Decision Support Systems for Linking Routine and Nonroutine Data Sources


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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2018

Decision Support Systems for Linking Routine and Nonroutine Data Sources Abstract:

As countries strengthen their data infrastructures, global health professionals increasingly need data to monitor programs and to diagnose and control epidemics. These data come from “routine” and “nonroutine” sources. Routine sources are health facility and community information systems. Nonroutine sources are household and other population-based surveys, censuses, civil registration and vital statistics systems, disease surveillance systems, health facility surveys, and administrative data systems. These varied sources complement one another, and when data from them are combined, they are more comprehensive and, thus, more useful.

To exploit the possibilities of linking data, countries are establishing data warehouses where data are stored and linked. Data warehouses are connected to a “health observatory” that permits access to in-depth analyses of population health and health services at the national, subnational, and district levels. A health observatory consists of a decision support system (DSS) plus the various dashboards, portals, and web interfaces developed for specific stakeholders. It uses innovative data visualizations—graphs, spatial analysis and maps, health sector reports, and other media—that make health information more readily available and useful.

This brief focuses on MEASURE Evaluation's web-based DDS. Access the related working paper.

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