Author(s): Byrne E, Gregory J
Abstract Share this page
Abstract In changing the context regarding the situation of vulnerable children in rural South Africa, understanding the role of communication in the design of community-based child health information systems (HIS) is key. Communication goes beyond language. The importance of translation of terms and concepts used to negotiate between different meanings and logics is explored in this paper. In striving for the 'ideal speech situation' [J. Habermas, Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1989], or, in other words, creating an enabling environment in which people can participate in debate and discussion on equal terms, there is a need to develop a codetermined vision; to understand local meanings of and for childhood illness; to understand communication systems and the context in which they occur; and to connect with networks beyond the localised setting, such as provincial or national health authorities. We provide a theoretical and practical framework in which important aspects of communication related to IS design can be highlighted and against which the implementation of an IS can be reviewed. The South African case study from the UThukela District Child Survival Project in KwaZulu-Natal, illustrates how this approach was used in co-constructing local meanings for child health indicators in a community-based information system.
This article was published in Int J Med Inform
and referenced in Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology