- Organisation: Education as a Vaccine (EVA)
- Country: Nigeria
- Region: Western and central Africa
- Stage of innovation: Stage 4: Go-to-market strategy developed
- Type of innovation: Services delivery innovation: new or different way of providing a service
- Funded by: Ford Foundation and UNFPA
Summary of intervention
In Nigeria, healthcare workers’ judgemental attitudes, confidentiality breaches, limited access to youth-friendly healthcare services, socio-cultural norms and poor health seeking behaviours put adolescents and young people at risk of HIV, STIs and other sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues.
LinkUp is a youth-friendly app that links adolescents and young people to SRH service providers across Nigeria. It uses Google mapping to help young people find adolescent-friendly healthcare services closest to them. They can view pictures of the facilities and nearby landmarks for directions and get facilities’ contact information.
Users can also use the app to rate the quality of services. These ratings will be collated and communicated to service providers and the Ministry of Health as feedback to assess facilities’ efforts to be youth friendly.
The app enables youth-friendly facilities to register and upload their information and services, however the facilities must be verified and approved before users can view their details. LinkUp is connected to two other apps – Diva, a menstrual health and period tracker, and Frisky, a sexual health risk assessment and information app – as well as to My Question Service (a Whatsapp and SMS SRHR counselling and referral service for adolescents and young people).
There were delays in uploading facility details due to communities’ risk of crisis and violence in certain states, so EVA has worked with partners in communities to assess this risk. In high-risk situations EVA has used its networks for references and recommendations.
- App updates have been made based on focus group feedback from adolescents and young people. These updates will help encourage young people to download, share and use the app. Improving the app’s user experience and adding more engaging features will make it more fun and interesting for young people to use.
- The information collected from the app, in particular the ratings, will be used by youth advocates, partners and ministries to improve services for adolescents and young people. The feedback will also provide data on the use of services by adolescents and young people, including young people from marginalised communities.
- Continuing to vet and upload more facilities and service providers to the app from across the country.
Government partners, including the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, have shown interest in this innovation, as have development partners, such as UNESCO and UNFPA, and social enterprises, such as DKT International Nigeria.