Project Lead(s): Sandra Gubler
In Madagascar, rural isolation and under-trained health workers, combined with a low literacy rates, provide little opportunity for people to access accurate health information.
When behaviour modification communication relies on mass media, target group members are reduced to passive recipients. Whether they receive the information is left largely to chance.
Human Network International (HNI) has developed a new approach to increase access to public service information in Madagascar: the 3‑2‑1 Service.
The 3‑2‑1 Service is a free, on-demand public health and development resource available via mobile phones. The 3‑2‑1 Service is a search engine where there is no Internet, providing anyone – including rural, poor and illiterate audiences – with access to the public service information that they need most, anywhere, anytime, and in their local language.
Callers dial “321” and, through a series of listen and choose prompts, they access more than 500 pre-recorded key messages in the local language on nine broad development topic areas.
HNI and the Government of Madagascar developed 100 new health messages that were made available on the 3‑2‑1 Service in Madagascar.
The project developed the new mobile-based content in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water, National Office for Disaster Preparedness, and other expert stakeholders in Madagascar. Topic areas included:
1. Public Health
- Disease prevention and treatment among children
- Disease prevention and treatment among adults
- Adolescent health
- Non-transmittable diseases
- Women’s health
- Sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment.
2. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
3. Family Planning
4. Emergency preparedness for weather-related disasters.
The messages were pretested among the Madagascar population and then uploaded onto the 3‑2‑1 service in December 2014. From December 2014 to May 2016, 896,754 unique users accessed the new content. In total, 6,237,751 calls and text queries were made to the content.
The new messages were publicly launched in Antananarivo in May 2015, with the support of the Ministry of Telecommunications and more than 20 national and international civil society organizations.
Following the success of the 3‑2‑1 Service in Madagascar, the Service was expanded to Malawi in 2014. As of June 2016, more than 400,000 people made more than 1.7 million queries to the 3‑2‑1 Service every month.
HNI is now launching the 3‑2‑1 Service with telecom partners in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, the DRC, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Niger, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. By mid-2016, it is anticipated that more than 100 million people around the world will have access to the 3‑2‑1 Service.
HNI has applied for scale-up Phase II funding from Grand Challenges Canada.