Knowan - harnessing the power of data to improve sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing for women and girls around the world

Part 1 - Proposal Submission

Name of Project: Knowan

Proposal in one sentence: Knowan – harnessing the power of data to improve sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing for women and girls around the world

Description of the project and what problem is it solving:

Knowan is a community and platform enabling more trusted and effective sharing of reproductive and sexual health and wellness data with the objective of improving the lives of women and girls around the world. As a social enterprise, we would leverage any revenue generated from data produced from digital health products focusing on sexual wellbeing and health in developed countries (e.g., U.S., Europe, Asia) – and reinvest the funds to support the infrastructure, human capacity building, and additional projects that propel equitable access to high-level data capabilities and tools, and improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for women and girls in marginalized communities around the world.

Further details and background of the project and problem are detailed in Part 3 below.

Grant Deliverables:
The initial stage building Knowan, for which we are requesting funds in this proposal, are focused on community outreach and engagement to better involve and understand stakeholders from numerous spaces in the creation of a platform that truly addresses the needs of the users. Grant deliverables would be as follows:
• Conduct an online community event highlighting Knowan and the potential opportunities in democratizing and enabling equal access to data, with a focus on the social impact and international development space (e.g., possibly with the Future Foundation – a decentralized social impact collective, leveraging discord channels Surge and She256 to generate further engagement from women in Web3).
• Obtain feedback on draft ‘lite’ paper from 15-20 people (targeting outreach and engagement from individuals in the following fields: femtech, sexual and reproductive health, sexual wellness, ethicists, privacy experts, data scientists, Web3 community, and social enterprise community.
• Iterate ‘lite’ paper based on the feedback and publish to Knowan’s website
• Create ‘lite’ paper open feedback survey and circulate to relevant communities for feedback, FAQs and community building

Which Project Category best describes your project? Pick one.
• Outreach / community / spread awareness (grants don’t need to be technical in nature)

Are you applying for an Earmark? Pick one.
• New Project

What is the final product?

For this initial grant, the final product would be a Lite Paper created with significant community feedback, as well as a community event showcasing Knowan and the utility of Ocean within the social impact and international development space. In terms of the long-term goal/final product of Knowan – we seek to create a privacy-preserving marketplace for sexual and reproductive health and wellness data – leveraging numerous stakeholders and their datasets, including: private sector, government, international organizations, academia, civil society, and individuals.

Question on “value add” criteria: which one or more of the criteria will your project focus on? Why do you believe your team will do well on those criteria?

Usage of Ocean: Knowan’s long term goal is twofold: (i) unlock the value of data in the growing sexual and reproductive health and wellness industry using Ocean Protocol based technologies, and (ii) promote better development outcomes in the context of sexual and reproductive health for women and girls in developing countries leveraging Ocean Protocol based technologies. Knowan will drive new users to Ocean protocol from a sector that does not appear to be distinctly represented in Ocean. Further, with growing femtech and sexual wellness markets and increased products, not only will more assets exist to be published, but more data sets will be consumed as the industry matures and better leverages AI-capabilities and other technology.

Community: By creating an initial community that brings in those from outside the Ocean ecosystem (sexual and reproductive health, femtech, international development/foreign assistance (including donor governments/foundations/INGOs, national governments), or even others in the Web3 ecosystem, Knowan seeks to introduce many in the field to the possibilities that Ocean can bring in addressing global challenges. Within the context of data + international development, we feel confident that individuals in the space who work with data could recognize the importance or opportunity to utilize Ocean in other areas – climate, infrastructure, other health applications, among numerous others. Further, as international development activities occur in over 65 countries around the world, the possibility of extensive outreach across these countries is heightened within countries that may not have a particular or targeted country outreach effort or community.

In addition, by leveraging the sexual and reproductive health and wellness (SRH&W) community, Knowan seeks to bring into the Ocean ecosystem a focus on health data that may not already be specifically targeted. Because SRH&W is something uniquely impacting women, we are hopeful that this project will engender inclusivity, enable a space that feels comfortable for someone who might otherwise feel inhibited, and may result in an increase in participation and interest in the ecosystem by more women – from both developed countries and LMICs. At Knowan, we would endeavour to include everyone wanting to support better health outcomes for women and girls – but we do believe that women may feel more comfortable or inspired to join a community that is focused on a mission that almost all women can relate to, and we would encourage them to engage by helping to address and champion a solution to a female-centric challenge.

Funding Requested:

Proposal Wallet Address:

Have you previously received an OceanDAO Grant?

Team Website (if applicable):

Twitter Handle (if applicable):
@Knowan_SRHData; @leongkendra

Discord Handle (if applicable):
@Kendra Leong | Knowan

Project lead email:

Country of Residence:

Part 2 - Team

2.1 Core Team

Kendra Leong
• Role: Founder
• Relevant Credentials (e.g.):
o LinkedIn:
• Background/Experience:
o Founder of Knowan
o Experienced former U.S. Government Executive with over 15 years leading and funding innovative early stage projects and stakeholder engagement – including feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects - that build the information technology, energy, and transportation infrastructure in over 65 developing and middle-income countries.
o Former Chief Legal Officer and Chief Ethics Officer of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), a foreign assistance agency of the U.S. government connecting America’s private sector to infrastructure projects in developing and middle-income countries.
o Former Project Executive – Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) Implementation, USTDA.
o Board and volunteer experience in sexual, reproductive, and maternal health organizations spanning 20 years.

2.2 Advisors

Alexandra McCarroll
• Role: Software & Data Engineer/Advisor
• Relevant Credentials (e.g.):
o LinkedIn: : 4
o Github: XandraMcC (Alexandra) · GitHub
• Background/Experience:
o Co-founder at Phas3 (
o Computer Science MSc (University of Bath 2022)
o Interim co-founder & user researcher at Opscientia DAO
o Kernel Block III
o Big Data Engineer at HSBC (Consultant)

Sarah Hamburg
• Role: Neuroscientist & User Researcher/Advisor
• Relevant Credentials (e.g.):
o LinkedIn:
o ResearchGate:
o Github: shamburgularara · GitHub
• Background/Experience:
o Co-founder at Phas3 (
o Cognitive Neuroscience (EEG) PhD (UCL)
o Interim co-founder & user researcher at Opscientia DAO
o Kernel Block III
o Global Technology at JPM

Dr. Jac Davis
• Role: Advisor
• Relevant Credentials (e.g.):
o LinkedIn:
• Background/Experience:
o Co-Founder of Mirror Analytics
o Extensive experience studying human behaviour and how humans interact with their environment (including Peruvian Amazon Jungle, remote islands in the South Pacific, farms in Kenya and Tanzania, and cities in South Africa and Uganda).
o PhD from University of Cambridge

Dr. Jegar Pitchforth
• Role: Data Scientist/Advisor
• Relevant Credentials (e.g.):
o LinkedIn:
• Background/Experience:
o Co-Founder of Mirror Analytics
o Extensive experience applying data science methods within Biology, Tech, Real Estate, and PropTech industry

Part 3 - Proposal Details

Details of the proposal:

The initial stages building Knowan are focused on community outreach and engagement to better involve and understand stakeholders from numerous spaces in the creation of a platform that truly addresses the needs of the users.

  • Lite paper, incorporating feedback from the community, will be published on Knowan’s website.
  • Online session with another aligned organization (e.g., Future Foundation) will be conducted.

Further details on the project and problem:

In developed countries like the U.S., Australia, and Europe, digital health products focusing on sexual wellbeing and health – from ovulation and reproductive trackers to contraceptive microchips, to AI-based sexual reproductive health chatbots, to other products related to intimacy and dating – are gaining traction. In fact, the global sexual wellness market size is expected to reach $125.1 billion by 2026 – with North America leading this surge. While the total global market for femtech products and services (generally defined as products, services, and software based on new technologies focusing on women’s health) is forecasted to be over $60 billion by 2027. The problem is, the volume of data collected by many of the apps and products, as well as the private nature of the information, make privacy considerations a real concern. Most recently, for example, Flo Health, Inc., the “developer of a period and fertility-tracking app used by more than 100 million consumers” settled a compliant by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as a result of sharing user health information with third-party data analytics providers despite promising that this information would remain private. As a result of the lack of trust women have in the ability of apps to keep their sensitive information private, many women are lying or inputting inaccurate information – thus skewing the data with potentially negative downstream effects. Knowan seeks to fill this need for a trusted marketplace by creating a data marketplace, including compute-to-data capabilities, that helps developers of health apps keep their promises to users and handle sensitive health information responsibly.

On the other hand, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), over 100 million unintended pregnancies occur every year (49% of all pregnancies in those countries), 35 million abortions are conducted in unsafe conditions, 299,000 women and girls die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for certain STIs. Globally, over 220 million women and girls lack access to the contraceptives they want and need. At Knowan, we are focused on equalizing access to data - building a platform that enables the sharing of data or data services that could be leveraged in the context of the these challenges. Specifically, we are focused on how data and data services can support High Impact Practices (HIPs) – a set of evidence-based family planning practices vetted by global experts against specific criteria and documented in an easy-to-use format ( In fact, Data is one of the 5 key focus areas of FP2030 (Family Planning 2030). Knowan also seeks to accelerate the use of AI-enabling tools and use cases that have been identified as high potential for impact on global health: particularly population health, individual health, health systems, and pharma & medtech (see, Artificial Intelligence in Global Health – Defining a Collective Path Forward (Artificial Intelligence in Global Health: Defining a Collective Path Forward | U.S. Agency for International Development), a Report by USAID, Rockefeller Foundation, in close coordination with the Gates Foundation) with a focus on sexual and reproductive health data. The report specifically included a recommendation to identify or create an open data platform for sharing datasets relevant to AI in global health, add datasets to the platform, encourage innovators to collect and share data where possible, and encourage the scaling of sustainable data collection systems (see Report, page 22). We want Knowan to be at the forefront.

The challenge in LMICs is, both in private and public sector, data is not being leveraged to enhance service delivery and products, adequately grow businesses, or improve health outcomes in this space.
• Data is currently siloed. Governments and donors do not have access to adequate data - especially in developing countries.
• Much of the big data with the most potential in SRH to be used for public good is collected from the private sector.
• Low level of data literacy affects the demand for data or incentives and interest in using data. Low levels of data literacy makes it difficult to create insights, optimize processes, or enable better decision making from data.
• There is a lack of trust that governments and big data companies will ethically, securely, and efficiently use the data.

By leveraging the positive commercial and economic potential that exists in monetizing data in more developed markets (US, Asia, and Europe, among others) - Knowan can sustain a privacy-preserving platform that can support improved sexual and reproductive health outcomes for women and girls all around the world. Perhaps more importantly, we want to spread the power and value – by re-investing revenue generated into projects that can propel equitable access to high-level data capabilities and tools to support women and girls in LMICs and other marginalized communities.

Project Deliverables – Roadmap

In the next few months, Knowan will focus on building our community, expanding our alliances, and engendering support to help propel the future work needed to reach our goal. We will also conduct further research and document our technical and privacy-preserving mechanisms required to launch an MVP (technical stack, data market analysis, proof-of-concept, user interviews, prototype, etc.). As we do this, we would include in our focus efforts to solidify reasonable and concrete deliverables. At Knowan, we recognize that the scale of the project is grand in scale, and we also appreciate the complexity to deliver a marketplace for all of the stakeholders that are included in our ecosystem. Accordingly, we will conduct an analysis as to the best way to roll-out the solution – including the best way to on-board specific publishers or consumers, as well as the best way to ensure a successful MVP and solution.

We welcome any comments or questions from the community and are focused on continuous improvement of our idea and platform to realize our mission. Thank you for any feedback!


Hi @kleong, thank you for submitting your proposal for Round 15, it is now registered.

Very exciting to see you lead this work. My previous partner worked with establishing governmental programs for young children and women at risk in remote areas of Africa (Kenya, Uganda), and South Africa (Johannesburg). I’m wishing you and your team all the best in this endeavor.

All the best,

  • Idiom

Thank you, @idiom-bytes . As a new entrant, we would be honoured if the community determines that our proposal could be funded to help promote our efforts. Thank you for all your time and effort on these proposals. Much appreciated! Kendra

Hi @kleong,

As a PGWG Guide, I’d love to figure out how to help you receive increased support.

Here are some different ways:

  1. Saying hi to the community in #ocean-dao and sharing your proposal.
  2. Saying hi to members of the #project-guiding WG and sharing your proposal.
  3. Meet with the Guides assigned to you by the #project-guiding WG.
  4. Attend a Town Hall or Project-Guiding WG meeting to talk about your project and proposal.
  5. Update your project inside of Ocean Pearl and share more information about yourselves.

Interacting with other proposals inside of Port may be another way for you to obtain more support.

All the best!

Thanks @idiom-bytes ! Will do today! Cheers and thank you for your assistance!

Thanks for your proposal @kleong

I’ve given my feedback on our Discord channel with a Project feedback thread under the PG-WG Channel where you had begun to engage with

Much appreciated! Will check our your feedback on discord. Cheers!