NonprofitI am Dr. Kinari Webb, founder of a health clinic in Indonesia that works with communities to stop illegal logging with health care incentives. AMA!
Dec 22nd 2016 by kinariwebb • 9 Questions • 118 Points
UPDATE: Thanks everyone for all the questions. I really enjoyed chatting with you today! I'm signing off for now, but may be back to later to answer a few more questions!
I established a unique community clinic in Borneo called Health in Harmony where patients can pay for health services with non-cash means like seedlings, handicrafts or labor, and regardless of the currency they use, patients get a 70% discount if they live in an area where illegal logging activity has stopped. Our mission is to improve the health of local residents while creating social pressure to stop illegal logging in and around the park, which is a haven for wildlife like the endangered Bornean orangutan.
At the clinic we use a technique called Radical Listening, which involves reaching out to the local community to find out what they see as solutions and implementing those. I originally went to Borneo as a young researcher to study orangutans and how their dwindling environment endangers their survival. What I didn’t expect was to discover the intimate connections between poverty, logging, poor health, substandard education, unsustainable farming practices and, of course, the orangutan. It was after returning to the US to become a physician that I established Health and Harmony.
Ask me anything!
Here’s my proof: https://twitter.com/pritheworld/status/811929779712774144
How do you make the finances work, if you're often paid in other-than-cash?
Great question. The handicrafts we sell for cash. The seedlings and manure we use for reforestation. This works because in the funding world it is vastly easier to get money for reforestation than for health care funding. So we can use the grant money for purchasing seedlings to "buy" the seedlings from the health care side of our work. When people pay with labor it makes everything we do cheaper. But actually most people choose to pay with cash -- they just love that they have this option because it means that they never have to worry about affording care. They never have to log to pay for health care. It should also be noted that the prices in our clinic are very low. It costs about what a bowl of soup costs to see a doctor.
How much did the illegal logging plummet? I believe "anything you can measure you can improve", so what data has made Radical Listening a better approach?
We went from an estimated 1350 logging households when we started to about 450 after five years. Now, after 9 years, we are down to about 180 individuals! My experience is that this is a better approach because you are doing exactly the things that are causing people to destroy their environment. People were logging to pay for health care and because they didn't have the skills for an alternative livelihood. In addressing both of these things simultaneously, the effect was synergistic.