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M-Health Referral System Designed to Strengthen Access to GBV Services in Botswana

by on November 25, 2014

Phemelo Maiketso, Gender Affairs Department Research Director, stands in front of Women Against Rape, an NGO in Maun, Botswana. Photo by Shelah S. Bloom.

Guest post by MEASURE Evaluation’s Shelah S. Bloom, Senior Technical Advisor for Gender, and Jen Curran, M&E Technical Specialist

One out of three women in Botswana reported experiencing intimate partner violence in 2013. To address the care and support needs of gender-based violence survivors, MEASURE Evaluation worked with the Gender Affairs Department (GeAD) in Botswana’s Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs to formalize a referral system for access to comprehensive care.

Stakeholder engagement meetings were held to research the existing referral system and relationships between organizations that provide services. The meetings also assessed the need for capacity building on gender-based violence (GBV) as well as referral systems and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of GBV services. Based on information gathered from stakeholders at the local and national levels, a mobile-based information system was developed to connect providers who serve GBV survivors and to monitor and evaluate the referral system using mobile phones and a web-based application. An 18-month pilot of the referral system will begin in early 2015.

Results of a participatory exercise to show where GBV clients are currently referred between service providers in Mochudi, Botswana.

Results of a participatory exercise to show where GBV clients are currently referred between service providers in Mochudi, Botswana. Photo by Shelah S. Bloom.

“The average client needs four or five services,” says Jen Curran. “Designing a mobile-based solution ensures that information is shared and that the extra work for the service providers is limited.”

Survivors might want to access services by going to the traditional justice system (“the Kgotla”), a clinic, the police, or an NGO. “Where she enters the systems is her choice,” says Shelah Bloom. “The new referral system is designed to ensure better follow-up and coordination among these services once she accesses one of the service providers.”

The referral system is designed to produce high-quality data, as data entry takes place via pop-up menus and pre-populated fields for client and service identification. The system produces regular reports on standard, agreed-on indicators made available to stakeholders at the national and community levels, as well as to providers at individual service delivery points. It was designed with expansion in mind, including eventual scale-up of the system nationally.

MEASURE Evaluation will also use the system to pilot a national-level data system for all programming related to the prevention of and response to GBV in Botswana. An integrated system will help reduce GBV, as well as related outcomes such as HIV, and could serve as a model for national GBV systems in other countries or regions.

For more information

MEASURE Evaluation, a five-year global project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), works to improve health information systems, tools, and approaches. The pilot of this m-health approach in Botswana will generate evidence on how best to build an integrated referral system for survivors of GBV and the capacity of institutions to use it. For more information on the project’s related work on GBV, see The Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative: Lessons Learned and Implications for Gender-Based Violence Programming in Sub-Saharan Africa.

From → Gender, Global Health

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