Facilitators and Barriers to Data Use: Learning from the MEASURE Evaluation Strategic Information for South Africa Associate Award

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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2018

Facilitators and Barriers to Data Use: Learning from the MEASURE Evaluation Strategic Information for South Africa Associate Award Abstract:

MEASURE Evaluation works to strengthen capacity in developing countries to gather, interpret, and use data to improve health. High-quality data are essential for effective and efficient decision making in health, to promote transparency, and to strengthen the accountability of decision makers. MEASURE Evaluation developed an organizing framework that maps how data use intervention inputs and activities influence the outputs and outcome of regular sustained use of data in program review, planning, and policy (Nutley & Reynolds, 2013). This framework provides a comprehensive and practical strategy for developing interventions to strengthen the demand for and use of data in decision making. The interventions cover eight domains of activities that were identified in the literature and by MEASURE Evaluation’s implementation experience as critical to affect the technical, behavioral, and organizational determinants of data-informed decision making. The intervention is tailored to specific country and program contexts, such that all of the interventions may not need to be implemented to improve the demand for and use of data.

This framework has been used to guide the design of interventions to improve data-informed decision making, which were implemented as part of larger health information system and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strengthening projects in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania (the MEASURE Evaluation associate awards). To understand progress made by each associate award in improving data use, MEASURE Evaluation explored the facilitators and barriers contributing to the effectiveness of specific DDU interventions implemented at the subnational level in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania. MEASURE Evaluation established the following objectives for this learning exercise:

  1. To describe the results of DDU intervention activities.
  2. To understand the factors that contribute to successful data use in country health information systems.

This report presents the results of the South Africa DDU learning exercise. Findings for Kenya and Tanzania are presented separately. These reports are meant to be shared with country governments, programs, and donors implementing DDU interventions to sustain a culture of decision making in health programs. Access a related report for an overview of the learning exercise approach and key findings across the three countries.

Filed under: Data use , MEval-SIFSA , South Africa , Learning agenda , Data