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Maturity Level of Digital Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Initiatives in Jordan and PalestineFunding This research was supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, as a part of the research project “Governing Digital Personal Data to Strengthen Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services Delivery in Fragile Settings in Palestine and Jordan.”
Background While there is a rapid increase in digital health initiatives focusing on the processing of personal data for strengthening the delivery of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) services in fragile settings, these are often unaccompanied at both the policy and operational levels with adequate legal and regulatory frameworks.
Objective The main aim was to understand the maturity level of digital personal data initiatives for RMNCH services within fragile contexts. This aim was performed by choosing digital health initiatives from each country (two in Jordan and three in Palestine) based on RMNCH.
Methods A qualitative study design was adopted. We developed a digital maturity assessment tool assessing two maturity levels: the information and communications technology digital infrastructure, and data governance and interoperability in place for the five selected RMNCH initiatives in Jordan and Palestine.
Results Overall, the digital infrastructure and technological readiness components are more advanced and show higher maturity levels compared with data governance and interoperability components in Jordan and Palestine. In Jordan, the overall Jordan stillbirths and neonatal deaths surveillance initiative maturity indicators are somehow less advanced than those of the Electronic Maternal and Child Health Handbook-Jordan (EMCH-J) application. In Palestine, the Electronic Maternal and Child Health-registry initiative maturity indicators are more advanced than both Avicenna and EMCH-Palestine initiatives.
Conclusion The findings highlighted several challenges and opportunities around the application and implementation of selected digital health initiatives in the provision of RMNCH in Jordan and Palestine. Our findings shed lights on the maturity level of these initiatives within fragile contexts. The maturity level of the five RMNCH initiatives in both countries is inadequate and requires further advancement before they can be scaled up and scaled out. Taking the World Health Organization recommendations into account when developing, implementing, and scaling digital health initiatives in low- and middle-income countries can result in successful and sustainable initiatives, thus meeting health needs and improving the quality of health care received by individuals especially those living in fragile contexts.
KeywordsJordan - Palestine - digital health - maturity assessment - reproductive health - maternal and child health - RMNCH
N.M.E.A., Y.K., M.A., A.C., and S.S. designed the study and conceptualized the analysis. M.A., N.M.E.A., M.N., N.A., Y.K., A.C., L.C., and S.S. were involved in tools development. Y.K., M.A., N.M.E.A., N.A., and M.N. were involved in gaining ethical approval, data collection, data analysis and results writing. M.A., N.M.E.A., N.A., and Y.K. wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Received: 19 March 2022
Accepted: 12 July 2022
Article published online:
15 November 2022
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