Finding Nuhu: Community Sourcing of Birth Information Using Mobile Technology
By Avigo Health L.L.C.
Obtaining birth data is often a challenge in low-resource settings, especially in conflict or other fragile settings. In such situations, aid workers typically use census estimates to guide vaccinations. Conflict in Nigeria’s northeast has resulted in massive demographic disruptions, leaving vaccination estimates inaccurate and unusable at the local level. This makes it extremely challenging to measure the performance of vaccination programs, and with unreliable data, target newborns for vaccination. Community-sourced birth reports can provide reliable birth data in settings with large, internally-displaced populations.
Avigo Health L.L.C. proposes to use a digital birth-reporting system that allows for accurate and timely reporting of births, at $1 USD per reported birth. The community sourcing of birth information will comprise 3 elements: a trusted community leader, or a “mai angwan” who reports births via mobile phone; automated verification of birth reports that leverage Nigeria’s new biometric national identity management system; and minimal phone credits as rewards for verified reports. This is the first approach to combine cultural aptness, behavioural science, and mobile technology to ensure accurate birth data, with the ability to guide and monitor vaccination programs.