Viamo

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Photo Credit: Viamo

Viamo’s Calling all Women program is using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to bridge literacy, language, and other access gaps in Tanzania and Pakistan. To date, Viamo’s free IVR-based information service, the 3-2-1 Service, has delivered locally tailored content, on-demand, to over 150,000 individuals across both countries. Topics are delivered in local languages using relevant examples on subjects ranging from digital and financial literacy to health and hygiene. Viamo is also focused on teaching rudimentary, entry-level mobile phone and internet basics over IVR, with the intent of reducing the digital literacy barrier experienced by so many women.

Viamo’s baseline survey effort in both countries showed how fractious women’s access to mobile phones is producing far more detailed and nuanced data than national gender gap studies. In Tanzania, a third of women reported that they must always gain permission from a male family member before using a mobile phone; conversely, a third responded that they never have to get permission. In Pakistan, the team faced significant challenges accessing women via a phone-based survey – out of 30,000 attempted calls, they were only able to reach 158 female respondents. Even though the outreach list was comprised of female users, based on telecom data, men were picking up the phone and often would not agree to pass the phone to women in the house when requested. These insights and data provide a much more accurate sense of women’s realities, which Viamo is using to adapt their content delivery methods and ensure they are reaching women in these communities with vital tools and information.

Last updated: February 18, 2020

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