Against the background of an increased focus on the role of technology to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, today sees the launch of Turn.io a product that leverages messaging platforms for social impact
Turn.io is a startup incubated by Praekelt.org, an early partner in the WhatsApp Business API pilot programme. Developed to connect social impact organisations with audiences using chat messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Google’s Android Messages, Turn.io is underpinned by the crucial role of chat as the growing platform of choice for the majority world.
“Every day there are over a billion opportunities to have conversations that can improve lives,” says Turn.io co-founder, Simon de Haan, from San Francisco where he’s currently attending the 2019 Social Capital Markets Conference.
“However, conversations only have value if they have an impact. We believe that having an impactful conversation at a key moment can positively change someone’s life”.
When MomConnect, a digital maternal health programme, was launched in partnership with South Africa’s National Department of Health in 2014, it quickly reached national scale cited as a global measure of what a mobile health programme can achieve. Developed by Praekelt.org, MomConnect launched as an SMS messaging service, but by 2017, the number of users made it difficult to manage and track key behavioural change conversations.
To solve this, Turn.io was developed to manage conversations with mothers. It changed the way mothers communicate and instantly triggered a necessary and continuous evolution of the technology platform that drives MomConnect.
Since 2018, Turn.io has developed features and functionality to enhance the use of chat for social enterprises such as using Natural Language Processing & Machine Learning to triage the most urgent conversations, ensuring conversations start at the right time with the right people.
“By 2021, we want to support hundreds of social impact organisations working in health, education, finance and agriculture, serving millions of active users.” says Pippa Yeats, Turn.io’s Product Manager.
To build a strong evidence base as an enabler for both engagement and behaviour change, Turn is currently working with organisations that already run scaled messaging programmes, or who have a robust theory of change, including Noora Health, Girl Effect and Nivi amongst others.