Using Mobile Application and Mapping Platform to Increase Accountability in Delivery of Maternal Health Services for Tea Garden Workers in Assam
Tea garden workers in Assam (India) face extreme socioeconomic exclusion; with women workers routinely denied access to healthcare and nutritional benefits. As a result, Assam has the highest maternal mortality rate in India. To address these gaps, Nazdeek in partnership with Promotion, Advancement, Justice and Human Rights of Adivasi (PAJHRA), the International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) and Purbanchal Nari Jagriti Sangram Samity (PNJSS) developed a pilot project combining social accountability, legal empowerment and technology.
The project, launched in March 2014, established a pool of 42 participants in two Blocks of Sonitpur District of Assam, who identified and reported cases of reproductive health and food rights violations occurring within and outside tea gardens. The reports are sent via SMS using a coding system developed as part of the project activities, that covers over 30 types of violations and approximately 20 different health facilities.
Data collected is gathered on a web platform running on Ushahidi software, where the information sent by participants is represented on a map and database. The project team has also set up a verification system so that each report is verified via phone, while most serious cases (for instance those involving maternal and child health emergencies) are promptly investigated. The project team has developed a short-term and long-term strategy to seek remedies for the cases of violations reported. This included actions to be taken at ground level such as fact-finding, filing of complaints and representations to government officials. Lastly, data collected was analyzed and utilized to advocate for increased access to essential reproductive healthcare for women living in tea gardens.