Accountability Technologies

Digital technologies can reshape how we organize and ensure greater accountability for health. Applied to a wide range of problems, digital technologies can harness the power of transparency through the internet; create an online community leading to collective action; and reengineer the value chain of producing knowledge for global health. Three key elements seem common to these accountability technologies: Collect, Comprehend, and Compel. For example, Where there is a shortage of skilled healthcare workers, mobile phones can assist disease surveillance efforts, speed diagnostic test results, and flag stock outs of critical healthcare commodities like blood supply. U-Report is an example of how a system can lead to collective action. It is a “free SMS social monitoring tool for community participation, designed to address issues that people care about”, and it is now available in 34 countries.