Data Use Partnership, Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia

Client(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Services: Applied Technology, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research

Technical Expertise: Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation, Applied Technology


Over the past decade, the Government of Ethiopia, in collaboration with development partners, has invested in building an effective health information system. The new HMIS was scaled up to all health facilities in the country to establish a practice of systematically collecting, organizing, analyzing and using information for decision-making. Despite the many progresses made in Ethiopia in terms of building a health information system there remain challenges related to data quality, posing questions on the reliability of the practice of collecting, organizing and reporting data at all levels, the limited availability, poor quality, and limited use of data at all levels of the health system.

Recently, a consortium led by JSI, was awarded the Data Use Partnership (DUP) project, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with Ethiopia’s FMOH. This project aims to improve the collection and use of high-quality routine information in the health sector, contributing to improved quality, efficiency, and availability of primary health and nutrition services at all levels.

In Ethiopia, the FMOH recognizes the transformative role of routine health information in advancing national efforts to deliver quality healthcare to all populations across every region of the country. The recently drafted Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP) and Information Revolution Road Map provide a foundation and practical steps for improving the use of evidence and realizing the government’s vision for universal health care for its people. Guided by the Information Revolution Roadmap, the DUP project will be implemented over five years on a national scale in both urban and rural settings.

The project seeks to reform the information system architecture and build local capacity in governance, data management and information use by supporting the government’s plans and working in partnership with the FMOH to identify, introduce, and scale the most effective HIS solutions.

The Data Use Consortium has defined four principles to guide our approach:
1. Inclusive and collaborative engagement with a range of stakeholders inside the FMOH and among the development partners and other non-health players in the country.

2. Promotion of country ownership of and accountability for the national HIS to ensure sustainability.

3. Deliberate investment in creating an information culture that facilitates information use at every level, both vertically within the health system and horizontally, at the level of interface of the health system with the community, civil society, and the political administration.

4. Innovative and strategic change that builds on current investments in HIS governance, infrastructure, design and capacity, optimizes learning from local as well as global experience, and draws from the disciplines and theories of human-centered design and systems thinking.

Four related work streams or main areas of intervention will be phased over the five-year period: data use, standardized HMIS, eHealth architecture, and HIS governance. Together, these work streams address the project outcomes to improve data availability, quality and use and establish foundational structures and capacities in eHealth architecture, HMIS and HIS governance.

The JSI Data Use Consortium includes the Regenstrief Institute, and a human center design firm. In addition, JSI has built key alliances with local and external technical partners around health informatics, nutrition data, EMR, and mHealth solutions. The team will also benefit from JSI’s decades of collaboration with the Ethiopian FMOH on health system strengthening, health service delivery and HMIS strengthening. The project will also leverage a considerable amount of support from several of JSI projects currently being implemented in Ethiopia.

 

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