Glen Echo Dec 11, 2019 Interactive Workshop
Country Digital Health Strategies, Governance Structures and Emerging Best Practices 14:15 - 15:30

Across the digital health industry, there have been significant efforts to both set national digital health strategies and align ecosystems to achieve them. As more countries develop national digital health strategies, project funding mechanisms are aligning these strategies to their own work plans. The 2019 WHO Joint Declaration on Digital Health for Sustainable Development noted the importance of this effort, while the Principles of Donor Alignment for Digital Health recognizes the "essential and urgent need for donors to align their investments to country digital health strategies." Yet even as digital health projects are aligning to national strategies, organizations are still funded to achieve project goals, not national goals. The creates an ecosystem where organizations continue to stay within the parameters of individual projects rather than cost-effectively achieving national strategies. Opportunities to achieve progress towards national strategies fall outside of existing project mandates, and the system does not encourage rapid progress, funding, and implementation to fill these gaps. To put it simply, it may be that project-based funding supports 80% of the work needed to implement a national digital health strategy, but there is little incentive for organizations to do the remaining 20% to ensure that there is complete alignment. In this interactive workshop, we will explore this gap as we've seen it across several, recent scaling digital health projects, including why it exists, how deep it is, and its impact on the wider ecosystem. We will host an interactive small-group exercise and honest, open discussion about what is needed to create systems change for organization's to break through project-specific mandates in deploying digital health programs. While 60 minutes isn't nearly enough, we deeply believe that this topic will only benefit from opportunities to engage in dialogue. Alternatively, we are happy to collaborate with another organization in presenting this workshop.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lead - Digital
Dimagi, Inc.
Chief of Staff
Technical Advisor II, Digital Health and Health Information
Product Manager
GIZ German Corporation for International Cooperation
MEASURE Evaluation/UNC
Technical specialist - HIS strengthening


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