MIMBA: The world’s biggest heart and brain

MacArthur Foundation
Year: 2014-2018
Where: Global
Project Status:

MIMBA, a digital service at its concept stage, is a global community for women’s health advocates and activists.

Everyday Activism: What’s holding us back?

In our work, we’ve had the privilege to meet and work with amazing NGOs and their staff, tirelessly working on some of the biggest challenges in the world. Yet, their work is often hindered by the lack of visibility, low organisational resources, or lack of access to specialised skills or expertise.

M4ID was keen to understand how to better support NGOs worldwide and thus set to research and design an solution that would support organisations in carrying out their important work.

Through desk and field research, we identified several barriers to advocacy and activism from both individuals as well as organisational perspectives, including

  • Lack of means for visibility, specialised expertise and resources
  • Lack of meaningful and long term participation options for activists
  • Weak messaging
  • Siloed action by organisations
  • One-off campaign without progress or impact reporting
  • Lack of approaches to increase service demand

Challenges we identified from would-be activists and are taking into consideration in the design, include:

  • Temporal mismatch “I can’t the find the right task when I have the time”
  • Lack of feedback – “I never hear back”
  • Need of reminders and the “info needs to come to me”
  • Organisations lack appealing campaigns and communities
  • Poor level of understanding of issues :“getting too much or too little information”
  • Want to do more than sign petitions or give money

With this research in mind, we set to design a digital community bringing together organisations and volunteers to advance women’s health and rights globally.

Concept: The World’s Biggest Heart and Brain

MIMBA, which means ‘pregnancy’ in Swahili, is a skills crowdsourcing and information service for maternal and newborn health. MIMBA is envisioned as a global network that brings together the needs and means of people willing to contribute to women’s and children’s health and rights through meaningful tasks and requests from local organisations.

Join us in the development of MIMBA

We believe a service like MIMBA could contribute in many ways, including

  • Increase speed, reach and effectiveness of advocacy campaigns
  • Facilitate clear and compelling RMNCH messaging directed at both governments and the public
  • Inform and mobilise public opinion
  • Facilitate self-organisation of the RMNCH community into a cohesive and forceful movement
  • Offer visibility for local organisations
  • Monitor and communicate progress and proven solutions

With support from the MacArthur Foundation, we are currently developing a minimum viable product of the MIMBA service. The service is currently in closed alpha testing and we invite beta users to join us this autumn. Would you like to be a part of this test group? Email mimba@m4id.fi