Co-designing Community-based ICTs Interventions to Enhance Maternal and Child Health in South Africa

Digital interventions to support maternal and child health (MCH) are widespread. Yet, the impact of these interventions in low-income communities is limited. This is in part due to the top-down nature of digital health development. We propose to take a participatory and community-centred approach to this domain. Our team is formed of a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-geographical consortium of researchers, technology designers, healthcare professionals and community stakeholders, policy makers, and grassroots citizens’ organizations to explore the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance maternal and child health and wellbeing during the antenatal and postnatal period in South Africa.

We will explore the potential impact afforded by information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance MCH in South Africa.  We will engage in dissemination, knowledge exchange and impact activities to maximise impact across the identified beneficiaries including South African women, their families, healthcare workers and their communities, academic researchers, industry and policymakers in South Africa, as well as the industry within and beyond South Africa and society in general. We will harness existing social media outlets in the UK and South Africa to increase public awareness of the everyday challenges of MCH in South Africa.

This UKRI funded project (1 March 2020 – 30 November 2020) is led by Dr Nervo Verdezoto Dias (Cardiff University). At the University of Nottingham, the project is managed by Dr Mercedes Torres Torres.

Project Partners: University of Cape Town, Wits University, University of Limpopo and the Human Science Research Council in South Africa, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, Cardiff University and University of Nottingham