GlobDev Paris – Healthcare

Notes from the workshop on Global Development, December 13 2008 in Paris.

Track V – Healthcare
Session Chair:
Peter Meso – Georgia State University, USA

The Shifting Legitimation of an Information System: Local, Global and Large Scale
Gianluca Miscione
– International Institute for Geo-Information and Earth Observation; Inger Elise Ostmo, Kristoffer Fossum, Knut Staring – University of Oslo, Norway

Scheme of the article:
Time line vs. relevance of specific places and local settings.
From local (high relevance of specific places) -> to organizational (low) -> to full coverage (middle)

Collecting local information – initial acceptance of own system in South Africa in 1999.

The project crossed the borders and went to Asia. Networks of action were created instead of working patterns in local settings. Shift from local to global.
FOSS worked in every area
Different players evolved in every area, also the field in which the projects were active

International standardization appeared. Information and processing tools showed their own logic and requirements.

Final stage – full coverage:
The bottom up approach (beginning) evolved into a top-down approach (later)
Even if the system makes sense locally, the power remains centrally.
Scalability is the ability to switch legitimation
It’s important to cope with the requirements of policy makers


Fighting Hunger with Information – Mashups in ICT4D Increase Accessibility of Vital Services
Florian Sturm, David Hauer, Thorsten Hampel
and Andreas Hornich – University of Vienna, Austria

Presentation GlobDev08 Paris

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: globdev08 paris)


Depicting the Landscape around Information Flows: Methodological Propositions
Mikko Korpela, Irmeli Luukkonen
– University of Kupio, Finland; Retha de la Harpe – Cape Pensulina University of Technology, South Africa

Depicting the landscape around information flows
Context is essential, especially in healthcare. Suggesting a graphic notation for that -> landscape method
Physical and political structure as the canvas
Flow of services/authority/money/information
More detailed landscape: activity networks and activities
Research in progress -> try the framework, contextualize it, make case studies, transfer to other domains, enhance usability (guidebook)

What purpose do they have? What can one get out of these descriptions?
– The need to depict & describe similar cases and compare cases and focus on substantial factors;
– Also practitioners can benefit & learn from the depictions


E-health readiness framework from electronic health records perspective
JunHua Li, Lesley Pek Wee Land, Subhagata Chattopadhyay
and Pradeep Ray – The University of New South Wales, Australia and The Asia Pacific u-Health Research Center (APuHC), Australia

Part of a WHO project – implementation of e-health records, especially in Asia
A lot of money was invested in these systems but WHO wanted to know which outcome there was

E-health promises a lot, especially in LDCs – but how to create sustainability in the use of these systems?

This research is completely not theoretically based, just collecting the data and getting the most out of it
Aim: introduce a conceptual method to quantify constructs within the framework in order to reveal e-health readiness status

Analyse different frameworks

Components for assessment:

  • Core readiness
  • Engagement = providers’ exposure to ICTs
  • Technological readiness
  • Societal readiness

Framework made out of these factors
Connect and weigh the graph to find out core readiness

This framework can be used to reveal overall e-health readiness before implementing the systems

What is e-readiness and why was it chosen?
– Systems are expensive and complex -> big investment and therefore it should be made right
– Physicians are not the same as IT users, it’s important to know how to fill the different expectations (also patients’)

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GlobDev Paris – Healthcare
was published on 20.12.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Podcasts & mobile phones

Two articles that struck me today:

In the Guardian, Richard Wray mentions that

the head of the UN’s agency for information and communication technologies predicting that there will be 4 billion mobile phone users – or more than half of the planet’s estimated 6.7 billion inhabitants – by the end of this year. [from here]

On SciDev, Katherina Nightingale writes an interesting entry about the applications of podcasts in less developed countries for purposes similar to radio. There is information about a Practical Action project in Peru allowing people to request information and receiving them via a podcast in a nearby telecentre, and several other potential applications for podcasts are presented.

So how is that connected?

Well, actually it’s easy. Podcasts record voice and with mobile phones it’s possible to listen to voice. Now why not combine this and put podcasts somewhere online, accessible with a telephone number? Easy said, easy done – Webby Award winning project Podlinez does just that with any desired podcast and an American number.

In my opinion this would be also a great thing to do with local numbers in less developed countries – to make these podcasts less expensive to call. The combination of podcasts and mobile phones has a low technological entry barrier – every mobile phone has this ability – and it doesn’t even require the user to be literate.

This would be an easy way to make information accessible. In a university course last year, two friends and me already created a mashup which transforms information into a podcast and then publishes it on an American number – NoisR.

Another approach is to create voice-based internet portals, like Mosoko which attempts to offer a voice-based marketplace for goods and services.

So overall this combination has great potentials I think.

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Podcasts & mobile phones
was published on 28.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Ushahidi extended

The highly innovative project Ushahidi – initially dedicated to report post-election violence in Kenya by displaying them on Google Maps – has been taken another step further and now generally provides a platform for “crowdsourcing crisis information”.

A note by one of the creators – Erik Hersman (also editor of the wonderful blog

Ushahidi is moving from being a one-time mashup covering the post-election violence in Kenya to something bigger. We are setting out to create an engine that will allow anyone to do what we did. A free and open source tool that will help in the crowdsourcing of information – with our personal focus on crisis and early warning information. [snippet from here]

The engine is right now in use for the initial purpose as well as for mapping anti-immigrant violence in South Africa.

The project was granted funds and many people joined in to help developing.

The “old” Ushahidi was already extremely useful for getting an overview on the state of things in Kenya and made it possible for everybody to contribute and report crimes.

Great idea to make the tool available for everybody.

Check it out –

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Ushahidi extended
was published on 06.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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