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  • Eric Saltzman 10:35 am on August 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Blog Clog 

    I recently went through the tedious process of writing a blog entry for my organization. The 500-word entry was only destined for my own organization’s blog, but I was in for weeks of editing and persistence before it would find a home.

    First, I worked with our communications director to trim it and reframe it so it was more relevant to the company brand and became more of a ‘think-piece’ than an introduction to my experiment-to-come. It went through about 5 or 6 edits before it was deemed acceptable for submission to the blog staff.

    The following is my correspondence with the communications [emphasized for irony] guy who runs the blog. Please note, I’m sure this staff member has a lot on his plate; this is not meant to be disparaging, only to show one intern’s experience of an unexpectedly prolonged process of publishing a single blog entry:
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  • Eric Saltzman 10:50 am on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    The Answer May Just Be Under Your Nose 

    Take a look at this blog entry I wrote to introduce a project I’ve initiated.  It is a field experiment taking place in a village about eight hours away from Chennai, which tests the feasibility of children as health change agents in terms of spreading health information to their parents.  I’ll be looking at the effect of participatory learning vs. passive learning, one factor that has remained unexplored in this domain. A few days following work in the classroom with the elementary school students, we will visit the home of each student while he/she is at school, conducting a short, informal interview with whichever parent(s) is at home at the time. We will  collect what, if any, information has been disseminated from child-to-parent and assess attitudes on parents’ perceptions of children as reliable sources of information. Check out the post:


    The largest gap in health education in most evident in under-resourced rural communities; yet, this group is often the most challenging to reach, given geographic and infrastructural constraints.  In rural India, this rift is further widened by an immense population fragmented into hundreds of thousands of small, widely-scattered villages, where the majority of adults lack literacy and access to mass media, the typical channels employed to reach the public with health messages.[1] Given these considerations, what innovative strategies can we employ to reach rural people with health information that may compel them to replace unhealthy and dangerous behaviors with those that will improve their health and well-being? What resources may already exist, into which we have not yet tapped?

    They say the answer is often right under your nose, and in this case, we believe this may literally be true—we think children may be the solution. While few studies in the domain of disease prevention and health promotion have explored the prospect of children as health change agents, those that have often show that children are a fruitful channel through which to reach older generations.[2]

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  • Eric Saltzman 7:23 am on July 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Take Nothing for Granted 

    Making phone calls in India is crap shoot—you never know who will be on the other end, what their level of English will be, and if they will understand your “American accent” even if they are proficient in English.

    OK, so this isn't exactly relevant to this post, but I couldn't help it.

    It is so frustrating to finally get in touch with the contact at an organization you’ve been trying to get a hold of for days, only to smack into the harsh wall of a language barrier.

    I’ve had to make a bunch of calls recently to recruit participants for our marketing & communication strategy study.

    This could be an actual transcript of these calls:

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  • Eric Saltzman 11:56 am on July 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clean energy, clean irrigation, , rural India, solar lighting, World Resources Institute   

    Delhi Bound 

    ——–Backdated June 22, 2010———–

    I’m off to (New) Delhi, the capital of India, this week to meet with some of the companies we’ll be engaging for our clean energy marketing & communication strategy study.  The flight is about 3 hours north and I am quite excited to see a new part of the country.  Delhi is primarily Hindi-speaking; whereas Chennai, where I am based, is almost exclusively Tamil-speaking. Delhi is also extremely hot right now, and the day I am arriving is slated to be 120 degrees F!

    My colleague, Santosh, will be joining me on the trip, where the plan is to meet with one or two companies each day. The objective is two-fold: we are meeting face-to-face to establish a relationship with key people at these orgs, as well as consulting them on how we can improve our approach in extracting marketing strategy information. We feel that asking for feedback at this preliminary stage will encourage the companies to become more invested in the project.  Many of the Delhi orgs are those we may want to take a closer look at in round 2 of the project.

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  • Eric Saltzman 8:58 am on June 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Step Into My Time Machine 

    Take a step way back in time with me to–well, just last week. If you remember, we are backtracking due to my uncooperative digestive system..


    June 18, 2010

    Let’s get to know each other a bit better. Well, I guess this is pretty one-sided, isn’t it?  OK, let’s to know me better. I would like to share with you the primary project I shall be working on in my time here.

    My main assignment will be to investigate and profile the marketing & communication strategies of about 40 organizations that have had varying levels of success selling products or services in rural India.

    But not just any products.

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  • Eric Saltzman 6:50 am on June 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Case of "The Loosies", Climate Change, Development Metrics, Mobile Technology for Development, Natural Resource Management, Small Enterprise Development   

    Well, hello again. My apologies for the delay. You see, I am all about creating suspense, so hopefully you all were gripped—no doubt continuously hitting the reload button every 3 seconds, fiend-ing for an update.

    OK, so probably not. But allow me to explain—A potent combination of getting hit with pretty terrible fever and stomach pain/issues that left me feeling like I was going to die and sporadic access to email has meant no updates for me. BUT, I have written out some updates (in pen and paper just like they used to!). So I will post them now, and some will be backdated and we can all pretend that I was updating regularly.

    OK? Good, glad you’re on-board.

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  • Eric Saltzman 11:39 am on June 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Clean Energy Products, , , ,   

    Greetings from the Subcontinent 

    Greetings, AU students and people of the interweb. My name is Eric Saltzman and you will be accompanying me this summer to India, where I will be based in Chennai,  the country’s 5th largest city and the capital of Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India.  I’m happy to say that this internship actually represents the last 3 credits I need before I am officially done with my Masters degree in Public Communication.  I like to think I’m going out in style.

    I am currently writing to you from Chennai, where I am at my second day at the office and my fourth day in-country. My internship will last about 10 weeks and it seems that I will be keeping pretty busy judging from the many interesting projects going on. I am working for a non-profit action research think tank called The Centre for Development Finance, which operates under the umbrella of The Institute for Financial Management & Research. IFMR consists of seven different research centers; together, these centers design and test appropriate financial products for the poor and for small businesses, evaluate public and private sector anti-poverty strategies, promote government transparency through better measurement of public goods outcomes and public expenditure processes, and partner with a wide array of public, private and non-governmental organizations to produce clear recommendations for policymakers and social entrepreneurs.

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