Mobile technology and enhanced counselling to improve family planning among Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon and Jordan
In countries particularly affected by the Syrian refugee crisis, such as Jordan and Lebanon, there is a growing unmet need for contraceptives, especially among young women. Without access to family planning, women under the age of 20 who become pregnant are at higher risk of a range of adverse outcomes that have lifelong implications.
Mobile health technology has shown positive results when it is used for behaviour change related to family planning, but limited evidence exists for using this technology among refugee populations. Furthermore, little is known about ensuring appropriate governance and ethics for the ownership and use of data collected and analyzed using digital technologies among refugee populations.
This project aims to develop, implement, and evaluate culturally sensitive and data-driven strategies to encourage the adoption of quality family planning services among vulnerable host communities and Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan. The project will strengthen community outreach and work closely with midwives, nurses, and doctors to actively meet the needs of populations who do not frequent health centres. It will provide targeted and tailored information on contraceptive choices and support continued and correct use through follow-up messages. A mobile health application will be developed to support these activities and to ensure appropriate data governance measures that will encourage the use and analysis of data with commensurate protections on individual data privacy and confidentiality.
Expected outcomes include improved knowledge of family planning services among Syrian refugee women and their husbands; an effective locally contextualized mobile health application to support better family planning outcomes; and influence on practices and policies around using digital health solutions in fragile settings while protecting data governance. Results will be disseminated to lay audiences through traditional and new media channels and they will be used to influence scientific and policy discourse. The project will produce open access peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, and other products targeting local communities and practitioners.