In the United States, we often take for granted our access to technology and information, but in rural Africa, it can be the difference between life and death. The problem in Malawi that Management Sciences for Health was trying to address was the lack of access to accurate and up-to-date technical information on Family Planning and HIV/AIDS for rural health workers living miles away from the nearest facility. Health worker's abilty to access new information and learning was at a standstill.

Participants in this case-study session will learn about a system established to provided ample access to the latest technical information and learning. This system led to: widened service coverage, promptness in response to emergencies (obstetrics) and outbreaks (measles), a 90% reduction in travel costs, decreased stock-out incidents, increased efficiencies of referrals, increased Health Worker self-confidence, and increased trust between the Health Workers and the community.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How international development agencies are beginnig to use technology in the farthest, most remote villages of Africa
  • How mobile phones can close the learning gap
  • The realities and challenges of operating a mobile-based learning initiative in Africa
  • How mobile phones are used as advocacy tools in Africa

Technology discussed in this session: mobile phones, solar charging panels, and Medic Mobile (formerly Frontline SMS).

Audience: Novice-to-intermediate project managers, managers, and directors who are interested in an international learning conversation.