Mali: A Statistical Yearbook, in Time

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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2019

Mali: A Statistical Yearbook, in Time Abstract:

Population health statistics derived from high-quality data in a national health information system (HIS) can reliably track health service coverage or gaps in services and the success or shortcomings of government efforts to improve health for its citizens. Use of this information can inform smart decisions about health policies, suggest programs to curtail or scale up, and guide allocation of scarce resources.

In Mali, however, the power of its HIS had not been fully realized. Statistical yearbooks that could have provided compiled data from the prior year were typically only validated in the last quarter of the year following—a full nine months after the fact. This meant the yearbook was less relevant for timely decision making and developing operational plans. In fact, the 2017 statistical yearbook was not even developed—because financial resources weren’t available.

That changed in 2019. For the first time, Mali successfully produced validated records of the prior year’s health data before April 30—thanks to a cooperative effort mounted by the Mali Ministry of Health (MOH) with support from MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). MEASURE Evaluation helped mobilize financial resources, including help from PSI, for a national validation workshop to aid in developing the yearbooks.

Building on Mali’s successful national deployment of DHIS 2 (in only 16 months) as the national health data platform for all health levels, MEASURE Evaluation was able to: (1) support regional activities to compile data, (2) harmonize data from the regions and other multiple sources, and (3) support the national level to help avoid delays that had hampered this work in the past.

The two most notable achievements were: (1) the statistical yearbook was produced in timely fashion, developed with all stakeholders, taking into account data from the local health information system (SLIS), the epidemiological surveillance system, and the hospital information system (SIH); and (2) when the data is disseminated, it will provide feedback to field managers and make it possible to measure progress and identify areas for improvement. This brief shares more.

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