SAHAN was the demand creation component of FCDO’s Somali Health and Nutrition Programme (SHINE). SAHAN was the first large-scale, dedicated demand-creation for health programme in Somalia. Unlike typical development projects with pre-determined activities and interventions, this programme aimed to first gain a deeper understanding of the primary target audience and the influential human actors surrounding her. The overarching programme approach used an evidence-based, participatory design to better understand the persistent barriers to uptake of health services and healthy seeking behaviour and develop and test innovations in demand creation that target the external factors in a person’s life that influence individual behaviour. The aim of the programme was to develop and pilot a set of interventions, which, when scaled, would have the potential to improve health service uptake and promote healthy behaviours of Somali women and children under five.
The Shaafi Integrated Voice Response (IVR) is one of the interventions developed under SAHAN. This was a mobile based health consultation service providing tailored information on antenatal care, delivery, nutrition and birth spacing. During the period, the Shaafi IVR platform received more 1,029,635 calls from 102,845 unique callers, 32% of which was for information birth spacing.