SMS for Family Planning

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Group 19

Project Title:


Project Participants:

Ashqar Haleem, Rakesh Pandey, Nidhi Sewani, Neil Patel, Aditya Vashistha, Zahir Koradia

NGO Project Lead:


Technologist Project Lead:

Awaaz De, Gram Vaani

Project Presenter:

Group Number:


Problem Set Format

Problem sets and solutions provide a method that details everything you need to get support to a critical problem to which an NGO or a grassroots organization faces.

Summary of the Problem

This is a description of the problem situation. What kind of people mission better if this problem is solved?

Family planning: empower women to decide about her fertility

  • Contraception
  • Safe abortion
  • Infertility

Outcasted if you are unable to conceive

  • Reproductive rights
  • Age of marriage issues
  • Menstrual hygiene
  • STDs, RTI


  • Low literacy
  • Mumbai slums

1st and 2nd generation migrants (insecure, so health low priority)

  • Dumb phones
  • Phone is not individually possessed by the woman
  • Myths and misconceptions exist
  • Low awareness on family planning
  • Stigma attached to discussing the issue
  • Current model: Peer educator
    • Activities
  • Family visits: 1 visit/month
    • People open up with peer educator
  • Group meetings: 1/month
    • Attendance and participation is low: 7-10 (expect 25)
    • Not successful due to lack of interest, low priority
    • People are not comfortable sharing, so discussions are boring
  • Community events
    • Gaps
  • Reach is limited: we want to reach larger group more frequently
    • send a call in lieu of visits

Summary of the Proposed Solution

This should provide an outline of the basic need that would solve the above problem.

  • Voice message broadcasting (addressing myths and awareness)
    • Informational messages on family planning topics
    • Reminders about group meetings
    • Success stories
  • Feedback messages (sensitive information is exposed)
    • Of the pill users, are you using the pill? If yes, did you take it today?
    • Are you using a contraceptive? Are you satisfied?
  • Support group for sharing problems and getting peer responses
    • Community volunteers drive the discussion and de-stigmatize

Technology to Solve the Problem

Areas of technology that you believe have the potential to solve this problem? (eg mobile devices, social networks, geospatial technology, etc.). As the proposed solution could be used?

  • Voice message broadcasting: Awaaz.De
    • Create a Stream for family planning content; post informational messages and reminders
    • Collect and broadcast success stories
  • Feedback messages: Gram Vaani/Awaaz.De
    • Voice surveys
  • Support group: Gram Vaani/Awaaz.De
    • Voice discussion forum for people to call in, record messages, browse and respond to others’ messages
    • Community volunteers seed the forum with content, moderate, respond to questions.

Existing solutions or relevant links

What other information could help technologists working on this idea?

  • Brian Di-Renzi’s research may guide the choice of speaker in the broadcast and feedback messages.

Follow-on Actions

Once a potential solution has been developed, what is your plan of action to implement it? Should arise as a series of steps and goals, preferably together with actions assigned to a specific group of people.

1. Pilot with Awaaz.De (6 months)

  • a. Voice broadcasting
  • b. Evaluation
    • i Contraceptive prevalence rate
    • ii Group meeting attendance
    • iii Oral pill failure rate
    • iv Qualitative interviews
  • c. Surveys: Gram Vaani
  • d. Support Group: Awaaz.De