Governing Health Futures 2030 Youth Network

Stronger governance of digital technology, data and artificial intelligence is required to maximise the benefits – and mitigate the risks – of health in a digital age for the next generation. To date, young people’s needs and perspectives have been largely overlooked in the design, application and governance of digital health and data. Through this proposal, Switzerland will support greater youth involvement in governing health futures.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Health systems strengthening
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Sector not specified
01.10.2020 - 30.06.2023
CHF  650’000

Development agencies and business are increasingly exploring how technology can help to leapfrog development, especially in LMICs with high youth populations. However, the use of digital technologies in resource-poor settings remains nascent and uncoordinated. Huge divides exist in levels of digital literacy, internet connectivity, and access to quality health systems, meaning that the poorest and most marginalised groups are unable to enjoy the benefits of healthcare in a digital age. There is therefore a need for better guidance on how to maximise the benefits of digital technologies and data in various policy areas, including health, through better governance, with a view to also facilitating the greater participation of all stakeholder groups, including young people and women, in the digital sphere.

The Lancet and the Financial Times have convened a Commission ‘Governing health futures 2030: Growing up in a digital world’ (GHF2030 Commission) to run from October 2019 to December 2021. The Commission is exploring the convergence of digital health, Artificial Intelligence and other frontier technologies with Universal Health Coverage, with a special focus on improving the health of children, adolescents, and young people in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

Objectives By 2030, digital development has helped to improve the health and wellbeing of all people, especially children and young people. 
Target groups

-         Young people, particularly in LMICs, with an interest in health
         and/or digital development.

-         Global and national policymakers responsible for digital transformation,
         health, and data governance.

-        Digital technology companies.

Medium-term outcomes

1.   Diverse groups of young people from
     around the world share their perspectives and
     experiences about health in a digital age.

2.   GHF2030 Commission delivers a set of recommendations
     on the governance of digital health, Artificial Intelligence
     and Universal Health Coverage taking full account of the
     needs and perspectives of young people.

3.    GHF2030 Youth Network supports dissemination
       of GHF2030 Commission’s recommendations; hold decision-makers
       accountable for their commitments to health and
       the equitable and responsible use of technology and data;
       and advocates for greater involvement of young people in
       the design and implementation of policies and programmes
      related to health, technology and data.


Expected results:  

1.    GHF2030 Youth Engagement Strategy developed.

2.    GHF2030 Youth Network established.

3.    Consultations held with groups of young people, including medical students, to inform Commission’s work.

4.    Methodology developed and tested for qualitative digital consultations with young people.

5.    Set of research papers prepared on issues related to/suggested by young people to inform GHF2030 Commission’s work.

6.    Findings of a multi-country poll of young people analysed and presented to GHF2030 Commission.

7.    GHF2030 Youth Network develops and implements a workplan to support the dissemination of Commission’s recommendations and other advocacy objectives.

8.    Consultations held with groups of young people, including medical students, to inform Youth Network activities.

Results from previous phases:   Not applicable. This is a new proposal.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
  • Other Academic Research North

Implementing partner
·         The Youth and Media, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at
          Harvard University.
·         The Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University.
·         The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.

Other partners
Governments, academia, international organisations, NGOs, private sector.
Coordination with other projects and actors Collaboration with UNICEF on a multi-country poll using mobile phones to capture young people’s views on digital health. The implementation of the Youth Network’s workplan will entail collaboration with youth-led organisations with an interest in digital health such as Youth Experts: Tech 4 Health (hosted by Plan Canada). 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    650’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    555’000