CoMaCH Webinars

connecting research and practice

From this month onwards, we are delighted to co-host this webinar series with the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development. Join us for this ongoing series looking at innovative approaches to community-centered digital maternal and child health.



June Webinar

Not necessarily mobile: Digital Radio and other ICT approaches to community outreach

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

14.00-15.00 SAST (UTC+2)
13.00-14.00 BST

Those of us looking at digital maternal and child health naturally gravitate towards mobile apps and services (e.g. SMS, USSD, social media) as the platforms for our interventions. At the same time – we recognize limits to the reach of mobile and internet-dependent services.  In this webinar, our speakers will present alternative approaches to community-based digital innovation.

Our first speaker is Maria Rosa Lorini, who will be sharing about her community-based action research in Philippi, Cape Town: how researchers, practitioners, and activists worked together to develop a new community radio station. 

Next, we will hear from Astrid Treffry-Goatley about her new multimedia project, Jiving with Science, which leverages dialogue and music as entry points to sharing accurate scientific information, as well as earlier work in which they partnered with taxi operators to share public health messages. For a preview of this talk, check out this video, co-produced and filmed by Astrid Treffry-Goatley and Paul Harris on Khululeka Farm, South Africa.


Finally, we will hear from Beth Amato, from CoE-Human. The COE-Human’s social messaging project aims to assess the impact of health messaging via radio, TV and other media raises awareness and behaviour change. Currently, their radio serial, Live your Best Life, is being aired over Ukhozi FM (nationwide) and Jozi FM (situated in Soweto).

Phila Impilo Yakho Kangcono. Live your Best Life. 2.30pm 2 May Ukhozi 91.5 FM, Channel 817


There will be ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

Webinar Details

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

14.00-15.00 SAST (UTC+2)
13.00-14.00 BST

(The date for June was changed due to Youth Day on 16 June. Normally webinars take place on the third Wednesday of each month.)


Watch Now!



About the CoMaCH Webinars

There is an incredible amount of innovation happening in the space of digital maternal and child health! This series provides an opportunity to learn more from the experts about what is happening in South Africa and beyond in the area of community-based co-design of ICT interventions for maternal and child health. This webinar series is jointly hosted by the CoMaCH Network and the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development. Webinars take place monthly, typically on the third Wednesday, with recordings available on YouTube.  More information is available on our website.

Maria Rosa Lorini

Headshot of Maria Rosa Lorini

Driven, innovative and network-oriented researcher, project management practitioner and motivated volunteer with over 15 years’ experience in several African countries aiming at socio-economic development and communities’ empowerment. Drove numerous hands-on programmes in underserved urban areas in South Africa while pursuing her Ph.D. and previously as project manager for International Organisations. She holds a master degree in International Political Sciences and one in Human Rights and Conflict Management. Her research focus is on Co-Creation projects for Social Development and Collective Empowerment through Information and Communication Technologies, working with self-help groups of women, young artists and migrants. She is a member of MIDEQ, in the digital technologies and inequality group.

Astrid Treffry-Goatley

Astrid pictured seated on a wicker loveseat with two young children, and holding guitars.

Astrid Treffry-Goatley is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Her research interests include gender equality, girlhood studies, participatory visual research, and ethnomusicology.

Recent publication:

Treffry-Goatley, Wiebesiek, de Lange and Moletsane. (2021) Doing Ethical Research with Girls in a Transnational Project (pp.64–87). In Moletsane, R, Wiebesiek, L, Treffry-Goatley & Mandrona, A (Eds.). Ethical Practice in Participatory Visual Research with Girls. New York: Berghahn.

Beth Amato

Beth Amato is the Communications Officer at the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development. She trained as a writer and journalist, and has a post-graduate degree in African Literature. Her News24 article on the link between early childhood trauma and later criminality won Media Monitoring Africa’s 2017 Isu Elihle Award. She is also an early childhood development reporting fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School in New York City. Her work for the CoE focuses on promotion of public engagement with all aspects of human development . Her work has been published by Business Day, Fin24, The Sunday Times, News24 and many other media outlets.