Malawi: HIS Indicators


MEASURE Evaluation is compiling the country profiles on this site for 30 HIS indicators. As of February 2018, we had located the following indicators for Malawi. Indicator definitions can be found here:

Please check back in this Resource Center as we continue to expand the indicators of HIS strengthening, or click here to provide comments and suggestions. 





1. National health strategy

Current (2017–2022)

In-country contact

Malawi Health Sector Strategic Plan 2017–2022

2. Health sector M&E plan

Not available

In-country contact

The country has the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) (2011–2016) with a brief framework for monitoring, evaluation, and research highlighting key milestones and activities to be done towards strengthened M&E for the strategic plan (see page 68-70 for the brief framework).

Since the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) expired in 2016, a new one is being developed and is currently in draft form. Plans are in place to develop a comprehensive stand-alone M&E plan for the upcoming HSSP.

3. HIS policy

Not current (2015)

Malawi National Health Information System Policy (September 2015)

4. HIS strategic plan

Not current (2011–2016)

In-country contact

Malawi Health Information System Strategic Plan (2011-2016)

A Health Metrics Network (HMN) assessment was conducted in 2008 and a strategic plan developed (2011-2016). A follow-on strategic plan is to be developed. This HIS Strategic Plan is not available online.

Efforts are underway to revise and update the strategy. Draft is available but not ready for sharing.

5. Country has set of core health indicators

Yes, 2017

In-country contact

Malawi National Health Indicators for HSSP II 2017-2022 (Draft)

Measuring Health Sector Performance, Handbook of Indicators 2003

A minimum set of indicators has been defined and documented at two levels: national for monitoring the Health Sector Strategic Plan II and programme level indicators for monitoring programme performance. The revision of the programme level indicators is currently underway.

6. National HIS coordinating body


Ministry of Health Department of Planning and Policy Development:

Data collaborative M&E task force priorities:

There is a Malawi National M&E Task force but not one specific to HIS. The website link provided has key milestones that have been achieved by the M&E task force since December 2015 when it was created. The general objective of the M&E Taskforce is to fully align investment, i.e. the national and development partner investments in health with a single country platform for information and accountability, by coordinating the implementation of the short- and medium term priority tasks outlined during the WHO and Partners mission to Malawi in November 2015.

There is also a Malawi National M&E Technical Working Group (TWG) that meets quarterly chaired by the Director of Planning and Policy Development (Ministry of Health).

7. Country has master facility list


In-country contact

The Malawi Master Facility List (MFL) is currently available in excel format. It comprises mainly of public sector facilities (government and faith-based) and few private sector facilities.

The Ministry is currently working on a web-based solution for the MFL with query functionality for ease of use and version control purposes.

There is currently no schedule for updating the MFL as it is an ongoing process with districts informing the national level if there are new facilities or any that may have been closed.

There are currently no guidelines for addition or removal of facilities, and the Ministry is currently working on developing the guidelines

8. Conducted HMN assessment

Completed (2009)   

Health Information Systems Assessment Report

9. Population census within the last 10 years

Yes (2008)  

Last census was conducted in 2008, and preparations are underway to conduct the next housing and population census in 2018.

10. Availability of national health surveys 

MICS5 (2013–2014) and DHS (2015–2016)

Data and reports can be found using the links provided (DHS).

11. Completeness of vital registration (births and deaths)

Incomplete –37.9% for live births and 10.0% deaths.

In-country contact

Birth and death registration is governed by the National Registration Act 2010, which came into effect through a 2015 regulation. This means that birth registration is now universal and compulsory to all children. Currently electronic birth registration (eBRS) scaled up to 22 districts.

Death registration done on demand but not is compulsory. Plans are underway to pilot and scale up to all districts by 2020. (Link)

12. Country has electronic system for aggregating routine facility and/or community service data

Yes, adoption by programs or partial national roll out

The country still uses paper-based system for reporting data from facility to district level. However, at district level, the data is electronically captured into DHIS2.

13. Country has national statistics office



The National Statistics Office (NSO) available and established with an Act of Parliament

14. National health statistics report (annual)

Not current (2015)

2014/15 Annual Review Report for the Health Sector

15. Country has website for health statistics with latest data available

Yes, not updated and has most recent health report


16. DQA conducted on prioritized indicators aligned with most recent health sector strategy

Yes, DQA conducted within the most recent health sector (2016)

In-country contact

Data Quality in Malawi’s Health Sector: A mixed method assessment

17. PRISM assessment conducted in any regions/districts

Conducted – diagnostic tool applied (2010)


18. Percentage of facilities represented in HMIS information

Available, 100.00% (public and faith facilities)

In-country contact

The number of facilities reporting is calculated using reports received over reports expected in the DHIS2 for a particular data set (used the HMIS -15 report: an integrated report required from all facilities). For the 2016 year:

  • Reported- 7470
  • Expected- 7932

19. Proportion (facility, district, national) offices using data for setting targets and monitoring

Not available

In-country contact

There is currently no objective way of calculating this indicator. Data analysis and use was highlighted as a major problem area. However, the general trend is that the national level sets targets and all lower level tiers (zones, districts, and facilities) set their targets based on national targets and their situation analysis. Districts produce annual implementation plans with an assessment of their current status as a way of setting targets and monitoring their progress. For facilities, the District Health Management Teams are responsible for target setting. Based on this, it can be argued that the proportion is 100%.

20. Measles coverage reported to WHO/UNICEF

WHO/UNICEF estimate = 81; Official government estimate = 81

See page 7.

21. Number of institutional deliveries available by district, and published within 12 months of preceding year

Available by districts (2015)

In-country contact

Available in the HMIS annual bulletin starting on page 26. 

Institutional deliveries 2016, 55% (DHIS2, Maternity monthly report dataset, 85.3% reporting rate)

22. Existence of policies, laws, and regulations mandating public and private health facilities/ providers to report indicators determined by the national HIS


In-country contact

Governed by the Statistics Act 2012 accessed at

National Health Policy currently being developed, in final draft and submitted to Cabinet for approval, currently not available for external sharing)

National HIS Policy (provided as a soft copy)

23. Availability of standards/guidelines for RHIS data collection, reporting, and analysis

Available (2003)

In-country contact

Guidelines are available for data collection, reporting, and analysis, including the “HMIS Training and Reference Manual, 2003” and “HMIS Tools and Guidelines 2003” handbooks. Both documents are outdated, developed in 2003, and not in tandem with the current system.  Process is underway to update the guidelines and reference manual.  Also, the MoH is developing standard operating procedures which are in draft form.

24.Presence of procedures to verify the quality of data (accuracy, completeness, timeliness) reported


In-country contact

Draft Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) are available. However, there are also internal checks on the DHIS 2 application that allows for validation and quality checks when data is being entered.

25.RHIS data collection forms allow for disaggregation by gender


In-country contact

All source documents (registers for data collection) allow for collection of sex-disaggregated data. However, reports do not allow for disaggregation by sex, and data are not routinely analyzed by sex. The current practice is to conduct an annual age and sex disaggregated survey for collection and analysis of data by these dimensions.

26. At least one national health account completed in last 5 years

Available (2015), but not published online

In-country contact

The Malawi National Health Accounts Report 2012/13 – 2014/15

27. National database with health workers by district and main cadres updated within last 2 years


The ministry uses an integrated human resources information system.

28. Annual data on availability of tracer medicines and commodities in public and private health facilities

Not current (2015)

This can be found on page 45-56 of the 2014/15 Annual Review Report for the Health Sector

There is also the Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) for managing logistics data, but this only tracks data from the public facilities.

29. e-health strategy

Not current (2011-2016), and not published online

In-country contact

The Malawi National eHealth Strategy 2011-2016 (published Dec 2016)

Currently in the process of revising and updating the e-Health strategy.

30. Completeness of disease surveillance reporting

Available (2016)

In-country contact

Disease surveillance is done through Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system implemented by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health

IDSR data is reported through DHIS 2, and the reporting rate summary for 2016 was 70 percent.