Tensymp 2020


Prof Paul Cunningham, PhD

Executive Director, IST-Africa Institute
Director-Elect, IEEE Division IV
Past President, IEEE SSIT
Past Chair, IEEE HAC

Short Bio:

Paul is Founder and Executive Director, IST-Africa Institute (www.IST-Africa.org), a not-for-profit research and policy organisation. Established in 2002, and supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, IST-Africa is a strategic partnership which currently involves Ministries and National Councils responsible for Innovation, Science and Technology and Sustainable Development related adoption, implementation policy and research in 18 African Member States. IST-Africa is a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and was recognised by the ITU as a WSIS Prizes 2018 Champion for International and Regional Cooperation
The IST-Africa Institute is focused on (a) promotion and support of international cooperation related to Sustainable Development and Innovation, Science and Technology related policy, research, education and entrepreneurship in developing countries, and in particular, ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) Group Countries, (b) instigation, collaboration in and contributing to the co-design and execution of Sustainable Development, research, innovation, international development, pilot, implementation and entrepreneurship oriented projects, and in particular leveraging ICT and other technologies, and (c) contributing to Sustainable Development and Innovation, Science and Technology related policy at national, regional and international levels, with a particular emphasis on alignment of research and innovation with achieving sustainable socio-economic development.
IST-Africa publishes comprehensive reference reports on ICT Initiatives, research capacity and Innovation Spaces to support policy development, helped African universities secure >€200 million research and innovation funding in the last 10 years, provided evidence to secure c.€36 million in dedicated funding for Calls addressing African societal challenges and achieved a significant increase in research publications from Africa and about Africa (IST-Africa Week, published in IEEE Xplore)
Paul has extensive experience contributing to policy formulation, requirements analysis, baseline studies, monitoring and evaluation, data analysis, and developing use cases and scenarios. He has over twenty years’ experience leading teams providing technological, strategic, research and policy expertise to national and international governmental organizations and research and innovation programs, including assessment, monitoring and evaluation and reviewing. Paul has extensive international policy, research and innovation and Sustainable Development related networks across Africa, Europe and North America, and enormous experience working as a technology, policy and innovation expert and organizing ministerial level technology research and innovation conferences.
Affiliated with IUM (Namibia) and Wrexham Glyndŵr University (Wales), Paul has an interdisciplinary background (Trinity College Dublin; Kodály Institute of Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music; UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School; Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University) and was recognized by Enterprise Ireland (Irish Champion of EU Research, 2015, 2017).
A Senior IEEE Member, IEEE SSIT Distinguished Lecturer (2015 - Present) and IEEE VoLT Program Graduate (2016) and Mentor (2018 - 2019), Paul is Director-Elect, IEEE Division VI; Past President and VP Conferences, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology; and Past Chair, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee.


mHealth4Afrika – Strengthening Healthcare Delivery in Resource Constrained Environments


Co-designed with Ministries of Health, District Health Offices, Health Facility Managers and nurses from rural and deep rural health facilities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa, mHealth4Afrika focused on strengthening primary (and later secondary and tertiary level) healthcare delivery in resource constrained environments by developing a comprehensive, standards based solution designed to replace use of hardcopy patient registries and siloed eSolutions. Co-funded by the European Commission, mHealth4Afrika was co-designed and validated in 23 healthcare facilities (including county and referral hospitals) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa, serving a total catchment population of c.875,000 people. It provides an adaptable, extensible, modular, multi-lingual and standards based electronic health platform to support longitudinal “cradle to grave” medical records, integrating: Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) functionality; use of Medical Sensors at the point of care; analytical, visualisation and decision support tools; automatic generation of program specific aggregate data for District Health Offices & Ministries of Health; SMS Appointment Reminders; and integration with a Laboratory Test System. This presentation will share insight into the co-design and validation process, lessons learnt and results to date.