Rockville, Md. – Abt Associates and the technology social enterprise Dimagi are teaming up to work with community-based organizations (CBOs) to encourage underserved populations to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Those populations are hardest hit by the pandemic yet have low vaccination rates, largely due to poor access to and lack of confidence in vaccines. Failure to increase their vaccination rates could delay reopening the economy and increase infections and deaths.
The Abt-Dimagi team is piloting its approach with five CBOs involved in sickle cell disease: Axis Advocacy in California, Sickle Cell Thalassemia Patients Network in New York, Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois, Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter, and Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease in Oklahoma. Another group, Illinois-based Sick Cells, provides project coordination support.
“CBOs are key because they are trusted messengers that can educate their communities about the importance and safety of vaccines and engage in a dialogue to encourage uptake,” said Kirsten Schroeder, Abt vice president, Digital Delivery and Solutions. “CBOs also know how to tailor messages to their communities.”
The Abt-Dimagi approach will provide CBOs a package with four components:
- Up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccination program
- A digital tool that CBOs can use to track and manage their client interactions and communications
- Access to a powerful and easily configured digital case management system, CommCare, that will promote participation and prompt conversations about the vaccine in the everyday work of CBOs
- Analytics based on anonymized data that federal, state, and local health agencies and CBOs can use to monitor the reach and effectiveness of the vaccine program.
The CommCare case management platform is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Organizations and governments can rapidly scale public health solutions built on CommCare to track disease spread and formulate public health responses. The CommCare platform supports data collection, analysis, and reporting as needed with maximum flexibility. Abt is an AWS Advanced Public Sector Consulting Partner, while Dimagi is an AWS Partner Network Partner.
The Abt-Dimagi team offers a proven approach for social engagement:
- Abt’s experts in qualitative data analysis and health messaging
- Dimagi’s open source, cloud-based CommCare platform for disseminating messages and capturing data
- Abt’s advanced and predictive analytics and sophisticated dashboards to monitor message effectiveness and enable fine-tuning to improve communications.
“To combat the pandemic, state and local health agencies need to engage with their citizens so they can make informed vaccination decisions,” said Schroeder. “Our longstanding partnership with Dimagi can help health officials deliver effective COVID-19 communication and tracking solutions to encourage citizens to protect themselves and others.”
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges. https://www.abtassociates.com
Dimagi Inc. is an award-winning, socially conscious technology company that helps organizations deliver quality digital solutions for a variety of sectors around the world. Dimagi has performed technical strategy, systems design, software development, and health research on more than 2,000 projects worldwide, with partners that include US Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Fortune 500 companies, and numerous state and local governments.