Advanced Development for Africa (ADA)

Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) drives sustainable scaling activities of development organizations and programs. With operational offices located in Bamako, Mali and Geneva, Switzerland, ADA's main focus is fostering maternal and child health in Africa.
18 April 2011

Member profile

There is no shortage of programs and organizations aiming to address the issues in Africa yet few, however, have actually been able to scale across multiple geographies to benefit a greater number of people. Scale of development programs is one of the most critical mechanisms for amplifying their intended impact. However, the practice of scale is yet to be formed into a repeatable and reliable discipline. With the 2015 deadline for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) fast approaching, both the development community and national governments are increasingly aware that Africa is not on course to achieve the targets set out for improving maternal and child health and reducing the disease burden on its people (MDGs 4, 5 and 6). While some progress has been made, the pace must be rapidly accelerated if African countries are to meet the MDGs and reap the benefits of a healthier and more productive population.

Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) drives sustainable scaling activities of development organizations and programs. With operational offices located in Bamako, Mali and Geneva, Switzerland, Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) is an African-based non-profit organization with its major focus on fostering maternal and child health in Africa. ADA seeks to accomplish its mission through proven methods of capacity building, technology transfer, forums and cross-sector partnerships.

Main activities

Advanced Development for Africa’s (ADA) strategy is executed through the following three pillars: advocacy, knowledge management and program development.

  • The advocacy pillar focuses on:
    • Appointing a champion to promote the important role that women play towards achieving the MDGs;
    • Creating material/documentation to support the champion in his/her campaign (brochures, etc);
    • Organize forums to allow high-level project stakeholders to convene annually. An award will be given to the best project: First Ladies’ award.
  • Knowledge management focuses on:
    • Conducting research with landscape analysis to identify the sectoral needs of the focus groups;
    • Research will also identify the challenges related to the resistance against the use of m-health solutions;
    • Identification of best practices that can be scaled across the different countries;
    • Lastly, ADA will put in place the appropriate policies (regulatory & legal) to address these challenges.
  • Program development focuses on:
    • Developing Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to support e-health, e-education and e-banking initiatives.
    • Use innovative technologies in above disciplines;
    • Ensuring sustainability of projects & promote entrepreneurship among women.

Links to the health workforce crisis

Africa suffers gravely from health care access inequalities and at the same time it would benefit greatly from an improved workforce outreaching to the people who are in need of the access to health care. For this reason ADA is engaged in identifying champion initiatives that maximise the health workforce’s output and in turn ADA seeks to scale up such initiatives that result in a bigger impact. ADA is also engaged in the field of Information and Communications technologies (ICTs), specifically eHealth and mHealth, which we believe are important tools to tackle the current issues faced around the region. ICT tools are a valuable tool for the health workers allowing them expand their skills and further on empower them.

Currently we are to initiate a project to enhance the role of rural health workers. This project is called ENAMIT and stands for Empowering Nurses and Midwifes through Information Technology. The main focus of this project, as the name says, is to empower rural health workers, especially nurses and midwifes. ADA and its partners have identified various gaps in this field and we came up with a very holistic package of solutions that is comprised of several already existing and impact-proven methods. In short, the project is comprised of a various distance formation facilities in which rural health workers are to be educated with various valuable skills and competencies with a main focus on obstetrics, emergencies, essential surgery, and neonatal care. Field workers will have access to the courses live from various experts in Europe and around the world as well as offline resources. The courses are comprised of already existing and success-proven trainings from institutions and various departments from the WHO. Subjects taking the courses are to be certified from the Geneva University in Switzerland, in order to push forth their motivation. Alongside the training the package includes a series of knowledge centers, which are to be located in rural areas. Here the rural health workers will be able to access valuable information at any given time. On top of this we have a mentoring system in which mobile phones will be used. This will be done to ensure quality care and retention of the field workers. To try test out this project we have strategically selected four nations in which to set forth this projects. Mali, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, and Sierra Leone have been selected due to geographical, logistical, statistical, and infrastructural reasons.