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Health Informatics and ICT (CO7109)

Module Coordinators: Dr PJ Wall
ECTS Value:                             5

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is quickly gaining momentum in the field of international development. The growing availability and accessibility of technology in low‐ and middle-income countries (LMICs) has resulted in much discussion about the role of ICT for development (ICT4D), and how ICT4D can best be implemented, scaled and sustained. This model aims to explore and critically analyse core issues related to the implementation and use of ICT in LMICs and ultimately, explore how these issues transcend national boundaries. The module will introduce students to the key issues and current academic debates around ICT4D, and equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and manage these issues more effectively. The module will also look at the ethical issues involved with ICT4D, and critically examine the role played by social, political, cultural and human factors when introducing and using such systems and technologies. The overall aim is to understand the global ICT4D landscape and to have an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities presented by ICT4D.
Please note that NO technological skills (e.g. programming, development, design, technical computer skills, etc.) are required for this module.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
•          Apply the main theories, principles and concepts that underpin ICT4D
•          Describe the challenges involved with ICT implementation and use in LMICs, and make informed decisions about how to overcome these issues
•          Give a detailed account of the benefits and problems associated with using health informatics in LMICs
•          Critically examine the ethical considerations surrounding ICT4D
•          Critically examine how social, political, cultural and human factors impact on the successful implementation and use of ICT4D
•          Demonstrate an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of ICT4D
•          Identify ways of implementing, scaling, evaluating and sustaining prototypes and pilot ICT4D projects
•          Demonstrate effective presentation and communication skills

Module Content
•          Introducing ICT4D
•          The potential of ICT4D: A focus on health informatics
•          Socio-technical considerations for ICT4D
•          Innovative & disruptive technologies and the future direction of ICT4D
•          Designing an ICT4D project.  Implementing and monitoring an ICT4D project
•           A brief introduction to mobile app development
•          Final assessment
Indicative Resources
Mandatory Reading

  • Toyama K. Can Technology End Poverty? (2010). Boston Review. 

Link to article:

  • Wall, P.J., Vallières, F., McAuliffe, E., Lewis, D. & Hederman, L. (2015). The potential for mHealth in low and middle-income countries: What should programme implementers consider?   In Mobile Health (mHealth): Multidisciplinary Verticals.  Taylor & Francis (CRC Press): Boca Raton.
  • Walsham, Geoff (2017). "ICT4D research: reflections on history and future agenda." Information Technology for Development 23.1: 18-41.

Additional Reading

  • Toyama, K. (2015). Geek Heresy: rescuing social change from the cult of technology. Public Affairs: New York.
  • Heeks, Richard (2010). "Do information and communication technologies (ICTs) contribute to development?" Journal of International Development 22.5: 625-640.

The module coordinator and guest lecturers may also provide additional recommended reading.  All lecture notes and additional materials will be posted on Blackboard.

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning
The module will cover approximately 24 hours of contact time. The module is delivered in a participatory fashion encouraging shared learning amongst participants. A range of methods  are  provided  including  direct  teaching, brainstorming, group exercises, case studies and audio/video. Teaching and reading materials will be posted through Blackboard to facilitate preparation before class and self-learning.

Methods of Assessment
Students will be required to develop, and present for marking, an ICT4D intervention proposal. Students will be asked to present their idea for an ICT4D intervention during the first or second week of April. This presentation will comprise 100% of their final mark.

Last updated 31 October 2017 School Web Administrator (Email).