The GSMA hosted a workshop on the Service Maturity Tool (SMT) at the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC in December as a follow-up to the workshop held at the M4D Summit in Cape Town in November 2013. The aim of the workshop was to get further validation on the SMT from the international mHealth industry.
There was a good mix of attendees from all the major stakeholder groups with strong consensus on the value of the SMT:
‘This is really good; we really could and would want to use this.’ – Ken Warman, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
‘It’s a valuable tool. We’ve used it already, so we want this tool.’ – Aamir Khan, Executive Director, Interactive Research and Development (Pakistan)
We realise that, in its current format, the SMT has limitations on its scalability and user interface. We’re working hard on both of these areas and the workshop helped us understand the critical need for defining the value proposition for each stakeholder group. We welcome and would appreciate your input to expand on the following:
Donor / Investor – The SMT is designed to evaluate the maturity of individual projects and track the growth of the investment over time. The evaluations look at a broad set of emerging best-practice indicators that cover everything from technology and user interface to financial sustainability and interoperability. Besides highlighting areas of growth, the objective evaluation also provides a great way of informing partners, funders and other interested stakeholders of your product or service.
Mobile operator – “Who should we be partnering with? What value can be created by leveraging our asset base? How successful are current services? …” The SMT provides the objective framework for mobile operators to understand who to partner with and what level of investment or effort is required to achieve the required economies of scale.
Government / Healthcare payer – “What services currently operate in our country? How are they integrated into the health system? What is the evidence of success?” The SMT can also aid the evaluation and tracking of mHealth product/service implementation and growth over time. The aggregated SMT data provides an invaluable understanding of the best-practices, barriers and enablers that exist, along with lessons learnt from other countries on how to address these.
Implementer – More than just identifying where areas of strengths and weaknesses may lie for a specific project, a SMT evaluation report provides a comprehensive description of the actual product/service that can be used in any internal/external conversation, and a ‘road map’ for sequential growth based on international best-practices. The self-assessment nature of the SMT means that there are iterative reference indicators that help identify high priority areas for maturity of your project.
Technology vendor – “How are our technology solutions actually being implemented? What can we learn from our clients? What can we improve and how can we support these clients more efficiently and effectively?” The SMT can assist you in the evaluation of the maturity of the projects that adopt your technology solution and help you identify areas for improvement, as well as best practises that can be replicated in other implementations of your technology solution.
We’re excited about the evolution of the SMT and the constant feedback that we’re getting from the identified stakeholder groups. We’re expecting to have an online version available later this year but until then we’ll be working in a number of priority countries to test and iterate the tool.
We will be taking the SMT out for a test ride in Malawi (27th – 31st Jan) and Nigeria (3rd – 7th Jan). If your organisation is implementing a mHealth solution focusing on MNCH and Nutrition, operating in either of those countries, and you’re interested in getting involved in an SMT evaluation, feel free to contact me.
Hopefully we’ll have some exciting case studies to share following these in-country visits.
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