The Latest from our Blog

defaul"postpartum hemorrhage", "evolutionary anthropology", "etiology of pot tag
September 02, 2011

Given the importance of postpartum hemorrhage as a cause of death for women worldwide, we are interested in just about any discipline that tackles the issue from a new perspective. Though we've asked a lot of questions about postpartum hemorrhage and its etiology (the medical/scientific reason it happens; [see a former blog post here] (, one question we had certainly never thought to ask was, "do other mammals and primates suffer from postpartum hemorrhage the way we humans do? It's kind of a startling question and two women, evolutionary anthropologists, recently took on. Elizabeth Abrams and Julienne Rutherford, recently had their work published in [The American Anthropologist] (

Ionnides, maternal health, maternal mortality, misoprostol, RCT
August 28, 2011

Randomized control trials have long been considered the “gold standard” of medical research. RCTs are typically large-scale studies that randomly assign individuals to an intervention or control group in order to measure the positive or negative effects of the intervention.Their results are often regarded as irrefutable proof, for they compare how one group responds to a treatment against how an identical group fares without it.

default tag
August 21, 2011

In light of our post on J-PAL and the group’s use of randomized control trials (RCTs) to test behavioral and community-based maternal health solutions, we decided to update our readers on how more traditional, clinical RCTs are dealing with the subject of postpartum hemorrhage. What interventions have recently been shown effective in lower-income countries? What potential solutions are currently being tested that keep low-resource settings in mind?

August 02, 2011

J-PAL has gotten a lot of attention for its unique approach to development interventions. They use the scientific randomized control trial (RCT) to test behavioral and community-based solutions and thus far have implemented or are in the process of implementing 280 of them. The group is known for their work on school attendance and teacher attendance. They have also covered such interventions as providing free eyeglasses to children in China and evaluating primary school performance (it helps) and providing microcredit in Morocco (it helped expand livestock but did not translate into enterprises).

InSTEDD paper reporting wheel, mhealth,
July 21, 2011

This post covers the promise of mhealth and the interesting local additions that complement new technology with old school modes of communication.

There are currently over 5 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide, and 1 billion of these people are women in low- and middle-income countries. The UN even estimates that by 2012, half the people living in remote areas will have access to a mobile device. The ubiquity of mobile networks and devices in the developing world provides an unprecedented opportunity to directly connect people—particularly new and expectant mothers—with critical, time-specific health information.

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