GIS and HIV Program Planning
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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation
Data are essential to a well-functioning health system. At present, an explosion in the quantity of data has prompted an increasing emphasis on how this information can advance global health. Over the past decade, low- and medium-income countries have made great strides in developing strong data infrastructures, and global health professionals have been working to expand human capacity for analysis and use of data.
Within this burgeoning data “tsunami,” as some have termed it, are rich streams of data on the populations at risk and in need of HIV treatment, the services being provided, and the context in which these both exist. Many of these data streams have a geographic component. Geographic information systems (GIS) can make use of the geographic data to produce analysis that can better locate services and ensure they reach populations in need.
GIS synthesizes data from many sources, such as health surveys, routine health information systems (RHIS), or census data, and links them using a common geography. It offers the opportunity to combine data sources that previously may not have been used together, resulting in a richer picture of the context in which HIV programs operate.
MEASURE Evaluation believes GIS has a big role to play in strengthening health information systems (HIS) and improving monitoring and evaluation (M&E). We are breaking new ground with research on the uses of GIS in these areas to guide decision making on health policy, resource allocation, priorities, and programs. A high priority is research focused on benefiting PEPFAR-supported HIV country programs.
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