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Q&A with Oxfam's Ian Sullivan

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We caught up with Oxfam's Digital Campaigner, Ian Sullivan, who's been joining us on the Maternal Health and Mobile Technology Challenge.

What's your role at Oxfam?

Digital campaigning can mean all sorts of things. Mainly I support the health and education campaigns team to figure out digital strategies to support their work. It can also be about producing content – blogs, videos etc – as well as getting our issues talked about by social media types.

Can you tell us a bit about Oxfam's work in maternal health?

Maternal health is a large component of our broader health work. Mainly we campaign for well-funded public health systems that provide free care for people when they need it. Maternal health is a really vital issue, as women and babies are still dying unnecessarily – that needs to change. We need great ways to get people thinking and acting on these problems.

What got Oxfam interested in open innovation?

I think organisations realize that there are a lot of talented people out there, with lots of ideas – as we’ve seen over the last few weeks on OpenIDEO. People outside of the NGO world will approach an issue in a totally different way to how we would so, for us, harnessing that creativity is a great opportunity. Hopefully, this will lead to concrete results that change lives.

So, how are you finding OpenIDEO?

I’m really enjoying it. I joined the community to see what was going on and I’ve learned so much about a lot of interesting campaigns and products that are out there.The community has saved me a lot of time and legwork trawling the internet, so thanks for that! I’m really excited to see how things develop over the coming weeks.

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