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Ndlovu Care Group uses App Engine
Ndlovu Care Group logo

Ndlovu Care Group extends life-saving work with digital app


Children with improved health


Reduction in child malnutrition


Manual processes replaced with one app

A man on a mission

When Dr. Hugo Tempelman arrived in the South African province of Limpopo in 1994, he had a burning desire to use his medical skills to improve the health and life prospects of local people in its many remote, rural communities. 

It was a challenge on an epic scale, in a region with few doctors and little medical infrastructure. But Hugo Tempelman is a force of nature. Undeterred, he re-mortgaged his own home, bought 60,000 bricks, and built his own clinic.

Now, the water infrastructure and community programs of his nonprofit have transformed the lives of countless people, helping children to grow up free from the life-limiting effects of disease and malnutrition. The Ndlovu Youth Choir even reached the final of America’s Got Talent, watched by 10 million viewers on primetime television. It’s a remarkable story—one that ServiceNow has been privileged to witness and contribute to.

A hands-on approach to health

A child’s first 1,000 days are the most important of its life, establishing the foundations for healthy growth and development. But in isolated communities in South Africa, malnourishment and lack of essential minerals and vitamins continue to cause neurodevelopmental disadvantages and health problems, reducing energy levels and interest in learning.

One in five South African children grow up with the effects of malnourishment and a lack of food security—and many who reach adulthood have reduced life expectancy. Tackling the root causes of these problems has been a top priority for Ndlovu Care Group for more than 25 years.

“Treating sick children can work in the short term, but unless we address the underlying causes, they will continue to get sick,” explains Hugo Tempelman, CEO of Ndlovu Care Group. “We needed to reach out to families and communities in remote villages, gain their confidence, and work with them to improve their situation for the long term. So, we set up five Nutritional Units and went to work.”

Digital technology eliminates pen and paper

Over the years, Ndlovu and its teams of healthcare workers have delivered across-the-board improvements in a region that’s home to 140,000 people, through health education, access to clean water, better sanitation and hygiene, and support for local people to grow and cook more nutritious food.

But for its healthcare workers, all drawn from within the communities they serve, the vital task of capturing the health data of thousands of children—to enable assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, and to track progress—was slow and time-consuming. Notes were handwritten on paper and manually transferred to paper-based systems back at the clinic.

ServiceNow and its Elite Partner, FlyForm, came together to work with Ndlovu to understand how its Nutritional Unit teams operate in the field, the data they needed to capture, the challenges created working in areas without internet connectivity, the need for data security, and their familiarity with technology. These insights enabled ServiceNow and FlyForm to harness the ServiceNow platform to build a simplified digital experience for the Ndlovu team.

Ndlovu Care Group logo right
Ndlovu Care Group
Groblersdal, South Africa
App Engine
Customer Story Quote Background

ServiceNow lets us show our supporters that we are contributing to measurable, life-changing outcomes for thousands of children.

Dr. Hugo Tempelman


Replacing five manual data-capture steps with one

The solution, launched in July 2022, is a custom low-code ServiceNow application built in App Engine. Its user-friendly interface, features, and functionality quickly won the confidence of Ndlovu’s teams, while its ability to function offline enables vital work to continue until a connection is re-established and data can be downloaded.

Using the app, all Ndlovu’s Nutritional Units can manage their outreach work, organize health screenings, use checklists to create and update the records of everyone in their care, and track their progress. There’s now complete confidence in the data, ensuring accurate diagnoses by doctors, informing interventions for children, families, and communities.

More accurate data capturing and data management has also improved the feedback Ndlovu is able to provide to donors, giving donors the confidence that their funds are being well spent. As one contributor remarked, “To Ndlovu Care Group, you don’t donate—you invest in a better next generation.”

“We’ve replaced five manual data-capture steps with one, greatly reducing the risk of mistakes,” says Hugo. “That’s an incredible improvement. We now have a fantastic data management and reporting tool, and our teams can spend much more time with the children in their care using a tool that they trust and value.”

Community Healthcare Worker, Debbie Ditshego, has been supporting children and families in Limpopo since 1998. “When I began working for Ndlovu, we had many severely malnourished children out in remote communities. But through education, raising awareness, and delivering support and encouragement the situation has been steadily improving.

“Using paper created a huge workload for everyone. Now with our ServiceNow app, everything is much easier and we have extra time to fit in more visits. It was difficult at first, but we had lots of support while we got used to it. The families we care for really appreciate the work we do and the improvement in their children’s health. They really rely on us.”

Unlocking actionable insights

The app also crunches the data to create easy-to-understand dashboards and reports, providing actionable insights and a clear, up-to-date demonstration of the impacts of Ndlovu’s programs.

The data is managed centrally by Moses Mashingaidze, Ndlovu’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting Manager. “Ndlovu has been doing fabulous work for many years, but we didn’t have the reliable data to demonstrate this.

“We had cumbersome, paper-based systems, data quality was questionable, and things got lost. My role was to create systems to rectify this and to capture and manage our data effectively. But there is only so much you can do in Excel!

“Now, everything is fully digitized and automated in ServiceNow, with activities and the GPS location of each beneficiary all captured in our new application. Now, we have real-time, high-quality data at our fingertips to inform our decisions. We worked very closely with Debbie and her colleagues to find out what they needed to do their jobs and to train and support them to use the technology, often for the very first time.”

Moses identifies the ability of the app to remain fully functioning while offline and the ease of integration with other IT systems as key ServiceNow strengths. “It was a match made in heaven! When everyone came together to find a solution for us, the collaboration was very productive, everyone was very committed.

“Data is available in real time and the quality is fantastic. We can track the progress of every child and the number of children we are supporting has increased. We were pleased that our work was recognized in 2022 when we won South Africa’s leading monitoring and evaluation technology award for nonprofit organizations.

“Most importantly, we can now accurately report that using the ServiceNow app has helped us to reduce malnutrition rates amongst more than 5,000 children cared for by our Nutritional Units from 45% to 21%.”

Life-changing outcomes

“ServiceNow has given us the ability to show our supporters that we are spending their donations wisely and efficiently, and contributing to measurable, life-changing outcomes for thousands of children and families, improving their prospects for the rest of their lives,” adds Hugo.

“When we have the evidence available, captured in ServiceNow, it makes it so much easier to explain our success when we are seeking financial support for new programs or fresh investments in infrastructure.”

And as data volumes increase over time, Hugo expects to use the app to identify health trends and patterns that enable Ndlovu to predict health issues before they occur, enabling timely preventative measures to be put in place.

The success of the ServiceNow app in its Nutritional Units has opened huge opportunities for this digital template to be used to drive Ndlovu’s other programs, such as its education, after-school, and disability initiatives. And for a visionary like Hugo, that’s just the start. 

“If the ServiceNow app has transformed the way we do things and helped to improve the lives of people here in Limpopo, then it can deliver the same results for NGOs in the rest of South Africa and beyond.

“It can play a vital role in helping to reduce poverty and inequality, and promote stability, helping people to move out of survival mode and build a productive life for themselves.”

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