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May 29, 2020

COVID-19: Using contact tracing technology to save lives in Jordan

As governments around the world begin to reopen their societies during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracing becomes increasingly important. Identifying those who have been potentially exposed to the disease and ensuring they isolate is critical to controlling the spread of the disease and preventing new outbreaks (see more here).

The Kingdom of Jordan recently rolled out a new app - called “Aman” which means “safety” – as part of the strategy to slow and eventually stop the spread of the disease.  Delivery Associates Digital partnered with Jordan’s Ministry of Health, the Prime Minister’s Office and Jotech, a youth tech volunteer organisation, to develop the app to identify those who might be infected and ensure they are quarantined, monitored and tested.

The Ministry of Health launched the app on 21st May and have been promoting it across their channels through including their daily COVID-19 updates, the news media, and digitally.

In the first week since the app launched, it reached 200,000 downloads and was ranked the number one app for downloads in Jordan that week. The team’s ultimate goal is to reach 4 million downloads, which would amount to 40% of the population.

Crucially, initial evidence show people are using the app as intended. User retention for the app remains high in its first weeks at over 70%. And although the overall COVID-19 case count in Jordan is low, the app has already begun to identify and flag some potential cases of exposure.

A comment from one Aman user (translated to English from Arabic): "Aman application is an excellent one, it protects me, protects my family and those around me.”

In reflecting on the app development and rollout, the team identified a few key lessons:

  • Learn quickly. Try things, collect feedback, and learn and adapt quickly.  This was how the team was able to develop Aman in just three weeks.
  • Engage leaders early and often. The Minister of Health and the Minister of Digital Economy strongly supported the development of the app throughout the process. They were champions of the project.
  • Work alongside communities of end-users. The team worked with a grass-roots tech organisation and partnered with the Ministry  of Health’s communications function to spread awareness  and trust for the app - both critical in ensuring people actively used it .

Most importantly, the team was driven by a common mission - saving lives. This helped unite key stakeholders around a shared goal and ensured quick execution. The government noted that using the app is “a humanitarian and moral obligation.” That guiding principle helped the team move with ambition and urgency.

Please reach out to us at digital@deliveryassociates.com to learn more.

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