Going mobile for maternal and child survival

Mobile Services that Empower Vulnerable Communities
Going Mobile for Maternal and Child
Jeffrey Jose, IT Director
Satish Srivastava, ReMiND Program Coordinator
March 20, 2013
ICT4D Conference
Accra, Ghana
Project Background
• Reducing Maternal and Newborn Deaths (ReMiND)
• Partners: Dimagi Inc., Vatsalya, Government of UP
• Area of Intervention:
2 blocks of Kaushambi District, Uttar Pradesh (India)
• Opportunity & Issues:
1. ASHA (CHW) have limited training and support to
carry out effective home visits to pregnant and
postpartum women, newborns and to do RI follow-up
with infants.
2. Project use of ICT solutions for ASHA, highlighted
further opportunities to use ICT for project
monitoring, baseline and endline evaluation.
Job Aids &
Baseline &
ICT4D Solution
• Dimagi’s open-source CommCare software
– Cloud-infrastructure: CommCare HQ
• Baseline data collection with Samsung Galaxy
Tab 2 tablets
– Nokia C2-01 used for ASHA and monitoring apps
• CRS/India’s IT & PQ teams led baseline app
development with backstopping from Dimagi
• Required staff support:
– Health and M&E expertise to develop app content
– IT expertise to identify hardware and build app
Key Successes
• More efficient and cost effective than paperbased surveys
• Improved data quality through built-in
checks/controls and review of real-time data
• Having app developer on-site allowed rapid
revision during field testing and survey
• User-friendly app & hardware allowed first-time
users to easily become proficient with this ICT4D
• Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 was a good choice for
tablet in terms of battery life, resolution and
Key Successes
• No problems with battery life or damage occurred due
to a strict routine for daily issue, return and charging of
tablets and a contract with enumerators for hardware
• Tablet configuration with limited access to other
applications prevented users from playing with or
changing settings
• Strong history of partnership with Dimagi allowed
CRS/India to already have gained the required IT
expertise for in-house app development
• Pool of ICT-enabled female data collectors for future
• Feedback from OR team on their CommCare/tablet
experience helped CRS better prepare for baseline survey
Key Issues / Challenges
• Tablet procurement took longer than
anticipated resulting in a final rush to configure
and ensure timely delivery to the field
• Preparation of training materials was rushed due
to delays in finalizing the baseline survey
application (tool)
Lessons Learned
• ReMiND’s ICT4D solution strengthens ASHA’s confidence
& credibility with rural communities, and enables them to
provide higher quality care to vulnerable women and
• Using ICT for project M&E helps to establish quality data
that can ultimately contribute to global evidence on
mHealth’s potential to help improve MNCH outcomes
• Invest in staff and partner capacity. Because of the wide
range of skills and knowledge required, it is important to
develop expertise across CRS and partner staff to ensure
CommCare knowledge and capacity is sustained
throughout and across projects.
Summary and Close
• It takes a team. Successful application development and
roll-out requires cross-sectoral (health, M&E, etc.),
technology, translation, training and implementation
expertise. Take this into consideration and plan
accordingly when developing your ICT4D solution.
• Allow enough time. To maximize ICT4D solutions for
M&E, allow sufficient time at every stage of the process:
ICT platform selection, application development,
hardware identification and procurement, training prep
and roll-out, implementation, data analysis and use.
• Be committed and don’t be shy. Using ICT for
monitoring and survey data collection is less challenging
than it might first seem. Reach out to other country
programs or organizations with experience and commit
to investing the necessary time and resources to make
the most of what it offers. Then share your experience!

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