Participatory Development for a Sustainable Health Management Information System

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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2016

Participatory Development for a Sustainable Health Management Information System Abstract:

Information systems often fail, both in developed and developing countries. But in developing countries, the situation is made worse because the resources necessary to implement systems, the capacity to develop and maintain systems, and buy-in from stakeholders are often lacking. In Mali, even though stakeholders were successfully aligned from the outset of the process of implementing DHIS 2 as an integrated health management information system (HMIS), the following challenges still remained: 

  • Developing a system to meet user needs, support their work practices, and still fit the context.
  • Avoiding a mismatch between work processes embedded in the system and real conditions on the ground.
  • Building local ownership to sustain the integrated HMIS and avoid it being perceived as belonging to one partner.

MEASURE Evaluation felt confident that introducing and customizing DHIS 2 as an integrated data warehouse would be an unprecedented opportunity to gradually bring about desirable changes. The project proposed strategies that helped harmonize reporting forms, build ownership and working solutions, and improve local capacity to maintain and evolve the system. 

The project engaged multiple stakeholders with a range of technical expertise in the participatory design and implementation of capacity building. Training workshops have resulted in harmonized reporting tools and strengthened local expertise in DHIS 2.

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