Country of Operation
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)Foreign aid agency or multilateral organization
SummaryRapidSMS works to address serious constraints within Malawi's National Integrated Nutrition and Food Security Surveillance (INFSS) System, which faces slow data transmission, incomplete and poor quality data sets, high operational costs and low levels of stakeholder ownership.
The goal of this project was to assist UNICEF and the Government of Malawi to quickly respond to trends in child malnutrition by opening the channels of communication between decision-makers in Lilongwe and health workers in the field .
Key program components
RapidSMS allows health workers to enter a child’s data, and through an innovative feedback loop system, it instantly alerts field monitors of their patients’ nutritional status. Automated basic diagnostic tests are now identifying more children with moderate malnutrition who were previously falling through the cracks. This system also increases local ownership of the larger surveillance program through two-way information exchange. Operational costs for the RapidSMS system are significantly less than the current data collection system. The Government of Malawi, pleased by the results of the pilot, plans on scaling RapidSMS up nationally later in 2010. They are also interested in expanding this to a country wide campaign to register child births, as well as deploying RapidSMS in other sectors, including education and HIV/AIDS.