Health Information Systems Development: Producing a New Agora in Zimbabwe

Rangarirai Matavire


This study is concerned with implementation of the District Health Information Software (DHIS 2) system in the health ministry of Zimbabwe. The open source software is used in numerous developing nations, with its development coordinated by the University of Oslo in Norway. The study theorizes the process through which the globally developed and used software technology becomes part of daily life in the developing nation. A sociospatial theoretical explanation of the process of appropriation of the software is developed. The explanation is constructed through a concatenation of ideas on the social production of social space by Henri Lefebvre and emergent spatial theories in the information systems discipline. Using this conceptualization, it was possible to relate multiple levels and perspectives through which the system is adopted and adapted. This is achieved by linking the spaces of decision making, social practice, and everyday use within which the struggles to appropriate the technology ensue. Using this perspective, it is possible to improve the understanding of the generic software phenomenon and thereby craft interventions through which the technologies can be successfully appropriated in developing nations.

Full Text: