Decentralized Use of Data for Decisionmaking Critical to Accountability

April 28th, 2016 | Viewpoint


Here in Dhaka, I am sitting in a session on Strengthening Accountability and Setting Commitment for Health.

There was a presentation by a representative from Myanmar talking about how the country has established various accountability layers. One of which is political accountability. The first presenter from Bangladesh also emphasized on horizontal accountability involving the community as one of the stakeholders to which the health system is held accountable.

Earlier, on day one of the conference,  I was talking to the Indonesia country team. They also informed that under their decentralized governance system, the health system at lower levels are accountable to the community and political authority who are in turn responsible for allocating budget for health in their respective jurisdiction.

I think this is an important aspect of use of health information.  The health information should not only flow upwards, but also horizontally to the stakeholders,  especially the community and the political authority.

To ensure that health data is well comprehended and utilized by these non-health sector players in health, we need concerted and sustained efforts to make the health data accessible to them, build their capacity to understand and interpret health data and relate it to the wider environment in which they reside, and seriously advocate for these non-health stakeholders to use health data for accountability and decision making.

Written by Tariq Azim

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