IGF 2019 WS #311 Digital Health Information in Global South:is access enough?

Organizer 1: Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Sarbani Banerjee Belur, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Christine Holst, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Josef Noll, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Flora Kajuna, Government, African Group
Speaker 5: Felix Sukums, Government, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

1. What factors should be addressed and improved when seeking to understand and tackle primary digital divide in Global South, especially in regards to Digital health?
2. Beside the technological infrastructure and the access, what other factors should be considered in promotion of digital health information in Global South?
3. How to better utilize primary and secondary schools and tertiary educational facilities to promote and to deliver on digital literacy to their communities? The relevance of non-formal education.
4. What initiatives and tools should be developed for ensuring digital literacy and digital health information fo vulnerable groups in the society?
5. What current best praxis the participants on the panel, on Digital Health, can share with the audience?

Relevance to Theme: The topics and questions that will be addressed at the session are related to the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, especially SDG9, the approach for th examination of the social dimension of new technologies in overcoming digital divide, and other sustainable solutions for the best practices in digital inclusion related to digital health information in Global South. By reaching its objectives, the session will create a solid and deep understanding on the effects of digital inclusion in all its facets and provides a value from the multinational perspective.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The roundtable discussion will directly addresses SDG 3, 4, and 9.C ''Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020'' by providing free access to information for all. Internet light supports the UNOG work on human rights in the digital world.

Also, there is the need to have an open spirit of digital collaboration among the stakeholders and sound organizational structure to foster the collaboration on the international level. A close collaboration with local people and stakeholders is needed to accelerate digital development in the Global South especially in regards to digital health information and digital health policies.

Format: 

Round Table - Circle - 60 Min

Description: Increasing the digital literacy is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (4.4). Its achievement requires a definition and associated measurement to monitor progress. However, as noted by UNESCO (2018), the specific digital literacy competencies and proficiency levels valued by adults, depend largely on their specific country and economic sector contexts. This view will be reflected in regards to digital health information and literacy in Global South.
After brief introduction of the session by the moderator, wewill address the issues and stated policy questions. The participants will be asked to address problems that influence the lack of digital literacy in regards to digital health information. We seek to find out, beside the technological infrastructure and the access, what other factors should be considered in promotion of digital health information literacy in Global South. Since some participants come from the Ministries and governmental institutions, we will discuss how to better utilize primary and secondary schools and tertiary educational facilities to promote and to deliver on digital literacy to their communities. And whether the non-formal education plays a relevant role. The participants will share the current best praxis on Digital Health and digital literacy, as we will ask the audience and online participants to interact as well. we will discuss the best practice implemented and conducted in the Global South in various country contexts from governmental efforts in India, to projects in Kenya, Tanzania, as the participants in this session come from. We will examine and highlight projects and initiatives conducted on the use of digital technologies by low-literacy people, and how digital initiatives and programs could help them overcome their limitations.
Also, we will address the issues on digital health inclusion in Global South in situations where though finances are available, there is very little cost-benefit analysis of an action. From our knowledge, the installation of an “Information spot” per village with free access to information (text, pictures) and local video is a minor investment (~300 Euro), given the connectivity to the village. Another example of a lacking framework is related to digital literacy and the lack of education, including the ability to comprehend, Voice and video important than text based information delivery in local language and locally relevant content. All in all, the challenges, which the stakeholder face, are often related to the lack of the strategic approach and programmes, resulting in singularly actions rather than integrated approaches, and in the session we will discuss the methodology and practical outcomes recommendations.
We want to conclude the roundtable session on reflecting and recommendation on what initiatives and tools should be developed for ensuring digital literacy and digital health information for vulnerable groups and the society in general.

Through setting up the thematic questions, in a semi-structured manner, the participants would discuss and bring the value into the discussion. Also, we will be open for incoming comments and questions coming from digital media channels and social networks.

Expected Outcomes: The immediate outcome of the session is to bring everyone related to the theme to the discussion table, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and treated equally in the decision-making processes, and providing the multinational perspective and best practices from Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Europe. Beside this, the session will enable the better understanding of digital health information literacy and raise awareness in its relevance in digital inclusion processes on a global level. Finally, discussion and the conclusions from the session will contribute to the international community of stakeholders and digital inclusion policy makers and practitioners, that will further on lead to a stronger economy and enhanced economic development through shared wealth, shared employment, and equal opportunity for all.

Discussion Facilitation: 

Through setting up the thematic questions, in a semi-structured manner, the participants would discuss and bring the value into the discussion. Also, we will be open for incoming comments and questions coming from digital media channels and social networks.

Online Participation: 

We plan to use social media channels, mostly Twitter and Facebook, with the hashtag of IGF and the local session hashtag to engage and participate with the audience.

SDGs: 

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals