Global Standards and Local Development

  • Simon Pettersen NguyenEmail author
  • Petter Nielsen
  • Johan Ivar Sæbø
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 933)


Substantial investments are made in ICTs to support socioeconomic growth in developing countries. As a side-effect of this, the public health sectors in developing countries are commonly challenged by the proliferation of multiple and parallel information systems. Investments are made, but not in a coordinated manner. Based on a case study of OpenHIE, a global community of practice supporting the development of ICT standards within health, and the implementation of these standards in Tanzania and The Philippines, we discuss the relation between global standards and local development. We do so by conceptualizing the global standards offered by OpenHIE as fluid standards and standards as composed of a package of the different components necessary to make them globally and locally relevant. Theoretically, we contribute to the standardization literature by applying and expanding the concept of fluid standards within this particular context of global initiatives to reduce fragmentation of health information systems locally in developing countries. We also contribute to the development literature by exemplifying and critically discussing how the fluid nature of standards, and the networked nature of standardization processes, promote local development.


Standards Standardization Global standards OpenHIE Fluid standards Health information exchange Interoperability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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