The Challenge

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How might we improve maternal health with mobile technologies for low-income countries? read the brief

Winning idea

Portable Maternal Health Video Library for Community Health Workers

Make a portable maternal health medical video library available to CHWs preloaded on mobile phones or on a SD card.
The video library could include the most common maternal health scenarios encountered by CHWs in the developing world.
Divya Ramachandran has already done pioneering research on how to make the most effective pregnancy videos, let's get her onboard!:
http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~divya/research/firstdays/overview.html

Portable Maternal Health Video Library, a preliminary specification for a frugal implementation:

-Each maternal health videos will consist of a sequence of customized drawings with voiceovers in the local language. Each video episode should not exceed three minutes.

-The drawings for each video episode (based on the WHO Midwifery education modules http://www.who.int/making_pregnancy_safer/documents/9241546662/en/index.html) will be produced by pregnant mothers or local artists at a grassroots comics workshop. See: http://www.worldcomics.fi/ for guidelines on how to do this. The episodes can be scripted in tandem with maternal health plays performed in each local community. The scripts can be recorded at the same workshops in the voice and language of the local mothers.

-Techsmith Camtasia or Adobe Captivate can be used to produce the videos. This will enable video interactivity.

-The videos will be distributed on SD cards, USB Flash Drives, DVDs, on dedicated YouTube and Vimeo channels or made available for free direct download on the Internet Archive. SD cards, USB Flash Drives or DVDs with the video content could be snail-mailed to all known CHWs in the field. Digital Green has valuable experience doing this: http://www.digitalgreen.org/overviewdistribution/

-Content could be preloaded on phones (rather like the OLPC laptop) for immediate deployment by CHWs.

-The pregnant women and CHW will watch the videos together, share them with others and use them as a lauching pad for discussions concerning maternal health.

-Children should be involved in spreading the videos.

-The voiceovers can be podcast separately as mp3 files or accessed by pregnant mothers calling in to listen to them (selecting a topic will initiate a callback to the caller's phone). A short maternal health ditty can be made available for use as a ringtone.

-Let's get the wider visual thinking community (http://vizthink.com) and thought leaders involved: Dan Roam, Dave Gray, Don Moyer, Nigel Holmes, Robert Horn, etc.
What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?
Mobile phone with video playback capability
Does this concept have the potential to save lives related to maternal health in the poorest and most marginalized communities?
A great deal of potential
How could this work in a low-literacy context?
The videos could be developed in collaboration with local moms using the grassroots comics methodology. The videos could have voiceovers by moms in the local language. Content could be preloaded on phones (rather like the OLPC laptop) for immediate deployment by CHWs . SD cards with the video content could be snail-mailed to all known CHWs in the field.
How realizable do you think this concept can be? Think about the real issues faced by low-income communities, such as literacy challenges, affordability of devices and tools, usage costs.
It's very realizable
Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?
  1. Oxfam
  2. Nokia
  3. Mobile operators
  4. NGOs
  5. Government
  6. Other - Feel free to elaborate in your description of the concept
How much does this concept leverage resources and partners in existing low-income communities? Thus enhancing positive aspects of the way things work in the community as opposed to taking away what is a valued way of working and living in the community.
This concept works harmoniously with existing resources and partners
Concept Builds
Here are resources from a similar project led by Arturo Morosoff to provide videos on mobile phones to CHWs in Tanzania: http://www.mobileactive.org/mobile-video-community-health-workers-tanzania-guest-post
Can this concept become self-sustaining and even provide some livelihood value add to the community?
This concept could become a self-sustaining business for locals
Virtual Team
Divya Ramachandran, Jessie Cutts, Mokeira Masita-Mwangi, Sydney Malawer, Dara Parker, Alejandro Correa, Aaron Stimpson, Ian Sullivan, Sarah Bird, Prabhas Pokharel MANY THANKS TO THE VIRTUAL TEAM FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS CONCEPT!
Will this concept work in low-tech & low-connectivity environments?
This concept is very well suited to low-tech and low-connectivity environments

Evaluation results

1

Does this concept have the potential to save lives related to maternal health in the poorest and most marginalized communities?

A great deal of potential
Some potential
Not a lot of potential
2

How realizable do you think this concept can be? Think about the real issues faced by low-income communities, such as literacy challenges, affordability of devices and tools, usage costs.

It's very realizable
There are some hurdles to realization
This concept is not realistic
3

How much does this concept leverage resources and partners in existing low-income communities? Thus enhancing positive aspects of the way things work in the community as opposed to taking away what is a valued way of working and living in the community.

This concept works harmoniously with existing resources and partners
This concept does not work against existing resources and partners
This concept conflicts with existing resources and partners
4

Can this concept become self-sustaining and even provide some livelihood value add to the community?

This concept could become a self-sustaining business for locals
This concept still needs some work before it is self-sustaining
This concept is not self-sustaining at all
5

Will this concept work in low-tech & low-connectivity environments?

This concept is very well suited to low-tech and low-connectivity environments
This concept needs to be evaluated for technology feasibility
This concept may be too high-tech for low-income communities

Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

Haiyan Zhang

April 19, 2011, 17:11PM
Avi, amazing sketch of the service! Really cool.

Prabhas Pokharel

April 17, 2011, 13:11PM
There is actually another project like this with CHWs as well, that this concept might take more inspiration/lessons from: http://www.mobileactive.org/mobile-video-community-health-workers-tanzania-guest-post

Avi Solomon

April 17, 2011, 13:45PM
What a fantastic resource Prabhas! I've added you to the virtual team for this concept.

Sarah Bird

April 07, 2011, 18:45PM
Nice concept - There's probably a cheap way to also include the ability to clone SD cards in the community onto a USB stick or something that can be left behind - maybe if there's a local computer.

OpenIDEO

March 30, 2011, 04:38AM
Hey there Avi!

Congratulations for being one of our top 20 finalists in the Maternal Health challenge! We really like your idea posted here.

As part of this Refine phase, we're urging you to dive deeper in the details of your concept and give some more thought into what might be involved.

When you're ready to update your concept, please click the 'Update this' button on the right-hand-side of your concept and fill out our 2 new fields:
+ Concept Builds – Here you can list additional builds on your concept
+ Virtual Team – Here you can credit others in the community who have contributed to your concept.

Cheers from the OpenIDEO Team!

Avi Solomon

March 30, 2011, 03:27AM
Thanks for the great feedback everyone! I'll revise the concept some more over the weekend - having to print out a concept to integrate the comments is a good sign:)

OpenIDEO

March 29, 2011, 15:24PM
Hi Avi,

Congratulations on being one of our top 20 finalists!

We encourage you to work with Jessie Cutts, who has some great ideas in her concept: Plays for Maternal Health
http://openideo.com/open/maternal-health/concepting/plays-for-maternal-health/

Thanks for already building on your concept and virtual team!

Cheers,
OpenIDEO

Mokeira Masita-Mwangi

March 29, 2011, 15:13PM
Just like Sydney points out I would like to emphasize the importance of the localization of the videos. Think and elaborate more on how this can be implemented to acheive this so that people are not alienated because they consider the videos to be 'foreign'. Perhaps the videos could all be based on the same basic story lines / script and implemented by partners/stakeholders in the relevant regions.

Richard and Elly in Kfar Yona

March 24, 2011, 03:14AM
This is a clever idea that could make a difference.
R&E

Sydney Malawer

March 22, 2011, 17:56PM
i think the grassroots aspect of this concept is key to its success because the images need to resonate with those watching it in order for them to be effective! this is a beautifully explained concept :)

Dara Parker

March 22, 2011, 13:51PM
I was inspired by the novel, The Book of Negroes, as the protagonist learns from her mother how to deliver babies (e.g. midwifery) at a young age.

While the book is of course fiction, the reality is that in many emerging economies (especially those ravaged by HIV/AIDS), children must take on more adult roles.

Perhaps the videos could be designed in a youth-friendly manner?

Dara Parker

March 22, 2011, 13:49PM
I was inspired by the novel, The Book of Negroes, as the protagonist learns from her mother how to deliver babies (e.g. midwifery) at a young age.

While the book is of course fiction, the reality is that in many emerging economies (especially those ravaged by HIV/AIDS), children must take on more adult roles.

Perhaps the videos could be designed in a youth-friendly manner?

Sarah Bird

March 16, 2011, 07:03AM
Perhaps you could convince the Khan Academy to make some videos - not really their area of expertise - but they seem to be really good at making educational videos http://www.khanacademy.org/ (Disclaimer, watched a ted talk last night and got very excited)

Alejandro Correa

March 02, 2011, 15:24PM
A very good idea.
I believe that to overcome this challenge we must center our efforts in 2 aspects:
1. improving maternal health education among women
2. improve communication within the health system responsible for the maternal care
After an experience in a low-litteracy and very poor region in the Colombian pacific coast, I realized how difficult it is to teach women in this context, and that the usual and most common education techniques fail to show results in the end.
With the use of technology both of these goals can be achieved.

Meena Kadri

February 28, 2011, 06:29AM
Great to see connections forming between concepts Avi + Aaron!
Anyone up for a 2.0 build? ;^)

Avi Solomon

February 25, 2011, 21:11PM
Ian, Digital Green has good experience with this: http://digitalgreen.org/

The interactive part consists in the CHW pausing the video to conduct a dialogue with the target family!

Aaron Stimpson

February 25, 2011, 17:09PM
Your idea and my idea go together very well. I have made the interactive part and the delivery of this.

Ian Sullivan

February 25, 2011, 15:26PM
Hi Avi

I like this. I'm really interested in how you can use story telling for development and campaigning work. How do you envisage the content being stored (ie any way of making libraries that can be accessed?) Also, is there an ywa of maing this more interactive?
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