Digital Technology for Health Sector Governance: Key findings from a scoping review

Claudia Pagliari, I. Holeman, Tara Cookson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

This report summarizes the key findings of a study conducted by a team of researchers at Medic Mobile, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh and commissioned by the Leadership, Management and Governance (LMG) Project. Funded by the US Agency for International Development, the LMG Project (2011-2016) collaborates with health leaders at all levels to improve leadership, management and governance practices to strengthen health systems and improve health for all, including vulnerable populations worldwide. Medic Mobile, a member of the LMG consortium, equips health workers with mobile and web tools to provide better care and reach more people.The initial remit of the study was to capture and synthesize published research demonstrating the actual and potential impacts of mobile phone technology usage on health sector leadership, management and governance in lower income countries. As part of the iterative research process, the focus was sharpened to emphasize good governance concerns such as transparency, accountability, and public participation, rather than management or leadership activities. Although the study pays particular attention to mobile health (mHealth), our analysis draws on other global development sectors with potential for transferrable learning and the scope was extended to encompass other Information and Communications Technology (ICT), reflecting the wider eHealth ecosystem in which these innovations exist. The methods were adapted to combine a semi-systematic search for peer-reviewed articles with a landscape scan of innovative practice (as summarized in technical reports, project websites and blog posts), supplemented by interviews with expert practitioners and researchers in the field.This report highlights the ways in which mobile phones and other ICTs are being used, or soon could be, to encourage good governance of the health sector through greater accountability, transparency and public participation, and identifies research and development priorities for scholars and innovators aiming to contribute to this nascent field. (This version was prepared for internal circulation, pending publication of full study results in a peer-reviewed journal. Key findings from the final report are summarised in the Journal of Global Health: Holeman, I., Cookson, T. & Pagliari, C. Dec 2016. Digital technology for health sector governance in low and middle income countries: a scoping review. Journal of Global Health. 6, 2, 11 p.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyUnited States International Development (USAID)
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • eHealth
  • ICT4Development
  • Good Governance
  • eGovernment
  • Digital
  • Innovation
  • low and middle income countries
  • Global Health
  • Global Development
  • Corruption
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Public Engagement
  • Public Participation
  • Digital Society
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Provenance
  • Equity
  • Digital Health


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