Global Development Institute Blog

At the University of Manchester ‘Making a Difference Awards’ on the evening of 9th May, GDI’s Dr Gindo Tampubolon and PhD researcher Tess Hartland were both honoured for incredible work in their respective fields. 

SMARThealth: revolutionizing cardiovascular care in Indonesia


In the ‘Benefit to society through research’ category, Gindo Tampubolon was awarded for his SMARThealth intervention, which targets cardiovascular care in Indonesia.

Indonesia faces a significant healthcare challenge, with nearly 70% of individuals aged 40 and above at moderate to high cardiovascular risk lacking access to necessary care. Dr Tampubolon has led a collaborative effort involving universities, health organizations, and government bodies to tackle this issue.

The SMARThealth app, developed as part of this initiative, simplifies cardiovascular risk assessment with a user-friendly interface. Local health workers were trained to use the app, enabling them to deliver targeted care within communities.



Over two years, the intervention reached 48,000 individuals across eight villages, screening 12,000 for heart disease. Results showed a notable reduction in cardiovascular deaths and a 14.5% decrease in high-risk individuals, leading to improved life expectancy for thousands.

Recognized by the Indonesian government and embraced by healthcare professionals and academics, SMARThealth has become increasingly important in the Malang district. Scaling up to serve three million residents, it represents a transformative approach to healthcare delivery.

You can read more about Gindo’s work here


Amplifying ageing refugee voices


Tess Hartland, a PGR in sociology who is co-supervised by GDI’s Tanja Bastia, received the Outstanding Student Contribution for Public Engagement award. The award followed her creation of “Echoes of Displacement,” a co-produced magazine shedding light on the experiences of ageing refugees.



Developed in collaboration with refugees living in Greater Manchester, “Echoes of Displacement” delves into the lives of individuals who have sought sanctuary in the UK from places all across the world, including Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Based on primary research conducted with men and women aged 50 and above, the magazine weaves together fictionalized characters and real-life narratives.

From struggles with language barriers to differences in weather, the comic serves to enrich the reader’s understanding of the refugee experience through thoughtful creative communication. 

You can read Tess’s comic here, and learn more about the research behind it and its creation in this blog


Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.

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