Children's Health

Pesinet: Mobile Monitoring and Micro-Insurance for Children in Mali

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 19, 2011

Mali has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. There are roughly 111 deaths for every 1000 live births in the country and the under-5 mortality rate is 191 out of every 1000 children. The need for early detection of diseases and stronger local health structures led to the creation of Pesinet, a non-profit that uses mobile technology to provide regular health checkups and affordable health insurance for young children in Mali's capital, Bamako.

Roughly 600 children are currently enrolled in the program in the neighborhood of Bamako Coura, under the care of four Pesinet agents (each covering around 150 children). Pesinet combines both early warning systems and insurance. Families pay 500 CF a month for each enrolled child; the payments cover doctor examinations and half the cost of any medications the child needs if he or she gets sick.

Enrolled children are tested weekly for symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, diarrhea, low weight, or vomiting by community health workers who enter data from each visit into a custom-designed Java application on their phone.  The data is sent via GPRS to an online database. Doctors at local community health centers monitor the patient data for sudden changes in health. If changes occur, the community health workers receive an alert on their phones and then go back, in turn, to alert the family that the doctor needs to give the child a checkup.

Pesinet: Mobile Monitoring and Micro-Insurance for Children in Mali data sheet 1294 Views
Countries: Mali

FailFaire: What We Learned About Tech FAILs From The Latest FailFaire

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 16, 2011

FailFaire – where it's okay to admit the mistakes. MobileActive hosted another round of FailFaire, bringing together practitioners, developers, donors, and students involved in the use of technology for social change development to discuss what's usually swept under the rug – project failure. The event is an open space to discuss those projects that went wrong in our field fostering a sense of learning from mistakes and knowledge sharing. The latest FailFaire in New York brought together eight practitioners to present their failed projects and what they learned along the way.  Take a look at this FastCompany article about the NYC FailFaire for some background. 

So, here we bring you...

Scaling Up Mobile Health: Elements Necessary for the Successful Scale Up of mHealth in Developing Countries

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 12, 2011
Scaling Up Mobile Health: Elements Necessary for the Successful Scale Up of mHealth in Developing Countries data sheet 565 Views
Jeannine Lemaire
Publication Date: 
Dec 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The use of mobile phones to improve the quality of care and enhance efficiency of service delivery within healthcare systems is known as mobile health, or mHealth, and is a sub-segment of the broader field of electronic health (eHealth). WHO has defined mHealth as the “provision of health services and information via mobile technologies such as mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).” mHealth tools have shown promise in providing greater access to healthcare to populations in developing countries, as well as creating cost efficiencies and improving the capacity of health systems to provide quality healthcare. 

Recent evidence from randomized scientific trials and studies has demonstrated that the capabilities of mobile phone technology, particularly SMS messaging, can positively impact treatment outcomes. Results of the WelTel Kenya1 clinical trial, the first study of its kind in Africa, were published in The Lancet in November of 2010. The trial focused on the impact of SMS messaging on HIV-infected adults starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in three clinics in Kenya. The study showed that patients who received SMS support had significantly higher adherence to ART and higher rates of viral suppression when compared with patients in the control group. A scale up of such a mobile phone support system in Kenya could suppress viral loads in 26,000 extra people at the cost of less than USD 8 per person per year, according to Richard Lester of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and the study’s lead researcher. Another cluster-randomized trial at 107 rural facilities in Kenya found that SMS message reminders sent to health workers’ mobile phones improved and maintained their adherence to treatment guidelines for outpatient pediatric malaria in Kenya.

A multitude of mHealth solutions have emerged over the years in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, which are leading the way in using mobile health services, according to the Global Observatory for eHealth at the WHO. Getachew Sahlu of the WHO identified the convergence of the following factors as the driving force behind the current rapid mHealth growth in developing countries: (1) a record growth of mobile phone users, (2) rapid expansion of mobile networks, (3) the decline in mobile phone costs, and (4) the innovation in mobile technology. The mobile platform presents the unique capability of delivering healthcare services wherever people are—not just in healthcare facilities. mHealth initiatives have also been effective in reaching underserved populations, particularly those in rural areas, changing health behaviors and outcomes, and addressing a wide variety of healthcare challenges, including:

• The shortage of skilled healthcare workers in certain developing country settings
• Treatment adherence and compliance
• Lack of timely and actionable disease surveillance
• Poor drug inventory and supply chain management
• Use of counterfeit drugs
• Lack of medical diagnostic treatment
• Slow rates of information flow and reporting delays.

mHealth represents a cost-effective technology solution to many of these challenges if implemented correctly and brought to scale. The costs of mobile handsets and usage are declining as demand for mobile services increases and mobile networks are being rapidly expanded.


Mobiles Phones for Health Worldwide: Moving From Hype to Context and Benefit

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 09, 2011

We recently attended the mHealth Summit 2011 to learn more about the latest developments in the mobile health field. The conference brought together developers, practitioners, NGOs, representatives from corporate industries, and government officials to discuss the current state and future of mobile health. 

Several key trends emerged among the discussions, focusing on: local buy-in and capacity building, the importance of building partnerships and trust among communities, and the need to transition from short-term pilots to scalable, sustainable mHealth projects.

Scale, Sustainability, and Hype

There was a lot of discussion at the mHealth Summit 2011 about the number of failed pilot projects and the hype around mobile health.  More productively, there was considerable discussion on what steps can be taken to reduce the waste (including financial, time, and community good-will) that results from launching unusable, unscalable, or unsustainable mobile health projects. The honest assessment of challenges in the m-health field led to discussions about scalability and sustainability.

A Doctor in Your Pocket: Health Hotlines in Developing Countries

Posted by EKStallings on Nov 04, 2011
A Doctor in Your Pocket: Health Hotlines in Developing Countries data sheet 1094 Views
Ivatury, Gautam, Jesse Moore, Alison Bloch
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The GSM Association—the global trade association for mobile network operators—and its Development Fund believe that health hotlines can transform healthcare for poor people just as mobile phones are revolutionizing financial services (‘mobile money’). Health hotlines are simple to understand (“call a doctor”), provide immediate assistance, and are available to anyone with a mobile phone. The reach and branding of a mobile network operator (MNO), and the scalability of call center technology may mean that health hotlines serve vast numbers of people in the coming years.


As a first scan of the approach, this report tracks hotlines operating in developing countries, assesses their social and commercial success to date, and offers suggestions for governments, industry bodies and development agencies to advance this approach.


In the first section we define the health hotline model and present a brief landscape of health hotlines in operation today. Section 3 spotlights four of the most prominent health hotlines in developing countries, and compares their business approaches. In Section 4 we assess their commercial viability and potential for growth, and in Section 5 we evaluate their potential for social impact. Finally, Section 6 offers thoughts on how development agencies and governments can support the health hotline phenomenon.


Case Study for Incorporation of Mobile Technology in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (Manoshi) Program at BRAC Health

Posted by EKStallings on Nov 02, 2011
Case Study for Incorporation of Mobile Technology in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (Manoshi) Program at BRAC Health data sheet 862 Views
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

After extensive studies of BRAC’s health services for mothers, neonates and children in rural and urban areas (MNCH and Manoshi, respectively), ClickDiagnostics has developed a mobile phone-based solution for streamlining BRAC’s data collection procedures in Manoshi, enabling BRAC to take a more pro-active approach in strategizing and reaching the women most in need in the urban slums.

ClickDiagnostics is in the concluding stages of piloting thissolution jointly with BRAC, and after the completion of the project in January, will support BRAC in refining the model and scaling up for nationwide implementation in MNCH and Manoshi projects, and possibly also in BRAC Health’s other program.

One important reason why many pregnant mothers succumb to death or preventable miscarriages is that it is expensive for government or non-government health organizations to track pregnant mothers to assess their level of risk and prioritize its limited resources for targeted intervention. A model in which community health-workers use ICT to gather real-time information about pregnant women and send to a specialist can help to address this gap and help health organizations take precautionary measures about risky cases of pregnancies.


UnNiched: Using Mobile Tech for Health Communications

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 01, 2011

Making health initiatives more accessible through technology can help patients and doctors keep themselves better informed about health and wellness. On October 25th, The Path of the Blue Eye hosted unNiched: Scratch, Sniff and Learn, a short conference focusing on innovation in the health marketing and communications world. Fard Johnmar, one of the founders of the Path of the Blue Eye project, introduced all the speakers and explained that the event is about " really getting people together from different disciplines, so that they can learn from each other and improve health and wellness."

Seven organizations gave short presentations on their health and technology initiatives before the group broke out into smaller discussions and demonstrations. Three of the projects presented at unNiched with a mobile focus: MoTeCh, a program using mobile phones to connect community health workers and beneficiaries in Uganda; Ubiqi, a mobile tracking tool for patients with chronic disease; and InStrat, a personalized SMS health alert system. While introducing the mobile technology section of unNiched Johnmar said, "So mobile – you'll see in today's presentations and by interacting with our innovators – really means empowerment, education and finally, most important for me, behavior change."  Watch a short video featuring excerpts from the mobile UnNiched presentations below to see how the organizations are using mobile in their work, and read on for a description of each project.

The Mobile Minute: Mobile Subscriptions Per Capita, Challenges to mHealth Projects, and the Importance of Password Protection

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 13, 2011

Today's Mobile Minute brings you news about the decline of knock-off phones in China, mobile phone statistics in South Africa, the case for password protecting your mobile phone, challenges to mHealth projects in Africa, and new global mobile statistics.

  • A new article from the L.A. Times looks at the fall in popularity of shanzhai (knock-off) phones in China, as shanzhai phones now represent only 7% of the Chinese market, down from 20% in 2007. The article says that the trend for buying brand-name phones is due to the greater availability of low-cost smartphones, and a preference for high-end features in smartphones that the knock-offs can not replicate.
  • Nielsen Wire recently released a study on mobile use in South Africa, examining everything from network loyalty and social mobile use (such as downloading ringtones, wallpapers, and screensavers), to comparisons between mobile contracts and pre-paid phones and the use of SMS and mobile instant messaging services.
  • Do you password protect your phone? Read Write Web reports that more than half of smartphone owners surveyed by Confident Technologies do not lock and password protect their phones. If your phone is stolen, lost, or confiscated then all of your personal data (including contacts in the address book, emails saved in your inbox, and log-ins for social media sites like Twitter and Facebook) stored on your phone could be compromised; using a password makes this information harder to access.
  • PBS examines the hype around mHealth projects in the developing world, and whether mobile technologies are successful at managing health issues. The article looks at challenges to mHealth projects such as limited mobile access for beneficiaries, spotty network coverage, the high costs of large-scale projects, and the difficulty of maintaining charged phones.

Aarogyam ICT for Mother and Child Care

Posted by bexband on Sep 26, 2011
Aarogyam ICT for Mother and Child Care data sheet 283 Views
Tiwari, Alok
Publication Date: 
Jul 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

‘Aarogyam’ is a Sanskrit word which means "complete freedom from illness”. Aarogyam is an ICT based responsive system which ensures and involves active participation of all key stakeholders viz. local administration, health facilities and doctors, frontline health workers (ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists), ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife), and AWW (Angan Wadi Workers)), village heads and beneficiaries, to ensure that a pregnant woman is provided with ANC, PNC and complete immunization throughout the continuum of care.   Aarogyam maintains a village wise database of all the beneficiaries (pregnant/lactating women, children up to 5 years) of an area, which gets continually updated with new data generating on the field with the help of front line health workers. The database thus generated is the backbone of the software system used by Aarogyam. This system generates automated alerts in the form of vernacular voice calls/SMS to the beneficiary thus enabling the beneficiary with vital information at their door step.   The system not only provides beneficiary with the information to be acted upon but also ensures that the services are delivered to the beneficiary by generating automated alerts (vernacular voice calls/SMS) for the ANM and Block level health officials, informing them of due services in their area.  


The Mobile Minute: Apps in Asia, the Results of a Youth Survey in South Africa, and Mobile Devices vs. PCs

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 22, 2011

Today's Mobile Minute brings you coverage on a new mobile frequency breakthrough, comparisons between mobile devices and PCs, the results of a mobile-based South African youth sex survey, the growth of apps in the Asia-Pacific region, and a look at the future of the global mobile payment industry.

  • Researchers at Rice University have developed a new technology that allows mobile devices to use the same frequency to both talk and listen to cell towers. Normally, two frequencies are needed to transmit and receive wireless data; the new technology could allow operators to double the capacity of their towers.
  • A new study from the International Data Corporation predicts that mobile Internet users will outnumber PC Internet users by 2015. Read Write Web reports that although smartphones are a big part of the shift, the release of tablet devices like the iPad give the predictions of mobile-dominance more credence.
  • The Praekelt Foundation recently released the results of its "Youth Sex Survey," which received more than 130,000 responses via the mobile platform Young Africa Live. The survey asked users of the social portal questions about their sexual health and opinions about sex and relationships; AudienceScapes reports on some of the responses: "Findings included a high percentage (44 percent) of South African youth admitting they are sexually active at the same time that they are significantly concerned about HIV/AIDS – 81 percent of respondents indicated they equate 'not telling a sexual partner that you carry the virus' with outright murder." (Read more about the Praekelt Foundation and Young Africa Live here.) 
  • Mobile applications are huge in the Asia-Pacific region; a study by the analyst firm Ovum estimates that "total number of mobile apps downloaded could reach 14 billion in 2016." TechCircle reports that the region already anticipates 5 billion app downloads for 2011, and that estimated revenue from paid mobile applications could reach $871 this year.
  • If you like charts, check out this graphic depicting a prediction of the global mobile payments market (based off data from Juniper Research) by the year 2015. Divided into eight worldwide regions, the graph (and research) shows how the world will use mobile payments (including near field communications, mobile payments/transfers, and regular purchase of goods).

[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog postswhite papers and researchhow-tos, and case studies.]

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei


Harnessing the Mobile Revolution to Bridge the Health Education & Training Gap in Developing Countries

Posted by ccarlon on Sep 16, 2011
Harnessing the Mobile Revolution to Bridge the Health Education & Training Gap in Developing Countries data sheet 167 Views
Callan, Paul, Robin Miller, Rumbidzai Sithole, Matt Daggett, and Daniel Altman from Dalberg Global
Publication Date: 
Jun 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This report for mHealthEd 2011 at the Mobile Health Summit focuses on the effectiveness of mHealth Education applications, analyzing at length the first wave of projects and the steps to be taken into consideration for further initiatives.


The first wave of mHealthEd applications for health workers – most introduced within the last 4 years and some of which are 7 presented in this report – include ones which enable workers to learn new treatment procedures, test their knowledge after training courses, take certification exams remotely, look up information in medical reference publications, and trade ideas on crucial diagnostic and treatment decisions. It is too early to test for impacts on health outcomes, but projects suggest that mHealthEd applications are improving the provision of care and levels of knowledge. Improved training can also increase job satisfaction and reduce attrition rates for healthcare workers.


uReport: Citizen Feedback via SMS in Uganda

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 28, 2011
uReport: Citizen Feedback via SMS in Uganda data sheet 3481 Views

For aid organizations, knowing what local communities and beneficiaries want and need is the key to running successful, sustainable programs. In Uganda, UNICEF is using mobile phones and broadcast media to get direct feedback from Ugandans on everything from medication access to water sanitation. The project, called uReport, allows users to sign up via a toll-free shortcode for regular SMS-based polls and messages. Citizen responses are used both in weekly radio talk shows to create discussion on community issues, and shared among UNICEF and other aid organizations to provide a better picture of how services work across Uganda.
Sean Blaschke, a Technology for Development specialist at UNICEF Uganda, explains that uReport gathers information from participants and informs citizens of their rights and available services. Recent polls have included questions about school dropouts, water point availability, mosquito net usage, and youth employment, all collected via SMS polls.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project is three-fold:

  • To collect feedback and information directly from beneficiaries of projects in Uganda
  • To create a system to directly communicate with and push messages to uReport members
  • To allow beneficiaries to share their views on a number of different topics
Brief description of the project: 

uReport is a UNICEF project in Uganda that sends SMS polls and messages to subscribers in order to gather feedback about communities across Uganda. The information is then used in broadcast and print media to inform citizens about their rights and available services, while also acting as a means of detecting vulnerabilities in communities.

Target audience: 

The target audience is youth in Uganda who want to share information about their communities and start discussions at a community level about available services and programs.

Detailed Information
Mobile Tools Used: 
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

The project has seen a huge number of signups (more than 28,000 registered users), and reasonably high response rates (ranging between 18% and 30%). UNICEF also found that the program is mutually beneficial between them and their partner organizations, as partner organizations can use the SMS system to directly target their members, while UNICEF can use the information collected in the polls to get a clearer picture of how services and systems are working in individual communities.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Challenges include:

  • Finding ways to keep uReporters interested in the project so that they answer the polls (UNICEF is currently testing out multiple incentive programs to see how they affect response rates)
  • Finding a balance between the one-to-one contact of mobile communications and the need to share information with a large number of people (partnerships were built with eight local radio stations in different districts so that information could be broadcast regularly to non-mobile owners)

The Case of the Interdisciplinary Researcher: Using Mixed Methods to Observe ICT in Healthcare in Uganda

Posted by VivianOnano on Jul 26, 2011
The Case of the Interdisciplinary Researcher: Using Mixed Methods to Observe ICT in Healthcare in Uganda data sheet 1414 Views
Densmore, Melissa R.
Publication Date: 
Oct 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

While researchers are often depicted as either ‘social scientists’ or ‘technologists’ often their educational and ideological backgrounds are much richer than the two simple terms might imply.

This paper describes the methodology and approach of a qualitative researcher with a computer science background in investigating how information technology changes communications and information management practices within the health ecosystem constitutued by a health subsidy program in southwest Uganda.

Evaluating the Impact of Mobile Phone Based ‘Health Help Line’ Service in Rural Bangladesh

Posted by VivianOnano on Jul 11, 2011
Evaluating the Impact of Mobile Phone Based ‘Health Help Line’ Service in Rural Bangladesh data sheet 2030 Views
Dr Md. Ashraf, Mahfuz, Noushin Laila Ansari, Bushra Tahseen Malik, Barnaly Rashid.
Publication Date: 
Sep 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Access to basic health  service is limited in rural areas of Bangladesh, where 80% of the total population lives. For instance, 35% of doctors and 30% of nurses are located in four metropolitan districts where only 14.5% of the population lives. Most of the rural people are physically remote from the qualified health care providers. Two major mobile phone service providers in Bangladesh have initiated mobile health care help line service s nationwide as a remedy in this case. Since there is much hope of mobile phones to be used for basic health care services for populations living in rural areas, this research aims to evaluate how far such interventions reached  for the improvement of health care in those communities. Through an interpretive case-based research strategy, our field studies uncover enthusiasm from the rural people towards availing health help line services and the intervention's contribution to improved health-seeking behavior.


Making Mobile Phones Work for Women with Fistula: The M-PESA Experience in Kenya and Tanzania

Posted by VivianOnano on Jun 06, 2011
Making Mobile Phones Work for Women with Fistula: The M-PESA Experience in Kenya and Tanzania data sheet 1364 Views
USAID and Fistula Care
Publication Date: 
Jan 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The Freedom from Fistula Foundation (FFF) in Kenya and Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) have taken great strides in reducing these barriers. Using a combination of mobile banking, public information, and free treatment, they have helped make fistula repair a reality for women who were previously excluded from care.

New Research! How MoTeCH Uses Mobiles for Maternal Health in Ghana

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on May 03, 2011

The Grameen Foundation recently released an in-depth report on the state of MoTeCH, a multi-part project that uses mobile technology to send pre- and post-natal health information to Ghanaians and allows community health workers to collect and share health data. Launched in July 2010 in the Upper East Region of Ghana, the system rolled out the next phase of the pilot in April 2011 in the Awutu Senya distract in the Central Region of Ghana. The report, "Mobile Technology for Community Health in Ghana: What It Is and What Grameen Foundation Has Learned So Far," takes an honest look at the progress and challenges the organization has faced while implementing a long-term, large-scale mHealth project.

Mobile Midwife

New Research! How MoTeCH Uses Mobiles for Maternal Health in Ghana data sheet 2954 Views
Countries: Ghana

Winners of Vodafone Awards Showcase mHealth Innovations

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 14, 2011

On Monday, Vodafone and the mHeatlh Alliance announced the winners of the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project and the mHealth Alliance Award. Although all three winning projects focus on health applications of mobile technology, each project has an entirely different focus: in first place, NETRA uses a clip-on device for mobile phones to quickly diagnose eye disorders; in second place, SMART Diaphragm monitors high-risk pregnancies by wirelessly transmitting information to physicians; and in third place is Cool Comply, a system designed for community health workers to keep medications cool and to allow them to stay in contact with patients.

Mobiles for Development

Posted by MelissaUlbricht on Mar 18, 2011
Mobiles for Development data sheet 3161 Views
Kojo Boakye, Nigel Scott, Claire Smyth
Publication Date: 
Oct 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Mobiles for Development is a research study commissioned by UNICEF to help the organization understand the global mobile telephony landscape as it relates to advancing development, and as an area of significant future opportunities. Evidence for the report comes from UNICEF operational staff and representatives of mobile operators in 14 countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Kosovo, Lao PDR, Malawi, Mongolia, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uganda, and Zambia). The report suggests that mobile tools can identify the most deprived children and communities, provide cost effective iinterventions, overcome bottlenecks to services, and enable communities to maximize the impact of available resources.

Lessons from m-Health Projects: The Tech is the Easy Part

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Mar 08, 2011

Adherence reminders, patient data transmission via community health workers, HIV/AIDs info services – mobile phones can be used in a variety of health settings. As mobiles have become cheaper and more easily available around the world, mobile health projects have followed, taking advantage of the devices’ data storage capabilities, information transferring potential, and social networking features.

MobileActive has covered the m-health area extensively as NGOs, aid organizations, and governments continue to launch new projects incorporating ICTs into their work. Organizations like the Praekelt Foundation, which runs multiple mobile health projects, Pesinet, a micro-insurance and community health worker data collection tool, Dimagi, which developed CommCare (a project that helps community health workers promote healthy behaviors in patients), and MoTeCH, a Grameen Foundation project that uses mobiles to send medical advice to pregnant women and young parents along with creating a data managing resource for community health workers, are exploring the potential that mobile technology offers for delivering health care.

Looking at some of these organizations’ experiences, we put together a list of key lessons organizations are learning as they develop m-health projects:

SMS to 9444: Rural Mobile Health Information in Jordan

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Feb 18, 2011

In Jordan, a new program called SOHITCOM (Social Health and IT for Rural Communities) uses mobile phones and web-based technology to improve access to maternal and early childhood healthcare information.

Developed by the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan in a partnership with Canadian funder IDRC, SOHITCOM is part of a larger program promoting and developing ICT4D in the Middle East. A two-part project, SOHITCOM is both a vaccination adherence service and a health information portal for rural Jordanians.

SMS to 9444: Rural Mobile Health Information in Jordan data sheet 3296 Views
Countries: Jordan

Using Mobile Phones and Open Source Tools to Empower Social Workers in Tanzania

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Jan 12, 2011
Using Mobile Phones and Open Source Tools to Empower Social Workers in Tanzania data sheet 1715 Views
Dias, M. Beatrice, Daniel Nuffer, Anthony Velazquez, Ermine A. Teves, Hatem Alismail, Sarah Belousov, M. Freddie Dias, Rotimi Abimbola, Bradley Hall, and M. Bernardine Dias
Publication Date: 
Dec 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Although para-social workers carry the primary responsibility in providing essential services to the growing population of orphans and vulnerable children in Tanzania, they are often not paid for this work. Moreover, these para-social workers are unable to access governmental resources due to the lack of an efficient means of reporting their needs to relevant government officials in a timely manner.

In this paper we describe a text message (SMS) based solution that harnesses the prevalence of mobile phones coupled with several Open Source tools to empower these para-social workers. Specifically, we build a more efficient mechanism for reporting summary data on orphans and vulnerable children to relevant government officials in a cost-effective and efficient manner. This paper reports on our needs assessment process, reviews the related work, describes the implementation and testing of our prototype solution, and concludes with a discussion of relevant future work.

Assessing the Scope for Use of Mobile-Based Solution to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Bangladesh: A Case Study

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Jan 12, 2011
Assessing the Scope for Use of Mobile-Based Solution to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Bangladesh: A Case Study data sheet 1525 Views
Alam, Mafruha, Tahmina Khanam, and Rubayat Khan
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Patient data collection and emergency health service is the primary challenge in developing countries. Risk assessment of pregnant mother and healthcare based on priority is almost impossible in present health service of Bangladesh.

A pilot study was done in three urban slums of Dhaka where BRAC health workers were provided with mobiles. A smart algorithm was incorporated in the mobiles. The mobile solution came up with useful findings. The health workers now could send data directly to central MIS system which reduced previous time lag. A secure web page contained all the patient data which was accessible by BRAC Personnel from anywhere any time. An automated risk assessing decision tree categorized the patients depending on their risk levels for timely treatment.

The mobile solution proposed a pro-active, cost-effective platform for rapid health service for pregnant mothers and neonates with reduced manpower.

How to Work With Operators (Part One)

Posted by MelissaUlbricht on Jan 09, 2011

Mobile-based projects for social change can be found in any issue area: mobile health, mobile money, initiatives that promote advocacy, citizen journalism, democratic participation, and economic livelihoods. While projects vary in scope, objectives, and platforms, one consistency between many successful projects is a good working relationship with the mobile network operator in a given country.

Mobile network operators, or MNOs, go by many names: mobile providers, cell providers, telecommunications companies. In this article, we focus on MNOs in the traditional sense: companies that provides mobile network services.

How to Work With Operators (Part One) data sheet 5611 Views
Countries: Afghanistan Bangladesh Haiti India Mexico Tanzania Zambia

World AIDS Day: Battling the Disease with Mobile Tech

Posted by MelissaUlbricht on Dec 01, 2010

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day, a day that is all about raising awareness, countering prejudice, and helping stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. has put together some of the mobile projects and organizations we've covered recently that are innovating with mobile tech in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

RedChatZone: HIV Counseling via Mobile Instant Messaging Chat

This project is an innovative mobile-based platform for youth and young adults to learn more about HIV and to get support by offering them the ability to communicate anonymously and privately via MXit with a trained counselor. 

The Mobile Minute: Mobile Insurance, Smartphone Sales Up 98% Worldwide, and mGive Now Allows Mobile Donations Up to $25

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 11, 2010

The Mobile Minute is here to bring you coverage on the rise of smartphone sales around the world, a crop insurance plan in Kenya that uses mobiles to process claims and distribute money, the effect of the 2010 U.S. elections on PBS' mobile web and app usage rates, a pilot in Zambia that uses SMS to rapidly transmit HIV test results between rural clinics and hospitals, and mGive's new mobile donation options.