For two years, Pathfinder’s YUVAA Project (Youth Voices for Agency and Access) has combined social entrepreneurship and innovative communication approaches to deliver customized family planning messages to young couples in 10 districts of Bihar and Maharashtra, India.
And today, on International Women’s Day, YUVAA is launching a new app to support this work further. The mPari App is designed to support counseling and conversations about contraceptive choices by service providers, healthcare workers, and peer promoters. mPari stands for ‘Mobile Parivaar,” or family in Hindi.
Specifically, the app is a mobile technology that will allow family planning service providers and health workers to learn about new family planning products and services through educational videos and tools, giving them access to trainings they would normally do in person. In an era of COVID-19, the app makes education readily accessible, so service providers can get the information they need despite the pandemic. It also includes specific information on COVID-19 mitigation and protection for health workers. The app is even available offline in rural areas, allowing providers constant access, and is available in English, Hindi, and Marathi.
Pathfinder led the content development for mPari, by adapting evidence-based resources on family planning, including the WHO FP Handbook and the Government of India’s Reference Manual for Injectables. These hefty, detailed guidebooks have been distilled to their critical components.
How does it work?
The app complements classroom trainings for health care providers, which take place a single time. The app helps providers retain knowledge gained in these trainings, repeating different elements, and building providers’ capacity and knowledge over time. Specifically, the app goes into:
- family planning methods and their effectiveness;
- benefits, limitations and side effects of different methods;
- and, how and when to use different methods.
And the app has a built-in module for youth-friendly services, helping providers to offer family planning services that are friendly, respectful and non-judgmental.
Why Mobile Tech?
Mobile technology has been shown to support better clinical decision making, and improved outcomes for clients. This app is free – and any health provider with a smart phone will be able to download and register for the app, which will consistently be updated. Almost all service providers in India use smart phones.
Pathfinder uses mobile technology in countries around the world to assist healthcare workers with providing quality, accessible reproductive health and family planning services. As Pathfinder continues to innovate, applications like mPari will help us keep health workers informed on the latest information, giving them new ways to improve and build on their knowledge – regardless of their location, the pandemic, or barriers to in-person coordination.
mPari App Features
WHO MEC Wheel – The app has a unique tool, the ‘WHO MEC Wheel,’ which contains the medical eligibility criteria for starting the use of contraceptive methods.
Youth-Friendly Services – The app has specific modules on youth-friendly services, ensuring that reproductive health needs of adolescents and youth are addressed.
COVID-19 – An active module on COVID-19 helps providers operate safely during the ongoing pandemic.
Methods – Detailed information can be found on each contraceptive method, including eligibility, effectiveness, and benefits of various methods.
Language – The app is available offline in rural areas, allowing providers constant access, and is available in English, Hindi, and Marathi.
Welcome – A welcome screen shows one of mParis ‘mascots,’ different characters that represent the users of the app.