News @ JSI

New App Enables Better Decision Making among Youth

September 25, 2017

Each year, approximately 21 million girls (age 15-19) in developing countries become pregnant, with nearly half of these pregnancies (49%) being unintended. Young people, especially girls, lack access to youth friendly, accurate services and information on contraception, limiting their ability to “decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children to have.”

Improving information on contraceptives is key to addressing unmet need, improving the health of mothers, babies and youth, and expanding social and economic opportunities for young people so they can reach their full potential. To meet this need, JSI's inSupply is partnering with several organizations including RHSC, GIZ, UNFPA and Bayer to explore a new and exciting series of games on reproductive health and healthy lifestyles to reach youth using the Health Games Kenya (HGK) social gaming platform. The reproductive health game empowers youth by sharing quality, reliable information on the full range of contraceptive methods and sexual reproductive health, through a competitive learning environment and aims to reach 2000 youth in Kenya and elsewhere.

Gaming provides a fun, habit-forming interface that meets youth where they spend most of their time – on their phones. The game empowers youth by sharing information on contraceptive methods and common sexual myths, through a competitive learning environment. HGK is built on the Yeepa platform, a web-based, scalable gaming platform for social interactive multi-player quiz games. Its unique measurement component enables individual and group knowledge acquisition over time. JSI layers a variety of content into complex (or simple) games, tailors it to specific audiences, and gathers information on perceptions and attitudes. Gaming motivates users to stay engaged and change knowledge and behavior over time.

In May 2017, JSI and SNTL Publishing, under GIZ’s Lab of Tomorrow, launched HGK to gamify knowledge acquisition. Its unique measurement component enables individual and group knowledge acquisition over time. A variety of content can be transformed into complex (or simple) games and tailored to specific audiences. The platform is also capable of gathering information on users' perceptions and attitudes.

Currently there are two games on the platform: Building Healthy Lifestyles and Introduction to Healthcare Supply Chain Management. Building Healthy Lifestyles is a game targeted towards youth, to improve knowledge and understanding about health ways to interact within their communities, cities, and neighborhoods. Introduction to Healthcare Supply Chain Management helps professionals and healthcare workers understand concepts of supply chain based on JSI’s Supply Chain Manager’s Handbook.

Gaming holds tremendous potential as a youth friendly outreach tool and engagement approach for increasing sexual and reproductive health literacy and for possibly influencing future health care decision making because it meets youth where they spend most of their time - on their phones. While still in its infancy, HGK's ability to reach and engage an array of audiences and measure knowledge development over time has the potential to succeed where traditional training has failed.