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Hello Ashley, I returned April 23rd to the US from Bhutan where I presented this framework-- designed over the last several years-- as a component of a high level presentation at the Autism and Development Disabilities 2017 conference sponsored by WHO Mental Health, Shuchona Foundation and the Bhutan and Bangladesh Ministries of Health. This brief overview submitted to IDEO is adapted from an NIH conference grant proposal and prior USAID proposals for the planning and launch of multicountry systems design and deployment that will need to align with each country's national disability plan approved by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities progress review committee, negotiating agreements among higher education institutions, capacity building at community-based and professional levels, telecommunications access and capacity, and working to ensure cross-sectoral collaboration from relevant ministries (social protection, health, education, and telecommunications) with a social entrepreneur model at the core. Many country representatives attending the meeting requested my consultation as a result of this conceptual framework presentation. I will be meeting in 2 weeks at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Mental Health Global Mental Health Workshop here in Bethesda, MD with several researchers and program development colleagues (Dr. Syed Usman Hamdani, Research Fellow & Deputy Director Human Development Research Foundation (HDRF), Islamabad, Pakistan; and Atif Rahman, Professor of Child Psychiatry, University of Liverpool
from Pakistan ) to discuss details of potential synergies in co-creating this program. Saima Hossain, psychologist/daughter of the Bangladesh Prime Minister, member of WHO's Mental Health Advisory Committee, invited me to the WHO SE Asia Regional conference side event for Ministers and NGOs (2014), and again to speak at the 2017 Bhutan conference. She is Founder/Executive Director of the Shuchona Foundation of Bangladesh and led WHA resolutions and a new strategic plan in this domain as well as program development and capacity building in country; she is my point of contact. Others in Bangladesh have requested my consultation, however I want to ensure a systems development approach that results in a regional effort for evidence based practices, quality assurance, supervision, mentoring, and network building with ongoing knowledge sharing, job creation, and evidence-based practices. I've suggested adding Nepal due to severe shortages of specialist personnel similar to Bangladesh and Pakistan (and India too, though not listed in the eligible countries). I have medical and telehealth contacts and knowledge of the relationships from US to academic medical institutions in these countries. Seasoned colleagues in developmental pediatrics, neurology, child psychiatry, and related habilitation fields will be valuable additions to the construct. With the neuroscience and economic outcomes data on brain plasticity in the birth-to-5 (World Bank/UNICEF priority for ECD (April 2016), 2016 Lancet MNCH and ECD reports, National Academies of Medicine/Sciences 2016 reports), this strategy for design of networks and inclusion is necessary for meeting reduction of extreme poverty and disability inclusion targets among the SDGs goals. In addition, we may build on the MDGs 4 and 5 mortality initiatives to gain the critical disability data disaggregation sought with integration of UNICEF's new disability survey module (with Washington Group on Disability Statistics), and recommendations emanating from the World Bank, UNESCO, USAID and Brookings Institute ECD think tank reports. Social impact bonds applied for ECD development in some locations will be reviewed as to their value for such a project. The Pakistan group has already done an analysis of social franchise options for women's employment and I have had past consultation from the researcher who designed and deployed 'microfranchise' models for job creation in LMICs. I believe funding for a planning conference within the next 3-4 months would be instrumental to identifying seminal actors per country, and the systems development strategies, action steps, resources, technologies and media for ensuring congruent deployment and monitoring and evaluation competencies and metrics. I already have had discussions with Dr. Alvin Marcelo, codirector of the Asia ehealth harmonization Network (AeHIN) as to disability data capture needs and will explore U of WA Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation as to their morbidity global burden of disease initiative and past MNCH MDGs 4 and 5 reports, for possible added study focus on inclusive ECD early identification and intervention outcomes data. Should we gain IDEO's positive review, I would be pleased to submit a more formal data driven proposal. Lastly media development and branding is crucial to this endeavor and an expert colleague would be factored into the program design.