Data Use in the Indian Health Sector

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Author(s): Moreland S, Misra SN, Agrawal S, Gupta RB, Harrison T

Year: 2010

Data Use in the Indian Health Sector Abstract:
Recently, there has been increased attention to data demand and use (DDU or DDIU) in the international public health community with several groups, including the MEASURE Evaluation, the Health Metrics Network (HMN) at the World Health Organization, and the World Bank’s Global AIDS M&E Team (GAMET), contributing to this area. Major investments have been and continue to be made in data collection for public health programs but there is concern that such data are not being used to their full potential. One of the basic premises of our approach is that health data and information lack value unless they are used to inform decisions. Interventions that increase local demand for information and facilitate data use enhance evidence-based decision making. Data demand use, therefore, are critical to improving the effectiveness and sustainability of the health system. Unless the data are of value to the information recipient, however, they will not be used. The objectives of this study were to shed light on how data are used for decision making at different levels of government in India, highlight impediments to data utilization, and make a set of actionable recommendations on how the health sector could improve the utilization of data for decision making.