Cristin-resultat-ID: 1930417
Sist endret: 1. september 2021, 12:08

Digital Platforms for Standardisation in Global Health: The Case of the Digital Health Packages

  • Olav Poppe



Universitetet i Oslo
NVI-nivå 0

Om resultatet

Publiseringsår: 2021
Open Access



Flersidige Plattformer • Global Helse • Standardisering • Verdens helseorganisasjon

Fagfelt (NPI)

Fagfelt: Informatikk og datateknikk
- Fagområde: Realfag og teknologi

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse


Digital Platforms for Standardisation in Global Health: The Case of the Digital Health Packages


This thesis is a study of standardisation within the global health field, investigating the potential role of digital platforms in facilitating such standardisation. It describes and analyses an effort of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to disseminate its standards and guidelines on health information to countries by embedding them in digital health packages, which can be implemented in a widely used digital platform. Part of the mandate of WHO is to provide standards and guidance on health information management and use for its 194 member states. However, disseminating these standards and guidance to countries and ensuring their implementation in national health information systems has proven challenging in practice. This points to broader themes discussed in the literature on standards and standardisation, such as barriers to the adoption of standards, tensions arising when implementing global, universal standards in diverse local contexts, and the #exibility of standards. Using the WHO-led digital health packages initiative as a case, the thesis discusses these challenges guided by the research question: What is the potential of digital platforms to support standardisation in global health? The empirical data presented in this thesis was collected through an action research approach. This included involvement in activities related to the implementation of health information systems based on digital platform technology in several countries in West Africa, and in the WHO-led standardisation initiative at the global level. This two-levelled research design allowed a study of the standardisation initiative from the perspective of both standards developers and standards adopters. Analysis of the empirical data is guided by organising vision theory, developed originally to explain the adoption of IT innovations in organisations. Organising vision theory provides concepts that help analyse how di$erent stakeholders, with a shared vision of disseminating global health standards, could be coordinated and mobilised in support of the digital health packages initiative. The findings in this thesis indicate that characteristics of digital platforms can facilitate and support standardisation in global health. These digital platform characteristics include a modular architecture that can be extended with platform complements, the ability to facilitate transactions between groups of users, and an ecosystem of actors around the platform. The thesis, in itself and through the six research papers that constitute a major component of it, includes theoretical, methodological, empirical and practical contributions. Theoretically, it makes the potentially fruitful connection between digital platforms and standardisation, and discusses how di$erent digital platform characteristics can serve to support standardisation in global health. Methodologically, the thesis presents a novel research design for studying large-scale digital phenomenon, based on doing in-depth, qualitative research at two levels, e.g. the national and the global. Empirically, it constitutes a longitudinal digital platform study, of which there are relatively few. Finally, for practitioners, it o$ers concrete advice on how digital platforms can be leveraged in support of standardisation within global health.


Olav Poppe

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Forskningsgruppen for informasjonssystemer ved Universitetet i Oslo

Petter Nielsen

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Forskningsgruppen for informasjonssystemer ved Universitetet i Oslo

Jørn Anders Braa

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Forskningsgruppen for informasjonssystemer ved Universitetet i Oslo
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