The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other.  In 2016, 715 individuals from 76 countries and 301 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.

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Wednesday, May 18 • 11:50 - 12:50
Tex4Life - Improving Health through SMS Communication FILLING

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Malawi faces a number of problems in health due to behavioral barriers that include inadequate knowledge about recommended practices in addition to low perception of risk and efficacy of interventions. While cell phones are becoming a common means of communication with 85% ownership (MACRA, 2016), and cognizant of the fact that their massive proliferation is predictable, the SSDI-Communication project has been piloting a Text4Life initiative that utilizes SMS communication to leverage on other forms of communication in print and electronic media.

Through the Initiative, SSDI-Communication sends and receives SMS's to and from listeners of a Moyo ndi Mpamba radio program. More than 8,000 health messages are sent weekly to listeners of a program that receives 300 SMS's per week. For men and women expecting a baby the messages are personalized to respond to their specific needs according to the stage of their pregnancy. Text4Life also follows up on activities undertaken by Community Action Groups and communicates them to others communities through the radio program; reaching an estimated 20% of the album and youth population in Malawi.

Periodical 'Question and Answer' activities through Text4Life indicate that the initiative is closing knowledge gaps and contributing to behavior change. Text4Life is an example of a replicable cost-effective means of health communication. It also is an alternative means for the youth to surmount cultural challenges barring open discussions on family planning.

avatar for Chancy Mauluka

Chancy Mauluka

Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Advisor, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
Chancy Mauluka has a Master of Arts Degree in Theatre and Media for Communication in Development and a Bachelor's Degree in Education Humanities. He has more than 10 years of experience in development and health communication coupled with educational skills and practice. Chancy has... Read More →

Wednesday May 18, 2016 11:50 - 12:50 EAT
Mt Elgon D - Partition C