Past Event

mHealth, Health Systems and Development – An online blended learning course

From 06 Apr 2016 9:00 until 06 May 2016 17:00

Institute of Development Studies
Library Road
University of Sussex

IDS is excited to offer a FREE, online blended learning course on Mhealth, Health Systems and Development. The 5 week course, convened by Linda Waldman will introduce the student to the concept of mhealth and explore some of the wider debates about the implications of the increasing use of mobile technology in health systems globally.

THIS COURSE IS NOW FULLY BOOKED. Keep checking the events section of this website for any future courses.

If you would like more information or to sign up for the course please contact Sophie Marsden- [email protected]

Course overview

This course examines mHealth (mobile health: the provision of health services through the use of mobile devices) in relation to health systems and development; asking questions about how mHealth fits into the often-inadequate and poor-resourced health systems in low and middle income countries, about regulation, politics and policy, knowledge and gender relations and about how people in poverty experience ill health. It also examines other mobile phone innovations which benefit the poor, and asks what lessons are to be leant. In so doing, the focus is on how mHealth might be used as a means to address development challenges, equity and access in health systems. Bangladesh is presented as a particular case study in this course, as it both faces very large health and development challenges with extremely low ratios of qualified health personnel in rural areas and high rates of poverty, as well as being well known for its innovative approach to mHeath. A core aspect of the course is to examine change and transition, looking at innovation and pathways of change in a health knowledge economy.

Pre-requisites/Minimum requirements to take the module

Students should have a basic appreciation of social science debates in international development and an awareness of health as a development issue. An undergraduate degree in a social science discipline (anthropology, sociology, political science, international relations, economics) and/or a health-related field (public health, social work, nursing or medicine) is appropriate.

Course objectives

By the end of the course a successful student should be able to:

  1. Develop a sophisticated awareness of the current use of mHealth in low and middle income countries, in conjunction with broader regulatory, governance, equity, and implementation considerations.
  2. Critically analyse and debate the opportunities and challenges associated with mHealth as a means of addressing health and development issues (including making reference to concepts such as gender, knowledge, power, behaviour change, health systems, pathways of change).

Mode of delivery

The course will use a blended learning approach which incorporates online weekly lectures and assignments with face-to-face sessions for those based on campus. For those that cannot attend these live sessions, they can instead watch the live-stream of the session online.

All of the online content will be accessible to students via the Study Direct online learning platform. Upon registering for the course, students will be given log in details and instructions on how to use the platform.

Lecturer details

Dr Linda Waldman 

Dr Linda Waldman is a social anthropologist, trained in South Africa. Her work focuses primarily on policy processes, environmental health, peri-urban ecosystems and sustainability, zoonotic disease and ICTs and health information, and mHealth with research experience in Africa, South Asia and the UK. Her recent research explores different national, political and legal framings of asbestos diseases and linked these to people’s own experiences of illness and its consequences.

Dr Gerry Bloom 

Dr Gerald Bloom is a physician and health economist. His special interest is the management of health system transition in the context of rapid social and economic change. Areas of particular focus include the changing roles of government, health system innovations and processes of institutional development.

Dr Simon Batchelor 

Dr Simon Batchelor has over 30 years’ experience in development. Starting in agriculture and water provision, he designed and implemented an innovative programme of social mobilisation in Cambodia – which saw considerable impact over a ten year period. Interested in the social dimension of technology adoption, he undertook participatory research focused on the role of energy in development. Since 2000, he has been researching the role of ICT in poverty alleviation and has championed mobile phone enabled payment systems. He is currently Director of Gamos Ltd, which undertakes action research and learning on the social factors influencing development programmes.

Dr Henry Lucas 

Dr Henry Lucas is a statistician who has specialised in information systems, monitoring and evaluation and research methods, particularly in the area of health sector analysis. Over recent years he has focused on the role of ICTs in health, with a special interest in their application to the management of chronic illness.

Key contacts

Sophie Marsden

Communications and Impact Officer


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