Digital Health Disparities Initiative 

disrupt. decolonize. democratize. 

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What We Do

How we work


 DHDI works alongside health civil society actors in humanitarian & development settings to incubate community-level digital health initiatives.



Our work prioritizes three central principles: disruption, decolonization, and democratization.

Disrupting Industry Narratives. DHDI is working with civil society organizations to expand the narrative of digital health as the domain of commercial & health industry actors alone to community digital ownership.

Digital Spaces as Operational Pathways to Advance Decolonial Global Health Transitions.  We work collaboratively with community-based organizations to support their digital capacity & ethical digital health data governance to build community power & influence in shaping community health priorities.

Democratizing Health Evidence. DHDI collaborates with community-based organizations to design digital strategies to link individual-focused health behavior strategies with social & environmental determinants of health. 

We do this work as a lean, virtual network of staff & volunteers. This enables us to pursue alternative strategies to traditional partnership models between organizations responding to gender & health issues in humanitarian & development settings. 

DHDI is actively cultivating new strategies to advance decolonized global health & gender partnerships.


DHDI was founded on the belief that optimization in any health or humanitarian emergency comes from authentic, equitable cross-cultural partnerships. But, inherent power hierarchies in resources and grant flow often thwart authentic partnerships in humanitarian & development settings.


The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging there is one. 

By acknowledging the differences and the historic inequity in global health partnerships, we prioritize creating a heightened level of transparency and accountability with our partners. Furthermore, similar strategies apply to power differentials between service delivery organizations & communities served.


The relative 'newness' of digital strategies (for social impact) in humanitarian & development settings provides a unique opportunity to push reset on long-standing research & practice tradeoffs between community engagement and community ownership. 





DHDI Founder, Sonia Navani, DrPH has spent the last 20 years working on gender, health & human rights issues. She has worked with communities affected by armed conflict and forced migration in over 15 countries throughout Africa, Asia & the Middle East with donor, UN, INGO, and local entities. Since 2012, Dr. Navani has focused her work on digital public health initiatives in resource-constrained settings. 



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