ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media 

How Mobile Phone Networks Affect Community Health in Ghana

In Sub-Saharan African countries the typical health teams work quite extensive, as the health team includes community health workers, facility-based nurses, program-specific facilitators and a health team coordinator. To enhance intra-site communication, a mobile phone closed user group (CUG) was set-up at all Millennium Villages Project  sites. This closed user group allows members of a specific site’s health team to hold voice conversations, via mobile phone, with one another at no cost.

An evaluation research focused on the question: What sort of an impact would the use of mobile phones in this manner have on how the local health teams communicate and manage their information?

… the mobile phone closed user group (and use of mobile phones) creates constructively disruptive communications channels between members of the Bonsaaso MVP Health Team, subverting traditional hierarchies of authority and information control. This may, in part, explain the central role of the Health Team Management in the social network findings.

Implications of this include a heavier burden on the Health Team Management as they deal with increased communication in addition to fulfilling their daily responsibilities.  However, the unlikely connections may allow for issues to be resolved quickly, increased capacity (i.e. knowledge base) at all levels and information to be channeled more quickly and directly to relevant persons…

via How Mobile Phone Networks Affect Community Health in Ghana.


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Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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