A few weeks ago, our CEO wrote a letter offering significant discounts for campaigns related to COVID-19. Here’s a snippet:
As you may know, engageSPARK is a social enterprise: the reason we exist is to help people. We want to do our part to help with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) response… To ease the cost burden, we are providing very significant discounts on any COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related communications. Reach out to us with information on the campaign you want to send and we’ll let you know how much of a discount we can provide.
Since we sent out that letter, we have received an overwhelming response from NGOs, businesses, and government agencies who are seeing the impact of SMS and Voice IVR in fighting the battle against COVID-19.
Below is a sampling of how different organizations are using engageSPARK for COVID-19 communications across the world, from Bangladesh to Uganda to the Philippines to Côte d’Ivoire.
We’ll continue updating this blog post as more organizations use engageSPARK for COVID-19 related work.
Location: Bangladesh. Website: https://bangladesh.iom.int/
IOM Bangladesh is sending periodic (usually weekly) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Calls with important COVID-19 information to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
IOM is also collecting key information, feedback, and questions from the refugees to provide them with even more relevant COVID-19 related information and to help with IOM’s response to the crisis.
VSO set up a survey hotline for staff members and relief distribution officers of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) region’s Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) to submit critical COVID-19 updates to the BARMM government on a daily basis using engageSPARK’s SMS Survey campaign. Through this campaign, the BARMM is able to collect information such as:
- Provinces, municipalities, or barangays where their staff is reporting from,
- Number of PUIs (persons under investigation), PUMs (persons under monitoring), Seniors, PWDs (persons with disability), IDPs (internally displaces persons), etc. that were provided with relief goods,
- Kinds of relief goods that were distributed
- When relief goods were distributed
VSO has also set up an SMS hotline via engageSPARK for BARMM’s citizens to report COVID-19 related complaints; and a webhook that automatically forwards all inbound SMS that contains specific keywords to its own system for logging.
BARMM also has plans to reach out to its 4 million citizens with COVID-19 related health messages.
Location: Philippines. Website: https://plan-international.org/philippines
Plan International-Philippines is sending a 10-question survey to its beneficiaries in 8 provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao islands. This survey aims to determine the individual preparedness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The questions seek to determine:
- if the beneficiaries are receiving information related to the virus and whether that information helps them in their everyday lives
- if they are aware of any group of people who may not be getting information related to the virus
- if they feel secure and confident in voicing their complaints and suggestions to the government and non-government organizations about the help and information they are giving out
- if they know of any channel where they can voice out their complaints and suggestions to the government and non-government organizations
Location: Philippines. Website: https://www.savethechildren.org.ph/
Save the Children is currently running two projects with engageSPARK.
One is a COVID-19 information drive which starts with an SMS survey asking around 600 beneficiaries about their preferred mode of receiving COVID-related information. Choices include SMS and IVR or they can also opt-out of the campaign. Depending on their preferred mode, they are subscribed to a series of messages or a voice call. Both modes contain the same content related to COVID-19:
- How people contract the virus,
- What symptoms they need to watch out for, and
- How to avoid getting infected.
The second project is a 30+ question survey asking around 400 beneficiaries regarding the quality of hygiene kits they receive. Some questions lead to specific answers that determine whether the respondent will get the next question or skip to another part of the survey. If someone does not want to participate in the survey, they are enrolled in a Voice IVR survey, which allows them to share why they are opting out. Their spoken responses are saved in our platform where the Save the Children staff can access their survey results anytime.
Location: Philippines. Website: https://grameenfoundation.org/
Grameen Foundation is using engageSPARK’s SMS platform to send a series of seven health messages on safe behaviour during COVID-19 to 100 selected families. This is part of their pilot COVID 19 Emergency Relief program, an initiative to provide unconditional cash payments to carefully targeted and qualified women in the most vulnerable communities they serve. Unconditional cash empowers women to make their choice to what they know would be most needed for themselves and their household – healthcare, food, housing -it’s up to them.
Location: Ivory Coast/Côte d’Ivoire. Website: https://www.ecomtrading.com/
Zamacom, ECOM Trading’s Ivory Cost brand, is piloting a 1-question Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Survey to 200 farmers, asking if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If they receive a significant response rate, they plan to scale the survey to 5,000 farmers.
Location: Uganda. Website: https://www.earthenable.org/
EarthEnable sent a series of SMS messages to employees on how to stay healthy amidst the pandemic. They used engageSPARK’s SMS template based on WHO (World Health Organization) advice. They also plan to explore doing Voice calls to extend the information dissemination to community members.
Location: Philippines. Website: https://www.facebook.com/TitaDocMom/
Titadocmom informed patients via SMS that they can do online consultations instead of going to the clinic.
Location: Uganda. Website: https://m2m.org/
Mothers2Mothers (M2M) sent out automated voice IVR surveys to their employees in Uganda. On the survey, they are asking their employees whether they permit M2M to share their contact information with the government to be considered for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Location: India. Website: https://krea.edu.in/
Inclusion Economics India, based in Krea University, surveyed 400,000+ low-income workers in India using the engageSPARK’s automated Voice IVR on financial inclusion and the challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the project in the case study we’ve written about it.
Location: Philippines. Website: https://care-philippines.org/
CARE sent out SMS reminders to people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) about important information related to COVID-19 like:
- the current number of cases in the Philippines
- to only get COVID-19 information from trusted sources like the Department of Health (DOH), Municipal Health Officers (MHO), City Health Office (CHO, and from CARE
- to always wash their hands and to wear masks and face shields when going outside of their houses
Location: Philippines. Website: https://www.idinsight.org/
IDInsight sent out SMS messages to people living in rural areas of the Philippines who registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This effort is a part of the national program to encourage people to get vaccinated to fight COVID-19.
The text messages are informing the recipients of a scheduled 30-minute call that aims to get people’s opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine; of those that want to get vaccinated, don’t want to get vaccinated, and most especially the ones that are unsure.
Do you have a similar need or do you have a specific use case in mind?
 engageSPARK’s webhook feature allows our clients to automatically provide their own systems with real-time information from their engageSPARK campaigns, for example to automatically save contacts’ responses to survey questions into Salesforce.