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The Rockefeller Foundation Awards New Grant to Support Community Health Workers Around the Globe Better Respond to Covid-19

Landmark collaboration will equip community health workers with new digital tools that can bolster a data-driven response to Covid-19 in up to 50 countries.

New York, May 20, 2020—Today, The Rockefeller Foundation announced new funding to support a landmark collaboration between Dimagi and Medic Mobile, the two largest developers of apps designed specifically for community health workers. Together, the organizations will develop a suite of open-source digital solutions to aid countries’ efforts to contain, mitigate, and recover from Covid-19 more efficiently.

As Covid-19 reaches countries with limited resources, there is an urgent need to strengthen frontline capacity to respond to the disease. Community health workers are often the first, and in many cases, the only, link to health systems for people living in hard-to-reach communities. Equipping community health workers with digital tools uniquely designed for Covid-19 will support them to provide better care to the communities they serve while enabling swifter collection of data on the spread and toll of the disease as it moves across the world. For example, technologies that support contact tracing, symptom checking, and testing can generate data that is crucial for ensuring efficient Covid-19 responses across community, country and global levels.

“Digital tools can make a real difference in fighting Covid-19, but only if they make it into the hands of health workers,” said Isaac Holeman, PhD, Co-Founder of Medic Mobile. “This collaboration is an opportunity for our organizations to share what we know, to leverage our respective strengths in order to deliver systems that are optimized for frontline workers in hard-to-reach communities.”

Over 700,000 community health workers around the world currently use Dimagi and Medic Mobile apps, and dozens of studies have shown that equipping community health workers with mobile apps can improve health outcomes. Under this new collaboration, Dimagi and Medic Mobile will build upon their collective decades of experience working with governments and non-profit partners to create a suite of open-source materials, including apps and data visualization tools, that better equip community health workers to respond to Covid-19.

“By creating and sharing these tools, we can help community health workers better respond to this devastating virus and optimize public health in the long-run. These tools will shape a future in which we can predict and respond to pandemics faster and more effectively,” said Jonathan Jackson, Co-Founder and CEO of Dimagi.

The grant will also support Dimagi and Medic Mobile to engage a wider community of organizations in sharing resources, tools, and lessons learned during this critical moment for global health. This collaboration will facilitate the creation of more integrated digital health technologies that can support both the current Covid-19 pandemic response, and address future health challenges.

“Covid-19 has exposed a serious need to equip community health workers with modern digital tools and real-time data to do their jobs as effectively as possible.” said Naveen Rao, MD, Senior Vice President for Health at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We need a data-driven, precision public health response to this pandemic, and we are committed to gathering the right partners and creating the platforms to do so.”

This grant is a part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s ongoing commitment to aid the global Covid-19 response by supporting new technologies to accelerate current and future pandemic preparedness and to strengthen connections between existing public health grantees.

About Dimagi
Founded in 2002, Dimagi, Inc. is an award-winning, socially conscious technology company that helps organizations around the world deliver quality digital solutions for a variety of sectors, across urban and rural communities. Dimagi’s flagship solution, CommCare, is a leading open-source mobile data collection and service delivery platform designed to improve data collection and the quality of frontline services in low-resource settings. More than 700,000 frontline workers have used CommCare across more than 2,000 projects in 80 countries. Today, Dimagi is supporting COVID-19 response efforts with several state, local, and national governments. Dimagi’s team of exceptional physicians, engineers, and health system architects perform technical strategy, systems design, software development, and health research with partners around the world. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @dimagi.

About Medic Mobile
Medic Mobile’s mission is to advance good health and human flourishing with and for the hardest-to-reach communities. A unique non-profit organization, Medic Mobile works with partner organizations to build and apply software that helps health workers deliver equitable care. As technical steward of the Community Health Toolkit open source project, Medic Mobile supports more than 27,000 health workers who provide care for over 12 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Most of the organization’s nearly 100 engineers, designers, and global health practitioners work from offices in Nairobi, Dakar, and Kathmandu, and roughly a third work remotely or from offices in Seattle and San Francisco. The organization and its open source community envision a more just world in which health workers are supported as they provide care for their neighbors, universal health coverage is a reality, and health is a secured human right. For more information, sign up for our quarterly newsletter at  and follow us on Twitter at @Medic.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission – unchanged since 1913 – is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today the Foundation advances new frontiers of science, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. In health, The Rockefeller Foundation has been working to improve global public health for more than a century – from eradicating hookworm in the American South, to launching the field of public health, to seeding the development of the life-saving yellow fever vaccine. The Foundation’s Precision Public Health initiative aims to empower community health systems and frontline health workers with the latest digital innovations – including more accurate and precise decision-making tools based on predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter at @RockefellerFdn.

Media Contacts

Sam Farnham

Medic Mobile
Shreya Bhatt

The Rockefeller Foundation
Amy Auguston