Health Facility Assessment Technology Forum

IFAN to host an online forum on the use of technology in health facility assessments and household surveys and census in developing countries

More health facility assessments (HFA) and household surveys and censuses are applying a wide range of technologies such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to their data collection, data entry, and mapping processes. Some examples of health facility assessments and censuses that have used these technologies include Service Availability Mapping (SAM) by WHO, Service Provision Assessments (SPA) by Macro International, Health Facility Census (HFC) by JICA, and Facility Audit of Service Quality (FASQ) by MEASURE Evaluation.

Although a number of organizations and individuals have gained experience in the use of such technologies, the lessons learned need to be more widely disseminated. The International Health Facility Assessment Network (IHFAN) is hosting a virtual forum to facilitate discussions of experiences in, and lessons learned from, using these technologies. This on-line forum will provide an opportunity for participants to share their experiences, discuss advantages and disadvantages; propose ways of overcoming challenges, raise questions, and explore possible future uses of these technologies for large scale data collection efforts. Specific objectives include:

  • Share field experience and lessons learned in using PDAs and GPS units within the context of HFA and household surveys, including advantages and disadvantages of these technologies

  • Serve as a forum for persons who have not used these technologies to pose questions related to their use to experienced participants

  • Discuss challenges and propose solutions for overcoming these in the field

  • Explore the potential for future use of these technologies in HFA and household surveys

Who is the forum for?

Anyone who has experience and/or is interested in using PDAs and/or GPS in HFA or household surveys is encouraged to participate.

How do I participate?

Those who are interested in participating in the IHFAN on-line forum
should send e-mail to by January 10, 2009. The title of the e-mail should be "Participation in the IHFAN On-Line Forum." The forum will be held over the IFHAN listserv during January 12, 2009 - January 23, 2009.

Who are the moderators?

The lead moderator for this forum is Shanthi Noriega Minichiello. Shanthi is the Senior Technical Officer in Monitoring and Evaluation for Family Health International’s (FHI) Asia/Pacific regional office and is currently based in Thailand. Prior to joining FHI, Shanthi worked with the Health Metrics Network (HMN) and WHO. A veteran M&E expert, Shanthi is no novice to the use of information technologies. Shanthi was the SAM coordinator from 2004 to 2007. In this role, she led the development, implementation analysis and facilitation for the use of this methodology and its resulting data around the world. SAM utilized PDAs and GPS for data collection and the Health Mapper software for data analysis and map production. Shanthi will provide overall guidance to the discussion.

The second moderator is Yoko Suzuki. Yoko had significant experience in health facility assessment, particularly at the country level. Yoko worked with JICA in Zambia and helped to implement a heath facility census from 2004 to 2007. Yoko is currently consulting for IHFAN, where she is helping to develop the global technical leadership agenda in HFA. On this Forum, she will oversee the day to day management of the discussion, post the daily summaries of the key take away messages, and ensure a smooth discussion.

When Jan 12, 2009 12:00 AM to
Jan 23, 2009 12:00 AM
Where online via IFHAN listserv
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