Understand the Ecosystem. Any tips on how to ensure that a technology solution will be relevant and sustainable and will not duplicate existing efforts?

understandecosystem
#1

Well-designed initiatives and digital tools consider particular structures and needs that exist in each country, region, and community.

We welcome your thoughts or tips on how practitioners can dedicate their time and resources to analyze their work environment to ensure that selected technology tools will be relevant and sustainable and will not duplicate existing efforts. We look forward to your comments…

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#2

Thank you for raising such important topic to be discussed here. Unfortunately, we have seen many duplicated efforts implemented to solve one issue by different programs, in same country and even same community.

I think we are talking about two things here: 1) How we should consider the country context and needs before implementing any digital initiatives? 2) How to select a proper tech solution to meet that needs which should be relevant, scalable, and sustainable?

As for the first question, I think there should be proper planning, envisioning and coordination with the involved country partners and stakeholders. In most cases countries has already started in developing solutions to solve country issues. Therefore, it’s good to build on what they have done so far instead of starting from scratch. I think coordination is a MUST before starting any digital intervention, even better to conduct a situation analysis or needs assessment to better understand what the current situation and challenges need to be addressed before investing in a tech solution.

It’s good to involve (at very early stage) partners, stakeholders and target audience specially health workforce who will be implementing the digital initiative, in order to get their buy-in and ownership from the beginning.

Successful digital intervention needs good coordination and collaboration between partners to work. Installing new technology is easy, the challenge will be in making the tech solution work and used by people. This needs a lot of efforts to change culture and mindset of the target audience and health workers at country or community level.

As for the second question, which is related to selecting the tech solution, I think this need to be decided with tech people at country level to address any technical challenges and constraints, tech requirements and sustainability while designing the project.

Pilot project is always perfect and recommended to start with, in order to test and learn new things before launching and scaling up. Just to avoid efforts being used on an inadequately manner.

Also, it will be required for implementers to look at country digital transformation strategy (if available) and make sure new deployed solutions are aligned with.

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#3

Hello @amjadhiary thanks so much for your comment. Your insight on understanding the ecosystem is important and I particularly like how you have simplified the implementation of this principle by considering two fronts i.e the country context and the technology solution.

I also agree with your point around pilot projects especially because they help to identify potential problems and prevent them from escalating as well as accomplish several goals before full implementation of a project occurrs.

On your point around understanding the country context, do you have any examples of successful tech solutions that have been implemented countrywide?

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#4

Thank you, Lilian. Yes, I was involved in implementation several digital projects in different countries in EMR. Here are few good examples:

The implementation of Cold Chain Equipment Inventory Assessment for Iraq and Sudan, we used a mobile data collection tool, which was developed according to country context. Field tests and data collection made by MOH team. Data analysis and reporting dashboard developed. Although we have used same mobile data collection tool, but in each country, tool was different and has been customized based on country needs.

The implementation of Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) 2.0 tool field tests in Jordan, Iraq, and Bhutan. This tool has been developed and rollout by WHO and UNICEF with support from EMPHNET. We worked to pilot and rollout in different countries, now the tool is being finalized to be officially used at regional and country levels.

The implementation of Harmonized Reproductive Health Registry System in Jordan to improve Maternal and Child Health in Mafraq, Jordan. This is project is being implemented by EMPHNET funded by IDRC. During the first year, situation analysis and assessment conducted, accordingly collaboration with Hakeem-EHS (Electronic Health Solutions) founded in 2009 to advance the healthcare sector in Jordan) and working to computerize all patience health record in Jordan by having a centralized health record across all country.

The development of AFP Surveillance System; Electronic System designed to provide immediate notification of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) cases in Morocco. MOH is piloting the system and working to launch.

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#5

Oh wow, this is great. Thanks for sharing your vast experience in implementing digital projects.

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