TWIN Virtual Social Worker

A young man appears as an avatar on a computer screen

Key information

  • Organisation: Alliance for Public Health
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  • Stage of innovation: Stage 3: Pilot
  • Start date: 01/07/2022
  • End date: 31/12/2024
  • Type of innovation: Services delivery innovation: new or different way of providing a service
  • Budget: $250,000
  • Funders: The Global Fund, Gilead

Summary of intervention

The conflict in Ukraine and the associated humanitarian crisis has seen unprecedented numbers of people migrating, a loss of infrastructure, and enormous pressure on surviving services. Social workers are severely overloaded and challenged as humanitarian support is a new area of work for most. Both service providers and clients have moved away from their homes within Ukraine, some abroad, and many have lost touch with their clients and services. People in remote areas have restricted access to services even when they are available, and key populations often don’t access them due to stigma and discrimination. With the current conflict, it is even more crucial that people can access information and social workers’ services wherever they are.

TWIN is an online platform developed by the Alliance for Public Health (APH), which will soon be piloted in Ukraine. By the end of 2024, APH aims to reach at least 50,000 people with information, referrals and online services traditionally provided in person by social workers. The platform will offer unrestricted and unlimited up-to-date, reliable information and contacts and online service provision to anyone with access to a phone, tablet or computer and the internet.

By providing information, responding to questions, sharing contacts and referring to services online, TWIN will relieve pressure, burnout and mental health issues among social workers so that they can concentrate their efforts on cases requiring more human interaction.


Creating a comprehensive database of knowledge, contacts, and referral information and teaching AI and digital humans to speak Ukrainian were challenging as Ukrainian is not a common language. Comprehensively covering all the topics relevant to all key population groups and ensuring that digital humans can communicate in a way that makes key populations in all their diversity comfortable was also a challenge. APH is continuously improving these aspects and will continue doing so for future iterations of TWIN.

next steps

APH is still in the process of developing and improving TWIN. Following the pilot stage, there are plans to scale up to other countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region and beyond. Additional funds would be required to adapt the solution for each new joining country. APH is keen to share communication and information so that other organisations can learn about TWIN and contact APH to explore opportunities for expansion globally.


It is not costly to adapt the digital human and the knowledge base’s content to a new country or to maintain and run TWIN. APH anticipates that once TWIN is up and running, countries will be able to see its effectiveness and its positive impact, as well as its cost-effectiveness and additional advantages in terms of reducing social workers’ workload. APH is confident that once countries see the benefits, they will want to adapt TWIN and run it within existing and future programmes and projects, including those that are government funded.