A bit of History

The history of the Health GeoLab Hub started with the establishment of the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) GIS Lab in June 2016 thanks to the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), WHO, UNICEF, and Esri. The thinking and processes that led to the establishment of the AeHIN GIS Lab are described in the following ADB brief: The Geography of Universal Health Coverage.The establishment of the Health GeoLab Collaborative in December 2017 was the cost-effective solution to expand the support beyond Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. By becoming a collaborative, the Health GeoLab aimed to bring together a larger set of institutions and individuals sharing a common vision and ready to engage their respective skills, experience, and resources in the implementation of the HIS geo-enabling framework. The following two ADB briefs provide more information about this transition: Building capacity for geo-enabling health information systems: supporting equitable health services and well-being for all.

After 6 years of operation, the opportunity to consolidate and institutionalize the expertise, experience, and knowledge built by MORU and the Health GeoLab Collaborative over the past decades presented itself and led to the formal launch of the Health GeoLab Hub in March 2023. The Hub continues to serve as a capacity strengthening and knowledge sharing hub in the Region and contributes to further filling the gap between sustainable development and research.

The Health GeoLab Hub is led by Prof Richard Maude, head of the Epidemiology Department at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok.Dr Steeve Ebener is the coordinator of the Health GeoLab Hub.

The team is currently completed by the following staff (by alphabetical order):

  • Chawarat Rotejanaprasert – Statistician
  • Didar Uddin – Country Coordinator and Data Manager
  • July Ko Ko – Country Coordinator and Data Manager
  • Kulchada Pongsoipetch – Geospatial Data Engineer
  • Neriza Pantanila – HGL Hub Training Lead
  • Pengby Ngor – GIS Analyst
  • Sazid Ibna Zaman – GIS Analyst
  • Suwanna Mukem – Country Coordinator and Data Manager
  • Thang Nguyen Tien – Country Coordinator and Data Manager
  • Vilayvone Malaphone – Country Coordinator and Data Manager
  • Wynn Zaw – GIS Analyst

Our Team

Partners

The Health GeoLab Hub has the privilege of being a partner of the following organizations (by alphabetical order):

Esri has been a key partner since the launching of the AeHIN GIS Lab back in 2016. They have supported the thinking that led to the establishment of the different instances of the Lab as well as initiatives such as Esri’s Health and Human Services Grant Program that offers eligible Ministries of Health 2 years of free access to their technology and ongoing discounted software for sustainability. In its current form, the partnership between Esri and the Health GeoLab Hub is looking at filling currently existing technology and skill gaps and the possibility to restart the organization of a regional event for the Asia-Pacific region.
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The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the critical importance for the population to have equitable access to quality and reliable diagnostic services. FIND is collaborating with the Health GeoLab to identify scalable GIS-based solutions that could help countries improve such access

The Health GeoLab’s vision is for low- and middle- income countries in Asia and the Pacific fully benefit from the power of geography, geospatial data, and technologies to reach the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030.To reach this vision, the Health GeoLab Hub focuses its activities on the following three main areas of work:

  1. In-country research (situation analysis and impact assessment), technical assistance (operationalization) and M&E
  2. Engagement, knowledge sharing, and transfer
  3. Training and capacity development

Click on the flyer on the right for more details

       What we do

How we work

The Health GeoLab implements projects and conducts activities aligned with the HIS geo-enabling framework. This framework is composed of nine (9) elements that need to be in place for a Health Information System (HIS) to be considered as geo-enabled. For more information.

The approach followed by the Health GeoLab Hub when implementing projects or conducting activities consists of:

  • Conducting in-country research as well as providing technical assistance and M&E services that are tailored to address each country’s specific needs and capacity
  • Providing long term “coaching” instead of one-off training events through the institutionalization of supporting capacity at both the regional and national levels.
  • Facilitating the organization of training with professionals when needed
  • Developing and maintaining freely accessible reference and training materials
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing and transfer through a global community of practice, regional events, and knowledge repository.
  • Establishing partnerships to facilitate access to, and use of, geospatial data and technologies; and
  • Maintaining a directory of experts dealing with the management and use of geospatial data and technologies across the Region.

The Health Geolab Hub is concentrating its efforts on 32 low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Click on the map on the right to enlarge it.

  Where we work