Strengthening Data Demand and Use in Three African Countries: Lessons Learned from the Associate Awards in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania


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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2018

Strengthening Data Demand and Use in Three African Countries: Lessons Learned from the Associate Awards in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania Abstract:

To address challenges with measuring data use, MEASURE Evaluation developed a conceptual framework to describe the inputs, outcomes, and impact of applying a specific set of activities that address the most proximate technical, organizational, and behavioral barriers to using data (Nutley & Reynolds, 2013). For example, improving data availability has been identified as an important activity area to improve data demand and use (DDU) because decision makers are more likely to use data if they can easily access summarized information most relevant to decision making that is presented in formats that are easily understood. The framework assumes that efforts to improve the use of data will only be successful if implemented as part of larger long-term HIS strengthening activities (e.g., strengthening data infrastructure, building effective data management systems). Eight priority domains or “activity areas” have been identified as the most influential to improve data-informed decision making.

The conceptual framework has been used to guide the design of interventions to improve data-informed decision making. The interventions were implemented as part of larger HIS strengthening projects in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania under MEASURE Evaluation’s associate awards. These projects aim to improve the use of data for policy, advocacy, and monitoring of health and social service programs and to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems at national and subnational levels. The projects implemented interventions across the eight domains to strengthen the quality, demand for, and use of routine health information for decision making. The DDU interventions across the three countries were tailored to address different program areas, target audiences, and country objectives.

To understand each associate award’s progress to improve data use, MEASURE Evaluation explored facilitators and barriers contributing to the effectiveness of DDU interventions implemented at the subnational level in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania. The project established the following objectives:

  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 provides an overview of the learning exercise approach and key findings across the three countries. For more detail about the findings for specific DDU activities implemented in each country, please see the reports for Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania.

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