While new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) could transform weak health systems in low-resource settings, human rights experts have highlighted real threats to privacy, equality, and autonomy. These risks are greater for youth and for marginalised, criminalised groups, such as people living with HIV, migrants, women and girls, and key populations vulnerable to HIV and tuberculosis – who rarely have input into the policy decisions that shape what kinds of data are gathered about them, by whom, and how that data is used or managed.
The Digital Health and Rights Advisory Group is a consortium of anthropologists, human rights lawyers, and global networks of civil society activists who are working together in a participatory action research approach that combines ethnographic research, reflection, analysis and policy engagement to:
- Use ethnographic field research to develop case studies of mobile apps and social media used to address HIV, TB, COVID-19 and sexual and reproductive health in Kenya, Ghana, Viet Nam, Bangladesh and Colombia.
- Assess what legal and policy frameworks are used to implement these tools, how they are governed, how human rights concerns are addressed, and how integrated youth and civil society are in decision-making for these tools;
- Develop a set of global health policy recommendations grounded in human rights principles and legal and ethnographic research, and in the lived experience of affected communities; and
- Empower transnational youth activist networks with the knowledge, networks and opportunities to raise the recommendations in health policy in national and global health governance.