Developing Relational Work as a Design Tool in activities with health professionals

Charitonos, Koula; Littlejohn, Allison; Dawadi, Saraswati; Vaidya, Abhinav; Giri, Santosi; Owusu-Ofori, Alex and Goshtasbpour, Fereshte (2023). Developing Relational Work as a Design Tool in activities with health professionals. In: EARLI2023 Conference, 22-26 Aug 2023, Thessaloniki, Greece.


This paper focuses on relations that emerge between professionals in different roles in the public health systems in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) as they engage in activities related to the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It illustrates the potential for a designed learning activity to promote relational expertise among participants based at the same workplace. Grounded in sociocultural theory and leveraging theoretical contributions from the field of professional learning, we draw on qualitative digital data across a period of six months to examine the development of an AMR Toolkit - a set of activities to encourage dialogic reflection about new sets of relations that are needed as work evolves - and the organization of activities that the Toolkit enabled. Analysis of accounts generated by lead participants (written proformas (n=12); interviews (n=11)) across 12 public health organisations in two LMICs reveal how the concept of relational expertise combined with maintaining a view of the new object of activity in the local system serve in the design of an artefact that supports professionals to come to understanding and negotiate wider work arrangements and practices, envision new practices and engage in re-configurations of relational aspects of work.

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