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Algorithmic Management for Community Health Worker in Sub-Saharan Africa: Curse or Blessing?


Stähelin, Dario; Dolata, Mateusz; Peyer, Nicolas; Gerber, Felix; Schwabe, Gerhard (2023). Algorithmic Management for Community Health Worker in Sub-Saharan Africa: Curse or Blessing? In: INTERACT 2023 19th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, York, 28 August 2023 - 1 September 2023. Springer, 94-114.

Abstract

Algorithmic management can potentially improve healthcare delivery, for example, in community-based healthcare in low-and middle-income countries. However, most research neglects the user perspective and focuses on health-related outcomes. Consequently, we know little about the effects of algorithmic management on the user: community health workers. This paper reports on a 12-week pilot study in ComBaCaL, a community-based healthcare project tackling the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We evaluate the Community Health Toolkit (CHT), a digital tool designed to support CHWs in community-based NCD care. We find that CHT is generally suitable for this purpose and can help CHWs to assume broader responsibilities. However, its design creates a tension between control and autonomy when confronted with reality. This tension could lead to disempowerment and attrition among CHWs. We propose design adaptations for CHT’s task scheduling, balancing the socio-technical system to resolve the tension between control and autonomy.

Abstract

Algorithmic management can potentially improve healthcare delivery, for example, in community-based healthcare in low-and middle-income countries. However, most research neglects the user perspective and focuses on health-related outcomes. Consequently, we know little about the effects of algorithmic management on the user: community health workers. This paper reports on a 12-week pilot study in ComBaCaL, a community-based healthcare project tackling the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We evaluate the Community Health Toolkit (CHT), a digital tool designed to support CHWs in community-based NCD care. We find that CHT is generally suitable for this purpose and can help CHWs to assume broader responsibilities. However, its design creates a tension between control and autonomy when confronted with reality. This tension could lead to disempowerment and attrition among CHWs. We propose design adaptations for CHT’s task scheduling, balancing the socio-technical system to resolve the tension between control and autonomy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Theoretical Computer Science
Physical Sciences > General Computer Science
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Event End Date:1 September 2023
Deposited On:07 Dec 2023 13:02
Last Modified:06 Mar 2024 14:40
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Number:14144
ISSN:0302-9743
ISBN:978-3-031-42285-0
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-42286-7_6
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:24091