Accurate, timely health information is essential for countries to monitor health trends, identify unmet needs, invest in important performance improvements, and measure which approaches have the greatest health impact so they can be expanded.
MSH has developed proven methods for rapidly strengthening the analysis and use of existing health data—normally at the province, district, and facility levels—without revising existing recording and reporting requirements. With an emphasis on learning through action, district teams undertake assessments of health services, identify gaps in performance, and design solutions to support better decision-making and, therefore, better management of improved services.
MSH has worked closely with the Health Metrics Network of the WHO to develop a comprehensive approach for enhancing the performance of health information systems and data by employing a practical, strategic planning process that can be carried out by national working groups.
- Global: Through the MSH-led Grant Management Solutions (GMS) project, we have assisted 27 countries holding grants with a combined value of $1.5 billion to improve grant management and performance. Among them, GMS helped Angola, the Central African Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Swaziland obtain new grants or extensions worth more than $2.7 million for HIV & AIDS, TB, and malaria programs, through strengthened management, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, and governance.
- Pakistan: In two districts of Pakistan that were devastated by a 2005 earthquake, MSH is working with 10 subdistricts to improve health services by strengthening the use of public health data. Facility managers and staff from more than 120 facilities have learned how to consolidate and routinely review key health information by using the Health Watch Framework— a simple tool for health managers to record and monitor disease trends in their areas in order to improve detection and rapid responses to emerging health problems. Now more than 60 percent of all facilities are properly using the Framework, up from just one-third of the facilities nine months earlier.
- Brazil: MSH's Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems Program worked with partners in Brazil to develop e-TB Manager, a web-based tool for managing national TB programs. The software supports treatment and case management, management of medicines, epidemiological surveillance, and analysis and sharing of research data. Health officials and providers now have a powerful information resource for improved case detection and timely treatment of TB patients. And it did not require huge technology investments. Country-specific adaptations of the software are being implemented or planned in nine countries around the world.