Digital contact-tracing and pandemics: Institutional and technological preparedness in Africa

Arakpogun, Emmanuel, Elsahn, Ziad, Prime, Karla, Gerli, Paolo and Olan, Femi (2020) Digital contact-tracing and pandemics: Institutional and technological preparedness in Africa. World Development, 136. p. 105105. ISSN 0305-750X

[img] Text
WD_S_20_02505.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 August 2022.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (463kB) | Request a copy
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105105

Abstract

Several countries in Africa have either deployed or considering using digital contact-tracing (DCT) as part of their Covid-19 containment strategy, amidst calls for the use of technology to improve the efficiency of traditional contact-tracing. We discuss some of the complexities entailed in using DCT in Africa. Adopting a socio-technical perspective, we argue that if DCT design and deployment are not well thought out, it can lead to unintended consequences, particularly in a continent like Africa with disproportionate levels of digital divides and other structural inequalities. We suggest that any adoption of DCT by African countries must take account of their compatibility with local resources, values, social structure, and domestic political factors. Accordingly, we propose a process of translation whereby DCT adaptation is made to accommodate the unique institutional and technological characteristics of African countries by leveraging local practices learned from previous pandemics like Ebola to develop a blended epidemiological approach to (digital) contact-tracing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Africa, Contact-tracing, Covid-19, Institutions, Pandemic, Socio-technical perspective
Subjects: B800 Medical Technology
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
J900 Others in Technology
L100 Economics
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 16:10
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2020 16:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44095

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics