LINKAGES (“Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV Project”) is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and implemented by FHI360 in collaboration with PACT, IntraHealth International, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. LINKAGES aims to accelerate the ability of governments, organizations working with key populations at risk of HIV, and private-sector providers to plan and implement services that reduce HIV transmission among key populations and their sexual partners and extend the lives of those already living with HIV.
Currently, LINKAGES project partners collect individual-level outreach, testing and referral data using paper-based forms and occasionally unstructured documents (journals. notepads, scraps of paper, etc.). The reliance on paper-based data collection tools, and the use of unstructured documents, creates room for errors and omissions – which makes the data susceptible to compliance risks.
Recently, LINKAGES began use of Magpi mobile data collection (MDC) in Mozambique using sub-$100 BLU Advance 5.0 dual SIM Android smartphones. Magpi was chosen because of its unique combination of tools, including app-based mobile data collection, SMS-based data collection, and strong tools for broadcast SMS and audio messages to beneficiaries and others.
Because of the success of the pilot phase, FHI360 is planning to extend and expand the use of Magpi. Although the initial testing described here was done using the free Magpi subscription level, as data volume ramps up the plan is to acquire one or more paid Magpi Pro or Enterprise subscriptions – which will also add additional messaging and reporting capabilities.
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