SAN FRANCISCO—frog design today announced a collaboration with UNICEF as the organization’s lead design and innovation partner on Project Mwana, a major mHealth initiative to improve maternal and infant health and welfare in peri-urban Malawi and rural Zambia. The immediate goal of the project is to leverage mobile technologies in innovative ways to significantly increase mothers’ visits to clinics for ante and postnatal care by January 2012.
Mobile technology is particularly important as a communications vehicle in Malawi and Zambia, as there is little to no other existing infrastructure with which to reach large volumes of the population. Working closely with UNICEF’s Innovation Team, frog will donate its services pro-bono to develop appropriate and sustainable mobile systems that will be able to communicate critical information on clinic locations, availability of services, delivery of results, the importance of visiting clinics and more, to the people who need this information most.
“UNICEF and frog share a common vision for the powerful role that mobile technologies can play in creating efficiencies around delivering life-saving health services for mothers and their children,” said Erica Kochi, communication specialist with UNICEF. “We are proud to partner with frog and believe our collaboration can have an immediate and meaningful impact on improving maternal and newborn health.”
Supporting this partnership, frog together with its parent company Aricent, also announced the launch of “Mobile Mandate,” a multi-year investment to tap into the power of mobile technology for social innovation projects in areas such as health, education, energy, and economic well-being. Bringing together deep experience in mobile innovation and design for social good, Mobile Mandate will enable frog and Aricent to connect Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), designers, technology companies, and social entrepreneurs in the field, building scalable collaboration models that create high-impact solutions together with network operators, device manufacturers, and application developers.
Mobile Mandate will combine frog and Aricent’s ongoing social innovation programs that center on mobile technologies including Project Masiluleke, a groundbreaking effort to tackle the HIV epidemic in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa that has reached over 800 million people. In addition to frog’s partnership with UNICEF, further programs include frog’s collaboration with Movirtu, an award-winning for-profit social enterprise that has developed innovative products to help mobile operators service those living below the poverty line in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Mobile Mandate will also support a design research project led by frog Executive Creative Director Jan Chipchase documenting the impact of M-Paisa mobile money services in Afghanistan.
“Social impact is ingrained in our DNA, and the desire to improve the world by humanizing technology has been one of the consistent drivers of frog’s success over the past four decades,” said Doreen Lorenzo, president of frog design and executive vice president and general manager of Aricent. “Mobile Mandate reinforces our commitment to social innovation and underscores our belief in the ability of mobile technology and thoughtful design to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges.”
“I can think of no better use of Aricent’s deep expertise in bringing innovative mobile technologies to market than the mission of Mobile Mandate,” said Sudip Nandy, CEO of Aricent. “In addition to our own considerable abilities, we plan on tapping in to the knowledge of our global customer base, as this is a goal that deserves the attention of our entire industry.”
Additional elements of the platform include support for micro-programs that give frog and Aricent employees the opportunity to contribute in-kind services to local NGOs or collaborations with individual social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and small start-ups.
To guide all commitments and ensure the effective measurement of impact, Mobile Mandate will be overseen by a Board of Advisors that will include frog and Aricent executives as well as clients and industry experts. frog and Aricent will also publish a Mobile Mandate annual report that documents the progress and results of all programs. Additionally, the report will feature related third-party initiatives and aggregate insights derived from all of these collaborations, which may serve as a reference point for best practices in social innovation.
For more information on Mobile Mandate, please visit http://mobilemandate.frog.co.