Disputation: Eric Adu-Gyamfi

Doctoral candidate Eric Adu-Gyamfi at the Department of Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is defending the thesis Frugal Digital Innovation for Health Information Systems in Resource-Constrained Settings: The Case of Sierra Leone

 for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

Picture of the candidate

Photo: Private

The PhD defence will be partially digital, in Kristen Nygaards sal (5370), Ole-Johan Dahls hus and streamed directly using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: the chair of the defence will invite the attending audience at Kristen Nygaards sal to ask ex auditorio questions. 

Trial lecture

Tuesday 28. June 2022, 1:15 pm in Zoom

"Frugal Digital Innovation in Resource-Constrained Settings and the impact of datafication."

Main research findings

  • Developing and implementing the essential information management systems to meet different user needs and changing conditions of health program management is a challenging task in the public sector in developing countries. The sector is dynamic, influenced by national priorities and international actors, and constrained by human and material resource limitations. This thesis explores frugal digital innovation and its potential for addressing health information systems challenges in the public health context in Sierra Leone. Frugal digital innovation is defined as the moulding of digital technologies and local ecosystem resources into new and innovative solutions supported by complementary innovations on institutional and social dimensions.
    The findings suggest that positioning frugality as the core guiding principle in digital health information systems innovations can enhance efficiency, viability and long-term local sustainability. A central theoretical contribution from this work is the mutually constitutive and dynamic relationship involving digital technology-based innovation processes and outcomes, in a continuous, overlapping, and iterative interaction. A frugal digital innovation strategy is also proposed based on building on existing systems and resources, focusing on; prevailing user needs and contextual challenges; reusing established technological systems and social and institutional structures.
    The thesis also discusses frugal digital innovation in practice, including approaches based on leveraging digital platform features, embedding complementary solutions into the existing parent system’s infrastructure, scaling the same information system for differentiated user applications, and scoping the same information system’s functionality for use in distinct organisational units. In conclusion, frugal digital innovation is presented as a pragmatic approach and lens for studying health information systems innovation projects with social and economic development goals and aspirations.

Adjudication committee:



  • Professor Judith Van Biljon, University of South Africa, South Africa
  • Associate Professor Suchit Ahuja, Concordia University, Canada 
  • Associate Professor Miria Grisot, University of Oslo, Department of informatics, Norway



  • Professor Petter Nielsen, Department of Informatics, UiO
  • Associate Professor Johan Ivar Sæbø, Department of Informatics, UiO


Chair of defence:

Associate Professor Ingrid Chieh Yu

Candidate contact information: 

Contact information to Department: Mozhdeh Sheibani Harat

Published June 17, 2022 9:47 AM - Last modified June 24, 2022 2:44 PM