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Exploring Tensions of Global Public Good Platforms for Development: The Case of DHIS2

Abstract : The purpose of this paper is to explore tensions in global public goods (GPG), based on the case of digital platforms for innovation. GPG designs promise normative ideals of non-rivalry and non-exclusivity, which in practice are challenged in reality and fraught with tensions. This paper draws on theory of contradictions to illustrate some of these tensions, which confronts simplistic and linear views that implementing GPG health management platforms will translate unproblematically to efficiency gains. The paper explores field data collected by the authors in the Health Information Systems (HISP) research programme around a digital platform (DHIS2) installed in over 80 countries globally, primarily in the health sector. Episodes are taken from action research undertaken by the authors drawn from experiences of multiple implementations in various countries. This paper furthers the theoretical understanding of contradictions arising from the espoused ideals of GPGs and the realities of their implementation and use. The implications focus on the need to move away from simple deterministic visions of GPG towards acknowledging the contested nature of their outcomes.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 4:02:55 PM
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Brian Nicholson, Petter Nielsen, Johan Saebo, Sundeep Sahay. Exploring Tensions of Global Public Good Platforms for Development: The Case of DHIS2. 15th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), May 2019, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. pp.207-217, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-18400-1_17⟩. ⟨hal-02285260⟩

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