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Beccah commented on Shifra

(This is part 2 to your questions above OpenIDEO )

As for local platforms and partnerships, Shifra has been designed to be used by staff and clients of any health service at both community and tertiary (i.e. hospital) level. We are working with multiple refugee, health and community organisations across diverse spaces to connect users to the web app and to build up the trust of the targeted audiences in different suburbs, states and from different socioeconomic circumstances.

There are about 1.8 billion young people in the world and they are prolific social media and smart phone users. Shifra recognises that young people share information and trust each other far more than they trust health authorities so by harnessing social media platforms such as Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook we reach these communities far better than those expecting young people to come to them as is the traditional health model (e.g. young people’s community health hubs). Particularly within refugee communities, we know they share with relatives and friends who are now based all over the world. This means Shfira could be shared between Australia, Germany, Canada, Jordan and Iraq instantly and used simultaneously. Shifra is more likely to be shared using Whatsapp and Snaptchat than by word of mouth after seeing a poster or brochure at a doctor’s office. If young people won’t come to us, we must go to them, on their terms. We are not pretending we are young, or cool or understand what’s it’s like to be a young person in 2017, but we do remember what it was like for us when we were teens and young adults and how frustrating it was to be talked at, patronised and dismissed. Our approach is based in respectful, informative and collaborative care. The reality is young people have sex, often. Our goal is to increase the chances that when and if this is done, it’s done safely, consensually and with respect.

Shifra has undertaken six focus group sessions and six geographic go-along mapping sessions. Each of these sessions confirmed our hypotheses that refugees have unique and varied social and spatial barriers to accessing quality reproductive health care within their host communities and that they are the best people to determine what these barriers are and how best to overcome them. These sessions also built our network of champions from within the targeted community.

We have received requests to discuss partnerships from the Victorian Department of Education and Training, Federal Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the QLD Refugee Health Network. Shifra recently completed YGAP's Spark* Australian Accelerator Program and won their Entrepreneur of the Year Audience Vote. We have commitments from more than nine different Rotary clubs worldwide to support a Global Grant to roll Shifra out internationally.
Thanks so much, Beccah


Beccah commented on Shifra

Thanks so much OpenIDEO for this feedback. I’ll speak to scalability first and then work on Shifra’s local platforms and program partnerships in a separate post below due to word count restrictions.

Shifra has been designed to be scaled up in multiple ways demonstrating transferability and broadening the web app’s potential to reach beyond the reproductive health setting. Specifically, Shifra can be:
• translated into multiple languages to help other refugee and migrant/mobile populations;
• extended to cover other health care and social welfare services;
• expanded to cover other low resource settings especially in emergency or crisis

Providing refugee women and girls with access to comprehensive reproductive health services has a demonstrable return on investment. When not faced with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies in particular, women and girls have greater access to education and employment opportunities which also benefits the entire community.

mHealth interventions, when planned and implemented thoughtfully, also offer a large social return on investment. Shifra is cheap to build and, more importantly, to maintain, when compared to the ongoing costs associated with unplanned pregnancies or responding to rape and human trafficking that government welfare and NGO programs incur every year. UNFPA estimates that 214 million women who want to avoid pregnancy lack adequate family planning access every year. Much of this is due to awareness of information and services available to them regarding the same.

Shifra’s approach demonstrates a new methodology in reaching the most difficult to access communities and the most difficult to access community members with them. This benefits both the local refugee and the host communities and Shifra will be utilised and adapted by health municipalities as well as the non-profit and NGO sectors regardless of the setting’s stability well into the future.

Additionally, using refugee-sourced data to forecast supply/demand will reduce resource inefficiencies and wastage at the NGO and local government level. Utilising an approach like this is feasibly well beyond the health sphere into any logistical arena. Shifra’s simplicity is its strength. We are a low-cost operator, offering unique, authentic insights into communities that continue to remain largely invisible to the wider public health funding and planning systems.


Beccah commented on Shifra

Thank you so much Eliziane Dorneles Siqueira . Love the cross-polinator job title btw. I think I've answered all the refinement stage questions and have added the Canvanizer link too. Most of the feedback from the user testing phase can be seen in the image descriptions as I wanted to explain those in detail but didn't have enough characters in the text box after the questions, hope that's OK. Our codesign and user testing phases have been epically slow compared to other start ups and social enterprises I've seen but we believe in "slow research" at Shifra. Community trust is our end goal and so we take our time to develop relationships and implement ethically. Shifra is for our users and is nothing without them. We take our work seriously and won't jeopardise a woman's sense of safety and comfort just so we can cut a few corners and speed things up.