Mobile tech enables family planning data access

DateAugust 1, 2016
SourceSci Dev
TypeIn the News

An innovative mobile technology is helping countries in Sub-Sahara Africa access vital data on family planning and reproductive health every six months. Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), which uses the mobile technology, provides information useful for reporting, planning, operational decisions and advocacy at the community, country and global levels. The project is currently implemented in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa — Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Niger and Uganda — and two countries in Asia (India and Indonesia) through in-country partner universities and research organisations, with the aim of building local capacity. PMA2020 is a US$40 million project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Data on family planning are usually available every five years through countries’ demographic and health surveys. Peter Gichangi, director of science and research at International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya, the PMA2020 implementing partner in Kenya, says that a network of resident enumerators use mobile phones to collect data at in  households and health facilities, and transfer the data to a central server. “The data is then validated, aggregated and prepared into tables and graphs, making results more quickly available to stakeholders as compared to a paper-and-pencil survey,” Gichangi adds, noting that it takes two to four weeks to create the accessible results.

Burkina Faso Dem. Rep. of the Congo Ethiopia Ghana India Indonesia Kenya Mhealth Niger Nigeria PMA2020 Uganda