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Community Contribution

Hulu Beteina: Innovation through collaboration to deliver RMNCH messages into households

Simon Heliso

John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP) Ethiopia was pioneering a user-facing mobile app for social and behavior change message in Ethiopia. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) appreciated the strength of proposed collaboration with leading social and behavior change communication expertise and reputed IT company.

The willingness of the FMOH to participate in the development and take future ownership of the app comes as the foremost enabler. Hilmaka, a youth-owned IT firm, had experience with similar user-faced app while exploring their own social responsibility. JHCCP had a creative team well versed in social and behavior change and the team was determined to transcend boundaries of interpersonal communication by helping communities leapfrog to the digital age. The human-centered design approach used in the interactive co-creation workshops enabled maximum learning. The Gates funded L10K project, working on a similar app facing service delivery personnel was also a key partner in developing the theory of change. FMOH has gone ahead and propagated the app with Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs). The later are integrating activities related with distribution into their work plan, exploring their own ways to ensure the application reaches households. A case in point is Oromia RHB which organized region wide familiarization  vents. For sustainability and future maintenance of the application, the project has transferred knowledge to the FMOH IT Department, including the source codes and know-how, so that the FMOH can update, revise and include new contents as per future needs. The application is called Hulu Beteina which means all is possible through health. 

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