Deadline: 03/31/2015, 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time
FHI 360 is interested to engage in a partnership to scale and sustain a mobile health information service in Tanzania. The service, called Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH), has been operating in Tanzania since 2010 and has reached about 300,000 unique users, and over 1.6m hits nationwide.
m4RH is an award-winning automated, interactive, and on-demand short message service (SMS, or text message) system that provides simple, accurate and globally relevant information on reproductive health. It also features a searchable clinic database of health clinics providing family planning services across Tanzania. Developed for Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, m4RH takes advantage of the increasing ubiquity of cell-phones and puts reproductive health information and decision making directly into the hands of those who need it. M4RH has won multiple international awards, including being selected a Women Deliver – 50 Most Inspiring Ideas and Solutions for Women and Girls in “Technology and Innovations,” African Development Bank e-Health Award winner, Saving Lives at Birth finalist, and Katerva Finalist for Gender Equality.
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the m4RH service has been operating in Tanzania since 2010, at no fee to the user. It was developed by FHI 360 in 2010 as part of a research project, and in 2012 was scaled nationwide by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs. Endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, m4RH features messages in Kiswahili, follow best practices for health communication programs, global guidance from the World Health Organization, and national family planning guidelines. M4RH is promoted via mass media (radio and newspaper) – as part of the Green Star campaign, in clinics, through posters and palm cards, through outreach workers affiliated with clinics, by community/peer educators (CHWs), and as part of other community events like fashion shows, fairs, and festivals.
How m4RH Works
Users access the m4RH program by sending a text message containing the keyword “m4RH” to a short code “15014”. After sending the initial SMS, the user receives a menu of choices for accessing contraceptive information and family planning clinic locations operated by partner organizations. To access these different options, the user replies with another SMS message to the service using a keyword or code from the menu provided. Interaction with the system follows a “ping-pong” approach, meaning that users only receive messages as they request them.
Since its launch in 2010, about 300,000 unique users have accessed the system, and on average, the system experiences over 1,000 hits a day. Our user profile is dominated by young people, 24 years or younger (67%), with 26% reporting their age as 19 or younger, and females (56%), although men represent a substantial proportion (44%) of m4RH users. M4RH users come from rural and urban areas of Tanzania, located in 98% of the districts in Tanzania.
FHI 360 is interested to engage in a strategic partnership with a selected organization/company to scale and sustain a mobile health information service in Tanzania. We are interested in a broad range of partnerships, including partnerships with private sector entity to implement m4RH as a social business at-scale, or with an organization seeking to integrate mhealth as part of their core efforts or add reproductive health content as a value-added service. The goal of the partnership is to make the m4RH service financially self-sustaining, while reaching a broad segment of the population with information about reproductive health.
We envision m4RH as being a leader in providing high quality health information via mobile phone at large scale. As such, this partnership will be open to expansion in content, features, and technology, beyond SMS, to enhance system functionality and user engagement. Entering into this partnership will NOT provide financial resources to the interested party. However, FHI 360 will furnish the partner with the following assets: the user interface, content, and user base. M4RH consists of credible content based on global evidence, and is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and has also been developed following principles of user-centered design and health behavioral research. In support of this partnership, FHI 360 intends to leverage our wealth of technical advisory expertise in mhealth and health, in addition to pursuing technical and financial resources with the selected partner.
Eligibility Criteria: We are interested to partner with companies who have operations, or have the ability to work, in Tanzania; have experience and track record in managing businesses; and who are able to demonstrate potential achievement of a double-bottom line, i.e. financial returns, while delivering social good.
Interested parties should read more information about m4RH at https://m4rh.fhi360.org/. Questions should be addressed to FHI 360 using this email email@example.com. Only questions sent to this channel will be answered.
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