How THET is radically transforming its use of technology and digital working

Photo credit: THET/Thoko Chikondi 2022

THET is a specialist global health organisation that educates, trains and supports health workers through partnerships, strengthening health systems and enabling people in low and middle income countries to access essential healthcare.

Over the past 12 months, THET has radically transformed its use of technology and digital working. This has been driven by the impact of COVID-19 and a growing organisational commitment to addressing our carbon footprint.

THET continues to set bold ambitions in this space, innovating in the development of digital interventions; pioneering forms of digital training for health workers and establishing THET as a leader in digital transformation.

Core to these ambitions is the adoption of the Digital Principles. With the creation of a new Digital Transformation policy for THET, the principles have helped us to:

1) Approach and implement digital intervention projects in an effective way

2) Improve THET’s internal day to day digital capabilities

3) Deliver better digital training and support to health workers and organisations

Endorsing the Digital Principles ensures THET remains at the forefront of inclusive digital development whilst sharing our knowledge with other organisations. The impact of COVID-19 has transformed much of our work from in-country training to online methods of delivery. Examples of this work includes:

1) Creation of Pulse, an online platform for the health partnership community.

– Over 900 global users (600 LMIC based users)

– Over 500 organisations/health partnerships represented

– Creation of over 20 communities of practice through programmes such as CwPAMS, Nursing Now Challenge TALENT Groups, Health Partnership Capacity Development Programme and the Kenya UK Health Alliance. These groups have contributed to the general sustainability of the platform and also the improvement of the global diversity of the user base.

– Creation of a mobile app for LMIC based users to build on accessibility.

2) E-learning platforms to replace in-country training

– Adoption of e-learning platforms to support projects such as Saving Mothers at Delivery in collaboration with Johnson&Johnson in order to contribute to the continuing decline in maternal mortality in Myanmar and Somaliland. The project will deliver targeted online training to individuals and teams providing emergency obstetric care in district and tertiary level.

– Adoption of the Principles to implement a system which is open, accessible and designed for the user.

3) Digital transformation training for key partners

Live webinar training on the Principles for Digital Development for NHS workers interested in global health and volunteering in collaboration with Health Education England.

– Creation of a global health volunteer toolkit for NHS staff and how to consider approaching a digital project.

As we plan our digital objectives for 2022, the Principles remain a key component in ensuring we continue to strive in the digital age through the following aims:

1) Widening of THET’s digital footprint: Increased collaboration on digital projects to support THET‘s income streams.

2) Innovative research in to digital transformation in health partnerships: Focus on supporting health partnerships in their digital journey with the aim of improving project outcomes and adoption of open standards.

3) Advocacy: Drive and promote inclusive access by engaging key digital stakeholders in LMIC partner countries to bridge the digital gap.

4) Internal security: Strengthen internal infrastructure through certification and staff training.

5) e-Learning: Continue use of e-learning with the development of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) of training on global health.

6) Digital leaders: Continue to develop and present THET as a leader in digital transformation and expand on the support provided to THET key stakeholders on the Principles for Digital Development.

THET remains committed to promoting and advocating the Principles for Digital Development by working collaboratively and sharing our expertise, using the principles as our digital framework and by providing training both internally and externally on how to tackle the digital divide.

Ciaran Barbour

Digital Engagement at THET

Ciaran joined THET in October, 2020 as Digital Engagement Officer. He graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a Bachelor’s degree in History. Before joining THET, he worked for various organisations in the tech sector in the UK and abroad. Ciaran has a keen interest in social enterprise and the role technology can play in creating positive social change.