Between Failure and Hope: Experiences of Digital Technologies for Engaging with Health Inequities in the Global South

DOS Research Centre is pleased to invite you to an event with its Distinguished Speaker Professor Sundeep Sahay, Professor of Information Systems, at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway

16 November 2022 DOS Distinguished Speaker Lecture

Tea and Coffee from 13:30 Moore Auditorium, Moore Building, Royal Holloway, Egham Campus

Speaker: Prof Sundeep Sahay, University of Oslo, Norway

Engaging with health inequities in the Global South is a key priority, which is inscribed in a number of the SDGs, e.g. SDG3 (health and well-being for all), SDG5 (women’s equality and empowerment) and SDG10 (reduce inequality within and among countries). Digital technologies indeed have a role to play in supporting efforts to mitigate health inequities and contribute towards achieving these goals. But, what has been our experience till date? They oscillate between visions of deep despair with 90% of digital initiatives being branded as total or partial failures or extreme optimism with AI and Machine Learning being positioned as the silver bullet to address health challenges. A summary inference which can be drawn from experiences to date is that the potential of digital technologies to address health inequities has not been adequately materialized in practice, in the context of the Global South. Understanding what are some of the reasons underlying this inference and reflecting on what can be done about it, will be the focus of this talk. Sundeep will draw upon his 20+ years of experience of studying and working with health information systems in the Global South, to raise some relevant questions and seek to find approaches to engage with this urgent issue.

About

Sundeep Sahay is Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway. He currently holds affiliate appointments at the Centre of Sustainable Healthcare Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo and at the Information School, Sheffield University, UK. The focus of his work has been on the design, development, integration, use and sustainability of health information architectures in developing countries, with a primary focus in the Indian public health system. Sundeep has worked closely with policy makers, health programme managers and field level health functionaries. He has extensive experience with management of research projects involving partners from universities, public health sector, and also running an NGO.

close up photo of a digital image

DOS Digital Health Online Event

Professor Niki Panteli, Dr Nisreen Ameen, Dr Najmeh Hafezieh and Dr Philip Wu are pleased to invite you to the DOS Digital Health Online Event, joined by Key Speakers Professor Weizi (Vicky) Li, Henley Business School, and Dr Hajar Mozaffar, University of Edinburgh Business School.

Time: 1 December, 10:00 – 11:30am UK Time (Online via Microsoft Teams)

Agenda

Developing data-driven solutions in real-world healthcare management
Professor Weizi (Vicky) Li

Abstract

Data-driven solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can improve health and care efficiency by augmenting human labour and enhancing productivity. This talk will cover a series of collaborative projects with NHS developing real-world data-driven healthcare applications and will focus on data-driven solutions to improve referral triage from primary to secondary care, and to reduce “do-not-attend” in secondary care outpatient management. We will discuss how AI/ML improve healthcare efficiency, patient outcomes and health inequality, challenges, and future opportunities.

Evolution of knowledge ecosystems in digital transformation of the health sector
Dr Hajar Mozaffar

Abstract

Digital transformation is now central to most health system strategies around the world; although policy makers and implementers generally agree on the potential of health information technology (HIT) to improve safety, quality, and efficiency of care, strategies for procurement, implementation, and optimization vary significantly across settings. Hence, large-scale HIT-enabled transformation programs have met with varying success, and there is no agreed strategy on how best to achieve digital transformation at scale. We propose that organisation-level perspective on digital transformation of the health sector offers limited understanding of the phenomenon and hence partial understanding of how to deliver successful transformation. We suggest that to understand the complex nature of digital transformation, new approaches that consider different levels of analysis are needed. In doing so, we show how inter-organisational knowledge collaborations are a key feature of recent initiatives to promote concerted change across multiple organizations by establishing a knowledge ecosystem.

Meet the Editors Event

Joint Event: UKAIS is joined by the Digital Organisation and Society (DOS) research centre, Royal Holloway, University of London

Time: 09:30-11:00, 25 October 2022
Livestreaming link: The event is free. To join UKAIS please visit this page.

Agenda

Welcome & Introduction: Dr Philip Wu, Royal Holloway

Talk 1: Research in Information Systems: An Editor’s Perspective
Professor Robert Davison, Editor in Chief of the Information Systems Journal

Abstract

In this talk, I will present the call for papers for the ISJ special issue: “The new wave of hybrid work: An opportunity to revise assumptions and build theory”. I will present the background to the special issue and I will discuss what is expected regarding potential submissions to this special issue. The full call for papers can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/pb-assets/assets/13652575/SI%20HW%20CFP%20FINAL-1658423908383.pdf

Research paper by Haili Li and Genia Kostka can be downloaded here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4066462

Bio

Robert Davison is a Professor of Information Systems at the City University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the use and misuse of information systems, especially with respect to problem solving, guanxi formation and knowledge management, in Chinese organisations. He is particularly known for his scholarship in the domain of action research. Within the AIS, Robert chaired the research ethics committee for many years, and is currently convenor of the College of Senior Scholars. Robert chairs the IFIP WG 9.4 (The Implications of Information and Digital Technologies for Development) and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Information Systems Journal and the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. As a researcher and as an editor, he seeks to promote both an inclusive and an indigenous perspective to research. Home Page: http://www.is.cityu.edu.hk/staff/isrobert

Talk 2: ISJ Special Issue – The new wave of hybrid work: An opportunity to revise assumptions and build theory (Submission Deadline January 31st 2023)
Dr Efpraxia Zamani, Special Issue Editor, Information Systems Journal

Abstract

In this talk, I will present the call for papers for the ISJ special issue: “The new wave of hybrid work: An opportunity to revise assumptions and build theory”. I will present the background to the special issue and I will discuss what is expected regarding potential submissions to this special issue. The full call for papers can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/pb-assets/assets/13652575/SI%20HW%20CFP%20FINAL-1658423908383.pdf

Bio

Dr Efpraxia Zamani is a Senior Lecturer of information Systems at the University of Sheffield. She has received her doctorate from the Department of Management Science and Technology of the Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece). Her research interests are found at the intersection of organizational and social aspects of Information Systems, with an emphasis on the implications of emerging technologies. Her work has appeared in journals, such as Information Systems Journal, the Journal of Information Technology, Government Information Quarterly, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. She has been guest editor for special issues in the Information Systems Frontiers and the Information Technology and Development. Currently, she is a member of the Peer Review College of the British Academy of Management journal, Board Member for the UK Academy for Information Systems (UKAIS) and a Senior Editor at Information Technology and People.

Celebrating DOS impact 2022: Fostering and showcasing our impactful research, a pathway for academia and industry research collaboration 

The event will include talks from distinguished academic and industry speakers and a panel discussion with industry leaders. In addition, DOS members who have been working on developing their impactful research and REF impact cases will be presenting their work and sharing their fascinating journey with us.

The event is an opportunity to celebrate DOS members’ impactful research and to explore new opportunities for academic-industry collaborations on challenge-led research and future impactful research.

This will be a two-day event taking place on the 28th and 29th June 2022.

Day one: virtual (via Teams): 1:30pm-4pm

Day two-11am-4pm: on campus, venue: Moore Auditorium Royal Holloway, Egham (and Livestreaming via MS Teams)

Please see the event poster below for full details.

China’s Social Credit Systems: Myth, Reality, and Discourse

There is a great deal of controversy and myth surrounding the infamous social credit system (SCS) in China. Commentators in the West often portray the SCS as an omnipresent surveillance system imposed by the Chinese government on its citizens, feeding on their personal data for the purpose of authoritarian control. This Orwellian image of the SCS may reflect the zeitgeist of the age of surveillance capitalism, but how close is it to reality? At this research seminar organised by the Digital Organisation and Society (DOS) Research Centre at Royal Holloway, two prominent scholars of the SCS – Prof. Genia Kostka (Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr. Chenchen Zhang (Queen’s University Belfast) – will each present their research on the SCS to provide a more nuanced picture of the reality.

Time: 11-12:30pm, Tuesday 24th May
Livestreaming link: Please contact DOSdirectors@rhul.ac.uk if you want to join this event.

Agenda

Welcome & Introduction: Dr Philip Wu, Royal Holloway

Talk 1 – Accepting but Not Engaging with It: Digital Participation in Local Government-Run Social Credit Systems in China
Prof Genia Kostka, Freie Universität Berlin

Abstract

China’s central and municipal governments have consistently facilitated the development of social credit systems (SCSs) over the past decade. While research has highlighted the Chinese public’s high approval of and support for SCSs, their engagement with these digital projects has not been fully explored. This talk examines Chinese citizens’ digital participation in local government-run SCSs. Based on 64 semi-structured interviews, our most recent research findings suggests that, despite perceiving SCSs as accepting and positive, most interviewees do not actively engage with local government-run SCSs. Multiple factors can explain the gap between high acceptance and low participation, including a lack of awareness regarding local SCSs, a perception that registering and maintaining a decent credit score requires major effort, various concerns over SCSs (e.g., information privacy and safety, as well as algorithm accuracy and fairness), clarity of rules and guidelines, potential risks, unappealing benefits offered by SCSs, and the voluntariness of participating in local SCSs. Our research adds to the existing literature on digital governance in authoritarian contexts by explaining why Chinese citizens do not necessarily engage with state-promoted digital projects.

Research paper by Haili Li and Genia Kostka can be downloaded here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4066462

Bio

Prof Genia Kostka is a Professor of Chinese Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on digital transformation, environmental politics, and political economy with a regional focus on China. Her most recent research project explores how digital technologies are integrated into local decision-making and governance structures in China (ERC Starting Grant 2020-2025).

Talk 2 – Social credit as a governing technique, as imaginary, and as meme
Dr Chenchen Zhang, Queen’s University Belfast

Abstract

This talk is interested in shifting focus from what China’s social credit system is or does to how it is talked about in academic and public discourse in China and elsewhere. It is concerned with what the discourse, imaginations, and memes of social credit could tell us about the politics of knowledge production and everyday international relations. After briefly introducing the institutional and ideational framework of the (actually existing) social credit system in China, I will review some of the recent controversies regarding the system in Chinese public discourse. This is followed by a consideration of the imaginations and myths of “Chinese social credit” produced by journalists, social theorists, political elites, and ordinary internet users located in the geopolitical space known as “the West”. Instead of “debunking the myth”, I seek to examine the functions of these persistent myths and the employment of social credit as a rhetorical figure in shaping Western images of China and images of technology. Of particular interest to this task is the development of a meme culture of social credit in transnational online communities. While the memeification of social credit exemplifies the networked and participatory nature of global digital culture, it is also conditioned by and reproducing traditional geopolitical boundaries and framings despite new patterns of decentralized global exchange.

Bio

Dr Chenchen Zhang is a lecturer in politics and international relations at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research interests include discourse/identity, governmentality, popular geopolitics, and social media in both European and Chinese contexts. Her work has appeared in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, Citizenship Studies, Geopolitics, and European Journal of Social Theory.