Dela health

Improving the quality of community-based care in remote locations through technology

Dela aims to be an open-source mobile application that connects community health workers and their supervisors with a consistent channel of communication, to improve the quality of services delivered through supportive remote supervision.
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Dela is at the Prototype stage

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Decision-Making During COVID-19

The Decision-making During COVID-19 project is a collaboration between the Centre for Disaster Protection the International Rescue Committee (IRC), to test and operationalize crisis risk financing tools in the context...

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economic-wellbeing

Local Manufacturing of Medical Supplies in Northwest Syria

Northwest Syria

Open source designs, local manufacturing, and business support can enable a localized supply chain of critical medical equipment while also supporting the market and providing income to families in economic...

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empowerment

Service Delivery for Mobile Populations

Jordan

As people displaced by the Syria crisis begin returning to their homes, new approaches will be needed to deal with the unprecedented scale of returns.

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empowerment

Urban Housing

Jordan

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by...

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This project became inactive following the Design Research phase

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other

Defining and driving innovative finance

Global humanitarian budgets are not keeping pace with our clients’ needs and aspirations. Airbel is designing and testing new approaches to raising finance, and impactful new ways to use funds...

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other

Financing Refugee Crisis Response

Together with the Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Airbel is working to assess the potential to use risk-based financing approaches to respond to refugee influxes.

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This project graduated following the Generate Solutions phase

empowerment

Information Flows

Jordan

Displaced people live in challenging circumstances where accurate information can become difficult to obtain. Strengthening information flows can aid in decision-making and make their circumstances easier to manage.

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This project graduated following the Generate Solutions phase

empowerment

Placement Algorithm

United States

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

economic-wellbeing

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

health

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

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empowerment

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

education

Audio-Class System

Colombia

The Colombian education system is struggling to support an unprecedented influx of students in the midst of a global pandemic. To respond to the crisis, the IRC created an innovative...

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health

Dela

Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo

Dela aims to be an open-source mobile application that connects community health workers and their supervisors with a consistent channel of communication, to improve the quality of services delivered through...

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empowerment

Games for Diversity and Inclusion

Airbel worked closely with colleagues in the Asia Region to prototype approaches to increasing diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces through mechanisms with wide appeal, that can be easily integrated...

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

health

Medicine Bank

Jordan

People with low income in Jordan often struggle to access the medicine they need. This solution is aimed at making supply chains more efficient to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals....

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health

InforMH

Jordan

Leveraging people’s existing practices to bridge the information and stigma gaps that prevent people from seeking mental health and psychosocial support.

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education

Pop-Up Learning Tanzania

Tanzania

With more students out of school around the world due to COVID-19 than ever before, we need solutions that ensure the hardest-to-reach children receive quality education. The IRC is delivering...

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health

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

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empowerment

IRC Connect

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Coach Erevu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a virtual teacher coaching program designed to empower teachers to learn and practice social-emotional learning activities that they can use in their classrooms.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

health

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

health

Micronutrient Condiment

Kenya

Two billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies worldwide. One third of them are children. We aim to introduce an affordable product inspired by existing porridge preparation practices for sale...

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education

Pop-Up Class Tanzania

Tanzania

Pop-Up Class Tanzania is an after-school digital learning program where children learn on personalized game-based learning software called onecourse and Kitkit School.

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education

Pop-Up Learning Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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other

Resettlement Revolving Fund

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program designed to empower caregivers to engage in nurturing and playful parenting to support their children’s social and emotional development.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

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education

EmpaTeach

Tanzania

EmpaTeach is a project that aims to reduce corporal punishment in low resource settings by helping teachers learn positive discipline methods, change destructive thought patterns, and plan ahead for positive...

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This project graduated following the Rigorous Evaluation phase

safety

Real Man Challenge

Liberia, Uganda, Peru

The Real Man Challenge is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends WhatsApp messages to men...

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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health

ComPAS: Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study

South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Mali, Chad

The current malnutrition treatment is inaccessible for 4 out of 5 acutely malnourished children globally. A new combined approach is simpler, less expensive, & offers more comprehensive treatment, with the...

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other

Dioptra

Dioptra simplifies the process of conducting cost analyses, helping humanitarian and development actors make use of limited resources in a transparent and effective way.

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economic-wellbeing

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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education

Ahlan Simsim

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop have partnered to help children whose lives have been uprooted by the war in Syria to build brighter futures.

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) works with a network of about 15,000 community health workers in over 25 countries around the world. Community health workers are usually volunteers associated with the local healthcare system. They bridge the gap between health facility personnel and community members by fostering credibility through their status in the community. Although they do not have formal training, community health workers are often the first line of defense against preventable child deaths, particularly where formal health facilities are inaccessible.

One systemic issue that poses a challenge in community health programs is the supervision of community health workers. Community health workers are often located long distances from health facilities and operate for long periods of time without their supervisors observing their work. In addition, most supervision visits often focus on administrative matters instead of focusing on practical skills, such as direct observation of sick child consultations and coaching them to improve the quality of care. As a result, they may be unaware of mistakes they are making and these may go unnoticed by their supervisors. The risks of inadequate supervision can lead to misdiagnosis and compromise the treatment of the most common causes of death in children under five: diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia.

COVID-19 has made it essential for supervisors and community health workers to facilitate an open channel of communication for knowledge sharing without necessarily bringing them physically together for formal training and supervision. The design of an open source mobile application called Dela will enable community health workers to receive virtual supervision and feedback. In partnership with IRC’s Health Technical Unit, the app aims to work offline to enable community health workers to capture video and audio of their consultations with sick children. That video is then sent to their supervisors, who can provide feedback and advice based upon what they’ve seen in the video. In particular, supervisors will be able to share instructional videos on how to perform essential skills that they see the community health worker may need to review. The easy-to-use app will be designed to work with limited access to phone service, and with limited digital literacy skills by using voice-over functionality.

Dela aims to solve three key supervision challenges in community-based health delivery systems:

  1. Insufficient follow-up. Dela allows for knowledge sharing, and can help supervisors use performance data to identify gaps in a community health worker’s basic training by sending pre-recorded and existing content to help workers retain, refresh, and improve their skills.
  2. Limited ability to course correct. Through video messaging, Dela enables consistent communication between community health workers and supervisors so supervisors can observe actual household visits. This means supervisors can catch and resolve issues early and improve quality of services delivered.
  3. Performance recognition. Dela tracks individual community health worker performance over time, acknowledges progress, and showcases their accomplishments to themselves and their supervisors. This allows their supervisors to focus their attention on areas of improvement and gives community health workers positive reinforcement for their work. 

May 2021 | Prototyping kicks off in Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo

IRC has formed partnerships with Medic Mobile and Think-It to prototype and test the Dela concept with community health workers and their supervisors to see how we can maximize their experience and incentivize long-term use. We will be looking at overcoming challenges around connectivity, costs of data transfers, and alternatives to video, such as Interactive Voice Response systems and chat bots.

July 2020 | Design sprint launches

A group of technical health experts, designers, and program staff from the IRC remotely conducted a design sprint focused on Liberia. The objective of the sprint was to identify barriers that prevent community health workers from safely and effectively delivering life-saving services during the pandemic (and beyond) and to identify solutions to overcome those barriers. The concept for the Dela app came out of this sprint.

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.