Reaching Teens with Technology

The intersection of health and technology delivers unprecedented means to reach our youngest consumers with sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and tools at their fingertips. We’re blending digital muscle with innovative vision, and we’re bringing care and resources closer to young people than ever before. We surveyed some of public health’s leading trailblazers to map out the youth-centered digital solutions disrupting the status quo.

TAG THE MIDWIFE

Setting the Scene

Girls in Côte D’Ivoire often lack trusted sources to access health information. Through Project Ignite-Côte d’Ivoire, PSI creates digital links for girls aged 15-25 to attain the information they need to make their SRH choices. It’s a Facebook solution that reaches more than 32,000 followers and leverages real-time social media analytics to track how best to inspire and serve Ignite’s target consumers.

Driving Breakthroughs

Project Ignite’s Facebook account serves adolescent girls and young women with content on love, life and health. Every Tuesday, Ignite’s Entre Nous Facebook page hosts “Sage-femme Gabi” where a PSI midwife answers girls’ health queries. The youth-friendly midwife posts her picture, a component integrated based on girls’ expressed desire to chat with an actual person, with a scripture-inspired name to appeal to girls of all faiths. Seven in 10 of the page’s followers are under 24 years old. 98 percent are women.

— Marie Fedra Baptiste, Country Representative, PSI Côte d’Ivoire

DIGITAL DATA ON DEMAND

Setting the Scene

Policy shifts made at the right time and in the right place can remove barriers blocking young people from SRH services. Often times, the most effective voice advocating for change is from young people themselves. All they need is the data to power their ask.

Driving Breakthroughs

Population Reference Bureau’s Youth Family Planning Policy Scorecard brings data to the fingertips of young advocates. The online dashboard, available in English and French, allows users to view 16 country policy commitments surrounding youth contraceptive access. The tool equips young leaders with data and verbiage they can use to hold their governments accountable in implementing or amending policies to improve how young people aged 15-24 access the care and resources they need for their health, their bodies and their futures.

— Meredith Pierce Policy Analyst, Population Reference Bureau

HAVE A QUESTION? ASK NIVI

Setting the Scene

By 2020, 725 million people will have access to a mobile phone in Africa. In Asia, seven in 10 people own, or have access to a mobile phone. Mobile phones offer new ways of reaching and serving consumers with content. It’s an opportunity digital health company Nivi is taking advantage of to provide women and girls in emerging markets with trusted SRH information. All users have to do is “Ask Nivi.”

Driving Breakthroughs

Ask Nivi is an artificial intelligence-enhanced mobile platform that delivers free SRH information via SMS shortcode and on Facebook. Consumers text a question to Ask Nivi, which responds with SRH resources tailored to the individual’s needs. If the consumer is looking for a clinic, Ask Nivi produces a unique referral code that personalizes recommendations and can serve as a voucher to offset the cost of the contraceptive at the clinic. Once redeemed, Nivi follows up with consumers to rate the quality of their interaction with providers. Since 2017, Ask Nivi has served more than 38,000 young Kenyans.

—Ben Bellows Co-Founder, Nivi. Inc.

CAREERS AND CONTRACEPTION… ALL ONLINE

Setting the Scene

Rwanda has made significant strides in increasing the contraceptive prevalence rate over the past two decades. But sustaining that momentum requires continually tailoring how SRH services are delivered on-demand to meet young people’s evolving needs. That’s where CyberRwanda, created through Human- Centered Design with Youth Development Labs and PSI’s Rwanda affiliate Society for Family Health, comes into play.

Driving Breakthroughs

Working with more than 400 young people and their inf luencers, CyberRwanda delivers an interactive onestop- shop for adolescents and youth aged 15-19 to have their professional and health questions answered virtually by mentors. It also offers a place to confidentially order contraception from a local pharmacy. Young people can access CyberRwanda online and via SMS, or off line on networked tablets in school clubs and youth centers. The digital hub will launch in 2019 and be integrated into SFH Rwanda’s adolescent and youth SRH programming. CyberRwanda estimates it will serve 6,000 young people by 2021.

—Dr. Rebecca Hope Director of Programs, Youth Development Labs

SHIFTING POLICY BY SMS PETITION

Setting the Scene

In Uganda, one in four girls aged 15-19 has had or is expecting a child. This is the landscape that the Act Now to End Teenage Pregnancy (ANETP) campaign operates in, positioning youth at the forefront in the call for change.

Driving Breakthroughs

Led by White Ribbon Alliance Uganda, ANETP drives activists to a UNICEFdeveloped, free SMS-based platform to sign a petition calling on Uganda’s Prime Minister to implement a multi-sectoral plan—that involves young people— to address teen pregnancy. 120,000 activists signed the petition in the three months following launch, seven in 10 of whom were adolescents. The campaign secured the support from Ugandan Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda and, in the time since, has seen Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports pass a National Sexuality Education Policy to support curbing the nation’s teen pregnancy rate.

—Faridah Luyiga Communications Officer, White Ribbon Alliance

Banner photo: ©  Ask Nivi

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