GRID - Gaming Revolution for International Develop

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GRID - Gaming Revolution for International Develop: MoHiM - An effort to gamify menstrual health

Washington, États UnisNairobi, Kenya
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The continued silence and limited information available on menstruation results in millions of females suffering from poor menstrual hygiene. We propose a video game as a solution to inspire behavior change by raising awareness, imparting knowledge and promoting dialogue to break the stigma.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if learning about your body, about something as natural as your periods, was not embarrassing, daunting and shadowed by myths but actually fun, inspiring and empowering – what if menstrual health was a game?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The continued silence around menstruation and limited access to information means millions of females suffer from poor menstrual hygiene (PMH). PMH leads to health problems and adverse impacts like: girls’ school attendance and learning; economic exclusion of women; girls’ self-esteem and dignity. Till menstruation remains a taboo, poorly understood by men and women, it will be very difficult to develop good public policy and practice around it.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We will develop a mobile game on MHM. The interactive, fun and iterative nature of games can inspire behavior change around menstrual hygiene. The stickiness of social constructs and myths makes it tricky to initiate and sustain dialogue on social issues like menstrual hygiene, and games can help break stigma and promote dialogue by bringing it to the comfort zone of girls. We can leverage the convenience of technology and interactive nature of video games to promote social change. Games, being a platform to engage and impart information can build awareness, and simulate long-term consequences of simple actions in a short span of time. For sensitive issues like MHM, games also ensure privacy and break the barriers in a non-embarrassing way.

Awards

GRID Achievements • Mariam Adil presented GRID on stage at Clinton Global Initiative University at a session moderated by President Clinton • Mariam is a recipient of the 2015 Andrew Rice Award of the Society of International Development; • Awarded “Best
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Adia installs MoHiM on her phone and plays the interactive video game in the privacy of her home. She learns 3 key messages during game play: The Why (biology behind menstruation, and its importance for health), What (MHM facts and busting myths) and How (tips for better menstrual hygiene – use of sanitary pads, washing hands etc.) of Menstrual Hygiene Management. After being aware of these subjects she is better able to understand and manage her menstruation and reproductive health. She would not have to drop out or miss school for a week every month leading to higher learning outcomes. She also talks to her friends and female relatives, causing spillover effects and ultimately lifting the stigma associated with menstruation.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

MoHiM is in the idea phase and we have an agreement with Femme International to pilot the game in their partner schools. We will pilot in 5-7 schools within Mathare and Huruma with 500 direct beneficiaries (girls who will be able to access the game on their phones) - secondary school girls belonging to low-income households. The project will also have significant positive spillovers since girls can share the knowledge they get from the game with their siblings, mothers, friends and neighbors. Also, as the game will be available for free transfer (through blue tooth) and download (playstore), we believe there may be a potential increase in direct beneficiaries through word of mouth. GRID aims to introduce the game in other secondary schools within Kenya and also other developing countries with the help of its international partners.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

GRID aims to expand to other girls’ secondary schools in Kenya and also introduce the game in other developing countries that suffer from similar issues around menstruation. The game will be introduced as part of on-going menstrual education campaigns by our implementation partners so that the geographic reach is attainable at the lowest possible cost and also the uptake is smooth as the implementation partners will ensure the availability and use of games as part of their programs.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

MoHiM is a cost-effective project (one-time main cost of game development). GRID will partner with development organizations working on menstrual hygiene and introduce MoHiM as a part of their programs. MoHiM will provide the behavior change stimulus in conjunction with the other program activities, creating exponential social change. A commercial version of the game will also be available on AppStore and will also be a constant revenue stream.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The existing market place includes actors that are using traditional methods (e.g. like pamphlets, and brochures, however video games offer a unique solution that provides the necessary privacy and lead to greater social impact due to its interactive and iterative nature. Our solution is also cost-effective, as it only requires the one time cost of game development and making it available on the phones of the recipients but the benefits will be visible over the long-term as beneficiaries continue to play the game over time.
Team

Founding Story

Having lived in Pakistan all her life Mariam is not only aware of the stigma of menstrual health but has also lived through it herself. She has distinct memories of the obvious discomfort that a television ad of sanitary products would create during family tv time, which was always followed by a quick change of channels. When Mariam started making games for social change she was fully prepared to leverage the interactivity and story telling nature of games but it was the privacy angle that truly made the idea unbeatable! She realized that with the mobile games menstrual education could become fun but also exclusive, no one would ever have to switch a channel again.

Team

Mariam: Founder; Rizwan: Lead Project Developer; Adil: CEO GRID; Kiran: Project Manager; Maryam: Artist; Taimoor: Technical Coordinator. We are backed by a team of software engineers with extensive experience of working for leading global companies including Amazon, eBay, Virgin. We can add more engineers and other staff, as needed. GRID also has a range of mentors from different fields that have provided guidance in every phase of GRID’s life.
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