The role of ICTs in providing improved healthcare to poor populations in the developing world has been the subject of considerable interest to the development community. However, despite a substantial literature, little published research has modelled both the value-added aspects of ICTs for social and economic development and those simultaneous challenges that often deter the effective utilisation of ICTs. This study investigates the benefits of, and barriers to, the effective use of ICTs within the healthcare system, specifically in Aceh Besar, Indonesia. We advance and evaluate a theoretical model which extends the so-called value-of-ICTs-to-education framework of Banuri, Zaidi, and Spanger-Siegfried (United Nations Development Programme, 2005). The effect of ICTs on maternal and infant healthcare is examined in the context of the Aceh Besar Midwives Mobile-Phone Project. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews (N=86) were conducted over three phases. Analysis of transcripts showed ICT-utilisation benefits, including the facilitation of communication, greater time efficiency, and better access to medical information. As suggested by the enhanced model, infrastructural, economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors were also observed. The implications of these findings for research and policy-making are discussed.
Ang, J.; Chib, A.; Lin, H.; Lwin, M.O.; Santoso, F. Midwives and mobiles: using ICTs to improve healthcare in Aceh Besar, Indonesia. Asian Journal of Communication (2008) 18 (4) 348-364. [DOI: 10.1080/01292980802344182]