Young Africa Live

Praekelt Foundation: Young Africa Live, SocialTXT, and TXTalert

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 29, 2010
Praekelt Foundation: Young Africa Live, SocialTXT, and TXTalert data sheet 8664 Views

The Praekelt Foundation was founded in 2007 as the nonprofit/NGO offshoot of Praekelt Consulting.  The NGO now runs three programs that work to better the lives of people living in poverty in South Africa. Each of those programs (Young Africa Live, SocialTXT, and TXTalert) use mobiles to achieve that goal.

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

Young Africa Life: The goal is to engage young Africans with a mobile-based community where they can find access to information about HIV/AIDS, relationships, sex, and gender.

SocialTXT: The goal is to engage people living in poverty about social issues by maximizing unused space on "Please Call Me" messages. 

TXTalert: The goal is to use SMS reminders to increase kept appointment rates at clinics, encourage regular medication for chronic illnesses, and allow patients a free way to contact clinics if they have a problem.

Brief description of the project: 

Young Africa Live is a mobile portal where users can access information about HIV/AIDS while also reading entertainment-orientated blog posts.

SocialTXT takes advantage of the unused space in "Please Call Me Messages" to post informative social messages, such as the contact number for the National AIDS Helpline.

TXTalert uses SMS reminders to encourage patients with chronic illnesses to take their medication and follow-up with their clinic appointments. 

Target audience: 

The target audience for all three programs are people living in poverty in South Africa. Young people are a particular target audience of Praekelt's programs.

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

Young Africa Live: The site had rapid pickup among users, and exceeded the expected number of users. The Praekelt Foundation was able to get many resources from NGOs to populate the site with static content, and the bloggers have been well-received by readers.

SocialTXT: The program had a large effect on the number of users calling the National AIDS Helpline, and they were able to incorporate in regional languages in order to make the project more inclusive.

TXTalert: The appointment reminders dropped missed appointment rates at a Johannesburg hospital from 30% to 4%. 

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Young Africa Live: The portal is only accessible to users who use Vodacom as a service provider. Thus not all mobile users in South Africa can access the information. Also, the site's rapid popularity created a need for more content.

TXTalert: The system currently only runs in Johannesburg because it is dependent on clinics and hospitals having electronic patient databases, which many rural clinics do not have.