunteers and part time workers to raise the profile of the sport at grass roots level. Media liaison and sponsor servicing at major events is also a key function.A Job Description is available here: MEDIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING CO-ORDINATORThis position would suit a recent graduate from a relevant tertiary course.By COB Wednesday 5 July 2006, applicants should email a brief overview of their qualifications and experience as they relate to the selection criteria, together with a resume containing contact details of referees to email@example.com For more info please contact Kevin Thompson on 6285 2703.