Use of mobile technology and pay-it-forward business model

Zoe Alexander Ltd
Organization Location: 
Nairobi, Kenya

Malezi-Bora is a mobile application, availed in local languages, with audio content regarding maternal and newborn health. It works on ultra-low-cost handsets and leverages village social networks. It utilizes a pay-it-forward business model, designed to incentivize mothers to virally share its content, and mapping technology to identify mothers in distress. The application focuses on addressing the inability of current health information-sharing systems gaining critical-mass usage and the inability of community health workers to reach every mother. It creates scenarios that ensure that mothers in dispersed villages have access to life-saving information regarding maternal and newborn health. The application leverages village social networks, and provides clear incentives to mothers-to-be, to not only use the content, but also re-distribute it continuously to other mothers-to-be. Its location-mapping technology enables nurses to quickly reach mothers in distress.

The application is unconventional as it incentivizes “piracy”, i.e. continuous re-distribution of content. Mothers will have access to audio information, that is critical to both their own survival as well as their newborns, and they will actively seek to share this information with other mothers, since doing this will result in a direct financial benefit to them.

Data generated by the application will facilitate understanding of how social networks in villages work and enable easy identification of key persons who can be utilized as initial distribution points of critical info. It measures how information being provided via the application is utilized – is it changing behaviors of mothers-to-be and influencing the critical choices they make regarding their babies.