Assessing exposure to Kilkari: A big data analysis of a large maternal mobile messaging service across 13 states in India

Jean Juste Harrisson Bashingwa, Diwakar Mohan, Sara Chamberlain, Salil Arora, Jai Mendiratta, Sai Rahul, Vinod Chauhan, Kerry Scott, Neha Shah, Osama Ummer, Rajani Ved, Nicola Mulder, Amnesty Elizabeth Lefevre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Kilkari programme is being implemented by the Government of India in 13 states. Designed by BBC Media Action and scaled in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from January 2016, Kilkari had provided mobile health information to over 10 million subscribers by the time BBC Media Action transitioned the service to the government in April 2019. Despite the reach of Kilkari in terms of the absolute number of subscribers, no longitudinal analysis of subscriber exposure to health information content over time has been conducted, which may underpin effectiveness and changes in health outcomes. In this analysis, we draw from call data records to explore exposure to the Kilkari programme in India for the 2018 cohort of subscribers. We start by assessing the timing of the first successful call answered by subscribers on entry to the programme during pregnancy or postpartum, and then assess call volume, delivery, answering and listening rates over time. Findings suggest that over half of subscribers answer their first call after childbirth, with the remaining starting in the pregnancy period. The system handles upwards of 1.2 million calls per day on average. On average, 50% of calls are picked up on the first call attempt, 76% by the third and 99.5% by the ninth call attempt. Among calls picked up, over 48% were listened to for at least 50% of the total content duration and 43% were listened to for at least 75%. This is the first analysis of its kind of a maternal mobile messaging programme at scale in India. Study analyses suggest that multiple call attempts may be required to reach subscribers. However, once answered, subscribers tend to listen the majority of the call -a figure consistent across states, over time, and by health content area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere005213
JournalBMJ Global Health
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021


  • health systems evaluation
  • maternal health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing exposure to Kilkari: A big data analysis of a large maternal mobile messaging service across 13 states in India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this