Workshop: E-Health for Development – A closer look at the Belgian toolbox
24/11 - 25/10/2016

The integration of ICT-tools and digital information management solutions in international development cooperation programs has undoubtedly gained momentum in the past decade. The emphasis on data driven development interventions and universal health coverage in the Sustainable Development Goals is expected to further boost this trend.

Digital for Development (D4D) has also become one of the transversal priorities of the Belgian development agenda. Notwithstanding this growing interest in digitalization, many development actors are still not very familiar with the growing number of new ICT instruments and D4D players that exist in their field of activity. This also applies to the health sector, where many e-health tools have been introduced (and sometimes also disappeared) at a high pace in an ad-hoc and rather uncoordinated manner in the past 10 to 15 years. Recently, a new trend towards harmonization and consolidation of a rather limited number of surviving e-health solutions in developing countries has started, holding new prospects of economies of scale and integration of heterogeneous tools into a more global and comprehensive e-health ecosystem.

Several Belgian industrial, academic, governmental and non-governmental e-health actors have played an important – and sometimes even leading – role in the development and implementation of some of today’s popular e-health instruments in developing countries. A lot can be learned from their experience as to which solutions really work or don’t in different, sometimes very difficult settings of international development cooperation.

Be-cause Health wants to connect the many Belgian health sector development actors in a 2-days workshop to a series of interesting e-Health instruments, projects and developers, which can be considered a ‘Belgian e-Health toolbox’ of solutions with high impact and/or proven track record. This workshop on 24 and 25 November is a unique chance to get deeper insight in the value and the place of 8 important instruments from the Belgian e-health toolbox tool in the afore-mentioned e-health ecosystem. After an introduction to “e-health for development” and a brief presentation of each tool, participants will get the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience from leading devisers, developers and implementers of each of the tools. The workshop will end with a round-table focusing on operational obstacles and sustainability of e-health interventions, potential impact on quality of care and challenges related to ICT capacity building.