The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other. In 2016, 750 individuals from 76 countries and 320 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.
Health systems in low-income countries face challenges of limited resources, poor access, inequity and poor quality of care. An increasing number of these countries are looking to health insurance schemes as a modality for to addressing such challenges and moving forward in the drive to Universal Health Coverage. However, the lack of professional insurance systems renders many schemes inefficient, in some cases unsustainable and in a lot of cases non scalable. The Insurance Management Information System (IMIS) developed under a Swiss - Tanzanian cooperation project in Tanzania is an example of a technology, which provides cost-effective operability in a rural and informal sector context. The application uses mobile phones to support enrolment, renewals, claims submission and feedback collection processes of insurance schemes.
Experience of implementing IMIS in three countries (Tanzania, Nepal and Cameroon) demonstrates how outreach of health insurance schemes can be increased at low cost and common obstacles like identification mechanisms, accountability towards clients, reaching out to remote areas, accessibility to all network facilities, flexibility of insurance model regarding benefit packages, provider payment mechanisms, pooling of funds, and operational monitoring can be professionally dealt with.