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Turn.io chat platform connects social impact organisations with audiences

Turn.io, a startup incubated by Praekelt.org, recently announced the launch of its chat platform for social impact. 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 of the world.
“Every day there are over a billion opportunities to have conversations that can improve lives,” says Turn.io cofounder, Simon de Haan.

“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”.

Digital maternal health programme


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, and was 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.

Triaging the most urgent conversations


Since 2018, Turn.io has developed features and functionality to enhance the use of chat for social enterprises, such as using natural language processing and machine earning 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.io 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.
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