What is Living Goods?

CASE at Duke
Jan 20 · 2 min read

As part of this Scaling Snapshot, see also Living Goods’ Getting Ready for Scale, Scaling Strategies, and Scaling Pearls of Wisdom. You can find the full scaling snapshot PDF here.

Organizational Overview

The Audacious Goal: Living Goods aims to transform the way health care is delivered for generations to come, ensuring that every mother and child has access to quality health care where they live. Specifically, Living Goods aims to deploy more than 30,000 CHWs to reach 25 million people by 2021 by growing its direct operations and by strengthening and expanding the community health networks of governments and other partners.

The Problem: Millions of children and adults needlessly die each year from diseases that are treatable for less than USD$2. In the poorest countries, health systems are chronically under- funded, under-stocked, and under-managed.

The Solution: Living Goods bolsters community health outcomes by harnessing the power of technology to transform women and men into high-impact community health workers (CHWs). Working with country governments, Living Goods helps CHWs reach their full potential by providing them with a suite of tools, training, performance-based pay, and reliable access to needed medicines.

The Impact: A major study in Uganda showed the Living Goods approach costing less than $2 per person each year, and reducing under-5 child mortality by 27%. By end of 2018 it was supporting 9,000 CHWs across Uganda and Kenya, serving a swath of over 7 million people.

The Model-in-Brief: Living Goods blends best practices from business and public health to help overcome a major challenge in community health: how to keep community health workers (CHWs) motivated, accountable, and funded. Living Goods recruits local CHWs from existing government health cadres and, working with local government partners, strengthens the CHWs’ ability to positively impact health in their communities. It ensures that the CHWs receive ongoing training and coaching, are stocked with life-saving essential medicines, and are equipped with cutting-edge mobile technology to maximize their effectiveness and increase accountability. Within their communities, the CHWs go door-to-door supporting pregnant mothers and newborns, assessing and treating sick children, targeting early nutrition, offering family planning guidance, and selling health focused products. In return, they receive recognition, earned income from medications and health-focused product sales, and the benefit of improving the health of the communities in which they live.

The Core Innovation: Data and performance management. Living Goods uses data to optimize the way health workers are selected, trained, monitored, and financially subsidized, all while maintaining high quality health outcomes.

Published March 2019. Find the full Scaling Snapshot PDF at https://rebrand.ly/livinggoodsscaling.
Authored by Erin Worsham, Kimberly Langsam, and Ellen Martin.

Scaling Pathways

Hard-won insights on the path to impact at scale

Scaling Pathways

Scaling Pathways is a partnership between the Skoll Foundation, USAID, Mercy Corps Ventures, and CASE at Duke to curate and share scaling insights from the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

CASE at Duke

Written by

The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University leads the authorship for the Scaling Pathways series.

Scaling Pathways

Scaling Pathways is a partnership between the Skoll Foundation, USAID, Mercy Corps Ventures, and CASE at Duke to curate and share scaling insights from the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

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