Equitable Healthcare Provision: Uncovering the Impact of the Mobility Effect on Human Development

ABSTRACT: Even though the effects of mobile phone and internet usage on the health and wellbeing of a population are becoming apparent, few studies have uncovered the nature of this relationship to the equitable provision of healthcare. The contribution is in discovering the relationships between mobility effects and human development where inequities in income play an important role, the relationships to socio-economic development and in showing how the mobility effect can assist in addressing health inequities.

Keywords: Human development, Healthcare, socio-economic development, IThealth

In the Age of Popular Uprisings, what is the Role of Public Access Computing and Social Media on Development?

ABSTRACT: Civic engagement has long been touted as a key to enabling people to participate in their collective destiny and take control of their collective good. Recent events in Egypt have shown us that the will of the people is powerful, even though people's opinions, preferences, and political affiliations diverge. The role of social media in enabling coalitions to form, congregate in large numbers, and overthrow the governments they oppose appears to have become prominent. It appears that with these uprisings, social media are transforming the ways in which people choose to take control of their collective lives, that of their communities and societies. Social media and public access to the Internet serve as platforms supporting the creation of social coalitions and civic engagement, for better or for worse, bring about new ways people can quest for better livelihoods. The concept of development is emerging with these changes from being primarily supported through institutions to one in which these very institutions are part of the change that could lead to their destruction. For example, the heavy-handed nature of a military government's interventions could cause greater upheaval that in turn limits its legitimacy and remit for action unless they are aligned with the will of their people. While at the same time, government support, community acceptance, and valuable social activity in the relevant social groups are important in the creation of institutions of development supported by information and communication technologies (ICTs) as evidenced in studies reported by Madon, Reinhard, Roode, and Walsham (2009).

Keywords: Human development, Information and Communication Technologies, Healthcare, ICT-enabled service, social capital

Lessons from the Age of Nelson Mandela: Information and Communication Technology in the Quest for Equality, Freedom and Justice

ABSTRACT: Nelson Mandela passed away on the night of 5 December 2013. After spending 27 years in prison, the civil rights activist led a movement that led to the abolition of his country's notorious apartheid regime which mandated segregation since 1948. After many years of struggle, he was released in 1991 and became the country's first black president in 1994 after a democratic election which also ended apartheid. I was working at the Commonwealth Secretariat at that time when most of my colleagues had monitored the elections in South Africa. One of my colleagues who had just returned from overseeing the elections stated euphorically: “The country has changed, Africa has changed and the world has changed completely … we will never be the same again” she exclaimed. Indeed the newly elected President went on to create programs for job creation, housing, healthcare, education and justice that would ensure equality for all, together with programs for reconstruction and reconciliation. The Huffington Post reported the day after Mandela's passing that it was his charisma and his lack of bitterness over the harsh treatment he faced as a prisoner in Roben Island off the coast of Cape Town that enabled a smooth transition for his government. He continued to gain attention in the media as he ensured that all segments of the population in his country were treated equally and their freedoms preserved. The day after his passing, President Obama praised the South African leader's struggle and accomplishments stating that “He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages … His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to.” The Economist reported in a series of articles commemorating Mandela's passing that he was a hero who won a long hard battle against Apartheid for his people, but he was not a saint; he was a giant whose passing marked one of the most important struggles of our time: equality, freedom and justice.

Keywords: Healthcare, Communications technology, Human development endowment, ICT Development Index, social media

The Effect of Mobile Health and Social Inequalities on Human Development and Health Outcomes: Mhealth for Health Equity

ABSTRACT: The equitable provision of healthcare entails the distribution of resources and other processes to overcome health inequality. The concept of heath equity suggests that differences in social and economic backgrounds of people affect their ability to lead the lives they choose to live. Following a review of what is known about health equity, social determinants of health equity and the role of mobile health, this paper investigates the relationship between mHealth, social inequalities in life expectancy and in education on Human Development and Health and Wellbeing. The analysis discovers a significant relationship between mHealth, social inequalities in human development and health outcomes. These findings have important implications for the use of mHealth applications to achieve health equity. The contribution of this paper is in understanding the role of social inequalities in and mHealth in enabling people to bring about improvements in the lives they lead and in their health outcomes.

Keywords: Health equity, Human development, mHealth, Healthcare, wellbeing