Project Management

Publishing

Entries in David South Consulting (6)

Tuesday
Jun052018

Mongolia Prepares for a Magazine Explosion | 1998

Publication: UB Post

Date: 08/09/1998

Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) - Mongolian newsstands are bursting at the seams. But while the content of the country's publications is varied, their form is not. Newsprint rules this country's publishing industry. The few glossy magazines for sale are imports from Russia.

When the democratic revolution unleashed the tide of free expression in the early 1990s, a flood of newspapers poured forth. It made sense. The cheap-and-cheerful technology of newsprint is low-tech, accessible and inexpensive. Suddenly everyone could be a publisher. 

But Mongolia's increasingly sophisticated media landscape is about to go "glossy". Tomorrow (September 9) sees the launch of Ger (Home), Mongolia's first on-line magazine. A bilingual quarterly funded by the United Nations, it combines entertainment - articles on the changing sexual attitudes of young Mongolians and the country's vibrant pop scene - with information on the work of the UN and other NGOs in Mongolia.

"We want something that will tell the stories of Mongolians and their experiences over the last eight years - both to Mongolians and to the rest of the world," says David South, communications coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme.

This month also brings the premiere issue of Tusgal (Strike), billed as the first full-colour, general-interest magazine in the new Mongolia. Published by Mongol News Company - the privately owned media group whose stable of publications includes the daily newspaper Onoodor and The UB Post - it offers a lively mix of sport, culture and celebrity articles, also aimed primarily at the young.

These two publications are just the top of the stack. Mongolia's two best-known printing houses, Admon and Interpress, are said to be working on titles of their own.

Mongolia's quick-to-learn capitalists see a gap - and they want to fill it. 

"In Mongolia there are many newspapers, but no world-class magazines," says Tusgal's editor-in-chief, Do. Tsendjav. "On the streets you can see a lot of publications that aren't exactly magazines but you can't call newspapers, either - newspapers that appear every 10 days or two weeks.

"We want to fill this space. We want to produce the first colour magazine that will reach world standards, something close to Time or Newsweek." 

"There's an enormous thirst for quality journalism, quality publications that are interesting to look at, top photojournalism - all the things newspapers don't cover," adds South. 

"We've seen newspapers moving to more colour, more photographs, and that shows a desire for quality."

That quality comes at a price. Tusgal, with 70 colour pages, will sell for between Tg 1500 and Tg 2000 - not much cheaper than an American publication like Time, and too expensive for many Mongolians. 

With only 1000 Internet subscribers in Mongolia, Ger has an even smaller market within the country - though South is quick to point out, the UN has established public-access Internet centres in Ulaanbaatar and several aimags. 

And he says a print version is planned to follow. 

"Distribution is the big problem right now," he says. 

"We have to see how we can organize distribution to reach the whole country. I know more magazines will be launched soon in Mongolia, and hope a distribution network may grow out of that."

The editors know Mongolia's magazine market and magazine technology are in their infancy. Although companies like Admon and Interpress get more sophisticated equipment by the month, the capacity to produce quality publications is still limited - the first issue of Tusgal has been printed outside Mongolia. 

Human resources need to develop as well, Tsendjav admits. 

"To produce a monthly magazine you need highly qualified journalists. We don't have that right now. We're still seeking them out."

But he is confident this will change - and quickly, too, if the pace of development in the past eight years is anything to go by. 

"During socialism, Mongolia had many magazines, but it all stopped after 1990," notes Tsendjav. "It was a question of economics.

"At first we don't think we can earn money from this. If you want to make money you have to wait two or three years. So what we are aiming for at first is to build a readership.

"I think in two or three years, living standards will improve. People will have more money to spend on things like magazines. But we don't want to wait for people to get enough money. We want to be the first, so people will develop an interest.

"There will be competition. Nowadays a lot of business-people understand the importance of the media. I welcome competition. It'll make us work harder. It's good for everybody."

From In Their Own Words: Selected Writings by Journalists on Mongolia, 1997-1999

© David South Consulting 2018 

Tuesday
Jul112017

Stories @ David South Consulting | 1991 - 2017

I worked as a journalist for magazines and newspapers from 1991 to 1997 in Canada and the United Kingdom and as a radio host for a weekly spoken word interview programme, Word of Mouth (CKLN-FM). This included working as an investigative journalist for Now Magazine, “Toronto’s alternative news and entertainment source”, as a Medical and Health Correspondent for Today’s Seniors, and as an investigative journalist and reporter for two Financial Times newsletters, New Media Markets and Screen Finance.  

From 2007, I researched and wrote stories for two United Nations publications: e-newsletter Development Challenges, South-South Solutions and magazine Southern Innovator. Links to a small sample of published stories by theme are below: 


Themes

 

Health and Medical

African Health Data Revolution

African Technology Tackles Health Needs

Changing Health Care Careers a Sign of the Times

Feds Call for AIDS, Blood System Inquiry: Some Seniors Infected

Health Care in Danger

Health Care on the Cutting Block: Ministry Hopes for Efficiency with Search and Destroy Tactics

Mobile Phone Microscopes to Revolutionize Health Diagnostics

Safe Healthcare is Good Business and Good Health

Take Two Big Doses of Humanity and Call Me in the Morning

Taking Medicine to the People: Four Innovators in Community Health

Thai Organic Supermarkets Seek to Improve Health

US Health Care Businesses Chasing Profits into Canada

Innovation and Innovators

Frugal Innovation Trend Meets Global South's Innovation Culture

Innovation from the Global South

Innovation Villages Tackling MDGs

Innovations in Green Economy: Top Three Agenda

Innovative Stoves to Help the Poor

Kenyan Mobile Phone Innovations

Next Generation of Innovation for the Grassroots

Technological Innovation Alive in Brazil

International Development

Aid Organization Gives Overseas Hungry Diet Food: Diet Giant Slim-Fast Gets Tax Write-Off for Donating Products

Philippine Conference Tackles Asia's AIDS Crisis

Starting from Scratch: the Challenge of Transition

State of Decay: Haiti Turns to Free-Market Economics and the UN to Save Itself

Traffic Signs Bring Safety to the Streets

Investigative Journalism

Counter Accusations Split Bathurst Quay Complex: Issues of Sexual Assault, Racism at Centre of Local Dispute

False Data Makes Border Screening Corruptible

New Student Group Seeks 30 Percent Tuition Hike

Somali Killings Reveal Ugly Side of Elite Regiment

Study Says Jetliner Air Quality Poses Health Risks: CUPE Takes on Airline Industry with Findings

Top Reporters Offer Military Media Handling Tips

Science

Affordable Space Programmes Becoming Part of South's Development

African Botanicals to be Used to Fight Against Parasites

African Digital Laser Breakthrough Promises Future Innovation

African Farming Wisdom Now Scientifically Proven

An Innovator's 'Big Chicken Agenda' for Africa

China Pushing Frontiers of Medical Research

New 3D Technology Makes Innovation Breakthough and Puts Mind Over Matter

Putting Worms to Work

 

The front page of the David South Consulting website.
Bottom banner of the David South Consulting website.
© David South Consulting 2017
Sunday
Feb122017

Changing health care careers a sign of the times

 

By David South

Hospital News (Canada), June 1992

Ontario’s health care system is in the midst of a big change. But where are the new jobs going to be and how can health care workers prepare for the coming crunch?

“Anybody who thought they could progress through the health care system until retirement is in for a shock,” said Ruth Robinson, a national health care consultant for Peat Marwick Stevenson and Kellogg management consultants. 

Radical changes are taking place in the health care system and it looks like traditionally safe occupations are in for a shake-up. 

“Hospitals are being pressured to change fundamentally,” said Ms. Robinson. “The net effect is fewer jobs. A lot of people will have to think about new careers.”

In the Ministry of Health working document entitled Goals and Strategic Priorities, released in January, the fundamental shift from treatment to disease prevention and health promotion is laid out in generalities. 

The goals range from health equity for aboriginals, women, children and AIDS patients to better management of costs to development of a stronger health care industry that will jump start the economy. And they range from the reorganization of professional responsibilities to promotion of services outside institutions with the goal of keeping people out of hospitals. 

One thing is clear, the talk is about big changes. But talk is cheap to laid-off health care workers looking for new jobs. 

The provincial government’s recently passed, but yet to be proclaimed, Regulated Health Professions Act will have serious repercusions for all health care providers. 

“Traditionally, doctors have an exclusive domain over a wide area,” said Charlie Bigenwald, executive director of health human resources planning at the Ministry of Health. “Even though other people could do things, they had to be delegated by a doctor. With the legislation, we have pushed back what doctors can do. This means there will be more opportunity for a wider variety of health care workers to get into those areas.”

Midwifery is one of the benefactors of changes in regulations. The Ministry of Health is looking into having a university-based program for midwives. 

Ms. Robinson predicted nurses and middle management will suffer the most in the change to community-based health care. 

“Nurses will need to get a bachelor degree if they hope to compete for jobs,” she said. 

As for middle managers, who often have clinical skills, they will have to reconsider staying in health care, she said. “They will disappear significantly. They can advance themselves by getting back to clinical skills or consider management positions in non-health care areas.

“There is nothing to be ashamed of about career changes these days,” she added. 

In the shift towards community-based care, opportunities will arise for health care workers who can offer creative solutions to improve service delivery. 

“For nurses, we currently have something called the Nursing Innovation Fund where individuals can apply for a wide variety of developmental things like attending workshops, conferences and training programs. We process 2,500 applications a year,” said Mr. Bigenwald. 

The Ministry of Health hopes the future sees a health care system that adds to the province’s economy rather than drains it. 

“We spend $17 billion a year on health care. We never looked a the health care system as an economic motor in the past. The question we are asking right now is ‘why can’t an Ontario firm make the carpets, beds, sutures etc?’, said Mr. Bigenwald. 

Ms. Robinson said “Governments are running out of money and can’t increase funding. They will be looking for more partnerships in the private sector. In this climate, creative solutions to health care delivery have a great opportunity.” 

Monday
Jun222015

Brewing Prosperity Creates Good Jobs

 

 

In the Democratic Republic of Congo – home to the world’s largest United Nations peacekeeping mission and decades of bloody civil war – a brewery has not only survived, it has thrived to become a popular brand throughout central Africa. By being a success, the Brasimba brewery has brought prosperity and high-quality jobs to Congo’s second largest city, Lubumbashi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubumbashi), and proven that a modern business can do well there despite the obstacles.

The Brasimba brewery has an ultra-modern factory (http://www.viddler.com/explore/kaysha/videos/298/) complete with high-tech laboratories to constantly test the quality of the beer. It employs 700 people – most of whom are Congolese – and produces 250,000 bottles of Simba beer every day, according to Monocle magazine. The company’s beer brands are Simba Biere du Lion and Tembo Biere and its slogan is a proud Notre Biere (Our Beer).

Lubumbashi is a city described by the BBC as without “child beggars, without potholes and where there are no festering mounds of rubbish.”

A study of the economic impact of breweries in Uganda and Honduras found that more than 100 local jobs, from farmers to truck drivers, depended on every person employed by a brewery (http://www.inclusivebusiness.org/2009/10/sabmiller-impact-assessment.html). Markets across the South are seen as growth areas for beer companies: China’s beer consumers now outnumber those in the U.S. By 2003, world sales of beer reached 148 billion hectolitres (Euromonitor). Overall, it is forecast that global beer consumption will rise by 3.5 percent by 2015, mostly in the South.

Apart from creating steady employment, breweries also help to improve the development of the advertising and marketing businesses of a community as they promote their various brands, and they support local activities like sport with team sponsorship. They also offer a local example of how to run a modern beverage business, with mechanized production, distribution systems and laboratories to ensure hygiene and quality standards are maintained.

Brasimba has been operating in Lubumbashi for eight decades, through the twists and turns of the country’s history. The city has prospered from its copper mines and wisely used that wealth to improve the city’s general prosperity.

The brewery has successfully become a regional favourite, producing beer that is drunk not only in the surrounding Katanga province, but also in Zimbabwe and Zambia. It’s an impressive accomplishment for a company operating in such a turbulent environment. Distribution of the beer by truck is not easy, with the trip taking between six days and two weeks depending on the weather and the condition of the roads.

And the beer is not cheap, at around US $1.48 for a big bottle — a sure sign there is money to be made.

The healthy economic environment has also spawned a beer war with rivals Bralima, owned by the multinational Heineken. With five breweries in Congo and its head office in the capital Kinshasa, Heineken claims the lessons it has learned in Congo are helping it to change its marketing and business strategies far away in the United States.

It recently transferred its commercial director of Congo operations to head up operations in the United States. Heineken Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois van Boxmeer told the Bloomberg news agency that working in Africa was “certainly worth three times Harvard Business School.”

Heineken’s market share doubled in the Democratic Republic of Congo in just four years and Africa has become a significant market for the brewer.

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

Published: December 2009

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South's innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5haYBgAAQBAJ&dq=development+challenges+december+2009&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsdecember2009issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Monday
Jun222015

Digital Mapping to put Slums on the Map

 

 

Mobile phones are more and more part of daily life in the South’s slums – even for the poorest people. One result is that it has now become possible to undertake digital mapping initiatives to truly find out who is where and what is actually going on.

About one-third of the world’s urban dwellers live in slums, and the United Nations estimates that the number of people living in such conditions will double by 2030 as a result of rapid urbanization in developing countries. How to improve their living conditions and raise their standard of living is the big challenge of the 21st century.

With just over five years until the 2015 deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals (http://www.undp.org/mdg/), and the current economic downturn reversing some gains, any tool that can make development decisions more precise has to be a benefit.

People are now turning to the growing penetration of digital technologies into slums and poor areas to find solutions. With mobile phones available across much of the global South, and plans underway to expand access to broadband internet even in poorly served Africa, it is becoming possible to develop a digital picture of a slum area and map its needs and population.

Put to the right use, this powerful development tool can fast-track the delivery of aid and also better connect people to markets and government services.

In November, an NGO called Map Kibera (www.mapkibera.org) began work on an ambitious project to digitally map Africa’s largest slum, Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya .

The partners behind Map Kibera are Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, JumpStart International, WhereCampAfrica, the Social Development Network, Pamoja Trust, Hands on Kenya and others.

Estimates place the number of residents in Kibera at one million, but nobody really knows how many live there (UN-HABITAT). The slum is typical of such deprived areas, lacking in health and water resources and plagued by chaotic traffic and housing. Few fully grasp where everything is in the sprawl.

While data does exist on the slum, it is not shared or collated into one source. The Map Kibera project uses an open-source software programme, OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/), to allow users to edit and add information as it is gathered. This information is then free to use by anybody wanting to grasp what is actually happening in Kibera: residents, NGOs, private companies and government officials.

This will literally put Kibera on Kenya’s map.

The mapping team started with 12 young people recruited in Kibera to start the work in November of this year. They will be trained and also receive support from the growing Nairobi technology community.

“The project will provide open-source data that will help illustrate the living conditions in Kibera,” said Map Kibera’s Mikel Maron. “Without basic knowledge of the geography of Kibera it is impossible to have an informed discussion on how to improve the lives of residents of Kibera.”

Workshops will communicate with local residents and show them the findings available from the map. Paper maps will be distributed to residents and then updated as new information comes in. It is critical local people are kept informed to build trust and avoid conflict. As can be seen from the Google Street Views (http://www.google.co.uk/help/maps/streetview/) controversy, nobody likes to be mapped without their permission or consent.

Like Kenya, Brazil has a long history of sprawling slums sprouting around its cities. Called favelas, they are complex places, with both rudimentary dwellings and elaborate mansions. Walking into a favela can be a journey through the dreams and aspirations of generations of people, often reflected in their dwellings. Favelas have many services, including hospitals, and there are restaurants and coffee shops. In short, while they are not in the official development plans, the favelas are vibrant economic entities and home to hundreds of thousands of people.

But since they are chaotic and undocumented by official maps, the economic and social development of the favelas is hindered as even basic services like mail delivery are difficult to provide.

An NGO called Rede Jovem (http://www.redejovem.org.br/) is deploying youths armed with GPS (global positioning system)-equipped (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System) mobile phones to map the favelas of Rio de Janerio. To start with, they are mapping five favelas: Complexo do Alemão, Cidade de Deus, Morro do Pavão-Pavãozinho, Morro Santa Marta and Complexo da Maré.

“The main goal was to mark public interest spots on a map and show places like schools and institutions and hospitals and restaurants,” Natalia Santos, the executive coordinator for Rede Jovem, told MobileActive (www.mobileactive.org) . “We wanted to spread the news about what slums do have, so all the people can get to know that the slum is not just a place for violence and marginality and robbery.”

The mapping process works like this: the mappers physically travel around the favela and upload information on each, individual landmark (restaurants, roads etc.) as they go. They use Nokia N95s mobile phones that are connected to Google Maps (www.maps.google.com).

According to Santos, reporters enter the information on the map displayed on the phone, and they can video or photograph to add more detail. They are using Wikimapa (www.wikimapa.org.br), and Twitter (www.twitter.com) to log the information.

As Rede Jovem recruited young mappers, they discovered an interesting fact: the male reporters (aged between 17 and 25) were frightened to enter a favela with a mobile phone for fear of either being mugged or being stopped by the police. Because of this fact, all the mappers are young women.

They are ambitious for the future despite their funds running out in December. “We want everyone who has a cell phone with GPS to be a wikireporter,” said Santos .

How important it is to the favela residents to be recognised like this can’t be overstated. “I think they are very happy because they’re seeing that they exist,” said Santos. “And the mailman says that now he can deliver the mail.”

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

Published: December 2009

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South's innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5haYBgAAQBAJ&dq=development+challenges+december+2009&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsdecember2009issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.