Defining Electronic Health Technologies and Their Benefits for Global Health Program Managers: Open Data
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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation
Open data is data that “anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share.” Open data are “public” data. They help citizens, governments, the private sector, and others easily access data to see trends in disease patterns, service coverage, and financing that might not be visible otherwise.
In recent years, demand for open data in developing countries has been significant—a hopeful trend for proponents of the use of government data to improve health governance and health status. Although the concept is relatively new in global health, public access to data through open data policies is often connected to transparency and citizen engagement with the government. Open data can help developing countries more easily access data so that they can see trends in disease patterns, service coverage, financial expenditures, and other relevant areas. This information can be used to improve the efficiency and coverage of public health services. Open data can also contribute to growth in the private health sector, by identifying underserved areas and generating new health businesses.
MEASURE Evaluation, funded by USAID, has a mandate to strengthen health information systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). For the past 20 years, our support for these systems has been building capacity and accountability for LMICs to move toward the global priorities of an AIDS-free generation and ending preventable child and maternal deaths.
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