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Tackle Africa - The CommCare Grant Awardee on Transitioning from Paper to Digital - Dimagi

Welcome to the latest CommCare Research Grant Blog, in which we get to know Tackle (formerly TackleAfrica), the 2nd place awardee.

Tackle is an NGO that leverages the power and popularity of football to deliver HIV and Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) information and services to young people across Africa. Coaches and community leaders are trained, so that football training sessions and tournaments are turned into opportunities to deliver health messaging, or even health services such as HIV testing, condoms and referrals. Through these interventions, in 2019-2020 alone, Tackle trained 741 coaches, engaging 15,547 young players in programmes, 46% of whom were female. 

Tackle applied for the CommCare Research Grant at an exciting inflection point in their development: while transferring from paper to digital data collection –– welcome to the other side!  The specific research project they applied with, “Football Focus,” is aimed at improving SRHR outcomes for adolescent girls and boys (ages 10-18) in Côte d’Ivoire by improving their ability to make informed decisions regarding their own bodies and take control of their sexual health. 

Other goals of their program include:

  1. Improve boys’ attitudes towards girls SRHR with 100% players rejecting harmful gender norms
  2. Build coach capacity by training coaches to use the 5-step football methodology.
  3. Increase the # of staff and coaches able to collect data from the field using a digital platform
  4. Improve Tackle’s ability to respond to player SRHR knowledge gaps for more impactful drill design 

For this project, Tackle is transitioning from paper to digital for common, compelling reasons: to help improve participant tracking, increase their learnings, and reduce the rise of human error. After researching several tools to digitize their operations, Tackle identified CommCare as potentially the right tool to support their project, as explained by Samantha Royle, Regional Programme Manager for West Africa, based in Senegal:

“CommCare provided an offline data-entry capability which is essential for our programmes, given that football fields are often located in remote neighborhoods…

[CommCare’s] visualization options were also appealing as they allow staff to easily identify SRHR knowledge gaps for results-based quality improvements throughout programming.

Lastly, the option to design the system to fit our programme was of particular interest as it meant we could shape it to our sports programmes, rather than adapting existing systems.”

With CommCare, Tackle looks to implement a system tailored to their project and West-African setting, one that is user-friendly for coaches, and able to capture data in both English and French.



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