System Building

Developing systems for collecting and using public health data

Developing systems for collecting and using public health data

Scaling Up an Improved System in Ethiopia

MEASURE Evaluation helped scale up Ethiopia’s reformed health management information system (HMIS) in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region. In just under two years, all administrative health units from the regional health bureau to 157 district health offices were accessing electronic HMIS data for performance monitoring and decision-making. In 2012 alone, 4,143 health workers in the region were trained in HMIS, and 340 were trained in the region’s electronic data management component, eHMIS. The full-fledged scale-up has ushered in the principles upon which the new HMIS was founded – standardization, integration, and simplification – so that the region’s health system becomes more efficient and sustainable. Part of the HMIS scale-up included implementing the Decision Support System, which provides time trends, comparisons among health units, color-coded maps, and tables for each HMIS indicator, allowing health managers to readily access and analyze data so that they can make informed decisions. The new HMIS also has led to more family-focused health service delivery and improved continuity of care at the community level through its community health information system component; health extension workers in communities are now using family folders to organize health information of individuals and families in one place. Successful scale-up in Southern States, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region helps ensure the sustainability of a high-performing HMIS throughout the entire country eventually. Following this scale-up, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health requested that MEASURE Evaluation begin the process in other states; and now, the reformed HMIS is effectively becoming the core information system for the country’s national M&E plan.

Assessing National-level M&E Systems

MEASURE Evaluation used its expertise in assessing and building systems to conduct three national-level M&E system assessments in Africa so that the ministries in these countries can establish highly functioning M&E systems. Without strong national M&E systems, countries lack essential data for monitoring their epidemics and improving their responses. After adapting UNAIDS’ 12-component M&E assessment tool for orphaned and vulnerable children in Rwanda, Tanzania mainland, and Tanzania Zanzibar, we completed participatory assessments, which yielded multiyear and multisectoral M&E system strengthening plans in each country. After we costed Rwanda’s plan, the Rwandan government formally adopted and approved it. Each country’s new M&E system strengthening plan positions its ministries to improve the availability and quality of data for national-level decision-making moving forward. 

Developing a Countrywide Directory of Nigeria’s Health Facilities

In 2011, MEASURE Evaluation developed a countrywide directory of Nigeria’s health facilities, in conjunction with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning Research and Statistics. Two years later, Nigeria’s minister of health launched the directory of more than 34,000 health facilities, which is coded to indicate key information for each facility – location, type of facility, and facility ownership (private or public). This directory is fundamental to the effective and efficient functioning of health management and delivery in Nigeria, which requires detailed and up-to-date information about facilities, the sources of health care. The directory is set to be the backbone of Nigeria’s National Health Information Systems, bolstering the country’s health systems; and it will inform further research and assessments by serving as a sampling frame for surveys and audits. It will also generate unique identification numbering for antiretroviral therapy patients and serve as a tool for the National Health Insurance Scheme. In addition, the detailed directory will allow organizations wanting to work in a state to know what facilities are available for their proposed activities.