The impact of digital technologies on health care and health can be beneficial, if both needs and risks are properly managed and if technologies are fully integrated in strong healthcare systems. There are many pitfalls such as further fragmentation of health systems, data extractivism (data colonialism) and the problems of e-waste. In particular, digital health technology should not be seen as a substitute for strong primary care-based services on the ground, nor viewed as a cost-cutting measure, where services by trained health workers are replaced by digital tools. It should not accelerate privatization of public services.

In the field of international cooperation in digital health, we have seen lots of pilot programs, but bringing them to scale remains a significant challenge. There is too much waste of scarce resources based on technologies promoted by international donors or technology companies, at the expense of proven interventions. This is both a challenge for practitioners and for those promoting good policies, strong regulation and good governance.

The workshop

In this workshop, we first provided a space for organizations working in the field of international health cooperation to reflect on your experiences and realities in a fields that calls for our urgent attention: the multiple challenges related to digitalization. We then invited participants to explore with us options for setting up a thematic community of practice and reflection to promote transformative policies and transformative practice in this challenging field.

Workshop programme
Google Document

Introduction, moderation, poll
Tuesday 27 April slides

Emerging MMI community of practice and reflection