mHealth: CommCare and Malnutrition Eradication in India

January 7, 2013

Michael Matheke-Fischer

CommCare by Dimagi

After successfully training and rolling out CommCare with all of RMF’s CNEs, RMF management was able to more actively follow up with children in need of our support. Previously, our response relied on phone call alerts from CNEs to their managers, which were then relayed to the program managers for assistance. However, with the real-time data available on CommCare, RMF management is now able to identify serious cases of malnutrition, the children’snames, and villagesremotely, and then actively follow up with the respective CNE immediately. In addition to the regular reports received by ourCNEs, this combination of top down supervision with bottom up reporting has made our program more responsive, versatile, and effective.

Since RMF’s CNEs started using the phones to collect data, RMF now has a digital database on containing the vital information of over 6,000 children we are currently tracking. On each visit, each CNE updates the status of the child, and from our web-based dashboard, CommCareHQ, and the downloadable data,we are able to get a clearer understanding of how many children are malnourished,wherethey live, whether they have any complications (such as diarrhea or other illnesses), and how they are improving over time.

Photo: RMF CNE Entering data into CommCare

CommCare HQ also allows RMF program management staff to monitor the day-to-day activities of each CNE. For instance, follow up rates with malnourished children is a critical component of our program, and everyday management receives a daily email update of the percentage and number of visits each RMF CNE has conducted.

In the community, CommCare and its verbal prompts have improved the counseling and interaction with family members. Because of the new technology, each “interview” has been revitalized and many of the families respond more effectively.

In October of 2012, RMF also plans to roll out a pilot study with Dimagi to test the efficacy of a “call-center” supervision model. During this pilot, each CNE will receive weekly phone calls from a remote center run by Dimagi that provides feedback on their performance based on the CommCare indicators. The aim of this study is to see how welll this remote supervisory support will improve the performance of our CNEs.

Country Page: India Initiative Page: mHealth: Malnutrition Eradication