Translating Global Health Technologies. Standardisation and organisational learning in health care provision in Uganda and Rwanda




Prof. Dr. Dieter Neubert


Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisel





Liggins, M.A. Arlena Siobhan
Umlauf, M.A. René


2011 - 2017


This project has been approved as part of the priority program “Adaptation and Creativity in Africa - Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder”. It is conducted in co-operation with the university of Halle. The project analyses practices of adaptation, creativity and organisational learning by focusing on traveling health technologies in selected districts in Uganda and Rwanda. In Phase I our research concentrated on how global health technologies not only reconfigure access to medicines, but also coproduce scientific and social orders in non-western settings. The results suggest shifting this focus to the re-organisation of entire health care services. In order to better capture the complexities that changing health care practices entail for patients, health staff and the overall organisation of health care in Uganda and Rwanda, we conceptualise translation as a two-way process: this enables us to trace how creative practices adapt technologies to specific contexts, and in turn, how these contexts are also adapted to the technologies, e.g. through various forms of organisational learning. In Phase II of the project, our main objective is to analyse how therapeutic agencements change when travelling technologies are being translated to particular sites. Documenting   practices   of  creativity,   adaptation   and   organizational   learning   in  diagnostic-, treatment- and information-technologies,  the project contributes to the Priority Programme through a detailed analysis of the translation process and the interplay between standardising practices and the production of social (dis)order.