How Community Health Workers Shaped the Creation of CommCare, the Platform for Impactful Frontline Work with Gayo Mhila

Episode 40  |  39 minutes

Dimagi’s CommCare platform has been shaped by its users since its inception. Today, we revisit some of the first Community Health Workers who helped design and test CommCare back in 2008 in Tanzania. Co-host Amie Vaccaro speaks with two people who led that early research –  Gayo Mhila, who has recently interviewed 5 of the earliest users, and Dr. Brian DeRenzi, Dimagi's Global Director of Research. Through the conversation you’ll learn how technology can enable CHW’s to provide vital support to their communities, and how CHW input helped shape essential functionality of CommCare marking the genesis of Dimagi’s Design Under the Mango Tree approach.

Topics include:

  • Insights from 5 of the earliest users of CommCare - how they got into community health work and their experience with CommCare
  • How CHW feedback led to the creation of logins, referrals, supervisor applications, case management and more foundational functionality in CommCare
  • How switching from paper to digital helped tackle stigma, earn trust and improve efficiency for CHWs
  • How technology can support and bolster relationships (not replace them)
  • The journey to creating value for users at different levels of a health system with digital
  • How digitizing community health work can support expanded digital literacy for women and why it matters
  • Training techniques for technology adoption
  • The importance of user-driven design or as Dimagi’s calls it “Design Under the Mango Tree”

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