Uniting a Global Community of Digital Health Practitioners

© Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

“While the potential [for technology in development] is clear, the success of the thousands of projects that have sprung up using technology to close access gaps is less so. Pilots have failed to move into scalable and sustainable programs. Solutions too often reinvent the wheel rather than building on robust platforms, infrastructure, and shared services.” – Principles for Digital Development

Last month, over 260 people representing more than 150 organizations participated in an historic event celebrating the launch of the Principles for Digital Development, a set of “living” guidelines written for and by international development donors, multilateral organizations, and implementing partners to help integrate established best practices into technology-enabled programs.

One organization that embodies Digital Principle #9 (Be Collaborative) is The Global Digital Health Network, co-chaired by CCP’s Heidi Good Boncana and IntraHealth’s Amanda BenDor. Established in 2009 and formerly called the mHealth Working Group, the Network provides a global platform for collaboration between digital health practitioners working in global health and development to share knowledge and resources across borders. The Network’s new name reflects its growing global membership, as well as trends in the field of digital health, which has expanded well beyond mobile technology.

Addressing the scalability and sustainability needs identified in the Principles, the Network connects individuals to free tools, project examples and models for platforms and infrastructure, and to an even richer resource: their community of peers. With over 2,500 members representing global health organizations in more than 80 countries, the Network supports the development of global public health strategies, standards and practices through use of innovative technologies in limited resource settings.

Individuals or organization working in digital health (mHealth, eHealth, and ICTs) are encouraged to join in the conversation on the Network’s Knowledge Gateway, their listserv, or at their next event – in personal or virtually!

The Network’s March meeting takes place today from 9:30-11:30am and will feature presentations from the Tanzania mHealth Community of Practice and PhD candidate Ameer Ali, who has systematically compiled, analyze and categorize the discussion threads on the Network list serv to gather valuable insights shared by practitioners over the past 5-6 years.  The event is opened to everyone and will be streamed online. Remote participants can retrieve a link to the live-stream on the meeting’s web page.

For more information, please visit the Global Digital Health Network’s site and join the conversation.

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