Combating Rural Child Malnutrition through Inexpensive Mobile Phones

January 15, 2013

Most organizations in the developing world still rely on paper for record keeping, giving rise to many problems in aggregation, storage, transmission and analysis of data. Errors and time delays associated with paper data are particularly problematic in the domain of healthcare. We present a case study of CommCare, a low-cost mobile phone data collection solution deployed to enhance the paper-based record management system of a non-profit organization working in prevention of child malnutrition in rural central India. Through a three-month unsupervised field trial with ten rural health workers we report data management gains in terms of data quality, completeness and timeliness for 836 recorded patient cases, and demonstrate strong preference of the system by health workers. We found that the motivation for use and acceptance of the system was tied to respect and social power in local communities associated with using the device, as well as non-work-related uses of the phone…

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Country Page: India Initiative Page: Childhood Malnutrition Eradication Program