Inspiration: Founder Chuck Slaughter volunteers as President of CFW Shops in Kenya, a non-profit network of rural clinics and pharmacies. To improve results, he conducts an innovative test getting health providers out of their clinics and into homes and schools. The test proves highly successful, inspiring Chuck to pioneer a new model of door-to-door community health entrepreneurs.
Founding: Chuck Slaughter incorporates Living Goods™ as a non-profit in California in May 2006
Chuck Slaughter selected as Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur
Uganda Launch: Living Goods launches in Uganda in partnership with BRAC. BRAC and Living Goods focus efforts on reducing child mortality by treating malaria and diarrhea and supporting healthy pregnancies. The partnership also aims to provide motivating income for community health workers (CHWs) and keep vital medicines in stock by selling high-impact, low-cost health products.
Scale: 200 CHWs reaching 160,000 people
Living Goods opens direct operations in partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MOH) in two test districts. The first branches are in Bwaise and Nsangi.
Children’s Investment Fund Foundation awards Living Goods $2 million to drive growth and study impact.
Kick-off of randomized controlled trial in Uganda to measure impact on child mortality in partnership with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Innovations for Poverty Action and principal researcher Dr. Jacob Svensson.
Scale: 600 CHWs reaching 480,000 people
Scale: 1000 CHWs reaching 800,000 people
Tackling Pneumonia: Living Goods works with Uganda MOH and UNICEF to empower CHWs to diagnose and treat pneumonia with Amoxicillin.
Launch of Healthy Start fortified porridge Living Goods creates its first private label product to help tackle stunting. Sales vastly exceed expectations and it becomes the number one selling item.
Independent researchers conclude randomized controlled trial showing 27% drop in child deaths – over 2 times the expected result, with an even greater impact on neonatal mortality. The survey covered more than 200 villages and 8,000 families.
Mobile Phone System Test: Using local Kenya team, Living Goods develops its own Android-based Smart Health system for CHWs, successfully replacing paper data collection and testing an innovative automated diagnosis tool to improve accuracy and consistency.
Kenya Launch: Living Goods opens in Kenya.
USAID Development Innovations Ventures awards Living Goods $5 million.
Living Goods partners with Medic Mobile to build a next-generation Android app for CHWs. Develops first Data-Driven Task Lists and real-time performance dashboards.
PSI Partnership: Living Goods opens partnership with PSI to replicate the model in Myanmar.
Scale: 4,000 CHWs reaching 3.2 million people
Living Goods receives Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
New CEO: Founder Chuck Slaughter passes the baton to Shaun Church to serve as Living Goods’ second CEO.
Scale 6,300 CHWs reaching 5 million people
Scale 7,570 CHWs reaching 6 million people
Living Goods secures landmark growth funding from TED’s Audacious Project in partnership with Last Mile Health. TED selects Living Goods as one of 9 visionary organizations from a pool of more than 200. Six funders join to provide $35 million in matching funds to inspire new partners to help Living Goods expand from 7,000 to 34,000 CHWs and open two new countries.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selects Living Goods to build an East Africa Tech Innovation hub to test cutting edge community-based mobile technologies.
Liz Jarman promoted as next CEO of Living Goods
Results-Based Financing: Living Goods launches an innovative Results-Based Financing mechanism in Uganda enabling funders to ‘buy outcomes,’ like treatments provided and facility births.
Family Planning launch: Living Goods expands portfolio into family planning, including the introduction of Sayana Press in Uganda, the first self-injectable contraceptive. Strong early results lead Living Goods to roll out family planning services across Uganda.
Scale 9,000 CHWs reaching 7 million people
Landmark Immunization Award: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, commits $9 million to Living Goods and Last Mile Health to test the use of digitally empowered CHWs to help target and close the immunize gap vaccine counseling and referral services. We rolled out immunization support training to more than 2,800 CHWs.
Isiolo County Kenya awards Living Goods a landmark contract: A first-of-its-kind, Isiolo taps Living Goods to help manage their community health worker system end-to-end, with all 720 CHWs in the county trained to provide digitized community health services.
Family planning scaled to reach more than 2,250 CHWs in Uganda.
We completed a pilot of a results-based financing mechanism for community health. We exceeded expectations against the predefined performance-based targets, meaning payments for verified results were 32% higher than expected.
We co-developed a digital health maturity model to help governments and other community health implementers grow effective community-level digital health programs.
We supported CHWs to respond to COVID and fill the gap in facility-based care, quickly designing low and no-touch workflows for our mHealth app in-house and equipping CHWs and government partners with PPE to stay safe and continue delivering uninterrupted health services.
Kenya’s Kisumu County government inked a co-implementation partnership with Living Goods to extend digitized community health services to all 3,000 CHWs in the region.
Uganda’s MOH, Oyam District and Malaria Consortium and Living Goods launched the first public-private technical assistance partnership in the country.
New country expansion: Living Goods expanded support to Burkina Faso to both help with the country’s CHW Response Plan for COVID-19 and began providing recommendations on how to digitize the entire community health system. We also provided light touch support in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia.
Preliminary results from a second RCT shared: Living Goods-supported CHWs in Uganda enabled a 28-30% reduction in U5 mortality and 27% reduction in neonatal mortality from midline to endline when working at scale – with 4,500 digitized CHWs serving 3.6 million people.
The Kenyan government partnered closely with Living Goods to develop a national community health strategy that will extend digitized community health services to all 95,000 CHWs in the country and selected a tool based on Living Goods’ Smart Health app to create their own electronic community health information system (eCHIS).
Burkina Faso becomes new core country: A 3-year partnership with the government of Burkina Faso to develop a national eCHIS tool for the country’s 18,000 CHWs and their supervisors.
New Strategy launched: Living Goods finalizes a new 5-year strategic plan squarely focused on enabling government partners to improve health outcomes nationally. We transition support in 4 Kenyan counties back to government control to focus more on driving national scale and impact.
Our Founding Story
Chuck Slaughter, the founder of Living Goods, learned his first lessons in door-to-door distribution as a paperboy growing up in Connecticut. Later, he fell in love with faraway lands and people while leading overseas bike trips during school breaks. These two passions have driven him ever since.
In 1987, he opened the New York Times and read an article that changed everything. The story was about Trickle Up, a pioneer of the microfinance movement. Deeply inspired, he became one of the group’s program officers, traveling throughout India, Nepal, and Indonesia. On his travels, he learned about the world-changing power of Trickle Up’s micro-entrepreneurial clients and social entrepreneurial founders Glen and Mille Leet.
At Glen’s encouragement, Chuck returned to Yale to earn his Master’s in Public and Private Management. After business school, Chuck launched TravelSmith – a direct mail catalog dedicated to the needs of serious travelers. TravelSmith took off, reaching over $100 million in sales and two million loyal customers. In 2004, he sold TravelSmith with the intention of taking time to enjoy his new family. Chuck began dreaming again, this time about ideas with the potential for big social impact that blended the best of the social and business sectors.
Inspiration arrived when a good friend introduced Chuck to The Health Store/CFW Shops, a struggling system of franchised drug shops in Kenya. He joined their board and volunteered to help put the organization on its feet. Chuck saw limitations in CFW’s storefront model. Unprofitable shop owners were idle for much of the day, waiting for sick people to walk in, and storefronts were not viable in rural areas. As a test, he encouraged the shop owners to get out and knock on doors and visit schools. The experiment worked beautifully. He wondered, “What if we got rid of the stores altogether and used only mobile agents?” He believed the power of door-to-door health workers could dramatically lower costs and improve rural reach. He saw how a mobile model could focus on keeping people healthy, rather than waiting for people to get curative treatment when they got sick.
He launched Living Goods in Uganda in 2007. With Living Goods, he envisioned more than creating a high-impact social enterprise. He sought a model with the potential for game-changing scale that would improve the lives of millions by inspiring visionary governments, global NGOs, and businesses to build sustainable platforms of community health providers to bring life-changing care to families who need it most.
Chuck learned early that smart risk-taking, accepting failures, and thriving on learning is vital for success, and he helped infuse this vital ingredient into the culture that Living Goods lives and breathes each day. We are constantly testing new ideas and approaches, to ensure we can achieve our vision of exponentially expand access to vital health services.