Dear Andreana Thank you for the message. Of course we would also like to work with organizations with experience in the field. Your question about the different accents for the same language is extremely important and something that we have been grappling with since we started. At this point in time we realise that we will have to stick to "text" in phase one. In South Africa we have 11 official languages, with various dialects and accents - using spoken language for the machine learning will take a long time. So, in pahse one we will use "text" and will learn the machine using crowd sourcing on facebook (for instance) and our mobile phone platform - whether USSD or Progressive Web Apps. That does not mean the machine will be incapable of learning using voice - it will just take longer. You are welcome to add me on Skype: coenielo or email me. it is always great to discuss and engage on lessons others have learned.
We were in the field in December, but I did manage to attend the very informative webinar yesterday (8 February). We also benefited a lot from meeting with our assigned mentor, Rob Weiss in Johannesburg - it was a big bonus that we could actually meet face to face.
When I first uploaded SmartBaby on this platform there was a limited number of characters (instead of 250 words it only allowed 250 characters). So at this stage the idea is very cryptic and short. We are working on expanding on the detail offline. However, to answer your questions: SmartBaby is all about the mother. We have other platforms and projects to use as channels to reach mothers and get them on board. SmartParent - for which we recently won the Positive Action Challenge being one of them. We need a rich data set, and we plan to crowd source input from mothers, to enhance the development of the data set, the Machine learning algorithm, and the risk segmentation. We also have 72 Community health Workers and 300 Home Based Care Workers at our disposal, making it relatively easy to reach mothers. All our projects are based on community participation, from development through to implementation, to results dissemination and feedback. Community participation is key to community ownership, and community ownership key to sustainability. How do we involve the mothers - a community advisory board, focus group discussions, community dialogue and in this case, most importantly, crowd sourcing. Here is a good example: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-launches-pregsource-crowdsourcing-project-better-understand-pregnancy%5C%5C And yes, all of this works very well in South Africa and other LMIcs