Applying User-Centered Design to Data Use Challenges: What We Learned

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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2017

Applying User-Centered Design to Data Use Challenges: What We Learned Abstract:

Countries are working to improve health information systems (HIS) to produce higher quality and more timely data. However, the mere existence of these data is not enough to guarantee their use in decision making for program planning and policy development. Data-informed decision making is the outcome of complex system dynamics in which technical, organizational, and behavioral factors interact to create specific facilitators or barriers to data use.

Many different types of stakeholders and individuals are involved in the production and use of data, including health workers, managers, and policymakers. Understanding their motivations, needs, internal decision-making processes, pain points, and experiences as they interact with others and complete work tasks is critical to developing innovative solutions to support the use of data for programmatic decision making at the district level.

MEASURE Evaluation implemented a user-centered design approach to understand the experiences of data users, identify current barriers facing HIS users, and develop creative solutions for tackling these issues.

The design activity followed an iterative process, from cultivating empathy with data users to developing prototypes to address critical barriers to data use. This report describes the design process, activities, and outcomes (prototypes) from a user-centered design activity in Tanzania and South Africa.

Filed under: Data Demand and Use , Tanzania , South Africa , Data , HIS , Africa