OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Building Care giver loyalty to immunization

We transform the Mother and Child Immunization Card into a credit and loyalty Card.

Photo of Caroline Aura

Written by

Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

We will administer and track a Barcoded Mother and Child Immunization Card innovation to quickly elicits a positive behavioral response for immunization adherence in rural smallholdings (

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

We address the problem of persistent non-immunization and vaccination dropouts in rural smallholdings of Trans-Nzoia due to out-of-pocket expenses and loss of productive work-hours. Poor vaccinating farm households in rural Trans-Nzoia have tough decisions to make, should they go work on their farms for daily upkeep, or take their infants (who are not yet sick) for vaccination at a distant clinic and have no money to feed the family in the evening? Despite their knowledge of the importance of child vaccination and the health risks involved these struggling farmer families make resource allocation trade offs in favor of daily survival as opposed to investing in preventative health services. This has had a negative impact on the health of their children and is reflected in the low vaccination rates currently at 44%. The aim of our innovation is to nudge caregivers to vaccinate their children without feeling it is a time-wasting and money-draining exercise Our idea is a rewards program that offers price discounts on livelihood goods as an incentive to caregivers that show proof of child immunization. We use an innovative Barcoded Mother & Child Wellness card to implement the idea. In Kenya, mothers attending their first antenatal care visit are given the Mother & Child Wellness Card. Which contains an immunization schedule for the expectant mother and her child once its born. Whenever the caregiver with this card visits a health facility and she or the child receive a vaccine, a unique QR-code is affixed to the card. The QR-code encodes agro-credits, which the mother can redeem at partner agribusinesses. She then takes the Barcoded Mother & Child Wellness card to local suppliers partnering with the project who will sell them agricultural products at discounted prices.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • North Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Middle Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Sub-Saharan Africa rural smallholdings (

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Women: Who wake up and have to make tough decisions and who need to be reached in the middle of their hardworking lives with solutions that solve their daily challenges in immediate and concrete ways. Children (<5 years old): Who need to be immunized against vaccine preventable illnesses to give them a real chance for a bright future. Male partners: Who are intimate partners to the mothers and need to get involved and supportive of their women and children when seeking healthcare.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

We transform the Mother and Child Wellness Card into a credit and loyalty Card. We use a behavioral economics approach to nudge caregivers to vaccinate their children without feeling it is a time-wasting and money-draining exercise. In this respect we empower caregivers to ask for full vaccination services and nudge them behaviorally to seek vaccination services thus translating intention into action. This is clearly differentiated from current command and control approaches by government.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

24 months to roll out the barcodes project on a wider scale and increase under-5 vaccination rates of TranNzoia from 44% to 70%.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

GrainBank and VaccineLink Limited

Type of Submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organizational Characteristics

  • Locally/community-led organization

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

Offices: DPU CBPS campus, Riverside Drive Nairobi, Kenya. 2. Sikhendu Medical Clinic Building, Sikhendu Center, Webuye; Kitale Road, Kenya.

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • Community (working within one or a few local communities within a region)

Website URL

Tell us more about your organization/company (1-2 sentences)

We build loyalty to immunization through smart partnerships

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

We have built a partnership network in the project area that is based on both trust and expertise in service provision. They comprise, Local health facilities, Agro-vets, Seed sellers, Open market traders, Community health workers, Traditional birth attendants, local leaders, Religious leaders, Motorcycle taxis (boda-boda).

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

The GB&VL team has a strong working chemistry over six years and has been implementing innovations in maternal and child health in rural North-Rift Kenya. It is comprised of professionals with diverse backgrounds. Caroline Aura: Chief operations officer (Social Scientist); Dr. Benson Wamalwa: Principal innovations officer (Bio-Chemist) Sammy Karanja: Chief finance officer (CPA II) Elizabeth Nyongesa: Partnerships officer (Community work) and Denis Muguta: Information and communications officer (Bioinformatics)

Overview of How Your Concept Has Evolved (5-6 sentences):

We delved further into our idea by immersing ourselves in the user’s (women/mothers) context and in the process learnt more about their motivations and fears and trying to deeply understand why they were not utilizing immunization services. What emerged were reasons and interesting statements which we used to further focus our idea. The business model canvas activity enabled us to scrutinize the project viability in much more detail and to align the idea in ways that leverage the available resources. Expert Webinars including an Openideo prototyper meet-up in Nairobi provided a much useful context for the team to iterate the idea further. Prototyper support led to design representations of our idea that were simple and implementable.

Viability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

Insights and potential working plans derived from the business model canvas activity included establishing clear criteria for selecting partnering businesses in line with our idea’s value chain; how our users currently interphase with partnering business and their community relations; the need to monitor business profitability during implementation and sustainability and bottlenecks in providing discount incentives over the long-term; expanding the incentive base to accommodate shifting user priorities; consider responsive and flexible implementation steps for the program to reach users in their hard working lives.

Feasibility (3-4 sentences):

How the idea works: A user (caregiver) is enrolled in the loyalty program using her immunization card. She receives points whenever her baby is vaccinated on time and bonus points if she shows up with her male partner or immunization group members. She can then redeem her loyalty points through price discounts on purchases from partner businesses and receives SMS/text notifications of accrued points and vaccine information. Prototyper was a perfect match for our idea and team. The team appreciates her design skills which greatly simplified the final idea concept making it actionable.

Desirability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

Currently immunization is low on their priority list, especially when it is competing with other household priorities for time and resources. By tying the loyalty card to immunization we enable this smallholder caregivers to make a healthy choice of fully vaccinating their children.

Community Focus (2-3 sentences):

In the target community, women often come together in groups of more than five people to save (table banking). During seatings they discuss ideas and work collectively on group projects that empower them in various ways. We see a strategic value in leveraging the tried and tested group approach to drive the loyalty program’s “time-saving” vision where women with a similar immunization schedule attend clinics as a group. Immunization women groups can create change in the community by encouraging caregivers to make the healthy choice

Community Impact (2-3 sentences):

We expect a positive change in husband’s attitudes towards immunization ( a worthwhile activity) and the gain of soft power by women across married couple households. This difference could be observed as quickly as couples successfully redeem their rewards, say within the first month post-vaccination. Loyalty program discount incentives will be continued through long-term partnerships that last beyond Gates Foundation funding because they are sustainable since partner businesses can still make a margin.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Marichu Carstensen

Hi Carolina, thanks for including me in your team. I hope I can help your team with whatever skill and talent I have that you might need. Even if you are so far away, our lives are inter twined.

Best regards,

View all comments